Sign up for Vanderbilt’s Osher Lifelong Learning spring term

To sign up for classes, visit the Osher website or contact Norma Clippard, 615-343-0700.

Osher class
(Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt University)

Important Supreme Court decisions, the Nashville Ballet, and a “behind-the-scenes” look at special law enforcement agents are among the varied topics offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt this spring.

The non-credit courses, which run from March 11 through April 19, are open to all adults who are 50 and older. Participants pay an $80 class fee that entitles them to sign up for three classes. Additional classes cost just $10 each.

“There are no educational requirements or tests to take,” said Norma Clippard, program director. “However, we believe the Osher classes provide an intellectually stimulating environment that is important in keeping our minds healthy as we age.”

Vanderbilt participating professors include John Lachs, Mitchell Korn, Robert Covington, Mark Brandon, Susan Kay, Tom McCoy, David Hudson, Robert Barsky, Leonard Folgarait, Jane Landers, Marshall Eakin, Joshua Clinton, Jason Grissom, David Lewis and Alan Wiseman.

The following courses are scheduled.

  • “Just the facts, Ma’am and Only the Facts!” will be led by Starley Carr, retired special agent of the FBI, and Dick Garner, retired special agent of the ATF. They will provide perspective on the real lives and experiences of special agents. The class meets from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Mondays, starting March 11, at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 4715 Harding Road.
  • “Contemporary Moral Problems,” will be taught by John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy. He will explore a variety of moral problems, including corruption, cheating, and individual rights versus public good. The class runs from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. for six Tuesdays, starting March 12, at Belle Meade United Methodist Church, 121 Davidson Road.
  • “Meet the Ballet!” will be led by Mitchell Korn, adjunct professor of music and educational outreach at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music; and Paul Vasterling, CEO and artistic director of the Nashville Ballet. The curriculum includes the repertoire for the upcoming Nashville Ballet productions of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. Students will meet for six Tuesdays, starting March 12, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Belle Meade United Methodist Church.
  • “The Living Constitution: Supreme Court Decisions that Affect Our Lives,” is coordinated and co-taught by Robert Covington, professor of law, emeritus. The other co-teachers are Mark Brandon, professor of law; Susan Kay, associate dean for clinical affairs and clinical professor of law; Tom McCoy, professor of law, emeritus; and David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and instructor in First Amendment law at Nashville School of Law. The class meets for six Wednesdays, starting March 13, at the Commons Center from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.
  • “D.H. Lawrence,” will be taught by Robert Barsky, professor of French and comparative literature and director of the W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies. He will survey the corpus of literature written by Lawrence, with an emphasis upon Lawrence’s efforts to represent the desiring body in language. The class meets for six Wednesdays, starting March 13, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Commons Center.
  • “Modern Architecture,” will be taught by Leonard Folgarait, professor of history of art. The class, which focuses on major developments in European and American architecture, including the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, meets for six Thursdays, starting March 14. The class runs from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at the Commons Center.
  • “African Diaspora through the Americas,” will be co-taught by Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History; and Marshall Eakin, professor of history. The class, designed to offer an overview of the rise of the African slave trade and the subsequent diaspora of Africans through the Americas, meets for six Thursdays, starting March 14, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
  • “Governing in an Era of Polarization in Washington and Beyond,” spotlights research from Vanderbilt’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions on issues such as electoral accountability and public education, legislative effectiveness of women in Congress and more. Joshua Clinton, Alan Wiseman and David Lewis, three of the center’s co-directors, will lecture along with Jason Grissom, assistant professor of public policy and education. The class will meet for six Fridays, beginning March 15, from 9:30 to 10:45 at the First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Ave. S.
  • “Ancient Prophecy: Bridging Two Worlds,” will be taught by James Crenshaw, the Robert L. Flowers Professor of Old Testament, emeritus, at Duke University. The course will explore the ways biblical prophets initially functioned both to support kings and to criticize them for abuse of power. The class meets for six Fridays, starting March 15, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the First Amendment Center.

To sign up for classes, visit the Osher website or contact Norma Clippard, 615-343-0700.