Monday Courses

Thank You for Another Great Semester!

We’re thankful you joined us this past spring. These classes or events have already been held, but are kept here to offer you a glimpse of the programming we offer. Each semester’s offerings will vary, so check back soon for next semester’s content.

The Great Exception: America in the 1950s

Accounts and reminiscences about American life during the 1950s often project an aura of bland normality. Taken in historical perspective, however, this time period was not bland and not normal. A unique convergence of political, cultural, economic, and demographic forces in the middle of the 20th century combined to produce an era that constituted a great exception to many trends and circumstances that have otherwise characterized U.S. history.

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

5 Mondays: March 27–April 24; 9–10:15 a.m.
Format: Hybrid
Location: Online or Oxford, Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum, Auditorium

The Power of Storytelling: Reading Memoir

We will explore the genre of memoir by reading two recent, highly acclaimed examples of the genre: Grace Talusan’s The Body Papers and Tara Westover’s Educated. Grace Talusan will be visiting Miami University this spring to give a public reading, so this is a fantastic opportunity to read a book by an author you can hear and meet! The MidPointe library system has selected her memoir for its March Community Read, so there will be additional opportunities for small group discussion of her work. Both texts address sensitive topics, including sexual, emotional, and domestic abuse, violence, and trauma. If you have concerns about the contents of the books, please contact me and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

While not required, participants will be encouraged to use the course as an opportunity to explore the power of their storytelling by writing something they imagine might appear in their memoir. Class meetings will consist of lively discussions supplemented by brief presentations by the instructor.

Class texts: Grace Talusan, The Body Papers, any edition; Tara Westover, Educated, any edition

Instructor: Marianne Cotugno, Professor of English at Miami University.

5 Mondays: March 27–April 24; 9–10:15 a.m.
Format: Virtual

Art and Inspiration: Who Defines Art?

Art comes in many forms. Learn from local artists as they share where they find inspiration, how they create art, and what it means to be an artist. The art forms discussed include woodworking, photography and framing, sculpture and fishing pole creations, creative writing, and other forms of authorship.

March 27The Evolution of DesignGilbert Liechty began working with wood as a child in his dad and uncle’s cabinet shop. Captured by the aroma of sawdust and the beauty of wood, Gilbert eventually opened his own shop to create custom furniture and other wooden items.

April 3 Handcrafted Fishing PolesJim Killy creates sculptures and various forms of art from wood, metal, and collage. You may have seen his work on Miami University’s campus or in the three-dimensional model of the university seal in Armstrong Center. As a fly fisher, Jim makes fishing rods into functional works of art.

April 10Framing Nature in Her BeautyTom Hogeback’s passion for photography was born in high school and nurtured on the streets of San Francisco and Oakland with a focus on documentary. Since returning to the Midwest in 1989, Tom’s work has focused on surrounding landscapes and the natural environment. Tom owns and operates Village West Framing and Gallery.

April 17Crafting Language by a WindowLynne Hugo is the author of eleven novels, one of which was made into a movie by Hearst Entertainment. She has also published two books of poetry and a volume of creative nonfiction that won the River Teeth Literary nonfiction book prize. Her new novel, The Language of Kin, will be out on July 11 of this year.

Coordinator: Kathy McMahon-Klosterman, Professor Emerita of Educational Psychology, taught disability studies and served on the Board of the International Society for Disability Studies. She is an Emerita Eminent Faculty Scholar for Service-Learning and Community Engagement at Miami University.

4 Mondays: March 27–April 17; 9–10:15 a.m.
Format: Virtual
Location: Online

Up Close at the Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum at Miami University

Get up close and personal with art and artifacts on display at the Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum (formerly Miami University Art Museum) through enlightening discussions with the Curator of Exhibitions, Jason E. Shaiman, and other staff members, as well as with the museum’s docents.

March 27Face Jugs: Traditional Figurative CeramicsJason E. Shaiman, Curator of Exhibitions. Explore the history, cultural significance, and creativity of these unique figurative ceramics with African roots. This talk is in connection with the exhibition Current Forms: Ohio Figurative Ceramics.

April 3Leadership in MuseumsJack Green, Jeffrey Horrell ‘75 and Rodney Rose Director and Chief Curator, will give an overview of the role of a museum director at the Art Museum and across a wide range of institutions.

April 103D Technology as a Bridge to Educational OutreachDavid Dotson, Preparator and Building Manager with Laura Stewart, Collections Manager and Registrar. David and Laura will share findings from a 3D printing pilot program involving Art Museum collections, art educators, and students from Miami University and Union County High School in Indiana.

April 17Docent’s Choice – Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum Docents.

April 24Docent’s Choice – Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum Docents.

Coordinators: Laura Stewart, Collections Manager/Registrar, Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum. Jason E. Shaiman, Curator of Exhibitions, Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum. Prior to his arrival to Oxford in 2010, Jason served as the Chief Curator of Exhibitions at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum.

5 Mondays: March 27–April 24; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: Hybrid
Location: Online or Oxford, Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum, Auditorium

Political Polarization: History, Sources, Impact, Tools

Polarization in our nation has been increasing for over 35 years. Americans are aware of how polarized our country is—how Democrats, Republicans, and Independents seemingly live in separate and divided worlds. The pandemic has only deepened this divide. There is nothing wrong with disagreement in politics—in fact, it’s important for a healthy democracy. Learn more about the history, sources, and impact polarization has on us personally, in our local communities, and our nation. We will also review tools to help with depolarization.

Instructors: Kathy Justice joined Braver Angels in 2019 and began moderating Braver Angels workshops both in-person and via Zoom. Kathy is also one of the Blue Co-Chairs for the Greater Cincinnati Braver Angels Alliance Group. Chris Heck studied social work at James Madison University and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has over 40 years of experience in the social work profession in many roles related to medical social work, mental health, and social work leadership.

5 Mondays: March 27–April 24; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, VOALC, Room 128

The Decline of Journalism in the New Partisan Era

Over the last 20 years, the U.S. has lost more than half the workforce of daily newspaper reporters. A University of North Carolina initiative has now labeled more than 1,800 U.S. towns and communities as “news deserts” with no local print or digital reporting. More than 2,100 daily and weekly papers have stopped publishing since 2004. According to a 2019 Brookings Institution study, millions of Americans today see mainly national TV stories, many of which “focus heavily on partisan conflict.” Brookings also found the decline in local reporting has been accompanied by “a diminished capacity to hold elected officials and other local leaders accountable and a general disengagement from local politics.” In spotlighting the history of journalism in the U.S. through six significant eras, this course traces the early partisan press through to our new partisan era and the simultaneous rise of the internet and decline of local journalism. 

Instructor: Richard Campbell is Professor Emeritus and Founding Chair of the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at Miami University. He is author and co-author of five books, including 60 Minutes and the News: A Mythology for Middle America. He helped found the digital Oxford Observer in 2018 and served as Executive Producer of soci, a documentary on Oxford’s role in the historic events of Freedom Summer. In 2019, Campbell received Miami’s Benjamin Harrison Medallion Award.

5 Mondays: March 27–April 24; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: In person
Location: Oxford, The Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium

Pynchon’s V. at Sixty

“The most masterful first novel in the history of literature?” Hyperbolic, surely, but that’s how the usually judicious critic Richard Poirier described Thomas Pynchon’s 1963 novel, V. In 1972, Miami University’s own Ray Olderman called V. “the seminal novel of the sixties.” Is that closer to the mark? Does the novel still have that buzz? What buzz anyway? How well has V., with its elements of the Gothic, the picaresque, the historical novel, the spy/detective novel, and more, aged? Please read (at least) through chapter 4 for the first class.

Class text: Thomas Pynchon, V., any edition. Older editions include Lippincott (1963), Bantam (1964), Modern Library (1966), and HarperCollins (1986). Current editions include a repaginated Harper Perennial (ISBN 9780060930219), and Kindle or Nook Book (ISBN 9781101594568).

Instructor: John M. Krafft, Professor Emeritus of English, is the coauthor (with Luc Herman) of Becoming Pynchon (2023), which analyzes the evolution of Pynchon’s V. from typescript to published novel.

5 Mondays: March 27–April 24; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: Virtual
Location: Online

Midday Lecture Series

Each Monday the Midday Lecture Series presents a speaker who will discuss a topic of interest and importance. Join us online or in person for this ILR tradition.

March 27Cincinnati’s Linton Music: Harnessing the Intimate Powers of Chamber MusicJulie Montgomery is the Executive Director of Linton Chamber Music.

April 3Global Trade in the Era of Shaky Supply ChainsArkadiusz Mironko is Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Indiana University East.

April 10Villa-Lobos, Carmen Miranda, and Modern Brazilian MusicRicardo Averbach is Director of Orchestral Studies at Miami University.

April 17On the Origin of Human Extinction by Means of Natural SelectionNik Money is Director of Miami University’s Western Program and Professor of Biology.

April 24Exploring 19th Century Cincinnati’s Religious LandscapeMatthew Smith is Director of Public Programming at Miami University Regionals.

Coordinator: Charles Ganelin is Professor Emeritus of Spanish and former Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

5 Mondays: March 27–April 24; 12:30–1:45 p.m.
Format: Hybrid
Online or Oxford, Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum, Auditorium

Five Ways Art Can Improve Senior Skills

Improve your hand and eye skills while learning principles of art, analyzing shapes, color theory, and composition. Each week you will develop these skills by using different tools and materials. We will practice the following techniques: paint pour (painting without a brush on canvas), watercolor painting (watercolor techniques and color theory), basic pencil drawing (drawing techniques using pencil), printmaking (print with ink on paper with found objects), and collage (analyzing shapes and color theory).

Instructor: Barb Lieb studied art education and education at Miami University. She has over 40 years of experience teaching art at every level including college. Barb is also certified in Opening Minds through Art.

5 Mondays: March 27–April 24; 12:30–1:45 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, Chesterwood Village, Art Studio

Pulling Back the Hospital Curtain: Dynamics of the Modern Hospital

Although many members of the Oxford and Butler County communities are familiar with McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital, it is probably accurate to say that few know much about the hospital’s administration and foundation and fewer still know the challenges it faces in the rapidly changing field of healthcare. In this course, we will hear from key hospital staff members who will give us a better understanding of the modern hospital and a greater respect for the importance of McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Butler County.

March 27Getting Healthcare Right: The Story of a Modern Community HospitalMichael Everett, Hospital President and COO, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital.

April 3The Community’s Legacy: The Story of How a Community Envisioned, Built, Preserved, and Grew a HospitalTyler Wash, Executive Director, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital Foundation.

April 10Healthcare Philanthropy: A Look at the Impact of DonorsMary A. Bennett, Chief Development Officer, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital.

April 17Quality and Safety: An Overview of Key Performance Indicators in Hospital OperationsNathanael R. Chaney, Director of Nursing, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital.

April 24The Future of McCullough-Hyde: A Panel Discussion – The four preceding speakers will be joined by Tim McGowan, President of Maple Knolls Communities, and Chair, Board of Trustees, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Foundation.

Coordinator: William J. Gracie, Jr., Professor Emeritus of English and former Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, is Chair of the ILR Curriculum Committee.

5 Mondays: March 27–April 24; 2:15–3:30 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: Oxford, Lane Library, Havighurst Room

Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability in Film

We will learn the history of the disability civil rights movement by listening to the voices of disabled individuals. What does the disabled community want you to know about disability? Find out through films made by community members.

Instructor: Kathy McMahon-Klosterman, Professor Emerita of Educational Psychology, taught disability studies and served on the Board of the International Society for Disability Studies.

4 Mondays: March 27–April 17; 2:15–3:30 p.m.
Format: Virtual
Location: Online

The Return of "Strike Up the Band"

Five members of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band will present a variety of topics over the course of five weeks, ending in an opportunity to stand up and conduct with the Music Director.

March 27A History of Military BandsSam Ashworth plays trombone and serves as the band’s historian.

April 3An Adventure with the Unaccompanied TrumpetJ. Earl Jones, Member Emeritus and trumpet player, will discuss the use of solo trumpet through the ages.

April 10Great Music and Concertos for TromboneDr. Dennis Clason is Professor Emeritus and a member of the trombone section.

April 17Enjoying Jazz with the Piano and SaxophoneChristopher Brandenburg is Director Emeritus of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band.

April 24The Art of ConductingDanny Maddox Nichols, Music Director, will conduct a hands-on demonstration of conducting. After a brief history of the art of conducting, participants will conduct along with the Music Director.

Coordinator: Danny Maddox Nichols is Music Director of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band. He studied music education and educational leadership at Miami University, was named a Presser Scholar by President Shriver, and holds the A.D. Lekvold award and the Orchestral Player award.

5 Mondays: March 27–April 24; 2:15–3:30 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: Monroe, Ohio Living Mt. Pleasant, Chapel