Oxford Courses

Due to COVID-19, these spring 2020 classes and events were canceled. Please review them as a sample of our curriculum, and check back with us this fall for our updated courses and events.

Monday Classes

Mary Beard: Classicist as a Lego

An infamous social historian of ancient Greece and Rome, this Cambridge Don is known for her mordant wit and controversial analysis. Readings in the course packet will include selections from her popular book reviews, her blog All in a Don’s Life, Roman humor, various book chapters, and Women & Power.

Class text: Packet of class handouts will be available for purchase at Oxford Copy Shop two weeks prior to the first class. Please bring the packet to the first class.

Instructors: Judith de Luce is a Professor Emerita of Classics at Miami University. Her interests include gerontology, feminist studies, mythology, theater, and medical humanities.

5 Mondays: March 30–April 27, 9:00–10:15am

Location: Knolls of Oxford, Boardroom


Three Months in Bethlehem: Israel, Palestine, and Life in the West Bank

Drawing on her experience as an international observer in the West Bank, the instructor will provide an overview of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the influence of American politics and policies in this troubled land, and everyday life within the West Bank, using readings, documentaries, and discussion.

Instructor: Susan Brogden served with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) from February through April 2018 and is a regional coordinator for Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP).

5 Mondays: March 30–April 27, 9:00–10:15am

Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


Miami’s Art Museum Up Close

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.

March 30Insights and OverviewsJason Shaiman is Curator of Exhibitions, Miami University Art Museum.

April 6Myaamia RibbonworkGeorge Ironstrack is Associate Director, Myaamia Center.

April 13Treasures from the Dragon KilnRobert Wicks (bio below).

April 20Nineteenth-Century PaintingLaura Stewart is Collections Manager/Registrar, Miami University Art Museum.

April 27Global PerspectivesJason Shaiman (bio above)

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

5 Mondays: March 30–April 27; 10:45 am–12:00 pm

Location: M.U. Art Museum, Auditorium


Technology and the Changing Chinese Lifestyle

High technology is quietly entering the life of every ordinary Chinese person, not just privileged young people. Many impressive technology-related feats are happening: China is now a cashless society. It’s common to travel long distances on a high-speed train or to share a car with people you don’t know. The life that Chinese people are used to has been surrounded by high technology, which is gradually changing Chinese lifestyles, transportation, payment, sharing, wellness, and so much more.

March 30Life at High Speed: Transportation in ChinaYifeng Tian is a Confucius Institute Chinese instructor.

April 6A Society of Sharing: Rented TechnologyWenting Yang is a Confucius Institute Chinese instructor, who has studied in the U.K.

April 13A Cashless Society – Kanglu Fu (bio below)

April 20Health and Wellness in Modern Stressful ChinaZenghui Xing is the taiji instructor at the Confucius Institute.

Coordinator: Kanglu Fu is a Confucius Institute Chinese instructor.

4 Mondays: March 30–April 20; 10:45 am–11:40 am

Location: Peabody Hall, Room 407


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.

March 30Fabric Treasures: An Antique Quilt Bed TurningMary Royer volunteers at the Butler County Historical Society and is a member of the American Quilt Study Group and the Midwest Fabric Study Group.

April 6Coup d’etat: Stories on Beer from the Front Lines of the Craft Beer Revolution!John Haggerty is Brewmaster and Managing Partner at Warped Wing Brewing Co., Dayton.

April 13Tour of the Universe: You Are HereDean Regas is the Cincinnati Observatory Astronomer & Education Director.

April 20Formal, Functional, and Sometimes Funky: Exploring Oxford’s Mid-Century Modern Architecture, 1940-1970Steve Gordon is Administrator of the McGuffey House and Museum.

April 27A Forgotten Chapter from One Family’s Search for Their Lost Sister: The Indian Captivity Narrative of Frances Slocum/Mahkoonsihkwa (1773-1847), “White Rose of the Miamis”Bob Wicks is Director of the Miami University Art Museum.

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

4 Mondays: March 30–April 27; 12:30–1:45 pm

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 Cold War

Lecture/discussion of the Cold War between NATO and the Warsaw Pact nations between 1945 and 1991.

March 30Geopolitical Origins of the Cold WarGeorge Vasick, Professor of History

April 6The Strategic Triad Scott Rein, Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired)

April 13Wild Blue YonderPatrick Sidley was previously a docent at the New England Air Museum in Connecticut, the archivist for the 58th Bombardment Wing Memorial housed there, and is currently a volunteer at the Air Force Museum. He has been a member of the American Aviation Historical Society, the Society of Air Race Historians, and the Society for Military History.

April 20Protecting the HomelandRick Dubberly, Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired), completed 30 years Active Duty Commissioned service. In retirement, he has instructed several ILR courses in history, science, and classic movies.

April 27Spies Among UsPaul Allen, Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired) NOTE: This lecture was previously offered in a 2016 ILR course. Students who took the 2016 course may wish to omit this week’s lecture.

Instructors: Paul Allen, Retired Commander, U.S. Navy, and retired civil servant, has lived in Oxford for 27 years.

5 Mondays: March 30–April 27; 2:15–3:30pm
Location: Peabody Hall, 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.

Tuesday Classes

Spring Neotropical Migrants: A Closer Look (literally!)

Spring neotropical bird migrants are often a challenge to identify—hence the confusing “spring 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 (except April 7) postpones class until Thursday.

Instructor: Dave Russell, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biology, is the Research Director for the 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 has outdoor classrooms.

5 Tuesdays: April 7–May 5; 7:30–9:30am
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 228 on April 7, then Hueston Woods State Park, AREI Bird Banding Station for remaining classes

NOTE: Late start date


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 to increase 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: March 31–April 28; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


Women Mystery Writers and Their WOMEN Detectives

Four women writers read in chronological order provide ample opportunity to discuss how these authors create and develop their women detectives. We will read Gladys Mitchell (1901-1983, British), Amanda Cross (1926-2003, American), Sarah Dunant (1950- , British), Jaqueline Winspear (1994- , British). Please read Mitchell for the first class.

March 31The Twenty-Third Man, 1957, Gladys MitchellJudith de Luce, Professor Emerita of Classics, has read 30 of Mitchell’s 60+ mysteries.

April 7Poetic Justice, 1970, Amanda CrossMary Fuller, Professor Emerita of English, knows the true identity of Amanda Cross.

April 14Mapping the Edge, 1999, Sarah DunantSonya Montana, retired, will introduce us to a different kind of “mystery.”

April 21Mapping the Edge, 1999, Sarah DunantJohn M. Krafft, Professor Emeritus of English, is still reading astutely and vigorously teaching.

April 28 Maisie Dobbs, 2003, Jaqueline WinspearTerry Hunt, retired from dealing with the mysteries of the human body.

Class text: Find the above books at any venue and bring the text to class as assigned. In addition, a packet of class handouts will be available for purchase at Oxford Copy Shop two weeks prior to the first class.

Coordinator: Judith de Luce, Professor Emerita of Classics, Miami University

5 Tuesdays: March 31–April 28; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Boardroom


Healthy, Earth-Friendly Local Eating at MOON Co-op

Let’s prepare and sample local, seasonal, sustainable food at MOON Co-op. 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: March 31–April 28; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: MOON Co-op, 512 S. Locust St., Oxford

Supply fee: $20, payable with registration


Intro to Stained Glass

Students will learn a brief history of stained glass and different types of construction techniques. They will also learn and practice the skills needed for the copper foil method, the same process used by Tiffany Glass. Students will choose their pattern and glass, and then create a suncatcher of their own.

Instructor: Linda Brown is a retired science teacher and coordinator of the stained glass program at Oxford Seniors.

5 Tuesdays: March 31–April 28; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: Oxford Seniors, Studio

Supply fee: $20, payable at the first class


Living with Ghosts: Toni Morrison’s Vision

Nobel laureate, novelist, and public intellectual Toni Morrison died in April 2019. In August (and following), a controversial New York Times Magazine series, “The 1619 Project,” examined 400 years of slavery and its legacies for American (U.S.) individuals and cultures. With these events in mind, we will read Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved and discuss it in historical and feminist/womanist contexts. We will also discuss our own and others’ experiences reading this work where Morrison explores the individual and community/cultural reckonings required in order to live with the past.

Please read the Forward and pages 1-51 for our first class. For those not using this edition of the text, stop reading just before the section beginning “Pleasantly troubled, Sethe avoided the keeping room and Denver’s sidelong looks.”

Class text: Toni Morrison, Beloved, Vintage, ISBN: 1400033411</p

Instructor: Barb Caruso spent 39 years teaching in the Literature, African American, and Women’s Studies Programs at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. She lives in Oxford.

5 Tuesdays:March 31–April 28; 10:45 am–12:00pm
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


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: March 31–April 28; 1:00–2:15pm
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 217


Have Wheels, Will Seek Nature*

If you are using a walker, wheelchair, or pushing a stroller and wish to experience nature strolls in Oxford that are accessible, join us for three sessions. First hike meets at the Black Covered Bridge parking lot on Bonham Road by the Leonard Howell Shelter. Maps to future hikes will be distributed at the first hike.

Instructors: Barbara Eshbaugh is a nature lover wishing to share and learn about our local natural treasures. Donna McCollum will lead one hike. She is responsible for installing the ramp at the Ruder Preserve.

3 Tuesdays: March 31–April 14; 1:00–2:15pm
Location:As listed in course description above

NOTE: Class is weather dependent. Rain will postpone, and rescheduling will take place via email.

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


Nantucket Baskets: An American Heritage

In the 1850s, men stationed on the lightships off Nantucket Island created Nantucket baskets. From the beginning, they were as unique and strong as they were expensive. Now plastic bins and bags do the work of these prized baskets while inexpensive baskets hold the mail. Antique Nantucket baskets sell for thousands, but new baskets face a different challenge: they must be functional art. Today, weavers must balance honoring the traditional designs against incorporating new materials. Beginning (class 1) with Nantucket basket history, traditional construction, and evaluation, we will move (class 2) to contemporary designs, exotic woods, and new materials.

Instructor: Stephen Goettsch is a working artist who has been making and selling Nantucket baskets for 22 years after taking courses through Miami CraftSummer.

2 Tuesdays:April 21–April 28; 1:00–2:15pm
Location:Boyd Hall, Room 132
NOTE: Late start date


The Tangled Web: Making Sense of Europe’s Multiple Crises in 2020

This course offers an overview of the economic and political integration that has created a new “European Union (EU)” on the foundations of the older “Europe of nation states.” Against that background, participants have an opportunity to survey the tensions that stretch the fabric of the emerging European Union:

a)the upsurge of modern nationalism in tension with values of union, b) pressure of immigration from outside the EU, c) internal economic pressures on the cohesion of the EU, d) the connections between European integration and the Atlantic security community, e) the challenge of “Brexit” to both the European Union and the United Kingdom. This short course will try to discover the ways in which these pressures converge and reinforce one another and what pathways there may be for Europeans to untangle the web of challenges that confronts them.

Supplies/Books: One or two articles or think pieces will be made available for each of the specific topics of the course. Since the course deals with very contemporary issues, most resource materials will be articles and commentaries drawn from journals and the world’s quality press. Apart from journals and papers available in the libraries, a basic packet of resource material will be available at modest cost from the Oxford Copy Shop, and an optional online subscription to the Financial Times or the New York Times is encouraged.

Instructor: Warren Mason is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science and was also the Director of the Transatlantic Seminar on the European Union and founding Director of the Miami University Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg.

5 Tuesdays: March 31–April 28; 1:00–2:15 pm
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 132


Naked Masks

Naked Masks is the title that Luigi Pirandello, Nobel Prize- winning Italian playwright, gave to his collected plays. We will read and discuss five of his most important plays, including his most famous, Six Characters in Search of an Author. Pirandello’s primary themes are the relativity of truth and the intersection between reality and illusion. The five plays are available in English translation in one volume, also entitled Naked Masks, edited by Eric Bentley and available inexpensively from Amazon.

Class text: Luigi Pirandello; ed. Eric Bentley, Naked Masks, E.P. Dutton, ISBN: 0-525-47006-9

Instructor: Peter Pedroni taught Italian language and literature for 37 years and directed the Miami University Summer Language Institute in Italy for 36 years. He has published books and articles on Italian literature and has translated two Italian novels into English.

5 Tuesdays:March 31–April 28;2:45–4:00 pm
Location: Oxford Lane Library, Children’s Room


A Wine Tour of California

Over the course of five weeks, we will survey the wines of California. Examples from Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Mendocino, 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.

Instructor: Christopher Hensey has offered ILR wine-tasting courses for seventeen years, longer than 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: March 31–April 28; 4:30–5:45 pm
Location: LaRosa’s, 21 Lynn St., Oxford Supply fee: $50, payable with registration

Wednesdays

How to Enjoy Ballet: More Than Tutus and Toe Shoes

This instructor’s in-progress book is about a ballet company, and it has challenged her as a writer: how to put on paper so much of the excitement of what the dancers are doing and how dancing illustrates and interprets the music, etc. Then she found the book Celestial Bodies: How to Look at Ballet by Laura Jacobs. The author does it all, and the instructor is excited to have others appreciate her and the subject she describes with such grace and intelligence. Each week, we’ll look at different chapters of Celestial Bodies, see illustrative clips, and talk and talk. NOTE: Internet access for viewing “homework” is recommended.

Class text: Laura Jacobs, Celestial Bodies: How to Look at Ballet, Basic Books, ISBN#9780465098477 (hard back). Also available as an ebook.

Instructor: Judith P. Zinsser is Professor Emerita of History, with specialties in European intellectual and cultural history (18th century) and Women’s history. After writing a biography of the 18th century French philosopher Emilie Du Châtelet, she especially enjoyed teaching about writing biographies. She is now working on a history of a Russian ballet company that found itself stranded in the U.S. in 1939.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


Joyce’s Dubliners in Our Time

In this course we will read and discuss representative short stories from James Joyce’s Dubliners (1914), a collection that culminates in one of the greatest short stories ever written: “The Dead.” We will juxtapose some of Joyce’s stories against Dubliners 100 in which fifteen contemporary Irish writers, writing a century after the publication of the original, “sing,” in the editor’s words, “Joyce’s songs in their own voices.” Please read “The Sisters” in Dubliners before our first class meeting.

Class text: James Joyce, Dubliners, Penguin: New York, 1992, ISBN: 0-14-018647-6

Instructor: 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 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 9:00–10:15 am
Location: Police Services Center, Room 123


Hands-on Origami and Haiku: Mind and Hand Fun

The first session will provide an overview of haiku, three-line, 17-syllable poetry, along with an introduction to famous Japanese poets. Also, in that first session, as our first origami project, we’ll fold a mini-book with cover for your haiku poems. In sessions 2-5, we’ll share our “homework” poems first and then fold something special, including a peace crane (on stiffened fabric for something different), and depending on class choice, boxes, balloons, lucky stars, and/or butterflies.

Instructors: Wendy Richardson has pondered and composed haiku while looking out of airplane windows to help the time pass on long trips. In another life she was a human resources trainer focusing on communication skills. Nancy Moeckel, retired from Miami’s Science Library, will draw upon her origami experience to guide us as we explore this time-honored Japanese paper-folding craft.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 10:45 am–12:00pm
Location: Oxford Seniors, Craft Room
Supply fee: $5, payable with registration


The Culture of the “Roaring” 20s

The 1920s, especially in New York City, were vibrant, startling, and innovative in every aspect of modern culture—the visual arts, literature, material culture, and music. As an example of just one aspect of this century, the extraordinary Harlem Renaissance remains a model of the creativity of the period; but this course is not limited to that phenomenon.

April 1The Round Table as Emblematic of the DecadeJudith de Luce is a Professor Emerita of Classics and has often lunched at the Algonquin in honor of Dorothy Parker.

April 8The Visual ArtsPepper Stetler is an Associate Professor of Art and Architecture History and Associate Director of The Humanities Center, Miami University. NOTE: This week’s lecture will be held in the Clubhouse and end at 12:30.

April 15The Musical ArtsDavid Palmer describes himself as Village Pianist, Oxford. He has taught many ILR courses on music.

April 22The Literary ArtsMarilyn Detloff is a Professor of English and member of the Departments of Global and Intercultural Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

April 29Revolution: Women’s Dress in the 1920sSara Butler, Professor Emerita of Art, has long been interested in the history of costume.

Class text: Packet of class handouts will be available for purchase at Oxford Copy Shop two weeks prior to first class. Please bring it to the first class.

Coordinator: Judith de Luce has always been interested in New York City of the 20s, including the brilliance of the Harlem Renaissance.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 10:45 am–12:00pm (except 4/8)
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium (4/8 held in Clubhouse)


Failure is Impossible: Women’s Suffrage

We will share various films exploring the struggle of American women to gain the vote in 1920, such as Iron Jawed Angels, One Fine Day, and more. There will be short readings of suffragists’ work and how it relates to today’s concerns about who votes. The following guest speakers will present during two of our five weeks:

April 15Women as Political Visionaries and Radical ReformersPat Kaufman is a retired high school history teacher.

April 22 Oh You Beautiful Doll: The Representation of Women Over TimeJo McQueen is NOW Founder and owner of Fantastic Feminist.

Instructor: Kathy McMahon-Klosterman was a co-founder of the Oxford/Miami chapter of the National Organization for Women in the 1970s, facilitated women’s consciousness-raising groups, and had a one-hour live radio show on WMUB titled: Women About Women. Kathy is currently the Membership Director of the Oxford League of Women Voters and a Professor Emerita of Educational Psychology.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 1:00–2:15pm
Location: Oxford Lane Library, Havighurst Room


Vaccines and the Diseases They Protect Us From: Part 2

The course will discuss 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 influenza, pneumonia, polio, and hepatitis, we will also discuss other diseases of interest to course participants.

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 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 1:00–2:15 pm
Location: Police Services Center, Room 123


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.

April 1Severe Storms: The Science Behind Radar Analysis & NWS Warning Operations – Kristen Cassady has been a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, for five years.

April 8The 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bomb: An Overview of the Manhattan Project During World War IIBob Bowman retired as a distinguished member of the technical staff at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (TN). He has over 300 publications, mostly on metal hydrides and their applications.

April 15 – No science class this week. The lecture “News from 1970! Miami Student Protests Fifty Years Later” will be offered in this same room and time slot, but you must register separately for this lecture. See below.

April 22 Black Holes: Gravitational CollapseChristopher Beer was an engineer with Clarke Detroit Diesel before getting his advanced degrees and now is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics at Miami. He likes to restore classic American cars. 

April 29Symphony of Switches: Millions of Pixels Deliver Beautiful Images on Your Flat-Screen TVRenate Crawford is the Ambassador and an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Miami University. Along with her many academic achievements, she had postdocs at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C., and in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. She has nearly 30 publications and four patents in her portfolio.

May 6Johannes Kepler: Astronomy and the Divine PlanMuriel Blaisdell retired from Miami University where she taught Interdisciplinary Studies and History. She has taught many courses for ILR on the history of science.

Coordinator: Jerry Riesenberg retired from Procter & Gamble after 35 years in Analytical Chemistry and Information Technology.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–May 6; 2:45–4:00 pm
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 107

NOTE: No class April 15


News from 1970! Miami Student Protests Fifty Years Later

On April 15, 1970, students staged a sit-in at Rowan Hall to protest ROTC on campus during the Vietnam War. It absorbed other grievances, resulted in 176 suspensions, passive resistance, mass arrests, and a police action featuring tear gas and dogs. Mass rallies, a student/faculty strike, and draining the town’s water tower followed. The National Guard was deployed to Oxford but never came to campus. Then in May, events at Kent State earned Ohio notoriety and prompted President Shriver to close all Miami campuses.

When Curt Ellison arrived to teach in September 1970, he found a different place than the one where he interviewed in January.

For five decades he’s been fascinated by that fact. Using archival material, newspapers, oral histories, and a student film, we will consider forces of change in 1970 and their local actors, and why Miami’s reactions to protest marked a key turning point in University history. Comments and recollections welcome.

Class text: Could review C. Ellison, ed., Act 4 of Miami University, 1809-2009, Ohio University Press, ISBN: 10 0-8214-1827-0, ISBN: 13978-0-8214-1827-7; available at Miami Archives, King Library.

Instructor: Curt Ellison is a Professor Emeritus of History and American Studies and Editor of Miami University, 1809-2009: Bicentennial Perspectives.

1 Wednesdays: April 15; 2:45–4:15pm
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 107


Tickling the Ivories: Piano Recital and Lecture Series

Miami University piano students will present a series of four classical piano recitals featuring works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Granados, Schumann, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev.

Performers will include DJ Cleavinger, Evan Danielson, Jia Sin Hon, Joseph Ivan, Pui Yee Lee, Yuanfeng Lei, Athena Li, Heather Merhout, Connor Wainwright, Cindy Wang, and Vi Vien Wong.

Instructor: Siok Lian Tan is an Associate Professor of Music and coordinator of the piano area at Miami University.

4 Wednesdays: April 1–April 22; 5:30–6:30pm
Location: Oxford Community Arts Center, Grand Ballroom

Thursday Classes

Appalachia in Michigan #2: “Mothers, Tell Your Daughters”

Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, Bonnie Jo Campbell’s third and most powerful short story collection, gives us struggling men and resourceful women in meth-addicted contemporary southwestern Michigan. “With grit and reverence,” one reviewer wrote, “this story collection is gorgeous in its honesty.” Come join this conversational, participatory, and reader-centered class for “moments of grace.” Previous course was not necessary. For our first class, please read “Sleepover,” “Playhouse,” and “Tell Yourself,” pp. 13-46.

Class text: Bonnie Jo Campbell, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, Norton, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-393-35326-6

Instructor: Don Daiker, M.U. Professor of English Emeritus and noted Hemingway scholar, has written and spoken about Bonnie Jo Campbell’s amazing fiction.

5 Thursdays: April 2–April 30; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 117


Global Neighbors: Building Intercultural Relationships

Before signing up to be a Global Neighbor, a program that matches community members with incoming international students,learn how to develop intercultural skills and build meaningful relationships with those different from you. Gain a greater understanding of your own culture, others’ cultures, and how to engage effectively across cultures.

Instructor: Instructor: Dan Sinetar currently works in Miami University’s Global Initiatives department coordinating programs for International Student and Scholar Services and manages the Global Partner Summer School.

5 Thursdays: April 2–April 30; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 217


Huddled Masses and Wretched Refuse: The History of U.S. Immigration Politics

Immigration has been a hot political issue in the United States going back to the country’s earliest days. Most often the terms of the debate have sounded strikingly similar to the arguments we still hear today, even though the historical specifics varied. We will examine and discuss similarities and differences in the way immigrants were viewed by native-born Americans at different points in America’s history. We will look at how those views led to the evolving efforts of the federal government to regulate the flow of foreigners into the country, and how they continue to echo in the politics of today.

Instructor: Rob Schorman is Professor Emeritus of History at Miami University, having retired in Spring 2019 after two decades as a faculty member and administrator at Miami’s Middletown campus.

5 Thursdays: April 2–April 30; 10:45–12:00pm 
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 217


Agriculture Around Oxford and Butler County is Big Business

Agricultural industries represent about $124 billion in economic output per year for Ohio. Agricultural commodities in Ohio generated about $8.3 billion in cash receipts in 2018, primarily in soybeans, corn, dairy, eggs, hogs, and cattle/calves. How does this important industry work in our area, what are some challenges, and what is some relevant history? Representatives of The Ohio State University Extension Service (OSU ES) and the Butler Soil & Water Conservation District (Butler SWCD) as well as several area farmers will address agricultural issues in this series of lectures.

April 2History, the OSU Extension, and the Land Grant SystemJ.T. Benitez is an extension educator for agriculture and natural resources at the Butler County Ohio State University Extension.

April 921st Century Production Agriculture: All Those Soybeans, Corn, and Other ProductsJ.T. Benitez will be joined by a local farmer.

April 16Water Quality and Citizen ScienceLynn White and Madeline Maurer, Butler SWCD

April 23 Livestock Production BasicsJ.T. Benitez will be joined by local producers.

April 30History of Drainage Tile: Why We Use It, Need It, and Its BenefitsBrady Smith, Rural Specialist, Butler SWCD

Coordinator: Richard Daniels is the retired CEO of McCullough- Hyde Memorial Hospital.

5 Thursdays: April 2–April 30; 10:45am–12:00pm 
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium


Creating Comics

We’ve all read the Sunday comics, but have you ever thought of making one? In this workshop, participants will learn how to make their own comic strip using a fun, interactive group exercise.

Instructor: Billy Simms is an artist and educator. He lives in Hamilton with his wife and four cats.

1 Thursdays: April 2; 12:30–2:30pm
Location: Peabody Hall, Room 22


You Are What You Read: Don Quixote, Part I

Don Quixote represents a great leap forward to modernity, the source in Western literature for what the art of narrative and how to understand human nature will become. We’ll see why in this exploration and open-ended reading, in English, of part I of Miguel de Cervantes’ masterpiece (1605). The figures of Don Quixote and his squire Sancho Panza have become iconic worldwide and have generated translations into more than 140 languages in addition to countless imitations, adaptations, and recreations in literature (most recently, Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte), music, art, children’s books, puppetry, and even cartoons. (Part II to be offered in the fall.)

Class text: Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, translated by Edith Grossman, Ecco/Harper Collins, 2005, ISBN: 0-06-093434-4

Instructor: Charles Ganelin, Professor Emeritus of Spanish, a specialist in Renaissance and Baroque Spanish literature, taught at Miami 2001-17.

5 Thursdays: April 9–May 7; 1:00–2:15pm
Location: Police Services Center, Room 123

NOTE: Late start date


Playing with Color: An Intro to Watercolor

Remember painting with watercolor in school? There is 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 quality paint, brushes, and paper will be supplied. Bring an apron or work shirt to protect your clothing.

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 Thursdays: April 2–April 30; 12:45–2:15 pm
Location: Oxford Lane Library, Havighurst Room
Supply fee: $40, payable with registration


Nature Walks in Miami’s Natural Areas*

The wonders of spring 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, wildflowers, 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 pm on each hike day. Those without email should call the ILR office for cancellation information. Because makeup will not be offered for cancelled classes, this should not be your only class.

Instructor: Jim Reid is Field Manager for Miami’s Natural Areas.
5 Thursdays: April 2–April 30; 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

Stitch Your Stress Away: Mad for Plaid

Create either a beautiful set of four needlepoint plastic canvas coasters or an eyeglass case using a fascinating stitching technique which results in a woven-look plaid pattern. A choice of color schemes will be offered. Please bring scissors to class.

Instructor: Joan Green is an award-winning needle artist, author, teacher, and website retailer with 40 years of experience in the needle art field.

5 Fridays: April 3–May 1; 10:45 am–12:00pm
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Game Room
Supply fee: $10, payable at the first class


Let’s Play Cards: Euchre for Beginners and the Experienced

Euchre is a fast, popular, and very social card game that’s easy to pick up in only a short time. This course is not just for beginners, so come learn to play or learn to play better. There will be something to learn for everyone, and we will play numerous euchre games.

Instructor: Jerry Riesenberg retired from Procter & Gamble after 35 years in Analytical Chemistry and Information Technology. He has been playing euchre for over 50 years and has played in and/or organized over two dozen tournaments.

5 Fridays: April 3–May 1; 1:00–2:15 pm 
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Clubhouse


How We Judge Art

Art is the essence of humanity, in making useful things as well as great works we admire. We judge art by ideas of value to human life, such as beauty, imagination, pleasure, and morality. How do we judge art well? Instead of observing art, we shall discuss the ideas from philosophers of art.

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

5 Fridays:April 3–May 1; 1:00–2:15pm
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Boardroom


Midday Matinee: Oh, Say Can You See? Visibility and Invisibility

We will view and discuss movies that deal with invisibility and what they reveal about social and cultural assumptions and concerns.

April 3Above the Shadows (dir. Claudia Myers, 2019), with Megan Fox, Olivia Thirlby, Alan Ritchson. A young woman who has faded to the point of becoming invisible must find her way back with the help of the one man who can see her. The writer/director, Claudia Myers, expects to be on hand to present and discuss her film.

April 10The Invisible Man (dir. James Whale, 1933), with Claude Rains. A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but has to deal with unforeseen consequences.

April 17Wait Until Dark (dir. Terence Young, 1967), with Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin. A recently blinded woman is terrorized by a trio of thugs while they search for a heroin-stuffed doll they believe is in her apartment. NOTE: This week’s class will be held in Boyd Hall, room 107.

April 24Ghost (dir. Jerry Zucker, 1990), with Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Golberg. A spirit stays behind to warn his lover of impending danger, with the help of a reluctant psychic. NOTE: A guest medium will mediate this day’s discussion.

May 1Memoirs of an Invisible Man (dir. John Carpenter, 1992), with Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill. After a freak accident, a yuppie turns invisible and runs from a treacherous CIA official, while trying to cope with his new life.

Coordinator: Sante Matteo, Professor Emeritus of Italian, has taught ILR courses on Italian literature and the movie course Friday Matinees (previously Sundown Cinema).

5 Fridays: April 3–May 1; 2:45–5:15 pm
Location: Peabody Hall, Leonard Theatre

NOTE: April 17 class held in 107 Boyd Hall

Saturday Classes

Beginner Pottery: Bowl-Making for Empty Bowls

Participants will learn basic hand-building and wheel-throwing pottery. Participants may take home a piece or two, but the community-serving purpose of this course is to create many handmade, beautiful bowls for the annual Empty Bowls event in Oxford.

Instructor: Rob Abowitz has been a leisure-time potter for over 30 years. He has instructed community pottery classes in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in Oxford. He mainly creates functional pottery using stoneware clay from his home studio in Oxford.

7 Saturdays: April 4–May 16; 10:00 –12:00pm
Location:Talawanda High School, Pottery Studio
Supply fee: $35, payable with registration

NOTE: 7-week class


History of the Book through Book Bindings

Journey with us as we discover the history of the book through the lens of the detailed and special book bindings held in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives. We’ll travel through the centuries of the book and learn how bindings play a significant role in the making and promotion of books.

Instructors: Rachel Makarowski is the Special Collections Librarian in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives. William Modrow is the Head of the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives.

5 Saturdays: April 4–May 2; 10:30 –11:45 am
Location:King Library, Room 320