Eric Foner’s “Civil War and Reconstruction” and Kenneth Jackson’s “History of the City of New York” are some of the most well-known classes at Columbia, and every year, it seems half of Columbia tries to register for them. But there may be a better way. While stumbling around Columbia’s web site, Bwog discovered a cache of “e-seminars” from Foner and Jackson, along with other Columbia luminaries like Richard Bulliet and Alan Brinkley.

Watching a couple e-seminars obviously provides a different experience from attending class, for better (no final!) or worse (no midnight bike ride). The topics of the e-seminars also appear to vary slightly from the topics the professors cover in class. But even though these lectures are free and offer no credit, Columbia refuses to give them away to the public. Before watching each e-seminar, you have to log in with your UNI and password, which means your mother, brother, and second cousin can’t take Foner’s e-seminar (unless you give them your UNI and password).

Which e-seminar series should you check out first? Here are our recommendations:

And for those who miss Frontiers of Science: