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Vanderbilt’s Osher Lifelong Learning offers new fall classes

by | Aug. 4, 2017, 1:14 PM

Share this on Facebook Fake news, Tony Bennett and mass incarceration among new #Osher classes #lifelonglearning
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Students in Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt classes enjoy academically challenging courses in a supportive environment. (John Russell/Vanderbilt)

Architectural treasures near and far away, Broadway plays on film, 21st-century news, and a first-time preview of a Nashville Ballet performance are among the rich subjects offered this fall by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt.

Other Osher classes—open to anyone 50 and older—include mass incarceration in U.S. prisons, ancient religious sites, the Panama Canal, and a musical tribute to Tony Bennett.

In addition, lifelong learners can sign up for courses on South Africa’s political challenges viewed through an interdisciplinary lens, the legacy of civil rights activist Howard Thurman, defiant women role models in literature, and steel drums, as well as a group writing seminar.

“With diverse classes on history, religion, arts, science, politics and much more taught by Vanderbilt professors and other outstanding instructors, we strive to maintain an academically stimulating curriculum,” said Norma Clippard, program director for the institute. “”

All classes are individually priced.

The following courses comprise the fall term:

Osher Steel Drum Band—Beginner, led by Mat Britain, director of the Osher Beginner Steel Drum Band. No musical experience is needed to join this hands-on class, which meets for seven Sundays, beginning Oct. 8, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Blair School.

Osher Steel Drum Band—Advanced, led by Alli Puglisi, director of the Osher Advanced Steel Drum Band. A level up from the Beginning Osher Steel Band, this class moves at a fast pace and focuses on learning different styles of music. The class meets for seven Sundays, beginning Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Blair School of Music.

Broadway on Film!, taught by Mitchell Korn, senior lecturer of music and educational outreach at the Blair School of Music. Cabaret, West Side Story and other celebrated Broadway musical cinema will be studied for six Mondays, beginning Oct. 9, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at St. George’s Episcopal Church.

A recent Vanderbilt Osher class was taught by Jamaal Sheats at Fisk University’s Van Vechten Art Gallery. (Steve Green/Vanderbilt)

Heaven on Earth: Religious Sites of the Ancient World, taught by Anna Guengerich, research assistant professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Science. This course looks at how people through history and across the world have created extraordinary places that connect them to the divine. Students will meet for six Tuesdays, beginning Oct. 10, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at the Lentz Public Health Center.

Media in the Age of Fake News, taught by Scott Stroud, Associated Press news editor. Topics will include the debate over fake news and the judgment calls that real journalists have to make every day. The class will meet for six Tuesdays, beginning Oct. 10, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Lentz Public Health Center.

OLLI at the Nashville Ballet. Join Mitchell Korn, senior lecturer of music and educational outreach at the Blair School; Paul Vasterling, CEO and artistic director of the Nashville Ballet; and Christopher Stuart, choreographer and dancer of the Nashville Ballet, for a first-time preview of Lizzie Borden and The Raven. The four classes are Oct. 10, 12, 17 and 19, from 2 to 3 p.m. at The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet.

Writing Seminar: The Writing Life, taught by Victor Judge, assistant dean for academic affairs and lecturer at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Participants will compose assignments in both prose and poetry and share their work with their peers. The course, limited to 12 new students, will meet on various Wednesdays during the academic year. The first class is Oct. 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

Women Who Kill, taught by Julie Fesmire, principal senior lecturer in English and women’s and gender studies. She will focus not only on women in ancient Greek tragedy who challenge and break laws, but also on the tradition of the defiant, criminal and often-defeated woman in Western literature. The class will meet for six Wednesdays, beginning Oct. 11, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at The Commons Center.

Architectural Treasures, taught by Kem Hinton, founding principal with Tuck-Hinton Architects. The Tennessee Bicentennial Capitol Mall is among the landmarks to be covered. The class will meet for six Wednesdays, beginning Oct. 11, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at The Commons Center.

Howard Thurman: 20th-Century Mystic-Activist, taught by Amy E. Steele, assistant dean for student life at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Students will listen to historic interviews on the civil rights pioneer’s life and legacy during the class, which will convene for six Thursdays, beginning Oct. 12, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at The Commons Center.

The Extant Legacy of Apartheid: A Dystopian Portrait of Contemporary South Africa in Six Parts, led by Clive Mentzel, senior lecturer in political science and director of the Office of Active Citizenship and Service. Mentzel, who recently returned from an immersive six weeks in South Africa, will explore the deep contradictions of that nation through its public policy, film, music, art and more. The class is scheduled for six Thursdays, beginning Oct. 12, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at The Commons Center.

Crossroads of the World: The Panama Canal, taught by W. Frank Robinson, assistant professor of history, for six Fridays, beginning Oct. 13. The class, which offers a context and lens through which to examine the history of Spanish and Central America, will meet from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at West End United Methodist Church.

Understanding America’s Mass Incarceration Binge, taught by Roosevelt Noble, senior lecturer in sociology and director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. A scholar of the criminal justice system, Noble is author of the book Black Rage in the American Prison System. The class will focus not only on the history of corrections, but also the current contextual, political and ideological issues impacting corrections across the nation. The class will meet for six Fridays, beginning Oct. 13, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at West End United Methodist Church.

Because of You—A Tribute to Tony Bennett, a one-time session Nov. 8 at the Nashville Jazz Workshop. Vocalist Robert Whorton and the Lori Mechem Trio will perform musical contributions of this iconic American performer. The class will meet from 12:30 to 2:15 p.m.

Click here to sign up for classes.

For more information, email Norma Clippard or call 615-343-0700.


Media Inquiries:
Ann Marie Deer Owens, (615) 322-NEWS
annmarie.owens@vanderbilt.edu