Senior Seminars Offered by OLLI this September


inside an OLLI senior seminar

OLLI is famous for offering top-notch course offerings to its members each year, and this fall will be no different. Next month, OLLI will offer a host of courses as varied as their participants, covering topics like art, film, philosophy, politics and more.

September Senior Seminars

Running four to six weeks in length, each Senior Seminar offers an educational, fun and inspiring way for adult learners to gain insight into a specific topic and discuss their life experiences with other participants of a similar age. The courses are led by some of OU’s top professors and meet for two hours at a time.

Please note that many of these courses have been known to sell out. Please contact OLLI directly for information on course availability, and be sure to sign up and save your seat before classes are full!  

Broadway American Musical Theatre II: The Golden Age

OLLI senior seminar about broadway
Taught by Marvin Beck
Wednesdays August 30 - October 11, 2017
9:30-11:30 a.m.

As Americans witnessed the issues of their time on stage from the 1940s to the 1960s, they were able to see firsthand how times were changing throughout the “golden age” of Broadway. Using movies, videos and recordings, the course will discuss the brilliant classics of Rogers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, Lerner and Lowe, Julie Styne, Frank Loesser, Merideth Wilson, Boch and Harnick, Jerry Herman, Kander and Ebb, Stephen Sondheim and others.


The Chisholm Trail's 150th Anniversary - Its History and Impact

OLLI senior seminar about the Chisholm Trail
Taught by Luann Sewell Waters, History Educator
Mondays September 25 - October 30, 2017
1:00-3:00 p.m.

The Chisholm Trail was the longest commercial land route in American history. To paraphrase J. Frank Doyle, it made possible the greatest and most extraordinary migration of animals controlled by man that the world has ever known. Learn about the museums and historical sites along the trail and discover its profound cultural importance from videos, review of reference materials and class discussion.


The Apostle Paul in Historical Context

OLLI senior seminar about the apostle paul
Taught by Jill Hicks-Keeton, Religious Studies
Wednesdays September 13 - October 11, 2017
2:00-4:00 p.m.

This course explores the life and letters of the apostle Paul, a Jew living in the first-century Roman empire whose writings are now the oldest texts in the New Testament. The course will examine Paul’s letters in their first-century historical context, attempting to reconstruct the circumstances that gave rise to his authorship and to discover what his letters reveal about the origins of Christianity.


Poetry Club

OLLI poetry club
Led by David Anderson, English
Meets monthly on Mondays August 28, 2017 – April 30, 2018
5:00-6:30 p.m.

The Poetry Club will specialize in the close analysis of English verse. Each month, the club will discuss a specific poet from English literary history, focusing on one or more short poems. Dr. Anderson will begin with a brief discussion of the poet in question and will guide the group through an analysis of the works.


Constitutional Studies Book Club

OLLI Constitutional Studies club
Led by Kevin Butterfield, Classics
Meets monthly on Thursdays September 7 – December 7, 2017
9:00-11:00 a.m.

The Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage (IACH) at OU brings together faculty members in history, political science and law to explore the history, politics and ideas of the U.S. Constitution. Join Kevin Butterfield, director of the IACH, along with guest faculty from around the university, to discuss four of the most interesting, exciting and important books in the field of American constitutional history.


Mystery Makers

OLLI mystery makers club
Led by Almira Grammer, Retired Outreach
Meets monthly on Fridays September 8 – December 8, 2017
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

There’s nothing better than reading a good mystery, especially when the lightning is flashing, the thunder is rolling and the wind is rattling the windowpanes. In Mystery Makers, students will read and discuss four British crime novels full of manor houses, quaint villages, quirky characters and charismatic inspectors. The class will also discuss the evolution of the crime novel—who writes it, who reads it and why. Sharpen your sleuthing skills and your powers of deduction and join Mystery Makers in solving a murder so foul.


Introduction to Modern Short Fiction

OLLI senior seminar modern short fiction
Taught by Chris Carter, English
Fridays September 8 - October 6, 2017
2:00-3:30 p.m.

This course is an introduction to select masterpieces of five of the most highly regarded short stories of the last half of the past century: The Old Chief Mshlanga(1951), Sonny Blues(1957), Walker Brothers Cowboy(1968), The Prophets Hair(1981), and The Women’s Swimming Pool(1982). This course will be both informal lecture and discussion, and it will examine the basic elements of this kind of fiction, the importance of the writers, the function of literature in general, and the role of art in the modern world.


Yoga, Meditation, Philosophy and Healthy Living Skills (Level I - Introduction)

OLLI senior seminar yoga class
Taught by Anita Mann, University Outreach
Thursdays August 31 - September 28, 2017
1:30-3:30 p.m.

Want to feel better? Learning and practicing a few of these skills will not only help improve your vitality, but also will help reduce stress, restore calm and inner peace, improve fitness and aid in managing symptoms of chronic health conditions. This gentle class is both for beginners and those with experience, progressing from discussion format, to chair poses, to yoga mats. Class size will be limited.


Cases in National Security Policy

OLLI senior seminar national security
Taught by John Fishel
Tuesdays September 5-26, 2017
1:30-3:00 p.m.

This course will examine four cases of national security leadership:

  • Desert Shield/Storm
  • Haiti 1994
  • Balkans
  • 9/11 aftermath


And the Next Oklahoma Governor Is?

OLLI senior seminar about the next Oklahoma governor
Taught by Kim Gaddie, Political Science
Wednesdays September 6-27, 2017
10:00-11:30 a.m.

With Mary Fallin finishing up her tenure as Governor, the people are lining up to fill that seat. This class will examine all of the individuals who want to be Oklahoma's next Governor. Take a closer look at the candidates, the polling, and the political messages being put out as Oklahomans decide on our next governor.


Green, Gold, Red or Blue - Just What Hue Are You in Oklahoma's Political Stew?

OLLI Senior Seminar about Oklahoma political parties
Taught by Cal Hobson
Thursdays September 7-28, 2017
1:00-3:30 p.m.

Almost everyone has an opinion, or several, concerning the decline of the donkeys, elevation of the elephants and the continued stagnation of minor parties in Oklahoma. But opinions carry more weight when they are underpinned by facts. If your wallet and blood pressure can handle it, please join Cal Hobson, a 28-year veteran of the Oklahoma Legislature, in a no holds barred, rough and tumble pursuit of the truth. Participating in this civil sojourn seeking insight will be political party poobahs, an elected official or two, pollsters, noted Okie historians, a mismatched pair of talking heads and others steeped in that most perplexing of all questions befuddling Oklahomans—why are we the way we are?

Visit the OLLI at OU web page for information about registering for OLLI courses or becoming an OLLI member, and be sure to check back for more information about courses that will be offered in the coming months.

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The College of Professional and Continuing Studies is a fully accredited academic unit of the University of Oklahoma, offering 100% online, hybrid and onsite degrees for working adults and non-traditional students.