Category Archives: History

U.S. social history

For an illuminating view of life in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, check out Richard Candida-Smith’s Fall 2012 UC Berkeley course History 124A: The United States from the Late 19th Century to the Eve … Continue reading

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Interpreting the Bible

The Bible is one of the foundational texts of the Western tradition and Harvard historian Shaye Cohen’s course The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism and Christianity (iTunes) gives a lively introduction to the different ways believing Christians and Jews have interpreted … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Courses, Five-star professors, History, iTunesU, Jewish studies, Religion | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Spring classes now underway

Spring quarter classes are now underway at UCSD and UCLA. As usual, the UCSD podcast page offers an impressive array of courses (I count 89), but in a new and troubling development, some of the courses are hidden behind a … Continue reading

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NYU rolls out free course on Ancient Israel

New York University recently began rolling out a new addition to its free open education courses on its YouTube channel. The new arrival is Ancient Israel (YouTube) taught by Daniel Fleming. So far NYU has posted only six lectures from … Continue reading

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Some old UC Berkeley favorites are back

I have been browsing around in the recently restored UC Berkeley Classic Courses, trying to find some of my old favorites from my Best free courses & lectures collection. It wasn’t easy because the restored courses are listed only by … Continue reading

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169 Berkeley courses are back!

Just in time to celebrate the new fall term, UC Berkeley’s webcast team has finished posting 169 courses that went offline during the site’s remodel.  These courses are now available on iTunes U in the Classic Courses section of the … Continue reading

Posted in Academic podcasts, Courses, History, iTunesU | Tagged | 4 Comments

Berkeley update: grassroots edition

While University of California Berkeley has yet to restore any of the missing courses to its website (background and here, here and here), at least one Berkeley fan has taken matters into his own hands. You can now find audio … Continue reading

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Of tea parties and revolutions

Many Americans have the vague notion that the Boston Tea Party of 1773 was a dispute over high British taxes on tea. And we all hate paying taxes, right? But as with many historical events that we think we know … Continue reading

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Of skeletons, pottery and Indiana Jones

I once spent a year studying at Israel’s Hebrew University, where I took a spectacularly boring course in archaeology. Indeed it took some effort to make archaeology boring in that setting, surrounded as we were by monuments and ruins going … Continue reading

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The Jewish Spirit of Secularism

In 1918 Max Weber famously wrote that the modern world “is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the disenchantment of the world.” In other words, the rise of science and rationality has taken the magic and mystery … Continue reading

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