To go back to all Quest class listings, Click Here
In his essays, Montaigne warns us from the start that he has "no goal but a domestic and private one," yet his writings have stood the test of time, becoming widely acclaimed in many an age. We will read and discuss individual essays on death, education, human nature, suicide, custom, paternity, cruelty, friendship, solitude, and writing - all written by the man who invented the "essay" form.
After traveling to Italy and serving as Mayor of Bordeaux for four years at the height of the religious wars, Montaigne published 13 new essays that reconsider his favorite themes in light of his new experiences. We will read and discuss Book Three of Montaigne's Essays and discuss the writings therein.
This class is intended for students who took Essays of Montaigne in the Fall 2022 quarter.
Required Texts: The Complete Essays of Montaigne, translated by Donald Frame (Stanford University Press; ISBN-10:0804704864).
Explore a series of thematically-related films. We'll engage in lively discussions as we analyze the films and our responses to them, while developing a sense of each film's creation, impact, and place in history.
Despite the still-active myth of Jewish passivity during the Holocaust, Jewish people resisted the Nazis in every way possible, violently and nonviolently, in the ghettos, forests, concentration camps, death camps, and all countries occupied by the Germans. We will watch and discuss five films that deal with this resistance: The Pianist, Defiance, The Grey Zone, Korczak, and Defiant Requiem.
Suggested Texts: Henry, Patrick. Jewish Resistance Against the Nazis. The Catholic University of America Press, 2014. ISBN: 9780813225890.
Join our community of Quest readers! Meet weekly and discuss a book under the guidance of an experienced facilitator. In some years, we'll trade insights with other communities of readers like undergraduates at Whitman College or inmates at Washington State Penitentiary. We'll have friendly debates and reflections where you'll get to learn what others got out of the book, and maybe even walk out with a different perspective.
We will read and discuss Being Mortal, Dr. Atul Gawande’s critique of the care received by patients at the end of their lives. Modern medicine has succeeded brilliantly in extending human lifespans – but Dr. Gawande draws from research and personal experience to show the harm that medicine can do when it fails to offer to the dying the decision whether the time they might gain from further drugs and procedures is worth enduring. Follow the narratives of a hospice nurse on her rounds, a geriatrician in his clinic, and reformers turning nursing homes upside down as we learn how to have hard conversations with the aged and the dying that remind us all of what they really care about.
Required Texts: Gawande, Atul. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Picador, 2017. 9781250076229.
Study Supreme Court cases from 1954 to present dealing with privacy, abortion, affirmative action, and the separation of church and state. How is the Constitution interpreted? What is stare decisis? What does it mean to say that a prior Court decision was wrong? Is the Supreme Court political? What are the Chevron doctrine, the major question doctrine, substantive due process, and originalism? By the end of this class, not only will you be able to answer such questions - you'll also have a stronger understanding of how the Supreme Court works, be better able to analyze recent Court decisions, and be well-equipped to defend or critique the Court.
Have you ever wanted to tell the story behind an old photograph? In this course, we will discuss ways to potentially identify the dates, locations, and people in old photographs. While it's not possible to find an exact answer for every photo, details of your picture - including clothing, hats, hairstyles, type of photo, and background - can teach you much of interest. Using the factual details you've uncovered, you will write about all that you've learned, and then share your discoveries by reading aloud the story of your image to your fellow students. Writers of all levels are welcome!
Suggested Materials: one or more old photographs that you would like to learn more about. Generally, they should be from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. (If you do not have such a photo, the instructor will provide one for you.)