Browse courses by subject


    The 8-week semester begins on Monday, September 12, 2022
    Registration opens on Wednesday, July 13 at 9:00 a.m.

    About OLLI Courses:

    All courses meet for 8 weeks unless noted in the course descriptions. Fall semester 2022 courses will be offered in three different formats: in-person, online via Zoom, or hybrid. For our hybrid courses, members will register to participate either in person or online.

    Our online-only courses will be offered in the Zoom Meeting format. The Zoom Meeting format is the one that most people are familiar with: students are seen on camera in tiles across the screen, and they can control their microphones so they can interact with the instructor and each other. The instructor can share materials with the class.

    The online component of the hybrid courses will be offered in the Zoom Webinar format for most courses. In Zoom Webinar, students will see the instructor and their materials on the screen, but the students will not be on camera, and their microphones will be muted. The Webinar format offers increased security, fewer accidental interruptions, and larger capacity for registrations (which means no wait lists for courses in the Webinar format). Facilitators will assist online participants with questions for the instructor.

    OLLI encourages all members who choose to attend OLLI classes in person to be fully vaccinated and boostered, to wear a mask while indoors, and to physically distance in the classroom.

    Zoom-only and in-person courses will have capacity limits, so interested students are encouraged to register early. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled on August 15, 2022. Early registrations will help avoid cancellations!

    We are pleased to present these descriptions of our Fall courses, arranged by subject area. To view and download a flyer of the Fall 2022 Courses please click here.

     ART & MUSIC

    A History of Photography as seen through my Personal Collection of Photographs
    Craig McMonigal
    Mondays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
    September 12 through October 31
    Location: Osher Classroom & Zoom Webinar

    This course will cover the history of photography from its inception to contemporary work. Examples of major genres, and movements in photography will be discussed with Powerpoint presentations, augmented by physical examples from my collection of historical and contemporary images. Most aspects of photography and its applications and techniques will be presented, with an emphasis on art photography.

    Instructor: Craig McMonigal received his BFA from Ohio University, and his MFA from the University of Illinois. Craig worked for the University of Illinois, and taught at Parkland College, retiring in 2015 after receiving an award as a Community College Outstanding Faculty for the state of Illinois. His work is included in the collections of several museums. Craig has curated more than a dozen photography and art exhibitions. He taught traditional and digital photography, Studio Lighting, and the History of Photography at Parkland College. Craig has an extensive collection of photographs and a library of over 1600 photography books.

    Two Painters, A Choreographer and A Photographer Walk into a Bar...
    Rosalyn Schwartz
    Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    September 14 through October 12 (4 weeks, session I, NO CLASS October 5)
    Location: Illinois Classroom
    This is a 4-week course that meets during the first half of the semester.

    One of four invited artists will be discussing their work, its evolution, process, materials and content during each 90-minute session. These will include Powerpoint presentations. Their talks will be followed by a brief discussion with Professor Schwartz. The last twenty minutes will be reserved for OLLI members to ask questions of each artist.

    Instructor: Rosalyn Schwartz has been exhibiting her work for the past thirty years. She has received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards, including an NEA Fellowship, a Bush Foundation Fellowship, and a McKnight Foundation Fellowship. Most recently she had a solo exhibition in 2020 at Devening Projects in Chicago. Schwartz’s work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, and The New York Times among other publications. She received her BFA in painting from Washington University, St. Louis and an MFA in painting from Fontbonne College, St. Louis. In May of 2008, after serving as Professor of Studio Arts at UIUC Schwartz decided to take an early retirement so that she could focus full-time on her studio work. Schwartz also taught painting and drawing at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and West Virginia University in Morgantown.

    Big Bands - Alive and Well
    Jenelle Orcherton
    Wednesdays, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
    September 14 through November 2
    Location: Illinois Classroom & Zoom Meeting

    Since the beginning of jazz and throughout the changing times of music, (bebop, rock and roll, fusion etc) big bands have endured! In this class we will touch on bands that are continuing the excitement, those that are asking what big band is and how the tradition continues.

    Instructor: Originally hailing from Montreal QC, Jenelle Orcherton is an active educator and jazz performer, having served on many jazz and community organizations including the Saskatoon Jazz Society, Music Defying Boundaries and most recently the Urbana Public Arts Commission. She is the founder of the CU Jazz Festival, happily in its 8th season. Jenelle has over fifteen years of education experience and is passionate about giving all audiences the opportunity to engage with jazz.




    Contemporary Political and Racial Issues
    Wendy Tam Cho
    Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
    September 13 through October 4, 4 weeks (session I)
    Location: Zoom Meeting

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

    We will explore some contemporary political and racial issues. We will not discuss politics per se, but will, instead, seek to understand some of the issues that shape the political and racial issues that emerge in the United States. We will also explore how institutional decisions and structures that seem perfunctory and benign can have an enormous impact on the direction of the country.

    Instructor: Wendy K. Tam Cho is Professor in the Departments of Political Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Asian American Studies, and the College of Law, Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. This is her first time teaching an OLLI course.


    International Laws of War
    Paul F. Diehl
    Tuesdays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
    September 13 through October 4, 4 weeks (session I)
    Location: Osher Classroom

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

    This course focuses on the international laws that govern war in both the interstate and civil conflict varieties. Specifically, the “rules” associated with when actors can initiate or respond with military force (jus ad bello) and those governing the conduct of war (jus in bello or international humanitarian law) form the core of the course. Mechanisms (and associated limitations) for enforcing the law – national courts and processes, International Criminal Court, UN Security Council – are discussed. The course concludes with reference to legal challenges occasioned by modern warfare, including drones, terrorism, and cyber- attacks.

    Instructor: Paul Diehl is Henning Larsen Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Ashbel Smith Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Texas- Dallas, where he was Associate Provost and Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. He is past President of the Peace Science Society (International) and past President of the International Studies Association. Diehl is the author or editor of 25 books and the author of two hundred articles, book chapters, and essays on the causes of war, UN peacekeeping, and international law. He has received ten campus and national awards for his teaching, including LAS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the University of Illinois Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. This is his first time teaching an OLLI course.


    Turkey's Eurasian Hinterland
    Janice Jayes
    Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
    September 13 through November 1
    Location: Osher Classroom & Zoom Webinar

    In the past three decades Turkey has been able to recultivate historic relations with Turkic populations in the Caucuses and Central Asia, encouraging the vision of a Turkey-centered Eurasian community. Not all of the many peoples in the countries of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan see the region through the same Turkic prism, nor do neighbors like China, Iran or Russia welcome a turn toward Turkey. or Russia enthuse over the Turkish vision. This class looks at the cultural and political history of the region and the international competitions that continue to play out today.

    Instructor: Janice Jayes teaches in the history department at Illinois State University. She enjoys looking at contemporary world affairs as both a historian and political scientist. Her current research interests are on the transformation of non-state actors in the last two decades and the way this is upending the twentieth century model of state-centered world order. She looks at the way these transformations affect many regions, but concentrates on the Middle East, North and Central Africa, and North America. She spent a year in Central Asia in the early 2000s and in Turkey in 2021-22. Her OLLI courses have been among the most well-received and highly enrolled offerings of recent years.




    The Art and Craft of Writing as Portrayed in Film
    Frank Chadwick
    Mondays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
    September 12 through October 31
    Location: Osher Classroom

    The course examines key aspects of the art and craft of writing as viewed through the lens of cinema. Eight films look at four themes: the difference between teaching writing and practicing the craft itself, the blurry line between story and reality, the tough mechanics of producing a final manuscript, and the coming of age of authors as they find their own unique, authentic voice.

    Instructor: Frank Chadwick has previously taught courses on Writing the Novel, the 1973 Arab Israeli War, and World War Two, as well as study groups on writing, films, music, and history. He spent much of his career writing military history and designing war games. In addition to eleven science fiction novels and short stories, and over a hundred published game designs, he has written almost three hundred articles and columns, and fourteen military history books, of which the Desert Shield Fact Book (1991) reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list. He is currently writing a trilogy of historical novels set in ancient Persia at the time of Alexander's conquest.


    Evolution of the Vampire in Film
    Kathleen Brinkmann
    Wednesdays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
    October 12 through November 2, 4 weeks (session II)
    Location: Orange Classroom

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

    In this four week film exploration of the theme of Dracula, we will view the iconic Nosferatu, Dracula (Bela Lugosi), Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Shadow of the Vampire. These films not only reflect the era in which they were produced but also reveal society’s changing projections of what is “monster.” This is an excellent bookend to the spring 2021 course “Monster Mash” or just a creepy Halloween treat.

    Instructor: Kathleen (Kath) Brinkmann has taught eight classes at OLLI to enthusiastic participants and has been a guest lecturer at ISIS. She holds a master’s degree in Folklore 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 was published in June, 2016.


    Hollywood Xenophobia
    Sandy Camargo
    Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
    September 13 through November 1
    Location: Illinois Classroom

    Xenophobia is defined as the fear of strangers. American policy in relation to immigration has historically been marked by xenophobia, and popular culture, including Hollywood films, has reflected that attitude. In this course, we will look how mainstream Hollywood films have represented a range of Others— specifically, European immigrants, the Chinese, and Arabs—from the 1930s to the 2000s. The films we will screen and discuss reference issues such as race science, restrictive immigration policies, assimilation, whitewashed casting, and cultural appropriation. All of the films were widely released and capable of influencing a large audience.

    Instructor: Sandy Camargo holds a Ph.D. in film studies and critical theory. She has designed and taught a broad range of film-studies courses at the university level for over 30 years, retiring in June 2021 from the English Department at the University of Illinois. For OLLI, she has taught courses in Film Style, Countercultures in the Movies: 1930s to 1960s, and Canadian Film.


    Jung and the Oneiric [dream-related] Films of Federico Fellini
    Rabbi Norman Klein
    Wednesdays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
    September 14 through November 2
    Location: Osher Classroom

    European critics [during Fellini’s lifetime, obviously] voted Federico Fellini the world’s greatest living director. His films won four academy awards as the best foreign language film. Freudian Psychoanalyst Emilio Servadio treated Fellini for severe clinical depression in 1952 around the filming of “La Strada”. Fellini met Jungian psychoanalyst Ernst Bernhard in 1960 and later read Jung’s autobiography, “Memories, Dreams, Reflections” (1963).

    Our course will explore the influences on Fellini of C. G. Jung’s psychoanalytic philosophy (as in his memoir, “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”), as well as other psychoanalytic philosophies (such as Freud’s) and Fellini’s reaction to his native Roman Catholicism and childhood experiences under Mussolini influence in 5 great films by Federico Fellini. We shall as well see how Fellini’s style evolved out of the cinema verite prominent in Italian cinema when he began directing neorealist films into a much more personal, and yet highly influential style of filmmaking.

    Instructor: Norman Mark Klein, M.A.H.L., D.D., is retired as the emeritus rabbi at Sinai Temple in Champaign. After retirement at Sinai he served as Interim Rabbi at Temple Beth Orr, Coral Springs, FL, Temple Israel, Ottawa, Canada, and at Temple Beth Torah in Wellington, FL, 2013-2017. Before becoming Rabbi Emeritus at Sinai Temple, Champaign, IL, he served as rabbi from 1995-2013. Rabbi Klein was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1985. He was rabbi of Temple Ohav Shalom, Allison Park, PA, in the North Hills of Pittsburgh from 1985 to 1991, and the rabbi of Temple Rodef Shalom, Waco, Texas, from 1991 to 1995. Rabbi Klein also studied 5 years in the Ph. D. program in the English Dept. at Indiana University with a minor in Film Production. He also taught there and elsewhere.


    Mysteries, Detectives, Amateur and Professional, Men and Women
    John Frayne
    Fridays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
    September 16 through November 4
    Location: Osher Classroom

    The basic story of crime and detection is continuing to evolve in films and TV shows. The interplay of professional and amateur detectives offers multiple sources for dramatic tension. Women detectives are increasingly playing central roles. Dramas are set in period and exotic settings. This course will offer a mixture of old and new examples of detection narratives for study and discussion.

    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.


    Time Travel with Historical Documentaries
    Alison Davis
    Fridays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
    September 16 through October 7, 4 weeks (session I)
    Location: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

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

    This course examines one specific genre of non-fiction film, the historical documentary. These films give us a chance to travel back in time to experience important people and events that have shaped our world. For some, it is the main way they learn about the past. Which leads us to question the responsibility of a documentary filmmaker in writing this history and presenting it accurately? Is it more than entertainment? We will watch clips from documentaries of a similar theme and discuss their approach to the genre.

    Participants will learn what happens behind the scenes from a documentary filmmaker and examine the style of well known documentarians, such as Ken Burns to see why they are successful in making the past feel present. We will also discuss filmmaking techniques such as re-enactments and use of archival footage in order to make history “come to life.”

    Instructor: Alison Davis has been producing national documentaries for over two decades. Her programs have received numerous awards including nine regional Emmy Awards and over 20 Emmy nominations. Davis produced documentaries for the Big Ten Network when she joined Illinois’ Division of Intercollegiate Athletics / Public Affairs in April of 2008. Before that she worked at WILL-TV (PBS) and produced several documentaries for national distribution She was the longtime producer and host of Prairie Fire, a cultural magazine series about the people and places of central Illinois. She is now a lecturer in the department of journalism in the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. This is her first time teaching an OLLI course.




    Britannia: Roman Britain from Caesar to Arthur
    Fred Christensen
    Wednesdays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
    September 14 through November 2
    Location: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    For four centuries Britain was the most remote province of the Roman Empire. This class (last given in 2015) will examine the social, economic, and military developments of those centuries. Julius Caesar’s raids, Claudius’ conquest, Boudicca’s rebellion, Agricola’s invasion of Scotland, the building of Hadrian’s Wall—these spectacular events framed changing developments in everyday life, from rural villas to towns like Bath and London. The class will also examine the two centuries after the legions withdrew in 410 AD, when the Roman heritage was challenged by Anglo-Saxon settlement. Later centuries saw this as the age of “King Arthur,” and the latest findings, controversies, and debates about that era will be examined. The class will try to distinguish between rational theories and romantic dreams—and with topics like the Celtic heritage and the reality of Arthur, there are plenty of both.

    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 30th OLLI course since 2008.


    Building Up and Tearing Down: Monuments in Cross-Cultural Perspective
    Elizabeth Sutton
    Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
    September 14 through November 2
    Location: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    This course is a survey of selected monuments (statues/sculptures, memorials, tombs, public architecture, natural and non-built monuments, and sites of consciousness) from antiquity to the present. We examine the life histories of these works including construction, restoration, preservation, repurposing, and destruction in distinct cultural contexts around the globe. We will delve into the roles of monuments in creating collective memories and the politics and power structures involved in determining what and who is remembered.

    Instructor: Elizabeth Sutton is the Director of the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures and is an anthropologist specializing in heritage management and archaeology. She holds a BA in Art History from UCLA and earned her MA and PhD in Anthropology U.C. Santa Barbara. Elizabeth enjoys using museums as learning laboratories to provide students with training in all aspects of museum operations and research. She also promotes a community centered approach to museums and welcomes opportunities to collaborate with various campus and community groups to share their stories and experiences through museum exhibits and programs. Elizabeth has over fifteen years of experience leading museums and cultural organizations in California, Utah, and Illinois. This is her first time teaching an OLLI course.


    John Brown and the Origins of the Civil War
    Connor Monson
    Fridays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
    September 16 through November 4
    Location: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    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 a time of deep civil unrest, political violence, and cultural transformation. We will view this period through the lives of the northern abolitionists who all spent time and interacted in Concord, Massachusetts: Charles Sumner, John Brown, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Henry David Thoreau.

    Instructor: Connor Monson is a graduate of the University of Illinois with an M.LIS degree and professional training in public history. His undergraduate major was in American History with a focus on the mid-19th century. He has crafted a senior honors thesis and two peer-reviewed articles with the digital history organization Sourcelab. All three articles concern American political movements and parties. He served as Sourcelab’s Vice-Chairman. Connor also works as the museum manager at the Champaign County History Museum.


    The Thirty Years War of the Twentieth Century (1914-1945)
    Chris Butler
    Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
    September 16 through November 4
    Location: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    The course will treat the period 1914-45 as a unified period of turmoil encompassing both world wars, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression, and the rise and nature of fascism. The core will be a system of cross-referenced historical flowcharts I developed and used during my 42 years of teaching at University High School, along with the illustrated PowerPoints I used in my classes. Much of that includes timed slide shows with music illustrating specific, sometimes offbeat, topics (e.g., flapper culture, the Russian and Spanish Civil Wars, and Hitler's love life).

    Instructor: Chris Butler taught world history for 42 years (1979-2021) at University High School in Urbana, in the course of which he developed a system of 250 cross-referenced flowcharts on world history from prehistory to 2000. He further developed this into a 1760 page pdf of his lectures into an illustrated and hyperlinked text for his students. He won numerous teaching awards, most notably the Beveridge Family Teaching Award in 2000, the only K-12 teaching award given by the American Historical Association. This is his first time teaching an OLLI course.


    Trail of Death, Pioneer Cemetery, and the "Haunted Histories" of our Lives
    Eileen Gebbie
    Thursdays, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
    September 15 through November 3
    Location: Illinois Classroom and Zoom Meeting

    In 1838 the Potawatomi Indians were forcibly moved from Indiana to Kansas by way of Illinois, across land now incorporated into Allerton Park. Adjacent to that “Trail of Death” are the burial grounds of colonists whose lives overlapped with the passage. Using Elaine Enns’ and Ched Myers’ “Healing Haunted Histories: A Settler Discipleship of Decolonization,” we will explore what it might mean for us (“settlers”) to now live on this same, wounded land. Though the authors do this work from a Christian Mennonite perspective, the work is open to all who want to learn about Indigenous justice and “response- ability.”

    Instructor: Eileen Gebbie is an ordained priest in the United Church of Christ now working in private practice as a spiritual director and forest therapy guide. She previously worked in community organizing and non-profit leadership (you may have known her when she ran our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate). With all of that experience and master’s degrees in sociology and divinity from the University of Illinois and Chicago Theological Seminary, Eileen brings both academic and applied tools to the study of our personal stories within public histories (and presents). This is her first time teaching an OLLI course.


    Wisdom in Statecraft: Why History Always, Yet Never, Repeats Itself
    Richard Tempest
    Tuesdays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
    September 13 through November 1
    Location: Osher Classroom and Zoom Webinar

    In these unsettled times one’s thoughts turn to figures from the past who met the challenges of their times, such as Elizabeth Tudor, Peter the Great, Otto von Bismarck, Kemal Atatürk, FDR, Charles de Gaulle, Deng Xiaoping, Margaret Thatcher, and Nelson Mandela. “Mankind will never see an end to trouble until lovers of wisdom come to hold political power, or the holders of power become lovers of wisdom,” wrote Plato. All the personalities on this list happened to display a measure of wisdom, within the parameters of their political culture, and all of them have something to teach us today.

    Instructor: Richard Tempest is a Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois. Of British-Bulgarian parentage, he spent his childhood in Moscow, where his parents worked as foreign journalists, and holds a BA, MA, and PhD from the University of Oxford. He is a former director of the Russian and Eurasian Center at UIUC. Tempest’s interests include Russian and world history and culture, and the political science of the body. He is the author of several books, most recently Overwriting Chaos: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Fictive Worlds (2019), as well as a campus cum adventure novel, Golden Bone (2005), written in Russian, about the adventures of an American academic in the early years of Putin’s presidency. Tempest’s current book projects centers on the politics of charisma in the twenty-first century. His numerous OLLI courses and lectures have had extremely strong reviews for his deep knowledge of the subject and engaging presentation style.


    Aesop Revisited
    Willis Goth Regier
    Mondays, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    October 10 through October 31 (4-week, session II)
    Location: Orange Classroom
    This is a 4-week course that meets during the second half of the semester.

    Aesop’s fables are usually encountered in childhood but in antiquity they were aimed at adults. This course will look at the history of fable collections that came under the name of “Aesop,” why and how they were infantilized, and how they changed over time. The course is intended to provide a view of the huge Aesop corpus, to appreciate its variety, and to inquire why some fables are popular and some are not. Participants will be introduced to Aesop scholarship and its accomplishments. They will be able to examine editions from the 17th to the 21st centuries.

    Instructor: Willis Regier (Ph.D., University of Nebraska), retired in 2015 as the Director of the University of Illinois Press. He has authored three books—two selected as CHOICE “Outstanding Academic Books”—and edited another. He has published essays in American Academic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Erasmus Studies, French Forum, the Journal of Scholarly Publishing, Modern Language Notes, Paideuma, World Literature Today, and other journals. He has taught OLLI courses on Hannah Arendt, Desiderius Erasmus, Samuel Beckett, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau.


    Books, Essays, and Testimonies: Empathy, Freedom, and the Just Society
    Christopher Chaves
    Mondays, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
    September 15 through November 3
    Location: Zoom Meeting

    Analysis and discussion about seven important pieces of American literature produced by luminaries including Ralph W. Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Upton Sinclair, Martin Luther King Jr., Betty Friedan, Sen. John Kerry, Rudolfo Anaya, and Peter Singer through group exploration of selected excerpts. These literary works not only have served to highlight the power of both reason and emotion in literature but also improve American life in the areas of environmental protection and appreciation, family separation and the end of legal slavery, immigrants’ work and food safety, racial justice in America, women’s identity and opportunities, military veterans’ trauma and wellbeing, the tri-cultural stories of the American Southwest, and protecting animal rights and their interests. This eight-part seminar is an invitation to closely read and critically dialogue about key excerpts written in controversial but courageous literature, and how they continue to inform our current cultural challenges and opportunities.

    Instructor: Christopher Ulloa Chaves, ED.D. has academic experience in nonprofit organizations and humanities teaching at institutions including Southern Illinois University, the University of New Mexico, the College of William & Mary, the University of Vermont OLLI, and the Episcopal Church. He completed graduate-level work in the humanities involving literature and ethics from which he facilitates literature discussion seminars; he holds a doctoral degree from the University of Southern California. He is author of the textbook entitled Liberal Arts and Sciences: Thinking Critically, Creatively, and Ethically; his book was recently cited in The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education: Branches from the Same Tree (2018), a publication of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. This is his first time teaching an OLLI course.

    Take Me to the River: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Beloved
    Parley Ann Boswell
    Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    September 15 through November 3
    Location: Osher Classroom and Zoom Meeting

    Published almost exactly a century apart, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) and Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) represent two of the most celebrated—and most controversial—novels ever written by Americans. These books have much in common and we will read them as a pair: they both take place in pre-Civil War America, giving voice and heart to the tangled knot of American slavery. Both have been celebrated as masterpieces and have been banned regularly. And both are set in our part of the world: one on the Mississippi River and one on the Ohio River. Let’s explore these two remarkable American river novels to see where they might lead us.

    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. She has been teaching OLLI courses at U of I since 2018. This is her ninth OLLI course, and her courses receive exceptional reviews for being well-organized, interesting, and informative.




    Genomics and YOU: Exploring Questions at the Intersection of Science and Society
    Eva Fischer and other UIUC faculty
    Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
    September 13 through November 1
    Location: Osher Classroom & Zoom Webinar

    Genomic biology combines information about genes, their functions, and their interactions with the environment to develop a predictive understanding of biological systems and behavior relevant to solving medical, energy and environmental challenges. The last 20 years has seen an unprecedented development of new technologies with consequences for science and society. This course will introduce learners to genes and genomes, explore technological advances in genomic research in a wide range of disciplines, and consider how these advances are impacting society. Additionally, the course will provide perspective on why diversity matters in our study systems, in our educational spaces, and in society. Faculty will be drawn from the nationally recognized Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign research and teaching community, one of the premier institutes of its kind in the country.

    Instructor: Eva Fischer an Assistant Professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior. Research in the Fischer Lab asks how brains and behavior can be both strikingly flexible and remarkably robust, and how these phenomena simultaneously give rise to widespread similarities and prodigious diversity in animal behavior. We use integrative approaches to address these questions across hierarchical levels of biological organization and timescales. Fundamental principles governing brains and behavior are most apparent when we leverage natural diversity, combining lab and field studies to understand variation and adaptation in ecologically relevant behaviors. Current research specifically takes advantage of the remarkable interspecific diversity in behavior, morphology, and life histories in charismatic frog species. I am passionate about teaching, mentoring, and community engagement. I helped build the “Froggers School Program” that brings hands-on learning to K-12 classrooms and lab members contribute to a range of annual community engagement and educational programs.

    Additional lecturers: Gene Robinson, Department of Integrative Biology and Director of IGB; Katy Heath, Department of Plant Biology; Steven Burgess, Department of Plant Biology; Pamela Martinez, Department of Microbiology; Ripan Mahli, Department of Anthropology; Kathryn Clancy, Department of Anthropology; David Sepowski, Department of History

    Fascinating Features and Mysterious Manifestations of Disease
    Nestor Ramirez
    Fridays, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
    September 16 through November 4
    OLLI Osher Classroom
    Location: Illinois Classroom

    The first 5 sessions will be a panoramic tour of fascinating characteristics of disease which include the sensory perceptions of illness through sight, feel, smell, and sound. The 6th session will be a review of several unknown or forgotten epidemics. The 7th and 8th sessions will consist of several stories of medical “detectivism” with possible audience participation.

    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). He has taught several courses and given individual lectures at OLLI since 2019.

    Problem Solving and Mathematical Reasoning
    Wendy Tam Cho
    Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
    October 11 through November 1 (4-week, session II)
    Location: Zoom Meeting

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

    We will explore how to solve problems using mathematical reasoning. I will go over some basic strategies and then we will apply them to solve some interesting problems and to learn how to play fun games that do not initially appear to be mathematical in nature.

    Instructor: Wendy K. Tam Cho is Professor in the Departments of Political Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Asian American Studies, and the College of Law, Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. This will be her second OLLI course after she teaches her course on contemporary political and racial issues in session I.


    An Introduction to Tai Chi and Qigong Fundamentals
    Mike Reed
    Tuesdays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
    September 13 through November 1
    Location: Blue Classroom

    Each 90-minute class will be composed of approximately 30 minutes of verbal instruction, demonstration, and practice in each of the 3 fundamental exercises: static qigong (mindfulness/meditation), moving qigong, and tai chi form. We will follow the traditional format of alternating between quiet and moving exercises. These practices involve repetition of the same "activities" with a gradually deepening understanding. Accordingly, the content of each week's class is difficult to predict as it depends entirely on the students' grasp of the material. Our goal in 8 weeks is to provide participants with sufficient exposure to these ancient arts so that they can make well informed decisions concerning their interest in continuing group study and/or practicing on their own.

    Instructor: Mike Reed has been studying and practicing Tai Chi and Qigong since 1998. He has shared his experience and understanding for the past 23 years with local students at OLLI, Savoy Recreation Center, research participants at UIUC and in a variety of other settings.

    Living Well to and through the End: Navigating Aging and Death in the 21st Century
    Dirk Mol
    Wednesdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
    September 14 through November 2
    Location: Orange Classroom

    As the world of health care becomes more and more sophisticated, aging and death have become medical phenomena rather than experiences to be navigated with the help of family and community. Studies show that few people have the end of life they desire and die trapped in ICUs and long-term care facilities. This course is designed to help participants make decisions about what they want to happen as they go through the last stages of life and take action to make sure, as much as possible, that their wishes will be respected.

    Instructor: Dirk Mol is a retired psychotherapist and former Episcopal priest. He has led over a dozen study groups including one on psychology and culture, one on modern architecture, two on death and dying, and four on the best science and nature writing of the year. This is his fourth course and a hybrid of his 2018 course Maintaining Quality of LIfe in our Later Years and his 2019 course How To Die in the 21st Century.

    Popular Ballroom Dances
    Alex Tecza
    Mondays, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
    September 12 through October 31
    Location: Blue Classroom

    With 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. No partner required. Dances taught in this session will include Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Rumba, Tango.

    Instructor: Alex Tecza is a professional ballroom dancer 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 ballroom dancing, Alex is also an AmSAT (American Society for the Alexander Technique) certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. Locally, he has taught master classes and workshops for Dance Department at UIUC 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 taught his first OLLI course in the fall 2017.