Nashville’s thriving sports scene, 21st-century American cities, and the latest research on our brains are among the spring 2018 classes offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt.
Other classes will explore the turbulent 1920s, the benefits of mindfulness meditation, and the Nashville Opera’s upcoming production of Susannah.
“We strive to keep our curriculum timely and meaningful to our lifelong learners and are pleased to have renowned Vanderbilt faculty and other outstanding instructors from the community lead these classes,” said Norma Clippard, program director.
These noncredit classes are open to all those 50 and older, with individual fees for each course.
The following classes are offered this spring:
Osher Steel Drum Band-Advanced, taught by Ali Puglisi for seven Sundays beginning March 25. A level up from the beginning Osher Steel Drum Band, the class emphasizes technique and the proper nuances behind playing the steel pan. Students will meet from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Blair School of Music.
Osher Steel Drum Band-Beginner, taught by Mat Britain for seven Sundays beginning March 25. No musical experience is needed to join this hands-on class, which will meet from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Blair School of Music.
Comparative Slavery, led by Angela Sutton, postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt’s Digital Humanities Center, for seven Mondays beginning March 26. Using maps, photographs and primary sources, students will learn how the slaving pasts of powerful nations like the United States and Brazil have shaped issues of race and equality today. The class will meet from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at St. George’s Episcopal Church.
Great Decisions, a foreign policy discussion group led by Nashville attorney Keith Simmons, for eight Tuesdays beginning March 27. Students will read the Great Decisions Briefing Book and meet to discuss critical global issues selected by a panel of experts. The class will meet from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at St. George’s Episcopal Church.
21st-Century American Cities, taught by Bill Purcell, former Nashville mayor and adjunct professor of public policy in the Department of Political Science, for six Wednesdays beginning March 28. The class, which will focus on the reasons why major cities like Nashville are now at the center of American life, will meet from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at The Commons Center.
The Turbulent 1920s: A Decade of Change in the United States, taught by Carole Bucy, Davidson County historian and professor of history at Volunteer State Community College, for six Wednesdays beginning March 28. Social unrest, women’s suffrage, and the rise of sports and entertainment idols are among the topics for this class, which will meet from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at The Commons Center.
Religious and Political Questions in Albert Camus’ novel The Plague, taught by Victor Judge, assistant dean for academic affairs at Vanderbilt Divinity School, for six Thursdays beginning March 29. Students will consider how a real-world outbreak of inguinal fever becomes the setting upon which Camus conceives a religious and political allegory for the plagues confronting humankind. The class will meet from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at The Commons Center.
Our Brains: An Operator’s Manual, team-taught by a group of Vanderbilt’s outstanding researchers, including Suzana Herculano-Houzel and Christine Konradi, for six Thursdays beginning March 29. Topics include the neuroscience of stress and the intersection of addiction, motivation and learning. The class will meet from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at The Commons Center.
Mindfulness and Meditation, taught by Cameron Gordon, associate professor of psychology at Middle Tennessee State University, for six Fridays beginning March 30. Gordon will introduce students to the concept of mindfulness and then focus on engagement in formal and informal mindfulness meditation practices. The class will meet from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at West End United Methodist Church.
Sports Sampler, led by Andrew Maraniss, author of Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South and innovator-in-residence at the Wond’ry, for six Fridays beginning March 30. Students will hear about the daily lives of some of Nashville’s coaches, administrators, athletes and broadcasters through candid conversations with a variety of figures. The class will meet from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at West End United Methodist Church.