University of California San Diego is offering a record 63 courses available for free download on its podcast website this quarter, enough to fill your mp3 player for months to come. But carpe diem, seize the day. Most of these riches will only stay on the website until the end of the quarter (roughly mid-December), so download early and download often.
Some great courses are making their reappearance, so you can grab them if you missed them before.
Formations of Modern Art (feed).
Art historian William Norman Bryson is back with his lively and entertaining introduction to the French Impressionists and other moderns. Although the podcasts are audio-only, you can follow along with Bryson’s lecture slides at this website. (See earlier post A different take on the Impressionists.)
Change in Modern South Africa (feed).
Sociologist Ivan Evans tells the amazing story of South Africa’s transformation into an apartheid state, and its (mostly peaceful) transformation into a multi-racial democracy. Evans is an eloquent and affecting speaker although some may be put off by his strong opinions. The syllabus for last year’s course is here. (See earlier post Two great sociology classes from UCSD.)
Introduction to Cognitive Psychology (feed).
David Peterzell talks about how the brain makes sense of the world around us. It’s a fascinating story, and includes many surprises. (See earlier post Introduction to cognitive psychology.)
MMW 4 New Ideas/Clash of Cultures (feed).
MMW (Making of the Modern World) is a 6-part course that covers world history, from the earliest hominids to the present day. Matthew Herbst, a masterful teacher, leads this tour through world history from 1200 to 1750. The class website and syllabus are here. (See earlier post Making of the Modern World at UCSD.)
East Asian Thought (feed).
Victor Magagna teaches this overview of East Asian political thought, which can help westerners better understand why Asians might make different political and business choices. (See earlier post East Asian Thought from UCSD.)
One caveat: UCSD uses an automated recording system that can leave long gaps in the audio, and sometimes entire lectures are missing. If you encounter a pocket of dead air (usually at the beginning of the podcast), just fast forward until you find the rest of the lecture.