We are pleased to present these descriptions of our fall semester courses, arranged by subject area. (Note: These categories recognize the predominant discipline, but many of these courses are interdisciplinary in their focus.)

All courses meet for 8 weeks unless otherwise noted in the description. An overview of class meeting times can be found here. All courses meet at OLLI’s location in the M2 Building, 301 North Neil Street (Suite 201), downtown Champaign.

Browse courses by subject



Bob Dylan, Songwriter

Willis Goth Regier
Thursday, 11:00-12:30; September 15 through October 6 (4 weeks)
This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester

Dylan is 75 this year and still active.  He has released sixty albums, including six retrospectives. No one asks any longer why he calls his current round of public performances his “Never Ending Tour.” In a 1968 interview he said, “I’m a firm believer in the longer you live, the better you get.” Forty-eight years later we can ask whether he was right. We will discuss Dylan’s career, lyrics, and public persona, among other topics. We will ask: In what genres did Dylan excel? Are there distinct phases in his career?  Which performers covered a Dylan song better than Dylan did? We will compare favorite albums and songs. If you’ve lost track of Dylan, this is a chance to catch up. If you’ve lived with Dylan most of your life, please share. OLLI members who’ve attended Dylan’s concerts are especially encouraged to enroll. 

Instructor: Willis Regier retired in 2015 as the Director of the University of Illinois Press. At the University of Nebraska Press he originated Bach Perspectives, Beethoven Forum, and Brahms Studies and published books by Richard Wagner, Arnold Schoenberg, Béla Bartók, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger; at the University of Illinois Press he published The Beethoven Sketchbook Series, edited by Professor William Kinderman.  Regier is the author of three books and editor of another.  His reviews and essays have appeared in American Academic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Modern Language Notes, World Literature Today, and other journals. His recent OLLI courses on Aesop and Samuel Beckett received strong reviews for the instructor’s broad knowledge and skillful teaching.


Living and Dancing in New Harmony - Cancelled

Jonathan Sivier

Picasso’s Influence on Contemporary Art

Rosalyn Schwartz
Tuesday, 11:00-12:30; September 13 through October 4 (4 weeks)
This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester.

Undoubtedly Picasso was one of the most brilliant artists of the twentieth century but as Jonathan Jones writes in his essay for The Guardian, “We view Picasso not as a curious historical figure but as a living force, accessible, universal. What makes him so contemporary?” In this 4-week course, we will see just how Picasso’s art is still so influential and relevant to contemporary painting today. The first two sessions will present an overview of Picasso’s oeuvre and discuss his prodigious evolution; in the remaining two sessions, students will learn about contemporary painters, including Anton Henning and Michelle Wasson among others, who directly or indirectly continue to use Picasso’s work for inspiration today, more than forty years after his death.

Instructor: Professor Emerita of Art Rosalyn Schwartz taught painting and drawing for twenty years at the University of Illinois. In May 2008, Ms. Schwartz chose to take an early retirement so that she could devote herself full-time to working in her studio. She is the recipient of a number of prestigious grants including a Bush Foundation Fellowship, a McKnight Foundation Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. In 2010 she had a mid-career survey exhibition of her paintings at Gallery 210 on the campus of University of Missouri-St. Louis. In 2013 she had a solo exhibition at the McNay Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas titled “Rosalyn Schwartz: A Brief History of Seduction” and in 2014 her work was included in a group exhibition titled “Beauty Reigns: A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting.” A catalogue was published for this exhibition with essays by noted art critics Lilly Wei and Stephen Westfall. Her OLLI courses on contemporary art have received strong evaluations for her insightful presentations and well-chosen examples.



All the President’s Men to Spotlight: Investigative Journalism in Film

Brant Houston
Tuesday, 9:00-10:30; October 4 through October 25 (4 weeks)
This is a 4-week course that meets on an irregular schedule.

This 4-week course will look at the films that have most accurately portrayed the work of investigative journalists with in-class discussions about the films.  We will view excerpts from films that include All the President’s Men, The Insider, Page One, and Spotlight and talk about the differences between stereotypes of investigative journalists and how the journalists actually work. The course also will include a historical overview of investigative journalism, how it has developed in sophistication and approaches, and its presentation in films over the past 80 years.

Instructor: Professor Brant Houston holds the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting and teaches investigative and advanced reporting in the Department of Journalism in the College of Media at Illinois. Houston became the chair after serving for more than a decade as the executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), a 3,500-member organization, and as a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Before joining IRE, he was an award-winning investigative reporter at daily newspapers for seventeen years. His OLLI courses have received outstanding reviews for the instructor’s insights and the many resources that he shares with students.

The Changing US Footprint in Africa: Special Ops, Drones, and the Occasional School

Janice Jayes
Monday, 11:00-12:30; September 12 through October 31

While much of the U.S. public’s foreign policy attention has been focused elsewhere, the quiet expansion of US military activities in Africa has showcased the way in which security strategy has changed in the last decade. Fear of failed states, organized crime networks, health crises, and destabilizing climate change has led the U.S. to interact with regional organizations and local governments in new ways. The collapse of Libya in 2011 further spurred the use of Africa as both a frontline and a laboratory for the U.S. military. This class examines the ways in which U.S. partnerships and activities depart from older models of US defense.

Instructor: Janice Jayes, Ph.D., taught politics and history at Al Akhawayn in Morocco in 2008-2009 before moving to Champaign. She teaches Middle Eastern History at Illinois State University. She earned her Ph.D. in History (with a specialization in U.S. foreign relations) from The American University, and her M.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She was a Fulbright Teaching Scholar at the American University of Cairo in Egypt. She is interested in contemporary foreign relations and has worked in Latvia, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan and Egypt. Her past OLLI courses have drawn outstanding reviews for her exceptional teaching style and deep knowledge of the subject.

Political Humor

Tom Neufer Emswiler
Wednesday, 3:30-5:00; September 14 through November 2

In the fall of 2016, we need all the political humor we can get! We will be examining comedians and cartoonist who are noted for their comments on politics beginning with court jesters and going from there to political cartoonists. We will then feature comedians who have actually run for President such as Gracie Allen, Pat Paulson, and Dick Gregory. Our next focus will be on individual comedians such as Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Michael Loftus, and Trevor Noah. We will view samples of their work and discuss how they may be influencing the current political scene. 

Instructor: Tom Neufer Emswiler is a retired United Methodist minister and author or co-author of ten books. He has always been a student of humor and has taught several humor courses at OLLI including “Laugh Louder, Live Longer: the Healing Power of Humor” and “Humor as a Spur to Creativity” - which have received high marks for originality and the variety of examples shown. One of Tom’s majors as an undergraduate was Political Science and he has maintained a keen interest in it all his life.

Putin 3.0: A Resurgent Russia in a Dangerous World

Richard Tempest
Thursday, 1:30-3:00; September 15 through November 3

Vladimir Putin’s election to a third term as Russia’s president in 2012 was followed by fundamental policy shifts that strengthened his hold on power and re-invigorated his charismatic appeal. The Putin government’s economic compact with the Russian population was replaced by a nationalist one: with an economy that could no longer guarantee ever-rising living standards, Russia adopted a revanchist and irredentist posture that led to the annexation of the Crimea (2014), armed intervention in eastern Ukraine and the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (2014), and military involvement in the Syrian civil war (2015). It now positions itself as a “Eurasian” power and seeks to create an anti-Western alliance that would include China, the Shia forces in the Middle East, and assorted authoritarian regimes. At home these moves have been accompanied by a barrage of flamboyantly pro-Putin propaganda, the suppression of civil society, and the jailing of opposition activists. This course will look at Putin’s short- and long-term prospects during his “autumn of the patriarch," examine the manner in which his public image and leadership style have evolved, discuss possible scenarios for the succession, and assess the outlook for Russia’s relationship with the United States, the European Union, NATO, and China in an increasingly volatile and perilous international situation.

Instructor: Richard Tempest is the Acting Head of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois and a former Director of the University’s Russian, East European and Eurasian Center (2007-2012). He holds a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy and Modern Languages, and a Ph.D. in Modern History, all from the University of Oxford. He is currently working on a book-length study of charismatic and non-charismatic leadership across the cultures, with special emphasis on Vladimir Putin and other political and public figures in the post-communist world. His OLLI courses on Putin and leadership have been among the most popular and well-received offerings of recent semesters.


The Films of Warren Beatty

Chuck Koplinski
Wednesday, 5:30-8:30; September 14 through November 2

One of the most enigmatic filmmakers of our time, Warren Beatty is perhaps the most reluctant movie star of the 20th Century. Realizing he was floundering after taking Hollywood by storm in the early 1960’s, the actor took control of his career by tinkering with his screen persona and producing his own movies before stepping behind the camera to direct.  In the process, he helped revolutionize the way American films were made and contributed to the end of the studio system while amassing an eclectic filmography consisting of both groundbreaking works and devastating failures.  This course will look at the key films in Beatty’s career as well as the way in which his personal and professional lives have collided both on and off the screen. Films will include Bonnie and Clyde, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Parallax View, Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait, Dick Tracy, Love Affair, and Bulworth.

Instructor: Chuck Koplinski has been a film critic for over 20 years, writing for various independent newspapers in the community.  He currently reviews films for the News-Gazette, the Illinois Times, WCIA-TV and MIX 94.5 FM.  A member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Chicago Film Critics Association, he’s an annual presenter at the Embarras Valley Film Festival as well as a frequent collaborator with the American History Teachers Collaborative. He has taught six previous OLLI courses, which have received four-star reviews for their sharp insights and well-chosen films.

Hitchcock: The Overlooked or Under-Appreciated Films

Connie Hosier
Monday, 3:30-6:30; September 12 through October 31

Nearly anyone can list famous Hitchcock movies such as Psycho, Rear Window, Vertigo, and The Birds. But how many of the director’s earlier works come to mind? The film career of the master of suspense began during the height of the silent era and as sound was just being introduced. Many of Hitch’s early features are virtually unknown to the general public, but those films demonstrate that he already was fascinated with themes that would define his later career, including stories of women in peril. Hitchcock’s imperiled women characters have often been seen as victims, and too often their intelligence, resilience, and resourcefulness have been dismissed. This course is a brief introduction to some of the Hitchcock canon – and characters – that can fall under the radar but still are fine examples of film as art. Films will include Blackmail, The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, Rebecca, Shadow of a Doubt, Lifeboat, Spellbound, and Notorious. And earlier version of this course was offered in spring 2013.

Instructor: After receiving an M.A. in Language and Literature from Columbia University, Connie Hosier taught in the NYC public school system, then moved to Arizona, again teaching at-risk students, then on to Champaign and Parkland College, where the courses she taught included film studies. Retired for over a decade, she now reviews movies for our local community radio, WEFT 90.1 FM, and continues her love of teaching film classes at OLLI – where students regularly hail her well-structured, meticulously prepared courses.


The Eighth Judicial Circuit: Lincoln’s Base for His Twin Careers, Law and Politics

Guy Fraker
Thursday, 9:00-10:30; CHANGE: The course will begin on September 15 and end on November 3, for 8 consecutive sessions. There will be class on September 29.

Abraham Lincoln practiced law on the Eighth Judicial Circuit (including Champaign County) from 1837 until his nomination for the presidency in May 1860. This course will address important aspects of Abraham Lincoln’s life and career, including the pivotal role that the Eighth Judicial Circuit had on molding his sense of legal practice and justice. It will include an overview of the geography and early history of the circuit, the birth of the Republican Party in Illinois, and Lincoln’s political rise and its effects on the circuit. This course has been offered twice at OLLI, most recently in spring 2014; it is suitable for both new and returning students.

Instructor: Guy C. Fraker, an attorney in Bloomington, Illinois, has written extensively and lectures frequently on the Eighth Circuit.  He was the consultant on the award-winning PBS documentary, Lincoln, Prelude to the Presidency, and co-curated Prologue to the Presidency: Abraham Lincoln on the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit, a traveling exhibit also on permanent display at the David Davis Mansion, a state historic site in Bloomington.  He served as an advisor to the National Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and he is currently Chairman of the Board of Looking for Lincoln, an action arm of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, created by Congress in 2009.  A graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, he is a past president of the McLean County Bar Association. His bestselling book, Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit, was published in October 2012 and is now in its third printing. He is writing a guidebook of the Eighth Judicial Circuit that is scheduled for release in fall 2017. He has taught numerous popular OLLI courses on Lincoln’s career, with student evaluations calling the classes “entertaining, informative, and inspiring.”

Endgame 1864-65: The Civil War in the West and Deep South

Fred Christensen
Wednesday, 1:30-3:00; September 14 through November 2

This course will examine the Civil War’s final year in those areas where the main armies did not go.  The Deep South—the “Cotton Kingdom” of Alabama, eastern Mississippi, and western Georgia—was the heartland of the Southern way of life and the plantation economy, between the Mississippi River to the west (patrolled by Union gunboats), Sherman’s armies to the east (advancing on Atlanta and beyond), and Farragut’s fleets in the Gulf of Mexico. This was the South’s last reservoir of agricultural and industrial goods, increasingly cut off from the rest of the Confederacy and defended by defiant small armies. West of the great river, Missouri was held by Union garrisons but wracked by vicious guerrilla warfare. The class will emphasize social, cultural, and economic factors as well as military events, to portray the end of a way of life for black and white Southerners.  Although Grant, Lee, and Sherman didn’t operate here, others did: Forrest, Price, Farragut, Rosecrans, William Quantrill, “Wild Bill” Hickok, and Jesse James.

Instructor:  Fred Christensen is a former history instructor at the University of Kentucky and assistant professor of military science at the University of Illinois.  He teaches noncredit classes for OLLI, Parkland College, and other venues, in five areas of history and archaeology: Britain, Germany, early America, Israel/the Holy Land, and military history in general.  His many OLLI courses have received strong evaluations, with one representative review noting his most recent course’s “combination of historical clarity and visual vividness.”

Illinois at 150: Celebrating the U of I Sesquicentennial

Joe Rank and Ryan Ross
Wednesday, 9:00-10:30; September 14 through November 2

The University of Illinois was the product of a revolution in American life. The industrial revolution and rapid advances in science in the 19th century created the need for a new kind of university that would transcend the classics model to embrace professional and utilitarian education to meet the needs of society at large. In the intervening 150 years, additional revolutions prompted by wars, prosperity, hard times, scientific discovery, and globalization have continued to shape our University. This course will focus on its fascinating history, traditions, and culture and preview the new Campus Welcome Center slated to open in fall 2017 at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.

Instructors: Joe Rank, retired vice president and historian at the University of Illinois Alumni Association, is an Urbana native who earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Advertising in the UI College of Media. A 20-year career naval officer, he served as assistant professor of naval science at Illinois, where he was named to the list of excellent instructors. Following his Navy career, he joined the staff of the Alumni Association. His keen interest in University of Illinois history and traditions led him to propose the development of a campus Welcome Center to open at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center in conjunction with the university’s 2017 sesquicentennial celebration. This is his first OLLI course.

Ryan Ross (Coordinator, History and Traditions Program, U of I Alumni Association) is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a B.A. in English who also holds a M.S. degree from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Prior to joining the Alumni Association staff in 2015, he was an archivist and researcher at the University of Illinois Foundation and at the University Library, where he created 2012 exhibits celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Land Grant Act displayed in the Main Quad buildings. This is his first OLLI course.

The Pacific War

John McCord
Tuesday, 3:15-4:45; September 13 through November 1

On December 7th, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  The war that followed was unlike any fought before.  It was a separate war whose relation to the overall era was mostly limited to resource allocation.  Its causes were unrelated either to the European conflict or the causes of that conflict.  This course will look at the war in the Pacific as both a separate conflict without direct relation to the events in Europe and as a strategic dilemma for the U.S. by virtue of its concurrent commitments in Europe.  It will look at the unique strategic problems, tactics, and psychology which set this war apart.

Instructor: From 1990 to 1993, John McCord was in charge of the Navy and Marine Corps planning and implementation of the Panama Canal Treaties for the turnover of U.S. installations and relocation or closure of our various activities.  He has served as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida and Newport, Rhode Island, teaching Administration, Military Law, Naval Warfare and Tactics, and Seamanship/ He holds a B.S. in history from the United States Naval Academy and a law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. His previous OLLI course on the Panama Canal received enthusiastic evaluations for his many useful illustrations and examples.

German Resistance against Hitler within the Third Reich 1933-1945

Karl-Heinz Schoeps
Monday, 3:30-6:30; September 12 through October 31 (this course will run for the full allotted time on selected dates when a film is shown, but will end earlier on other dates)

Even some 70 years after the end of the Third Reich not much is widely known about the resistance against Hitler and the Nazi-regime within the Third Reich - except for some expert specialists. This is especially true for the United States. How many people in this country have heard, for example, of Georg Elser, Herbert Baum, Martin Niemöller, Mildred Harnack, Kurt Huber, Hans Oster, or Henning von Treschkow? There were indeed numerous resistance organizations and many attempts on Hitler’s life; alas none were successful. In this course we will discuss some of the groups and individuals who resisted and more often than not paid for it with their lives. There will be presentations, discussions, and films. Class sessions will meet for the full time period on some dates when films are shown in their entirety; other sessions will be shorter. This course was offered in spring 2015, with very strong evaluations for the instructor’s deep knowledge of the subject; the course is intended primarily for new students.

Instructor: Karl-Heinz Schoeps is a retired professor of German at the University of Illinois where he taught German cultural history and German literature of the 20th century, including courses on the playwright Bertolt Brecht, literature within the Third Reich, and East German (DDR-GDR) literature. He has published numerous books and articles on these subjects, including three books on Bertolt Brecht and two books on literature and film in the Third Reich.


The Modern United States Presidency - CANCELLED

Robert F. Rich

Rare Books, Crime, and Punishment - CANCELLED

Travis McDade



American Folklore

Kathleen Brinkmann and Dan Keding
Tuesday, 1:30-3:00; September 13 through November 1

Take a journey into American folklore and see the United States through the lenses of stories, ballads, and superstitions. Hear regional folktales from the Appalachia, New England, southern states, the Midwest, and the Wild West told by storytellers Dan Keding and Kath Brinkmann. Learn about superstitions, home remedies, proverbs, and riddles across our country. Folk songs and dances will be experienced through multimedia sources.

Instructors: Kath Brinkmann has co-taught three storytelling classes at OLLI to enthusiastic participants and has been a guest lecturer at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS). She holds a master’s degree in Folktales and Storytelling from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Her book, The Gift of the Unicorn and Other Animal Helper Tales, co-authored with Dan Keding will be published in June 2016. As a founding member of the CU Storytelling Guild, she performs locally as well as regionally in the Midwest.

Dan Keding is an adjunct lecturer at GSLIS and a professional storyteller and musician. He has performed at some of the most prestigious story events in the world including the National Storytelling Festival (USA); the Cape Clear Storytelling Festival (Ireland); the Festival at the Edge (England); and the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival (Canada). He has authored six books and recorded over a dozen CDs. He was inducted into the Circle of Excellence of the National Storytelling Network in 2000.


Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre - CANCELLED

Bao Bui


Crime and Judgment in Film and TV: Detection, Then Courtroom Drama

John Frayne
Friday, 1:30-4:30; September 16 through November 4

Famous detective series, whether in novel or film, specialize in finding the guilty person, but such stories generally stop at the doors of the courthouse. There, another drama begins with a battle of wits and experience between defense and prosecution. In mystery stories, the detective is to some degree convinced of the guilt of the suspect. In legal dramas, the defense offers the best case for the accused. This course will offer balance and contrast between the detective story and the courtroom drama, watching and discussing examples of both. Screenings will include Garrow’s Law, Rumpole of the Bailey, Kavanagh, Q.C., Sad Cypresses, A Certain Justice, Witness for the Prosecution, and Dial M for Murder.

Instructor: John Frayne was from 1965 to 1997 Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Film Studies at UIUC, and is now an Emeritus Professor. He specialized in Modern British Literature and Film Studies. From 1985 to present, he has been radio host on Saturdays (formerly also on Sundays) at radio station WILL-FM, where he hosts “Classics of the Phonograph” and Opera Broadcasts. Since 2000, he has been classical music critic for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. In recent years, he has volunteered at the Champaign Public Library FriendShop, serving on the Board and the FriendShop committee. His OLLI courses over the years have been hailed for their insightful treatment of topics from literature and film to classical music.

France and Islam: Identity and Otherness in Literature

Nancy Blake
Thursday, 3:15-4:45; September 15 through November 3

Since its medieval beginnings the French nation has defined itself in opposition to the Muslim world.  We will begin by considering the foundational epic poem The Song of Roland in the context of the Crusades, which did so much to set the stage for today’s conflicts.  We will next examine the use that Enlightenment philosophers made of Islam as a backdrop to defining the values of the Modern State, which would prepare the Revolutions in America and in France.  Next we will look at the concept of Orientalism which has its origins in Napoleon’s project of understanding Egypt through invasion, and which flowers in The Romantic movement’s love of the Exotic. When we get to the Twentieth Century, Existential philosophy again seizes the figure of the Arab in order to define the human condition.  Finally, in the 21st century Francophone North-African authors have written back to the French literary canon with their versions of the story.  We will look at the work of a man and finally that of a woman from North Africa, both writing in French.  For whom are they writing? That will be just one of the questions we are asking.

Instructor: Professor Nancy Blake received doctorates in French and in English literature from the University of Paris, and specializes in comparative and world literature. She is also a trained psychoanalyst now on the faculty of the University of Illinois Comparative Literature Program. She has taught several successful OLLI courses on a variety of topics, with students regularly citing the scholarly rigor and skillful presentation of complex materials.

A Poetry of Violence and Enchantment: W.B. Yeats

Vicki Mahaffey
Wednesday, 11:00-12:30; September 14 through November 2

In a disenchanted age, it is important to consider the unexpectedly ethical potential of enchanted moments. In this course, we will look at enchantment as a moment of wonder that can trigger ethical responses; as a musical metaphor (enchantment comes from the French “chanter,” to sing); and as a figure for national paralysis or colonization in Ireland. We will trace how magic gives way to violence as the main impetus behind Yeats’s poems, ending with his magnificent rage against old age. Each class will begin with relevant background material followed by a detailed examination of 5-10 poems.

Instructor: Vicki Mahaffey, Clayton and Thelma Kirkpatrick Professor of English and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois, has taught at Illinois since 2008. She is the author of three books--Reauthorizing Joyce (Cambridge); States of Desire: Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and the Irish Experiment (Oxford), and Modernist Literature: Challenging Fictions (Blackwell)—and she has edited a collection of essays on Joyce’s Dubliners, Collaborative Dubliners: Joyce in Dialogue (Syracuse University Press). She has received several teaching awards and is a Guggenheim fellow. She is an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the James Joyce Foundation and serves on the advisory boards of the James Joyce Quarterly and Joyce Studies Annual. She lectures on Irish literature all over the world, and has been featured on the BBC, the RTE, and Australian public radio. Her OLLI courses have been among the most popular and enthusiastically-reviewed offerings of recent semesters, with students noting the academic excellence and exceptional instruction of both courses.



One Health: People, Animals, and the Environment

Wanda Haschek-Hock
Thursday, 9:00-10:30; September 15 through November 3

This course describes the interconnectedness of people, animals and the environment in the health arena. While this concept has existed for centuries going back to Hippocrates in 400 BC, it has recently gained momentum because of the continuing increase in the human population, geographic expansion of people into wild animal habitats, ease of global travel, climate change, environmental contamination, etc. It is estimated that at least 75% of emerging and re-emerging diseases are either zoonotic (spread between humans and animals) or vector-borne (carried from infected animals to others through insects). Zoonotic diseases include roundworms, tuberculosis, influenza, rabies and toxoplasmosis. Recent examples of emerging/remerging diseases are Zika virus and Ebola virus.

Instructor: Wanda Haschek-Hock, a veterinary pathologist and Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, has over 30 years of experience in comparative pathology. She received her BVSc (DVM equivalent) from the University of Sydney and her Ph.D. from Cornell University. She then held an appointment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory before taking a position at the University of Illinois in 1982. Her appointment included teaching professional and graduate students, research, and service. Wanda has over 100 scientific publications and is senior editor of the Handbook of Toxicologic Pathology and Fundamentals of Toxicologic Pathology published by Elsevier. This is her first OLLI course.

Plague du Jour

James G. Dobbins
Tuesday, 1:30-3:00; September 13 through October 4 (4 weeks)
This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester. Another course on “Time in the Shadow: Eclipses Here and There” will be offered in this time slot during the second half of the semester; that course requires a separate registration.

This 4-week course will provide an overview of current outbreaks of infectious diseases. For each
disease outbreak we will review the biology of the organism responsible for the outbreak; examine
the epidemiology of the outbreak in terms of person, place, and time; discuss the ecological and
cultural aspects of the outbreak; evaluate possible interventions for the outbreak; and review means
to prevent similar outbreaks in the future. This will be an updated version of the course that was
offered in fall 2015, suitable for new and returning students.

Instructor: Following his studies in population geography, population dynamics, and public health, James Dobbins began a career as an epidemiologist, working first as a university professor, then as a research scientist at CDC, and finally as a field epidemiologist with the World Health Organization. His 2015 course and two recent lectures on outbreaks have received enthusiastic reviews for the instructor’s deep knowledge of the subject matter and skilled teaching style.




The Art of the Album

Rocky Maffit
Thursday, 1:30-3:00 September 22 through October 13 (4 weeks)
This is a 4-week course that meets on an irregular schedule.

This 4-week course invites students to take a fresh look at the craft behind writing and recording the album. Topics will include the role of the producer, looking at examples including the Beatles’ producer George Martin; the visual art of album covers and graphics; genres of music, including world music; and the “concept” album, from Frank Sinatra’s In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning to the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper.

Instructor: Rocky Maffit is an eclectic musician who studied drumming with Brazilian and African percussionists, performed with luminaries in the jazz and fusion world, and was percussionist-in-residence at the American Dance Festival. In the 1980s, Maffit joined the R&B group Champaign, whose first release, How ‘Bout Us, was an international hit. His songwriting collaborations for Champaign and Freddie Jackson earned gold and platinum records. He wrote music for the films About Last Night and Def by Temptation. He is the author of the award-winning book Rhythm & Beauty: The Art of Percussion. Maffit has curated Day of the Drum, a world percussion festival, at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts three times since 2009. His OLLI courses have been well-received by students, who cite the instructor’s knowledge of music styles and engaging teaching style.

The Cantatas of J.S. Bach

Mark Dirksen
Thursday, 1:30-3:00; September 15 through November 3

Bach's output includes over 1,000 works, including some of mankind's greatest artistic achievements. But a major section of this catalog is virtually unknown today. Cantatas – multi-movement works for chorus, soloists, and orchestra - formed a substantial part of both church services and civic events in German community life.  Bach wrote over 200 during his long career, and they contain some of his best music. This course will examine this fascinating repertoire in cultural and musical context, demonstrating the ingenuity of Bach's creative process and discovering many more masterpieces by the Master.  Reading music is helpful, but not required.

Instructor: Mark Dirksen is a native of Washington, DC, where he was a chorister at the Washington National Cathedral.  His degrees are from the University of Massachusetts (Organ Performance) and Temple University (Choral Conducting) and he has been Director of Music at parishes in Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Massachusetts. In addition to musical pursuits he has been an executive for academic and religious non-profits.  As a Realtor® he served as Treasurer for the North Shore (Massachusetts) Association of Realtors. He is now the Business Manager for John Paul Buzard Organ Builders. This is his first OLLI course.

From Monteverdi to Glass: A Brief History of Opera

Matthew Sheppard
Wednesday, 3:30-5:00; September 14 through November 2

Each week, we will immerse ourselves in the world of one specific opera. We will discuss topics including the genesis, libretto, music, premiere, and performance practice of that specific opera, as well as the overall style of the composer and how this fit in the greater musical and cultural landscape. To introduce our topic, we will briefly survey opera before Mozart and discuss Monteverdi’s earliest incarnations of the operatic form, as well as 18th century attempts by Handel and Haydn. After that, we will continue chronologically from Mozart to Philip Glass.

Instructor: Known for his passion and enthusiasm for music and education, Matthew Sheppard leads an active career as both a performer and pedagogue. His Music Director appointments include the University Chamber Orchestra at the University of Chicago, the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company of Chicago, the Hyde Park Youth Symphony, the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony and Civic Orchestra, and the UU Church of Urbana-Champaign. He also serves as Assistant Conductor of the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra. As a frequent OLLI instructor, he is highly regarded for his musicianship, technical ability, inspirational teaching style, and scholarship.

The Magic of Three, Four, and Five: Chamber Music Masterpieces

Anne Mischakoff Heiles
Monday, 11:00-12:30; September 12 through October 31

Chamber music players, both professional and amateur, are near fanatics in their ardor. Their pleasure in chamber music literature is shared by many, if not throngs of, listeners. This course will present representative masterpieces of the repertoire from Haydn to Debussy and beyond to the 21st century. Discussions will involve what makes the music so great, the composers, and how the players of string quartets have changed over the decades in seating arrangements and performance styles. We’ll also talk about how players rehearse.

Instructor: Anne Mischakoff Heiles has long been a chamber music enthusiast as player and listener. She is the author of dozens of articles about musicians as well as three books: America’s Concertmasters, Mischa Mischakoff: Journeys of a Concertmaster, and Khandoshkin and the Beginning of Russian String Music. During her varied career, she has played for Motown Records and recorded jingles, been a member of the Detroit Symphony and a regular substitute in the Chicago Symphony, performed as violist in three professional string quartets, and taught as a visiting faculty member at the University of Illinois (where she earned a D.M.A.) and a faculty member in viola, music history, and chamber music at the University of the Pacific, Northwestern University, and California State University. Long-time professor of piano and recitalist at the University of Illinois, William Heiles, will talk at a few of the sessions about selected piano works. The instructor’s previous OLLI courses have received praise for her exceptional teaching and deep knowledge of the subject.

Music in the High Renaissance

Cathrine Blom
Tuesday, 3:15-4:45; September 13 through October 4 (4 weeks)
This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester.

This 4-week course will examine music in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, with particular emphasis on the English Renaissance, Renaissance dance, the Counter Reformation and the Renaissance Mass in Italy, Spain, France, and England. It will also cover the intermedio and the emergence of opera in Italy in the 1590s. The course will be generously illustrated with musical recordings, film clips, and visual images, and will place them within the different societies they grew out of. Knowledge of musical notation, while an advantage, is not necessary.

Instructor: Cathrine Blom holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Illinois, and a B.A. in psychology and music.  She co-taught the primary introductory music classes for music majors several times, receiving excellent student evaluations. In 2005 she was nominated for an Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award, and received an honorary mention by the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Her two previous OLLI courses received strong reviews for the instructor’s knowledge of the subject matter.

Six by Sondheim

Eve Harwood
Friday, 10:30-12:00; September 16 through November 4

We will study six songs and their associated musicals, based on the HBO documentary Six by Sondheim: Something’s Comin’ (West Side Story); Being Alive (Company): I’m Still Here (Follies); Send in the Clowns (A Little Night Music); Opening Doors (Merrily We Roll Along); Sunday (Sunday in the Park with George). Class activities will include close reading of the lyrics, an examination of their relationship to musical and dramatic structure, and group singing of selected songs.  Insights into the craft of Broadway lyric writing will come from Sondheim’s comments in the documentary, other interviews, and his books Finishing the Hat and Look I Made a Hat.

Instructor: Eve Harwood is Associate Professor Emerita in Music Education at the University of Illinois where she taught courses in general music, children’s musical culture and music teacher education. Before beginning graduate work she taught elementary school for six years in her native Canada.  From 2000-2006 she was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Fine and Applied Arts where she initiated a faculty program, The Fine Art of Teaching, designed to develop a community of artist-teachers in higher education across all seven units of the College. She has been a lifelong fan of Broadway musical theatre, and Sondheim in particular.  This is her first OLLI course.


Ancient Christianity

Joy Kammerling
Monday, 1:30-3:00; September 12 through October 31

This course will examine the first 500 years of Christian history (the Patristic Era), beginning with the life and teachings of a Jewish rabbi named Jesus and ending with a fully-formed new religion.  Our class will look at the historical Jesus, the apostolic (biblical) period following the death of Jesus, including early methods of worship and the development of theology.  We will study the four canonical gospels (our main source of information about Jesus) and Roman persecution of Christians, and examine the evidence of heterodoxy (variety of belief) among the early followers of Christ. 

Instructor: Joy Kammerling holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is an Associate Professor of History at Eastern Illinois University.  She teaches Renaissance and Reformation history, and her research focuses on Jewish-Christian relations during the Protestant Reformation.  Her publications include articles and book chapters on Protestant beliefs and treatment of Jews in the 16th century, and she has authored numerous book reviews.  Recently, Dr. Kammerling completed work as a consultant on a five-part video series entitle The Renaissance, and she is currently working on several projects, including a book on the 16th century theologian and defender of the Jews, Andreas Osiander. Her recent OLLI courses on Martin Luther and the Salem witch trials were extremely popular, with students citing the instructor’s engaging teaching style and incorporation of useful supporting materials.

A Rabbi Encounters the New Testament

Rabbi Norman Klein
Thursday, 11:00-12:30; September 15 through November 3

We will explore the text of The New Testament, reading passages and discussing their context and content from the perspective of the Jewish history of the time.  The annotated New Testament text that forms the main source for the material of the course is The Jewish Annotated New Testament:  New Revised Standard Version Bible Translation, edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, New York:  Oxford University Press, 2011.  A quote from the editor's introduction will give the prospective student a sense of how the subject of the course will be approached:  "At times, the reader must wrestle with these New Testament texts...The point in studying such texts is not to justify them, but to understand them in their historical contexts and to recognize that the heirs of those texts have different interpretations of them." The goal of the course is to open the text to allow students a window into the world and the time it depicts.

Instructor: Norman Mark Klein, M.A.H.L., D.D., is retired as the emeritus rabbi at Sinai Temple in Champaign and after serving for two years as the interim rabbi at Temple Israel, Ottawa, Canada, and at Temple Beth Torah in Wellington, Florida. Rabbi Klein was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1985. He was rabbi of Temple Ohav Shalom, Allison Park, Pennsylvania from 1985 to 1991, and the rabbi of Temple Rodef Shalom, Waco, Texas, from 1991 to 1995. Rabbi Klein came to rabbinic school at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion with an interest in literature, having done graduate work at Indiana University, Bloomington (A.B.D. in the Ph.D. program of the English Department), his thesis work on the subject of the interaction of character and place in contemporary novels set in exotic places. His rabbinic thesis focused on a contemporary Israeli novel. He has taught several well-received courses at OLLI on subjects related to religious studies.



The Future of Energy: The Next Thirty-Five Years

Paul Debevec
Monday, 9:00-10:30; September 12 through October 31

This course will explore the possibilities for the transition from fossil fuels to renewables up to the midpoint of the century, 2050. This transition is made necessary because burning fossil fuels is causing climate change. The transition is made difficult because of global population growth and global economic development. With more and richer people, there will be more electricity, more cars, more housing, more manufacturing and more consumption. Nevertheless, with the December, 2015 Paris agreement, there is now for the first time a comprehensive international commitment to emission reductions. This course will explore how this commitment can be realized.

Instructor: Paul Debevec is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois. His research career has been in experimental particle and nuclear physics. In 2010-2011, with U of I Professors John Abelson and Clifford Singer, he developed and taught the core course for the Masters of Engineering in Energy Systems curriculum, ENG571 Theory of Energy and Sustainability Engineering. Since his retirement, he has been a guest lecturer in the course and has given public lectures and academic colloquia on energy topics. He received strong evaluations for his three past OLLI courses on energy and climate-related issues.

Genomic Biology and Society

Faculty of the Institute for Genomic Biology (team-taught); coordinated by Megan Dailey
Thursday, 3:15-4:45; September 15 through November 3

Genomic biology combines information about genes and their functions and unique methodologies to develop a predictive understanding of biological systems and behavior relevant to solving medical, energy, and environmental challenges.  This course will introduce students to genes and genomes and explore technological advances in genome research and how these advances are impacting society.  Faculty will be drawn from the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB), one of the premier institutes of its kind in the country.

Megan Dailey, Assistant Professor, Animal Sciences. IGB theme: Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering. An introduction to genes and genomic biology.
Roderick Mackie, Professor, Animal Sciences. IGB themes: Energy Biosciences Institute and Biocomplexity. Functional and comparative genomics of microbial populations. He will utilize examples from his own research to discuss microbial ecology, evolution and its impact on society.
Jessica Brinkworth, Assistant Professor, Anthropology. IGB theme: Computing Genomes for Reproductive Health. Evolutionary immunology and genomics. Her lecture will discuss the impact of human social rank and associated stress on the genomic expression of immunity. 
Gene Robinson, Professor, Integrative Biology; Director of IGB. Evolution and mechanisms of social behaviors. He will discuss how he uses honey bees to solve the nature-nurture problem.
Nathan Schroeder, Assistant Professor, Crop Sciences. IGB theme: Gene Networks in Neural & Developmental Plasticity. Genes involved in neuronal plasticity and behavior. Utilizing examples from his own research in c. elegans, Schroeder will discuss how animals sense, survive and thrive in adverse and changing environments.
Monica Uddin, Associate Professor, Psychology. IGB theme: Computing Genomes for Reproductive Health. Genetic and epigenetic risk factors in mental disorders. Uddin will discuss the genetic and epigenetic underpinnings of stress-related mental disorders in humans.
Yong-Su Jin, Associate Professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition. IGB theme: Energy Biosciences Institute and Biosystems Design. Metabolic engineering of microorganisms to produce biofuels and chemicals from renewable biomass. He will discuss how engineering beneficial genetic perturbations can elicit efficient production of biofuels, nutraceuticals, and food ingredients. 
Alfred Roca, Associate Professor, Animal Sciences. IGB theme: Computing Genomes for Reproductive Health and Gene Networks in Neural and Developmental Plasticity. Comparative Genomics. He will utilize his research in exotic wildlife to discuss how genomics is used to understand biodiversity, evolution, and conservation biology.
Coordinator: Megan Dailey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and a member of the Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering theme at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Dailey is a physiologist interested in diet-induced intestinal adaptation and the gut-brain crosstalk as it relates to obesity and metabolic disorders. Research in the lab is currently focused on studying the effect of nutrients on the epigenetic modulation of adult intestinal stem cells and its impact on tissue function. Beyond research, Dailey is involved in teaching and outreach education and has been a part of the National Science Foundation Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching.

Our Microbes: The Good, the Bad, and the Docile

Claudia Reich
Tuesday, 11:00-12:30; September 13 through November 1

Microbes share the biosphere with us humans; in fact, most of the biomass on our planet is microbial. The oldest living inhabitants of Earth, microbes have been around for over 3.5 billion years. They have colonized and adapted to all sorts of environments, including our human bodies; although we are largely unaware of them, microbial cells in our own bodies outnumber human cells by 10 to 1. They are largely responsible for fashioning the environment and play critical roles in health and disease. In this course we will look at microbes as they relate to the human experience. Who are our microbial enemies? Who are our microbial friends? Given the recent, and powerful, advances in molecular biology and our deeper understanding of our microbial companions, how can we harness the power of microbes to solve issues related to health and the environment?

Instructor: Claudia Reich holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the U of I since 1987 and until retirement, she has been a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Research Assistant Professor and Senior Scientist in the Department of Microbiology, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and the Institute for Genomic Biology. She has guest lectured in several courses in the Departments of Microbiology and Plant Sciences, and organized and conducted workshops and training sessions on Computational Tools in Genomics Research at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Argonne National Labs. At OLLI, she has taught The Microbial World in the Fall semester of 2015. Her areas of expertise include Molecular Genetics and Bacterial Genomics. She retired from the University of Illinois in 2012. Her OLLI course and study groups receive outstanding reviews for her skillful teaching style and mastery of the subject.

Time in the Shadow: Eclipses Here and There

Andrew Jones
Tuesday, 1:30-3:00; October 11 through November 1 (4 weeks)
This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester. Another course on “Plagues du Jour” will be offered in this time slot during the first half of the semester; that course requires a separate registration.

In this 4-week course we will discuss the culture, history, spiritual impact, and pure awe generated by eclipses – solar, lunar, and others. We will briefly look at the science of eclipses and how they are predicted – all without saying “calculus,” “analytical geometry,” or “celestial mechanics.” More importantly, we will review the specifics of the upcoming total eclipse of August 21, 2017. (In the U.S., Illinois will have the greatest overlap of the paths of totality for both the eclipse of 2017 and that of 2024!) We will explore best viewing locations and how to view safely.

Instructor: Andrew Jones has chased eclipses around the world for almost 50 years. This includes solar eclipses in the U.S. as well as other climes. For many years he has specialized in helping to bring new software, network infrastructure, and medical technology to market. He has taught undergraduate, graduate, and off-campus seminars on information systems, marketing, and technology commercialization at the University of Illinois. He also taught courses in astronomy, physics, math, and programming at the University of Alabama and Stillman College. This is his first OLLI course.



Fall Prevention Research: Saving Lives, Staying Active

Jacob Sosnoff and Yaejin Moon
Monday, 9:00-10:30; September 12 through October 31

Movement is fundamental to human existence and as such has been the subject of significant amount of scientific scrutiny. This course will examine how aging impacts our mobility, utilizing falls as an example of potentially catastrophic consequence of age-related changes to movement control.  Indeed, falls are the leading cause of accidental death in older adults, and the instructors and others (both on campus and beyond) are conducting research designed to prevent and minimize the impact of falls. Within this framework this course will examine the interaction between age-related changes in neuromotor function, the control of walking and balance, and cognition links to movement. Lastly, we will discuss how this research informs fall prevention guidelines and programs.

Instructors: Jacob. J. Sosnoff is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, a faculty affiliate in the Bioengineering Department, and Associate Director of the Center for Health, Aging, and Disability at the University of Illinois. His current research focuses on mobility and balance impairment in older adults and clinical populations. This is his first OLLI course.

Yaejin Moon is a research assistant and Ph.D. student in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at University. Her research focuses on reducing fall risk and related injuries in older adults. This is her first OLLI course.


Confronting the Inevitable: End-of-Life Concerns

George Perlstein
Wednesday, 1:30-3:00; September 14 through October 26

Given the fact that people no longer accept death as a natural outcome of a broken hip or pneumonia, we have choices now that didn’t exist 30 years ago and people are becoming more informed of choices to be made in their care. This course is designed to illuminate those choices, and to help students in confronting a difficult but inevitable issue. Much has been written on this topic in the past few years, and an extensive bibliography will be made available. The course will be structured as a series of presentations by specialists in areas that include hospice care, religious observances, health care issues, critical care, organ donation, and home health care.

Coordinator: George Perlstein practiced urology in Champaign from 1964 to 1991. He has read widely on the topic of end-of-life issues, and has presented this course at OLLI in 2011 and 2013. Speakers will include Gary Porton (Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, Keith Emmons (health care law), Dr. Sue Harris (psychology and counseling), Vera Duncanson (hospice care), Karen White, M.D. (critical care medicine), and Melissa Cronin (home health care).


Introduction to Tai Chi and Qigong Fundamentals

Mike Reed
There will be two sections of this course, with identical content, and students may register for only one section, which will meet weekly for 8 weeks.
Section A: Tuesday, 11:00-12:30; September 13 through November 1
Section B: Thursday, 11:00-12:30; September 15 through November 3

Qigong is an ancient practice whose Chinese origins extend back in time nearly four thousand years. It was developed as a holistic art for nurturing a healthy mind, body and spirit. Over the millennia it has evolved into a wide variety of forms, which have played important roles - spiritual, social, political, military and medical– in Chinese cultural history. The practice of taijiquan, more commonly known in the West as tai chi, is a relatively new application of the principles of qigong to the purpose of martial arts. Tai chi was created as an internal martial art in the 17th century, and has since flourished as a general health practice as it is practicable for people of all ages and physical abilities. Each of the 8 sessions will be structured to provide an overview and acquaint students with the principles and practices of tai chi and qigong. This course is intended for students who have not taken tai chi at OLLI in the past.

Instructor: Mike Reed has been studying and practicing Tai Chi and Qigong since 1998. He has shared his experience and understanding for the past 16 years with local students at OLLI, at the Savoy Recreation Center, and with research participants at the U of I and in a variety of other settings. 



Consider the Object: Writing Memoir through Objects

Gale Renee Walden
Wednesday, 9:00-10:30; September 14 through November 2

What are these things we live with?  Why is my grandfather’s cow creamer with a bell still in my dining room hutch when I am lactose intolerant and haven’t used it for years?  Why have I moved it with me from Arizona to Boston to Urbana when I don’t really like it that much?  Why don’t I get rid of it?  Is there a forgotten memory attached?  Is this anything I want to pass on to anyone else or do I just want to find the memory and pass that on? How exactly does this cow creamer fit into my life? This course will entail considering objects in our lives and our attachments to them, writing about this in order to construct a larger life story. Each student will be asked to bring in at least three objects to consider during the first three weeks of the class (or pictures of those objects that are too big to transport), and we will think and write about those objects. The course will include in-class writing exercises, and invites both experienced and new writers to participate. The primary purpose of this course is to record more about your story through a specific focus.  If it works as it should, your understanding of the object, and perhaps other things, should also change within the eight weeks.

Instructor: Gale Renee Walden is the author of a poetry book, Same Blue Chevy, published by Northwestern/Tia Chucha Press. Another poetry book, Where the Time Goes, will be forthcoming in 2017. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in multiple national magazines. She has taught creative writing at Roosevelt College, Arizona State University, University of New Orleans and the University of Illinois. She is currently studying narrative therapy.  She taught her first OLLI course, Poetry and Form, in 2014, and received strong evaluations for her thoughtful insights.