You now have access to courses and events from across the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). OLLI features lectures, courses, study groups, and other learning opportunities. Check out some of their latest events below!
This seminar is based on the instructor’s forty years of interviewing, teaching about, and writing about Holocaust survivors. In contrast with conventional “testimony” models--2 or 3 hours in front of a video camera--the instructor spoke with the same survivors over months, years, and-with a few people--even decades. The course also emphasizes listening attentively and in depth. That approach often yields surprising insights not otherwise attainable.
Core topics include: (1) The psychological impacts of sustained hate; in this case, antisemitism; (2) What does “trauma” mean and how is it related to other agonies survivors suffer (loss, abandonment, humiliation, stigma, etc.)? (3) How does the experience of survivors challenge conventional psychological assumptions about both injury and resilience? (4) How do listener expectations and capacities--actual and perceived--impact whether, when, and how survivors retell their memories? (5) What does it mean to be able to “listen” to someone who has gone through such experiences--and what is and isn’t the potential impact on listeners? (6) In what ways can it be informing to juxtapose Holocaust survivors’ experiences--in the aftermath--with the experiences of others who’ve gone through hells--especially other genocide survivors, survivors of rape and assault, and survivors of life-threatening illness (especially cancer)? (7) What will actually change when there are no living Holocaust survivors (not as obvious as it may seem)? Hank Greenspan is a psychologist, oral historian, and playwright who has been interviewing, writing about, and teaching about Holocaust survivors since the 1970s--now almost fifty years.
Civic engagement refers to the ways in which citizens participate in the life of a community in order to improve conditions for others or to help shape the community’s future. In the past few years, a new movement has emerged to promote greater civic engagement by older adults.
This study group will study how civic engagement is being practiced by older adults and will invite participants to share possible opportunities for civic engagement in their own communities. Tom Murray has a Ph.D. in Communications from UM, is Emeritus Professor of Communication at EMU, and has led OLLI study groups.
OLLI Reads, in Collaboration with Michigan Humanities’ Great Michigan Read, presents Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, discussing her Book What the Eyes Don’t See – A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.
What the Eyes Don’t See is the inspiring story of how Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, alongside a team of researchers, parents, friends, and community leaders, discovered that the children of Flint, Michigan, were being exposed to lead in their tap water—and then battled her own government and a brutal backlash to expose that truth to the world. Paced like a scientific thriller, What the Eyes Don’t See reveals how misguided austerity policies, broken democracy, and callous bureaucratic indifference placed an entire city at risk. And at the center of the story is Dr. Mona herself—an immigrant, doctor, scientist, and mother whose family’s activist roots inspired her pursuit of justice?
Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, is the founder and director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program in Flint. Currently an associate professor of pediatrics and human development at the MSU College of Human Medicine, she has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts. She was one of the first to question whether lead was leaching from the city’s water pipes after an emergency manager switched the city’s water supply to the Flint River in 2014.
OLLI Reads invites OLLI members to read together and discuss two books a year, non-fiction in the fall, fiction in the spring. This fall we are collaborating with Great Michigan Read, and other community partners, to enjoy participating in a wider project. Michigan Humanities’ Great Michigan Read creates a statewide discussion each year on the humanities themes of a selected book. Through partnerships with libraries, schools, book clubs, and a wide range of other non-profit organizations, the Great Michigan Read facilitates statewide reading and programs to bridge communities with a common conversation.
The University of Michigan Library Special Collections Research Center holds an extraordinary collection of artifacts, manuscripts, and early printed books illustrating the early history of western medicine. In an informal workshop setting, participants will learn about the birth and early development of western medicine through a close viewing of historical artifacts, including ancient papyri, medical amulets, medieval manuscripts, and richly illustrated Renaissance books. The workshop will pay special attention to the interplay between science and religion as well as to the role of art in disseminating medical knowledge.
Author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former Google data scientist, lecturer at the Wharton Business School, and NY Times opinion writer, draws this conclusion in the title book. He analyzed data derived from bits of information left on Google, social media, dating, and even porn sites, that reveal people’s personal truths. He maintains that Internet searches done in private and social media postings reveal what folks really think and that people lie to friends, lovers, surveys – even themselves. The author covers inner feelings on topics such as prejudice, hate, sex, abortion, how we fill our time, our Facebook friends, our communities, and many other subjects. He then covers what Big Data does well, does poorly, and what it should and shouldn’t be used for. We will read and discuss this book. The first session will cover the Foreward and Introduction (p. xi - 24).Gerry Lapidus has lead over 50 OLLI book discussion groups on topics such as social science, politics, and religion.
Now that it’s clear that efforts to deal with gerrymandering cannot be litigated in federal court, the question is whether state independent redistricting commissions are the best approach to the problem. Another approach would be to adopt a state-wide list system of proportional representation, as described in Bob Davidow’s recent article in the Wayne Law Review. With a state-wide system, there would be no district line to draw -- hence no gerrymandering. The proposed system would not only reduce the amount of money needed for election, but also reduce the influence of the wealthy and well-connected. Demographic changes would not affect the operation of the system. An independent redistricting commission would do none of these things. Bob Davidow is Professor of Law (retired) from George Mason University. He is the author of Response to Gerrymandering.
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