Upcoming Courses


Candice Millard is a bestselling historian whose epic and meticulously researched books unearth some of US history's greatest moments and figures. A former editor and contributing writer at National Geographic magazine, Millard digs deep into her stories and shares riveting anecdotes with the audiences of her lectures.

Sunday, March 3, JAC, Robins Pavilion 151 (24 seats (16%) remaining)
Civic Education has been around for a long time, but it takes many forms these days. Using Richard Haass' new book, The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens, this class will focus on finding a balance between rights and obligations. Invite an Osher friend to register with you. If you are a Democrat, invite a Republican. If you are straight, invite a gay person. If you are Christian, invite a Muslim or Jewish person. Together, we will learn and practice the steps of compromise to help restore a sense of community. Come join us - our democracy depends on it.

Wednesdays, Feb 28, Mar 6, 13, 20, Room 160 ( No seats currently available )
Soren Aabye Kierkegaard is arguably the greatest theologian-philosopher of the 19th Century. He has been called the Danish Socrates, the father of existentialism, and the 'diagnostician of the disease of the age.' The text for this seminar is a brief biography of this great writer which serves as an introduction to his sometimes difficult-to-interpret theoretical writings. The biography will hopefully extend and enrich our knowledge of Kierkegaard and his relevance for the current era.

Tuesdays, 2/20, 27. 3/5, , Room 160 (1 seats (4%) remaining)
If you are familiar with the library resources but want to go beyond the basics, this session will explore some of the more interesting and unusual digital collections and databases. This is an advanced session that builds on the information introduced in Bounty of Boatwright.

Tuesday, Mar 5, BLIB Seminar 2 Room 181
Richard Rohr published Falling Upward to help us examine our possibilities and limitations as we age. We will use his ideas to reflect on the first halves of our lives related to family, education, skills, hobbies, career choices, health, lifestyle, and spirituality, and apply those insights to help us create a plan for a 'higher sense of fulfillment in our next life phases.' Though the author is a Franciscan monk, this class will be non-sectarian.

Wednesday 4/10, 17, 24, JPSN, Room 118 ( No seats currently available )
Come hear about the influence of Indian art, culture and religions in South East Asia from the First Millennium to the present.

Monday 3/25, Room 160 ( No seats currently available )
American writer Patricia Highsmith first published The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1955. The story is told from the point of view of Tom Ripley, a man who is young, clever, and has a knack for fraud. A case of mistaken identity earns him a ticket abroad to a scenic coastal village in Italy, a far cry from his hardscrabble life in New York City. He soon becomes obsessed with Dickie Greenleaf, heir to a shipbuilding fortune and embarks on a series of deceitful and sinister acts that beget more of the same. Highsmith's story builds its suspense as the reader traverses Tom's physical and psychological journey through an affluent world too obtuse to recognize the extent to which he is a threat. The Talented Mr. Ripley has been adapted from book to screen multiple times, with the most notable being the 1999 film directed by Anthony Minghella, starring Matt Damon and Jude Law. Such is the influence of the story that it has invited comparison to the 2023 film Saltburn, whose main character commits a similar subterfuge on a wealthy British family over the course of a summer in their country castle. As stories of frauds and scammers endure across popular media, Tom Ripley's is one that confronts the reader to examine how far they would go to gain access into a world whose entry requires reinventing oneself to the point of moral collapse. In this course, we will study the Highsmith novel as well as the 1999 film adaptation. We'll close out the course with a discussion of Saltburn, which is indebted to the novel.

Fridays,4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 4/26, 5/3 & 5/10, Synchronous Online
Everyone has a story to tell and one way to tell it is through writing a memoir. Memoir is a subgenre of creative nonfiction that can be book or essay-length; it captures a slice of the writer's life, is written from the personal and reflective perspective of the writer, and uses the techniques of creative writing, such as voice, sensory detail, scene, dialogue, and more. This course will guide you in the discovery of the story you want to tell, help you develop your story-telling skills, and provide strategies, tips, and tools to get you started on your story. Through reading excerpts of published memoirs as examples of craft, completing a series of targeted writing exercises, and sharing your writing output with your fellow writers, you will locate your story and begin your memoir.

Saturdays; 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 5/25, Synchronous Online ( No seats currently available )
Share in the memoir of Jerri Barden Perkins, MD: growing up in the 1950s in Richmond, medical school, the NIH, FDA during the AIDS epidemic. Learn alongside her the challenges of self-publishing, her journey, escapades, and revelations on sport, education, career, and travel. From ups and downs in career to ski avalanches and biking the Loire Valley. Push your boundaries, be open to possibilities at any age, and say YES!

Friday 4/5, Special Programs Building, Classroom 156
Rachel Beanland is the University of Richmond's 2023-24 Writer-in-Residence. She will talk about her books and her journey as a writer. Co-sponsored by Osher and the Friends of the Library.

Wednesday, April 10, INTC, Commons
Invisible Man is one of the great novels in the canon of American black literature. It has been called by one critic a 'monumental novel, one that can well be called an epic of modern American Negro life.' We will seek to uncover the major themes of this classic novel and to determine what Ellison was trying to achieve when he set out to write it.

Fridays 4/5, 12, 19, Room 160 (2 seats (8%) remaining)
Hey, White Girl (2021) is a fictional story about busing in Richmond in the early 1970's. Come reflect with the author on your own "coming of age" story as she discusses how the writing process became a journey into understanding what it means to be white. There will be time for discussion, but reading the novel will not be required for participation.

Tuesday 4/9, Special Programs Building, Classroom 156 ( No seats currently available )