Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Maps & Directions


Fall 2013

  • Inside the Apollo Project: The Stories of the Men and Women Who Worked to Put a Man on the Moon

    Day: 5 Thursdays
    Time: 1:15-2:45 p.m.
    Dates: 9/12-10/10
    Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 204A
    Facilitator: Tom Fitzgibbon
    Description: This series of lectures with accompanying films focuses on the people who made landing men on the moon a reality. The scope of the project led to some of the most remarkable technical advances and was done by ordinary people that one would never assume to have played such significant roles. America’s great journey and technical achievement was accomplished with many back-room dramas coping with unforeseen hazards and chance failures. The facilitator will tell of his personal role in the design of the guidance system at MIT and some of the dramatic and near catastrophic events that are little known by the general public. The courage and character of the astronauts will also be highlighted.

  • First Families

    Day: 5 Tuesdays
    Time: 1-2:45 p.m.
    Dates: 9/17-10/15
    Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 204A
    Facilitator: Dot Cole & Camille Mullally
    Description: What is it like to live in a fishbowl? What stories dwell in the walls of the White House? Will family relationships change once spouses, fathers, and grandfathers become Presidents? Does this often turn them into role models worthy or unworthy of emulation? Does the sense of self become reshaped? These are but a few questions to ponder as we dig for answers. Class members are invited to actively participate in researching for answers. Resource materials will be available.

  • Historic Boston

    Day: 4 Thursdays
    Time: 10:30-noon
    Dates: 9/19-10/10 (9/19 and 10/10 will be at UMass Boston; 9/26 and 10/3 will be on field trips in Boston)
    Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 204A
    Facilitator: Clare Forde & Phyllis Jennings
    Description: This is the course for people who want to learn about Boston’s history. The course will have two classroom sessions highlighting the Freedom Trail and historic Boston. The week following each session, the class will take a guided Freedom Trail walk (half of the trail each session) with the instructors. The goal of this course is to make Boston’s history come alive. Participation will be fostered by two days of walking the Freedom Trail and encouragement of class participation in sharing knowledge and personal experiences of Boston highlights.

  • 1939: Europe’s Last Year of Peace (Video Conference)

    Day: 4 Mondays
    Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
    Dates: 9/30-10/28
    Location: UMass Boston, Healey Library, Lower Level, Presentation Room 3; Cordage Park, Plymouth & Hingham Public Library, Whiton Room via video conference
    Facilitator: Gary L. Hylander
    Description: Next year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe. In the aftermath of the Great War of 1914, Europeans hoped that the League of Nations would work to usher in a new era of peace, economic growth and political stability. This was not to be. Italy and Germany succumbed to fascism, while in Soviet Russia, Stalin tightened his grip on the nation. On September 1, 1939, without warning, Hitler’s armies swept across Poland. Two years later, Japan’s air attack at Pearl Harbor globalized the conflict. What followed was World War II, the most cataclysmic event of the twentieth century; twenty thousand people a day perished. In this course, we will look at this pivotal time in Europe and the world’s history.

  • The Human Face of the Great War, 1914-1918

    Day: 8 Wednesdays
    Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
    Dates: 10/2-11/20
    Location: UMass Boston, Wheatley Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 125
    Facilitator: Daniel Leclerc
    Description: The unprecedented and shocking human cost of World War I staggered all involved, raised doubts about dominant military strategy and had a deep impact on culture, art and literature. The shock wave of this massive loss of life and collateral suffering still resonates to this day. This course discusses life in the trenches, shell shock, poetry, art and the impact of devastating sorrow and grief then and now, and will trace the battlefield experience of an individual soldier in the 26th Division (Yankee Division).

  • Vietnam, 1945-1985: What Really Happened? (Video Conference)

    Day: 5 Mondays
    Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
    Dates: 11/4-12/9
    Location: UMass Boston, Healey Library, Lower Level, Presentation Room 3; Cordage Park, Plymouth & Hingham Public Library, Whiton Room via video conference
    Facilitator: Michael Cunningham
    Description: This course will cover the years of American involvement in this far-flung innocuous land far from American shores. The facilitator intends to present a pertinent, relative presentation at the beginning of each class and then encourage a lively, healthy debate on the merits of what was learned. Many questions will be broached: Who and what was Ho Chi Minh—nationalist or Communist? What role did the Soviet Union and China play regarding the war? Was American’s presence justifiable? How did we conduct the war? What is our legacy? Is Viet Nam better or worse after all the death, destruction and suffering? What is the status of Vietnam in today’s new world order? What about the veterans—American and Vietnamese? Who were the “boat people?”

  • Cocktails: A Shaken and Stirred History (Video Conference)

    Day: 5 Tuesdays
    Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
    Dates: 11/5-12/3
    Location: UMass Boston, Healey Library, Lower Level, Presentation Room 3; Cordage Park, Plymouth & Hingham Public Library, Whiton Room via video conference
    Facilitator: Joe Carlin
    Description: Cocktails are the most American of alcoholic beverages, and the most international of drinks. Created in the United States around 1806, they quickly spilled over into all corners of the globe. The cocktail’s ancestor, punch, arrived in the British colonies and became a mainstay in taverns and for entertaining at home by the elite. At the beginning of the 19th-century new ideas came together to influence the development of cocktails; Frederick Tudor harvested ice from local ponds and promoted its use in drinks; pharmacies invented flavored soda water and medicinal bitters to be mixed with alcoholic. These innovations and others gave birth to the modern cocktail. The cocktail was the inspiration for cocktail parties, cocktail dresses, cocktail hors d’oeuvres, speakeasies and the Molotov cocktail. From Singapore to New York, Rio to Bangkok, this course will investigate how cocktails have influenced American society and the world.

  • From Weimar to Hitler: Germany, 1918-1945 (offered at the Hingham Public Library)

    Day: 6 Tuesdays
    Time: 1:15-2:45 p.m.
    Dates: 11/5-12/10
    Location: Hingham Public Library, Whiton Room
    Facilitator: Daniel Leclerc
    Description: This course traces the developments that led to the collapse of the Weimar Republic, the National Socialist acquisition of power in Germany and the rise and fall of the Third Reich under the leadership of Adolph Hitler. Issues covered include social and economic trauma after the First World War, the relationship between state and society in the Weimar Republic, political fragmentation, the rise of National socialism, racist ideology and extermination, the growing militarization of Germany and its increasingly bellicose foreign policy, and the final collapse of Nazi German and the demise of its leader Adolph Hitler.