Tag Archives: Lecture

International Relations: Angela Merkel—A Leadership Profile

Eugene/Springfield–Presenter Helene-Carol Brown will cover Angela Dorothea Merkel from a biographical perspective, setting the stage for group discussion of Germany’s domestic and foreign policies including migrants and refugees, relations with the US, China, Russia, Turkey, and the European Union.

Research historian and teacher, Brown has published three historical novels. She is fascinated by the life of Merkel, one of the most important leaders in the world today.

Heart of Dixie: Mexicans in the U.S. South Since 1910

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 2003.

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

Kitchen Chemistry

Eugene/Springfield–From making the perfect hard-boiled egg to making perfect gravy or fudge, a little knowledge of chemistry will avoid many kitchen disasters. This course assumes a bit of high school chemistry, but if your chemistry background is in the distant past, OLLIUO member and retired professor Nancy Mills also will fill in the gaps.

We will start with the chemistry of eggs, moving from how to make a hard-boiled egg that is both pretty and edible, to the use of eggs in hollandaise sauce and meringues, to the chemistry of flour (how to avoid lumpy gravy) and why one needs to knead bread, and will finish with perfect fudge.

Mills was professor emeritus at Trinity University in San Antonio. After retiring in 2015, she and her husband moved to Eugene to enjoy the outdoors.

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.

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.

Adventures of a Ballet Historian

Eugene/Springfield–When Marian Smith was doing her doctoral research on ballet music in the Opéra archives in Paris, she saw a mysterious photograph of a musical score for ballet that was heavily annotated with instructions about how to perform the ballet. However, she could not find the original manuscript. In this presentation (which includes pictures and short videos), she will describe her attempt to locate this exciting manuscript, and the ways in which her search and findings along the way affected her ideas and appreciation for 19th-century ballet.

Smith is professor of music at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, where she teaches courses on western art music and musical theater. She earned a PhD in musicology from Yale University.

There’s a New Health Sheriff in Town—Aging Do’s and Don’ts

Central Oregon–What is the worst thing for your health? Aging. While this deleterious factor may be inevitable for humans, there are recent, profound discoveries in the cellular world that open the doors to lifestyles and treatments that may reduce the negative impact of aging. These discoveries tie the systems of the human body together in ways we have always assumed, but only now have actually demonstrated. Answering the question of “how,” researchers can attempt to intervene in the process of aging. But what do we target? Aging is not simple. Dr. Timothy Burnett leads a class on this subject.

This class focuses on the basics of intercellular communication and how different body systems react and respond to each other to maintain life. Dr. Burnett delves into a few key players in some of the most common diseases with aging and discusses which behaviors elicit an optimal health response. Additionally, he uses examples (such as exercise, calorie restriction, and spaceflight) to explore the possible underpinnings of healthy—and not-so-healthy—aging.

Dr. Burnett is an instructor of kinesiology at Oregon State University Cascades campus. He received his BS in kinesiology from California State University San Marcos and his MS in exercise physiology from San Diego State University. His doctoral work in human bioenergetics was performed at the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. This National Institute of Health-funded work focused on the loss of skeletal muscle size and function during aging and how lifelong aerobic exercise affects this process.

Working for Human Rights—On the Ground and Online

Eugene/Springfield–Mariah Elizabeth Grant, human rights and migration consultant, will share her work experiences in Thailand, Greece, and the U.S. In 2014, she worked in Thailand with refugee communities and on programs to counter human trafficking. With the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women and the International Organization for Migration (UN Migration Agency), she researched how traffickers connected with people online, especially through social media.

In Greece during the spring of 2016, Grant worked in the camps for people seeking international protection. She saw how online communications can help humanitarian professionals respond to emergencies, how those fleeing conflicts can maintain contact with loved ones and chart paths to safety, and how all those involved—refugees, volunteers, and aid workers—were able to raise awareness and tell their stories.

She exposes how antimigrant forces use online platforms to disseminate hateful and harmful rhetoric, and suggests methods for the human rights system to be more responsive in the face of proliferating fake news that dictates negative global sentiments and policies toward migrants.

Grant graduated magna cum laude in 2010 with a BA in international studies from the UO, and went on to receive her MA in human rights and democratization from the University of Sydney in 2013.