Upcoming Osher Lectures Spring Term 2021

OLLI at Pitt members can enjoy the courses below that are coming up in the next several months.  Members may register themselves through the OLLI registration website. (First, SIGN IN to your account, and then go to the Mini-Courses, Clubs, and Lectures area, then Lectures and scroll to view the offerings. Click on the blue ADD TO CART button under the lecture to select. When finished adding lectures, go through your shopping cart and begin the check out process, proceeding all the way to completion.)

Tuesday, March 2, 2021; 10 a.m. - 12 noon
The Wonders that are Birds 

From their role in ancient myths and folklore to fascinating us with the magic of flight, birds have long inspired human imagination and curiosity. This seminar will illuminate the origins and physiology of the winged Aves class, of which there are about 10,000 species. Do they sleep during migration? Are they really descendants of dinosaurs? Do they have hollow bones for a reason? How is flight possible? This seminar will go behind the mere observational aspects of birdwatching to show the anatomy and physiology that explain bird behavior. If you enjoy learning about wildlife, this seminar is sure to impart wisdom – and wonder – to your birdwatching. This event will be conducted online via the Zoom platform.

José Juves* is back at OLLI, albeit remotely, after a three-year hiatus. His interests remain history and science.  José has continued his teaching experiences as a lecturer at the Renaissance Academy in Naples, Florida. He is also a docent at the Six Miles Cypress Slough preserve in Ft. Myers.

Thursday, March 11, 2021; 10 - 11:30 a.m.
A City Divided: Race, Fear, and the Law in Police Confrontations

Professor David A. Harris, Sally Ann Semenko Chair and Professor of Law, will discuss his book, "A City Divided: Race, Fear, and the Law in Police Confrontations" (Anthem Press, 2020).  The book tells the story of a violent confrontation between three Pittsburgh Police officers and an African American high school student named Jordan Miles in 2010.  Young Miles did not die in the confrontation; instead, the case became "Exhibit A" of how the justice system works -- and doesn't work -- in police/citizen violence.  Professor Harris will tell the story of the case, and explain why these incident keep happening all across America.

David Harris studies, writes and teaches about police behavior, law enforcement and race, policing and immigration, search and seizure law, and national security issues and the law. Professor Harris is the leading national authority on racial profiling. His 2002 book, Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work, and his scholarly articles in the field of traffic stops of minority motorists and stops and frisks, influenced the national debate on profiling and related topics. His work led to federal efforts to address the practice and to legislation and voluntary efforts in over half the states and hundreds of police departments. He has testified multiple times in the U.S. Congress and before many state legislative bodies on profiling and related issues.

Friday, March 12; 1 - 2:30 p.m.
From Intergalactic Space to Minimalist Tiny Space

In 2019, Diane Turnshek moved into a 560-sq-foot house built by ex-cons. It was assembled in a warehouse on Southside, then slowly driven through the city (past the Cathedral of Learning) on a nine-hour journey with a police escort until it was deposited on its foundation in eight acres of woods off a dead end road in the City of Pittsburgh. The house incorporates many clever trappings of the tiny house movement. It has Murphy beds, 3.5-inch-wide cabinets inside the walls, a tankless water heater, fold-down kitchen bars, ventless and compact appliances, and a net loft sleeping area. Sustainability features include a water reclamation roof and cistern, reclaimed barnwood, a glass south side, phase-change wall materials, an earth tube, Hügelkultur mounds and a rain garden. The cement kitchen countertop is a black, gray and white swirled Milky Way Galaxy set with hundreds of fiber optic glowing "stars." Join us for a virtual, live, guided tour through a unique abode while we discuss the history, science, popularity and local politics of the tiny house movement. This event will be conducted online via the Zoom platform.

Diane Turnshek is an astronomer at Carnegie Mellon University whose passion is quelling the spread of light pollution. She sets up Physics Department laboratory experiments and demos, and organizes public education and outreach. She founded (in 2003) and edits Triangulation, Pittsburgh's themed annual anthology of genre short stories. Triangulation: Habitats (2021) is about sustainable housing. Join her on Twitter @dianeturnshek.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021; 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Reconceptualizing the American Revolution in Pennsylvania as an Indian War of Independence: 1755-1795

We typically think of the American Revolution as a struggle between colonists and the King over rights, when it was also a political struggle ownership of American land. That struggle began before the Stamp Act, and lasted well past the Battle of Yorktown, and at its core was a war for Indian Rights and Sovereignty over Pennsylvania that encompassed four decades: Including the French & Indian War; Pontiac's War; Dunmoore's War; the American Revolution; the Indian Wars in Ohio; and the Whiskey Rebellion.

Dr. Paul Douglas Newman is Professor of Early American History at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He has authored many books and scholarly articles on America's colonial, Revolutionary, and early national past. He is currently writing about Pennsylvania Indians and their century long attempt to preserve their independence and sovereignty over their lands in the Delaware, Susquehanna, and Ohio River Valleys.