National Osher Online

National Osher Online is a pilot project of the Osher National Resource Center (NRC). It kicked off in the fall of 2022, and UR's Osher Institute was one of the original pilot sites. We continue to offer these classes each semester.

These national classes feature some of the best, most experienced instructors across the Osher network. The hope is that the pilot will be eventually scaled nationwide and offered to the entire Osher network.

Osher Online courses will not replace any existing, local programming but instead offer a unique, online learning modality with a variety of courses to supplement existing offerings by individual institutes. This pilot program will provide members across the country with a means to connect with each other and learn together by participating in this new initiative, while maintaining membership at their local institute.

We are grateful to the Bernard Osher Foundation, Northwestern University, and the Osher NRC for their support and hard work in making this happen.

Courses

There are more than 400 parks in the National Park System spanning 11 time zones. Have you ever wondered how a place becomes a park, what it takes to manage a park, or why there are so many different types of parks? Take a behind-the-scenes look at the National Parks as we reveal the laws, regulations, policies, and practices of managing these special places of American nature and history. Become a national park "insider" by learning more about these memorable places.


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Delve into the world of bugs, creepy crawlies, and anything without a backbone. Bugs are interesting, not gross (OK, maybe a little), and understanding their outlook on life can change how we perceive the world. Based on biological principles, we will explore these animals in our lives, society, homes, and even our bodies.


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American writer James Baldwin (1924-1987) may be best known as an activist and essayist, but he was also a groundbreaking writer of novels and short stories. We will read Baldwin's novels, Go Tell It on the Mountain and Giovanni's Room, in which he explores race, religion and sexuality. We will analyze Baldwin's unique voice and talent as a writer and discuss the ways his fiction helps us understand what connects us as human beings. Prerequisites: Be willing to read and engage with complex texts addressing challenging subjects.


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This course will give an introduction to film movements and some of the greatest films made (according to critics?but you can judge for yourself) from the 1920s to the 1960s. We will discuss how and where films were made in the 1920s and how the filmmaking process evolved over the next 40+ years. We will watch at least one film during the week, and then during class we will unpack the film in terms of style, story, filmmaking technique, and impact on society and culture.


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The automobile has shaped the way we conduct modern life - from the way we eat our meals down to the songs we sing. It is endlessly fascinating to learn where we have come from and where we are going on our automotive journey. This course will make relevant the impact of the automobile on our everyday lives so even those who do not tout the title of "gearhead" may enjoy the experience and walk away with more knowledge and insight into our world than they had before.


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The women included in this course were practitioners of psychoanalysis and wrote extensively about their work. These women have been selected because of the significance of their thought for psychoanalytic practice. We will articulate what is different about the contributions of women to psychoanalytic theory. And we will concentrate on women who were considered important: Karen Horney, Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, Ana Maria Rizzuto and others.


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