Insight Seminars

image: trees and mountain reflected in lakeUniversity of Oregon Insight Seminars

2014-2015 Season Classes Start in October
Schedule Below & Registration Opens Soon

Enjoy a "Taste" of an Upcoming Seminar with a Free Introductory Lecture
(Location: Knight Library Browsing Room)

  • Taste of Shakespeare's Early Plays (Lara Bovilsky) - Monday, September 29 (7:00 pm)
  • Taste of Mythology (Jim Earl)- Monday, October 27 (7:00 pm)  
  • Taste of Italian Renaissance Villas (James Harper) - Monday, January 5, 2015 (7:00 pm)
  • Taste of History & Art of the Book (James Fox & Marilyn Reaves) - TBA
  • Taste of Decameron (Gina Psaki) - Monday, March 30, 2015 (7:00 pm)
  • Taste of The Beatles & Their Time (Carl Woideck) - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (7:00 pm)

Fall Classes

Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona and Richard III
Saturday mornings October 4, 11, 18 & 25 
9:30 am- Noon
Lara Bovilsky (English Department)
Registration $99
Join us for discussion of Shakespeare’s first insights into the nature and dramatic uses of villainy. Two of Shakespeare’s early plays reveal a fascinating mixture of his later approaches to character and language and some very different techniques and artistic choices. In Two Gentlemen, love remakes the self, blighting friendship and the promise of courtly development. In Richard, villainy is a charismatic historical force, facilitating the emergence of a new English dynasty. Note: Both plays are being performed this year at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Class books are available at the UO Bookstore:
1. Two Gentlemen of Verona, ed. Roger Warren (Oxford) ISBN 0192831429  
2. Richard III, ed. John Jowett (Oxford) ISBN 0199535880

Mythology: Why it fascinates us?
Saturday mornings November 1, 8, 15, & 22 
9:30 am- Noon
James Earl (English Department)
Registration $99
What are myths, and how can we understand them? Anthropologists, philosophers and psychologists all want to know. Myth is one of the great intellectual problems of the last century—a natural form of human cognition, but largely unintelligible to moderns. Utterly irrational but weirdly compelling, like dreams they resist interpretation and explanation. Why did pre-modern peoples create them, and how did they understand them? What is the relation of myth to religion, ritual and poetry? We’ll examine Mesopotamian, Greek and Norse myths, like the Descent of Inanna, Prometheus and Pandora, Valhalla and the Twilight of the Gods—and we'll be surprised. Myth is nothing if it’s not surprising.
Class books are available from the UO Bookstore
1. Myths From Mesopotamia, trans. Stephanie Dalley (Oxford World Classics)
2. Hesiod, Theogony and Works and Days, trans. M. L. West (Oxford World Classics)
3. The Prose Edda, trans. Jesse Byock (Penguin)

Winter 2015 Classes

Italian Renaissance Villas
Saturday mornings January 10, 17, 24, 31
9:30 am- Noon
James Harper (History of Art and Architecture)
Registration $99

History & Art of the Book
Saturday Mornings February 7, 14, 21, 28
9:30 am- Noon
James Fox and Marilyn Reaves (UO Libraries Special Collections and University Archives)
Registration $99

Ethnic America After the Gold Rush: The Chinese Immigrants (half-day seminar)
March 7  - 9:15am - 1:15pm
Kevin Hatfield (History Department)
Registration $45

Spring (2 class offerings in April)

Boccaccio's Decameron
Saturday mornings April 4, 18, 25, & May 2 (no class on April 11)
9:30 am- Noon
Gina Psaki (Romance Languages Department)
Registration $99

The Beatles and Their Times 
Tuesday evenings April 7, 14, 21, 28
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Carl Woideck (School of Music and Dance)
Registration $99

Native American Photographs: The Art of Edward Curtis (half-day seminar)
May 16 – 9:15 am – 1:15 pm
James Fox and Jennifer O’Neal (UO Libraries Special Collections and University Archives)
Registration $45


Questions: Jan Smith (

Ideas for Seminar Topics: Barbara Jenkins (

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Created by jenkins on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Aug 27, 2014