Middle East, news media among topics for Retirement Learning at VU spring term

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A comprehensive study of the Middle East including the role of Islam in its history and politics is among nine courses being offered during the spring term of Retirement Learning at Vanderbilt. “America and the Middle East” was developed in response to the events of last Sept. 11, according to Charles Hambrick, professor of religious studies, emeritus, at Vanderbilt.

“I hope to present a balanced view of Islam that non-Muslims can relate to and understand,” he said. “Islam has elements of peace, but it also has elements of violence, and we need to see both.” The course, which will be offered Wednesdays, starting March 6, will also be taught by Bill Longwell, Vanderbilt senior lecturer in history; Pat Nation, assistant professor of sociology at Middle Tennessee State University; and Joe Sills, a former official with the United Nations. The class will meet in the Branscomb Recreation Room from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Other courses that are available to all interested older persons include:

· “Great Decisions 2002: Foreign Policy Discussion Group,” with discussion leader Ben Adams;

· “News and News Media, Today and Tomorrow,” taught by Gene Policinski, deputy director of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt;

· “Fundamentals of Urban Design,” taught by Mark Schimmenti, design director, Nashville Civic Design Center;

· “The Literature of William Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury,” taught by Victor Judge, an associate editor at Vanderbilt;

· “From Soup to Nuts: Myths, Magical Thinking and Science in Nutrition,” taught by Dr. Jan van Eys, clinical professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt;

· “Inspiration and Perspiration: The Writer at Work,” taught by Madeena Nolan, Alana White and Martha Hickman, three Nashville authors;

· “Memoirs/Autobiography Writing Workshop,” taught by Peter Poremski, a member of Retirement Learning;

· “A King? A Committee? No, a President!” taught by Albert Reeves, an instructor and member of Retirement Learning; This course is the only one to be offered off campus at the Brentwood Library.

“Retirement Learning at Vanderbilt offers all interested persons the chance to listen and learn in a relaxed, exam-free environment,” said program coordinator Silvine Hudson. Members of Retirement Learning at Vanderbilt and other interested persons can also enjoy the program’s monthly Lunch ‘n Learn events, which feature a guest speaker.

The semester membership is $60, which enables people to enroll in any or all classes for the term. To receive a brochure, call 322-5569 or visit the group’s website at www.Vanderbilt.edu/publicaffairs/community/progg.htm.

Contact: Ann Marie Deer Owens, (615) 322-NEWS

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