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Alumni Discount Codes

We offer discounts for our three alumni association partners: KU, K-State and Washburn. These discounts are only available for paid alumni association members and can only be applied to courses; they cannot apply to special events:

  • KU Alumni Association Member Discount - KUAAFALL2020
  • KSU Alumni Association Member Discount - KSUAAFALL2020
  • Washburn Alumni Association Member Discount - WUAAFALL2020

Courses & Events

Much has been discovered by historians and archaeologists in recent years about the rich lives of native peoples in North America before the first European stepped on the continent. In this series of presentations, we will explore what has been uncovered by various scholars over time. You will also get an insider's look, as the instructor shares his first-hand account of a unique discovery of ancient cliff-dwellings in the Arizona wilderness. As members of our society begin to think anew about the impact the past has had on the present, this series will remind us of those who inhabited this land before Europeans arrived to settle and claim it for their own. Instructor Bio: John Mack is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a master's degree in Russian history and a Ph.D. in American history. His book on the settlement of southeast Kansas, Bucking the Railroads on the Kansas Frontier: the struggle over land claims by homesteading Civil Veterans, 1867-1876., was published by McFarland Press in 2012. He has published multiple articles with his latest one being published by the Arizona Journal of History in March of 2019.


November 12, 2020 to December 3, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This class will highlight the 200-year history of this trade route between the United States and Mexico. The opening of the trail in 1821, coincided with Missouri's statehood and Mexican independence from Spain. We will look at the variety of cultures, military excursions, and larger-than-life personalities that are woven into the story of the trail. Beginning in Franklin, Missouri, the Santa Fe Trail slashes diagonally across Kansas, cuts into Colorado and into Oklahoma (depending on which route was taken), and then across the Raton pass into what is now New Mexico. Due to the fact that trade goods came from Philadelphia, Boston, and New York, England and Spain, commerce was truly international. Instructor Bio: Deb Goodrich is the host of the TV show "Around Kansas," and the Garvey (Texas) Foundation Historian in Residence at the Fort Wallace Museum. She chairs the Santa Fe Trail 200, the bicentennial of that historic route in 2021. Deb has appeared in numerous documentaries including "The Road to Valhalla," "Aftershock," and "American Experience" on Jesse James, as well as the series, "Gunslingers" on AHC. She wrote and produced the docu-drama, "Thof's Dragon," about the discovery of a plesiosaur in western Kansas in the 1860s.


October 20, 2020 to November 3, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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. Instructor Bio: Jim Peters, J.D., is director emeritus of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at KU and author of "Arlington National Cemetery: Shrine to America's Heroes. He also teaches a course on the Underground Railroad in Northeast Kansas.


September 28, 2020 to October 12, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This course will explore the life and hardships of Kansas Territory immigrants in 1854 - 1860 as viewed through the personal diary and letters of Cyrus K. Holliday to his wife Mary, who remained in Meadville, PA. Holiday was one of the founders of Topeka, and first president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF). We will look at the historical events occurring in the eastern Kansas territory, with a principal focus on the free-state communities of Topeka and Lawrence. We will also look back at this period through newspaper stories documenting the birth of the AT&SF railway in Kansas. Instructor Bio: Tom Coleman holds a bachelor's degree in Business and Economics from Washburn University and is a retired Federal Contracting Officer.


November 9-23, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
It is only in relatively recent history that we have come to understand that the earth is immensely older than a few thousand years. By careful studies of rock layering and their fossils and minerals, ancient worlds have emerged out of our seas, forests and deserts. The study of geology has the axiom that "the present is the key to the past." However, the record of the rocks can also tell us something about the future of the planet. In this class we will review some chapters from earth history and examine fossils and rock samples that provide clues to this story. Instructor Bio: John Doveton at the age of nine, saw a picture of a trilobite and was captivated by this little creature from the very distant past. He experienced what geologists refer to as "Deep Time." John studied geology at university and took field trips all over Europe before starting his career as a wellsite geologist on drilling rigs in Canada. He has taught at the University of Kansas for more than 40 years.


October 1-15, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at KU was established in 2004 by a grant for the Bernard Osher Foundation as an outreach program of the University of Kansas. Its mission is to offer noncredit enrichment courses and events to folks over 50 years of age, although we welcome learners of all ages. We rely on financial support from our members and the community to create a sustainable program. If you would like to support the Osher Institute, please click the link below. If you have questions, please contact Linda Kehres at 785-864-1373 or linda.k@ku.edu. Thank you.


August 14, 2020 to December 31, 2020
In this educational and entertaining program, we explore the origins and evolution of the English language, beginning with the many tribal and regional languages that converged to create what we today call "English." We study the early influences of Native American languages, the dialects of early immigrants, and the impacts of the "proper" English used by the church, the courts, and the affluent. In our last session, we enjoy 20th century influences through movies, music, and television, and we wrap up with a projection of what English might be like 500 years in the future. Instructor Bio: Lee Stuart is the Leadership Programs Manager at KU. After three previous careers - as a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper journalist, a senior leader of innovative product and new business development initiatives with Hallmark Cards, and 12 years as president of a boutique management consulting firm - Dr. Stuart brings experience in adult learning, disruptive innovation, organizational effectiveness, strategic business planning, and executive coaching. He holds a B.A. in journalism from Kansas State University, an M.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, and a Doctorate in Leadership Studies from Capella University.


October 19, 2020 to November 2, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The usual distinction made between religion and philosophy in Western thought can also be applied to Eastern thought. However, Eastern philosophies are generally more tightly linked to religious ideas. Eastern philosophies inquire into the nature of reality and concepts of the Divine using paradigms distinguishable from yet similar to those found in Western philosophy. In this course we will take a quick journey through the great philosophies of India and China to explore how ideas about reality, God, and knowledge evolved in those cultures. We will see how Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism have both religious and philosophical aspects. Instructor Bio: James Gaither, ThD, holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Kansas and ThD from Holos University Graduate Seminary. For over 25 years he has taught courses in history of Western thought, world religions, metaphysics and ethics and is currently a "semi-retired."


October 23, 2020 to November 6, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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. Instructor Bio: Barry Crawford, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of religious studies at Washburn University.


November 10-24, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Kansas is a state rich in folklore, arising from the many ethnic groups who have settled here from across the country and around the world, the diverse geographical regions of the state, and the wide variety of occupations of Kansas residents. This course will consider the abundant legends and tales of Kansas, the rich tradition of folk art in the state, the unique folksongs that originated here, and our distinctive customs, traditions, and superstitions, among other things. Instructor Bio: Jim Hoy, a native of the Flint Hills near Cassoday ("Cow Capital of Kansas"), is director emeritus of the Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University. He is the author of Flint Hills Cowboys, and has another Flint Hills book forthcoming: "Gathering Strays in the Flint Hills: Observations, Contemplations and Reminiscences from America's Last Tallgrass Prairie".


September 30, 2020 to October 14, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Join us as we explore forgotten Jayhawk Athletes whose accomplishments have somehow faded in the past. We'll discuss Edward Harvey, the first African American to letter in football at KU in 1893. The only African American KU football player until 1956 when Homer Floyd arrived. Then we'll move on to learn about Marian Washington who earned a master's degree and became the Women's Athletics Director and longtime KU Women's Basketball Coach. Next, we'll focus on Lynette Woodard, a three time All-American and the only female to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. We'll spend time discussing Wilt Chamberlain, the most highly recruited high school basketball player in America and not only led KU to the NCAA Final, but helped integrate both Lawrence and KU-particularly their restaurants. Finally, we'll take a look into the life of Billy Mills an iconic distance runner winning an Olympic Gold Medal in 1964. Instructor Bio: Bernie Kish has taught sport management classes at KU since 2005. One of the classes that he created and teaches is The History and Tradition of Kansas Athletics. He also authored the chapter on KU Athletics in the recently published book Transforming the University of Kansas. A history, 1965-2015. Kish is a veteran of the US Army, serving on active duty for over 29 years and completing his service as a Full Colonel.


November 10-24, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Our first segment will examine the early trails of Territorial Kansas and how they gave way to the development of cattle towns at the railheads of Ellsworth, Hays, Wichita and Dodge City. Then we will evaluate how the two most valuable resources in Kansas-oil and natural gas-helped urbanize southeast Kansas and the "oil patch" towns of western Kansas. Our final segment focuses on how early promotional efforts led to the rise of Wichita; how Topeka "captured" the state capital; and how Lawrence became the classic college town. Instructor Bio: Tom Schmiedeler, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of geography at Washburn University.


November 9-23, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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? Since the opening of Kansas in 1854, thousands of German-speaking immigrants have sought to better their lives here, including Pennsylvania Dutch, Volga Germans, Mennonites, Austrians and Swiss. German churches dot the prairie, and even now, many rural Kansans speak a dialect of German as their first language. Instructor Bio: William Keel, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of German at KU, having taught the history and culture of German settlements in Kansas and Missouri.


October 20, 2020 to November 3, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Germany 30 years after the Unification - witnessing an amazing transformation!This fall the Germans get to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the German Unification! These last three decades were a difficult but also miraculous time in the country's modern history. Join German Historian Anette Isaacs, MA, for a fascinating discussion of how Europe's most populous nation dealt with the challenges of bringing two countries together that had been painfully separated for 45 years. We will explore the history of the Berlin Wall, delve into daily life in socialist East- Germany, and take a closer look at how today's German citizens, East and West, are reflecting on their country's big anniversary. Anette Isaacs, MA, is a German Historian and Public Educator who has been presenting hundreds of programs on more than 30 different topics (all pertaining to her native country's history, politics, and culture) in the Chicagoland area and in South Florida. Ms. Isaacs holds Master's Degrees in American Studies, Political Science, and History and is an adjunct faculty member at the lifelong learning departments of Oakton College, the College of Lake County, Harper College, the College of DuPage, and McHenry County College, all located in Illinois. She is also a popular instructor at Florida Atlantic University's OLLI in Boca Raton.


October 20, 2020 to November 3, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Throughout the history of classical music, dating back to before the Middle Ages, there have been significant women composers who produced works of lasting value. Beginning in the 19th century the number of women composers increased greatly, and the last hundred years has seen a great flowering of women who compose. However, their works are still rarely heard in the concert hall. In this course we will discuss the lives of these women and listen to their music beginning with the great 10th century abbess Hildegard von Bingen. We'll continue with the trouveres of the Middle Ages, and hear from Barbara Strozzi, Wilhelmine of Bayreuth, and others, as well as explore contemporary composers such as Joan Tower. We hope you'll join us as we celebrate these great women composers and appreciate the significant contributions they have made to music. Instructor Bio: Don Dagenais has been a preview speaker for the Lyric Opera for more than 20 years and he teaches classical music and opera courses for local organizations. Among other pursuits, he enjoys studying American political history and has compiled an extensive collection of memorabilia from presidential political campaigns from 1840 - the present. He recently retired as a real estate attorney.


September 28, 2020 to October 12, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
In this course we will explore the major themes, events and historical figures of Latin America's recent past. A specific focus will be placed on the late 19th century, the Cold War and the recent rise of populist governments. The class will examine the impact of United States imperialism and will discuss the rise of right-wing nationalist governments, as well as the role of historical memory in regional identity. Finally we will explore what history might tell about the future direction of this important part of the world. Instructor Bio: Aaron Margolis received his doctorate in history from the University of Texas at El Paso where he concentrated on Latin American and Borderlands History. He is currently an associate professor of history at Kansas City Kansas Community College.


November 13, 2020 to December 4, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Kansas is home to numerous inventors and entrepreneurs who have contributed to the history and culture of food and drink. We'll examine the territorial days of Kansas in the mid-1800s to discover what people ate and drank. Next, we'll explore how generations of immigrant and native Kansans influenced and created sweet treats, kitchen staples, fast food, and booze consumed from the 1900s to present. From ICEEs to oysters, burgers to bierocks, this food history of Kansas will whet your appetite to learn more. Instructor Bio: Kansas City-based writer Pete Dulin covers food, craft beer and wine. His work has appeared in Zócalo Public Square, NPR, Feast, The Kansas City Star, River Front Times and Flatland. He is the author of "Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries Across the Heart of Kansas".


September 30, 2020 to October 14, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The former chief photographer for the Lawrence Journal-World will lead you through the tools and techniques of creative image making with digital cameras. He will explore the basic functions of a digital camera and demonstrate how to improve your photographs through simple and creative visual devices. Regardless of your brand of camera or level of experience, you will discover how to become a better photographer. The instructor will also demonstrate how to create print-on-demand photo books to share your work with others. Instructor Bio: Mike Yoder, formerly with the Lawrence Journal-World, has 25 years of experience in film and digital documentary photography and his photographs have been included in numerous books.


November 10-24, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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. Instructor Bio: Hannington Ochwada, Ph.D. has researched and taught world history, African studies, and African history. He speaks and instructs Kiswahili. He is a regular contributor in East African media on topical issues about Africa.


October 20, 2020 to November 3, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This course will examine the origin of jazz music through the lens of American and World History with a special emphasis on the contributions of musicians in Kansas City and the development of the drum set as a crucial instrument in this art form. Participants will gain an understanding of how jazz developed in the United States, its important creative movements and musicians throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and how other musical traditions from Africa, Cuba, and Brazil have had a role in shaping this art form into the musical melting pot it is today. Instructor Bio: Samuel Gould holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance from Michigan State University. He has lectured at Grand Valley State University, and Grand Rapids Community College, and his recorded work has been heard on Innova Records, Quite Scientific Records, NPR's Weekend Edition and the BBC television show "Waterloo Road."


October 19, 2020 to November 2, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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. First will be the Notorious-John Brown, the abolitionist or terrorist, and Dr. John R. Brinkley, the infamous goat gland doctor. Then we'll review the Self-Righteous-Carrie Nation and the Temperance Movement and Vern Miller, the Kansas Attorney General who sought to prohibit airlines from serving drinks while flying over "dry" Kansas. Finally will be the Innovators-Karl Menninger and his famous psychiatric clinic and Bill James, godfather of a new generation of baseball statistics. Instructor Bio: Thomas Luellen recently retired after 31 years in hospital administration and 14 years as an adjunct instructor at Washburn University. He has a master's degree in geography from the KU. His personal interests have always been his native state and its history.


October 1-15, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
All of us are now living through a period of extraordinary crisis in the U.S. and globally. The COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous strains on both our legal and governmental systems. These systems were not crafted to cope with prolonged periods of societal, financial, and cultural stresses of the sort the pandemic has created. Nevertheless, our nation has lived through other crises: the influenza pandemic of 1918, the stock market crash of 1929, two world wars, etc. In this class we will look at the legal and governmental responses to these past crises and to our present crisis, including the Alien and Sedition Act, the Insurrection Act, the Quarantine Act, and the ways in which power has been shared amongst the federal, state, and local governments. Instructor Bio: Mike Hoeflich, PhD, a professor at the KU School of Law, holds a doctorate from Cambridge University and a law degree from Yale Law School.


October 23, 2020 to November 6, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The music of many of history's greatest composers is best understood in the context of the times in which they lived, and the experiences they had in their own lives. Part I of this course covered 12 of history's greatest composers and discussed their music and their lives. This course will add 12 more composers, including Handel, Beethoven, Rossini, Chopin, Smetana, Borodin, Ravel, Gershwin and Prokofiev. Come learn more about the vibrant music created by these masters and how that music reflected their lives and times. Note: Attendance at Part I is not a prerequisite to your full enjoyment of Part II. Instructor Bio: Don Dagenais has been a preview speaker for the Lyric Opera for more than 20 years and he teaches classical music and opera courses for local organizations. Among other pursuits, he enjoys studying American political history and has compiled an extensive collection of memorabilia from presidential political campaigns from 1840 - the present. He recently retired as a real estate attorney.


October 2-16, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)

Napoleon Bonaparte remains a controversial figure. To some,he is the heir of the French Revolution, protecting and then spreading the ideals of the revolution across Europe - but on the bayonets of the Grande Armée. To others, he is the devil incarnate; a despotic satrap intent on power and his own personal glory. This course examines the Napoleonic era, beginning with his role as part of a three-man consular government and the reforms that protected the key elements of the French Revolution while limiting its excesses. We'll also examine why Napoleon, defeated and exiled,is considered one of the great commanders of all time.

Instructor Bio: Mark Gerges, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.


September 29, 2020 to October 13, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas offers noncredit short courses and special events developed especially for folks over 50. Give the gift of learning through an Osher Gift Certificate which enables the recipient to attend one Osher course for free! Our courses are taught two hours each week for three weeks. To give someone an Osher Gift Certificate, please click the link below. If you have questions, please contact Linda Kehres at 785-864-1373 or linda.k@ku.edu.


August 14, 2020 to December 31, 2020
After a 16 year gap between 1960 and 1976, general election presidential debates have occurred in every election cycle. In 1976, vice presidential debates were added and except for 1980, they are also a staple in our quadrennial presidential races. Pundits often claim that the debates don't matter because they change few minds; however, they serve many valuable functions and for undecided or soft supporters, they can influence their votes. This course explores the history of presidential debates-both their high and low points. The instructor has researched debates since she was an undergraduate and draws on her years of research and attendance at several of the debates to explain why we watch and why they matter. Instructor Bio: Diana Carlin, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita of Communication at Saint Louis University and a retired professor of Communication Studies at KU. She has co-authored a book on gender and politics and taught courses on women as political leaders, the rhetoric of women's rights and communication and gender.


September 29, 2020 to October 13, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This course examines the origins and geographical diffusion of the three most popular caffeine drinks. Although containing the most widely used psychoactive drug, these drinks are seemingly so innocuous they are sold without legal age restrictions and with limited regulations worldwide, yet they have left a legacy of cultural and environmental destruction in the wake of their widespread adoption during the process of globalization. For example, we will learn of the role of tea in the Opium Wars of China, coffee's contribution to slavery in the Americas and the detrimental health effects of sugar in sodas-or "pop" if you are from Kansas. This course can be taken independently of the previous "Six Drinks" course on wine, beer and spirits, the alcohol drinks that changed the world. Instructor Bio: Tom Schmiedeler, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of geography at Washburn University.


September 28, 2020 to October 12, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
In this course we will look at the lives and work of three twentieth century women poets: Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks and Denise Levertov. Each of these women made significant and unique contributions to the world of poetry in the last century. Their work paved the way especially for women poets who came after them. Their lives and their poetry are quite different from one another, yet they all contributed to a canon of work that remains significant today. Each of the three sessions will be spent looking at central themes in the life and work of one of the three poets. Instructor Bio: Renee Neff-Clark has a degree in Religious Studies from the University of Kansas and has been a lover of all types of literature since she learned to read.


October 21, 2020 to November 4, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Few places in the world have experienced as much historical drama as the world's longest river. For more than 4,500, years the Nile has witnessed sweeping events of discovery, conflict and engineering. It's been the stage for larger-than-life characters, remarkable edifices and far-reaching ideas. Join us for a sampling of stories that illustrate the geography, cultures and history of that primeval waterway, the Nile River. Instructor Bio: David Mannering earned a doctorate in higher education administration from KU. He recently retired from a 40-year career in information technology, including 15 years as a chief information officer. He has taught management information systems courses and computer programming.


October 23, 2020 to November 6, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Theodore Roosevelt sits atop Mount Rushmore, nestled between Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. He was chosen to be a part of this historical structure in 1927 because he was considered among our greatest presidents, a position he retains among historians today. We'll examine T.R.'s life, overcoming debilitating asthma as a child to build a reputation as a robust outdoorsman, astute politician, pioneering conservationist and international statesman. Roosevelt was New York City's police commissioner, assistant secretary of the Navy, volunteer Rough Rider, New York governor and vice president before becoming the youngest president at age 42 following William McKinley's assassination in 1901. Instructor Bio: Jim Peters, J.D., is director emeritus of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at KU and author of "Arlington National Cemetery: Shrine to America's Heroes. He also teaches a course on the Underground Railroad in Northeast Kansas.


October 2-16, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The 1930s shattered the normalcy and prosperity that had existed in the 1920s. The Great Depression, which began in 1929, rapidly spread around the globe affecting the livelihood of people in many nations and their reexamination of the existing world order. This class is a world survey of that tumultuous decade. The first class examines the Depression in America and its effects on society, politics, and even the military. The second class crosses the Atlantic and focuses on Europe and its response to the economic dislocation, most notably the rise of fascism in Germany and the Stalinist Revolution in Soviet Russia. The final class will look at events in Asia such as the rise of militarism in Japan, India's struggle for independence, and both Mao Zedong's challenge to the government of Chiang Kai-shek and the origins of the Sino-Japanese War. Instructor Bio: Robert Smith, PhD, is the Director of the Fort Riley Museum. He has a doctorate in history from KSU, and has published numerous articles on military history.


October 22, 2020 to November 5, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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. Instructor Bio: Richard V. Barbuto was recently retired as deputy director of the Department of Military History at Fort Leavenworth. He lectures nationally on the War of 1812.


November 10-24, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The Arkansas River pierces the heart of America, stretching 1,469 miles from the Tennessee Pass in Colorado to the Mississippi River at the eastern edge of Arkansas. Heavily regulated from beginning to end, the nation's sixth longest river (45th longest in the world) is both the economic engine and burden to millions of people and scores of cities bordering its banks. From raging rapids to diversion dams for irrigation ditches dry streambeds and finally barge traffic; we will explore the impact this wild, elusive and embattled river has had on cities, towns and adjacent farmland, starting with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 through to the present day. Instructor Bio: Hannes Zacharias is a Professor of Practice at KU's School of Public Affairs and Administration. His 35-year career in local government concluded as Johnson County Manager, Hannes has spent 45 years paddling rivers, including the Colorado through the Grand Canyon, 1,000 miles on the Missouri, and down the Arkansas River.


October 22, 2020 to November 5, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Stephen Sondheim has pursued an individualistic course on Broadway, writing shows that consistently defy the genre's commercial expectations and that show distinctive variety as a group. This course will be a look at Sondheim's musical theater career and output in terms of his fascinating collaborations and unusual approaches to the composition of music and lyrics. A number of his shows will be covered, but emphasis will be placed on Company, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Sunday in the Park with George." Instructor Bio: Paul Laird is professor of musicology at the University of Kansas. He has published widely on musical history topics including four books on Leonard Bernstein. The most recent is the biography Leonard Bernstein in the "Critical Lives" series from Reaktion Books(University of Chicago Press).


October 1-15, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
History may not repeat itself exactly, but historic patterns do! Unlike traditional history classes, which study specific geographic areas across a specific period of time, this class will explore the qualities that have emerged across continents and centuries over the past 5,000 years. We'll identify predictable - and apparently inevitable - patterns that develop as a state form of human organization emerges and how one aspect - colonialism - affected one group of people: Native Americans. We'll also consider how these patterns continue to affect us today. Instructor Bio: Gil Nichols is a lifelong student of history and North American Indian cultures. He has participated in Dakota and Lakota ceremonies for more than 35 years. He taught high school social sciences for 30 years, and American Indian studies at William Jewell and UMKC for 14 years. He has also taught for the UMKC SPARK program, and has served as a Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art tour guide for nine years. Gil is also Chair of the Thidaware Native American Garden Project at Line Creek Park in Kansas City.


November 11-25, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Marking the 75th anniversary of the 1944 Ardennes counter-offensive, commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge, we'll examine one of history's most well-known battles. Fought in the rugged Ardennes forest of Belgium in the dead of winter, this epic struggle marked Nazi Germany's last offensive to split the Anglo-British alliance and compel a negotiated peace. Surprising American troops by attacking in a seemingly quiet sector, the battle became one of the largest campaigns in U.S. Army history. This course examines the campaign from the political decision-makers in Washington, London and Berlin to the experiences and the harsh conditions of the individual soldiers and Belgian civilians. Instructor Bio: Mark Gerges, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.


October 19, 2020 to November 2, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Life was hard in the mid-19th century, but certain parts of life in those days were beautiful. What designers, craftsmen and artisans of this era seemed to love was a variety of romantic and dramatic elements, sometimes expressed in the most utilitarian of items. The images and objects we will study will demonstrate the sheer creativity and whimsy of the time, evident in everything from everyday household items, clothing, fashion accessories, hairstyles and penmanship. Though lifestyles have changed since then, we will gain an appreciation of the ways that an often-difficult life of the mid-19th century was made more pleasant through the decorative arts. These fashion elements and trends were inspired by movements such as the Greek, Gothic, Rococo Revival styles, Exotic Revival and others. Instructor Bio: Cynthia Naughton is a Kansas native, a licensed cosmetologist, makeup artist, wife, mother of three adult children and a historical re-enactor.


October 22, 2020 to November 5, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Why are children and adolescents addicted to digital media? How much time do they spend using media outside of school work? How do smartphones affect young brains? How do young people perceive news events? What effects do media content (violence, sexuality, gender, race) have on young minds and behaviors? How have national reading scores changed over time? Is Google making us stupid? For decades, media psychologists and cultural critics have debated the positive and negative impacts of various media on young people. This course offers a broad overview of research-based evidence concerning these and other questions of interest to participants. Instructor Bio: Jeanne Klein, Ph.D, is a retired Associate Professor of Theatre at KU where she taught several courses, directed theatre productions, and published numerous articles. She has written historical essays on horticulture in Douglas County and woman suffrage and theatre in Lawrence from the mid-19th through early-20th centuries.


November 9-23, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
George W. Bush and Donald Trump won recent presidential elections despite getting fewer popular votes than their opponents. They owed their victories to the role of the Electoral College, a unique institution mandated by the American Constitution. Why was the Electoral College included in the Constitution? How did it work initially? How does it work now? What prompted the changes in its functioning over the course of American history? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Can it be eliminated or reformed? What are the leading proposals to change the method by which we select our presidents? This course will address these questions. Paul Schumaker, Ph.D is a retired University of Kansas political science professor. He has taught courses in American political history and democratic theory.


September 30, 2020 to October 14, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
You won't want to miss this special online Veterans Day presentation. Dr. Bernie Kish, a KU Sports Management Lecturer and a veteran of the US Army, serving on active duty for over 29 years, completing his service as a Full Colonel, will present a lecture focused on the first Armistice Day in 1919. He will examine the celebration of that holiday throughout America and discuss the change to Veterans Day in 1954 spearheaded by a Congressman from Emporia, Kansas. He will share personal reflections of many who gave their lives for our country.This fascinating lecture will be coupled with a Panel of Veterans Discussion comprised of Veterans who represent World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf Wars, plus Iraq and Afghanistan all discussing their memories of those wars. Instructor Bio: Bernie Kish has taught sport management classes at KU since 2005. One of the classes that he created and teaches is The History and Tradition of Kansas Athletics. He also authored the chapter on KU Athletics in the recently published book Transforming the University of Kansas. A history, 1965-2015. Kish is a veteran of the US Army, serving on active duty for over 29 years and completing his service as a Full Colonel. $25 fee


Wednesday, November 11, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Join Osher favorite, Janice Stuerzl, for a one-time online offering exploring the working village of Argenteuil, on the outskirts of Paris, the birthplace of Impressionism. In the early 1870's, young artists who wanted to experiment with new styles and new subjects gathered at the home of Claude Monet in Argenteuil. There they plotted a strategy for promoting their art, which had been rejected by the establishment. We will examine these extraordinary works and discover much about the beginning of Impressionism and what its artists hoped to achieve. This class is sure to delight art enthusiasts of all kinds.  Instructor Bio: Janice Stuerzl has a lifelong passion for art history. After retiring from a 20-year career in social work, she became a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. She has contributed research on French decorative arts for interior design books and has been field editor for interior design articles in national magazines.Fee$25 Fee


Thursday, October 1, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The National Pastime has always attracted good writers, from sportswriters to journalists to novelists. This course explores some of the best books on the sport, from books about the game such as Eight Men Out, Only the Ball Was White and October 1964 to biographies of players (Joe DiMaggio: A Hero's Life, The Last Boy, Yogi) to memoirs of ex-players (The Glory of Their Times, Ball Four) to novels about baseball (The Celebrant, Shoeless Joe, The Art of Fielding). While we aren't watching much baseball this year, we can still read about it and hope for Opening Day. Instructor Bio: Karl Menninger recently retired from a legal career in federal and state government, mostly dealing with issues concerning persons with disabilities. He teaches courses on disabilities and the law and the insanity defense at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law.


November 13, 2020 to December 4, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Perhaps no other culture in the world has embraced the supernatural quite like Japan. Extensive depictions in art, literature and film throughout Japan's rich history reveal an obsession with both the macabre and the more humorous enterprises of ghosts and spirits. While stories from religious texts, along with folk tales and ghost stories, link us all to our origins and help provide explanations about our existence, the varied and elaborate collection of works in Japan, spanning more than 400 years, provide unique insights into their history, culture, beliefs and society. In this fascinating course, we'll explore a collection of such examples, including wood block prints, folk tales, ghost stories, fashion, shrines, television and film that feature spirits and other supernatural forces. Together, we'll discover the deeply integrated, yet often hidden world of apparitions found Japanese daily life of the past and present. Instructor Bio: Dianne Daugherty holds master's degrees in education and contemporary East Asian studies, with doctorate hours in public health and Gerontology. She lived and worked in Japan for three years, and taught Japanese to high school and college students for more than 20 years.


September 29, 2020 to October 13, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
As a reflection of the harsh racial attitudes in 1920, African American and dark-skinned Latino players were kept out of white professional baseball. Within this difficult racial environment black baseball team owner/manager Andrew "Rube' Foster birthed the Negro National League on Feb. 13, 1920 in Kansas City, Missouri. 2020 is its 100th anniversary. Foster saw it as a ship travelling through the stormy sea of racial segregation. We will examine how despite closing down in 1931, it produced 13 Hall of Fame inductees and became the blueprint that sustained Negro League baseball until the color barriers in baseball were erased. Instructor Bio: Kevin L. Mitchell is the baseball history blogger of The Baseball Scroll (www.thebaseballscroll.blogspot.com) and author of Last Train to Cooperstown: The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Era. The Kansas City, Kan. native earned bachelors and master's degrees from the University of Kansas.


November 11-25, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The Plains Indian Wars followed on the heels of America's Civil War as westward expansion resumed at an accelerated pace. From Cody and Custer to Roman Nose and Satanta, from Libbie Custer to Mochi, learn the stories behind the names. This class will explore the wars and delve into the transcontinental railroad, which brought more and more tribes into conflict with those eager to develop the wide-open spaces of the West. We will spend time discussing the fallout from that, which was a reservation system that all but destroyed native cultures and lifestyles. Again and again, treaties were made and broken as the demand for land pushed the Natives farther and farther into the background, forcing them to relinquish homeland and hunting grounds. Instructor Bio: Deb Goodrich is the host of the TV show "Around Kansas," and the Garvey (Texas) Foundation Historian in Residence at the Fort Wallace Museum. She chairs the Santa Fe Trail 200, the bicentennial of that historic route in 2021. Deb has appeared in numerous documentaries including "The Road to Valhalla," "Aftershock," and "American Experience" on Jesse James, as well as the series, "Gunslingers" on AHC. She wrote and produced the docu-drama, "Thof's Dragon," about the discovery of a plesiosaur in western Kansas in the 1860s.


October 21, 2020 to November 4, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The field of gender studies has much to offer older adults seeking a better understanding of aging's challenges. This class looks at gender differences throughout the life cycle with a focus on older adult life. Learn about the unique rewards and tasks awaiting men and women in their 60's 70's, 80's and beyond. We will delve into the hush-hush topic of male suicide risk factors and prevention strategies with a special emphasis on older males' loneliness and depression. The class will explore gender-based male and female advantages, disadvantages and misunderstandings. Instructor Bio: Sandra Lyke is a licensed clinical social worker with master's degrees in social work and counseling. Retired after 35 years as a psychiatric social worker, she has additional experience as a hospice worker, hospital chaplain and adjunct instructor at Park University.\


November 11-25, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Grief is arguably the most powerful of human emotions. Anyone who loves is vulnerable to loss and grief. This class examines thoughts, feelings and behaviors associated with grief, and explores what recovery means (hint: it doesn't mean "get over it!"). We will study stages, tasks, types of grief; as well as gender differences in terms of grieving and accepting help. The class will look at the 21st century cultural changes in how grief and recovery are viewed in our society, and the role or meaning in grief. Much of class is 'pragmatic psychology' with guidance for helping yourself and others recover. Instructor Bio: Sandra Lyke is a licensed clinical social worker with master's degrees in social work and counseling. Retired after 35 years as a psychiatric social worker, she has additional experience as a hospice worker, hospital chaplain and adjunct instructor at Park University.


September 30, 2020 to October 14, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Established in Waco in 1968, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum honors the iconic Texas Rangers, a service which has existed, in one form or another, since 1823. They have become legendary symbols of Texas and the American West. Thirty-one Rangers, with lives spanning more than two centuries, have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Darren L. Ivey examines the lives and careers of the first nineteen of these men and discusses their contributions to the Rangers and to the nation. Instructor Bio: Darren Ivey is a museum assistant at the Riley County Historical Museum and the author of three books, the last two published by the University of North Texas Press. A former firefighter, he holds a history degree from Kansas State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Library Science degree at Emporia State University.


November 12, 2020 to December 3, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Many scholars believe modern America was born in the 1920s. This raucous era brought us modern advertising, supermarkets, buying on credit, commercial radio and flight, culture wars, short skirts, fads, voter apathy-even television. Dramatic technological and social changes clashed with conservative values. Prosperity and mass media expanded their reach to more Americans than ever before, but this was also the "Aspirin Age"-a time of anxiety about health, public morals, crime, terrorism, corruption and race relations. This course will delve into the people and events that set the United States on a new path and continue to shape us. Instructor Bio: Will Hickox has a doctorate in history from the University of Kansas. He plans, manages, and promotes public programming at the Watkins Museum of History, the headquarters of the Douglas County Historical Society.


October 21, 2020 to November 4, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Photojournalism - the marriage of pictures and text to tell a factual story - dates to the 1850s. Advancing technology fed the public's demand to see the news, not just read about it. Life magazine, competing newspapers, and the "photo essay" spurred a "Golden Age" of iconic images and celebrated photographers. This course covers the intriguing history - and uncertain future - of photojournalism, touching on equipment but emphasizing great pictures and the people who made them (including Kansans Jim Richardson, Gordon Parks and Brian Lanker). Instructor Bio: Kevin Boatwright is emeritus director of external affairs in the KU Office of Research. He has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degrees in journalism, history and higher education administration. He studied Canadian history at the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Manitoba, and is a past president of the Midwest Association for Canadian Studies.


October 19, 2020 to November 2, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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. Instructor Bio: Dan Kirchhefer is an artist and professor emeritus who taught drawing, printmaking and the history of American Art at Emporia State University.


November 12, 2020 to December 3, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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. 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 discuss what it means to lose not just one's family, but one's whole community and way of life, and the challenge of creating a new life in a new land. Instructor Bio: Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the author of 19 books. This course is based on her book, "Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and a Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Found Each Other".


October 2-16, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Before the advent of film in the early twentieth century, live theatre provided escapist entertainment to the masses. After the Civil War, traveling companies brought productions with starring actors to small towns and cities, including Lawrence, Kansas. Performers staged a repertoire of melodramas (Uncle Tom's Cabin), minstrelsy, burlesques, tragedies, comedies, farces, grand and comic operas, musicals, and vaudeville. By the early 1900s, dramatic literature had evolved into more realistic "social problem" plays around controversial issues (Ibsen's A Doll's House). U.S. theatre history not only explains theatrical repertoires but also how performers and audiences engage in ongoing dramatic conflicts today. Instructor Bio: Jeanne Klein, Ph.D, is a retired Associate Professor of Theatre at KU where she taught several courses, directed theatre productions, and published numerous articles. She has written historical essays on horticulture in Douglas County and woman suffrage and theatre in Lawrence from the mid-19th through early-20th centuries.


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Issues will include birthright citizenship granted by the 14th Amendment and citizenship through naturalization or birth abroad, distinctions between U.S. citizens and nationals, how to immigrate or work legally in the U.S. and how to become a citizen. We'll also address whether asylum at the U.S. border is working, which citizenship or immigration laws and "quotas" might change, the N-400 U.S. citizenship application, civics test and mandatory interview for acquiring citizenship, and an overview of the naturalization ceremony. Not to be missed: Is baby Archie Windsor a U.S. citizen? Could he be king of England? Will his children be U.S. citizens? Instructor Bio: Attorney Kathleen Harvey retired in 2016 from her immigration law practice. Instructor Bio: Attorney Anita Tebbe is a retired a professor of legal studies at Johnson County Community College. 


October 21, 2020 to November 4, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Come join us as we dive deep into the world of spies and undercover secret agents. Before James Bond and Ian Fleming there were: 12 ladies who had a major impact on World War II in Europe who helped the Allies win over Nazi Germany. Hitler and Himmler had a one million Reich marks reward for the capture of each woman. Many had a death sentence on them, and Germans were told them to shoot on sight. We'll explore what made these ladies unstoppable, including their roles in observation, relaying information by radio in code, organizing and recruiting resistance underground helpers, working behind enemy lines, learning to parachute, and saving downed fliers. Instructor Bio: Russ Hutchins teaches U.S. History, Western Civilization, and Economics at Friends University-Topeka. He is a retired public school administrator and educator of 41 years.


November 13, 2020 to December 4, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Rock music during the 1967-69 countercultural era started with the Summer of Love and ended tragically just two years later. We will explore cultural and political events of the time from the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, through the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, and ending at the Altamont Speedway Festival. While Monterey introduced the world to many soon-to-be famous performers, Woodstock gave its name to a generation, and Altamont brought the era of love and trust to a sad end. Join the conversation as we recall this seminal time in American history. Steve Lopes, AE, BA, MA, M Ed, was an educator for 15 years prior to 30 years of advocating for teachers as a Kansas-NEA organizer. He enjoys researching Rock 'n' Roll history and sharing it with Osher participants.


November 12, 2020 to December 3, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This in-depth examination of World War II in the Pacific and Asia will first review the origins of the war beginning with Japan's 1931 aggressive policies in China with subsequent European and American responses to them. We'll also examine events leading up to Japan's attack on American, Dutch and British military forces in Asia and the Pacific in December 1941. Then we'll review Japanese military operations in 1942 and the beginning of America, Britain, and Australia's struggle to take the offensive in 1942-1943. Finally, we will examine the major 1944-1945 campaigns in the southwest and central Pacific culminating in the August 1945 surrender of Japan. Instructor Bio: Robert Smith, PhD, is the Director of the Fort Riley Museum. He has a doctorate in history from KSU, and has published numerous articles on military history.


November 9-23, 2020, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)