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OLLI Senior Seminars for May/June 2022

OLLI Senior Seminars for May/June 2022

The end of the spring 2022 semester is rapidly approaching, and OLLI is here to help ease you into summer with four new Senior Seminar courses starting throughout May and June. Each course will take place either in person or online via Zoom and will explore a topic in art, health, history or religion.

OLLI’s Senior Seminar courses are led by some of OU’s top professors and offer seniors the chance to engage with fun, educational and inspiring concepts with people of a similar age. OLLI courses are as varied as their participants and typically run for four to six weeks, meeting for about two hours at a time and offering seniors the closest thing to traditional courses.

OLLI courses tend to fill up quickly, and many are known to sell out, so be sure to sign up soon to reserve your spot. For information about course availability, please contact OLLI directly at (405) 325-3488.


May 2022 Senior Seminars

Ancient Greek Religion: Myth, Ritual and Society

Tanya Szafranski

Wednesdays | May 4–June 8

10 a.m.–Noon


In ancient Greece, religion was inseparable from daily life. Individuals engaged in private devotions and made public dedications, and city-states hosted recurring festivals and large public displays. This course examines the roles played by religious belief and practice in the lives of the ancient Greeks, focusing on the connection between myth and ritual. While we will focus mainly on evidence from Archaic and Classical Greece (ca. 750–323 BC), we will also discuss cultural continuities from the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations of the Bronze Age, as well as similarities and differences to the practices of the Romans. We will examine representations of myth and ritual on pottery and in sculpture, look at how sacred areas were demarcated architecturally and explore how various myths and customs were presented in ancient literature.


Ethics and Sports

Violet Victoria

Tuesdays | May 17–June 7

9–11 a.m.


This series of seminars examines ethical dimensions to some of America’s favorite pastimes:

  • What should we allow athletes to do?
  • How should we reward them for their labor or for victory?
  • How do we prioritize which sports and athletes get our limited resources?
  • What power dynamics exist in sports that serve to help or hurt our athletes?

We will cover several cases in American sports, including the recent 2021 NCAA rule change, Larry Nassar and the
USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal, recent scientific literature on the physical effects of contact sports and ongoing social activism by players on and off the field.


June 2022 Senior Seminars

Letters of Paul in Historical Context

Jill Hicks-Keeton

Thursdays | June 2–23

Noon–1:30 p.m.


This class will feature an exploration of the letters in the Christian New Testament attributed to the apostle Paul in their originating first-century context, with further attention to how Paul’s letters are interpreted today.


A Brief History of Photography

Charles Rushton

Thursdays | June 2–30

2–4 p.m.


This course is for both photographers and non-photographers. It takes a multi-media approach — using videos, audio clips, PowerPoint presentations and still photographs — to examine photographic processes, important events and major movements in the history of photography. Participants will see great photographs and hear famous photographers speak for themselves — via audio/video clips — about their work.

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Myk Mahaffey

Michael Mahaffey holds degrees in journalism and psychology. He is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience writing for print and digital publications, including award-winning coverage of the rodeo industry. In his spare time, he writes fiction, in addition to tinkering with graphic design and photography.