A diverse array of Spring courses has been unveiled for DavidsonLearns spring semester, beginning in March, with topics ranging from the CIA to global economics, hometown history, and “The World in 6 Glasses.”
“I continue to be amazed at the wealth of knowledge we have in the Lake Norman region. Local citizens, college professors and specialists from all genres continue to bring forth new topics each semester and it is exciting to have them share their expertise with us,” Executive Director Amy Diamond said in announcing the new courses.
Winter courses are currently underway, with enrollment for the four new spring classes beginning March 11. Priority registration for DavidsonLearns members will start March 4. For more information or to register, visit: www.davidsonlearns.org or find the group on Facebook.
DavidsonLearns President Joey Schnople said the group is gaining members. “Our objective is to continue to build a community of learners and we are well underway,” he said. [DavidsonLearns sells non-tax-deductible memberships, and also accepts additional contributions, which are tax deductible. Send checks to DavidsonLearns, P.O. Box 141, Davidson, NC 28036.]
Spring courses will run March through May, lasting from 1½ to 2 ½ hours, with afternoon and evening time slots. They will be held at venues in Davidson that offer adequate parking and are handicapped accessible. Registrants will be contacted before class with the specified location.
DAVIDSONLEARNS SPRING QUARTER 2013:
PRESERVING LOCAL HISTORY – Want to know more about the rich history of northern Mecklenburg County? You may be surprised at the many historical changes that have transformed acres of rural farmland to the thriving communities we have today. Applying historic preservation procedures, you will investigate significant sites that mark the early development of this area. You will also learn how certain landmarks are identified and designated as “historic.” The format is interactive and includes guest historians who will emphasize the growth of Davidson, Cornelius, and Huntersville. The class has a maximum enrollment of 25 students.
Dates: Wednesdays, 10:30am to noon, April 3, 10, 17, 24, and May 1
Instructor: Grace Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell is currently an Educational Consultant and former faculty member at Davidson College. She also holds an MA in History from UNCC where she taught courses in American History. She is the author of “The Echo of the Bugle Call: Charlotte’s Role in World War I” and is the former chair of the Historic Preservation Commission in Cornelius.
UNDERSTANDING THE GREAT DIVERGENCE: WHY SOME NATIONS ARE RICH AND OTHERS ARE POOR – Economic historians have spent the past several decades trying to answer two important and related questions. First, why did the Industrial Revolution begin in Britain in the 18th century? What was it about Britain specifically (and Western Europe more generally) that made the Industrial Revolution possible? Why didn’t it happen in ancient Rome, or China, or Africa?
Next, why did the advancements of the Industrial Revolution spread and take root where (and when) they did? Why hasn’t a country like Argentina, which has abundant natural resources, enjoy the same level of economic prosperity enjoyed by the United States or Germany or Australia? This course will introduce you to the different “schools of thought” that have arisen to provide answers to these two important questions. In particular, there will be a focus on Acemoglu and Robinson’s new book “Why Nations Fail”. (The course will include an opportunity to attend the Cornelson Lecture at Davidson College – given this year by Dr. Acemoglu.) Required text: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. Minimum 4 students; maximum 16
Date: Tuesdays 7:30 to 9pm, April 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, and 14
Instructor: Fred Smith, Associate Professor and Chair Department of Economics, Davidson College. Fred Smith is a microeconomist who teaches courses in urban, public, sports, and American economic history at Davidson College. A Davidson resident, Smith once volunteered on the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department. He is currently a member of the board for the HealthReach Community Clinic in Mooresville.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY: An Historical Overview – Intelligence service is the organized collection and analysis of information and conduct of covert action and counterintelligence to support the formulation and execution of U.S. foreign policy. After briefly examining the basic functions of intelligence, the course will look at the evolution of U.S. intelligence activity as it increasingly embodied these functions. The largely chronological approach will begin with early intelligence activity during the Revolutionary War and then look at how intelligence slowly developed, mostly from needs arising in time of crisis, during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Finally, it will look at the major organizational expansion of intelligence functions during World War II. This course has a maximum enrollment of 15 students.
Date: Thursdays, 7 to 8:30pm, April 4, 11, 18, 25, and May 2
Instructor: Thomas Rynne. Mr. Rynne is a retired Intelligence Officer from the Defense Intelligence Agency and served in the Intelligence Community for twenty-four years. As a senior analyst and manager he briefed members of the Executive and Legislative branches of the government, policymakers, U.S. diplomats and other members of the Intelligence Community. He participated in annual intelligence exchanges with foreign government intelligence services. Rynne also organized and directed analytical working groups from across the Intelligence Community and had extensive travel to East and Southeast Asia.
A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN SIX GLASSES – The course will be built on the book “A History of the World in Six Glasses” by Tom Standage. From the author: “Just as archaeologists divide history into different periods based on the use of different materials — the stone age, the bronze age, the iron age, and so on — it is also possible to divide world history into periods dominated by different drinks. Six drinks in particular — beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola — chart the flow of world history. Three contain alcohol and three contain caffeine, but what they all have in common is that each drink was the defining drink during a pivotal historical period, from antiquity to the present day.” This course has a maximum enrollment of 20 students.
Date: Wednesdays, 7-8:30pm, March 27, April 3, 10, 17, 24, and May 1
Instructor: Joey Schnople – Joey Schnople is an entrepreneur who has worked in the food and beverage industry. He has owned chocolate shops and cafes, specializing in handmade chocolates, custom roasted coffees, and specialty teas. Schnople has formal sommelier training from the International Court of Master Sommeliers and 10 years experience teaching at community colleges. He earned an MBA from the Babcock School at Wake Forest University.