FALL SEMESTER 2020 - COURSES

 

8-week semester begins on Monday, August 31, 2020
Registration opens on Wednesday, August 5 at 10:00 a.m.

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

The schedule of class meeting times can be found HERE with additional information included in each listing below. All courses meet for 8 weeks unless noted in the course descriptions, and all courses for fall semester 2020 will be offered online-only via Zoom.

 

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES

 

Tracking the Media Tracking the Coronavirus Outbreak
Brant Houston
Tuesdays, 11:00-12:30 *NEW DAY AND TIME*
September 1 through October 20
Format: Webinar

This course will look at the challenges that newsrooms faced – and continue to face – in tracking and reporting on the outbreak and the successes and failures of the coverage. The course will cover how social media and bloggers got out the initial message on the virus, how newsrooms followed the China outbreak (including dealing with government censorship), and how newsrooms dealt with government denials and misinformation and also worked with public health officials to deliver accurate information. It will also look at how some media misled the public on the seriousness of the outbreak and the role of social media in spreading false information. The course will also compare the news coverage to coverage of previous outbreaks.

Instructor: Brant Houston is a professor and the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois. He is the author of The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook and Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide. He served as executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, an association of 5,000 members, for more than a decade and was an award-winning journalist at daily newspapers and more recently at nonprofit newsrooms. He is a co-founder of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, which has more than 180 nonprofit newsrooms as members. He has taught numerous well-received courses at OLLI, with students noting the wealth of journalistic resources he includes in his exceptional presentations.

 

Iran Beyond the Revolution
Janice Jayes
Wednesdays, 11:00-12:30
September 2 through October 21
Format: Webinar

Iranians are proud of their deep heritage of poetry and architecture, but in the U.S. we read mostly about Iran as a security threat. This class looks past headlines about the Revolutionary Guard or nuclear developments to learn more about the rich mixture of cultures that make up Iran. We will examine the legacy of earlier empires through their literature and art, and the ways they have shaped the multicultural world of contemporary Iran.

Instructor: Janice Lee Jayes, Ph.D. teaches Middle Eastern History at Illinois State University. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt and hopes to be a Fulbright Scholar in Iran someday when current tensions settle down! Her OLLI courses are among the most popular and best-reviewed offerings of recent years; one student in her spring 2019 course on Yemen commented, “This is the best class I have ever taken at OLLI” and another noted simply, “She is the best of the best.”

 

Plagues, Pandemics, and Pestilences
Néstor A. Ramírez
Tuesdays, 1:00-2:30
September 1 through October 20
Format: Webinar

This course will offer a panoramic perspective of past, present, and potential pervasive plagues that pain peoples, including their propagation, prevention, and possible permanent eradication. Starting with the biblical plagues of Egypt, we will explore the great historical epidemics, tracing their origins, spread and effects on the populations of different parts of the world. Special attention will be given to the transfer of plagues between populations and areas, like the Old World to the New World, and vice versa. We will cover infections, parasites, and insects. Recent epidemics, like Flu, Ebola, Zika, and Corona will be looked at in detail.

Instructor: Néstor A. Ramírez was born in Bogotá, Colombia, completed his medical studies and internship in Bogotá, and later spent seven years in the jungle area of southeast Colombia as a general practice physician with the Territorial Health Service. He came to the U.S. and did a General Pediatrics residency at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, both in Memphis, Tennessee. Afterwards, he held a fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the Regional Medical Center of the University of Tennessee. He came to Illinois in 1986 and started working as a neonatologist, first in Champaign, then in Springfield, and later in Chicago, until 2016. He worked as a physician reviewer for Blue Cross/Blue Shield until October 2017. He retired from active practice, but has continued his involvement in organized medicine at the county, state, and national levels. He was President of the Illinois State Medical Society in 2017-2018 and has been elected to be the Trustee for Region 5 (21 counties in Central and South-Central Illinois) for three years (2019-2021). His recent OLLI courses and lectures have received extremely positive reviews for his engaging presentation style and the useful information he provides.

FILM STUDIES

 

The Director, The Producer, The Cinematographer, and The Critic: Four Documentaries about Film
Christine Catanzarite
Mondays, 3:30-6:30
August 31 through September 28 (no class on September 7 - Labor Day)
Format: Webinar + Meeting

This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester. Another course on genre films directed by women, taught by Connie Hosier, will meet during this time slot during the second half of the semester; that course requires a separate registration.

Delving into the histories behind the silver screen and its legendary figures can reveal fascinating stories and colorful characters. This 4-week course will present four documentary films that provide a very different look at the world of motion pictures: a career biography of one of Hollywood’s most successful and iconic directors (Directed by John Ford); a stylish look at the improbable career of Robert Evans, one of the most influential producers of the 1970s and 1980s (The Kid Stays in the Picture); an examination of the legacy of a legendary cinematographer and pioneer of creating magic in Technicolor (Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff); and the illustrious life and career of one of film criticism’s towering figures, Roger Ebert (Life Itself). Each class period will include an introductory presentation about that week’s film, followed by a screening of the film and an interactive discussion.

Instructor: Christine Catanzarite has been a professor of film studies, theater, and popular culture at the University of Illinois, Illinois State University, and Bowling Green State University. She has lectured and written extensively on topics related to the history of the Hollywood studio system, popular entertainments and rituals, the musical on stage and screen, and the development of popular genres. She has been the Director of OLLI at Illinois since January 2012.

 

Women Make Movies: Reinventing Genres
Connie Hosier
Mondays, 3:30-6:30
October 5 through October
Format: Webinar + Meeting
This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester. Another course on documentaries about Hollywood, taught by Christine Catanzarite, will meet during this time slot during the first half of the semester; that course requires a separate registration. This course was originally planned for spring semester 2020, and we are pleased to offer it in this fall semester.

Women directors have made significant contributions to popular cinematic genres such as war, horror, and comedy films, as well as documentary and experimental forms. A film genre typically appeals to audiences by allowing the viewer to determine the recognizable subject matter and to choose whether or not to see a movie based on previous experiences with similar material. However, many films don’t fit neatly into just one category. In order to keep a genre fresh, several women directors in particular have experimented with hybrid forms that are difficult to categorize yet provide exciting new film experiences. This 4-week course will look at genre theory, conventions, and innovations as they apply to a documentary, an experimental format, a narrative romance, and a horror movie. Issues of race, class, and gender will also be incorporated as we learn about women who make movies. Films to be screened include History and Memory, Watermelon Woman, The Babadook, Life Animated, and The Piano.

Instructor: After receiving an M.A. from Columbia University, Connie Hosier taught English in the New York City Public School System. She also taught at-risk students in Tucson and was the administrator for a school funded through an LEAA grant that she had written. After moving to Champaign, she taught film courses among other subjects at Parkland College for 23 years. Retired now for over a decade, she has taught numerous OLLI courses on film-related topics, and students regularly praise her well-structured and meticulously researched presentations.

 

Seeing the Other as Ourselves: Europeans and Americans Abroad in Film
Norman Klein
Wednesdays, 1:00-4:00
September 2 through October 21
Format: Webinar + Meeting

This course will explore issues regarding refugees, immigration, race and religion, and the sense of alienation one experiences when being perceived as the Other, typified in the recent growth of antisemitism at home and abroad, as they are expressed in select films. The course will be structured chronologically in terms of their time setting. The goal of the course is to explore how stories portrayed in film set in exotic locations whose protagonists include persons from the U.S. or Europe (especially England) explore the issue of being considered Other – a foreigner, an exile, an expatriate, or an alien – in a culture we would consider as exotic. Thus, the tables are turned for the American and European viewer, as the characters with whom they might identify are now treated as Others. Themes we will explore include such questions and issues as what it means to be an Other; who is understood as the Others, our neighbors, and ourselves in each film’s story; how we feel when we find ourselves in the position of the Other; the Others as threats, projections, expressions, or symbols of our fears; empathy with the Other; the Others as saviors or rescuers; the connection of the Other to ourselves, and the problems of Identity and Otherness. Each class session will include an introduction to the film, a film showing, and follow up discussion. Films will include Heart of Darkness, Under the Volcano, Justine, Apocalypse Now Redux, At Play in the Fields of the Lord, and The Mosquito Coast.

Instructor: Norman Mark Klein is retired as the emeritus rabbi at Sinai Temple in Champaign after serving as the interim rabbi at temples in Canada and Florida. Before becoming Rabbi Emeritus at Sinai Temple in Champaign, he served as rabbi from 1995 to 2013. Rabbi Klein was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1985 and was rabbi at temples in Pennsylvania and Texas between 1985 and 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, with a minor in film production), 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. A representative review from a recent course on Philip Roth noted that he is “very knowledgeable and good at leading discussions.”

 

Sports Films
Chuck Koplinski
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:30
September 2 through October 21
Format: Webinar + Meeting

Sports films have been a staple since the silent movie era and it’s easy to see why. Invariably, the sport being focused on serves as a metaphor for the personal trials and troubles of its protagonist, and often how they comport themselves on the playing field leads to success in life. The sense of catharsis these movies provide have contributed to their enduring popularity. This course will give background on the history of a different sport each week in addition to the film’s production history and cultural impact. The films to be screened will be Bull Durham; Friday Night Lights; The Way Back; Mystery, Alaska; Rush; The Fighter; Invictus; and Tin Cup.

Instructor: Chuck Koplinski has been a film critic for over 25 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, his reviews can be found at www.reeltalkwithchuckandpam.com, along with those of his film critic partner, Pam Powell. This is his 14th offering at OLLI, and his courses receive enthusiastic reviews for his thought-provoking film selection and informative introductions.

HISTORY AND CULTURE

 

Art of Spanish Colonial South America
Bernard Cesarone
Tuesday, 1:30-3:00
September 1 through October 20
** COURSE CANCELLED – WE LOOK FORWARD TO OFFERING IT IN A FUTURE SEMESTER **

 

Germany’s Last Knight: Franz von Sickingen and the Holy Roman Empire
Fred Christensen
Tuesday, 11:00-12:30
September 1 through September 22
Format: Webinar
This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester.

Five centuries ago, the medieval world was giving way to modern times. Martin Luther’s ideas were beginning to shatter the unity of the Catholic Church, the modern system of competitive states was developing from the feudal age, a military revolution was bringing gunpowder and disciplined armies to bear against castles and armored knights, and social and economic changes were leading to popular upheavals. All these themes appear in the life of Franz von Sickingen, one of the free Imperial Knights of the Holy Roman Empire. He was an ambitious warlord who became one of the first followers of Luther and whose mercenary army played a key role in the early Reformation years. His castles served as refuges for persecuted Lutheran scholars and preachers. In 1522 he led the Knights’ Revolt, attempting to overthrow the worldly power of the Catholic Church in Germany. This 4-week course will use his story to examine the age in which he lived.

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 and other venues, in five areas of history and archaeology: Britain, Germany, early America, Israel/the Holy Land, and military history in general. This is his 26th OLLI course since 2008, and students regularly note his enthusiasm, well-chosen materials, and thorough knowledge of the subject matter.

 

The History, Impact, and Representation of LGBTQ Sexual Identity in Modern America
Fred Fejes
Fridays, 1:00-2:30
September 4 through October 23
Format: Webinar

Over the last 50 years there has been a dramatic change in the role and understanding of LGBTQ issues and sexual identity in our society. This course provides an overview of those changes and a discussion of the issues involved, including generational changes, historical contexts, and media representations. Through lecture, discussion, and media clips, we will examine the pre-modern and contemporary histories of LGBTQ identities; the emergence of the study of sexuality in the mid-20th century; post-war and Stonewall generations; the impact of the AIDS crisis; contemporary issues surrounding LGBTQ identity and representation; and the impact of digital culture on political and social movements.

Instructor: Fred Fejes has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since 1986 he has taught communication, media studies, and LGBTQ studies at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, where he is Professor Emeritus. In 2018-2019 he was a Fulbright Scholar in the Czech Republic. He has taught and done research in the area of sexuality and media studies and has written numerous articles and several books, including Gay Rights and Moral Panic: The Origins of America’s Debate on Homosexuality; and "Invisibility, Homophobia, Heterosexism: Lesbians, Gays and the Media," (co-authored with Kevin Petrich) which received the 1994 Outstanding Published Article Award from the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender. This is his first OLLI course.

 

Understanding the Civil War through the Lives and Work of Three Northern Abolitionists
Connor Monson
Thursdays, 9:00-10:30
September 3 through September 24
Format: Webinar
This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester.

General portrayals of the American Civil War often show a peaceful country torn asunder by the arrival of the brutal conflict with the bombardment of Fort Sumter. This course is meant to show how the 1850s were not a calm before the storm, but rather a time of deep civil unrest, political violence, and cultural transformation. We will view this period through the lives of three northern abolitionists: Charles Sumner, John Brown, and Henry David Thoreau – three men who were ahead of their time, but could not escape the unforgiving world they lived in.

Instructor: Connor Monson is a graduate student at the University of Illinois pursuing library science and public history, with plans to complete a Ph.D. in American History and teach at the undergraduate level. His undergraduate major was in American History with a focus on the mid-19th century. He has published a senior honors thesis as well as two peer-reviewed articles with the digital history organization Sourcelab; all three articles concern American political movements and parties. He currently serves as Sourcelab’s Vice-Chairman. Connor has taught history courses at Parkland College community education for nearly two years. This is his first OLLI course.

 

Becoming Scottish Americans
Loarn Robertson
Fridays, 10:30-12:00
October 2 through October 23
Format: Webinar
This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester.

In the early 17th century the new British King James I sent settlers to the eastern seaboard of North America to establish colonies there. These early settlers included Scots from the Highlands and Lowlands who came, initially, as traders, trappers, and planters – while others came as indentured servants and prisoners from religious wars in Britain. Many settled, married with the native population, rearing families and establishing communities, while often maintaining Scottish traditions. In the 18th and 19th centuries these early settlers were followed by others, some seeking a better life, some as banished plantation prisoners, some as soldiers and many fleeing poverty and persecution because of their beliefs or heritage often being dispossessed of their property and livelihood. In the 20th century another wave of immigrants arrived after the collapse of large industrial Scottish towns like Glasgow and the associated depression and closures of raw materials pits supporting Scottish heavy industries. Although, as an ethnic group, the immigrant Scots were relatively small in number, they and their descendants were to help forge these United States and many were to create lasting impressions on the American landscape establishing economic, political and cultural legacies that are recognized and revered today. This is the story of those Scottish emigrants, their motivations, failures and successes as individuals and groups who took the risks and faced the challenges involved in becoming Scottish Americans.

Instructor: Loarn Robertson is a native Scot and a graduate of the University of Illinois. A former university professor, clinician and academic book editor Robertson is currently retired and is the founder of a small business enterprise, Scotia Books and Things, that offers informational products about things of Celtic interest. Using his training in history Robertson has written several Scottish and Franco-Irish historical, biographical and genealogical works, and regularly presents on topics of Scottish and medieval history to local universities and community colleges. His past OLLI courses on Scottish history and culture have been well-received for his expertise and presentation skills.

 

LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE

 

My Ántonia and Ragtime
Parley Ann Boswell
Thursdays, 11:00-12:30
September 3 through October 22
Format: Meeting

We will read two astonishing American novels: My Ántonia (1918) by Willa Cather (1873-1947), and Ragtime (1975) by E.L. Doctorow (1931-2015). Reading and reflecting these novels onto each other will allow us to explore the twentieth-century American literary landscape in ways we might not have considered before, all while we experience two of America’s greatest storytellers.

Students are encouraged to secure copies of both novels before the start of the semester.

Instructor: Parley Ann Boswell graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign just months after Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece The Godfather Part II was released. Now Professor Emerita of English, at EIU she taught Film Studies and American Literature – from colonial through early 20th century – for thirty years. This is her fifth OLLI course, and her courses receive exceptional reviews for being well-organized, interesting, and informative. A recent student noted, “I have always loved Edith Wharton, but I know so much more now.”

 

The Victorian Novel on Film and TV: Families, Lost and Found
John Frayne
Fridays, 1:30-4:30
September 4 through October 23
Format: Webinar

The family, that foundation stone of human society, was a favorite subject for the British writers of the Victorian period. The expectations of parents and children were quite different from those in today’s world, but even in the rigid structure of the Victorian family, we can see a mirror of the perennial problems of our lives today.
This course will study, through adaptations into the format of the TV serial, how the basic issues of family life are expressed through some of the famous novels of that period. We will see a character who fakes his own death, and, through an assumed identity, must find a place in a new family (Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend). In Thomas Hardy’s novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, we will encounter a man who destroys his family, and must set out upon the path of trying to regain that family again. In Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel Wives and Daughters, the perennial clash between stepmother and stepdaughter is depicted, as well as the struggle of the same mother with her biological daughter. In Henry James’ The Golden Bowl, a secret relationship threatens familial harmony. The leisurely format of the TV serial should offer ample time for discussion.

Instructor: John Frayne was from 1965 to 1997 Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Film Studies at the University of Illinois, and is now an Emeritus Professor. He specialized in Modern British Literature and Film Studies. From 1985 to the 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 News-Gazette. In recent years, he has volunteered at the Champaign Public Library FriendShop, serving on the Board and the FriendShop committee. He offered his first OLLI course in spring 2010 and has taught regularly since then, with students hailing his insightful treatment of topics from literature and film to classical music.

 

Childhood and the Poem
James T. McGowan
Mondays, 9:30-11:00
August 31 through October 26 (no class on September 7-Labor Day)
Format: Meeting

“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” “The child is father to the man (or mother to the woman).” “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” (The beautiful ambiguity of this last one!) When does childhood end, if it ever does for some of us? How do we juggle the abyss between innocence - in the traditional meaning, the inability to distinguish good from evil/right from wrong - and ignorance - again, in the traditional sense, lack of knowledge or experience? What is the distinction between childish and childlike? Which is the compliment, which the insult? How does memory amplify, distort, clarify, addle any assessment of the life of a child? There is little doubt that the experiences of childhood have an impact on the formation of identity; however, the degree to which those experiences shape or determine identity are very much open to question.
Through close readings and the application of various interpretive strategies, we will analyze and discuss a variety of poems that address the complexity of the state of childhood, from the child’s as well as the adult’s point-of-view. We will concentrate on the interplay of image, metaphor, allusion, dialogue, and plot as manifested in each poem.

Instructor: After receiving an M.A. in English at the University of Arkansas, with an emphasis in creative writing, James McGowan left academia to open a restaurant in Chattanooga, TN. Subsequent to discovering how difficult it is to be an owner/operator of a stand-alone restaurant, he rushed back into academic life, becoming a Professor of English at Parkland College for thirty-three years. His short fiction and poetry has appeared in a variety of literary journals and magazines, among them The North American Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Alligator Juniper, The Ledge, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and White Eagle Coffee Store Press. His OLLI courses on poetry have received high marks for the insightful discussions and well-chosen materials.

 

Introduction to Latin for the Absolute Novice
Kay Neal
Mondays, 5:30-7:00
August 31 through October 26 (no class meeting on September 7-Labor Day)
Format: Meeting

If you were always an outsider looking in at those lucky people who had the chance to take Latin, this course is for you. We will start at the absolute beginning, with no prior knowledge at all of foreign languages or even English grammar expected. By the end of eight weeks, you will have a sense of ownership of Latin and will be well prepared for further study, should you find that you have fallen hopelessly in love with the language and must have more. A word to the wise: The investment of an hour’s review between sessions will amply reward the learner.

Instructor: Kay Neal is a former drop-out Latin student who nevertheless retained a decades-long love of the language. In 2005, she took up Latin again and was soon on a self-imposed mission to make Latin accessible to ordinary people. She returned to school (U. of I.) and earned a second bachelor’s degree (Classics, 2007) and a second master’s degree (Latin, 2009). Her new motto: Reveni, revidi, vici! Her well-received OLLI Latin courses in 2013-2015 inspired many students to discover Latin, and inspired the long-running OLLI study group dedicated to the study of advanced Latin.


MUSIC

 

The Changing Role and Dimensions of Choral Music in the 19th Century
Chester L. Alwes
Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00
September 29 through October 20
Format: Webinar
This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester. Another course on music and society in the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque periods, taught by Cathrine Blom, will meet during this time slot during the first half of the semester; that course requires a separate registration.

During the 19th century, European culture, politics, and science underwent dramatic change and the chorus (its size, makeup and repertory) was no exception. This 4-week course will discuss the primary genres of choral music and how they changed post-Beethoven. We will examine the oratorio, the partsong, sacred music, and dramatic music for the chorus. We will begin with an introduction and the evolving role of the oratorio. Works to be studied include Haydn’s Creation, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri, and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius. We will also examine the increasing leisure time and disposable income available to the middle class, which produced a dramatic rise in the number of choruses of all types – male choruses, female choruses, symphonic chorus, etc. – and the amount of amateur participation. During this period, there was an increasingly narrow distance between music intended for use in the church and music designed for concert performance. As illustrations, we will examine the motets of Mendelssohn and Brahms, S.S. Wesley, Josef Rheinberger, and Gabriel Fauré.

Instructor: Chester Alwes has served as a member of the faculty of the School of Music at U. of I. since 1982, retiring from full-time teaching in 2011, though he still teaches a choral literature class. During his career he was quite active as the conductor of various choral ensembles: UI Concert Choir (1982-2009), Women’s Glee Club (2009-11) and Oratorio Society (intermittent performances between 1987 and 1994), the choir of Grace Lutheran Church, and the Baroque Artists of CU (BACH) that he founded and served as music director of from 1996 to 2017. He is also the author of many articles on choral music, a chapter on 19th century choral music in the Cambridge Companion to Choral Music (2012) and his 2-volume History of Western Choral Music (Oxford UP: 2015-16). He has taught numerous OLLI music courses through the years, with students noting his deep knowledge of the subject matter.


The Interplay between Music and Society in the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque Periods
Cathrine Blom
Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00
September 1 through September 22
Format: Webinar
This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester. Another course on choral music in the 19th century, taught by Chester Alwes, will meet during this time slot during the second half of the semester; that course requires a separate registration.
This course was originally planned for spring 2020, and we are pleased to offer it in this fall semester.

Why have composers written certain kinds of music during specific time periods? Why did the music of the Middle Ages sound totally different from the music of the Renaissance and the Baroque, which in turn were very different from the music of the Classical and Romantic periods? In this class we will discuss composers and their works from the perspective of the composers’ positions in society, cultural demands, and performance practices – and show how classical music in these eras has been inextricably linked to the environment in which it was produced. This course cover music in the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.

Instructor: Cathrine Blom earned her Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Illinois, where she also earned a B.A. in psychology with a minor in music. She also has a working background in physics, participating in Norway on analysis of CERN experiments prior to coming to the U.S. At Illinois, she co-taught the primary introductory music classes for majors several times, and received an honorary mention for the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Her OLLI courses on both music and science topics are highly regarded; one recent student noted, “She made a very difficult topic much easier to understand.”


Jazz on This Day: Revisiting 1959
Jenelle Orcherton
Wednesdays, 9:30-11:00
September 2 through October 21
Format: Meeting

Some say jazz came of age in the 1950s, and 1959 proved to be a pivotal year across all avenues of jazz. Each week, we will look back at the corresponding date in 1959 and dig into what album was playing, who was making it, and the larger social contexts of that music. Join us as we look back in time to find the links between the constant and yet ever-changing music called jazz! Each session will focus on what happened on that day in 1959, including:
September 2 – Sarah Vaughn, newly signed with Roulette company, records with an orchestra in Los Angeles
September 9 – Big Joe Turner meets Coleman Hawkins and Jim Hall on “Big Joe Rides Again”
September 30 – Nina Simone sings “I Love You Porgy” and hits on the Billboard Hot 100
October 14 – Blossom Dearie and her album “Sings Comden and Green” is released with great acclaim
October 21 – Thelonious Monk plays a solo recording in what becomes Fugazi Hall

Instructor: Jenelle Orcherton is a jazz performer and educator, with training in Education and a recent Masters' in Jazz Performance from the University of Illinois. She is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Champaign-Urbana Jazz Festival just celebrated its fifth successful season. She has served on many jazz and community organizations including the Saskatoon Jazz Society, Music Defying Boundaries, and most recently, the Urbana Public Arts Commission. Jenelle has over fifteen years of education experience and is passionate about giving all audiences the opportunity to engage with jazz. She receives enthusiastic reviews for her OLLI music courses, with students citing her knowledge of the subject and lively in-class discussions.


THE SCIENCES

 

Illinois’ Glacial Landcapes, Deposits, and History: Their Societal Relevance
David A. Grimley
Thursdays, 10:00-11:30
September 3 through October 22
Format: Webinar

This class will highlight Illinois’ glacial history, including the landscapes and sediments left behind by cyclical glacial advances of the past million years. The causes of glaciations will be discussed along with how glacier-related deposits and ancient interglacial soils are recognized. Geographic variations of landscapes and sediments can be explained through understanding of geologic processes and history. What can ice age fossil records (large mammals to snails to microscopic pollen) reveal about paleoclimates and paleoenvironments? The role of Illinois’ glacial history in current societal issues (Mahomet aquifer, wind farms, agriculture, climate change) and ecosystems (plant-soil relations) will also be emphasized.

Instructor: Dr. Grimley has worked as a Quaternary Geologist at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) since 1995. He received his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Illinois (1996) and an A.B. in Astrogeophysics from Colgate University. His current position involves various aspects of Quaternary (ice age period) mapping and research, mainly in Illinois but also in other regions. His research interests and expertise include loess-paleosol sequences, Illinois and pre-Illinois Episode glaciations, Quaternary gastropods and paleoenvironments, paleoclimate, soil magnetic properties, and soil-vegetation relations. Dr. Grimley has authored or co-authored 34 journal articles, 42 maps, and 9 field guides. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in NRES and Geology at the U. of I. and has co-taught courses on campus and has given numerous lectures at conferences and for the public. He has taught three different OLLI classes on geology, including offering this course in 2014 and 2015, to strong evaluations that noted his thorough knowledge of the subject and well-chosen examples.

 

Of Milk and Mankind: A History of Mankind’s Long Held Relationship with Milk
Walter Hurley
Mondays, 10:30-12:00
August 31 through October 26 (no class on September 7-Labor Day)
Format: Webinar

Mankind has consumed milk and products of milk from a range of other species for thousands of years. This course aims to examine the historical and current relationships between humans and the consumption of milk. How did mankind come to rely on milk as a food source? How have the relationships between mankind and milk changed over the centuries? What were some of the significant innovations in milk production and public health that impacted our use of that food? What factors have led to our current view of milk production and consumption? These and other questions will be examined. This is a significantly updated version of a course that was offered in fall 2019, with positive evaluations that noted the instructor’s presentation skills and deep knowledge.

Instructor: Walt Hurley is a Professor Emeritus of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has served on the faculty in Animal Sciences for over 35 years. His area of research has been lactation biology and mammary gland biology, particularly with respect to dairy cattle and swine. He has taught a number of undergraduate courses at Illinois, including his long-standing course on the biology of lactation. He has previously taught an OLLI course which addressed some basic concepts and principles about milk, its composition and production mammals, and its use humans.

 

Deciphering the Cosmos: A Sampling of Famous Skywatchers
David Leake
Tuesdays, 9:00-10:30
September 1 through October 20
Format: Webinar

Throughout history, individuals have watched the sky and noticed patterns. These patterns helped us unravel the way the universe works and the Earth’s place in it. Dive into the lives of eight of these famous astronomers from the past in this lecture series. Learn of their discoveries and why they are significant in addition to their own trials and tribulations.
• Nasir al-Din al Tusi and the ancient sky
• Galileo Galilea and the “Optik Tube”
• Johannes Kepler and the laws governing the solar system and the motion of the planets
• Benjamin Banneker on the sky, eclipses, and the almanac
• Henrietta Leavitt and the cosmic distance scale
• Edwin Hubble and the expanding universe
• Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and the composition of stars
• Leslie Peltier and amateur contributions to the science

Instructor: David Leake has been sharing the stars with the community since he saw his first constellation in 5th grade. He retired in the summer of 2019 after 30 years at the William Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College, the last 20 as director. There he taught Physics and Astronomy in addition to welcoming over 20,000 schoolchildren to the planetarium. In 2005, Dave won the ICCTA outstanding faculty member award, the first Parkland faculty to win the state award. Dave was instrumental in working with local entities to acquire “dark sky park” status for the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve. He has given several extremely well-received lectures at OLLI, and this is his first OLLI course.

 

NeuroBehavioral Assessment, Measurement, and Intervention: Contemporary Trends and Implications (team-taught)
Coordinator: Kathryn Leskis and the Affiliated Faculty of the Illinois NeuroBehavioral Assessment Laboratory
Wednesdays, 3:30-5:00
September 2 through October 21
Format: Webinar

The Illinois NeuroBehavioral Assessment Laboratory (INBAL) is a newly created unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The overarching goal of the INBAL is to foster new, innovative research collaborations focused on identifying rich measures of behavioral performance, cognitive and emotional processes, personality and social behaviors to inform research in human capital formation, population health, and more broadly, in big data approaches to the assessment sciences.
This exciting team-taught 8-week course will highlight the work of University faculty across disciplines, including the INBAL Directors, with expertise in neurobehavioral assessment, measurement, memory, learning, emotion, and/or aging. Each week will feature a presentation by a different faculty member on their research area (the speaking order will be announced shortly before the start of the semester):

Brent Roberts - “Getting to Know Yourself”
Dr. Roberts is the Director of the Center for Social and Behavioral Science (CSBS), Co-Director of INBAL, and Professor of Psychology. His research has focused on determining the replicable patterns of continuity and change in personality traits across adulthood, the life experiences associated with changes in personality traits over time, and the significance of these changes for individual functioning. Dr. Roberts has received multiple awards for his work including the Carol and Ed Diener Mid-Career Award in Personality Psychology, the Theodore Millon Mid-Career Award in Personality Psychology, the Henry Murray Award, the Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Basel. He has served as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Research in Personality and Psychological Science and is the Past President for the Association for Research in Personality.

Neal Cohen - “Life is All Memory”
Dr. Cohen is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute (IHSI), and the Center for Nutrition, Learning and Memory (CNLM), and Co-Director of INBAL. He is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, the Neuroscience Program, and the Beckman Institute. Dr. Cohen’s research involves interdisciplinary studies of human learning and memory, and he has been instrumental in the discovery and characterization of the brain's multiple memory systems. His work has emphasized the development of new approaches and multiple methodologies for assessing different aspects of memory in various populations, both in association with brain disorders and in response to specific interventions. In 2012, Dr. Cohen was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which recognized his “pioneering research on memory and amnesia, distinguishing brain systems and psychological characteristics that distinguish declarative and procedural memory.”

Kara Federmeier and Suzanne Jongman - Theme: How the brain and language change with age
Dr. Federmeier is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, the Neuroscience Program, and Beckman Institute, where she co-leads the Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative and works with postdoctoral research fellow Suzanne Jongman. Dr. Federmeier’s Cognition and Brain Lab has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the James S. McDonnell Foundation. She received the Award for Distinguished Early Career Contributions to Psychophysiology from the Society for Psychophysiology in 2006 and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Young Investigator Award in 2010. In 2012, she was named a University Scholar and in 2013 a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Centennial Scholar. She was President of the Society for Psychophysiology (2017-2019). Dr. Federmeier is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the Psychonomic Society and edits The Psychology of Learning and Motivation. Her research interests include language processing, semantic memory, aging, hemispheric differences, and Electrophysiology (EEG, ERPs).

Monica Fabiani - Theme: Behavioral and Neural Data in the Context of Aging
Dr. Fabiani is Co-Director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory and Professor of Psychology, and the Beckman Institute Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Her research interests are in the cognitive neuroscience of human memory and aging, as well as in the development of tools for the non-invasive mapping of human brain function. As is typical of the cognitive neuroscience approach, her research involves the integration of data from different domains, including behavioral responses, neuropsychological tests, and brain anatomy and function (event-related brain potentials, or ERPs; structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI; and optical imaging, including near infrared spectroscopy, or NIRS, and a new technique developed by Gabriele Gratton (CNS Group) and Fabiani, the event-related optical signals, or EROS). Drs. Fabiani and Gratton have earned an R01 grant from the National Institute of Aging (Project Title: "Optical Measures of Cerebral Arterial Function as Predictors of Brain and Cognitive Aging") as well as the prestigious Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychophysiology award.

Elizabeth A L Stine-Morrow - “The Promise of Engagement for Promoting Lifelong Cognitive Health”
Dr. Stine-Morrow is a Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Psychology as well as the Beckman Institute. Her research is broadly concerned with the multifaceted nature of adult development and aging, and in particular, how cognition and intellectual capacities are optimized over the adult life span. She has examined how self-regulated adaptations (e.g., selective allocation of attentional resources, reliance on knowledge-based processes, activity engagement) engender positive development in adulthood. Much of this research has focused on the important role of literacy and the processes through which effective reading is maintained into late life. This research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute for Educational Sciences. Dr. Stine-Morrow is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America. Awards include the College of Education Spitze-Mather Award for Faculty Excellence and the Department of Educational Psychology Jones Teaching Award. She has served as President of Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of the American Psychological Association, as associate editor for The Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Memory & Cognition, and as a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Adolescent and Adult Literacy (2009-2011). Dr. Stine-Morrow currently serves as the editor of Psychology and Aging.

Raksha Mudar - “Memory Slips: What’s Normal, What’s Not”
Dr. Mudar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, the Neuroscience Program, and Director of the Aging and Neurocognition Lab. Her research examines changes in higher order cognitive functions in individuals who are at-risk of developing dementia, such as those with subjective cognitive impairment and mild cognitive impairment; and the effects of strategy-based cognitive training. Dr. Mudar is part of a multi-site team awarded a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation to help adults with cognitive disabilities deal with challenges associated with everyday activities. Dr. Mudar chairs the Joint Committee on Interprofessional Relations Between the American Psychological Association (APA) and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Dan Morrow - “Can Conversational Agents (Avatars) Help Older Adults Learn Health Information?”
Dr. Morrow is a Professor and Chair of Educational Psychology, and Professor of Psychology, Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, and the Beckman Institute. Dr. Morrow’s current research projects, both funded by NIH, focus on expertise and aging in pilot performance, and health communication. His fields of professional interest are cognitive aging and human factors related to communication in complex tasks. He has served as editor of Review of Human Factors and Ergonomics, associated editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology, and on the editorial board of Psychology and Aging.

Wendy Heller - “A Tale of Two Anxieties”
Dr. Heller is the Department Head and Professor of Psychology, the Beckman Institute, and Co-Director of INBAL. In 2014, she was appointed Provost Fellow with a special focus on campus diversity. Dr. Heller was selected as a Fellow on the 2019-20 President’s Executive Leadership Program (PELP) and won the Executive Officer Distinguished Leadership Award in 2019. Dr. Heller’s research interests involve the neural mechanisms associated with emotion-cognition interactions and their implications for psychopathology. She is particularly interested in examining cognitive and emotional risk factors associated with the development or maintenance of anxiety and depression. She uses behavioral and neuroimaging methods such as neuropsychological task performance, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and event-related potentials (ERPs). She draws on psychological theories to model how fundamental emotion and personality constructs can be mapped onto brain systems to clarify the neural mechanisms of emotion and psychopathology. In turn, the neuropsychological and neuroimaging findings are used to inform psychological theories of emotion and psychopathology.

Instructor: Dr. Kathryn Leskis is a licensed clinical psychologist, clinical director of INBAL, and clinical assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also an adjunct assistant professor in the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign, and provides lectures on psychological testing to medical students during their third or fourth year psychiatry clerkship. This is the first OLLI course she has coordinated.

 

Molecular Literacy for All
Jeff Moore
Mondays, 9:00-10:30
August 31 through October 26 (no class on September 7-Labor Day)
Format: Webinar

Our world is molecular-based and molecular science fills our lives each day. The language of molecules is a communication barrier that prevents us from exploring and understanding topics of interest to us: the food we eat, the medicines we take, the chemicals in our environment, the clothes we wear. This new course will guide the learner on a playful journey that introduces the language of molecular science. Our goal is to make learning this language enjoyable, broadly accessible, and useful in everyday life. The course strives to engage the learner in interactive ways to empower the learner with practical tools to explore the world of molecules in whatever direction the learner wishes to pursue.

Instructor: Jeff Moore is director of the Beckman Institute (2017- ), after serving as interim director for a year. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1989. He is an Ikenberry Endowed Chair, a professor of chemistry and of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a part-time Beckman Institute faculty member for the Autonomous Materials Systems Group. His fields of professional interest are molecular self-assembly, structure-controlled macromolecules, stimuli-responsive materials, single-molecule lithography, self-healing polymers, and materials and methods for nano- and mesoscale devices. His first OLLI course was an exceptionally well-received OLLI offering on “The Molecular Me” in 2014; as director of the Beckman Institute, he has been a partner with OLLI on numerous collaborative projects, including the innovative Citizen Scientist Program.

 

The Genome and Health
Coordinator: Erik R. Nelson and the Faculty of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (team-taught)
Wednesdays, 9:00-10:30
September 2 through October 21
Format: Webinar

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 learners to genes and genomes and explore technological advances in genome research and how these advances are impacting health and 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.
Each week will feature a presentation by a different faculty member on their research area (the speaking order will be announced shortly before the start of the semester):

Erik R. Nelson, Assistant Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
“Cholesterol, Regulation of Genes, and Cancer”
Cancer continues to be a major clinical and societal problem. This lecture will describe how cholesterol is involved in helping cancer grow, and how we might use this knowledge to develop better therapeutic strategies.
Dr. Nelson – who is also the coordinator for this course – is an assistant professor in the department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. He is also a member of the Cancer Center at Illinois. Dr. Nelson received his Ph.D. in Endocrinology from the University of Calgary, and specialized in Cancer Biology and Pharmacology at Duke University. In 2014, he was recruited to the University of Illinois to investigate how cholesterol and its metabolites impact breast and ovarian cancer.

Thomas E. Kehl-Fie, Assistant Professor of Microbiology
“You are what you don’t eat: How pathogens overcome starvation to cause disease”
During infection humans and other vertebrates starve invading organisms for essential nutrients, a defense known as nutritional immunity. This lecture will focus on the strategies used by pathogens to overcome this host-defense.
Dr. Kehl-Fie is an assistant professor in the department of microbiology, whose laboratory is working to elucidate the molecular mechanisms used by Staphylococcus aureus and other pathogens to subvert host defenses and cause infection. Before joining the University of Illinois, he completed his graduate training at Washington University in St. Louis in molecular microbiology and microbial pathogenesis and a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Huimin Zhao, Steven L. Miller Chair
“A brief history of genetic engineering.”
This lecture will describe some of the recent developments in the field of genetic engineering –developments that are poised to fundamentally transform biomedicine and biotechnology.
Dr. Zhao is a Professor in the Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Bioengineering, Biosystems Design (BSD) Theme Leader, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Jodi Flaws, Professor of Comparative Biosciences
“Effect of the environment on reproductive health”
The lecture will focus on which types of environmental chemical exposures impact female reproductive health. It will also focus on the mechanisms by which environmental chemicals damage the reproductive system.
Dr. Jodi Flaws is a Professor in the Department of Comparative Biosciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Her laboratory studies the effects of environmental chemical exposures on the female reproductive system

Marni Boppart, Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Community Health
“Design of novel therapeutics to enhance skeletal muscle mass and strength”
This lecture will focus on how the muscle responds to the process of aging and current research focused on the prevention or recovery of age-related muscle loss.
Marni Boppart, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, is the head of the Molecular Muscle Physiology Lab at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. She also holds appointments in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. She has studied skeletal muscle for the last 25 years and funded by the National Institutes of Health to improve muscle health in context of disuse and aging.

Collin Kieffer, Assistant Professor of Microbiology
“Still here after all these years: The continuing HIV/AIDS epidemic and new approaches to understand and cure a global killer.”
In this lecture we will cover the history of the HIV epidemic and delve into aspects of the virus life-cycle that allow the virus to remain dormant within infected individuals which necessitates lifelong treatment to keep the virus suppressed. We will then discuss how advanced 3D imaging is illuminating our understanding of the virus in tissues from animal models and human patients with the goal of identifying new virus weaknesses and patient responses to novel treatments. Dr. Kieffer was born and raised in the Midwest and obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a double-major in bacteriology and genetics, and a minor in art. He conducted his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Utah and postdoc in Biology and Biological Engineering at Caltech before returning to the Midwest as an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Illinois.

Auinash Kalsotra, Associate Professor of Biochemistry
“RNA and Disease”
This seminar will provide an introduction to an RNA-mediated muscle disease, explain its underlying pathogenic mechanism(s), and discuss our recent efforts to develop therapeutic approaches for treating it.
Auinash Kalsotra is an associate professor of biochemistry, a Beckman fellow, and a member of the Carl R. Woese Institute of Genomic Biology, and the Cancer Center at Illinois. Kalsotra received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at Houston, TX, where he studied the role of lipid mediators in progression and resolution of inflammation. During his postdoctoral work at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, he investigated the mechanisms and roles of RNA processing in heart development and disease.

Hannah D. Holscher, Assistant Professor of Nutrition
“Microbes Matter: Eating for Trillions”
There is a microbial “organ” that resides inside each of us and contributes to our health and well-being. Consuming a diet rich is plant foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes, helps to support your health, as well as the health of your trillion little friends.
Dr. Hannah Holscher is an assistant professor of nutrition and a registered dietitian. She studies how food influences gut microbes and human health. Her work is important because it informs dietary recommendations to improve health and well-being.

 

Immunotherapy for Cancer
Edward Roy
Mondays, 1:30-3:00
October 5 through October 26
Format: Webinar
This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester.

Cancer touches nearly everyone’s life. Standard treatments (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) seldom cure the disease, and can impair quality of life. The immune system has the capacity to recognize and selectively kill cancer cells. Obviously, it has failed when cancer progresses, but the idea that medical interventions can bolster the immune system to rid the body of cancer is now widely accepted. Immunotherapy includes a variety of strategies, and this course will teach the basics of immunology to allow understanding of what these new strategies are attempting to do, and what their advantages and shortcomings are.

Instructor: Edward Roy is an emeritus professor of Physiology at the University of Illinois. He received his Ph.D. from UMass Amherst and did postdoctoral work at The Rockefeller University, studying the neuroscience of hormones. He joined the Psychology Department in 1979. In 1993 a family member died from a brain tumor, prompting a shift in his research career. He retooled as an immunologist, and moved his academic position to the Medical School, where he taught immunology to first year medical students. He began a long collaboration with David Kranz, a T cell biochemist also interested in therapeutic applications of T cells. This is his first OLLI course.

 

WELLNESS AND MOVEMENT

 

Introduction to Meditation/Mindfulness
French Fraker
Tuesdays, 9:30-11:00
September 29 through October 20
Format: Meeting

This is a 4 -week course that meets during the second half of the semester.

This 4-week course will give students the knowledge and the guidance to develop a personal meditation practice. The lectures will present a basic overview of the meditation and physiological and psychological foundations of meditation. Students will learn techniques to relax and calm their body and their mind. Each class will include a series of short meditations designed to give the students the skills to begin a meditation practice at home. Students will be taught techniques to overcome the barriers and challenges faced by beginning meditators. The lectures covering mindfulness will give the students practice in a variety of mindful activities. Students are encouraged to practice meditation and mindfulness on their own.

Instructor: French Fraker first became interested in meditation back in the early 1970s when he was writing his master’s thesis on biofeedback relaxation. He went through TM meditation training and studied the mind-body connection. He received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois. He retired in 2005 from Eastern Illinois University where he taught in a graduate counselor education program, with a focus was substance abuse. Upon retirement, he took his first OLLI class, which was a Tai Chi class. He continues his Tai Chi practice and serves as a student assistant in OLLI’s long-running Tai Chi course taught by Mike Reed. He has studied meditation and Tai Chi with several nationally renowned meditation and Tai Chi teachers. His recent OLLI courses on meditation and mindfulness have received strong reviews for his informative presentations and useful demonstrations.


Zumba Gold (Latin Dance Fitness) and the Brief History of Latin Dance
Lei Shanbhag
Wednesdays, 1:30-3:00
September 2 through October 21
Format: Meeting

This class is ideal for active older adults who are looking for a modified Zumba class that recreates the original moves at a lower intensity. It takes the "work" out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and medium-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. The design of the class introduces easy-to-follow Zumba choreography that focuses on balance, range of motion, and coordination.
The second element of the course is a series of lectures on the history of various Latin and other related dance forms: Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Reggaeton, Bollywood, Hip-hop, and Tango.
In each 90 minutes class during the semester, we will have 45 minutes in Zumba Gold dance fitness, and 45 minutes of lectures on the history of each dance form and the demonstration of some basic dance moves.

Instructor: Since the first time Lei Shanbhag danced in a Zumba class eight years ago, she knew that it would be a great fit for her to continue dancing in Zumba and be an instructor. This is simply because Zumba engages her on many levels, artistically, musically and physically. It is a great combination of dance, music, and fitness. Lei has been teaching Zumba (7 years), Ballet for Adult Beginning (5 years), and Yoga (2 years) in several fitness venues, including the Champaign Fitness Center, Mettler Center, the Savoy Recreation Center, the U. of I., and YMCA. Students in her OLLI courses have given high marks to her skilled instruction and informative dance-history content.


Popular Ballroom Dances
Alex Tecza
Tuesdays, 2:00-3:30
September 1 through October 20
Format: Meeting

With the growing popularity of ballroom dancing and more exposure on TV, new studies have been conducted to test the benefits of this activity. The multidimensional benefits of dancing include all areas of health-physical, mental, social, and emotional. In this course, you will learn the basics of popular ballroom dances and how to create your own patterns so you can have fun improvising. We will also show you how you can dance what you learned to almost any music. Thus, you will never feel left out at any dance party. No partner required. Dances taught in this session will include Tango, Mambo, East Coast Swing, and Rumba.

Instructor: Alex Tecza is a ballroom dance competitor and teacher. His achievements include titles of North American champion, professional national and world finalist, Dancers Cup Tour Professional Couple of the Year award two years in a row, and several wins in professional Standard, Smooth, Rhythm, and Showdance divisions. Aside from competitions, Alex continues to teach and perform all over the country. Locally, he has taught master classes and workshops for Dance Department at the U. of I. and Regent Ballroom, choreographed and performed in productions at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and has coached Illini Dancesport team. Alex teaches students of all ages and levels. He has taught at OLLI regularly since fall 2017, and a recent student evaluation noted that he is “the rare combination of an accomplished dancer and a calm, disciplined, caring instructor.”


Introduction to Solo Blues Dance
Jennifer Lane White
Wednesdays, 10:00-11:30
September 2 through October 21
Format: Meeting

Blues dance is characterized by pulse, lag, rhythm play, polycentric movement, asymmetrical yet balanced shapes, groundedness, and an aesthetic of coolness. It is improvisational, without codified step patterns. Drawing on a rich history of African American vernacular dance, it is practiced today in major cities throughout the US and abroad. Come move your body to the blues! Learn about blues dance and its African American vernacular heritage. Explore its characteristics and aesthetics. Draw inspiration from history by watching examples in film. Gain confidence and develop your own style. This class will focus on solo dance for personal enjoyment and wellness.

Instructor: Jennifer Lane White holds an M.A. in Art History from Northern Illinois University and has over 28 years of experience in academic museums. As the Registrar at the Spurlock Museum at the U. of I., she mentors graduate and undergraduate student employees, interns, and volunteers and has taught three semesters of college-level Museum Studies classes. She has studied social dancing for 18 years, and since founding a not-for-profit to share her enthusiasm for blues dance in 2011, she has been teaching blues dance regularly at venues throughout central Illinois. She taught her first OLLI course in spring 2020, and students appreciated her energetic teaching style and knowledge of the subject.