The Humanities Institute for Lifelong Learning (HILL) offers opportunities for adult education to residents of the Greater Capital District of New York. HILL provides six-week Fall and Spring semesters with courses taught by distinguished faculty from across the region.

Fall 2023 Courses Begin Monday, October 2nd

HILL will be offering three six-week courses during the Fall 2023 term. All courses this fall will be offered both in-person and via Zoom. Registration for a course includes access to both formats. The in-person location for all of the courses will be the Delmar Reformed Church located at 386 Delaware Avenue, Delmar.

Please read the following COVID-related policies regarding in-person attendance

COVID Safety Protocol:
  • All in-person attendees should be up to date with boosters.
  • Masks will be optional.
  • A designated "masked only" seating area will be available.
  • Attendees who mask may also choose to sit in the general seating area.

Fall 2023 Courses

Irish History from the Ancient World to the Present
Instructor: Karen Sonnelitter, Associate Professor of History, Siena College

We will explore the history of Ireland from the earliest settlers to the present day. We will focus on the political, cultural, social, and religious factors that have shaped Irish history, including movements for Irish independence from the Middle Ages to the modern day. Class sessions will cover the following topics:

  • Early Ireland: Ancient Settlers, Christianity, Viking Invasions, the Norman Conquest
  • Early Modern Ireland: The Tudor Reconquest, the Reformation, Rebellions, Plantations
  • Anglo Irish Ascendancy: The Battle of the Boyne, Grattan's Parliament, the 1798 Rebellion, the United Kingdom
  • Irish Nationalism: Catholic Emancipation, the Famine, the Land League
  • Independent Ireland: Easter Rising, Anglo-Irish War, Partition, the creation of the Republic
  • Modern Ireland: The Conflict in Northern Ireland, Ireland in the EU, Ireland Today

Schedule: Mondays 10:30 -12:15; October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; November 6

Sergei Prokofiev: The 20th Century Defender of Melody
Instructor: Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, Founder, Musicians of Ma'alwyck

Prokofiev, who stated that a composer is duty bound to serve Man and the people, and to beautify and defend life, wrote music that soars with melody yet anchors itself firmly in the 20th century idiom. He worked mostly in Russia and what became the Soviet Union, living through tremendous political upheavals, and dying on the same day as Joseph Stalin. Without doubt, Prokofiev is one of the musical geniuses of the 20th century. We will examine his life through his musical output, including symphonies, concerti, solo piano music, and his operas and ballets. Among the pieces we will explore are the ballets Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella, the symphonies Numbers 1 (Classical) and 5, and the 1st piano concerto.

Schedule: Tuesdays 1:30 - 3:15; October 3, 10, 17. 24, 31, November 14;
note: no class November 7th

Urban Politics and Policies: New York City and Beyond
Instructor: Tim Weaver, Associate Professor of Political Science, University at Albany

American cities distill many of the contradictory currents that run through American politics writ large. They are wellsprings of progressivism, sites of eye-watering inequality, and have often been at the front lines of battles over race and ethnicity. This course will examine these contradictions and consider how and why urban politics and policies have simultaneously advanced egalitarian, conservative, and pro-market measures. Using New York City as our primary, but not exclusive, case study, we will consider how urban policy and politics have varied over the course of the twentieth century and examine new developments in the early twenty-first century. In so doing, we will explore a variety of conflicting accounts of urban political development and examine some of the central policy issues facing cities, such as the problems of urban poverty, mass incarceration, deindustrialization, and gentrification.

Schedule: Wednesdays 1:30 - 3:15; October 4, 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8

Registration & Fees

Registration is required for each individual in order to attend a course. There is a $35 fee for each course selected.

Use the following link to display the registration form and, once you have completed the form, be sure to click on submit:

Registration Form

After you submit the completed registration form you will immediately receive a confirmation email.

This email will contain information on the total amount due and how to make your payment. The email will also include a Zoom link for access to each course you selected.

NOTE: Clicking on these course links will give you Zoom access to the courses you have chosen. Please store the confirmation email containing your course links where it can be easily found at the start of classes.

Please register no later than September 28th.


HILL will not be able to provide technical support but directs you, if needed, to Zoom endorsed sites such as
Or you can type Zoom Help Center in your browser.

HILL Phone

For questions not related to Zoom, you may leave a message on the HILL phone: (518) 368-7029. A volunteer will return your call.