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Johnson County

Courses & Events

In this course we will explore the music and lives of some ofthe great composers of classicalmusic. We will track their careers from their early work, through influences that impacted their musical styles, tothe late work that culminated theircareers. Each class will explore one or two composers in detail,with many musical examples. Composers will range from Johann Sebastian Bach toPhilip Glass and several in between.

This course contains no sessions
Perhaps no artist holds a more curious place in the story of American art than John James Audubon. Many consider Birds of America one of the greatest books by an artist. Who was Audubon and what led him to create this work? We will study Audubon's life and working methods in capturing 450 images of North American birds. In class, we'll examine several prints, including two originals, and learn more about the naturalist, ornithologist, woodsman, storyteller, and artist who was John James Audubon. So, is Audubon worthy of the society that bears his name?

June 4-18, 2019, Regnier Hall 163
"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.

Osher Institute

1515 St. Andrews Dr.


 $20 fee includes screening of "The Tree," panel discussion and reception.

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

Monday, April 29, 2019, St Andrews Classroom

We'll mosey out to the Flint Hills to the Hoy family's Flying W Ranch. What could be better on a spring morning than a leisurely horse- drawn wagon ride across the Flint Hills? During the ride,we'll learn about the area's history and its inhabitants. A mouth-watering chuck wagon lunch will await us following the ride and cowboy historian Jim Hoy will sing cowboy tunes and share cowboy culture. This may be your highlight of the 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. - Coach departs 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 Manhattanand returns by 3:00 p.m.

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

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

Due to the popularity of this event, we have added a second trip to the Flying W Ranch. See the link below: Monday, May 6, 2019, Flying W Ranch.

Friday, May 3, 2019, Flying W Ranch
Monday, May 6, 2019, Flying W Ranch
No one has captured contemporary fear and paranoia better than the legendary "Hitch." His films and his personality (not to mention his enormous bulk!) literally loom "larger" than ever before. John C. Tibbetts has extensively researched, published, and taught the life and work of a man whose career began in the 1930s with The Thirty-Nine Steps, and continued through the 1960s and beyond with his television shows and movie masterpieces VertigoPsycho, and The Birds. Films will be screened and discussions will be encouraged.

April 4-18, 2019, Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center
We will examine the famed Kansas aviator who twice attempted to fly around the world. Both attempts failed with the last one creating an international mystery as to what happened to Earhart, how she may have died and the possibility that she may have survived. We will look into her life and discuss the assorted accounts of what may have happened to Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937. We will discuss the $4.5 million search-and-rescue mission over a 250-square-mile area ordered by President Franklin Roosevelt. Lastly, we will look at the many theories surrounding her disappearance and whether she survived.

April 3-17, 2019, Brewster Place
July 1-15, 2019, Roeland Park Community Center

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.

April 11-25, 2019, Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center, Room M118

In this course,we will examine the creation and growth of artificial intelligence. Emerging AI technologies are designed to save time and energy, make jobs simpler, and allow employees to work more efficiently and productively. We will examine how computer systems are coded to mirror capabilities of the human brain and how AI has and will impact healthcare, industrial automation, and engineering, design and construction. We will also investigate how AI will impact and advance the capabilities of global military autonomous weapons.Economists and scientists alike believe this will result in a fourth industrial revolution within the next decade.

March 26, 2019 to April 9, 2019, St Andrews Classroom

Photojournalism - the integration of pictures and text to tell a story - developed during the 20th century, due to advancing technology and a growing awareness of the impact of the visual. A "golden age" of iconic images and celebrated photographers began in the 1930s, with the advent of Life magazine, National Geographic and photo- oriented newspapers. This course looks at the history - and the future - of photojournalism, touching on equipment but emphasizing pictures and stories,including the work of Kansans Jim Richardson, Gordon Parks, Brian Lanker and others.

April 17, 2019 to May 1, 2019, St Andrews Classroom

Around the world, highly skilled dog teams keep us safe, detecting explosives and contraband. But how did humans and canines team up in the first place? That is a fascinating, heartbreaking and largely unknown story dating back to the Civil War when dogs tagged along as battle mascots.  Soon they showed their usefulness in an amazing number of tasks taught to them by the humans with whom they bonded. The military 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- footed comrades.

February 6-20, 2019, St Andrews Classroom

Botanical gardens were first developed inthe 16th century as medicinalgardens, but today they are destination sites for plant lovers around theworld. From the oldest botanicalgarden in England, theChelsea 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 NationalGarden in Belfast, wewill explore the history, beautyand meaning of the botanical garden through photography, art andliterature. You won't want to miss this armchair tour!

June 17, 2019 to July 1, 2019, Brandon Woods Smith Center
Three strands of Scottish culture braid themselves together in a class that celebrates the essentials of Scotland. We'll learn to appreciate the life and poetry of Scotland's greatest poet, Robert Burns. Then we'll examine the kilt (inside and out), and enjoy a demonstration of bagpipe tunes from different pipes. Finally, we'll "taste" Scotland itself with a lesson on single malt whisky regions, flavors and lore.

February 20, 2019 to March 6, 2019, Roeland Park Community Center
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.

March 5-19, 2019, Regnier Hall 153
This course will focus on selected creation stories from around the world. We will explore origin myths from ancient Egypt and Babylonia,and compare them to current stories in the living religions of India and other parts of Asia, and among indigenous peoples of North America. And, of course, we will examine the story of Genesis and its role as the foundation of Judaism and Christianity. Each story will be considered in terms of its view of the world and nature,its understanding of humans and their manifold relations, and its conception of the powerful agent,or force, that gave rise to it all.

This course contains no sessions
This course will focus on selected creation stories from around the world. We will explore origin myths from ancient Egypt and Babylonia, and compare them to current stories in the living religions of India and other parts of Asia, and among indigenous peoples of North America. And, of course, we will examine the story of Genesis and its role as the foundation of Judaism and Christianity. Each story will be considered in terms of its view of the world and nature, its understanding of humans and their manifold relations, and its conception of the powerful agent, or force, that gave rise to it all.

February 12-26, 2019, McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff
This course reviews how the legal system treats persons with disabilities in the areas of non- discrimination, the criminal law, and life-and-death decisions. Week one reviews the history of discrimination against persons with disabilities and the federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. Week two examines issues a person with a disability faces if he or she is accused of a crime, such as competency to stand trial and the insanity defense. Week three looks at the sterilization of persons with mental disabilities and end-of-life decisions for disabled persons

March 21, 2019 to April 4, 2019, Regnier Hall 165
July 11-25, 2019, St Andrews Classroom

This course examines three historical disappearances,one in 17th century, and two in the 19th century: The Roanoke Colony, the Franklin Arctic Expedition and the Mary Celeste. Although the sites where they vanished are widely distant from one another, they have one thing in common: no one knows for sure what happened to the people involved. There are many theories, some reasonable and some quite mad. We will set the stage, analyze the known facts and try to answer the most important question of all from these perplexing mysteries - what really happened?

Please note the dates and location for this course are different that those published in the catalog. The dates are Mondays, April 15, 22 & 29 at the North Kansas City Public Library, 2251 Howell St., North Kansas City, Mo. We apologize for the change and any inconvenience.

April 15-29, 2019, North Kansas City Public Library

Edinburgh is a popular destination remembered fondly for its magnificent skyline and vibrant city life. However, behind the tourist attractions lies a proud history of ideas that have shaped the world we live in, especially from the ferment of the "Scottish Enlightenment." Great ideas oft gang awry,so we'll also review some epic disasters whose anniversaries continue to be observed. Edinburgh was the first city designated a UNESCO "City of Literature," appropriate since its railway station is the only one in the world named after a novel. As Scotland teeters on the brink of independence, its capital forges into the future as a city of excitement and new ideas.

Although John Doveton is a Sassenach, he grew up in Edinburgh where he received a thoroughly Scottish education. He will incorporate his lessons and personal experiences in a commentary on a city where past, present and future coexist vividly in the everyday.

May 2-16, 2019, Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community
Have you ever wanted to play the game of Ba', walk the Ring of Broghdar, sit in a Black House, smell a peat fire, speak Orcadian or sail Scapa Flow? If the answer is yes, come aboard the ferry departing from the Scottish mainland on October 27 for Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides. We will explore the physical, economic and cultural geography of these fantastic islands. After an introduction to the geography of Highland Scotland, we will discuss topics such as archaeology (why Orkney is the "Egypt of the North"), land tenure (clans, crofts and clearances), ecology (the machair) and economies (sheep and oil) of each of the three island groups.

March 14-28, 2019, Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center
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.

February 7-21, 2019, Brandon Woods Smith Center
June 6-20, 2019, Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging
July 11-25, 2019, Westchester Village of Lenexa
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.

February 14-28, 2019, Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community

Have you ever looked at a work of art and wondered how it was made? What materials and techniques were involved in the creation of great works? Where artists got theirpaints, pastels, pencils and inks beforeAmazon? When we know what artistsendure to create a work ourunderstanding and appreciation for the art-and the artist-is enhanced. We'll look at great paintings, drawingsand prints through time, from cave paintings to today's art, and discuss how theywere and are made. Come discover how Vermeer and others obtained, made andpainted with that beautiful ultramarine blue.


June 25, 2019 to July 9, 2019, St Andrews Classroom

What separates a great movie from a terrible one? What elements go together to create an enduring classic? How do you describe your favorite movie to a friend, family member or significant other beyond the words "awesome," "boring" or "alien invasion?"In this class, you'll learn what the people who write about movies for a living think about when they watch a film and how to use that knowledge to deepen your own understanding of your favorite flicks. Together, we'll explore the elements and artistic choices of film making through short films,images and clips from both classics and recent releases.

February 12-26, 2019, Regnier Hall 165
July 9-23, 2019, St Andrews Classroom
Go mobile with your digital photography and explore creative possibilities with your iPhone camera. We will help expand your skill set using your iPhone camera, exploring the basic operations, tools, apps and tricks to help make you smartphone camera-smart. Included will be discussions and demonstrations on how to improve your photography through creative visual devices and techniques. Please bring your iPhones so we can do some hands-on practice in class.

February 14-28, 2019, Washburn University Henderson Learning Center Room 021
March 20, 2019 to April 3, 2019, Senior Resource Center for Douglas County Peaslee Tech
July 9-23, 2019, Regnier Hall 163

The stories associated with supernatural beings and events link people to their origins and provide an explanation about their existence. With influences from Shintoism, Buddhism and Taoism, Japanese folklore is filled with supernatural beings ranging from gruesome and mysterious to humorous and playful. We'll introduce prominent Japanese apparitions, but we will also look beyond the initial spectacle depicted in folktales, historical accounts,statues, prints, writings, and theatrical performances to reveal the origins and effects of such beings on Japanese culture and society.

February 20, 2019 to March 6, 2019, Regnier Hall 163
July 10-24, 2019, St Andrews Classroom

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.

May 9-10, 2019, St Andrews Classroom
Kansas is often thought of as a vast collection of wheat fields and Dorothy references, but there is a deceptively interesting hidden history beneath the surface. The state's past is steeped in fascinating stories and places long forgotten. Dive into a collection of remarkable true stories such as the first woman mayor in the United States, the boy that survived a scalping, Wild West shootouts, ancient camels that once roamed the land, Bonnie & Clyde's misadventures, Denver's founding as a Kansas town and even a very lucky man that hanged his own would-be executioner.

February 20, 2019 to March 6, 2019, Claridge Court
July 16-30, 2019, Roeland Park Community Center
Kansas is often thought of as a vast collection of wheat fields and Dorothy references, but there is a deceptively interesting hidden history beneath the surface. The state's past is steeped in fascinating stories and places long forgotten. Dive into a collection of remarkable true stories such as the first woman mayor in the United States, the boy that survived a scalping, Wild West shootouts, ancient camels that once roamed the land, Bonnie & Clyde's misadventures, Denver's founding as a Kansas town and even a very lucky man that hanged his own would-be executioner

This course contains no sessions
Kansas once led wine production in the U.S. and was home to more than 90 breweries before Prohibition. The Kansas legislature legally abolished the manufacture and sale of alcohol in the state in 1881 and doomed these industries. National Prohibition wouldn't occur for four decades. We'll examine the growth and demise of brewing and winemaking in Kansas. We'll discuss the social, moral, cultural and political forces in Kansas during the early and mid-19th century. Next, we'll learn how Prohibition dashed economic dreams or prompted entrepreneurs to conduct business in Missouri. Finally, we'll discuss the renaissance of local breweries and wineries.

February 25, 2019 to March 11, 2019, St Andrews Classroom
June 6-20, 2019, Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community

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."

Due to the popularity of this course, it will be moved from Regnier Hall Room 153 to the Regnier Auditorium just across the hall.

April 25, 2019 to May 9, 2019, Regnier Auditorium
June 6-20, 2019, St Andrews Classroom

ABBA's timeless songs propel this joyful tale of love, romance andfriendship. Winner of five Tony Awards, Mamma Mia! shares the story ofbride-to-be, Sophie, and her quest to find her long-lost father in time to walkher down the aisle at her island wedding. ABBA classics like "Dancing Queen,""Take a Chance on Me" and the title number of this smash hit musical are sureto have you dancing in the aisles!

Thursday, June 13, 2019, Theatre Lawrence
Like all conflicts, the War of 1812 affected the social and political development of its participants and their people: the U.S., Britain, Canada and the native tribes of North America. This course examines the fascinating lives of some of its better-known participants, including Tecumseh, James and Dolly Madison, and Andrew Jackson. We'll also learn about some lesser-known personalities such as William Apess, a Pequot, who served as a drummer in the U.S. Army; Laura Secord, who warned British officers of an impending attack; Isaac Brock, the tragic British general turned Canadian hero; and Betsy Doyle, the Molly Pitcher of the War of 1812.

April 9-23, 2019, Mission Square

In this course we will explore the music and lives of some of the great composers of classical music. We will track their careers from their early work, through influences that impacted their musical styles, to the late work that culminated their careers. Each class will explore one or two composers in detail, with many musical examples. Composers will range from Johann Sebastian Bach to Philip Glass and several in between.

April 11-25, 2019, Roeland Park Community Center
July 9-23, 2019, McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff

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.

Please note: At the request of the instructor, the course will begin one week later than the date published in the spring catalog. The new dates for the course are Wednesdays, May 8, 15 & 22, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Lenexa City Hall, 17101 W. 87th Parkway, Lenexa. We apologize for any inconvenience.

May 8-22, 2019, Lenexa City Hall at City Center
John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald are notorious for their assassinations, but who were Charles Guiteau and Leon Czolgosz, and why did they murder Presidents Garfield and McKinley? There have been 28 documented assassination attempts on 22 sitting or former presidents or presidents-elect. In Milwaukee, Teddy Roosevelt was shot in the chest, but finished his campaign speech. In Miami, Guiseppe Zangara fired five shots at FDR, but killed Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. And we'll discuss attempts to assassinate Presidents Obama and Trump. We'll uncover them all and closely examine the men...and women...who killed (or tried to kill) the president of the United States.


March 29, 2019 to April 12, 2019, Matt Ross Community Center

America's presidents leadextraordinary lives and make unique contributions to society. But the story doesn't end when theirterms expire. Presidents have liveda combined 450 years after leaving the White House. Many go onto accomplish more than they did while in office. Jimmy Carter eradicatedguinea worm disease, William Howard Taft became ChiefJustice of the United States, and George Washington established one of thelargest alcohol distilleries

in the nation. This course willexamine the lives of our former commanders in chief after public office,including their libraries and monuments, and often overlooked gooddeeds.

June 4-18, 2019, St Andrews Classroom

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.

February 12-26, 2019, St Andrews Classroom
June 5-19, 2019, Brewster Place

Join KU Libraries as they celebrate the golden anniversary of Kenneth Spencer Research Library. A tour of the library will include an in-depth look at the updated North Gallery,the renovated conservation lab and University Archives, as well as a thorough look at the current exhibition titled "Meet the Spencers: A Marriage of Arts and Sciences." Additionally, a selection of collection items will be pulled, providing attendees 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.

Friday, April 26, 2019, Spencer Research Library

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.


February 27, 2019 to March 13, 2019, St Andrews Classroom
June 6-20, 2019, Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse
July 8-22, 2019, NW Missouri State University - Kansas City
July 11-25, 2019, Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community

The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Gameswere mainly a propaganda event for Hitler'sNazi Party.  Butthe Americans-including a group of Kansas farm boys, the inventor of"basketball,"and Jesse Owens- oftenstole the spotlight from the host Germans. We'llreview the struggles of the Kansas Olympians to earn their way to Germany; discuss the internationalpolitics, boycotts and the glittering spectacle that defined the Berlin Games and document the Americans'competitive efforts, including the first Olympic gold medal awarded inbasketball. Finally, we look at the "Hitler Olympics" in retrospect.


July 11-25, 2019, Regnier Hall 163
Do you remember the Cold War? Did you ever worry about Soviet spies? Did you participate in civil defense drills? Did you feel a sense of relief that the federal government built nuclear missile silos throughout the middle of the country? This class will explore the early Cold War period, when Joseph McCarthy's anticommunist crusade captured the attention of the nation, when more than a million Americans watched the skies looking for Russian bombers, and America and the Soviet Union pointed thousands of nuclear missiles at each other.

March 12-26, 2019, North Kansas City Public Library
March 14-28, 2019, Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church

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.

March 5-19, 2019, St Andrews Classroom
March 14-28, 2019, St Andrews Classroom

As the 1916 academic year opened at the University of Kansas, Chancellor Frank Strong struggled against years of inadequate state funding while German aggression was pulling a reluctant United States into the European conflict. KU observed its 50th anniversary this fall, and we will examine its needs, its resources and its outlook. We'll learn how the KU community met its challenges -military training, volunteer services, revamped class schedules, and the Spanish influenza - and the contributions of Strong, Olin Templin, James Naismith and Alberta Corbin, among others, in the months and ensuing years that changed KU forever.

This course contains no sessions

Between 1830 and 1862, the Rev. Thomas Johnson was associated with a school and a mission on the Shawnee Reservation in the area west of Missouri. The school provided both a traditional segment education and a manual labor portion and provided the opportunity for students to embrace Christianity. The story of its origin and expansion from a small day school to a substantial boarding school was due to the work of a group of missionaries, teachers and their students whose impact reached beyond their 2,000 acres. Let's explore this rich history.


March 12-26, 2019, Shawnee Indian Mission

This course will explore the historical development of the U.S.-Mexico border from the perspective of both Mexico and the United States.Together, we will explore how the border evolved and hardened through the creation of the Border Patrol, the Mexican Revolution and the effects of Prohibition. We'll review personal accounts, photographs and songs of"borderlanders," along with government officials providing crucial context to today's current debates. Finally, we will examine how to negotiate the border in the age of nationalism.

Please note that while the dates for this course are correct (March 21, 28 & April 4), the Osher spring catalog incorrectly lists this course as meeting on Tuesdays; it is actually meeting on Thursdays.

March 21, 2019 to April 4, 2019, Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center, Room M118
June 11-25, 2019, Regnier Hall 163
War II changed everything and everyone. Women were allowed to work in factories for the war effort. Rosie the Riveter built airplanes, ships and tanks for the Armed Forces. We will recall saving grease for glycerin for use in ammunitions, ration books to buy gasoline and tires, World saving scrap metal, going without silk and nylons, planting Victory Gardens, joining Bond drives and working around the clock to help America win the war. We will listen to Walter Winchell, Movietone News, and President Roosevelt's talks to make America the Arsenal for Democracy. We'll see how the "Greatest Generation," toughened and hardened during the Great Depression, excelled on the home front as well as in the theaters of war.

February 12-26, 2019, Aberdeen Village
Did Jesus have a wife? Was Judas a hero rather than a villain? What of Jesus' youth? Was he a model child or a spoiled brat? What are we to believe about the life and teachings of Jesus now that hitherto unknown gospels have come to light? Which accounts are to be trusted? Indeed, do any narratives of Jesus' public career contain reliable historical information? These are among the questions to be addressed as the course examines selected early Christian gospels, both within and especially outside the New Testament, to learn something of their literary character, their purpose, and the varied images of Jesus they present.

April 17, 2019 to May 1, 2019, Claridge Court
century ago to become a cinematicand cultural phenomenon.Hundreds of millions of peoplethe world over, young and old,have seen episodes of this motionpicture series, and have becomeeager consumers of its merchandisefrom action figures to lunch boxes.Many fans, however, are unawareof the powerful mythologicalthemes animating the StarWars narrative, especially thosesurveyed in Joseph Campbell'sThe Hero with a Thousand Faces.We'll embark on our own hero'sjourney through Campbell's work,and with the aid of excerpts fromStar Wars, learn how and why thissaga has had such a hold on our imaginations.

June 7-21, 2019, Matt Ross Community Center
Want to understand the common spiritual bonds shared by the three great religions that claim Abraham as their patriarch? Throughout time the adherents of these three faith groups have tended to their souls through the same spiritual disciplines: fixed-hour prayer, sacred day, sacred meal, fasting, giving, pilgrimage, and the observance of sacred seasons. Each faith group believes that through these disciplines they become the persons God called them to be. Class sessions will focus on specific spiritual disciplines and how they are understood and practiced in each faith group.

Please note that this course will be held at North Kansas City Public Library, although our spring catalog listed the site as Maple Woods Community College. We apologize for any inconvenience.  

February 13-27, 2019, North Kansas City Public Library
During the mid-19th century, the Underground Railroad was a critical network of routes and safe houses that provided escaped slaves a pathway from plantations in the South to freedom in the North or Canada. In this course, we will closely examine the important role Northeast Kansas played in the Underground Railroad. We'll meet the heroic men and women who risked their lives to aid those desperate fugitives whose only road to freedom ran through Kansas. We'll also meet those brave refugees, hear their stories, and visit the local routes and safe houses that were critical to their perilous journeys to freedom.

February 11-25, 2019, Village Shalom
February 12-26, 2019, Mission Square
July 11-25, 2019, Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center, Room M118

Before the increasing news coverage, any mention of Uyghurs was mostly met with a puzzled look. Who are they ... and how is that pronounced? As news venues have highlighted the plight of this Turkic ethnic group in far western China, awareness is growing, but still many questions remain. In this course, we will explore the history and culture of Uyghurs living in a region that has a contested past. The goal of this course is to promote understanding of the complex historical, cultural, political and economic reasons behind the current human rights atrocities against Uyghurs and other Turkic populations in Xinjiang.

February 20, 2019 to March 6, 2019, St Andrews Classroom
June 13-27, 2019, Regnier Hall 163

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.

March 18, 2019 to April 1, 2019, Lawrence Presbyterian Manor
June 10-24, 2019, Claridge Court

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

This course contains no sessions
The Holocaust has so many told and untold stories that show us more of what humans are capable of at our worst and our best. This class investigates the stories of multiple victims and survivors, focusing most on what survivors show us-after losing their families, communities, and whole way of life-about making and finding resilience, courage, and meaning. We'll also learn more about Jewish life in Europe before WWII, the incremental evolution of the Holocaust (including ghettos and concentration camps), and-drawing from memoirs, films, and interviews-we'll learn about survivor legacies.

February 15, 2019 to March 1, 2019, Matt Ross Community Center
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.

March 7-21, 2019, Townplace Suites, Jayhawk Room
April 2-16, 2019, Regnier Hall 153
June 11-25, 2019, Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center, Room M118