Wednesday Classes

Until we can safely meet in the classroom again, all spring 2021 classes will be held online. Registration opens on March 1st. Please join us then.

In the meantime, feel free to browse last semester's classes for a sampling of what we offer. Content will be updated for spring 2021 when registration opens on March 1st.

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 their 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, New York: Penguin, 1992, ISBN: 0-14- 018647-6

Dubliners 100: Fifteen New Stories Inspired by the Original. Thomas Morris, ed., Dublin: Tramp Press, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-9928170-15

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: October 7–November 4; 9:00–10:15am
Location: online

What the World Needs Now is UNITY

The dictionary defines unity as the state of being united or joined as a whole. Were we, as a human race, meant to be joined as a whole? Is unity needed for survival? Societies tried bringing folks together through the establishment of institutions, but ironically, they have caused the most division. Let’s take a look at some major institutions such as religion, politics, economy, family, education, and ask the following questions: How do they cause separation? Where, within each, are the similarities? How do you and I relate to them? Where do we go from here?

Class text (optional): No books are needed; but if you would like to read beforehand, you might try one of these: Marianne Williamson, A Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution; Randy Lynn, The Greatest Movement in American History: How We’re Going to Overcome Our Differences, Solve Our Biggest Problems, and Change the World; Brian D. McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to be Christian.

Instructor: Patricia Copeland is an experienced teacher in public and private schools.

5 Wednesdays: October 7–November 4; 9:00–10:15 am
Location: online

Hemingway's Nick Adams: Loving and Losing

Nick Adams is Ernest Hemingway's favorite character, appearing as the central figure in two dozen remarkable short stories. In one third of them, Nick is falling in or out of love with Marge or Luz or Trudy or Kate or Helen—all of them modeled on women that Hemingway personally knew and courted. Come join this conversational, reader-centered, and participatory discussion of love and loss. For our first class, please read "The End of Something" (pp. 79-82) and "The Three-Day Blow" (pp. 85-93). If you have time, reread "The End of Something."

Instructor: Professor Emeritus of English Don Daiker writes about Nick's (and Hemingway's) girlfriends and wives. He co-edited "Hemingway's Combat Zones: War, Family, Self" (2019).

Class text: Ernest Hemingway, The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, Finca Vigia Edition, New York: Scribners, 1987, ISBN 0-684- 18668-3.

5 Wednesdays: October 7–November 4; 10:45 am–12:00pm
Location: online

Paris: 2,000 Years of Planned Beauty

Paris is (arguably) the most beautiful city in the world, but not by accident. For 2,000 years, the city has been planned by strong-willed visionaries. How have two millennia of plans shaped today's Paris? Given the relatively recent invention of photography, much of our understanding of 2,000 years of planned Paris comes from its many celebrated artists, as well as its architectural heritage. Experience some of the lesser-known sites of Paris as an informed visitor, not a tourist caught in an overwhelming crush--some day, when we are able to travel again!

Instructor: James Rubenstein did his dissertation work in Paris, wrote a book about French city planning, and in normal times gets to Paris for work.

5 Wednesdays: October 7–November 4; 10:45 am–12:00pm
Location: online

Mediterranean Diet: Enjoy Learning a New Way of Eating

You’ve heard a lot about it, but what exactly is the Mediterranean diet? Let’s learn and explore together. This course will cover the history of the Mediterranean diet, foods that are included in the diet, health benefits of the diet, sample recipes and meal plans. You will walk away from this course with a much deeper understanding of the diet and ways to incorporate aspects of it into your daily routine.

Instructor: Hannah Kinch, a registered dietitian, has work experience in weight management, nutrition counseling, and long-term care roles. She thoroughly enjoys sharing her nutrition knowledge with others to help achieve balance and high quality-of-life.

4 Wednesdays: October 7–October 28; 12:00–1:30pm
Location: online

History in Baroque and Romantic Opera

Baroque opera seria (1600-1750) derives its subject matter from Greco-Roman mythology and Ancient Roman history. We will examine "historical" operas from the Baroque and the Romantic (1820-1900) periods: Monteverdi's (librettist Busenello) L'Incoronazione di Poppea; Händel's (with Haym) Giulio Cesare in Egitto; Rossini's (with Schmid) Elisabetta Regina d'Inghilterra; and Donizetti's (with Romani) Anna Bolena, highlighting gorgeous coloratura arias while fact-checking the history within.

Instructors: Anne Morris-Hooke is Professor Emerita of Microbiology. She has had a lifelong passion for opera and is addicted to baroque and bel canto works. Andrea Ridilla is Professor of Oboe at Miami, where she also teaches opera appreciation. She performs with orchestras around the world.

5 Wednesdays: October 7–November 4; 12:30–1:45 pm
Location: online

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 speaker will present during week four:

October 29Oh 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: October 7–November 4; 12:30–1:45 pm
Location: online

Wednesday Brown Bag Lecture Series

Come, learn, and enjoy. Meet three local artists, explore Kentucky’s worst disaster, and smell the roses. Join us for this ILR tradition.

October 7Journey Your Way into ART – Learn about the different ways art can enhance your life: Art as Purpose, Marian Fisher; Art as Exploration, Cathy Fiorelli; Art as Healing, Priya Rama

October 14The Beverly Hills Supper Club: The Untold Story Behind Kentucky’s Worst TragedyRobert Webster is a northern Kentucky native and author of numerous articles on local and regional history. He has written five books, three of which received Kentucky History Awards for outstanding publication.

October 21The Language of FlowersRebecca Johnson is the Director of the Center for Public History and a professor at Northern Kentucky University. She has worked as a historian for the National Park Service Western Reserve Historical Society and, most recently, the Delhi Historical Society.

Coordinator: Marlene Esseck is a retired educator from the Lakota Local School District.

3 Wednesdays: October 7–October 21; 12:30–1:45pm
Location: online

Strike Up the Band: Up Close with the Music Man

Members of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band will present lectures/demonstrations on jazz, music for clarinet and directing a large band, the history of the band, and the development of brass bands and brass instruments.

October 7The Lyrical Clarinet and Conducting a Large BandDanny Maddox Nichols is the newly appointed Music Director of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band.

October 14Armco Steel and the Southwestern Ohio BandsSam Ashworth, a 50-year member of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band, was a U.S. Army Band program member in the 75th Army Band and a freelance graphic designer.

October 21History of the Bugle and Brass InstrumentsJ. Earl Jones, Member Emeritus.

October 28A Brief History of Brasswinds Early to ModernDennis Clason is a trombonist and Professor Emeritus of Applied Statistics.

November 4Appreciating Jazz using the Piano, Sax, and Vocals – presented by Christopher Brandenburg, Director Emeritus of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band, and featuring Cat Gorman, Vocalist.

Coordinators: Danny Maddox Nichols is the Music Director of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band. Christopher Brandenburg is the Director Emeritus of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band.

5 Wednesdays: October 7–November 4; 2:15–3:30 pm
Location: online

An Assortment of Sciences

Science is all around us. See how it’s used today in a variety of ways.

October 7Severe Storms: The Science Behind Radar Analysis and NWS Warning OperationsKristen Cassady has been a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, for five years.

October 14The 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. He has over 300 publications, mostly on metal hydrides and their applications.

October 21Johannes 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.

October 28Chemistry Magic Show #2Edward von Bargen was employed at P&G for over 40 years, is passionate about sharing the joys of science and math with K–12 students. He has been performing 'chemistry magic' outreach at local schools for over 30 years.

Coordinator: Jerry Riesenberg retired from Procter & Gamble after 35 years in analytical chemistry and information technology.

4 Wednesdays: October 7–October 28; 2:15–3:30pm
Location: online

Behind the Scenes at the Tour de France

We will examine many aspects of the Tour de France, considered the world's biggest bike race and the world's biggest sporting event. We will review the history of the race which began with 60 cyclists in 1903. Today the race has almost three times that number of riders with incredible support staff. The route covers 2200 miles throughout France and adjacent countries in just 23 days each July. The ride includes climbs in the Pyrenees and the Alps, ending in sprints down the Champs-Élysées in Paris. We will look at the strategies used by the teams, their evolving technologies, rider nutrition and conditioning, the doping scandals, spectacular crashes, the costs incurred by the teams, and the legendary winners in the different categories. Lots of videos and interesting stories to share. No need to be a cyclist to enjoy this class!

Instructor: David Butler, Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering at UC, has decades of interest in cycling and the Tour de France.

5 Wednesdays: October 7–November 4; 2:15–3:00pm
Location: online

Cinema Classics: Screwball Comedies

Join us this semester for discussion of some great, classic screwball comedies. Emerging in the 1930s, screwball comedies were a wild new strain of fast-talking farces involving battles of the sexes and a world forever on the brink of chaos. Screwball comedies were a breed of quick-talking romantic farces that fused silliness with sophistication in ways that still have the power to stupefy audiences. How can we keep up with dialogue that goes so fast?

NOTE: Students will be responsible for watching the movies in advance of each meeting date below. All are available to watch on YouTube.

October 7My Man Godfrey – During a scavenger hunt in the Depression, a rich heiress (Carole Lombard) finds a “lost man” (William Powell) who becomes her butler and changes their lives.

October 14Philadelphia Story – A Philadelphia socialite’s (Katharine Hepburn) plan to remarry goes awry when her ex-husband (Cary Grant) shows up. Also includes James Stewart and Ruth Hussey as newspaper reporters assigned to cover the high-society wedding.

October 21The Awful Truth – Ex-spouses Cary Grant and Irene Dunne attempt to sabotage each other’s attempts at romance.

October 28His Girl Friday – Unscrupulous newspaper editor (Cary Grant) tries to undermine his ex-wife and fellow reporter’s (Rosalind Russell) upcoming marriage while covering a murder trial in Chicago. Based upon the classic comedy “The Front Page.”

November 4Nothing Sacred – Misdiagnosed as drying from radium poisoning, Helen (Carole Lombard) tells her sad story to reporter Wally (Frederick March) whose story goes viral. Seduced by celebrity, Helen withholds the truth that she is not dying and troubles ensue.

Coordinator: Doug Iden is a big fan of movies and theatrical musicals with an extensive collection of films and original Broadway scores. Doug has taught classes on Broadway and film for several years.

5 Wednesdays: October 7–November 4; 4:00–5:15pm 
Location: online