Courses & Events

Perhaps no artist holds a more curious place in the story of American art than John James Audubon.
Join us for an exciting review of vintage American action heroes.
These women pushed the boundaries of art in media, style and subject matter
No one has captured contemporary fear and paranoia better than the legendary "Hitch." His films and his personality (not to mention his enormous bulk!) literally loom "larger" than ever before.
We will examine the famed Kansas aviator who twice attempted to fly around the world. Both attempts failed with the last one creating an international mystery as to what happened to Earhart, how she may have died and the possibility that she may have survived.
We will examine the famed Kansas aviator who twice attempted to fly around the world. Both attempts failed with the last one creating an international mystery as to what happened to Earhart, how she may have died and the possibility that she may have survived.
The three most noted artists of American Regionalism will be the focus of this class: Thomas Hart Benton from Missouri, John Steuart Curry from Kansas, and Grant Wood from Iowa.
Three strands of Scottish culture braid themselves together in a class that celebrates the essentials of Scotland -Robert Burns, the kilt and bagpipes.
The era of the great Texas-to-Kansas cattle drives began in 1866 and lasted barely a quarter of a century.

October 17-31, 2017, St Andrews Classroom (11 seats (19%) remaining)

Donations to the Osher Institute help support its mission to offer noncredit enrichment courses and activities for folks over 50 years of age.
Prayer in public schools, the Ten Commandments on courthouse property, and nativity scenes at city hall-should these be permitted in American civic life? We've heard plenty from today's politicians and pundits. What were the views of the founders of our republic?
Prayer in public schools, the Ten Commandments on courthouse property, and nativity scenes at city hall-should these be permitted in American civic life? We've heard plenty from today's politicians and pundits. What were the views of the founders of our republic?
We all have our passions. Mine has always been rare books and manuscripts
Did you know that 30 percent of Kansans claim German ancestry, and German is the most prevalent language after English and Spanish spoken in homes in 77 counties in Kansas?
Although conventional maps are a factual picture of geographic locations, they have an instinctive appeal to the imagination that echoes ancient charts of exploration into the unknown.
You probably know that the Missouri-Kansas Border Region has a colorful past. Few people, however, know just how often the entire course of American history turned on the events and people here.
What's the matter with Kansas? Too few people know just how great it is!
Images of Kansas range from the moral heartland where Superman was raised to Bleeding Kansas where neighbors took up arms against neighbors. This course will examine several notable Kansans within that range of images.
Medical research shows that singing can reduce stress, release endorphins, lower blood pressure and allow you to literally breathe easier.
Congressional archives, like that of U.S. Senator Bob Dole housed at the Dole Institute of Politics, are a window into the process of governing and a mirror reflecting American politics, policy and culture.
We'll study the great oil paintings of Cassatt, Eakins and Homer along with their accomplishments in other areas of art and art media.
Neither autobiography nor a diary, memoir writing reaches past life's timelines and facts to dig deeply for answers to our most personal questions.
This course examines the fascinating lives of some of its better-known participants, including Tecumseh, James and Dolly Madison, and Andrew Jackson.
This survey course will cover the peninsula's division, the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea after World War II, and the creation of the cult of personality for its three leaders during the past 75 years.
This survey course will cover the peninsula's division, the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea after World War II, and the creation of the cult of personality for its three leaders during the past 75 years.
In 1934, Danish carpenter Ole Kristiansaen combined two words Leg Godt (Play Well) to create LEGO.
In 1934, Danish carpenter Ole Kristiansaen combined two words Leg Godt (Play Well) to create LEGO.
This course will focus on the causes, victims and treatment of America's opioid epidemic.
Stephen Schwartz has carved out a distinctive Broadway and Hollywood career for more than four decades
This course will explore philanthropy from the donor's perspective.
When you want to reminisce, you can find old boxes of letters, cards, photos and film recordings.
John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald are notorious for their assassinations, but who were Charles Guiteau and Leon Czolgosz, and why did they murder Presidents Garfield and McKinley?
This course introduces you to the fascinating world of religions and politics in Kansas and across America.
We'll review the years leading to Russia's October Revolution, starting in 1837.
Course is based in part on A History of The World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage,
A Whirlwind Three-Day Tour of the Crystal Bridges Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright's Bachman-Wilson House, Harry Truman's Birthplace & Gordon Parks Museum. The museum boasts a world-class collection of five centuries of American masterworks on 120 acres of natural Ozark landscape. During our two days at Crystal Bridges, docent-led tours will be available.
Enjoy an evening of iconic American music by one of the most indelible composers of the 20th century, George Gershwin. Today Gershwin's music remains as fresh and irresistible as it did during the Jazz Age. The Gershwin Big Band led by Michael Andrew combines a 17-piece band, vocalist Michael Andrew plus much more to perform I Got Rhythm, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Man I Love and many more time-honored Gershwin standards.
Join Nancy Kellogg Harper, author of The Making of a Leader: Franklin D. Murphy, the Kansas Years, as she recounts the life of Chancellor Murphy and the impact he had on KU and the Lawrence community. Following her presentation, there will be a reception and book signing.
Once again we'll hit the road to explore the wonders of Kansas, this time to Hutchinson. Along the way we'll enjoy the colorful commentary of the inimitable Rex Buchanan—geologist, author and erstwhile commentator.
Garrison Keillor created and hosted his popular show, A Prairie Home Companion, for some 3.5 million listeners on 700 public radio stations coast to coast and beyond. He has been honored with Grammy, ACE, and George Foster Peabody awards, the National Humanities Medal, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the host of the daily program The Writer's Almanac.

Sunday, November 5, 2017, Lied Center (8 seats (16%) remaining)

ODC originated as Oberlin Dance Collective, named after Oberlin College in Ohio, but relocated to San Francisco in 1976. Since those early days, the company has been widely recognized for its rigorous technique and its numerous groundbreaking collaborations. They aim to inspire audiences, cultivate artists, engage community, and foster diversity and inclusion through dance. ODC will be joined by KU's University Dance Company.
The Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase and find a route to the Pacific Ocean.
When Doc Brinkley arrived in Milford, Kan., in 1917 with just $23, few people would have guessed he would become a fabulously wealthy national celebrity. It all began with a dubious cure for flagging male virility—the xenotransplantation of goat testicles.
Almost 3,000 years old, but still as current as the morning news, the Psalter has enticed generations into an exploration of its spiritual and secular depths.
In this course the instructor, who is the granddaughter of Cuban immigrants who fled Cuba in the 1950s, will provide an overview of Cuban culture and customs through the compelling life narrative of her family.
Geography is much more than place locations, and this course will prove it! From the Ozark lowlands to the High Plains, explore the physical and human geography of Kansas in three two-hour segments.
As the University of Kansas began its 50th year in the fall of 1916, the administration of Chancellor Frank Strong was struggling against years of inadequate state funding, and German aggression was pulling a reluctant United States into the European conflict
During this course, we'll examine the life of Harry Truman, his family, his rise through the political ranks and his career in the U.S. Senate. Finally, we'll explore Truman's selection as Franklin Roosevelt's vice president and how he was thrust into the presidency during our nation's most troubled times.
The Mexican-American War is one of the least studied wars in history despite its impact on this country's development and territorial growth.
The Reformation was the religious revolution in the western church in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Want to understand the common spiritual bonds shared by the three great religions that claim Abraham as their patriarch?
The Underground Railroad was a critical network of routes and safe houses that provided for escaped slaves.
This course will be an immersion into a largely forgotten part of our past. World War I is known for its machine guns, muddy trenches, gas warfare and the unimaginable casualties it produced.

October 12-26, 2017, Meadowlark Hills ( No seats currently available )

Since the 1900 publication of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Oz books, the films (especially the 1939 Wizard of Oz), the adaptations, cartoons, comic books, novels and popular cultural conversations about Dorothy and Kansas have been plentiful, controversial, playful, cynical and as wonderful as the Wizard.
Works of art tell fascinating stories about 18th-century France—the century of Versailles, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.
Was Rembrandt an experimental etcher? Did Vermeer use a camera obscura? And how did van Gogh's use of color and impasto application of paint influence modern art?
Two Holocaust survivors, one a young Jewish boy, the other a Catholic teenage Polish Resistance fighter, would meet years later as professors at KU and form a strong friendship.
Two Holocaust survivors, one a young Jewish boy, the other a Catholic teenage Polish Resistance fighter, would meet years later as professors at KU and form a strong friendship.
Vietnam has undergone dramatic changes in climate, rulers, populations, and politics even before its unification some forty years ago following America's long military involvement there.
Vietnam has undergone dramatic changes in climate, rulers, populations, and politics even before its unification some forty years ago following America's long military involvement there.
Using anecdotes and musical examples, you'll learn the history of opera.
In this class, we will explore how Willa Cather illuminates timeless philosophical questions that touch the heart of our humanity in three novels: O Pioneers!, A Lost Lady, and My Mortal Enemy.
Just as American women were starting to question their roles in society, civil war erupted and changed everything.

October 11-25, 2017, Pioneer Ridge (3 seats (6%) remaining)

This timely class will focus on many of our most famous women photographers and their extraordinary work.
This timely class will focus on many of our most famous women photographers and their extraordinary work. Among them we'll include Dorothea Lange's
Research in the past decade has brought about a remarkable paradigm shift from aging as a problem to aging as a time of promise and potential.