Alexander the Great: Legend and Reality

Central Oregon–Mondays, February 27 and March 6, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Join Central Oregon member and history professor Bob Harrison for a fascinating two-part presentation about Alexander the Great, Macedonian king. Alexander III of Macedon (356- 323 B.C.) was born to parents King Philip II and Queen Olympia. Wikipedia provides the following details about him.

Legend saw him as a god: the son of Zeus and a descendent of Hercules. He is portrayed in the art of the time wearing a lion skin and carrying the club of Hercules. Macedonians believed in this, but the Greeks did not.

His Education: Alexander was tutored by Aristotle, the greatest teacher that money could buy.

His Father: Philip of Macedon had already conquered the Greek city states and was building an empire, but he divorced Alexander’s mother and had another child. Alexander is most likely implicated in murder of his father; he now becomes king.

His Empire: Alexander the Great conquers the vast Persian Empire in three battles and seeks to unite Greek west with the Persian east. He forced all of his generals to marry Persian wives. He himself married Persian Princess Roxanne, as well as two additional Persian wives.

His Death: A mysterious ailment (malaria?), heavy drinking, and a previous war wound resulted in his death on June 10, 323 BC, at the age of 32, in the city of Babylon.

His Legacy: It was produced by an array of historians including Ptolomey, who inherited part of his conquests (Egypt). His legacy far outdistances the culmination of the many historians who wrote about him. He is considered the greatest figure, hero, and god in the ancient world. Julius Caesar believed it—and that reputation remains today.

Bob Harrison taught history at Southern Oregon University, was a Fulbright Scholar, and taught previous OLLI courses on Islam, World War I, Britain in the Middle East, and Imperial Russia. He currently teaches history classes at COCC. Preregistration is required for these lectures. Watch your e-mail and eminders for announcements.

Understanding, Enjoying, and Interpreting Film

Central Oregon–Tuesday, February 21, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

February’s film to watch and discuss is Great Expectations (118 minutes). Wikipedia explains this black-andwhite 1946 film as being directed by David Lean and is based on the Charles Dickens novel by the same title. The film focuses on a humble orphan who suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor, introduced by the young Alec Guinness. This session also features a film trivia quiz.

Facilitators: Bonnie Campbell and Robb Reavill

Medieval West Africa: A View from the West African Savanna

Eugene/Springfield–The Middle Ages in West Africa was a dynamic time that saw the development of a diverse cultural landscape with large cities, empires, complex villages, smaller hamlets and huntergatherer societies in some places. The result was a dynamic interconnected region where farmers, herders, hunters, traders, and craft-specialists exchanged their products both within the region, and across the Sahara Desert to the Mediterranean world. In this presentation, UO Associate Professor Stephen Dueppen, will explore this fascinating period in history focusing on evidence from archaeological sites in western Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal.

Dueppen earned his masters and PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan. He studies the origins and development of complex non-centralized political systems in West Africa. His research, currently centered on the Iron Age archaeological site of Kirikongo in western Burkina Faso, addresses the development and rejection of social ranking, concepts of power in egalitarian societies, and collective action against elites.

Dueppen has directed multiple seasons of excavation at Kirikongo, and recently conducted a regional survey around it in the Mouhoun Bend region. He has also conducted research at sites in Senegal, Kenya, and New Mexico. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Smithsonian Institution, American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Geographic Society.

Native Peoples of North America

Central Oregon–Native Peoples of North America recounts an epic story of resistance and accommodation, persistence and adaptation, extraordinary hardship and survival across more than 500 years of colonial encounter. Our 12-week study group will be based on the insightful and unique Great Courses DVD series, which combines images and rare artifacts from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian with the unparalleled knowledge of professor Daniel M. Cobb of the University of North Carolina. According to The Great Courses website, “This course provides a multidisciplinary view of American history, revealing new perspectives on the historical and contemporary experiences of Indigenous peoples, and their significant impact on the history of our country. Professor Cobb brings his experience as an author and teacher to recount an absolutely fascinating, larger-than-life story across a timespan of more than 500 years.” Course Manager: Pat Ackley Preregistration is required, and will open the first week of February. Watch your e-mail for an announcement.

More Information on OLLI UO Membership

Celebrating the Pulitzer Prize Centennial: John Adams

Eugene/Springfield–The Pulitzer Prize read for winter will be John Adams by David McCullough. In this powerful, epic biography, McCullough unfolds the life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into a unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history. The book is both a riveting portrait of an abundantly human man and a vivid evocation of his time.

Leading the book discussion will be Eric Stice, holder of a PhD in clinical psychology. Stice, who did his undergraduate work at the University of Oregon, was a professor at the University of Texas, Austin, before becoming a senior research scientist at Oregon Research Institute. His research focuses on identifying risk factors that predict onset of eating disorders, obesity, substance abuse, and depression and on designing, evaluation, and disseminating prevention and treatment interventions for these public health problems. He enjoys reading about successful figures throughout history and discovering what went right and what went wrong in their lives.

Wednesday, February 22, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

In this follow-up session we will continue to discuss McCullough’s epic biography of the second president of the United States. Select scenes from the HBO adaptation of John Adams will be used to aid the discussion.


From Truman to Trump: The United Nations After 71 Years

“The United Nations represents the idea of universal morality, superior to the interests of individual nations.” —President Harry Truman, October 24, 1950.

“Eugene/Springfield–The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!” —President Donald Trump, Dec. 26, 2016.

History teacher Catherine Koller has worked in the U.S. and several countries overseas. In New York City she served as moderator of the Model UN program for 25 years. In the United Nations Charter, the founding member states declared the lofty goals of maintaining world peace, protecting human rights, establishing international law, and promoting social progress. Koller looks at the UN’s achievements along with its failures. In this session of International Relations, Koller reviews the historical precedents paving the way for the UN’s creation, and shows how it grew from the original 51 member states to the current 193. The critical question: After 71 years, to what extent has the United Nations fulfilled its founding mission?

Debussy Preludes and Art

Eugene/Springfield–Composer Claude Debussy has given us music that reflects the subtle beauty of Impressionist painters such as Monet. In fact, he often attended salons and mingled with the artists. This beauty is reflected in music he wrote, such as The Girl with the Flaxen Hair and the Dancers of Delphe. Music educator and OLLI-UO member, Phyllis Villec, will share insights into the composer’s musical impressionism and it’s relation to the visual arts.

Central Oregon Water Series

Central Oregon–Is there enough now and in the future in the Deschutes River Basin to sustain everything we hold dear? OLLI member Suzanne Butterfield, with a lengthy career in water resources management in California and Oregon, assembles a cast of local experts on Central Oregon water issues. In this three-session course, participants not only gain a deeper understanding of the competition for water in Central Oregon’s Deschutes River Basin, but investigate water science, water law, endangered species, the changing climate and its expected impact on water supplies. Over the three Fridays that are devoted to this topic, practitioners in hydrology, biology, water law, ecology, and irrigation management inform members of the work underway to delineate the problems and implement solutions. The six hours this lecture series devotes is more time to the topic of water on offer from other local sources (where two hours are usually devoted). In contrast to a public session, our smaller group will allow for more Q and A. Become well-informed on an issue that is integral to our lives here in Central Oregon.

Science of Water and Water Law Friday, February 3

Kyle Gorman, regional manager, Oregon Water Resources Department, provides an overview of the science and water law that characterize the Deschutes River Basin and its many uses. An irrigation district manager from the Deschutes Basin talks about the challenges his district is facing.

Instream Needs for Deschutes River Friday, February 17

Ryan Houston, executive director of the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, addresses the instream needs for Deschutes river water to include fish and frogs, healthy riparian habitat, and the impact of humans on the ecology of the Upper Deschutes River. Deschutes River Conservancy representative Kate Fitzpatrick also discusses the $1.5 million Deschutes Basin Study.

Deschutes River Needs, Problems, and Solutions–Friday, March 3

A member of the multimillion dollar collaborative Upper Deschutes River Basin Study describes the progress being made in identifying the problems and outlining solutions. The study is technical and science based, including identifying the impact of climate change on water supplies. Mike Britton, manager of North Unit Irrigation District, and Craig Horrell, manager of of Central Oregon Irrigation District, talk about what their districts—the two largest in the basin—are doing to contribute to solutions to meeting the water needs of all interests. Patrick Griffiths, City of Bend Water manager, speaks about urban water challenges.

Peregistration is required for this series. Call OLLI-UO staff at one of our offices to see if there is still space.

How to become an OLLI UO Member.

Meditation Brown Bag

olli-es-lecture-meditation-brown-bag-1Eugene/Springfield–Are you curious about meditation? Have people been telling you it would be good for you while others declare it a waste of time? If you’d like a down-to-earth and practical discussion of what meditation is and isn’t, join long-time meditator Janice Friend at a brown-bag session. Janice can dispel myths about meditation and show its real benefits. You can learn how to meditate without being hard on yourself, and how to stick with the practice. Those attending will also discuss the possibility of developing a series of sessions of short meditation periods followed by feedback and discussion.

Interested in becoming a member of OLLI UO? Click here.

Life, Art, and Reconstruction in the Bay of Naples: An Introduction to the History of Pompeii

Life, Art, and Reconstruction in the Bay of NaplesCentral Oregon–Art historian Erin W. Anderson of Bend presents a series of three lectures based in the Bay of Naples before and after the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The series begins with an introduction to Pompeii and its significance to the Roman Empire before the eruption. Anderson uses the artistic programs of the Roman home to explain environment and modern theories of how Romans accessed their domain. She discusses in depth “Villa A” of Oplontis not only as an example of Roman lifestyle, but also as a model for modern reconstruction of ancient sites.

The mission of the Oplontis Project, according to Anderson, is to “conduct a systematic, multidisciplinary study of Villa A (‘of Poppaea’) and Villa B (‘of Lucius Crassius Tertius’) at Oplontis (Torre Annunziata, Italy). Under the direction of John R. Clarke and Michael L. Thomas
of the University of Texas at Austin and in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Speciale per I Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei, an international team of scholars is working to publish definitive studies of all aspects of these sites.”

Anderson worked as an art historian at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, the Pace galleries in New York, and Montana State University as an adjunct instructor. She worked and studied at the villas of Oplontis from 2010–2014 with the Oplontis Project, conducting a systematic, multidisciplinary study. Specifically, Anderson detailed the orphaned fragments at “Villa A” and developed a system for further study of orphaned fragments at “Villa B.” Under the direction of John R. Clarke and Michael L. Thomas of UT Austin and in collaboration with the Italian Archaeological Department, a team of scholars is currently working to publish a definitive study at these sites. Anderson has an upcoming article in the third volume of the Oplontis Project publication.

In lecture one, we learn about the history of Pompeii in its ancient period and then in its modern re-emergence.

Mark your calendars now for Erin Anderson’s additional lectures in February:

Life, Art, and Reconstruction in the Bay of Naples: The Roman Home and the Roman Villa Monday, February 6, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

The Roman Home and the Roman Villa In the second of three sessions, art historian Erin Anderson of Bend introduces the home as function and type of space, including the luxury villa. She discusses the larger history of design for the total environment of a room space, including fresco and mosaic. She explains the four period styles and provides visuals of frescoes from her work at “Villa A” (discussed in Erin’s first lecture), which span over a century of wall paintings, to illustrate the changes in the design aesthetic.

Life, Art, and Reconstruction in the Bay of Naples: Finding Frescoes
Monday, February 13, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

In her third and final presentation, Ms. Anderson introduces the Oplontis Project and the current excavation, study, and restoration of “Villa A.” She covers the excavation of “Villa A” as an example of the luxury villa in the Bay of Naples, which occurred much later, in the 1960s. She discusses the wider range of studies on the project, and describes her own study: the orphaned wall fragments.

For further information on the Oplontis Project of which Erin is a part, please visit:

Interested in becoming a member of OLLI UO? Click here.