Fall classes gear up for adult learners at Vanderbilt; Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers non-credit courses

The changing brain, architectural “winners and losers” and the rise of Irish literature are among the topics offered this fall at Vanderbilt University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Other subjects include: prominent lyric poetry, a look back at the European conquests of the Americas, myths and missions of great artists, the 2008 presidential campaign and the relevance of physics to everyday life.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt provides outstanding educational programs, stimulating tours and a variety of social events for adult learners, according to Norma Clippard, the director. Membership is open to all adults with an interest in continuing to learn, and the fee for the fall term is $80. This entitles the member to take any or all of the courses offered for fall.

Classes scheduled for six Mondays starting Oct. 8 at St. George’s Episcopal Church are “Revisiting Prominent Lyric Poetry,” taught by Donald Menchise, a retired Tennessee State University English professor; and “Irish Literature,” taught by William Pratt, professor of English, emeritus, Miami University. The poetry class will discuss four or five critically acclaimed lyric poems each week. Students in Irish Literature will take a broad look at Irish writers with a strong sense of national identity, including Yeats, Shaw, Wilde, Joyce and O’Connor.

Classes to be offered for six Tuesdays starting Oct. 9 at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt are “The Road to the White House,” taught by Distinguished Professor of Political Science John Geer; and “Architecture – People, Places and Things,” taught by Randall Yearwood, a retired Nashville architect. Yearwood’s course will include an overview of state capitols, national monuments, houses widely considered to be architectural “follies” as well as the “grand dames” of American resorts.

For six Wednesdays starting Oct. 10 there will be two classes at the Branscomb Rec Room: “Brain Development Throughout Life” and “Great Artists – Myths and Missions.” Jeanette Norden, professor of cell and developmental biology, will cover everything from how the brain develops before birth to how the brain changes with age. Meanwhile, Robert Mode, associate professor of art history, will explore attitudes and social relationships that have made artists stand out – in ways that are acceptable and ways that defy expectation.

The final two classes for the fall term meet on Thursdays, starting Oct. 11, at the Branscomb Rec Room. “Primer of Physics and Its Application to Society” will be taught by Joseph Hamilton and Richard Haglund, professors of physics and astronomy. Professor of History Marshall Eakin will discuss the significance of the Europeans’ conquering and colonizing the Caribbean, Mexico, Peru and North America in the course “The Conquest of the Americas.”

For more information on the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt, visit www.vanderbilt.edu/cngr/olli.

Media Contact: Ann Marie Deer Owens, 615-322-NEWS

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