The Torch

The Great Courses Podcast

THE TORCH introduces you to the fascinating professors and experts who create the Great Courses. Each episode showcases several of our top professors in a fresh light, spotlights the great work they are doing, and gives you an opportunity to learn from their incredible insights.

The 50th Edition of the Torch: History, Literature, and Lightning!

episode image

The 50th Edition of the Torch: History, Literature, and Lightning!

Episode 50
July, 2016
episode image

This is our 50th episode of The Torch, hosted by Ed Leon, Chief Brand Officer for the Great Courses, and our podcast continues to entertain, inform, and provide our audience with more ways to continue their passion for lifelong learning.

This milestone edition examines how music has reflected and affected major milestones in history, delves into the defining moments of Irish culture, and embarks on an exciting adventure into the science of extreme weather.

First you'll explore how history isn't just dates and names. Great moments in history impact our culture, our views, and our art; applying the lens of music to the study of history provides you with a much deeper understanding and appreciation for both subjects. There is no better professor to present this scope than Great Courses favorite Robert Greenberg, renowned musicologist and Music Historian-in-Residence with San Francisco Performances.

We all understand how the Italian renaissance resulted in a plethora of amazing art and music, and also helped define the Italian culture. Lesser known is the Irish Renaissance, which gave birth to not only a number of timeless works of literature, but helped generate and foster a revolution, calling for independence and establishing an Irish identity. Professor Marc Conner, Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, discusses this vibrant period of time where conflict, unrest, and a cultural explosion came together to capture and help to create a nation.

Lastly, join Professor Eric Snodgrass, a storm chaser and Director of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois, to better understand the different facets of extreme weather and how we use science and nature to predict storms and climate change in general.

mobile headset

In This Podcast Listen To:

  • Professor Robert Greenberg, as he highlights specific historical events through the music that was composed at the time. He'll share how the lens of history changed his feelings about specific compositions and reveals the worst piece of music ever written by a major composer.
  • Professor Marc Conner, as he introduces the Irish Renaissance and discusses how a trifecta of political unrest, an explosion in art, theater, and literature, and the clash between two major religions resulted in a definition of identity and culture that Ireland still maintains. He’ll also reveal why St. Patrick's Day is only recently celebrated in Ireland.
  • Professor Eric Snodgrass, as he surveys the various types of extreme weather and discusses how being a storm chaser is not much like what you've seen in movies such as Twister. He'll also discuss why he'd rather be up in an airplane during a super cell and why lightning just might be the most extreme weather out there.
podcast header shape

Related Courses