Hillsdale College has released two new online courses to its expanding lineup.
The recently released classes highlight the U.S. Congress and the work of Jane Austen. The college now offers a total of 21 free, non-credit courses in their online archives. Online courses, produced by the External Affairs department, cover a wide range of topics, including history, literature, politics, economics, and theology.
“The online courses further the mission of the College by diffusing sound learning to millions of our fellow citizens,” said Matthew Bell, director of programs for External Affairs.
One of the new courses, “The Young Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey,” presents the youthful themes of Austen’s first novel. Associate Professor of English Lorraine Murphy, who taught the course, finds that the charm and humor of “Northanger Abbey” lend it universal appeal. She designed the lectures to be equally engaging to those who have read the book and those who are unfamiliar with the work.
Murphy said Hillsdale’s values are reflected in the novel’s emphasis on “the moral value of having a thoughtful, disciplined mind.”
The other new course, “Congress: How it Worked and Why it Doesn’t,” was released on Sept. 17 and is taught by Professor of Politics Kevin Portteus. The course provides an analysis of the original functioning of Congress, as well as a recounting of how and why it not longer fulfills its purpose expediently.
“Most people don’t realize that the way our government functions today has diverged widely from the original intent. Many still think that Congress enacts law in a ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ way,” Portteus said. “My hope is that participants will come away with a better understanding of the reality of our system and how it has led to bad government.”