Courses & Events

"I goes to fight mit Sigel!," a popular song of the Civil War era, reflects the fact that roughly one-third of the soldiers fighting for the Union cause were either recent immigrants from the German states or sons of such immigrants. These Germans on the Northern side, to the soldiers in Southern gray either the "Damned Dutch" or the "Hessians," rallied to the cause in no small measure because they saw the "war to save the Union" as the continuation of the German Revolution of 1848-49, which failed to unite the German states and provide for democratic reforms. They were led into battle by many of the same military leaders who had played prominent roles during the Revolution in Germany, such as Friedrich Hecker, Carl Schurz and especially Franz Sigel. Join us as we explore this fascinating topic.

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.


July 15-29, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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. 

Instructor Bio: Tyler Habiger holds a bachelor's degree in American politics and theatre and a master's in human services from Drury University. He has served as a college


July 14-28, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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. This course will be held in-person at Brewster Place and the public is allowed to attend. 

Instructor Bio: Tyler Habiger holds a bachelor's degree in American politics and theatre and a master's in human services from Drury University. He has served as a college instructor and is now happily employed at KU Endowment in Lawrence.


June 1-15, 2021, Brewster Place Cultural Arts Center (Topeka, KS)
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. 

Instructor Bio:  Barry Crawford, Ph.D., has recently retired as Professor of Religious Studies at Washburn University.


July 15-29, 2021, 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.


June 2-16, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
After the United States entered World War II in 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt authorized the continued operation of both Major League and Negro League baseball. The president believed the "National Pastime" would help boost homefront morale during the difficult war years lying ahead. This course examines the results of President Roosevelt's decision. We will explore the war's effect on professional baseball, the fans, teams and individual players. Class participants will also learn how the "National Pastime" operated during the war and the post-war changes that occurred in baseball. 

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.


July 14-28, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The beauty and serenity of Japanese Gardens never cease to amaze and delight! What draws us to these wonders? Are they representations of nature recreated or are they intended to manipulate our view of nature in natural and unnatural or altered ways? In this course, we'll look beyond the exquisite beauty of Japanese gardens and learn to identify and more deeply appreciate the common elements that comprise a Japanese garden while exploring their various styles. Dianne will once again wow you with visuals, videos, culture, history, and insights through this tour of prominent and lesser-known Japanese gardens in Japan as well as in our own backyard. 

Instructor Bio: Dianne Daugherty holds master's degrees in education and contemporary East Asian studies. She lived and worked in Japan for three years, and taught Japanese to high school and college students.


July 14-28, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Botanical gardens were first developed in the 16th century as medicinal gardens, but today they are destination sites for plant lovers around the world. From the oldest botanical garden in England, the Chelsea Physic Garden, to the newly revived Scampston Hall walled garden in North Yorkshire, and from the local Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, Kan., to the Irish National Garden in Belfast, we will explore the history, beauty and meaning of the botanical garden through photography, art and literature. You won't want to miss this armchair tour! 

Instructor Bio: Thomas Fox Averill is professor emeritus at Washburn University where he taught Kansas literature, folklore and film for more than 40 years. He is the author of three story collections and five novels, almost all of them set in Kansas. His most recent novel is "Found Documents from the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr: A Novel".


June 1-15, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Join us as we explore the causes and history of climate change and discuss how the planet has been uninhabitable five times in the ancient past due to climate change. Learn about the evidence available to indicate that climate change is occurring as we look at the various floods, droughts, fires and storms in 2021and compare them historically. In addition, we will spend time considering the current programs and long-term solutions to stop climate change. The class will conclude with a discussion on "With great change comes great opportunity"; in short, new industries will blossom and some companies and industries will disappear.

Instructor Bio: Charles "Chick" Keller is a retired senior executive and retired professor. He worked 15 years at each Sprint, and Black and Veatch in strategic planning and strategic marketing raising to the VP level both times. In 2000 Chick began a career as a professor at the University of Kansas, Master of Engineering Management program where he taught Finance and Strategic Planning.


June 4-18, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)

Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1991 was a decisive military victory to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The United States led a global coalition of35 nations to expel the Iraqi army, at the time the world's fourth largest, from the occupation of Kuwait in August 1990 to liberation in February 1991.The United States deployed almost 700,000 troops to Saudi Arabia, including Europe based 1st Armored Division. To commemorate Desert Storm's 30thanniversary, this course looks at the campaign through the personal experiences of an Abrams tank company in 1st Armored Division. It offers a unique perspective of the experiences of American soldiers in combat while also examining the ramifications of the end of the Cold War era.


Instructor Bio: Mark Gerges is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Department of Military History at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. Before becoming a civilian faculty member, he served twenty years as an armor officer in the United States, Germany, and the Balkans. He commanded an M1A1 Abrams tank company during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.


June 3-17, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Who was Mary of Magdala and what happened to her after her last appearance in the Gospel of John in the Christian New Testament? In this course, we will use scholarship and critical analysis to dispel the myths and misinterpretations of Mary Magdalene and examine her role in the Christian New Testament gospels. We will then explore the non-canonical The Gospel of Mary of Magdala to gain further insight into the woman often called "the apostle to the Apostles." 

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.


June 25, 2021 to July 9, 2021, 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.


April 17, 2021 to August 13, 2021
Gnosticism is a type of spirituality that describes visions of spiritual dimensions beyond our earthly existence. The Greek word "gnosis" translates roughly as "knowledge," "awareness," and "science." It generally refers to personal, experiential knowledge rather than intellectual knowledge from reasoning or accumulation of information. The forms of spirituality referred to as "Gnostic" involve purported knowledge of spiritual dimensions, angels, creation, the nature of humanity and other religious themes based on personal visions or encounters with divine beings. This course will explore examples of Gnostic literature, including early Christian Gnosticism, The Tibetan Book of the Dead and th3 writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. 

Instructor Bio: James Gaither, Th.D., holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Kansas and Th.D. 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."


June 4-18, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Join us for a continuation of the Forgotten Jayhawks series, which explores women and men whose impact as Jayhawk athletes and coaches have been somewhat forgotten. Week one will highlight two basketball coaches, Ted Owens and Roy Williams. We will then move on to a discussion around two stellar African American legends, Gale Sayers and Jo Jo White. Week three will focus on two young women, track and field athlete Andrea Guebelle and volleyball All-American Cassie Wait. Each week's presentations will include not only their accomplishments on the fields of friendly strife, but also the impact these icons had on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the KU. 

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.


June 22, 2021 to July 6, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This course examines the changes in White House speechwriting, from the earliest ghostwriters in George Washington's administration to contemporary presidential speechwriters. We will examine speechwriting drafts from Truman, Kennedy, Carter, and George H. W. Bush as well as speech files from Lady Bird Johnson and Barbara Bush. Video and audio clips from former White House speechwriters describing the process will be included. We'll view speechwriters' drafts and the final products in both written and video formats. This course is only available to Brandon Woods residents. 

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.


June 3-17, 2021, Brandon Woods Smith Center (Lawrence, KS)
In Great Opera Scenes, Part I, Osher instructor Don Dagenais brought us video excerpts from great operas, consisting of iconic love scenes, choruses and comic scenes. In this sequel, he will feature three more classes of great opera scenes: tenor arias, opera ensembles and soprano arias. Among the tenor arias, we will enjoy excerpts from such classics as Verdi's Rigoletto, Puccini's Tosca, Gounod's Faust and Bizet's Carmen. For the ensembles (trios, quartets, quintets, etc.), we will feature excerpts from Puccini's La boheme, Verdi's Rigoletto and A Masked Ball, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and Wagner's Die Meistersinger, among others. Among the great soprano arias, we will hear excerpts from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Puccini's Tosca, Gounod's Romeo and Juliet, Wagner's Tannhauser, Rossini's The Barber of Seville and others. It is not necessary for you to have attended Part I in order to enjoy this class. 

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 fro


July 13-27, 2021, 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.


July 16-30, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This course commences by explaining how the institution of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade connected Africa to the United States. It also offers glimpses into how the breakout of the Second World War, the Cold War, the African people's push for self-governance and independence, and the process of globalization and democratization that have shaped and defined United States and Africa political relations. These developments cultivate an appreciation and understanding of the role of the United States in the African world. Join us as we delve into this topic.

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.


June 25, 2021 to July 9, 2021, 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.


June 23, 2021 to July 7, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
117 writers have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but only 16 have been women. Setting aside this lack of inclusion, these female writers stand out for their artistry, their contribution to their country's cultures and the universality of the themes they convey with their work. This course will offer a look at the lives and accomplishments of all these women-from Sweden's Selma Lagerlöf in 1909 to the most recent recipient, U.S. poet Louise Gluck in 2020-and most closely at the laureates who wrote in English-Pearl S. Buck, Toni Morrison, Louise Gluck, Nadine Gordimer, Alice Munro and Doris Lessing. Some short out-of-class reading assignments will enhance the study of some of these masters' art if participants decide to delve into the reading. 

Instructor Bio: Robert Weibezahl is a writer, editor, cultural critic and publishing industry veteran who has worked with Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and countless bestselling authors. He has published a number of works of fiction and nonfiction, is an award-winning, internationally produced playwright and writes a monthly literary column for BookPage. Weibezahl has a master's in humanities, a bachelor's in English, and an associate degree in music. He has taught at Osher programs in California, Utah and Hawaii.


July 14-28, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This past year has brought out various types of behavior in everyone, and lawyers are no different. It has been a challenging time for our society, but even during troubled times, lawyers are subject to a detailed code of professional conduct enforced by the courts. These rules cover both behavior in court and out of court. In this course, we will explore the Rules of Professional Conduct that regulate lawyer behavior and discuss how these rules work in practice and what impact they have on clients.

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.


June 22, 2021 to July 6, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Be invigorated by the engaging Caroline Cocciardi as she reveals new and little-known aspects of artist Leonardo da Vinci's life, work, and his passion for interlocking knots. Enter Luca Pacioli, the famous Renaissance mathematician, who becomes Leonardo's apprentice and plays a major role in his art masterpieces from "The Last Supper" to the "Mona Lisa." Then there is Isabella d'Este, patron of the arts and hostess to Leonardo and Luca when, in 1499, fleeing the perils of war, their Covid-19 moment, the men took refuge in her castle. Their sojourn creates a sketch of Isabella with a promise to be followed by a 'color portrait' of the Marchesa. Discover the intrigue of the relationships of the apprentice, the master and the Renaissance woman and her unfinished, unpainted portrait that will intertwine their lives forever. 

Instructor Bio: Caroline Cocciardi writer and filmmaker began an independent study on Leonardo da Vinci, while living in Rome. Her 20-year research lead to a da Vinci discovery.


July 16-30, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
What are some of the historic landmarks of Kansas and why are they important to us today? In this course, we will begin by learning about the federal and state historic preservation laws, discover historic structures both before and after statehood in 1861, and survey some of those buildings and structures that are now historic landmarks. The goal of the class is to learn what stories our ancestors tell us through the built environment and how we pass that knowledge on to future generations of Kansans. 

Instructor: Paul Post is a native Kansan, currently residing in Topeka. He received a bachelor's in history from Kansas State University in 1971 and a law degree from the University of Kansas Law School in 1974. Now retired from the practice of law, he has been a member of the Topeka Landmarks Commission since 2014 and was commission vice chair in 2018.


July 15-29, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
In the golden age of science fiction, stories of Mars captured the imagination, although the famous "canals" were shown to be illusory and the factual planet was considered to be a dry, inhospitable world. However, fly-by missions, satellites, and landers have discovered a complex history of ancient seas and rivers, with a tantaliz-ing prospect of life. In this class, we will begin with a session that reviews classic books with Martian themes that are still read today or seen in movie adaptations. In the last two sessions, we will follow the history of the missions to Mars and their discoveries that continue to make headlines.

Instructor Bio: Like many other geologists, John Doveton has enjoyed the virtual fieldtrips provided by the Martian rovers as they have explored a multitude of rock formations. The rover imagery and chemical analyses reveal an astound-ing planetary history that no one expected.


June 1-15, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The Beatles were more than just another rock band. They were a cultural tsunami that forever changed fashion, manners, humor, media, values and style, while influencing musical genres and future musicians long after the group's demise. Their 213 songs, 28 albums and five films over seven years as a group were a mere prelude to their cultural impact that continues to this day. In addition to reviewing their origin story and "Beatlemania," we will try to understand how these four became so fabulous. Participants will be asked to engage in trivia quizzes and discussions of their legacy. 

Instructor Bio: 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.


June 24, 2021 to July 8, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This course offers an introduction to films produced in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The course will examine a series of topics through the lens of each country, including cultural appropriation, religious transformation, identity, gender, education and immigration, war and exile through film screenings, discussions, and supplementary readings. We will explore films from Arabic countries and review short readings. The three films discussed in class and recommended for student viewing outside of class (Saint Sharbel, Marock and Yacubian), will have English subtitles. The links will be sent to participants prior to each session enabling students to watch online free of charge. The instructor will provide short readings for students to help in understanding the background culture of film production. Readings are also an attempt to familiarize learners with some approaches to critically interpret and react to visual media. 

Instructor Bio: Asmaa Ben baba is an Arabic and Islamic studies lecturer for the African and African-American Studies Department. She earned her doctorate in adult and continuing education and master's in urban and community planning from Auburn University and an additional degree in cultural studies and bachelor's in English literature from Mohamed V University in Morocco. Dr. Ben baba's research interests include online learning communities, online distance education learning environments in the foreign language classrooms, and the incorporation of cultural forms (films, literature, space, built environment, music and popular culture) in second language teaching and learning. Further teaching interests include Middle Eastern and North African sub-cultures, gender and diaspora.


July 26, 2021 to August 9, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
In three previous Osher courses, instructor Don Dagenais brought us information about the lives and music of 27 of the great classical music composers, including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Handel and many others. This series will conclude with Part IV, featuring more extraordinary composers: the Czech master Bedrich Smetana, the great opera composers Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, Scandinavian composers Edvard Grieg (Norway) and Jean Sibelius (Sweden), Camille Saint-Saens of France, the English composers Frederic Delius and Ralph Vaughan-Williams and the American maestro Leonard Bernstein. Learn more about these composers and their lives and times, and listen to some of the highlights of their wonderful compositions. It is not necessary for you to have attended the first three classes to enjoy Part IV. 

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.


June 2-16, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
When Reconstruction ended in 1877, the federal troops occupying the "unredeemed" Southern states were withdrawn, unleashing racial violence by white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the White League. This forced as many as 40,000 African American "Exodusters" to flee to Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. But it was Kansas, the land of John Brown and the Free State, which attracted most of the refugees. We will review the events that caused the exodus, the arduous trek to Kansas and its leaders, the communities that were established here and the fate of those communities.

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.


June 24, 2021 to July 8, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The largest military operation of the war, Overlord was the high point of the Greatest Generation's campaign to rid the world of Nazi tyranny. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower led thousands of Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen in an operation that witnessed extraordinary acts of courage, heroism and determination. We will discuss the planning, preparation and personalities of Overlord, highlighting the airborne and amphibious forces whose extraordinary accomplishments made legendary Pointe du Hoc, Ste.- Mère-Église, and Utah and Omaha beaches. 

Instructor Bio: Harry S. Laver, Ph.D., is a professor of military history at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth. In addition to Operation Overlord, he specializes in the American Civil War, and has led tours to Normandy for more than ten years.


June 4-18, 2021, 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.


April 15, 2021 to August 13, 2021
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.


June 28, 2021 to July 19, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
With the help of an inexpensive app, we can shoot and edit film-quality videos with our smartphones, easily up to the standards of social media, commercial and brand video work, and documentary and narrative film work. Gain the control and capabilities of professional cinematographers and design the look, color, lighting and framing of every single shot in a smartphone film. This course is suitable for aspiring filmmakers, entrepreneurs, video storytellers, social media content creators and content producers. Note: Students will be required to purchase and install the Filmic Pro app on their phones. You can purchase it directly through your mobile device or on your home computer, through either the Google Play Store (Android) or through the App Store (iPhone). 

Instructor: Stephen Knifton is an Emmy-award winning TV news producer, credited for creating and producing engaging and highly rated news programming. Steve moved onto the digital content world and created work for museums, engineers, architects, designers, hospitality + tourism and business development clients. For the past few years, Steve has (remotely) taught video storytelling and smartphone filmmaking at a number of colleges. Steve lived and worked in both New York and Toronto and teaches in both Canada and the U.S.


June 24, 2021 to July 8, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Tales of the Chessboard As portrayed in the recent Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit," the drama of the game of chess is not necessarily confined to the sixty-four squares. Join us for stories of famous and not-so-famous players and matches that have helped make chess the most iconic of all board games. There is no need to be a chess player to appreciate these tales of conquest, salvation and madness that are intertwined with the "game of kings." Come join the fun as we explore this exciting game. 

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.


June 25, 2021 to July 9, 2021, 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. This course is only available to Brandon Woods residents.

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.


July 14-28, 2021, Brandon Woods Smith Center (Lawrence, KS)
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. This course will be held in-person at Brewster Place and the public is allowed to attend. 

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


July 13-27, 2021, Brewster Place Cultural Arts Center (Topeka, KS)
We all have stories to tell, from tiny anecdotes to major turning points in our lives. Professional storyteller Priscilla Howe guides participants in mining life experiences for the tellable tale, shaping and crafting reminiscences, listening for underlying themes, and telling the stories face-to-face and heart-to-heart. While the emphasis is on oral storytelling, this class will also be helpful for writers. 

Instructor Bio: Since 1993, storyteller Priscilla Howe has traveled the world telling family stories, folktales and literary stories to listeners of all ages. She performs on Zoom and, when it isn't a pandemic, in schools, libraries, festivals, house concerts and literally her own backyard.


June 22, 2021 to July 6, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The world in the decade that followed the end of World War I was a much different place than before. Empires that existed in 1914 were swept away as the Europe witnessed the creation of new states. This three-session course examines the world in the ten years following the catastrophe of the First World War. The first class focuses on the United States during the "Roaring Twenties," a time of middle-class prosperity, prohibition, technological advances in science and industry and societal upheaval. The second class examines Europe in the aftermath of war, with civil war in Russia, the rise of fascism in Italy, the challenges of disarmament and the birth pangs of newly created central European states. The final class looks at Asia, the rise of Japan, India's struggle for independence, unrest in China and the quest for self-determination among European-dominated Asian states. 

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.


June 1-15, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Most of us grew up believing that when Europeans landed on the east coast of the United States, they were met by "savages," people who lived in the forest and were therefore less developed. In reality, the native cultures were more highly sophisticated than many even realize today. This class will review our shared history from the native point of view. We will consider the diverse reasons Europeans first came to America, how vastly different the Native American and European cultures were and why and how relationships that began peacefully evolved into violence in Jamestown, Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Northwest Territory.

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.


July 16-30, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Kansas was at the heart of the Populist Movement in the late 1800s, creating America's most successful 3rd Party Movement. Three classes will include the years leading up to the party's creation, including homesteaders, freed slaves, extreme hardships, debt and early farmers' organizations; the creation and success of the Populist Movement before the formation of a political party, the roles of other social movements like suffragettes and prohibitionists, the emergence of a middle class, the power of the wealthy in the Gilded Age, the role of the press, the integration of immigrant farmers, workers' strikes and efforts to unite rural and urban workers, the violence of the times with Pinkerton detectives, strikes and hired armies; and through all of these events we will see the rise and decline of the People's Party, including the key roles Kansas and Texas played in merging North and South in the same political party, at least for a time, using fusion and working toward their goals of regulating railroads, creating the sub-treasury plan, and prioritizing bimetallism (Free Silver). Join us as we discover this fascinating time in history and recognize how the People's Party influenced the two old parties in ways that remain even today. 

Instructor BioInstructor Bio: Lynda Beck Fenwick lives a life fueled by curiosity, as a teacher, attorney, and author, personally and professionally. In no way is that more apparent than in the three books she has published (Baylor University Press, Dutton and the University Press of Kansas), for one of which she was named nonfiction Georgia Author of the Year. Born and raised in Kansas, her career has taken her to New England, New York City and the South, and in retirement, Lyn and her husband restored her fourth-generation family home in Kansas. Her new book is titled Prairie Bachelor, the Story of a Kansas Homesteader and the Populist Movement.


July 26, 2021 to August 9, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This visually-driven class explores photography from early glass plate to digital capture. We will view photographs from Library of Congress collections, archives of the Lawrence Journal-World and the instructor's 30-year photography career. With each photograph, we will take a behind-the-lens viewpoint, attempting to understand each photographer's creative process in documenting their subject. Along the way, we will meet image makers focusing on diverse content, from steam trains to snowflakes and we will address the questions, "What makes an interesting photograph?" and "How can we capture better photographs?" Participants will also be invited to submit their own favorite photographs for instructor review. 

Instructor Bio: Mike Yoder, formerly with the Lawrence Journal-World, has 25 years of experience in film and digital documentary


July 26, 2021 to August 9, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The Great Train Robbery was a silent movie that appeared in theaters in 1903 and represents the first example of the western film. In the century since, the western genre has endured on the big screen. Indeed, from the 1930s to the 1960s, the western movie dominated at the box office. In the 1950s, this trend was emulated on the emerging medium of television in which most programs were westerns. During this class, author and historian Darren L. Ivey will examine the trends and themes of the western film and discuss its impact on American culture. 

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.


June 7-21, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
This multimedia course details the impact injury and illness have had on the American presidency and, ultimately, United States and world history. Over the 232 years of the American Presidency there have been extraordinary advances in both diagnostic and treatment options for medical illnesses and injuries. Both the treatment at the time of presidential illness and speculation on outcomes with the advantage 21st century medical care will be discussed. We will also examine the changing American press and effects on disclosure of illness. Hidden illnesses in the White house are detailed, including clandestine surgery performed on a president on a yacht at sea, and illness and circumstance leading to the first "functional" woman president and re-election of a dying president. The fascinating medical history of Andrew Jackson and medical truths regarding John F. Kennedy are explored. Other topics covered include the medical aspects of presidential assassinations, controversies regarding the medical care and competency of the White House physicians, Dwight D. Eisenhower's heart attack, the health issues of 2020 presidential candidates, and health demographics which may affect the future of the American presidential elections. The course is designed to be historical, informative, entertaining, at times humorous, and ultimately inspirational and patriotic.

Instructor Bio: Dr. Jay Murphy is a recently retired cardiologist who practiced in Johnson County, Kansas for forty years. After being raised in Ohio and graduating from Denison University and The Ohio State College of Medicine, he completed post graduate training at the University of Kansas in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Over his career he has been board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Echocardiography and Lipidology. He has spoken widely on preventive cardiology and the above topic and is the author of What Ails the White House, An Introduction to the Medical History of the American Presidency.


July 15-29, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The Second Great Awakening (1802-1850) birthed both the modern revival under Finney and several new religions. The old interpretation saw the period as a birthing of democracy, but modern scholars see a much more nuanced interpretation. From this era came the expansion of Methodism and other denominations, and new religions such as the Restorationist Movement, the Brownists and millenarianism, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. These events shaped U.S. religion for the next 150 years and still shape it today. Join us as we explore these various traditions. 

Instructor Bio: James Showalter did seven years of historic preservation and 31 years of teaching History on the university level, including 30 years teaching American History at Langston University in Oklahoma. In addition to his university teaching, he has taught in the Oklahoma State University Osher course system for about nine years, covering a wide range of subjects. One of several areas of expertise he has developed is the History of Religion worldwide, and particularly the history of religion in the area that is now the United States. He now lives outside Strong City, Kansas, on the beautiful Flint Hills.


June 22, 2021 to July 6, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The war in Vietnam was the subject of several memorable books and movies showing various perspectives about the war. Some stories were told while the war was going on, and others were done years after the last troops left Saigon. How well did they reflect that time? We will be discussing works about the conduct of the war, the soldiers who fought in it and how the war affected the nation. The books we may discuss include A Bright Shining Lie, Dispatches, The Things They Carried and A Rift in the Earth. Movies may include Go Tell the Spartans, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, The Deer Hunter and Coming Home. Join us to learn more about this important time in history.

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.


June 28, 2021 to July 19, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The collaboration of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II resulted in the creation of the modern American musical play, where a serious story was told through dialogue, music and dance. Building upon their decades of writing Broadway musicals with other partners, Rodgers and Hammerstein became the most important creative team in the history of the American musical theater. This course will include detailed commentary on several of their most important shows. 

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).


June 2-16, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Traders and Trading on the Santa Fe TrailWho was trading? What and where did it come from? From simple trade deals to sophisticated merchant houses, the Santa Fe Trail was truly global with trade goods coming from European markets on both ends. Traders bought goods in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Goods came into St. Louis from those eastern cities and from ports at New Orleans. Spanish goods came into Mexico and up the Camino Royale into the province of New Mexico. Those traders have left their names on towns and landmarks throughout the west.

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.


June 7-21, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
In this course, we will explore some of the best quaint locations throughout western Europe. Discover the ways to travel from someone who has done everything from backpacking alone to attending group tours by bus, train or river boat. Favorite countries will include Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Norway and England. Many learning experiences from over 26 trips to Europe will be shared with the class. Find out the "do's" and "don'ts" of travels that will make your trips more rewarding.

Instructor Bio: Georgia Klein is a retired secondary educator from the Shawnee Mission School District. She has been to Europe 26 times and has presented workshops on travel to other continents. She has also been a guide for Road Scholars on a walking tour of the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO.


June 23, 2021 to July 7, 2021, 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".


July 13-27, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Larger than the U.S. (with one-tenth the population), and a major destination for tourists from the south, Canada is our closest friend and ally. For many Americans, however, it's also a land of mystery and confusion. How much do you really know about the history, geography and culture of our giant neighbor? French is an official language, the system of government is British, and the first settlers were Vikings. It's an independent country, but loyal to the "Crown" (and Harry and Meghan's new home!). This course is your "far and wide" introduction to Canada, and an invitation to explore "the True North strong and free." 

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.


June 28, 2021 to July 19, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Why were Wyeth and Rockwell's artwork beloved by the public, yet given a back number by art critics, whereas Jackson Pollock was shunned by the masses yet exulted by art critics as one of America's greatest masters of abstract expressionist art. This course will examine the major works and lives of these artists to try to answer the disparity in their importance to the art world and the general public. 

Instructor Bio: Dan Kirchhefer is an artist and professor emeritus who taught drawing, printmaking and the history of American Art at Emporia State University.


June 2-16, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
The U.S. inaugurated its first woman vice president but still has not joined 70 other countries that have had women presidents or prime ministers. Since the 19th amendment in 1920, women have made progress on the political stage, but they often experience subtle or overt sexism. Going back to 1872, this course looks at women who ran for office and the challenges they faced from opponents and the media. Videos, political cartoons and newspaper headlines show that much has changed but many things have stayed the same over 100 years. 

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.


June 7-21, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Many individuals contribute to history but never get their due. Women and other marginalized groups traditionally received less ink in history books than the "great men" of history who were mainly white males. This course looks at nine women, three each session, whose achievements are not commonly known. Among the nine women are a scientist, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a pioneering woman pilot, a suffragist, a candidate for the U.S. presidency, an activist for women's and African American's rights, a British anthropologist and a pioneering woman politician from the western U.S. 

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


July 13-27, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)