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.

Wednesday courses

Winter 2018 Semester

Introducing James Joyce’s Ulysses (also Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus) [4 SESSIONS]

10:30 a.m.–Noon, Moss A
Wednesdays: Jan. 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14

The Ulysses of Greek myth and Homer’s epic poems left Ithaca for adventures throughout the Mediterranean world before returning home. In Joyce’s novel, Leopold Bloom leaves his house in Eccles St., Dublin, for everyday (and night) adventures in Dublin on June 16, 1904, before returning home the next morning with Stephen Dedalus. This course will study four episodes in the 18-episode novel to introduce the new or returning reader to its major characters and plot lines. Each of the four classes will examine one episode, and the instructor will assign brief sections of the text to focus on. Students are encouraged to read the entire episode, but it will be enough to read only the sections that the teacher will post on the course website. 

Jan. 24: Chapter 1, Telemachus. The name of Ulysses’ son Telemachus hints at the relationship he will have to Ulysses/Bloom and the personal tensions he is under after the death of his mother and what he considers betrayal by his friends.

Jan. 31: Chapter 3, Nestor. Explores Stephen’s despair at living in a politically violent, commercial, and anti-Semitic environment. Homer’s Nestor offered wise advice to Telemachus, but Stephen hears only stale clichés from his employer Mr. Deasy. 

Feb. 7: Chapter 4, Calypso. Introduces us to Bloom and his relationship to his wife Molly who is compared to the nymph Calypso and Ulysses’ faithful wife Penelope. Molly however is unfaithful, and so Bloom like Stephen broods on betrayal.

Feb. 14: Chapter 6, Hades. Like Homer’s Ulysses, Bloom visits the dead during a funeral for a friend. He reflects on the loss of his infant son and the way Dubliners confront mortality.

Text note: The complete Ulysses is available on the internet at Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive.

Instructor: Timothy Materer is an emeritus English professor at the University of Missouri. He has written six books on modern literature and has received MU teaching awards. He has frequently written and taught courses on James Joyce.

Monuments, Memorials, and Markers: To the Victor Go the Spoils [2 SESSIONS]


1:00–2:30 p.m., Moss A
Wednesdays: Jan. 24, 31

Commemorations of war are almost as old as war itself. And just as nations and warriors have sought to dominate their rivals, they have tried mightily to win the histories of their wars. The American Civil War is among the wars that have led to contentious, persistent campaigns to dominate the peace through the placement of monuments to the military – to memorials mourning their deaths in battle, and to historical markers interpreting the sites of battles, triumphs, and surrenders. 

William Faulkner told an enduring truth: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Americans are presently fighting the Civil War with renewed conviction and anger. Its monuments, memorials, and markers are the battlegrounds. By far the greatest number of monuments commemorate the Confederate side. Their proponents say they honor the sacrifice of the southern troops and the military prowess of their leaders. Their critics point out that the Confederacy was engaged in treason, fighting to dissolve the Union and to maintain the institution of slavery. With growing frequency, sparked by incidents like the mass murder of innocent African-American churchgoers in Charleston and the recent Charlottesville  riot, critics are demanding that Confederate monuments and statuary be removed from publicly-owned property and consigned to obscurity or destruction. In this two-session class, we will discuss the use of monuments and memorials to establish, promote, and defend political points of view. 

Jan. 24: Discussion of the historical and international examples of political and military statuary and the ways in which they were defended or attacked. We will also discuss several very local controversies over markers and memorials. 

Jan. 31: Discussion of the monument-removal controversies and the way they have, or have not, been resolved around the U.S. We will also consider the “slippery slope” argument. (If we remove General Lee’s statue today, will we take down Thomas Jefferson’s tomorrow? Who else’s statue and what other memorials could become the objects of controversy?)

Instructor: Von Pittman directed offices of continuing and distance education at three state universities, including MU, where he also taught in the College of Education and served as Interim Director of the Law Enforcement Training Institute. He has taught American history both online and in the classroom. In the Osher program he has taught courses on Cold War espionage and the Civil War.

Historical Romance Redux [4 SESSIONS]

1:30–3:00 p.m., Moss B
Wednesdays: Jan. 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14

Join Diane Peterson and Sharon Pauley as they again recreate the events and activities of the Historical Romance Retreat. Learn about the attending authors, enjoy an old romantic comedy on film, play historic games of chance, plus more. Diane and Sharon will wear their period costumes and share photos of the events. Take a trip into history and enjoy the elegance of another era!

Instructors: Diane Peterson is a retired school library media specialist that promotes the romance novel industry as an analyst, speaker, reviewer and writer. Diane is very active on Goodreads, tracking her own extensive library of romance books, writing reviews and following many authors and groups.

Sharon Pauley is a lifelong reader of historical romance novels. Previously a social worker, she now enjoys helping her family run Cottonwoods RV Park. Sharon has earned a BSW from Columbia College and MSW from University of Missouri.