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July 5 -- August 22, 2017

Monday 1:15-3:15 p.m.

History's Strangest Royals & Princes of the Church

What is it about power that makes people mad, bad, and dangerous to know? Pick a prince, queen, king, or prelate of interest. Here are the familiar examples: Caligula, George III of Britain, and Ludwig II of Bavaria. But what about Charles VI of France, the 14th century monarch who thought he was made of glass? Or King Farouk of Egypt, the last of his line, a pack rat, binge eater, and kleptomaniac, who was reputed to have stolen Winston Churchill's watch? Or Pope Stephen VI (896-897) who dug up his predecessor and put him on trial? The choice is yours.

Celebrating Frank Lloyd Wright

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright's birth, and this course will celebrate his work by looking at some of his most enduring architectural masterpieces. We will start with the 10 buildings that were nominated as World Heritage Sites, looking at them in some historical order to see whether we can determine the ways in which his designs developed or diverged. Were there consistent themes? Where can we see the influence of his style today?

Tuesday 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Hot Topics

This is an open-ended class. Presentations can utilize any qualified source (newspapers, magazines, radio, television, books, etc.) covering the recent political or social scene and historical events with current relevancy. Issues can be local, national or international. Controversial topics are welcome as they engender discussion. Join us if you enjoy lively, stimulating discussion.

Yellow Journalism and Faux News: Do You Know it When You See it?

Faux news was present in the recent election cycle; however, journalists of earlier eras also took liberties with the facts. This class will examine yellow journalism and faux news past and present. Who generated it and why, who or what were its targets, and what, if anything, did it achieve? How did these techniques influence and inflame public opinion? What harm does it do? How has the Internet accelerated faux new and made it a cottage industry? How does one sort out the truth from the inundation of seductive headlines and misleading narratives? This class will examine these issues and more.

Tuesday 1:15 p.m.- 3:15 p.m.

Tom Jones, a Foundling, a Novel by Henry Fielding

This novel is one of only seven contained in the Great Books of the Western World series of 54 volumes. Like Don Quixote, this book is full of humor, rich in characters, and presents a graphic portrait of the life and society of the 18th century. It tells the adventures of a young man in 18th century England..

Bridges of the World

Throughout the ages man used new technology to design and build bridges spanning geographical obstacles. Not only are bridges famous landmarks, but they also perform a vital role in military strategy and in regional infrastructure by facilitating transportation and commerce. In this course we will examine important bridges to understand why they were built, significant design features, the political environment, medical advances because of construction and the people involved. This course extends to history, design, economic development, and the human drive to solve problems to better a community.

Wednesday 9:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.

Majority and Minority Leaders in the Senate and House. Leaders in the U.S. Congress have had an important role in the "sausage making" of the American legislative process. Much of this nation's political life and public policy has been shaped by a handful of powerful people. Pick a president and his Congress, and examine how congressional leaders affected policy and legislative practice. How has the role of party leadership changed over the course of American political history, and what is it future?

The National Park System

The National Park Service was created by an act of Congress on August 25, 1916 when Yellowstone National Park was established as the nation's first national park. The national park system has within it the finest examples of America's heritage and natural history. Its parks provide superlative scenery, while its monuments preserve historic, prehistoric, and scientific areas of great value. In this class we will examine selected national parks and monuments. What is the mission of the National Park System and how has it changed? What's happened to the parks over these 100 years? How are the parks dealing with cuts in staff along with increasing numbers of visitors and crime?

Wednesday 1:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Music as a Medium for Humor.

Over the decades song writers and musicians have used music to make us laugh. Types of musical humor include parody, novelty songs, and comedy rock (e.g., "Purple People Eater"). This class will look at humorous music to include the likes of Spike Jones, Tom Lehrer, Stan Freberg, Allan Sherman, Peter Schickele (AKA P.D.Q. Bach), and "Weird Al" Yankovic. What inspired this music, and did the social/political environment in which it was created have an influence?

Night Trilogy by Elie Wiesel

This work is a heart-breaking, autobiographical masterpiece. Wiesel has taken his painful memories and channeled them into an amazing narrative that chronicles his most intense emotions and experiences.

Thursday 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

American Songs and Songwriters.

Take your pick of the greatest American songs and songwriters. The list is long and varied, including such notables as Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Marvin Hamlisch, Sigmund Romberg, Stephen Sondheim or Meredith Willson? These are just a few of those songwriters who have enriched our lives. From writers of the "Great American Songbook" to pop songsters like Carole King and Neal Sedaka, there is a vast array of fascinating songwriters to choose from. Pick you favorite and let's discuss their lives and music.

: U.S. Indian Policy and Relations -- a "Trail of Tears"

In this class we will study U.S. Indian policy and its impact on Native Americans. Our subject focus includes the historical debate over protecting settlers from Indians, exploitation of mineral resources on land controlled by Indians, treaties, military conflicts (e.g. Battle at Little Big Horn, Wounded Knee), and Indian education. The resulting resettlement of tribes onto reservations and the present day consequences of government policy will also be discussed.

Thursday noon - 3:15 p.m.

The Academy Award Doesn't Go to…

There are many screen legends and movies that never achieved the honor of an Academy Award. Raging Bull in 1980, Five Easy Pieces in 1970, Bonnie and Clyde in 1967, The Last Picture Show in 1971, and Chinatown in 1974 are but a few examples of best picture "losers." There are many individuals who didn't win the Oscar. Let's explore films from 1960 to 1980 and :ind the hidden and not so hidden gems that went unrewarded. The class will watch these "losers," and discuss their merits and shortcomings. We will select, watch, and discuss 10 films from the rich anthology of American motion pictures that have shaped or reflected our understanding and attitudes on a wide variety of subjects.

Thursday 1:15 - 3:15 p.m.

Sunken Ships - Mysteries of the Deep

The ocean floor is literally the earth's closet, locking away mysteries unsolved and treasures untouched for centuries or decades. The sunken ships that came to rest in the depths of the oceans are treasure troves for modern day oceanographic explorers and archaeologists. This study group will examine some of the sunken ships that have been found and explored and the secrets they revealed. Ships found along trading routes may have artifacts such as the trade goods they were carrying, which reveal information about ancient civilizations. More modern sunken ships can provide answers to political or military mysteries that have puzzled us for decades. For example, what did cause the Maine to blow up? And then there are ships that carried tangible treasure in the form of silver or gold. We will study how these ships are found, what we learn from them, and whether one gets to keep what one finds. We will also have an opportunity to learn about oceanography and maritime law.


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