Monday Courses

Thank You for Another Great Semester!

As we entered our 25th year, our instructors, volunteers, and members assisted in making the spring semester an overwhelming success. With a desire to continually innovate and meet our students where they are, we are proud to announce that in addition to in-person classes, virtual and hybrid courses will continue to be offered for the foreseeable future.

We look forward to seeing you for the fall 2022 semester, as we continue the celebration of ILR’s 25th anniversary!

America and the World: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

The interconnections between the U.S. and the world affect the lives of all Americans, but debate about their origins and consequences persists. Is globalization as we experience it today a radically new and game-changing feature of the past thirty or forty years? Or is it merely the latest example of long historical trends? Will the future continue the globalizing trends of the recent past? Or are we witnessing the dawn of an entirely new historical era when it comes to America’s relationship with the world? This course will consider differing views on questions such as these.

Instructor: Rob Schorman is Professor Emeritus of History at Miami University, where he served on the faculty for 20 years.

5 Mondays: March 28–April 25; 9:00–10:15 a.m.
Format: Hybrid
Location: Online or M.U. Art Museum, Auditorium

Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain

In 2020, the year when the world was in the grips of a global pandemic, a highly regarded debut novel, Shuggie Bain, won the prestigious Booker Prize, which is awarded to the best work of fiction published in the U.K. or Ireland. After being rejected by 30 publishers, it found a home with independent publisher Grove Atlantic and then was published by Grove Press first in the U.S. This poignant, powerful story follows the life of Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, who grows up in Glasgow, Scotland in the early 1980s.

Class text: Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain. Any edition.

Instructor: Marianne Cotugno is Professor of English in the departments of English and Languages, Literatures, and Writing at Miami University.

5 Mondays: March 28–April 25; 9:00–10:15 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 jewelry making, pottery, oil painting, knitting and crochet, songwriting, and watercolor.

  • March 28Passion for PatternLucille Hautau has always been an artist, and over the years has become both a student and teacher, studying with innovative craftsmen and learning from every student she has taught. She will share the art of jewelry making.
  • April 4Artist or Craftsperson?Rob Abowitz is a local potter who works out of his home studio and focuses on functional pottery. Rob works in a cone 5 oxidation environment and is a perennial contributor to Oxford Empty Bowls and several art auctions.
  • April 11Creative Yarn and Stories to MatchSonia Kuhlman loves to knit, crochet, and sew, as well as dabble in leatherwork and even beekeeping. Sonia is originally from the Ohio area but lived in Chicago for 30 years. She will share her adventures in color, texture, and fiber arts.
  • April 18Art is Evolution: Life StoriesJim Klosterman served in the U.S. Navy from 1968-1972, where he took his first art course via correspondence on a destroyer ship. Jim later received formal education in painting and today is an independent artist in Oxford.
  • April 25How to Feed an ArtistLisa Biales finds inspiration for creating music and watercolor by taking long walks and communing with nature. Allowing the imagination to take flight by writing and painting is liberating, therapeutic, and a great way to process the world.

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.

5 Mondays: March 28–April 25; 9:00–10:15 a.m.
Format: Virtual
Location: Online

Middlemarch at 150

At the centennial of her distinguished predecessor's birth, Virginia Woolf called George Eliot's Middlemarch " of the few English novels written for grown-up people." As we read and discuss this long and rewarding novel set in provincial England during the 1820s and 30s, we will explore the complex web of personal and political relationships it develops. As grown-ups ourselves, we will consider in detail its narrator's stance towards the fortunes and misfortunes of the young and middle-aged characters it represents.

Class text: George Eliot, Middlemarch. Any edition.

Instructor: Mary Jean Corbett is University Distinguished Professor of English at Miami University. Her most recent book is Behind the Times: Virginia Woolf in Late-Victorian Contexts (2020).

6 Mondays: March 28–April 25; 10:45 am–noon
Format: Classroom
Location: Oxford, Peabody Hall, Room 31

Sanctions for Evil: Coming to Terms with History

When does evil end? This class examines how we collectively respond to dark events in history. To borrow from the uncertainty principle: every observation changes the outcome of the thing observed. How we respond to an event determines its consequences perhaps as much as the event itself. We will begin by reviewing six different historical responses; then three critically praised films will guide our discussion. These films center on the Holocaust, but the question they provoke is broader: do we get so lost in the backwash of events that we lose awareness of the consequences of our responses to them? Class members will watch the films on their own, which are available online.

Instructor: Stephen Goettsch has a background in sociology with an emphasis on theory. His teaching in private and public colleges and universities involved 17 different classes and a generalist mindset. His current work, extending over seven years and tentatively titled “The Ground Beneath the Basket Maker's Feet,” is the stimulus for this class.

5 Mondays: March 28–April 25; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: Virtual
Location: Online

Miami University Art Museum Up Close

Get up close and personal with art and artifacts on display at the 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 28 – From the Ground Up Exhibition & Southern Folk Pottery – Jason Shaiman, Miami University Art Museum Curator of Exhibitions

April 4 – Reflecting on the Reflections Exhibition – Art History Capstone Students and Jason Shaiman

April 11 – Spotlight on Recent Acquisitions – Laura Stewart, Miami University Art Museum Collections Manager/Registrar

April 18Docent's Choice – Miami University Art Museum Docents

April 25Docent's Choice – Miami University Art Museum Docents

Coordinators: Laura Stewart, Collections Manager/Registrar, Miami University Art Museum, and Jason Shaiman, Curator of Exhibitions, will be shepherding Miami University Art Museum’s well-received “Up Close” ILR Series with the help of the MUAM Docent Corps.

5 Mondays: March 28–April 25; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: Hybrid
 Online or M.U. Art Museum, Auditorium

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 28 Supporting Abused Children: The Impact of Court-Appointed Special Advocates – Tonya Buchanan is Executive Director of PARACHUTE: Butler County CASA, where she has worked for over 30 years.

April 4SupercomputingJens Mueller is the Director of High-Performing Computing Services at Miami University.

April 11The History and Restoration of Mission San Xavier del Bac, Pima County, ArizonaRobert Vint is an Architect and Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Arizona School of Architecture, Tucson, AZ. (Online only)

April 18Judging a Book by its Cover: The Art of BookbindingRichard Green is Professor Emeritus of Music at Miami University.

April 25Wrongful Convictions and the Ohio Innocence ProjectMark Godsey is the David P. and Judith L. Carmichael Professor of Law, University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Coordinator: Charles Ganelin is Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Portuguese, Miami University. Charles serves on ILR’s Curriculum Committee and Tech Team.

5 Mondays: March 28–April 25; 12:30–1:45 p.m.
Format: Hybrid
 Online or M.U. Art Museum, Auditorium

A Retrospective on the 1920s, Part Two: Culture and the Arts

Sometimes called the “Roaring Twenties” or “Golden Twenties,” the 1920s was a pivotal decade in the history of the United States, Europe, and the Soviet Union. Part One, in the fall of 2021, focused on politics and economics. Part Two will highlight culture and the arts.

March 28How Could the Twenties be Roaring on a Silent Screen?Sante Matteo, Professor Emeritus of Italian.

April 4American Dreams and Dreams Deferred through the Lens of the Harlem RenaissanceTammy L. Brown, Associate Professor of History and Global and Intercultural Studies.

April 11It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing: Jazz and America’s Racial ImaginationTammy Kernodle, Professor of Music.

April 18Classical Artists Who Fled Russia for the West: Stravinsky, Diaghilev, Balanchine, Prokofiev, and the Ballets RussesAndrea Ridilla, Professor of Music.

April 25What it Means to be Sachlich: Objectivity in the Art of Weimar GermanyPepper Stetler, Associate Professor of Art History and Associate Director of the Humanities Center.

Coordinators: Sara Butler, Professor Emerita of Art, Miami University, is vice-chair of the ILR Curriculum Committee. William J. Gracie, Jr., Professor Emeritus of English and former Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Miami University, is chair of the ILR Curriculum Committee.

5 Mondays: March 28–April 25; 2:15–3:30 pm
Format: Hybrid
Location: Online or Oxford, Boyd Hall, Room 117

Dial H for Hitchcock

British director Alfred Hitchcock created over 50 chilling films, gaining him the title "Master of Suspense." Why were his movies so popular? What techniques did he use to create suspense? In this discussion class we will review Rebecca, North by Northwest, To Catch a Thief, Vertigo, and The Trouble with Harry following an initial class on Hitchcock himself. Please view the listed films ahead of each class.

Instructor: Doug Iden is a longtime movie lover who enjoys discussing films almost as much as he enjoys watching them.

6 Mondays: March 28–May 2; 2:15–3:30 pm
Format: Virtual
Location: Online
Note: Course extends post-term

Dialogues on Democracy

This Monday evening online lecture/discussion series, a unique opportunity coordinated with Miami University’s Menard Family Center for Democracy, will feature nationally prominent scholars, experts, and practitioners as they discuss selected topics of American law, politics, and history.

March 28The Crisis of American DemocracyWilliam Howell, University of Chicago political scientist and co-author of Presidents, Populism and the Crisis of Democracy. This lecture will be immediately followed by a post-lecture discussion (optional).

April 4I Can Carry You: Destigmatizing Mental HealthSean Astin, actor and mental health activist (speaking as part of the University Lecture Series). This class will meet immediately after Mr. Astin's lecture to discuss mental health and public policy.

April 11The Road to Unfreedom? Lessons of European Historical Experience with Tyranny and FascismTimothy Snyder, the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale and author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017). This lecture will be immediately followed by a post-lecture discussion (optional).

April 18Panel Discussion: The Marketplace of Ideas in an Era of 'Fake News' – This panel presentation will be immediately followed by a post-lecture discussion (optional).

April 25The Pandemic, Public Health, and Public PolicyDr. Leana Wen, CNN Medical Analyst and Professor of Health Policy at George Washington University. Pre-recorded talk to be watched during class time, followed by a discussion.

May 2The Prospects for American Democracy Going ForwardDaniel Ziblatt, Harvard political scientist and co-author of How Democracies Die, on the prospects for American democracy going forward. This lecture will be immediately followed by a post-lecture discussion (optional).

Coordinator: John Forren is Associate Professor and Chair of Miami’s Department of Justice & Community Studies and Director of the University’s Menard Family Center for Democracy.

6 Mondays: March 28–May 2; 7:00–8:15 p.m.

Format: Virtual
Location: Online
NOTE: Course extends post-term and will be held via Zoom