Sept. 9, 2018

HOPE: Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism, a new edX course offered jointly by Princeton University and Tel Aviv University (TAU) is now enrolling participants. The course will be taught by LISD non-resident fellow, Uriel Abulof, and will launch on October 10, 2018.

HOPE is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the EdX platform. The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning at Princeton University lead its development, collaborating extensively with TAU Online–Innovative Learning Center. By bringing HOPE online, Abulof and the HOPE collaborative team seek to reach out to as many people as possible, worldwide, employing novel technologies in ways that enhance, not drain, our humanity, and our ability to turn from “power politics” to “purpose politics:” cultivating creative, courageous, civil choices – the gist of existential politics.

Described as "an odyssey into the human condition and its politics," HOPE will explore twelve themes: human/nature, identity and authenticity, freedom, reflection, happiness, death and dread, meaning, morality, truth and trust, God and religion, alienation and love, and finally – hope. The course examines what each theme tells us about our humanity and socio-political life, helping us make both better. HOPE requires no previous professional knowledge, and is offered free of charge.

HOPE includes online talks, interviews, and student discussions; it teaches about key concepts and figures – thinkers, artists, and politicians – both ancient and modern; it introduces a host of fascinating questions to probe alone, and together, with friends and in class; it offers myriad multimedia features, including various forms of art (painting, prose and poetry, cinema, tv, and music); it invites students to choose between several edifying semester-long projects, including a personal journal and a collective newspaper. HOPE requires no previous professional knowledge, and is offered, free of charge, in English, with both Arabic and Hebrew subtitles.

HOPE is a richly interdisciplinary course: anchored in political science and philosophy, it also draws on history, sociology, psychology, and economy – synthesizing theoretical insights with empirical findings, both vintage and novel. HOPE shows that science and art can create a wonderful synergy when studying – indeed foregrounding – our humanity.