LAWRENCE – The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas is partnering with Brewster Place Retirement Community, Washburn University and McCrite Plaza Retirement Community to bring courses to Topeka for adults 50 and older.
“The Osher Institute at KU is pleased to expand the number sites and courses we’re offering in Topeka this spring,” said Jim Peters, Osher director. “From the Custer Brothers to George Gershwin, from the lost gospels to Fred and Ginger, or from Arlington Cemetery to the women of Islam, there’s bound to be courses that pique your interest.”
The spring lineup includes:
- “The Custer Brothers in Kansas” will explore the role of the Custer brothers, who inhabited Kansas immediately after the Civil War, and their contributions to the nearly mythical era that made the Wild West so wild. Instructor Roy Bird is the author of "The Better Brother: Tom & George Custer and the Battle for the American West." He has taught history and served as a professional librarian, most recently as director of the Kansas Center for the Book. The course will meet from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays. It begins Feb. 11 and will continue Feb. 18 and 25 at the Brewster Place Retirement Community, 1205 SW 29th St.
- “The Music of George Gershwin” is a lively examination of Gershwin’s early successes in the popular music industry and his prolific career as a composer of Broadway scores and songs for Hollywood films. He was one of the rare composers who memorably synthesized the popular sounds of jazz and blues with concert music. Instructor Paul Laird, professor of musicology at KU, has published widely on musical history topics. The course meets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays from Feb. 26 to March 12 at the Henderson Learning Center on the Washburn University campus.
- “Arlington National Cemetery: Its History and Its Heroes” will review the colorful history of the cemetery from its pre-Civil War days through major conflicts in U.S. history. Instructor Jim Peters is director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at KU and author of "Arlington National Cemetery: Shrine to American’s Heroes." The course meets from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays from March 19 to April 2 from 2-4 p.m. at Brewster Place Retirement Community.
- “The Lost Gospels of Early Christianity” explores questions like: Did Jesus have a wife? Was Judas a hero rather than a villain? Was he a model child or a spoiled brat? Examine the life and teachings of Jesus now that hitherto unknown gospels have come to light. Instructor, Barry Crawford is a professor of religious studies at Washburn University. The course will meet from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays from March 27 to April 10 in Henderson Learning Center on the Washburn University campus.
- “Hollywood Musicals Starring ‘Ginger, Fred and Gene’” will examine how Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly defined and refined the Hollywood musical. Instructor Cynthia Haines is a film critic, author and scholar. She reviews art, independent, foreign and documentary films for KCUR, the National Public Radio affiliate in Kansas City. This course will meet from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays from April 4 to April 18 at McCrite Plaza Retirement Community, 1608 SW 37th St.
- “Understanding Islam and the Roles of Muslim Women” provides grounding in the basic precepts of Islam and debunks widely held stereotypes about Muslim women as subordinates in a patriarchal socio-religious context. Instructor Beverly Mack is a professor in the KU Department of African and African-American Studies. She teaches courses on Women in Islam and Islamic literature. The course will meet from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays from April 16 to April 30 at Brewster Place Retirement Community.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at KU, in partnership with Brewster Place Retirement Community, Washburn University and McCrite Plaza Retirement Community, develops programs for people 50 and older but welcomes lifelong learners of all ages who can enroll in courses and special events for as little as $10. In addition to Topeka, courses are offered in Lawrence, Ottawa, Olathe, Lenexa and Overland Park.
For more information on courses at all locations or to register, visit www.osher.ku.edu or call toll free (877) 404-5823 or (785) 864-5823.