Tag Archives: History

The Real World of Jane Austen

Eugene/Springfield—In “Beyond the Miniatures: The Real World of Jane Austen,” Central Oregon author Collins Hemingway will provide an overview of the major issues of the Regency Era, similar to many issues we face today: divisive wars, labor unrest, political polarization on trade and race, and technological revolution that dramatically undermined the middle class. He also will discuss how Jane Austen’s novels fit within the framework of this exciting and often violent period and how the big issues, such as slavery and war, affected her family and writing.

Hemingway is a technologist who has written books on business and science, including one with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and is a student of history and literature who lectures and writes about the life and times of Jane Austen.

His presentation is part of the 2016–17 OLLI-UO Speaker Exchange program partially funded by the Osher Capacity Building Grant.

Field Trip to Fort Rock Basin and Fort Rock Cave

Central Oregon—The Fort Rock area is a unique and spectacular part of central Oregon located approximately 65 miles southeast of Bend. This trip features a tour of the Fort Rock Valley Homestead Museum which includes a reception center, artifact displays, and several buildings from the past century. We also tour the nearby Fort Rock Cave. This cave is a rich site of archaeological discovery and has yielded several 9,000 to 11,000 year-old sagebrush sandals from some of North America’s earliest inhabitants. We stop for lunch and explore the Fort Rock State Natural Area, which is an enormous near circle of volcanic rock walls that rise out of the barren, immense flatness of Oregon’s high desert.

The tour will be led by Leslie Olson, past president of the Archaeological Society of Central Oregon and an expert in her knowledge of the area.

Participants bring their own lunch, water, snacks, and hat. Museum charge is $5 at the time of preregistration. Difficult walking is not required. We meet at UO Bend Center at 8:15 a.m. and carpool to Fort Rock. A State van furnishes transportation to the cave site. Average elevation is around 4,500 feet. Preregistration begins May 25; limited to 18 participants.

Trip coordinator: Steve Hussey

High Desert Museum Tour—Nations of the Columbia River Plateau

Central Oregon—Join OLLI members Norma Montgomery and Jim and Sara Langton at the High Desert Museum for a little-known journey of the Plateau Indian Nations as they traveled from reservation confinement to the 21st century. See the process of cultural change as the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs, Yakama, Spokane, and Colville tribes made the passage to modernity.

By Hand through Memory portrays Native Americans as active historic players whose practical efforts to retain cultural memory enabled them to retain their ethnic identity, despite adaption to a cash economy and the federal policies aimed at assimilation.

The High Desert Museum possesses a collection of approximately 29,000 objects from the Great Basin, Plateau, and Pacific Northwest territories, from historic artifacts to cultural artifacts of various Native American groups – as well as outstanding contemporary works by regional masters such as Rick Barton, Pat Courtney Gold, and Lillian Pitt.

Preregistration begins May 24; cost for non-High Desert Museum members is $8. Participants should plan to meet at the museum entrance at 9:45 a.m.

Field Trip to Pendleton and Baker City

Central Oregon–Central Oregon member Marcia Stone and her committee are planning a three-day field trip to Pendleton and Baker City. The plan includes the Pendleton Underground Tour, tours of the Pendleton Woolen Mill and Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, with free-time visits to Hamley Saddleshop, Pendleton Center for the Arts, Heritage Station Museum, or the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame. In Baker City, a tour of the Oregon Trail Cultural Center and Interpretive Center and free-time visits to the Geiser Hotel, Baker Heritage Center, the Chinese cemetery or the Leo Adler House. The return trip home may include some strategic stops in Sumpter, John Day, and Prineville.

OLLI-UO staff is requesting commitments for this special field trip by June 15. A pretrip meeting will follow with all who plan to go. Fliers and e-mail notifications will be out in early May.

Coordinators: Marcia Stone and Suzanne Butterfield

Mexican Immigration to the United States

Eugene/Springfield–Why are there so many Mexican immigrants in the United States, and why are so many of them undocumented? In this talk, Julie M. Weise, an associate professor of history at the University of Oregon, will help us answer this question. Her presentation will discuss the history of Mexican immigration to the United States, the factors that have brought so many here, and legal changes that have left so many vulnerable to deportation. She also will be happy to engage in conversation about the Trump administration’s policies towards Mexico and Mexican immigration. Weise received her PhD from Yale University and has been at UO since 2013.

Why Plato Says Democracy Leads to Tyranny—And Why You Should Worry He May Be Right

Eugene/Springfield–The Republic is a Socratic dialogue, written by Plato around 380 BCE, concerning justice, the order and character of the just city-state and the just man. It is Plato’s best-known work, and has proven to be one of the world’s most influential works of philosophy and political theory, both intellectually and historically.

In this lecture and discussion session, OLLI-UO member and retired philosophy professor, David Kolb, will concentrate on what Plato has to say about what happens when the city ruled by philosopher kings decays, falling into a series of lesser political structures ending up in a democracy which leads to tyranny. What interests Kolb is the characterization of democracy and why Plato thinks it leads to tyranny. We will examine his arguments and see if they apply to the present day or not.

Required reading: a short paper to be distributed to participants before the session.

Suggested reading: Plato, Republic, book 8 and book 9

The History of the Battle of Puebla on Cinco de Mayo

Eugene/Springfield–In the Battle of Puebla, the fate of Mexico as a democratic country and sovereign nation hung in the balance. A “bush league” Army of the Mexican Republic confronted the invading forces of the French Emperor Napoleon III, who thought the time had come to expand his empire to the Americas, while his promonarchist Mexican supporters saw the chance to destroy the fledgling Republic headed by Benito Juarez. Thus, the Battle of Puebla, on Cinco de Mayo, became one of the most significant dates in Mexican history.

OLLI-UO member Ilene O’Malley follows up on her highly successful short course on the Mexican Revolution with this single-session lecture. O’Malley has a PhD in history from the University of Michigan with a specialization in Latin America, and lived and studied in Mexico on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Survey of American Literature

Central Oregon–Ann Sargent returns to explore with us the various movements of American literature as they correspond to history. A variety of stories and authors will be featured through readings and discussion. Ms. Sargent plans to present a study of the American Literary Movements, moving from Puritanism all the way through to Modernism, while highlighting how these movements correspond to events in American history. Participants learn to identify signature writing styles and features of each historical movement.

Sargent taught a three-part course about the short story last fall. She is a former college textbook editor and high school English teacher and has been teaching at the community college level for 13 years, currently as a writing instructor at COCC. Sargent’s love is American literature. She taught OLLI program classes at Bradley University in Illinois for three years (from 2005–2008) before moving to Bend.

Registration is required and the course is limited to 25 participants. Watch your e-mail for announcements. Registered members will receive short stories to read prior to the start of the course.

Ukraine’s “Revolution of Dignity” and U.S. Foreign Policy

Central Oregon–Bend resident Bruce Donahue, who recently retired as Minister-Counselor from the US Department of State, speaks about his last assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, from 2013–2015. In his presentation, Donahue reviews the often misunderstood events of the winter of 2013–2014, which led then-Ukrainian President Yanukovych to flee the country and allowed a pro-Western government to come to power. He also discusses Russia’s actions during the “Revolution of Dignity,” including the invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Finally, he outlines implications for U.S. foreign policy and lessons learned from the Ukrainian revolution.

Donahue retired from the Foreign Service in 2016 after a 33-year career as a Foreign Service Officer. During most of his career, he focused on Russia and Eastern and Central Europe, serving in Poland and Moscow. Other overseas assignments included South Korea and Armenia. Donahue received his BA from Cornell University and his MA and PhD from the University of Oregon, respectively. He has been married to his wife, Karen, for 34 years; they have four adult children.

Registration is required for this lecture.

History of Atlantis Story from Plato: Literal or Symbolic Story?

Central Oregon–Join one of our favorite presenters, Bob Harrison, who takes us through the history, exploration, and archaeology of the fabled island of Atlantis.

Atlantis has been the subject of historical and literary debate since Plato first brought it up in Athens in the fifth century B.C. It reflected something he overheard from his uncle Solon, the great liberal Athenian lawgiver, discussed at a symposium some years earlier. Solon had visited Egypt (a real tourist destination for Greeks and Romans) and had met with Egyptian priests at Memphis (Egypt’s northern capital), who told him the story of Atlantis from hieroglyphic inscriptions dated 10,000 years earlier (10,500 B.C.). It depicted a highly advanced civilization that traded with Egypt and had been destroyed by an apocalyptic event.

Atlantis went down under the sea never to be seen again. Since it was past the Pillars of Hercules, historians presumed it must have been in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, or even Brazil. The search continues in those locations. The mystic Edgar Casey had a vision it would be found at Bimini in the Bahamas. The steps found underwater at that location, however, went nowhere, like the rest of the sites.

There had always been a mythical ethos to this whole story since no recognized civilization existed as far back as Solon indicated (10,000 B.C.). Finally, it was realized that the Egyptian hieroglyphic sign for the number 100 had been mistranslated by the Greeks as 1,000. That meant that 10,000 years was really 1,000 years and that 15,000 B.C. was really 1500 B.C. and that the Pillars of Hercules was not at Gibraltar but at the Straits between the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The only possible civilization at that location and time that met Solon’s description was that of the Minoans who inhabited Crete and the surrounding islands in the Eastern Mediterranean (Aegean Sea). Archaeologist Sir Arthur Evan excavated this location in the 1940s and has paved the way for new insights into the mystery of Atlantis as something far beyond a morality tale.

Bob Harrison currently teaches history classes at COCC. He recently gave a fascinating two-part lecture on Alexander the Great.

Please note: the dates for these lectures may need to be adjusted to our speaker’s schedule. Updates and preregistration will be announced via email and classroom announcements.