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CONTACT: Maggie Gallup, marketing and special events coordinator, Continuing Studies Program: (650) 723-7957,
John Sanford, writer, News Service: (650) 736-2151,

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Continuing Studies serves up Steinbeck, science, special events

Autumn Quarter registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 19, for close to 100 courses, workshops and special events offered through the Stanford Continuing Studies Program.

In addition to a generous selection of classes on art, film, business, history, political science, creative writing, drama, personal development, health, foreign languages, literature, music, cultural studies, philosophy, science, information technology and website design, the program has organized several free lectures, two of which celebrate the centennial of the birth of Northern California's most famous author ­ and on-again, off-again Stanford student ­ John Steinbeck. Exhibitions, concerts and public programs focusing on the Nobel laureate's work as a socially engaged writer have taken place this year nationwide.

Continuing Studies is helping to sponsor a series of Steinbeck events on the Peninsula. On Oct. 17, world-renowned photographer Sebastiao Salgado, whose pictorial suites include Workers, Migrations and The Children, will talk onstage with the environmentalist, journalist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken, co-founder of Smith and Hawken. The talk will be followed by a screening of recent photographs by Salgado.

On Oct. 28, nature writer Barry Lopez, author of Arctic Dreams (winner of the 1986 National Book Award for nonfiction) and Of Wolves and Men, will read from his work. Afterward, Susan Shillinglaw, director of the Steinbeck Center at San Jose State University, will talk with Lopez about his affinities and ties with Steinbeck. (In addition to these free events, Continuing Studies is offering a 10-week course titled John Steinbeck's West: Literary Geography and the Romance of California.)

A free, year-long lecture series will feature nationally renowned Stanford scholars speaking on the developmental phases of human life. The first event, Human Development and the Life Cycle: Infancy and Childhood, is scheduled for Nov. 16 and will feature Anne Fernald, the Josephine Knotts Knowles Professor of Human Biology and an associate professor of psychology; John Flavell, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and a professor of psychology; and Deborah Stipek, the I. James Quillen Endowed Dean of the Stanford University School of Education and a professor of education.

Autumn Quarter also marks the launch of a new program titled Great Works in Dialogue, taught by award-winning instructors Cheri Ross, associate director of the Introduction to the Humanities Program, and Edward Steidle, a lecturer in the English Department. The two-year series comprises small, informal seminar groups in which participants will read and discuss works of literature, philosophy and religious thought that are models of intellectual and cultural inquiry. Each quarter will focus on three thematically related texts, beginning with Origins in the Autumn Quarter -- the Hebrew Bible, the Koran and Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost ­ followed by Epic Journeys -- Homer's Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, Dante's Inferno (and selections from Purgatorio and Paradiso) -- and so on, including writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Flaubert, Keats, Freud and Toni Morrison.

To exercise the left side of the brain, another sequence of courses -- a year-long, in-depth exploration of modern theoretical physics -- kicks off this fall with Relativity and Field Theory, followed by Quantum Mechanics in the winter and String Theory in the spring. Leonard Susskind, the Felix Bloch Professor in Physics, will teach the courses, sharing his firsthand research experience and introducing students to the essential paradigms and theories in the field.

In another special course, Great Ideas in 20th-Century Mathematics, five award-winning Stanford mathematicians will discuss some of the most important and famous ideas, conjectures and theorems of the past century.

In conjunction with Stanford Alumni Education and Stanford Travel/Study, Continuing Studies again will offer the popular Great Cities lecture series. Autumn Quarter will feature Antarctica­-- Science and Exploration of the Coldest Place on Earth, with Robert Dunbar, a professor of geological and environmental sciences; and Timbuktu -- City of Legend, with Thomas Seligman, Freidenrich Director of the Cantor Center for Visual Arts.

The course schedule in its entirety can be found online at the Continuing Studies Program website -- -- or in the catalog. For more information or to learn about discounts and tuition assistance, call (650) 725-2650, visit the website or send e-mail to University employees who work half time or more may put any amount of their $1,200 yearly allotment of Staff Training Assistance Program (STAP) funds toward tuition and registration fees. Instruction begins Sept. 30.



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