We haven’t talked about the universe of university podcasts in some time. So let’s get back to it.Below, we have highlighted ten full-fledged courses from top flight universities. All of these courses can be downloaded to your iPod for free. That’s a price that you can’t beat. (You can see our complete collection of free online courses here.)
1. European History from the Renaissance to the Present (UC Berkeley)
“This course is an introduction to European history from around 1500 to the present. The central questions that it addresses are how and why Europe–a small, relatively poor, and politically fragmented place–became the motor of globalization and a world civilization in its own right.”
–Thomas Laqueur, Professor of History
2. Geography of World Cultures (Stanford University)
Even in a globalized world, people continue to be joined together and divided asunder by the languages they speak, the religions they follow, and the ethnic identities to which they belong. This map-intensive course examines every world region, seeking to understand how places vary from each other with regard to the cultural attributes of their inhabitants. (Note: This course is being rolled out in weekly installments.)
–Martin Lewis, Lecturer in History, Interim Director, Program in International Relations
3. Old English in Context (Oxford University)
A four lecture mini-course on how English became English during the medieval period.
–Dr Stuart Lee, OUCS
4. Physics for Future Presidents (UC Berkeley)
This course gives you the physics you need to know to be a president, Supreme Court justice, diplomat, businessman, lawyer, football coach, or other world leader.
—Richard Muller, Professor of Physics.
NOTE: Tthe same course happens also to appear on Google Video. Simply go to Google Video and perform a search with the following keywords: physics 10 berkeley.
5. Quantum Mechanics (UC Davis)
If Physics for Future Presidents is too basic for you, you can get into some more heavy duty science right here.
—John Terning, Associate Professor of Physics
6. The Historical Jesus (Stanford University)
Who was the historical Jesus of Nazareth? What did he actually say? In short, what are the differences — and similarities — between the Jesus who lived and died in history and the Christ who lives on in believers’ faith?
–Thomas Sheehan, Professor of Religious Studies and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
7. Understanding Computers and the Internet (Harvard University)
This course demystifies computers and the Internet (along with their jargon) so that students understand not only what they can do with each, but also how each works and why.
–David Malan, Instructor
8. Entrepreneurship and Business Planning (Carnegie Mellon)
This class parallels a course being offered at Carnegie Mellon. It covers the ins-and-outs of starting a new venture, looking at how to develop ideas for new companies, write business plans, create teams. It also looks at typical b-school topics: marketing, competitive strategy, sales, pricing, funding and finance.
–Mark Juliano, Adjunct Professor
9. The Literature of Crisis (Stanford University)
In looking at great works by Plato, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Vergil, and Voltaire, this course explores crises that change the course of individuals and larger cultures.
–Marsh McCall, Professor of Classics
–Martin Evans, Professor in English
10. Existentialism in Literature & Film (UC Berkeley)
The course looks at efforts “to reinterpret the Judeo/Christian God, and to determine in what sense God is still a living God.” Along the way it looks at “Dostoyevsky’s and Kierkegaard’s attempts to preserve a non-theological version of the God of Christianity, as well as Nietzsche’s attempt to save us from belief in any version of God offered by our tradition.” Films also get discussed here.
–Hubert Dreyfus, Professor of Philosophy
If you know of other good courses available via podcast, please email us and let us know.