Case Western Reserve University art historian Catherine Scallen has a new audience for her lectures on Renaissance art. She recently recorded 36 lectures for the Teaching Company's new DVD course, Art of the Northern Renaissance, which is available to lifelong learners interested in exploring and understanding Renaissance art.
After a rigorous audition process, Scallen, associate professor in the Department of Art History, was chosen to join an elite group—the top one percent of the nations' college and university faculty who comprise the Teaching Company's roster. Those selected have their lectures recorded and produced in CD or DVD format for general public distribution to those interested in continuing to learn through self-study programs. She is the first professor from Case Western Reserve University to produce a course with the Teaching Company.
Over two years ago, the Teaching Company recruited Scallen to audition when a representative came to campus and observed one of her lectures. She then recorded a demonstration lecture that was viewed by a segment of the company's customers who vote to select the professors. In the end only about one in 5,000 professors is chosen.
After making the cut, Scallen spent six months preparing the lectures and written materials, then traveled several times to the company's recording studios in Chantilly, Va., where she taped the 30-minute lectures.
"Although the term 'Renaissance' is most commonly associated with the artistic bounty of Italy, the massive cultural transformations that were remaking the world had a significant impact on art throughout Northern Europe," Scallen said.
She illustrates her talks with more than 300 images of paintings, woodcuts, engravings, etchings, sculptures and drawings by such Renaissance artists as Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein, Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel.
The Teaching Company was the brainchild of Tom M. Rollins, former chief counsel of the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. After benefiting from and becoming engaged by a 10-hour recorded television course on Federal Rules of Evidence, Rollins founded the company in 1990 with a mission to "ignite the passion for lifelong learning by offering great courses taught by great professors." The courses are designed to "provide the adventure of learning, without the homework or exams" in the comfort of the living room or while traveling. The company has since created more than 200 lecture courses.
Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.