Courses & Events

This course examines the changes in White Housespeechwriting, from the earliest ghostwriters in George Washington's administration to contemporary presidentialspeechwriters. We will examine speechwriting drafts fromTruman, Kennedy, Carter, and George H.W. Bush as well as speech files from Lady Bird Johnson and Barbara Bush. Video and audio clips fromformer White House speechwriters describing the process will be included. We'llview speechwriters' drafts and the final products in both written and videoformats.



This course contains no sessions
"Sometimes the road back home takes the journey of a lifetime?" So begins the poignant, heart- warming story of an 88-year-old widow, Dorothy Thorp, who takes a road trip from Wamego, Kansas, back to her hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana, to visit her oldest and dearest childhood friend. This locally produced film raises questions about aging, independence, assistance and family relationships. Following a screening of "The Tree," a panel will lead a discussion and answer your questions about the issues raised in the film or other issues of interest. We'll finish the evening with an informal reception.

Monday, April 29 - 6:30 p.m.

OsherInstitute

1515 St. Andrews Dr.

Lawrence

 $20 fee includesscreening of "The Tree," paneldiscussion and reception.

 Refundsmust be requested by April 22, minus a $15 administrative fee.




This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

We'll mosey out to the Flint Hills to theHoy family's Flying W Ranch. What could be better on a spring morning than aleisurely horse- drawn wagon ride across the Flint Hills? During the ride,we'll learn about the area's history and its inhabitants. A mouth-wateringchuck wagon lunch will await us following the ride and cowboy historian Jim Hoywill sing cowboy tunes and share cowboy culture. This may be your highlight ofthe spring.

Friday, May 3

7 a.m.- Coach departs KU Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, and returns by 5:30 p.m.

8 a.m. - Coachdeparts Osher Institute, 1515 St.Andrews Dr., Lawrence, and returns by 8:30 p.m.

9 a.m -Coach departs the parking lot at I-70 and K-177 (near Manhattan)and returns by 3:00 p.m.

$125fee includes charter coach transportation, ranch tour, entertainment and lunch

Refund must be requested by April 25,minus a $15 administrativefee.



This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Who and where are America's indigenous descendants now, and how are they faring? Topics will cover Kansas Tribes, including the Wyandot Nation; the 2012 Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Pottawatomie Prairie Band Nation and the historic Cobell v. Salazar case, alleging the U.S. government's mishandling of Indian trust funds (filed in 1996 and settled for $3.4 billion in 2009); and the Doctrine of Discovery (will it ever  be repudiated?).And, finally, with visits by Native American tribe members, we will discuss current tribal issues and also learn about the Native Americans recently elected to government positions.



This course contains no sessions
The three most noted artists of American Regionalism will be the focus of this class: Thomas Hart Benton from Missouri, John Steuart Curry from Kansas, and Grant Wood from Iowa. How did these artists, with their anti-modernist tendencies, take on European abstract art and form a significant, if not major, American art movement? We'll examine their major works and the influences of their home states and region, an area that most in the class call home.


This course contains no sessions

In this course,we willexamine the creation and growth of artificial intelligence. Emerging AItechnologies are designed to save timeand energy, make jobs simpler, and allow employees to work moreefficiently and productively. We will examinehow computer systems are coded tomirror capabilities of the human brain and howAI has and will impact healthcare, industrial automation, and engineering, design and construction. We will also investigate how AI willimpact and advance the capabilities of global military autonomous weapons.Economists and scientists alike believe this will result in a fourth industrialrevolution within the next decade.



This course contains no sessions

Photojournalism - the integration of pictures and textto tell a story - developed during the 20th century, due to advancingtechnology and a growing awareness of the impact of the visual. A "golden age" oficonic images and celebrated photographers began in the 1930s, with the adventof Life magazine, National Geographic and photo- orientednewspapers. This course looks at the history - and the future - ofphotojournalism, touching on equipment but emphasizing pictures and stories,including the work of Kansans Jim Richardson, Gordon Parks, Brian Lanker andothers.



This course contains no sessions

Around the world, highly skilled dog teams keep ussafe, detecting explosives and contraband. But how did humans and canines teamup in the first place? That is a fascinating, heartbreaking and largely unknownstory dating back to the Civil War when dogs tagged along as battle mascots.  Soon they showed their usefulness in anamazing number of tasks taught to them by the humans with whom they bonded. Themilitary was slow to appreciate the value of K-9 teams, but over time the dogs'devoted handlers won respect and important rights for their four- footedcomrades.



This course contains no sessions
No other English poet - including Shakespeare - had a better understanding of the strengths and the foibles of human nature than Geoffrey Chaucer. And there is no better place to experience the idiosyncrasies and contradictions of human behavior than by joining the diverse elements of humanity that met in the Tabard Inn back in the latter 14th century. With an eye on the 21st century, we look back at tales of those travelers on their way from the London suburb of Southwark to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.


This course contains no sessions

This course reviews how the legal system treatspersons with disabilities in the areas of non- discrimination, the criminallaw, and life-and-death decisions. Week one reviews the history ofdiscrimination against persons with disabilities and the federal laws prohibiting discrimination on thebasis of disability. Week twoexamines issues a person with a disability faces if he or she is accused of acrime, such as competency to standtrial and the insanity defense. Week three looks at the sterilization ofpersons with mental disabilities and end-of-life decisions for disabledpersons.



This course contains no sessions

This course will exploreevents leading to WWI and how westernsociety, so full of progress andoptimism, became embroiled in the most horrific conflict in history. We will discusspre-war tensions and diplomatic maneuvering, howthe nations of Europe were drawn in, the failure of rival plans forquick victory, the resultingstalemate and the evolution ofextensive trench systems. We'll identifythe main personalities and battles, which determined the outcome along with thefactors that led to the Allied victory, includingU.S. involvement. We'll examine the individual soldier and the"psychology of war," the misery oflife in the trenches and how soldiers adapted.

 



This course contains no sessions
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.




This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Join us for a nostalgic tour that includes John Wayne's birthplace, the Walter Cronkite Memorial in Missouri and the iconic covered bridges of Madison County in Iowa.

Departing the Osher Institute, we'll pickup travelers at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, arriving in St. Joseph, Missouri, Walter Cronkite's hometown and site of a national memorial to "the most trusted man in America." Then we'll make our way to Des Moines, check into our hotel and enjoy an early get-acquainted reception. Then it's off to Des Moines' historic East Village - a popular venue of shops, galleries, entertainment and restaurants. It's a perfect spring evening to sightsee,shop and have dinner on your own.

On Friday, we'll be greeted with coffee and apple fritters before our guided tour of the famed Covered Bridges of Madison County with time to explore several sites. Then it's lunch on the square at the historic Northside Café - featured in the "Bridges" movie. Finally we'll visit the birthplace and museum of Marion Robert Morrison. You know him as John Wayne.

Thursday-Friday, May 9-10

7:30 a.m. - Coach departs Osher Institute, 1515 St.Andrews Dr. on Thursday and returns on Friday at approximately 6 p.m.

8:30 a.m. - Coach departs KU Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, on Thursday and returns on Friday at approximately 5 p.m.

$325 fee per person - double occupancy

$385 fee per person - single occupancy

Fee includes coach transportation, lodging, breakfast, admission fees and lunches on Thursday and Friday.

Refund must be requested by May 2, minus a $15 administrative fee.



This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

At the end of the 19th century, artists began to challenge the belief that art must realistically depict the world. We'll explore the streams of intellectual thought, the innovations in science and technology, and the cultures that gave birth to the three great modern art movements: Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, and we'll see how the artists themselves were shaped by the eras in which they worked. Skeptics and enthusiasts alike will finally be able to "make sense of Modern Art."



This course contains no sessions

Napoleon Bonaparteremains a controversial figure. To some,he is the heir of the French Revolution, protecting and then spreading the ideals of the revolutionacross Europe - but on the bayonets of the Grande Armée. To others, he is the devil incarnate; adespotic 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 thereforms that protected the key elements of the French Revolution while limiting its excesses. We'll also examine whyNapoleon, defeated and exiled,is considered one of the great commanders of all time.



This course contains no sessions

Although federal highway construction started in 1916,the U.S. became a car-oriented nationafter World War II. Some of us recall tourist travel on Route 66 or the Lincoln Highway when they were two-lane roads,eating homemade sandwiches or foodfrom roadside diners, spending the night at modest tourist courts while on theway to the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, or lesser known travel destinations.Then came the Interstate Highways, Howard Johnsonsand Holiday Inn. We will recallthe years when gas was cheap and cars were large through film clips, historical accounts, travel music and ourown memories.

 



This course contains no sessions

Long before Kansas womenobtained the unfettered right to votein 1912 (a full eightyears before the 19th Amendment established that right nationally), they foundother ways to affect policy in publicspheres dominated by men. The same indomitable spirit that enabled pioneer women to withstand the rigors of frontierlife infused their efforts to shapethe society in which they lived. Sara Robinson, Julia Lovejoy, Clarina Nichols, Carry Nation, Annie Diggs, Mary Lease, and Lilla Day Monroe, among others, took on such struggles as those toabolish slavery, repel demon rum,improve the lot of farmers and secure more rights for women.



This course contains no sessions


Join KU Libraries as they celebrate the golden anniversary of Kenneth SpencerResearch Library. A tour of thelibrary will include an in-depth look at the updated North Gallery,the renovated conservation lab and University Archives, as well as a thoroughlook at the current exhibition titled "Meet the Spencers: A Marriage of Artsand Sciences." Additionally, a selectionof collection items will be pulled, providingattendees a hands-on experience with some original materials. Knowledgeable librarians will be available to provide insider details during this behind-the-scenes visit.

Friday, April 26

9 a.m. - Coach departs Osher Institute, 1515 St. Andrews Dr., Lawrence

9:30 a.m. - Behind-the scenes tour of the Spencer Research Library

Noon - Lunch at the Kansas Memorial Union

1 p.m. - Coach departs for the Osher Institute

 $40 fee includes bus transportation, library tour and lunch.

 Refund must be requested by Apr. 19, minus a $15 administrative fee.




This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Slip into someone else'svoice, take a walk in theirshoes, deepen the conflict, complicate the joy and explore the most lifelike of the arts. In this studioclass, students engage in the time- honored practice of examining character,action and consequence by recreating them for the stage. In-class activitiesand prompts get juices flowing for new and "used" playwrights alike,encouraging them to turn memories, experiences and curiosities into dramaticaction and compelling characters. Outside writing is not required butencouraged. Willing students will have their work read aloud, brought to life,and discussed by the class. It's always fun.



This course contains no sessions

Few places in the world have experienced as muchhistorical drama as the world's longest river. For more than 4,500, years theNile has witnessed sweeping events of discovery, conflict and engineering. It'sbeen the stage for larger-than-life characters, remarkable edifices andfar-reaching ideas. Join us for a sampling of stories that illustrate thegeography, cultures and history of that primeval waterway, the Nile River.

 



This course contains no sessions
We will examine the early battles in the neutral Border States and the war along the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. We'll consider the tactical and strategic advance of Ulysses Grant and William T. Sherman during the first two years of the war. The second session will survey the war along the Mississippi River in 1863 and the capture of Vicksburg, which split the Confederacy and denied the South important Texas resources. The final class will focus on the battles of Chickamauga, Chattanooga and Atlanta and Sherman's march through Georgia. We'll also look at the home front and the war's effect on the civilian populations.


This course contains no sessions

George W. Bushand Donald Trump won recentpresidential elections despite getting fewer popular votes than their opponents. They owed theirvictories to the role of the Electoral College, a unique institution mandated bythe American Constitution. Why wasthe Electoral College included in the Constitution? How did it work initially? How does it work now? What prompted the changes in itsfunctioning over the course ofAmerican history? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Can it be eliminated or reformed? What are the leading proposals to changethe method by which we select our presidents? This course will address these questions.



This course contains no sessions

Of all of theItalian painters of the 17th century,Caravaggio speaks most clearly and powerfully to our times. Helived hard and died young. Much the same can be said ofthe dramatic work of Rembrandt,which mirrors life during the ProtestantReformation of Northern Europe. Thisclass will explore the intrigue and excitement of 17th century Italy and the Netherlands as we delve deeplyinto the lives of two of theworld's most memorable artistsduring the Reformation.



This course contains no sessions

British India was the "Jewel in the Crown" of itsEmpire, starting as a small trading settlement of the East India Company thatculminated in the Raj, when the British took control of the entire subcontinent. We will follow thehistory of trade, The Great Game,the Sepoy Mutiny, and other adventures and misadventures. The colorful events havealso been captured in the fiction ofKipling and others, which explore thecomplex relationships between the Britishand their Indian subjects. The bond continues today in the English love of tea and Indian food.

JohnDoveton was born and raised in England,but his ancestors were employed by the East India Company, and participated inthe history of British India until its Independence.He has visited India twice and seen placesassociated with his family, including those that bear the name, "Doveton."

 



This course contains no sessions

Before the increasing newscoverage, any mention of Uyghurs was mostly met with a puzzled look. Who are they ... andhow is that pronounced? As news venues have highlighted the plight ofthis Turkic ethnic group in far western China, awareness isgrowing, but still many questionsremain. In this course, we will explorethe history and culture of Uyghurs living in a region that has a contestedpast. The goal of this course is to promoteunderstanding of the complex historical, cultural, political andeconomic reasons behind the currenthuman rights atrocities against Uyghurs and otherTurkic populations in Xinjiang.



This course contains no sessions

This course will focuson the history, types and relativepotency of opiates and the causes, victims and treatments of America's opioid epidemic. You willsee the emergency lifesaving treatment for opioid overdose victims. We will examine the pharmaceutical industry'sdirect-to-consumer advertising programs, prescription drug pricing, pharma payments to doctors, and its effects onour health care costs. We will discuss the ever-changing world of medical marijuana,research activities on cannabis and kratom, and the relatively new potentialfor industrial hemp in Kansas.



This course contains no sessions