Significant Civil War battles around Middle Tennessee, six American novels spanning the 20th century and the causes of brain disorders are among the topics offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt for its 2020 winter term.
For the first time, Osher is offering the opportunity to sing in a chorus this term led by the director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Other classes will focus on U.S. history from the women’s perspective, organizational tools and tips for writing a memoir, upcoming productions by the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and OZ Arts Nashville, and more.
“Our mission is to help adults over 50 rediscover the joy of learning through our noncredit classes and build community with others who share similar interests,” said Norma Clippard, program director for the Osher Lifelong Institute at Vanderbilt. “One of the benefits of the Osher membership is the opportunity to form new friendships.”
Class registration is open now and continues through Jan. 3.
The following classes comprise the winter term:
OLLI Steel Drum Band – Advanced, taught by Alli Puglisi, for seven Sundays, beginning Jan. 12; The class is geared to those with a long history of musical experience or who have participated in the OLLI Steel Band classes for several sessions. The class will meet from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Blair School of Music
OLLI Steel Drum Band – Beginner, taught by Mat Britain, for seven Sundays, beginning Jan. 12; Students will be placed according to their desire to learn a particular instrument and their individual strengths. The class will meet from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at the Blair School of Music.
OLLI Steel Drum Band – Intermediate, taught by Mat Britain and Alli Puglisi, for seven Sundays, beginning Jan. 12; This course is designed specifically for OLLI Beginning Steel Band members who have developed a solid fundamental background and are ready for slightly more difficult pieces. Students will meet from 2 to 3:15 p.m. at the Blair School of Music.
Understanding Brain Disorders, taught by Jeanette Norden, professor of cell and developmental biology, emerita; Subjects to be covered include head trauma, stroke, dementia and drug addiction; students do not need a science background to enroll. The class will meet for five Mondays, starting Jan. 20, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center.
Six Modern American Novels, taught by Vereen Bell, professor of English, emeritus; Students will read six novels published between 1899 and 1997. According to Bell, American themes surface and resurface in these novels, as if they were “speaking with each other, putting forth their own point of view.” The class will meet for six Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 14, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at The Temple.
John Bell Hood’s Tennessee Campaign, focusing on significant battles at Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville during the latter part of the Civil War; The class will be taught by Brandon Hulette, associate professor of military science, for six Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 14, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at The Temple.
OLLI Chorus, designed to provide an opportunity to learn and sing a variety of choral music; The chorus will be led by Paul Kwami, associate professor of music at Fisk University and musical director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. The class will meet for six Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 14, from 3 to 4:15 p.m. at Scarritt Bennett’s Fondren Hall.
Music for Seniors Intermediate Harmonica Learning Lab, led by Bronson Herrmuth, a teaching artist and multi-talented instrumentalist and vocalist; Students will meet for six Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 15, from 2 to 3:15 p.m. at Scarritt Bennett’s Fondren Hall. The course is designed for those with previous experience playing the harmonica.
U.S. History from the Women’s Perspective: A March Toward Equal Rights, covering the many steps that women have taken since the nation’s founding to gain equality; Carole Bucy, professor of history at Volunteer State Community College, will teach the class, which will meet for six Thursdays, beginning Jan. 16, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at The Commons Center.
Working Virtues: Essential Moral Skills for a Good Life, drawing from a wide range of sources—religious and secular, humanistic, poetic, literary and scientific; Led by Larry R. Churchill, professor of medical ethics, emeritus, the course will define and explore those moral skills that are most important for a good and happy life. Students will meet for six Thursdays, starting Jan. 16, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at The Commons Center.
How to Write a Memoir, designed to provide tools and organizational tips on how to get started writing a personal or family story to save, distribute and/or publish; The instructor is Carole Webb Moore-Slater, an educator and community speaker. Students will meet for five Thursdays, starting Jan. 16, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Division of Government Community Relations Conference Room (2007 Terrace Place).
Fort Negley: Past, Present and Future, covering the expansive history and potential future of a Civil War fortification in Nashville that was built by enslaved and free black people; Angela Sutton, postdoctoral fellow in the College of Arts and Science and director of the Fort Negley Descendants Project, will cover a series of topics that include the significance of the fort’s UNESCO Slave Route designation. The class will meet for six Fridays, beginning Jan. 17, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at the Fort Negley Visitors Center.
OLLI at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, an examination of the festival’s winter production of Macbeth; David Wilkerson, theater artist and professor at Middle Tennessee State University, and Marcia McDonald, professor of English at Belmont University, will lead the class, which meets Jan. 20 and 22 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Students will also attend a matinee performance on Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. All sessions are at the Troutt Theatre, Belmont University.
OLLI at Oz Arts Nashville, a performance of the theatrical music event Notes of a Native Son; The production is named for James Baldwin’s 1955 collection of essays on being black in America. The performance will take place at 8 p.m. Jan. 31 at Oz Arts Nashville.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt is housed within the Division of Government and Community Relations. For more information, call 615-343-0700.