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Courses & Events

On Nov. 11, 1918, the United States and its allies signed an armistice with Germany to end fighting on land, sea and air. It was to take effect at 11 a.m. Paris time or "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month," ending The Great War. Join us as we tour the museum and hear Dr. Robert Smith, curator of the Fort Riley Museum and veteran Osher instructor, review the events leading to the armistice and its aftermath.7 a.m. - Coach departs Meadowlark Hills (residents)7:15 a.m. - Depart Town Center lot8:15 a.m. - Depart Red Robbin (Topeka)9 a.m. - Depart Osher Institute10:30 a.m. - WWI Museum tour11:30 a.m. - Lunch in the Over There Café and touring on your own1:30 p.m. - Coach departs2:30 p.m. - Arrive at Osher3 p.m. - Arrive in Topeka3:45 p.m. - Arrive at Town Center4 p.m. - Arrive at Meadowlark Hills$95 fee includes transportation, presentation, tickets, tours and lunch.$70 fee includes presentation, tickets, tours and lunch (no transportation).Refund requests honored on or before Oct. 5, minus a $15 administrative fee.
These women pushed the boundaries of art in media, style and subject matter. First, Georgia O'Keeffe, known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers and New Mexico landscapes; and Käthe Kollwitz, a German painter, printmaker and sculptor whose work depicts poverty and hunger. Then Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter whose naïve folk art style explored identity, gender, class, and race; and Faith Ringgold, African-American, known for her narrative quilts influenced by the people, poetry and music of Harlem. Finally, Barbara Hepworth, English painter and sculptor whose work exemplifies Modernism; and Louise Bourgeois, French sculptor, installation artist, painter and printmaker known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art.
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.
Behind every successful man, there is a woman, and throughout history, America's First Families have embodied this saying. The role of America's First Lady is ever changing with each new occupant of the White House. They are embedded in our memory as activists and leaders of the causes they championed. Women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, Abigail Adams, and Hillary Clinton have advanced discussions on once-taboo subjects and have led as fascinating lives as their husbands. This course will examine the often-secluded lives of these women, their actions behind the scenes and their impact on our nation.
The course will cover a variety of topics both historic and current, including a comparison between the older Mississippian Indian culture and the current Chickasaw Tribal culture. We'll also review World War II's Navajo Code Talkers; the failed U.S. government policy of assimilation; the Trail of Tears; the four Kansas Native American Reservations; and the Haskell Indian Nations University. Guest Native Americans will give insights on their history, civilization and current challenges.
The Gothic story is central to the American literary imagination. From Washington Irving to Stephen King, from Edgar Allan Poe to Joyce Carol Oates and Philip K. Dick, haunted houses, haunted minds and ghosts populate our literature. In this course (the first of two), we'll discuss works by Poe, Hawthorne, Oates, Faulkner, Cheever and O'Connor. As a whole, the stories ask us to consider why the dark side is so prominent in a country dedicated to optimism and the future. We'll also discuss haunted-house (Gothic) movies, the dark side of Romantic literature, and the haunting of the modern imagination by Sigmund Freud.
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. How did these artists, with their anti-modernist tendencies, take on European abstract art and form a significant, if not major, American art movement? We'll examine their major works and the influences of their home states and region, an area that most in the class call home.
There has been a lot of talk lately among politicians, pundits and news commentators--not to mention the general public--about apocalyptic passages in the Bible and what they might mean for our time. These are the texts describing the end of the world as we know it and the dawn of a new order. There has also been a recent flood of books and films depicting the final conflagration and the fate of unfortunates "left behind." In this course, we will examine selected writings from the Bible within their historical, social and cultural contexts to understand what they were saying, how they were understood in their own time, and how best to read them today.
Arlington National Cemetery is America's most hallowed shrine. We'll review its colorful history from its pre-Civil War days as Robert E. Lee's home through current U.S. conflicts. We'll recount lives of the famous and not-so-famous buried there, from presidents to privates, officers to enlisted men, Supreme Court justices to unknown slaves. We'll visit its major monuments and memorials, including Tomb of the Unknowns and the September 11th Memorial. We'll look at eligibility for burial, types of military honors, and how this modern cemetery administers 37 burials every weekday.
Of all of the arts, none is more fundamental to the way we live than architecture. It is a mirror of our own time and of times gone by, a diary written in mud and timber, brick and stone, concrete and glass. Our homes and public buildings reflect what we once were - and what we hope to become. Join art historian Ann Wiklund on a journey to visit buildings that truly do astonish, from the ancient pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and so much more.

The Edwards Campus section of this course has been postponed. The new dates for the course are Thursday, Dec. 6, Tuesday, Dec. 11 & Thursday, Dec. 13, 2-4 p.m., Room 165 in Regnier Hall. The Lawrence course will be held as originally scheduled.


Three strands of Scottish culture braid themselves together in a class that celebrates the essentials of Scotland. We'll learn to appreciate the life and poetry of Scotland's greatest poet, Robert Burns. Then we'll examine the kilt (inside and out), and enjoy a demonstration of bagpipe tunes from different pipes. Finally, we'll "taste" Scotland itself with a lesson on single malt whisky regions, flavors and lore.
What better way to enjoy the sounds of the season than with a Canadian Brass Christmas? Now in its 47th year, the Canadian Brass has performed in virtually every major concert hall in the world, been seen by hundreds of millions of people on television and sold 2 million albums worldwide. Renowned for versatility and joyous performances, the award-winning Brass has elevated the art of the brass quintet. Join us for a pre-performance dinner and Canadian Brass preview by Dr. Paul Stevens, associate dean of the KU School of Music and associate professor, horn.
Join Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg reading from her new novel Miriam's Well about mythology, history and finding our place, people and purpose. In this modern-day retelling of the Exodus, Miriam wanders the political and spiritual desert of a changing America, driven by her sense of purpose but searching for her place and her people. As she seeks the Promised Land, she shows her people, and eventually herself, how to turn the chaos and despair of our times into music, meals and miracles. The reading and discussion will be followed by a reception featuring recipes central to Miriam and other characters included in the novel.
No other English poet - including Shakespeare - had a better understanding of the strengths and the foibles of human nature than Geoffrey Chaucer. And there is no better place to experience the idiosyncrasies and contradictions of human behavior than by joining the diverse elements of humanity that met in the Tabard Inn back in the latter 14th century. With an eye on the 21st century, we look back at tales of those travelers on their way from the London suburb of Southwark to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.
This course explores ancient China's most notable engineering achievements, the Terracotta Army of 8,000 life-sized statues buried to protect the first emperor Qin Shi Huan; the Great Wall, which could span the distance from Wichita to Washington, D.C.; and the Grand Canal, the longest man-made waterway in the world. We'll learn what social conditions and technological advances made these feats possible, how they changed Chinese history and culture, and why they were lauded or vilified throughout the ages, as seen in literature and art.
There is near certainty among scientists that humans are affecting the climate, and not necessarily in a good way. The evidence of climate change is mounting each year. This course will review that evidence and delve into what the socio-economic impact could be. We'll examine how climate change would impact such industries as health care, agriculture (including livestock, forestry and fisheries), energy, insurance and tourism. Also, we will explore how climate change affects different regions of the globe and how it could cause income inequities between and within countries.
This course will focus on selectedcreation stories from around theworld. We will explore origin mythsfrom ancient Egypt and Babylonia,and compare them to currentstories in the living religions ofIndia and other parts of Asia, andamong indigenous peoples ofNorth America. And, of course, wewill examine the story of Genesisand its role as the foundation ofJudaism and Christianity. Eachstory will be considered in termsof its view of the world and nature,its understanding of humans andtheir manifold relations, and itsconception of the powerful agent,or force, that gave rise to it all.
While almost everyone uses computers today, most of us have only a vague idea of how they actually work. Terms like "big data," "artificial intelligence," "cyber security" and "the internet of things" appear in news articles frequently, but are rarely more than superficially explained. Without some basic understanding of the inner workings of the computer, how are we to have reasonably formed opinions on these developments? This class will look at where computers came from, how they work, and where they might be going. The only class requirement is curiosity. No technical background is needed.
Donations to the Osher Institute help support its mission to offer noncredit enrichment courses and activities for folks over 50 years of age.
In its earliest stage, English was regarded as a barbarian's language, suitable for bawdy tavern banter but inappropriate for discourses in finer topics-philosophy or the arts. Over time, German, Latin, French, and ancient tribal languages combined to create what we call English. We will explore how invasions of Britain left their marks on the land and the language, how the invention of the printing press accelerated the adoption and distribution of English, and how kings and commoners contributed to its worldwide dominance. We will feature short readings from classic English texts-Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and a few modern rap songs.

Please note that this course will meet in Regnier Hall, Room 153 on the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. This is a different classroom than was published in the catalog, although it is just down the hall.


This course examines the fascinating development of secret intelligence services in the 20th century-their successes and failures in gathering enemy secrets and promoting national interests; their role in peace and war; and the shadowy world of foreign influence operations. We'll take a close look at Russia, Germany and Great Britain-specifically how spies changed the course of history. We'll also delve into the golden age of espionage-the Cold War-and the continuation of those practices well into the 21st century. As you will learn, cloak and dagger are not relics of the past. Please remember, the walls have ears...
Have you ever wanted to playthe game of Ba', walk the Ring ofBroghdar, sit in a Black House,smell a peat fire, speak Orcadianor sail Scapa Flow? If the answeris yes, come aboard the ferrydeparting from the Scottishmainland on October 27 forShetland, Orkney and the OuterHebrides. We will explore thephysical, economic and culturalgeography of these fantasticislands. After an introductionto the geography of HighlandScotland, we will discuss topicssuch as archaeology (why Orkneyis the "Egypt of the North"), landtenure (clans, crofts and clearances),ecology (the machair) andeconomies (sheep and oil) of each ofthe three island groups.
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? What did they think was the proper role of religion in the nation they created? What do the religion clauses of the Constitution and Bill of Rights say? Are there other documents from this period that reveal how the framers understood the relationship between church and state? What were their religious beliefs and practices? These are just a few of the questions we will discuss as we try to shed light on the faiths of our founders.

We have been notified by Johnson County Park & Recreation District that the new Meadowlark Park Clubhouse in Prairie Village will not be completed in time to host this course. Instead the course will be held in the Antioch Park Administration Building, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam, Kansas.


John C. Tibbetts has published several books and many articles on the Gothic horror tradition in literature and film. In this course, we will focus on four aspects of horror literature and film: Mary Shelley and Frankenstein, Bram Stoker and Dracula, Robert Louis Stevenson and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and H.P. Lovecraft and the New Weird. Class presentations will include film, readings and music.
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, or that these “hinges of history” come alive at scores of outstanding museums and historic sites in our area. From the Louisiana Purchase to Bleeding Kansas to Brown v. Board of Education, the authors of the Border Region's first heritage travel guide share the best places to discover the history.

We have been notified by Johnson County Park & Recreation District that the new Meadowlark Park Clubhouse in Prairie Village will not be completed in time to host this course. Instead the course will be held in the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, Kansas


You will never look at an Impressionist painting the same way again, once you are able to "put it in context." We'll begin by briefly reviewing the major periods of European art that led up to the Impressionist movement. Then we'll focus on world events, developments in science and technology, and the social and physical changes in Paris that were occurring in the mid-19th century. We'll conclude by looking together at key Impressionists and identifying how these seemingly disparate things converged, influenced them, and found such beautiful expression in their art.

We have opened another session of this course at Regnier Hall on the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. Click the link below to register.


This is an introductory course about the prophetic tradition of Islam. The course provides a brief survey of the diverse ways in which Muslims have practiced the message of Muhammad. It offers an overview of basic Islamic beliefs and practices by examining how Islam has related and negotiated identities with the other Abrahamic religions. The course also examines the relationship and interpretation of Islam with violence, peace, commerce and political governance, all designed to cultivate an appreciation and a richer understanding of Islam and its many manifestations on the world stage.
In celebration of the Lied Center's 25th Anniversary, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (JLCO) will premiere a new work commissioned by the Lied Center. Each of the 15 members of the JLCO will compose one movement to capture the spirit of a beloved KU basketball legend. This project represents the first time the JLCO has been commissioned to create a new work as a collective. The combination of the world's greatest jazz orchestra with the tradition of basketball that runs so deep at the University of Kansas will result in an unforgettable performance.The JLCO, comprising 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988. Under Music Director Wynton Marsalis, the JLCO performs a vast repertoire, from rare historic compositions to Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned works, including compositions and arrangements by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus and many others. Wynton Marsalis (music director, trumpet) is the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis made his recording debut as a leader in 1982 and has since recorded more than 70 jazz and classical albums, which have garnered him nine Grammy Awards. In 1997, Marsalis became the first jazz artist to be awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in music.Through the generosity of private donors, each movement of the 25th Anniversary Commission is sponsored. Net proceeds of this project will help fund the Lied Center's Performing Arts Access Endowment, which will enable every student in Lawrence Public Schools to attend a world-class, age-specific performance on an annual basis.
Kansas is often thought of as a vast collection of wheat fields and Dorothy references, but there is a deceptively interesting hidden history beneath the surface. The state's past is steeped in fascinating stories and places long forgotten. Dive into a collection of remarkable true stories such as the first woman mayor in the United States, the boy that survived a scalping, Wild West shootouts, ancient camels that once roamed the land, Bonnie & Clyde's misadventures, Denver's founding as a Kansas town and even a very lucky man that hanged his own would-be executioner.
In the 1930s, graduating college athletes found the best basketball in the AAU Industrial Leagues, with the best teams found in Kansas. Learn how businesses sponsored basketball to market their products during the Great Depression. We'll highlight the McPherson Globe Refiners, a town team that introduced the dunk shot, originated the zone press, and won the first Gold Medal in basketball in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The course covers the first 50 years of basketball, focusing on Dr. James Naismith, the game's inventor, who mentored legendary coaches Phog Allen and John McLendon.
This course will examine infamous cases of murder and murderers in Kansas. Sessions will focus on the cases of Dennis Rader (BTK: Bind, Torture, Kill), who killed ten people in Wichita; John Edward Robinson, embezzler, kidnapper and forger responsible for eight murders in the Kansas City area; and Rev. Tom Bird, who murdered his wife Sandy in Emporia. If time permits, we'll discuss Francis Donald Nemechek (murdered five people in Ogallah), Richard Grissom, Jr. (killed three women whose bodies were never found), and George York and James Latham, who killed people in five states and were the last persons executed in Kansas in 1965.
"Rethink: I Am a Veteran" is a performance and storytelling project centered on the lives of women veterans, their families, and friends. This project, which is designed and led by women artists, focuses on veterans who are women, sharing their first person experiences and delving into topics such as toxic masculinity, abuse, military glass ceilings, family life and sexuality.
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was one of the most significant American musicians of the 20th-century. His contributions took place in a variety of venues-conductor, musical commentator on television and composer of both concert works and Broadway musicals, most famously "West Side Story." In the year that marks the centenary of his birth, this course will take a step back and review Bernstein's contributions in each of these areas. We will also consider the man's full life and celebrity, including many famous collaborators and friends and the strong political beliefs that helped guide his artistic choices.
What stories do congressional archives tell, where are they found, and how can they be used? What role do historical records play in democracy and civic engagement? We'll discuss these questions and use the Dole Archives and intergenerational conversation to examine 20th-century history, politics, policy and culture. Osher participants will work with first-semester freshmen students in the KU Honors Program on a project that may be featured as an exhibit at the Dole Institute. This is a great opportunity to interact with the newest generation of voting-age citizens.
We'll study the great oil paintings of Cassatt, Eakins and Homer along with their accomplishments in other areas of art and art media. We'll discuss Cassatt's 10-color intaglio prints from the 1890s, which many in the print world consider to be some of the finest of this type of color printing, as well as her involvement with the French Impressionists. We'll cover Eakins' work in photography and his revolutionary approach to teaching life drawing. Finally, we'll review Homer's work in watercolor as an illustrator covering the Civil War for Harper's magazine and his work in etching. Homer is "the" watercolorist by which all American watercolorists will forever be judged.
Like all conflicts, the War of 1812affected the social and politicaldevelopment of its participantsand their people: the U.S., Britain,Canada and the native tribesof North America. This courseexamines the fascinating livesof some of its better-knownparticipants, including Tecumseh,James and Dolly Madison, andAndrew Jackson. We'll alsolearn about some lesser-knownpersonalities like William Apess, aPequot, who served as a drummerin the U.S. Army; Laura Secordwho warned British officers of animpending attack; Isaac Brock,the tragic British General turnedCanadian hero; and Betsy Doyle,the Molly Pitcher of the War of 1812.
Kansas has been home to a variety of unique, colorful and important individuals. First will be Joseph G. McCoy, the entrepreneur who brought cattle from the fields of Texas to the railroads at Abilene, creating the iconic cowboy image. Next will be Tom Pendergast, whose political machine ran Kansas City for almost 30 years. William Allen White, editor of the Emporia Gazette, was an advisor to eight U.S. presidents. Finally, we'll focus on Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, and his years at the University of Kansas, including mentoring Hall of Famer John McLendon, who could not play at Kansas because he was African-American.
This exhibition explores the artistic, political and ideological significance of Napoleon's imperial court. It aims to re-create the ambiance and capture the spirit that prevailed in the French court during the Empire. A selection of works, many never before exhibited in North America, will reveal the power and splendor of the Imperial Household and its role in fashioning a monarchic identity for the new emperor, his family and loyal entourage.9 a.m. - Coach departs Osher Institute10:15 a.m. - Docent-led Napoleon tour11:30 a.m. - Rozzelle Court lunch and touring on your own1:30 p.m. - Coach departs2:30 p.m. - Coach arrives at Osher$95 fee includes transportation, tickets, tours and lunch.$70 fee includes, tickets, tours and lunch (no transportation).Requests for refund will be honored on or before Nov. 9, minus a $15 administrative fee.?
Between 1917 and 1936, Martin and Osa Johnson of Chanute, Kan., travelled throughout the South Pacific and Africa documenting their adventures with reels of black and white film. In Borneo they encountered headhunters and cannibals, and in Africa Martin filmed close-ups of lions, elephants, rhinos, and zebras while Osa stood close by with a gun at the ready. We'll recount their adventures starting in Chanute before heading to more exotic places. We'll review the many books, still photos and documentaries they produced to wide acclaim around the world. Today, the Martin & Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute stands in testament to their work.
This course will explore philanthropy from the donor's perspective. Examine real-life situations, tools and techniques that allow people to have more money currently through tax deductions, guaranteed income for life and asset protection from creditors. Did you know that you could redirect money that you pay in taxes to your favorite charitable organizations? Also we'll hear from a guest speaker from the KU Endowment Association who will explain how nonprofits operate today and how vital they are to our society.
This course introduces East African popular culture and its contribution to the globalized 21st century. Using popular music, short films and selected readings, we highlight the richness and diversity of East African popular cultural components such as music, dance, film and media. The course reviews how cultural developments have shaped socioeconomic and political life in East Africa over the years. Finally, we examine East African languages and how they shape and reshape popular culture in East Africa, and their impact on all spheres of life.
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? There have been 28 documented assassination attempts on 22 sitting or former presidents or presidents-elect. In Milwaukee, Teddy Roosevelt was shot in the chest, but finished his campaign speech. In Miami, Guiseppe Zangara fired five shots at FDR, but killed Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. And there have been four known plots to kill President Obama. We'll uncover them all and closely examine the men...and women...who killed (or tried to kill) the president of the United States.
Roman Britain was generally considered to be an obscure imperial province, but recent excavations in London and throughout Britain have brought the period into a new light. The everyday life of civilians and military has been revealed by modern technology applied to DNA, isotopes, and the transcription of newly discovered texts. In this class, we will follow the Roman invasion with explorations in Londinium, countryside villas and the wild northern frontier. The story will conclude with the departure of the legions and the merge of Romano-Britain with Arthurian mythology.
Women have a long, but underappreciated history in the American military, having served in every conflict from the American Revolution to the current War on Terror. Nancy Hope, a former line officer in the U.S. Navy, will offer a personal perspective as well as a historical exploration of the evolving roles of women in our military, from their early days as cooks and nurses to the combat roles they fulfill today.

This course has been cancelled at the request of the instructor.


This course contains no sessions

Based in part on A History of The World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage, we'll travel the world in search of the hearths of tea, coffee, beer, wine, spirits and sodas, and then explore how, why and where they diffused. Taught in two parts, the course emphasizes aspects of globalization from the Stone Age beer makers to the cola giants of the modern era. Historic themes include tea and the Opium Wars; sugar, rum and the slave trade; and wine, Christianity and Islam. Part I: spirits, beer and wine.
This course will examine Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) who ruled the Soviet Union with an iron hand for almost 30 years until his death in 1953. He was a key leader in the Russian revolution, Civil War, founding of the U.S.S.R., widespread famine, forced industrialization, collectivization of agriculture, great purges, World War II, hegemony over neighbors, post-war reconstruction and competing with the West in the Cold War. Taken together, these events constitute the single most earthshaking cataclysm of the 20th century. This makes Stalin one of the most influential figures in world history.

The course has been cancelled at the request of the instructor.


This course contains no sessions

We will relive one of the most spectacular journeys in American history, the Lewis and Clark "Corps of Discovery" expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase and find a route to the Pacific Ocean. This exciting human drama, which lasted from 1804 to 1806, began in St. Louis, reached the Pacific Northwest, and then returned, adding to our knowledge of the region while generating stories and adventures. We will view the beautifully produced Ken Burns/Dayton Duncan PBS video, listen to music played during or inspired by the trip, and read brief commentaries of trip participants and observers.
In 1775, gunfire broke out on a village green in Massachusetts. The skirmish was preceded by years of friction between Britain and its discontented American colonies. A new idea was taking hold, an idea that turned centuries of hierarchy upside down. Were people destined to be ruled by kings? Or, were people capable of choosing their own leaders? Subjects or citizens? The notion of a republic had been entirely discredited in Europe, but in the new land of America, people were enthused by the prospects. This course addresses the causes, the personages, the combat, and the diplomacy that launched an embryonic state on a path of greatness.
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. As history, the psalms reveal a people searching for a homeland, for a psychic identity, and for internal and national peace. As literature, they invite readers to examine the poetic power of parallel construction and perhaps to try their own hand at writing such personal verse. As windows into the human heart, they capture our lives, from the sadness of war and exile to the everyday experiences of relationships, worries, and work.
This adaptation of Robert James Waller's bestselling novel earned a Tony Award for Best Original Score. It's 1965 in Winterset, Iowa, where Italian war bride Francesca Johnson has been living a largely unfulfilling farm life when her husband, son and daughter leave to attend a 4-H show. Francesca's quiet weekend is upended when photographer Robert Kincaid appears asking directions to one of the county's famed covered bridges. Her well-intended hospitality to a stranger turns both their lives upside down.
This course will examine the crucial eastern theater of the Civil War. First we'll review the first two years of the war where Confederate tactical dominance consistently defeated larger Union armies. Then we'll review the pivotal year 1863 and Lee and Jackson's great victory at Chancellorsville and the war's great turning-point with the Union's victory at Gettysburg. Finally, we'll look in depth at Grant's assumption of command in the east and his brilliant "overland campaign" culminating in the siege of Petersburg and the South's surrender at Appomattox. In addition to the emphasis on the military campaign, the social and political events in the east will also be discussed.
We will examine the early battles in the neutral Border States and the war along the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. We'll consider the tactical and strategic advance of Ulysses Grant and William T. Sherman during the first two years of the war. The second session will survey the war along the Mississippi River in 1863 and the capture of Vicksburg, which split the Confederacy and denied the South important Texas resources. The final class will focus on the battles of Chickamauga, Chattanooga and Atlanta and Sherman's march through Georgia. We'll also look at the home front and the war's effect on the civilian populations.
With a Stetson on your head and boots on your feet, you could be anywhere in the world and people would immediately assume you were an American. The cattle were in Texas, the cow towns were in Kansas, and it was on the epic drives up the Old Chisholm Trail after the Civil War that the cowboy was transformed from a drover into the mythic hero of American popular culture and one of the most recognizable symbols of our country. Kansas also contributed the cowboy hat, cowboy boots, the first cowgirl, and "The Streets of Laredo" to the cowboy mystique.
Geography is much more than place locations and this course will prove it! We begin with the Kansas natural environment, specifically the land including aspects of geology and the state's physiographic regions, ranging from the Ozark Plateau in the southeast corner to the High Plains in the far west. Historical economic geography of Kansas regions involving resource extraction in the form of coal, oil and natural gas production; and agriculture, particularly the role of irrigation and its impact on water-today the state's most important resource-will follow.

The Roeland Park session of this course has been cancelled. However, the session at Pioneer Ridge in Lawrence will proceed as scheduled.


The life of King David was filled with tragedies and triumphs. We'll study his life with close attention to his leadership style and ability. We'll focus on the moral, ethical and theological aspects of his life and their personal and professional relevance to the present. Several narratives from Richard Phillips' book, The Heart of an Executive: Lessons on Leadership from of the Life of King David will offer insights into all facets of David's leadership from business to life in general.

Please note that at the request of the instructor, we will begin this course one week earlier than was published in the fall catalog. Now this course will begin on Thursday, Oct. 4 and continue on Oct. 11 and 18, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.                 


century ago to become a cinematicand cultural phenomenon.Hundreds of millions of peoplethe world over, young and old,have seen episodes of this motionpicture series, and have becomeeager consumers of its merchandisefrom action figures to lunch boxes.Many fans, however, are unawareof the powerful mythologicalthemes animating the StarWars narrative, especially thosesurveyed in Joseph Campbell'sThe Hero with a Thousand Faces.We'll embark on our own hero'sjourney through Campbell's work,and with the aid of excerpts fromStar Wars, learn how and why thissaga has had such a hold on our imaginations.
Want to understand the common spiritual bonds shared by the three great religions that claim Abraham as their patriarch? Throughout time the adherents of these three faith groups have tended to their souls through the same spiritual disciplines: fixed-hour prayer, sacred day, sacred meal, fasting, giving, pilgrimage, and the observance of sacred seasons. Each faith group believes that through these disciplines they become the persons God called them to be. Class sessions will focus on specific spiritual disciplines and how they are understood and practiced in each faith group.
This class will look at the quest for artificial intelligence and examine some significant achievements (and failures) in the field. We will look at Deep Learning and other methods currently being used to make computers "smarter," and we will consider the barriers to achieving human-level "thinking." How will we know when the threshold of true machine intelligence has been crossed, and what will that event mean for humanity? We will see what computer scientists, psychologists, philosophers and science fiction writers have said about the prospect of thinking machines.
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? We'll learn how Rembrandt was inspired by the Bible, why Vermeer's reputation is based on just 34 paintings, and how Vincent van Gogh, in an artistic career of less than 10 years (three of which were spent learning to draw), became one of the most beloved and prized artists of all time. These questions and more will be discussed while viewing some of the most beautiful and significant paintings in the world.
wo 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. The story of Lou Frydman explores the Holocaust and his eyewitness account of Jewish resistance in the concentration camps. Jarek Piekalkiewicz's story as a Polish Resistance fighter illustrates the mistakes, triumphs, history and organization of the Polish Resistance—the most effective underground movement to challenge the Nazis. We'll also discuss what it means to lose not just one's family, but one's whole community and way of life, and the subsequent challenge of creating a new life in a new land.
Today's news is dominated by stories on immigration. In all regions and across political ideologies, disagreements about who should be permitted to live here raise questions about democracy and justice. A century ago, Willa Cather published My Antonia, a novel that explores timely and timeless ideas: What does it mean to be "American"? Why uproot your families and travel long distances, only to face poverty and discrimination in an alien landscape? Why is immigration controversial in American history? In My Antonia, immigrants build homes, establish communities, triumph over adversity, and embody the "American Dream."We'll also review The Bohemian Girl, a Cather short story that also addresses immigration issues.
Winston Churchill had such a penchant for espionage that he might have been to model for James Bond's secretive superior, "M." Churchill had a war to win on many fronts, and just how he did it remained largely secret for 70 years. At last we can examine the tactics used by Churchill and his team to confound and defeat the enemy whoever and wherever they were. We'll review the alleged treasonous actions of the Windsors, the secret British peace negotiations that started in 1942, and the British code-breaking operation. Finally, we'll watch a commando raid first from the public point of view and then with inside information. Why James Bond? That's a secret.