All courses will meet at the Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Preservation Area, primarily in the Moss Building and occasionally in the Hillcrest Community Center unless otherwise indicated.

Contact Osher@Mizzou

Email or call 573-882-8189.

To register for classes, call 573-882-8189.

Monday courses

Fall 2018 Semester

Rome in 1st Century Palestine/Israel [4 SESSIONS]

9:30–11:00 a.m., Moss A
Mondays: Sept. 10, 17, 24; Oct. 1

The presence and influence of the Roman Empire was everywhere in 1st Century Palestine/Israel. Roman economics, law, military, construction and lifestyle were pervasive in Jewish life. Although Roman tolerance of Jewish practices was fairly remarkable, this tolerance always bordered on anticipating any rebellion or anti-Roman talk or activity. Roman
military force was always at the ready, and Roman political and economic might were always visible. The Roman influence may be seen in the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The Roman census caused Joseph and Mary to travel to Bethlehem, even though she was in the final term of her pregnancy; there were no exceptions. This class will delve into the historical makeup of the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean Sea and show how the Roman world directly influenced the life of the New Testament story, focusing on Jesus and the Apostle Paul’s travels from Jerusalem to Rome.

Instructor: James R. Hillbrick grew up in eastern Washington, received his Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and pastored two churches in Idaho until he retired. He and his wife, Kathi, moved to Columbia six years ago to be near two of his three daughters and four grandchildren. He teaches Hebrew foundation classes at Community United Methodist Church. He and Kathi traveled to Israel in 2000 and 2013; last year, they led a tour of Turkey and Greece.

SCOTUS* with “The Slows” – the 2017-2018 Term [4 SESSIONS]

9:30–11:00 a.m., Moss A
Mondays: Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29

After reviewing statistics indicating a tendency of the Roberts Court (since 2005) to take a longer time between oral argument and final decision in their cases, as well as to have a greater proportion of decisions with a majority of no more than 5 of the 9 justices - with the 2017-2018 term being the slowest and most sharply divided - we will discuss the Court’s most notable decisions, on issues including (as time allows) partisan gerrymandering, religious liberty, limits on the Federal Government’s regulatory power in relation to the states, voting rights, labor law and arbitration agreements, patent law, the power of the president to regulate immigration from specific foreign states, the power of unions to charge nonmember employees “agency fees” and the authority of U.S. courts to decide claims based entirely on events and acts occurring abroad.

*SCOTUS = Supreme Court of the United States

Instructor: William B. Fisch, professor emeritus of law at the University of Missouri, has been a member of the law faculty since 1970. He retired and took emeritus status in January 2003 and continued to teach as an adjunct faculty member until 2012. Fisch has published widely in the fields of American and comparative civil procedure, professional responsibility and constitutional law. He has lectured for Osher since 2005.

MU College of Arts and Science Potpourri [8 SESSIONS]

1:30–3:00 p.m., Moss A
Sept. 10, 17, 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Stay up-to-date on cutting-edge academic topics by signing up for this fascinating course, wherein MU faculty members from the College of Arts and Science will present on their current research and educational pursuits.

Coordinator: Patricia Okker serves as dean for the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri and is a professor of English. Dean Okker has been a faculty member at MU since 1990 and, as dean, oversees 28 departments, two museums and two ROTC units. With almost 9,000 graduate and undergraduate students, 500 faculty, and 200 staff, the College of Arts and Science is the largest academic unit in the state of Missouri and generates almost half of MU’s student credit hours.

Sept. 10: “Bring Out Your Dead!” Plague Epidemics and Human History

Probably the most notorious epidemic in all of human history was the Black Plague, which marched through Europe and other parts of the world during the 14th century and may have resulted in the loss of 25% or more of Europe’s population. This talk will provide an introduction to not only this epidemic, but also to the Plague of Justinian in the 6th century, which is known to have been caused by the same pathogen. Both of these epidemics had far-reaching consequences for human history. Aspects of the biology, transmission and distribution of the plague bacillus and its primary hosts are first presented. Next, major characteristics of the Plague of Justinian are described. Following this, the Black Death itself is discussed, including its epidemiological impact as well as short- and long-term social consequences of the epidemic.

Instructor: Lisa Sattenspiel is professor and chair of the Anthropology Department at MU and has been at the university since 1987. Throughout her career she has specialized in the role of human behaviors in transmitting and spreading infectious diseases, and has emphasized the 1918 influenza pandemic in Newfoundland and Labrador for over a decade. She also uses cemetery data collected by her students in demographic anthropology to study the 20th century population history of Columbia.

Sept. 17: Barnstormers, Wing Walkers and Parachute Jumpers during the Roaring Twenties

Prior to World War I, many Americans read about the Wright brothers and other early flyers, including Glenn Curtis, Harriet Quimby and Matilde Moisant, and some 17 million had seen Lincoln Beachey fly his famous “Little Looper” during his nationwide 1914 tour. But few had actually flown, and airplanes remained mostly a curiosity associated with accidents and deaths. The war led to a quantum leap in airplane technology, but also to a ban on flying in the U.S. until the end of the conflict. After the U.S. entered the war, the Air Services contracted to buy thousands of trainer planes and to train some 5,000 pilots. After the end of the war, the Federal Government dramatically cut its investment in aviation and the Air Services either destroyed or sold off its fleet of trainers. Initially these airplanes cost as much as $5,000, but within a few years they could be had for as little as $300. Hundreds of pilots, many of whom had learned to fly in the Army, purchased used trainers and took off to make a living barnstorming across the US. They were at the center of introducing the disruptive technology of aviation to American culture. Barnstormers performed at state and county fairs or wherever they could draw a crowd.

Instructor: John Wigger earned a Petroleum Engineering degree from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in American History from Notre Dame. He has taught at MU since 1996 and served as chair of the Department of History from 2013 to June 2018. His previous books include PTL: The Rise and Fall of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Evangelical Empire; American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists; and Taking Heaven by Storm: Methodism and the Rise of Popular Christianity in America.

Sept. 24: What’s the Best Way to Divide Up the Pie? – The Price of a Long Life

Greenland sharks recently claimed the title of the oldest vertebrate at 400 years old, while the turquoise killifish lives only a few months, and the adults of some species of mayflies live for less than 24 hours. Why do different species vary so widely in traits tied to their survival and reproduction? How does the timing and availability of energy influence growth and reproduction? This seminar will explore these questions and discuss how human evolutionary history might help explain both aging and obesity.

Instructor: Elizabeth King is an assistant professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri where she has been a faculty member since 2014. Elizabeth completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Riverside, and her undergraduate studies at Grinnell College. Her research, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, spans genomics, aging and data science.

Oct. 1: Everything You Wanted to Know about Volcanoes but Were Afraid to Ask

The recent eruption of lava in a subdivision on Hawaii focused national attention on volcanic hazards. Anyone living in (or visiting) the Pacific Northwest in May 1980 has stories about the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Every spring, videos of migrating wildlife in Yellowstone are misinterpreted as portents of supervolcanic apocalypse. But why do volcanoes occur where they do? How frequently do volcanoes erupt, and can we predict eruptions? Why are some eruptions large and others small? Why are some erupting volcanoes red (Hawaii) and others grey (Mt St Helens)? What are the benefits of living near volcanoes? Were volcanoes complicit in the extinction of the dinosaurs? Are there volcanoes on other moons and planets? The answers to these, and other questions, will be revealed – along with an explanation of how we know what we know, which is after all what makes volcanology a science.

Instructor: Alan Whittington was born in Scotland and educated in England. He lived in France and Illinois before joining MU in 2002, and has been department chair since 2014. He is a petrologist (a geologist who studies rocks) and most frequently studies lava and volcanic rocks. He has done fieldwork on every continent, witnessing eruptions at several different volcanoes, and established a laboratory at MU for experimental studies of rocks and magmas at high temperatures.

Oct. 8: The Power of Positive Communication: Using Communication Skills to Promote Connection in Personal Relationships

The quality of our communication with others directly influences the quality of our relationships and our life. This interactive session will present communication strategies that promote connection in family relationships, including romantic relationships as well as relationships with children, grandchildren and friends. The session will draw from family communication science to equip participants to effectively validate others’ emotions, take others’ perspectives, and engage in productive conflict resolution in personal relationships. The session will present evidence to support the connection between these communication behaviors and positive relationship outcomes.

Instructor: Colleen Colaner is an associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri. Her research focuses on family communication, specifically the association between communication and personal, social and family identities. She focuses her work on adoptive families, complex family structures and children’s communication. She is also a family communication educator with the Kindred Collective, providing family communication workshops in the surrounding community.

Oct. 15: John Huston: Missouri’s Titan of American Film

This session will discuss the life and work of legendary writer and film director John Huston, with a particular emphasis on his literary adaptations for the silver screen, including Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The Misfits (1961), The Bible (1966), and Fat City (1972). The class will watch clips and discuss the inspirations and legacy of this pioneering cinematic storyteller.

Instructor: S. Christian Rozier is professor of Film Studies and Digital Storytelling in the School of Visual Studies at the University of Missouri. He is a documentary and narrative film director who has produced films, music videos and commercials on four continents. His credits include Voices of the Forest, a documentary series produced in Myanmar and Cambodia, a world-tour music documentary titled Among the Trees, and the award-winning documentary Racing the Past. His work is primarily focused on the triumphs and uplifting stories within underrepresented communities.

Oct. 22: Live, from Columbia, It’s SNL … and the 1976 Presidential Election

This session explores the launching of the television show Saturday Night Live (SNL) and the 1976 presidential campaign. The debut of SNL and the presidential election between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter had enduring effects on American culture. With its mix of sketch comedy and music, SNL grabbed huge ratings and several Emmys in its first season. President Ford›s press secretary, Ron Nessen, was the first politician to host SNL. Ford also appeared on the show, via video tape, to offer a comic counterpunch to Chevy Chase’s signature line, “I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not.” Since then, it has become a rite of passage for national politicians to appear on SNL, and the show’s treatment of them and their platforms has a continuing impact on political discourse.

Instructors: William T. Horner, Ph.D., is a professor in the Political Science Department and director of the Center for Participatory Democracy. He has authored several books, including his most recent coauthored book, Saturday Night Live and the Presidential Campaign of 1976: A new Voice enters Campaign Politics.

M. Heather Carver, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of the Department of Theatre. She has authored several books, including her most recent co-authored book, Saturday Night Live and the Presidential Campaign of 1976: A new Voice enters Campaign Politics.

Oct. 29: International Election Observation in Emerging Democracies: A Case Study of Kyrgyzstan

Free and fair elections are a fundamental condition of modern democracies. However, in emerging democracies, setting up the legal framework and establishing transparent and effective election administration is a challenge. International election observers play an important role in helping countries identify areas for improvement in their election law and process. In this workshop, Professor Stegmaier will review the election observation methodology used by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and will discuss her experience as an observer in Kyrgyzstan during the 2015 Parliamentary and the 2017 Presidential elections. Known as an “island of democracy” surrounded by non-democratic countries, Kyrgyzstan faces difficult governing conditions. After revolutions in 2005 and 2010, the government committed itself to holding legitimate elections. In 2015, the country introduced new technologies to combat election fraud, including biometric (finger-print) voter registration. These technologies remained in use in the 2017 election, which marked the first peaceful democratic transfer of presidential power in Central Asia. However, shortcomings in their election process remain that will require broader cultural change.

Instructor: Mary Stegmaier is an assistant professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs. Her research concentrates on elections and voting behavior in the U.S. and Europe, and has been published in a variety of political science academic journals and in the Washington Post. She has served as an international election observer with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Macedonia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.

Wealth Strategies in Retirement – Part I [4 SESSIONS]

2:30–4:00 p.m., Moss B
Mondays: Sept. 10, 17, 24; Oct. 1

If you are retired or getting close to retiring, this course will teach you fundamental principles to ensure that your money lasts. Learn how to better manage and control your investments; get information on basic tax-reduction strategies; increase your monthly income; protect your life’s savings from investment mistakes and avoid unnecessary estate taxes.

Note: If you have taken Jason Ingram’s Wealth Strategies course in the past, he recommends that you skip to Part II, described below.

Wealth Strategies in Retirement – Part II [4 SESSIONS]

2:30–4:00 p.m., Moss B
Mondays: Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29

Learn how to plan for the threat of a healthcare catastrophe; how to reduce taxes on IRA/401k distributions; and how to pass your life’s savings to your heirs with minimal probate, tax and legal costs.

Instructor: Jason Ingram is the principal of the Columbia office and partner/principal of the Chesterfield office of Accelerated Wealth. Jason holds a Series 65 license, which qualifies him to serve as an investment advisor representative. Jason is a member of the National Ethics Association, serves on the advisory board for the Better Business Bureau and works to support numerous philanthropic organizations. He lives in Columbia with his wife, a physician, and their dog, horses and a mule. He loves Osher and teaching adult learners.