The new academic year is underway at OU, bringing with it the desire to learn new and wonderous things, and OLLI is here with a new assortment of Senior Seminars to excite a wide array of interests. Each of the nine courses starting in September will explore a topic in art, health, history, literature, political science, religious studies or technology, with courses taking place either in person or online via Zoom.
OLLI courses typically run for four to six weeks and meet for about two hours at a time, giving seniors the chance to engage with fun, educational and inspiring concepts with people of a similar age. Courses are led by some of OU’s top professors, offering seniors an experience like those of traditional OU 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.
September 2022 Senior Seminars
Introduction to Portrait Drawing
Sept. 2–Oct. 7
In this studio art course, students will use basic human facial proportions and anatomy to create realistic portrait drawings. We will cover techniques that break down the drawing process and help capture individual facial proportions and angles accurately. We will also discuss approaches to shading the human face to create convincing illusion of form and to add expressive qualities.
All assignments can be completed using pencil and paper, with the option to use other drawing media, such as charcoal or ink. The course is suitable for beginning and intermediate artists. Lecture materials will be available for your download and later use.
Introduction to the Modern Short Story: Postwar New Directions
Chris Allen Carter
This course is a survey of short stories and autobiographical pieces from France, Egypt, Brazil and North America around the 1950s. International in scope, its basic premise is that the world was ready to move in new directions after over three straight decades of global war, economic depression, holocaust and the nuclear destruction of major cities. A rising generation of literary figures was ready to do its share, ushering out high modernism with all its pessimism, obscurity and absurdism, and ushering in something new.
Our study will proceed for five sessions as follows:
Sept. 2 - Albert Camus, The Guest(1957)
Sept. 9 - Simone de Beauvoir, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter(1958)
Sept. 16 - Naguib Mahfouz, Zaabalawi(1963)
Sept. 23 - Clarice Lispector, The Daydreams of a Drunk Woman(1960)
Sept. 30 - James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son(1955)
There is no prerequisite for this course. Although it is the tenth in a series on the modern short story and related topics, it is a brand new course with different texts.
OLLI Discussion Group
Sept. 7–Dec. 14
10– 11:30 a.m.
The discussion group will meet weekly on Wednesday mornings for OLLI members who would like to share their ideas, feelings and concerns about what’s going on in our world. The purpose is fellowship and learning together through sharing concerns and ideas while responding to others’ initiation of other ideas. This is not your typical OLLI course led by a faculty member. YOU become the leaders and decide what to talk about.
Corsets, Brassieres and Lingerie: How Women’s Rights Changed Fashion and the World
It has been a long-held belief that women’s fashion reflects women’s rights in society. The tighter and more restrictive her clothing, the fewer rights she has as both a woman and as a human being.
We will examine the influences of not only the 19th amendment and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, but also how corsets, brassieres and lingerie changed with women’s status throughout history, from the Isle of Crete to Medieval Europe and Henry VIII’s court to present-day undergarments.
Why were ankles scandalous and not breasts? When were women finally allowed to wear underwear, and why were hems indecently shortened by Flappers in the 1920s?
This class will discuss all these changes. Come for a sample of women’s history, feminism and more.
Ukraine and Russia: Entangled Histories
In this course we will examine the myths and realities surrounding the long and contested relationship of Ukraine and Russia. Beginning with their common origins in the ninth century and extending to the tragic war of 2022, we will explore shared culture and competing historical narratives, with particular attention to religion, literature, war and evolving national identities.
The Bible and Social Reform
The seminar explores the various ways the Christian Bible has been engaged in social reforms in the U.S., including such causes as abolition, women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights movement. Attention will also be given to how contemporary figures narrate the past when it comes to the Bible’s role in justice movements.
Fundamentals of iOS
Sept. 8–Oct. 20
No class on Oct. 6.*
This course will give users a basic understanding of iOS settings and programs, such as contacts, email, messages, camera and photos. Users will also be able to better customize and navigate their phone.
Learning How to Read Critically with Very Short Stories
Sept. 13–Oct. 4
Reading together a series of very short stories during our sessions, we’ll learn basic concepts essential for effective, critical reading of narratives, from identifying the basic structures of narration to concepts such as genre and narrative focus.
Wicked Books and Why We Love Them
Sept. 22–Oct. 27
Book banning is back. In 2022, libraries are facing a huge increase in calls for books to be removed. But book bans and challenges aren’t new, and often, the most beloved books are the most targeted by would-be censors. (Think of Little House on the Prairieor To Kill a Mockingbird.)
In this short course, we will look at and talk about many popular books for children, teens and adults, discuss the reasons they have been challenged in schools and libraries over the years and explore the current resurgence in censorship attempts.
This course will be held in person, so we can examine lots of books firsthand and form our own opinions about them — basing our opinions on the entire book, not just one paragraph with a “bad word” or one picture that someone finds offensive. (Passing around books might sound risky in the age of COVID, but copious hand sanitizer will be provided!)
We will also talk about the role of libraries in a democracy and explore the American Library Association’s Freedom To Read statement, which has been a cornerstone of librarians’ professional ethics since 1953.