October 23, 2010

HIS 101 - History of Western Civilization I

Tags: History, Podcasts

Available on iTunes

This short series of podacsts appears to be a set of lectures supporting the History of Western Civilization course at the Northern Virginia Community College. There are 10 video podcasts, each recorded at 320x240 resolution. They range in length from 4 minutes (20 MB) to 33 minutes (152 MB). Other than the introduction podcasts, the only visual is of Professor Charles Evans at a lectern - even when discussing Renaissance art, no examples are shown. The production quality is ok (although there is a slight hiss on the audio). There is a course website.

The first 3 podcasts are introductions by the professor and serve little purpose other than to introduce him and show his office. The remaining 7 discuss the origins and nature of the Renaissance. There are lectures on the idea of the West, Islam, Byzantine, Charlemagne and the Renaissance itself. Despite the expansive title, the podcasts’ scope is quite limited (looking at the syllabus it seems this is just a small part of the whole course), but provide some interesting tidbits along the way. For instance confession was often public and communal. Not really in my particular area of interest (classical studies), this series is only for those with lots of spare time.