Pre-Summer & Summer 2021 Course Descriptions

OLLI is offering online courses via Zoom. Registration opens as follows:

• Pre-Summer Program (Wonderful Wednesdays): May 10
• Summer Program (Four-week Courses): June 1

View detailed course descriptions below. View all Pre-Summer & Summer Session 2021 courses.

Major League Baseball once provided a welcome home for “characters” — players, managers, owners, and front office types whose outsized egos and colorful personalities lent picaresque spice to the game. G.M.s like Branch Rickey, field generals like Billy Martin, owners like Bill Veeck, and players like Babe Ruth were allowed to strut their stuff with complete abandon before a fascinated fan base. We followed the game then not just to know which teams won and lost, but what controversial and often outrageous acts our heroes (or favorite villains) had undertaken. In today’s game, however, it seems that unseemly behavior is anathema. Soulless technocrats and corporate group-think now dominate most teams’ decision-making. We have lost something precious, but in this course, we will revisit those wild men who roamed the baseball landscape in earlier times.

Bernie Sanders said we should be more like Denmark. Donald Trump thought Norway was basically a utopia. Is either of them right? The Nordic lands have always followed something of a separate path from the rest of Europe, but aside from a few general reference points — the Vikings, Abba, and the much-vaunted but largely misunderstood "Nordic model" welfare state — much of what makes the Nordic lands what they are and what holds them together remains unknown. This course will cover all of the Nordic lands — Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland — exploring all the things that link them together (including an abundance of happiness) and the things that make each country unique.

The Economist Discussion Group meets weekly to discuss articles from the current issue of The Economist. Members are expected to take an active role in the discussions. 

A four-session look at American art, considering works produced by members of the four main racial/ethnic communities in the United States: African American, Asian American, Latinx, and Native American. Focusing primarily on contemporary works, we will study form, content, and context, paying more attention to questions than answers. How do the chosen works constitute themselves as minority-produced art? Do we stick with the “by, for, about” definition? Or should these necessary conditions be modified in 21st century America? How do the works chosen for this course fit into the story of American art, of global contemporary art?

French operas are famed for their colorful sororities, refined expression, delicate sensibilities, and grand pageantry. This course will offer a musical journey through the full range of France’s great opera composers, including Baroque masterworks by Lully, Campra and Rameau, Classic Period operas by Gluck, French grand operas by Meyerbeer and Berlioz, standard repertoire works by Bizet, Gounod, Offenbach, and Saint-Saëns, romantic favorites by Massenet, and 20th-century works by Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, and Messiaen. Video and audio examples will focus on listening skills, with biographical and literary background review putting each work in its historical context.

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