Skip to main content

USC Dornsife Launches Online Continuing Education Courses

New non-credit courses are part of the new USC-New York Times Knowledge Network collaboration

Dan Schnur (left) of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and James R. Kincaid of English are offering two of the first online continuing education courses through the partnership between USC and the New York Times Knowledge Network. Dan Schnur photo by Sam Lim. James Kincaid photo by Susan Kamei.
Dan Schnur (left) of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and James R. Kincaid of English are offering two of the first online continuing education courses through the partnership between USC and the New York Times Knowledge Network. Dan Schnur photo by Sam Lim. James Kincaid photo by Susan Kamei.

Lifelong students won’t have to give up their day jobs, or even live in Southern California, to take advantage of the first courses through the partnership between USC and the New York Times Knowledge Network.

Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics housed in USC Dornsife, and James R. Kincaid, Aerol Arnold Chair of English and professor of English, are offering two of the first online continuing education courses from the collaboration that combines the expertise of USC Dornsife professors with the vast resources of The New York Times.

In Schnur’s class, Campaign 2012 — An Overview at the Starting Line, he conducts five live online session on the themes of “The President,” “The Republicans” and “The American Voters.” With Adam Nagourney, New York Times Los Angeles bureau chief and former national political correspondent, Schnur analyzes the nation’s political landscape, evaluates the candidates’ challenges and opportunities, and discusses economic, cultural and other factors that will influence the electorate as the upcoming presidential campaign gets underway.

“This series allows you to join in a broad conversation about the forces that will shape the election of our next president,” Schnur said. “If you watch the Sunday morning news shows or want to step back from the frenzy of polling, fundraising and bickering to understand what’s going on, this course is for you.”

Starting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 from 6 to 6:50 p.m. PST, Schnur and Nagourney will discuss the current political backdrop in a live online session. From Wednesday to Saturday, class members can engage in online discussion forums. On Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011 from 3 to 3:50 p.m. PST, Schnur and Nagourney will discuss breaking news from Sunday shows through a live online session. This format will repeat on Tuesday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 6, with the concluding live online session on Tuesday, Nov. 8. All live sessions will be recorded and archived for those who are unable to make a session.

A veteran of four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns, Schnur has taught at USC Dornsife since 2004 and was named the director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics in 2008.

“Campaign 2012” is already receiving praise as a stand-out online course. Delta Sky Magazine’s October 2011 feature on distance learning pegged the class as a fun virtual class for the lifelong student.

The registration fee for this course is $175. Registration is now available here.

In his online workshop Recalling Childhood — Writing, Thinking, and Misremembering Our Early Years, Kincaid explores the concept of “childhood” and ways in which children and adolescents are depicted in histories, short stories, poems, and two classics, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.

“We’ll discuss how childhood is featured in contemporary pop culture: songs, theater, movies and advertisements,” Kincaid said. “We’ll address questions such as ‘How does memory work?’ and ‘What do we really know about our own childhoods?’ ”

Class participants may jumpstart the writing of their own personal history by exploring the autobiographical form and the roles of memory and narratives capturing childhood experiences.

Kincaid is a winner of two Guggenheim Fellowships, many National Endowment for the Humanities awards, and he is author of seven books, including a novel, and countless essays and reviews. He has served as an expert witness in trials in the U.S. and abroad involving issues of child protection and endangerment.

Instructional material is available online through Nov. 11, 2011. Kincaid will conduct live online sessions from 5 to 6 p.m. PST on four Wednesdays: Oct. 19, Oct. 26, Nov. 2 and Nov. 9.

The registration fee for this course is $245. Those interested can register here.

Schnur, Kincaid and other USC Dornsife faculty will be offering additional continuing education courses on American politics, arts and culture, writing, and other topics. For a complete listing of new USC Dornsife continuing education courses and USC-New York Times Knowledge Network courses, please visit dornsife.usc.edu/registration-ll or continuingeducation.usc.edu.