If you live in Minnesota, or nearby, I recommend you to explore the professional development opportunities offered by the Minnesota Humanities Center (formerly Minnesota Humanities Commission) in St. Paul, Minnesota. Year round, the center offers evening and weekend seminars on a variety of cultural and global topics at a very reasonable cost and free lodging, in very nice hotel-like rooms, for anyone who drives to St. Paul from some distance. On occasion, the center schedules events at other Minnesota locations, including Duluth.
While most of the seminars are aimed at K-12 instructors, the materials can easily be adapted to college-level courses. The courses are taught by professors and other subject experts from a variety of public and private institutions, including Macalester College, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, St. Olaf College, Carlton College, and Hamline University, and the weekend seminars can also be taken for optional Hamline University graduate credit in Humanities, also at a reasonable cost. The weekend seminars tend to be somewhat lecture-heavy, but you can count on receiving a great deal of useful information and resources.
So far, I have attended two of their seminars, one titled The Art of the Cold War, which included fascinating information about Soviet poetry, propaganda posters, and fine arts as well as a field trip visit to the magnificent Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis. Another seminar, titled Immigrants/Citizens in France, gave a wealth of information about the impact of North African immigration on French society and culture, including rai music and contemporary Arab-French films and literature. This seminar introduced me to the Inch 'Allah dimance (Inch' Allah Sunday) film featured in the earlier Character Analysis Exercises.
Next week I will be attending a seminar titled Made in China: Economy, Environments, and Globalization, expecting to gain - and then share - more useful resources for globalizing literature and composition courses. Stay tuned!