Oxford Courses

Monday Classes

Ageless Fitness

We operate a safe and effective program for seniors to learn how to exercise properly and see results called Ageless Fitness. We do this by taking an in-depth approach to each client’s needs, goals, and limitations. We require a pre-training assessment before we recommend any exercise so we can ensure the safety of the client. Assessments will test balance, the cardio-respiratory system, musculoskeletal state, neuromuscular response, cognitive response, and mobility. We coach our clients in a small group setting of up to six people or in a one-on-one session, if needed. Supplies: Workout clothes and gym shoes.

Instructors: Curtis Masters, Functional Aging Specialist, has been training for six years and has been the Member Experience Manager for three years. Erin Dudley is the Lead Trainer and is National Academy of Sports Medicine Master certified.

4 Mons/Weds/Fridays: October 7–November 1; 8:00–8:30am

Location: Anytime Fitness, 5276 College Corner Pike, Oxford


For Your Children & Grandchildren: Investing For Retirement

Save your kids and grandkids thousands of dollars over their lifetime of investing with the information that will be presented in this course. You will be shown how conventional wisdom is detrimental to their wealth. The conventional wisdom about investing (diversification, investment advisors, international stocks, mutual funds, target date funds, investing for dividends, annuities, and much more) are all exposed for the damage they can do to their retirement wealth. The course concludes with a shift in emphasis from investing for retirement to investing during retirement. Again, conventional wisdom is shown to be damaging to your wealth; a new approach to managing your retirement wealth is presented that will maintain your retirement wealth far longer than the conventional wisdom techniques would.

Instructor: Thomas Schaber is a Senior Investment Advisor with Investing for Retirement LLC.

5 Mondays: October 7–November 4; 9:00–10:15am

Location: Police Services Center, room 130


Mathematics in Art, Architecture, and Music

We will attempt to turn STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) into STEAM by showing connections between mathematics and other creative arts. The first class will investigate the use of geometric grids in architecture, followed by two sessions on mathematical symmetry as it relates to art. The remaining sessions will connect mathematics and music in the preparation of oboe reeds, and fractal properties of Western tonal music. The first three speakers have previously team-taught an undergraduate honors course on symmetry.

October 7Architects Rethinking Grids to Turn CornersSergio Sanabria, Associate Professor of Architecture, specializes in architectural history, geometry and architecture, and architectural theory.

October 14The Secret History of Art and SymmetryDavid Kullman is a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, specializing in geometry and history of mathematics. Edna Southard is an art historian and Emerita Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Miami University Art Museum.

October 21Confronting Symmetry and Asymmetry in ArtEdna Southard and David Kullman

October 28Designing a Gouger for Preparing Oboe ReedsAndrea Ridilla has co-designed an oboe reed-making gouger for American style reeds with Udo Heng, owner of Reeds ‘n Stuff, the #1 reed-making source in the world. The machine was awarded a U.S. patent in 2009. Ridilla, oboist and Professor of Music, plays principal oboe in various orchestras in the U.S. and Europe.

November 4Fractal Properties of Western Tonal MusicRoger Davis, Professor of Composition, specializes in music theory, composition, arranging, and the history of 20thcentury music.

Coordinator: David Kullman has taught geometry and symmetry, history of mathematics, and mathematics education at all levels.

5 Mondays: October 7–November 4; 9:00–10:15am

Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


Miami’s Art Museum Up Close

Unveiled here is your insider’s guide to new exhibitions and upcoming programs at the Miami University Art Museum. Each session will explore topics and objects of special interest associated with the current installations.

October 7Insights & OverviewsJason Shaiman, Curator of Exhibitions, Miami University Art Museum

October 14Cutting the Grain: Nuances of Wood Relief PrintsJason Shaiman, Curator of Exhibitions, Miami University Art Museum

October 21Illuminating the Past: Ceramics of the Ancient WorldJay Zumeta, Professor of Classics Emeritus, University of Cincinnati

October 28Life Cycles: DeathRobert Wicks, Professor and Director, Miami University Art Museum

November 4Historic Photographs at a Glance–bt, Collections Manager/Registrar, Miami University Art Museum

Coordinator: Robert Wicks, Professor and Director, Miami University Art Museum

5 Mondays: October 7–November 4; 10:45 am–12:00pm

Location: M.U. Art Museum, Auditorium


An Eye-Opening Look at Coffee

You don’t have to drink coffee to take this class! Coffee is intimately connected to cultural history, current issues in agriculture, climate change, social justice, globalism, ecotourism, and health. It now appears to be a kind of wonder drug—seriously—especially as people age. Where does coffee come from and what must be done to this tropical product to make it into beverages? How has coffee once again become a great cultural symbol here and abroad? Who makes money on coffee, and what is the situation of coffee farmers today? We will look at coffee from the ground up and will taste various coffees in class. A trip to Oxford Coffee Co. to discuss roasting and its results will be part of the course. We will examine the social and economic life of coffee from its early days in Africa and the Middle East through the first English coffeehouses and, finally, to coffee at the cutting edge of shop design and sophistication today. In January, this instructor will be leading a trip to Hawaii to see where and how coffee is grown and to meet with the farmers. Contact the instructor for trip details.

Instructor: Robert Thurston, Professor Emeritus of History, has published articles on coffee in trade magazines and is senior editor and contributor to Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry and solely authored his latest book, Coffee: From Bean to Barista, Rowman & Littlefield. He has been a coffee roaster and retailer for 5-1/2 years.

5 Mondays: October 7–November 4; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium
Supply fee: $7, payable with registration


Midday Lecture Series

Each Monday, the Midday Lecture Series presents a speaker who will discuss a topic of interest and importance. Plan to bring a brown bag and enjoy an ILR tradition.

October 7Rethinking Our Food SystemJoe Logan is President of the Ohio Farmers Union.

October 14The Rocks Talk: How Geology Influenced the Lives of the Hopewell and Fort Ancient Cultures in Southwest OhioTodd Stephenson is VP Geoscience Technology Chesapeake Energy (Ret.) and Volunteer Geological Advisor at Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve.

October 21Tasting the Food of the Gods: The Natural and Cultural Histories of ChocolateEric Tepe, Assistant Professor of Botany, and María Paz Moreno, Professor of Spanish, University of Cincinnati.

October 28The Costumes of Downton Abbey: The PBS SeriesSara Butler is Professor Emerita of Art.

November 4Esports: The Biggest Sport You Never Heard OfPhill Alexander is Assistant Professor of Game Design and Co-Director of the varsity Esports team, Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies.

Coordinator: Betty Rogers, Professor Emerita of Spanish, is past Chair of ILR.

5 Mondays: October 7–November 4; 12:30–1:45pm
Location: M.U. Art Museum, Auditorium

NOTE: A complimentary round-trip shuttle to the Art Museum will be operating each Monday beginning at noon. Park in the lot on Western Drive (between Boyd Hall and Peabody Hall) and ride the Oxford Seniors shuttle bus.


The People’s Republic of China at 70

This course focuses on a phenomenon most observers could not have imagined at the founding of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago: the emergence of China as a global power. We will hear from members of the Departments of Geography, Humanities and Creative Arts, History, and Art who will discuss political, geographic, religious, and artistic developments in the People’s Republic that have affected not only the country with the largest population on earth but have—or will—affect the United States.

October 7People and Land of the People’s Republic of ChinaStanley W. Toops, Associate Professor of Geography and Global and Intercultural Studies, Miami University.

October 14The Ideology of Xi Jinping and Religion in ChinaAnthony Miller, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Creative Arts, Miami University.

October 21Politics and Economics of the People’s Republic of ChinaStanley W. Toops, Associate Professor of Geography and Global and Intercultural Studies, Miami University.

October 28Visual Art in the People’s Republic of ChinaAnn Barrott Wicks is Professor Emerita of Art, Miami University.

November 4The Rise of China: What does it Mean?Yihong Pan is Professor Emerita of History, Miami University.

Class text: Recommended, but not required, is Robert E. Gamer and Stanley Toops, eds. Understanding Contemporary China (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Pub., 2017, 5th ed. 978-1-62637-653-3)

Coordinators: Stanley W. Toops is an Associate Professor of Geography and Global and Intercultural Studies, Miami University. David Keitges is Administrator Emeritus of International Education at Miami. William J. Gracie, Jr., Professor Emeritus of English and former Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies/Western College Program, is chair of the ILR Curriculum Committee.

5 Mondays: October 7–November 4; 2:15–3:30pm
Location: Peabody Hall, Room 121, Leonard Theatre

NOTE: Are you also attending the Midday Lecture Series? A complimentary round-trip shuttle to the Art Museum will be operating each Monday beginning at noon. Park in the lot on Western Drive (between Boyd Hall and Peabody Hall) and ride the Oxford Seniors shuttle bus.


Win/Win Collaborative Communication Skills for Grandparents

Both of our instructors are grandparents and invite you to join in as we mine the group’s collective experience and wisdom in order to develop communication approaches for creating win/win results for collaborative problem-solving situations between grandparents, their children, and their grandchildren.

Instructors: Wendy Richardson was in Human Resources in private industry, retiring from The Ohio Casualty Group. She focused on communication skills training—both written and interpersonal—for managers, supervisors, and employees. Ann Dunlevy worked in public education as a teacher and counselor for most of her career. She is retired from Miami’s Student Counseling Services.

5 Mondays: October 7–November 4; 2:15–3:30pm
Location: Oxford Seniors, Great Room

Tuesday Classes

Fall Neotropical Migrants: A Closer Look (literally!)

Fall neotropical bird migrants are often a challenge to identify—hence the confusing “fall warblers” label. We will use the AREI bird banding stations to get a closer look at these challenging species. The class will emphasize both bird identification and neotropical bird conservation. NOTE: Rain on Tuesday postpones class until Thursday.

Instructor: Dave Russell, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biology, is the Research Director for Avian Research and Education Institute, Inc. (AREI), a nonprofit organization that uses its bird banding stations in Oxford, Ohio, and Tamaulipas, Mexico, for research and as outdoor classrooms.

6 Tuesdays: September 17–October 22; 7:30–9:30am
Location: Hueston Woods State Park, AREI Bird Banding Station

NOTE: Early start date


Gandhian Philosophy

Albert Einstein said of Gandhi: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.” And Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. We may ignore him at our own risk.” In this course, offered during the 150th birth year of Gandhi, we will discuss Gandhi’s life and thought, his enduring contributions to society, state and civilization, education, religion and nonviolence.

Class texts: M.K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, and Gandhi, A Pictorial Biography, both available online.

Instructor: S. S. Rama Rao Pappu taught philosophy at Miami University for over 40 years and is the author/editor of eight books. His fields of specialization include Indian philosophy, HinduBuddhist philosophy, Gandhian philosophy, and philosophy of law. He is the Founder-Director of the International Congress of Vedanta. He is now a Visiting Professor of Gandhian Studies in Gitam University, India.

5 Tuesdays: October 8–November 5; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Police Services Center, Room 130


Topics of Current Interest

Topics for discussion will be selected from current events. The class facilitators will present factual point/counterpoint data to kick off lively, interactive discussions. They will select a topic for the first session, then the class will identify topics it wants to discuss in subsequent sessions. The goal is an increase in understanding of current topics of controversy and debate.

Instructors: Rich Daniels is a retired CEO of McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford. Bill McKnight retired from General Electric Aircraft Engines as a Senior Technologist.

5 Tuesdays: October 8–November 5; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


Global Climate Change: What Can We in ILR Do Now?

Global climate change is the biggest environmental problem facing not only the U.S. but the entire world. In this class, we will have readings and discussion groups to give practical solutions to this environmental crisis so that our children and grandchildren will have a better place to live. Topics will include the science of climate change, food, energy, local politics, and ideas from the class participants.

Instructors: Ben Mattox, a retired Talawanda High School science teacher, taught biology, botany, earth science, and physics. Karl Mattox, Professor Emeritus of Botany, is the former Dean of the College of Arts and Science. Mark Boardman, Professor Emeritus of Geology, is the former Director of the Institute of Environmental Science.

5 Tuesdays: October 8–November 5; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


Healthy Earth-Friendly Local Eating at MOON Co-op

Prepare and sample local, seasonal, and sustainable foods with MOON Co-op staff and board members. The key to healthy, local eating is to arrive at the co-op with an open mind and start with whatever is in season: simple and healthy soups, salads, main dishes, side dishes, and desserts, based on what our local growers have raised, harvested, and made.

Instructor: James Rubenstein, Professor Emeritus of Geography, is a MOON Co-op Board Director and writes a weekly column on local food for the Oxford Press.

5 Tuesdays: October 8–November 5; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: MOON Co-op, 512 S. Locust St.

Supply fee: $20, payable with registration


Book Making I

Have you ever wanted to make your own book but did not know how? Come and learn how to make books that use folds, books that do or do not require glue, and books that are hand sewn. Bring your sense of fun and adventure.

Instructor: Judy Brewer is a retired teacher from the Eaton City School District. She has been a crafter since an early age. She enjoys learning new crafts and sharing her knowledge with others.

4 Tuesdays: October 8–29; 12:45–2:15pm
Location: Oxford Lane Library, Havighurst Room


Medicine in the Movies

Our meetings will include viewing feature films that engage medical issues and settings. Some films are completely fictional while others are about real-life cases using actors to tell the stories. Each session will include discussion of the biomedical matters that are portrayed. The following films are being considered: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Oprah Winfrey); Living Proof (Harry Connick, Jr.); Wit (Emma Thompson); Miss Evers’ Boys (Alfre Woodard); No Ordinary Baby (Bridget Fonda); and Gattaca (Ethan Hawke).

Instructor: Muriel Blaisdell, Professor Emerita of Interdisciplinary Studies and History, has taught many courses for ILR on the history of science, especially the biological sciences.

5 Tuesdays: October 8–November 5; 1:15–3:45pm
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 217


Exploring the Life and Faith of the Amish

The Amish religious community is very quiet and reserved and is not well understood by those outside of its faith. Its history, values, faith, practices, and everyday life will be explored through brief presentations, high quality videos, and discussion.

Instructor: Carol Michael, Professor Emerita in the Dietetics and Nutrition Program, has previously given presentations on the Amish.

5 Tuesdays: October 8–November 5; 2:45–4:00pm
Location: Police Services Center, Room 123


A Wine Tour of Italy

Over the course of five weeks, we will survey the wines of Italy. Examples from Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, Barolo, Verona, Puglia, Sicily, and other regions will be sampled while their unique aspects are presented and discussed in an informal atmosphere. One class will be devoted to a structured, step-by-step analysis of wine. Come prepared with three wine glasses and a sense of oeno-adventure.

Supplies: Please bring three wine glasses.

Instructor: Chris Hensey has offered ILR wine-tasting courses for sixteen years, nearly as long as he operated his Oxford wine shop. He has passed the Introductory Exam for the Court of Master Sommeliers and serves as a judge for the Cincinnati International Wine Festival.

5 Tuesdays: October 8–November 5; 4:30–5:45pm
Location: Oxford LaRosa’s, 21 Lynn St.
Supply fee: $50, payable with registration

Wednesday Classes

The Crime Without a Name

Prior to World War II, there was no word that described the attempt to destroy an entire race or nation of people, as indicated by Winston Churchill when he referred to the destruction of Jews in Europe as the “crime without a name.” In 1945, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The man most responsible for this was a Polish lawyer named Rafael Lemkin. The United States refused to ratify this convention until 1988. The Convention has been used to investigate genocidal actions in Rwanda, Iraq, and the former Yugoslavia. In this course, we will look at and discuss the history of the term and the Convention; the moral and ethical challenges raised for U.S. foreign policy; where that discussion stands today; and the models of activism provided by Lemkin and U.S. Senator Proxmire. Some short readings will be provided online.

Instructor: Alan deCourcy, Associate Professor of Religious and Pastoral Studies, Mount St. Joseph University, is the former Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mount St. Joseph.

5 Wednesdays: October 9–November 6; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


The Golden Age of Radio Volume 3

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...” So much to explore, so little time! More from that bygone era, while listening to programs and stars suggested by previous class surveys: The Shadow; Ozzie and Harriet; Inner Sanctum (remembered by some as The Creaking Door); Henry Aldrich; Johnny Dollar; The Great Gildersleeve; and others. Our listening will be seasoned with peeks into the history of the programs, the performers, and the relationship of the shows to then-current events. Who knew that 79 Wistful Vista was a polling place for the national elections? Tune in—and find out if Roosevelt defeated Willke in 1940!

Instructor: Mike Griffith is a Professor Emeritus of Theatre.

5 Wednesdays: October 9–November 6; 9:00–10:15am
Location: M.U. Art Museum, Auditorium


Woodstock 50 Years Later

This course will take a retrospective look, using lectures as well as audio and video presentations, at the Woodstock Music Festival held in August 1969, including the planning, logistics, musical acts, and social and cultural impact of the event. NOTE: Students are cautioned that media used in this class may include brief nudity or foul language.

Instructor: Paul Allen, Retired Commander, U.S. Navy and retired Civil Servant, has lived in Oxford for 26 years.

5 Wednesdays: October 9–November 6; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: M.U. Art Museum, Auditorium


Easy Yoga*

The practice of yoga helps increase flexibility, mobility, circulation, and mind-body coordination. Positions are done standing, seated, or on the floor. Adaptations are given as needed so participants can be relaxed and can focus on their breathing. All movements can be adapted for different levels of ability. Each class will end with either guided or silent relaxation. Handouts include funny stick cartoons of poses to help with your home practice. Please bring a yoga “sticky” mat to class.

Instructor: Kathy Hunter has taught yoga professionally since 1971 at various locations, including the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, in Colorado, and abroad. She is accredited through Yoga Alliance.

6 Wednesdays: October 9–November 13; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


The Evolution of Opera from Greek Drama to Opera Buffa

Let’s explore the evolution of GRAND OPERA from its beginnings based upon ancient Greek drama (Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo) through the Baroque (Handel’s Alcina) to Mozart’s singspiel masterpiece (The Magic Flute).

October 9Introduction to Opera: How it Began and Evolved–Andrea Ridilla teaches oboe and opera appreciation at Miami. She is also the Principal Oboist in various orchestras in the U.S. and Europe.

October 16Monteverdi’s L’OrfeoAndrea Ridilla

October 23Handel’s AlcinaAnne Morris-Hooke is Professor Emerita of Microbiology.

October 30Commedia dell’Arte to Opera BuffaPatrizio Martinelli is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Interior Design whose research focuses on the theatricality of the domestic and urban interior.

November 6Mozart’s The Magic FluteAndrea Ridilla

Coordinator: Anne Morris-Hooke is a Professor Emerita of Microbiology with a lifelong addiction to baroque and bel canto opera.

5 Wednesdays: October 9–November 6; 1:00–2:15pm
Location: Peabody Hall, Room 121, Leonard Theatre


Playing with Color: An Introduction to Watercolor

Remember painting with watercolor in school? There’s much more to it than the tins of colored paste and tiny brushes you used back then. Learn the basics of color theory, composition, and watercolor technique with daily hands-on practice. Good student-quality paint, brushes, and paper will be supplied.

Instructor: Elizabeth Brice is a retired Miami librarian and lifelong arts hobbyist. She has studied watercolor for over 25 years and has a studio at the Oxford Community Arts Center.

5 Wednesdays: October 9–November 6; 1:00–2:15pm
Location: Oxford Lane Library, Havighurst Room
Supply fee: $35, payable with registration


An Assortment of Sciences

Science is all around us. Come and let us show you how it’s used today in a variety of ways.

October 9Jet Engine Technologies: Things You Should Know About Jet EnginesBill McKnight retired from General Electric Aircraft Engines as a Senior Technologist.

October 16Eyes on the SkyKristen Cassady has been a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, for four years.

October 23The Physics of Traveling to the MoonChristopher Beer is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics.

October 30Managing the Legacy of Former Cold War Weapons Production SitesSue Smiley and Penny Borgman manage the Fernald Preserve and the privately-owned Mound Business Park.

November 6–The Manhattan Project in Dayton, Ohio, and the Soviet Spy George Koval During World War IIBob Bowman worked at the Mound Laboratory in Miamisburg, Ohio, from 1969 until 1985. He was also employed as a senior research scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and later at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Coordinator: Jerry Riesenberg retired from Procter & Gamble after 35 years as an analytical chemist and in Information Technology.

5 Wednesdays: October 9–November 6; 2:45–4:00pm
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 107


Barbie at 60: Gender Politics, Human Development, and Children at Play

Barbie’s appearance in toy stores was greeted with joy and horror: Should American girls play with a voluptuous wasp-waist bathing beauty in stilettos? Barbie has changed dramatically even as scholars have studied the political, psychological, and sociological impact of play. This class is not for women only. Join us to learn why play is so important, and how toys and especially dolls have evolved since 1959. Guest speaker, Cecilia Shore, is a Professor Emerita of Psychology.

Instructor: Judith de Luce is a Professor Emerita of Classics.

5 Wednesdays: October 9–November 6; 2:45–4:00 pm
Location: The Knolls of Oxford, Boardroom

Thursday Classes

Let’s Go Krogering 

Get insights into the operation of Oxford’s Kroger store. You’ll have behind-the-scenes demonstrations from one of America’s largest grocery store chains. Learn how the local Kroger integrates itself into the community, from the individual level up to what’s on the shelves. You will learn from local experts about the food brought to your community and how Kroger is innovating within the grocery industry.

Instructor: Lauren White, current Store Manager at the Oxford Kroger store, has six years of experience in the grocery industry at multiple locations.

5 Thursdays: October 10–November 7; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Oxford Kroger, 300 S. Locust St. (turn right as you enter the store and assemble in the Bistro area)


Appalachia in Michigan: Bonnie Jo Campbell’s Daring Short Stories 

“Beware, ye who enter here,” one reviewer wrote of American Salvage, a prize-winning collection of daring and powerful short stories by contemporary (she is 56) writer Bonnie Jo Campbell; it is “not a book for the cowardly.” In this reader-centered, conversational, and participatory class, we will encounter bustedbroke, damaged, and discarded people in big-hearted Michigan stories told with fierce compassion. For our first class, please read “The Trespasser,” “The Yard Man,” and “World of Gas” (pp. 1-38).

Class text: Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage, Norton, 2009

Instructor: Don Daiker teaches and writes about Hemingway and the American short story.

5 Thursdays: October 10–November 7; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Peabody Hall, Room 24


Do Buttresses Really Fly? Gothic Architecture North of the Alps 

The origins of Gothic architecture in France, England, and Central Europe are related to indigenous political, religious, and cultural conditions. While each geocultural region developed important aspects of the Gothic style to suit particular needs and aspirations, each also produced startling tours-de-force with distinct qualities and accomplishments. The course will seek to explain interrelationships as well as differences between these major expressions as it broadens the definition of Gothic architecture. Class text: Handouts with lists of buildings discussed, maps, and terminology will be provided at the beginning of each lecture.

Instructor: Robert Benson is Professor Emeritus of Architecture History and Theory.

5 Thursdays: October 10–November 7; 10:45–12:00pm 
Location: Peabody Hall, Room 121, Leonard Theatre


Challenges to American Democracy II 

Continuing the treatment of this topic from last term, the course examines additional challenges to American democracy (e.g., demagoguery, imperial presidents, radical individualism, income inequality, etc.). It is not necessary to have attended “Democracy I” to enroll in “Democracy II.” The first class of “Democracy II” is a repeat of the “What is Democracy?” presentation in “Democracy I” and is, therefore, optional for returning students. Classes two through six contain new material.

Instructor: Clyde Brown, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, taught American politics, including a course on American democracy, at Miami University.

6 Thursdays: October 10–November 14; 10:45am–12:00pm 
Location: Oxford Lane Library, Havighurst Room


Vaccines and the Diseases They Protect Us From 

Discussion of vaccines, including how they work and their history as a means of preventing infectious diseases in humans. The impact of recent anti-vaccine movements and disease outbreaks they have fostered will also be discussed. In addition to measles, influenza, polio, and shingles, we will also discuss diseases of interest to participants in the course.

Instructor: John Stevenson, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology, retired from Miami in 2015 after 41 years of teaching and research focused on immunology and infectious diseases.

5 Thursdays: October 10–November 7; 1:00–2:15pm
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 117


Philosophical Problems of the Self 

There are various fundamental questions regarding human selfhood. These questions have, among both developed and underdeveloped societies, generally accepted answers that rarely receive critical attention. Yet, as will be shown in the last of our five classes, the answers to these questions often have consequences for everyday lives. For example, it is widely believed that we are autonomous agents, capable of coming to decisions and actions by what is termed our “free will.” Some argue that if such free will is an illusion, then retributive justice—punishment for criminal action—is erroneous. In this brief introductory course, we will examine arguments for and against the existence of free will, as well as problematics regarding the relation of mind to body, the notion of a self-perceiving world external to itself, and the idea that a human self is in some sense “self-identical” over time.

Instructor: Asher Seidel, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, taught philosophy courses at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Miami University. He published various professional papers and two monographs covering areas related to this course.

5 Thursdays: October 10–November 7; 1:00–2:15pm
Location: Police Services Center, Room 130


Building a New Intergenerational Social Space in Oxford for People Living with Dementia  

People receiving a dementia diagnosis often feel overwhelmed and fearful about the future. The stigma of such a diagnosis can drive patients into social isolation and drastically impact their quality of life. Research shows that social engagement is essential to improving the quality of life. Furthermore, intergenerational interactions are effective in addressing ageism. Learn what we have discovered from doing the Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program at Scripps Gerontology Center in the last 11 years and social centers that are available for people with dementia in Europe. Then help us brainstorm and build a social space in Oxford for intergenerational interactions between Oxford youth and people with recent dementia diagnoses.

Instructor: Elizabeth “Like” Lokon is the founder and director of Opening Minds through Art (OMA), an intergenerational art program for people with dementia based at Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University. Since its founding in 2007, OMA has been replicated at over 150 sites in North America. Lokon works at the intersection of the arts, dementia, and intergenerational service learning, and has published in these areas.

3 Thursdays: October 10–24; 2:45–4:00pm
Location: Peabody Hall, Room 31


Nature Walks in Miami’s Natural Areas* 

The wonders of fall are seen all around us in the Natural Areas. Come walk, see some of these beautiful trails, and be amazed by their beauty, all so close to home. See beautiful woods, streams, birds, and much more. Hikes last about 90 minutes. Dress for the season. The earth trails may be slippery from rain; hiking boots are recommended. Expect to hike up to two miles on hilly terrain. For the first hike, meet in the Dewitt Log Homestead parking lot just east of the Miami horse stables on Route 73. Maps with directions to future hikes will be distributed at the first hike. NOTE: We will hike with a forecast of light rain. Forecasted heavy rain, storms, and high winds will result in a cancellation. Weather cancellations will be announced via email by 1:00 p.m. on each hike day. Those without email should call the ILR office for cancellation information. Makeups will not be offered for cancelled classes.

Instructor: Jim Reid is Field Manager for Miami’s Natural Areas.
5 Thursdays: October 10–November 7; 2:45–4:15pm
Location: Varies, see course description

*ILR events/classes involving walking/hiking/exercise may be strenuous for some. Please use discretion when registering.

Friday Classes

Oxford at Work Helping Those in Need

There is a hidden group of people in Oxford that live in poverty and struggle every day to provide for themselves and their families. Also hidden to most of us are many groups that help them. These organizations will present information about their work in Oxford. Come to learn more about your community at work helping others.

October 11Coalition for a Healthy CommunityAmy Macechko is the director of the Health and Wellness Center for Talawanda School District. Butler Behavioral HealthRachel Scherzinger, Integrated Care Manager

October 18SELF Programs Help ManyGayle Drexler is the director of the SELF Program. Ashley Workman, Talawanda High School Student Success Program

October 25Big Brothers Big Sisters in OxfordCarolyn Winslow is the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butler County. The Oxford Family Resource Center at WorkBrad Hoblitzell is the new director of the Family Resource Center. He is an Oxford resident who has many experiences in nonprofit work providing help for others.

November 1Working to Build a Better CommunityAnn Whelpton has been active in working to build a better community through the Oxford Village Network. She helped develop surveys to find the needs of the community and is working on the solution. Providing Health Services for Low-income FamiliesRonda Croucher is the Vice President of Community Engagement for Primary Health Solutions.

November 8Providing Food for those in NeedAnn Fuehrer is the consulting director of Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services. Programs for Seniors, PUSH, and PFLAG – Sabrina Jewell is active in many organizations including Outreach and Marketing for the senior center, PFLAG, and Push.

Coordinator: Sue Jones is the ILR representative on the Community Foundation Needs Awareness Committee. She has been on the ILR Board, treasurer, and presenter in the past. A retired school administrator from Northwest Local Schools and Miami professor, she is active in many organizations in Oxford.

5 Fridays: October 11–November 8; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 217


Hail, Hail, Rock and Roll: The Early Years 

The birth of rock and roll was a seismic event in popular music. With the advent of electric blues in the late 1940s and the postwar economy supporting niche music markets, rock music became a bridge across multiple American music forms. This class will cover topics such as the “first” rock and roll single, the mix of music genres that created rock and roll, the move from singers to self-contained groups, and the Big Three (Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly), without whom there is no rock and roll.

Class text: Recommended, but definitely not required: The Illustrated History of Rock and Roll, ed. Jim Miller (any edition)

Instructor: KT Lowe is a librarian at Indiana University East. She also moonlights as DJ Black Fedora, specializing in the exciting, fundamental rock of the 1950s and 1960s.

5 Fridays: October 11–November 8; 10:45am–12:00pm 
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


The Art of Persuasion 

Rhetoric, the art of persuasion, grew out of ancient democracy, became the substance of higher education, then the empirical method of modern science, and now the media propaganda we call “politics.” It can be done well with good results or deteriorate into social enmity. We will discover the techniques of this art, both to use them well and to protect ourselves from their misuse.

Instructor: Jack Sommer has taught philosophy at Miami, Western College, and ILR.

5 Fridays: October 11–November 8; 1:00–2:15pm
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Boardroom


Dream Analysis: What Can We Learn from Dreams? 

‘The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach.’ ~ Carl Jung

Dreams provide insight into our inner life. Our unconscious is working especially when we are sleeping and freed of many inhibitions. In Dream Group, we laugh and we sometimes cry at new realizations of a concern we didn’t realize we were worried about. Dream symbols come in all shapes, colors, and feelings; some scare us and others make us feel like we got a taste of heaven. We will demonstrate two different approaches to Dream Interpretation and then invite participants to bring a dream to work on. Start writing your dreams down now!

Instructor: In 1985, Kathy McMahon-Klosterman, with colleague Sam Angus, started a weekly Dream Analysis/Interpretation group. It has continued weekly since then. Some members have passed away, others moved away, and new people have joined.

Speaker: David Palmer has coordinated a Dream group at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church for a time.

5 Fridays: October 11–November 8; 1:00–2:15pm
Location: Police Services Center, room 123


Friday Matinees (formerly Sundown Cinema): Would You Pass? 

Have you ever wondered how your life would be if you changed your religion, ethnicity, gender, or race? Have you ever had to “fake it,” trying to pass as something you were not, or been tempted to do so? Would you want to pass as someone belonging to a privileged group if your own group was persecuted? Would you be able to? We will watch and discuss movies about “passing”:

October 11Gentleman’s Agreement (1947, Elia Kazan)–A reporter (Gregory Peck) pretends to be Jewish in order to write a series of stories on antisemitism. With Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Celeste Holm, Jane Wyatt, Sam Jaffe, Dean Stockwell. 118 minutes.

October 18Pinky (1949, Elia Kazan, John Ford)–Pinky (Jeanne Craig), a light-skinned black woman has passed for white while attending nursing school in the North and has become engaged to a white doctor (William Lundigan). When she returns to the South, her darkskinned grandmother (Ethel Waters) forces her to question her choices. With Ethel Barrymore, Frederick O’Neal, Nina Mae McKinney. 102 minutes.

October 25Imitation of Life (1959, Douglas Sirk)–Lora (Lana Turner), an aspiring white actress with a young daughter, Susie, offers hospitality to a homeless black woman, Annie (Juanita Moore), and her daughter, Sarah. The two families continue to live together as their economic conditions improve. Ten years later, Susie (Sandra Dee) is neglected by her mother, now a famous actress, and light-skinned Sarah (Susan Kohner) resents being black and rejects her mother to pass for white. With John Gavin, Robert Alda, Dan O’Herlihy, Troy Donahue. 125 minutes.

November 1Black Like Me (1964, Carl Lerner)–During the civil rights movement a white reporter (James Whitmore) has his skin darkened and travels through the South as a black man to investigate the conditions of the “Negroes” in America; based on a true story, recounted in the book by John Howard Griffin. With Roscoe Lee Browne, Al Freeman, Jr., Will Geer, Lenka Petersen, Heywood Hale Broun. 105 minutes.

November 8Tootsie (1982, Sydney Pollack)–A struggling actor (Dustin Hoffman) disguises himself as a woman and succeeds in getting a part in a soap opera. With Jessica Lange, Terri Garr, Bill Murray, Geena Davis. 116 minutes.

Coordinator: Sante Matteo passes for a Professor Emeritus of Italian Studies at Miami University and has taught courses on cinema and on Italian culture for ILR.

5 Fridays: October 11–November 8; 2:45–5:15pm
Location: Peabody Hall, room 121, Leonard Theatre 

Saturday Classes

Illuminated Manuscripts 

Come explore the Illuminated Manuscripts in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections & Archives. Attendees will have a hands-on introduction to manuscripts as we discover origins, how they were used, and how they were constructed. We’ll also look at the creators of the process. Also included will be a preservation session. Speaker, Justin Bridges, is the Preservation Librarian at Miami University. Instructors: William Modrow is head of the Special Collections and Archives at Miami University. Rachel Makarowski is the Special Collections Librarian in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections.

5 Saturdays: October 12–November 9; 10:30–11:45am
Location: King Library, Room 320