Dec 15, 2014

The Existentialism Course - Coming in February!

As those who regularly follow this blog know, the original impetus was to have a place to work out ideas, develop resources, post new Existentialism videos -- all in preparation for eventually providing an online course on Existentialist philosophy and literature.  The course -- like so many other projects -- has turned out to e a lot longer in the coming than I'd originally projected.  But . . . I have some big news about that!

I've partnered with the education company Oplerno to develop and offer the full version of the course -- a for-college-credit, 12-week, totally online course:  Existentialist Philosophy and Literature.  The course starts on February 1 and runs for 12 weeks -- and enrollment for the course will open in January.  I can promise you that it's going to be intellectually stimulating and provide a great grounding in these thinkers and texts -- and students will come away not only understanding key themes and ideas but will be able to see how they apply to their own lives and our 21st century society.  Anyone who has watched my videos knows the longstanding interest, rigor, and passion that I bring to this particular movement in Philosophy!

We'll be studying eleven key Existentialist thinkers -- the same eleven discussed for popular audiences in my recent lecture series, Glimpses Into Existence -- ranging from first-wave trailblazers like Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, and Nietzsche down to the French third-wave figures of the 30s-60 like Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus, and Marcel -- hitting on Rilke, Shestov, Kafka, and Heidegger along the way.

The core of the course will be comprised of readings in key texts, coupled with online lesson pages, my Existentialism YouTube videos, and handouts I'll be developing.  Students will get the chance to interact with me personally in up to three video-sessions per week, and with me and their classmates in online discussion forums.  They'll also be writing a number of short papers -- two per week -- which I'll grade and upon which provide feedback.

 The tuition cost runs $500 per student -- which is about 1/3 the cost of similar courses offered elsewhere -- and unlike most other educational institutions, Oplerno is committed not only to keeping costs down for students, but actually paying a decent wage to its professors.  Of that $500 cost for the course, I actually get paid $400 of it (by comparison, for my Marist classes, which charge each student around $1800, I get paid around $140 per student).

This is a 3-credit course, which can be used for transfer credit, if one's institution accepts it (and since Oplerno is a new institution, accredited by the State of Vermont, and currently applying for regional accreditation, you'll want to check with the college or university you want to transfer credit to about specifics). 

For those who want a "Lite" version of the course -- with just some of the materials, set up in a sequence, to study independently at their own pace -- I'll be giving some thought to how that might be set up as well.  For the time being, however, my main effort is going to be focused on getting the full version of the course entirely ready to run on February 1.

So, if you've been waiting for the long-promised course to finally appear -- or if reading this has piqued your interest in studying these texts and thinkers in a course with me -- stay tuned for updates about enrollment come January!  If you think anyone else you know might be interested in this as well -- by all means send them the link, or post this in your social media!

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