Continued Learning @ UE Courses

The University of Evansville is offering the following online courses through our Continued Learning at UE program in Fall 2021. Complete the registration form to secure your spot today.

September 15 – October 13

A History of Music in Film - $40

11:00 a.m. Online
Instructor: Kristen Strandberg, PhD

In this course, we will examine the ways in which directors, sound designers, and composers create the musical elements and soundscapes of film. We will move chronologically, examining the earliest films in the beginning of the twentieth century and working our way into the present day. By the end of the course, participants will possess considerable knowledge of film music history, have the skills to analyze the use of music and sound in film, and have gained an appreciation for the ways musical composition and sound design interact with a film’s visual and narrative elements.

Dr. Strandberg holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in Musicology from Indiana University. Her recent publications include articles in the Journal of Musicological Research and the Journal of Music History Pedagogy. She has presented at conferences throughout the U.S. and Europe, recently appearing as an invited speaker at the annual conference of the National Chopin Institute in Poland.

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October 20 – November 17

Mapping the Child Fantasy Quest in Literature - $40

1:00 p.m. Online
Instructor: Kristina Hochwender, PhD

It’s tempting, perhaps, to think of children’s literature as something that should be laid aside when one enters adulthood. Yet with publication and sales numbers in the millions, and given the number of adults who write, publish, and sell these books; given the number of places children encounter them—from classrooms to birthday gifts to bookmobiles, children’s books are very much a grown-up concern. Perhaps more importantly, these are the books that have the power to shape us from our earliest years. They’re the stories we remember lifelong, and they help to frame the world we live in. In this course, we’ll focus on one of the most compelling childhood stories: the fantasy quest. We’ll read three fantasy quest novels that span more than a century: L Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1901), Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth (1961), and Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (2009). They’re delightful to read and rediscover, but they also give us a way to think about diversity, gender, colonialism, education, and dual child/adult audiences. We’ll also talk about the way authors create and “map” their fantasy worlds for generations of readers.

Note: for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, please use any unabridged edition. The Phantom Tollbooth and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon are still under copyright, so those editions are consistent.

Kristina Hochwender is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Creative Writing. She recently concluded a five-year term as Director of General Education and currently directs the Eykamp Center for Teaching Excellence. Kristina earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell College, and she earned her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Washington University in St Louis. Her ongoing research focuses on Victorian novels about the clergy and on children’s and YA literature.

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Changing Scientific Conceptions and Changing Conceptions of Human Place in the Universe - $40

1:00 p.m. On campus
Instructor: Richard (Dick) Connolly, PhD

Western conceptions of human nature and its relation to the world of nature have been closely tied to one another. The purpose of this course will be to examine how western scientific conceptions of the world and nature have changed and how our conceptions of human nature have changed in response. We will do this by examining, in a non-technical way, how our ideas about nature have shaped our ideas of who and what we are and what our place is. We will begin by examining ancient Greek ideas about science, especially in the physics of Aristotle and the astronomy of the ancient Greek astronomer, Ptolemy. We will then proceed to examine the work of the Renaissance scientists, Copernicus and Galileo, and how their ideas changed the way we see ourselves in relation to nature. We will then proceed to a historical examination of 18th and 19th century geology carried on by folks like James Hutton and Charles Lyell, specifically how it relates to the age of the world. We will conclude with an examination of Darwin’s theory of evolution and its implications for our conception of human nature.

Suggested Readings for the Course:

  1. The Copernican Revolution by Thomas Kuhn
  2. The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins

Dr. Connolly received his BS in Biology from Trinity College and MA and PhD in Philosophy from Michigan State University. He taught most of his career at UE until retiring in 2014. While at UE, he taught nearly all the basic courses in philosophy, including the history and philosophy of science.

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How to Argue with Your Friends: Civic Discourse - $40

3:00 p.m. On Campus
Instructor: Michael Austin, PhD

Democracy is hard work. It has always been hard work because people have always had different points of view and have always expressed their differences through vigorous debate. Democracy cannot survive without this kind of debate, but neither can it survive long when people become so divided over issues that they treat each other as enemies. The most important skill we can learn in a democratic society is the skill of arguing as friends. This course will examine the origins and current expression of America’s civic tradition, beginning with the public squares of Greece and Rome and continuing through the Constitutional Convention, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement. But the major focus will be on our own society and our own actions as we encounter each other in political contests and debates.

Materials: Austin, Michael. We Must Not Be Enemies: Restoring America’s Civic Tradition. (2019) Available at:

Michael Austin is the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Evansville. Before moving to Evansville, he was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Newman University (Kansas), and before that, Dean of Graduate Studies at Shepherd University (West Virginia) where he taught composition, world literature, and British literature. He is the author of several textbooks and works of literary criticism.

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Please email for more information.

Office Phone:

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Office Location:
Room 311, Graves Hall

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT