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Registration is required to attend all Osher Institute programs. Many Spring 2023 programs are offered as a blend of in-person seats and livestream via Zoom Webinar. Some are in person only, some are livestream only, and some are livestream/recorded only. Most presentations also are recorded so that members may view them anytime during the membership year, which ends June 30, 2023.

Registration for the Spring 2023 semester opens on Tuesday, December 13, 2022.

To register:

Spring 2023 Catalog Available Now

Thank you for accessing the online version of the Spring 2023 semester catalog!

Print catalogs will arrive in members’ mailboxes starting on Friday, December 16.

If you would like an additional copy of the Spring 2023 semester catalog, we will be happy to mail you one. Please contact the Osher Institute office at osher@boisestate.edu.

Additional Information

Visit the Semester Updates page to view our policies and updates for the Spring 2023 semester.

Visit the Presenter Biographies page to learn more about our presenters.

Spring 2023 Programs

Starting in January

History of Public Education in the U.S.

This course will outline education history from colonial times through the progressive era. While addressing early formations of schools, indigenous populations, education policy, civil rights, and school choice, we will focus on purposes of public education: social efficiency, social mobility, and democratic equality.
Presenters: Dr. Phil Kelly, retired professor, College of Education, Boise State University, and Dr. Jennifer Snow, Professor of Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies, College of Education, Boise State University
Dates and times: Tue., Jan. 17 and 24, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

The Renaissance: A Global Phenomenon (Livestream/Recorded Only)

We will examine an ancient pagan past that met with the expanding influence of Islam to propel Christian societies of Renaissance Europe towards new artistic heights and to the other side of the unknown ocean. From syncretism within the colonial art of the Americas to Chinese and West African art, we will look at early global exchanges that connected creative expression with innovation. We will witness human ingenuity that continues to influence the cutting-edge technology of today’s world, from non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrency to top-secret microbes.
Presenter: Hugh Leeman, multidisciplinary artist and educator
Dates and times:
Tue., Jan. 17, 24, and 31, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$35

Power and Control: Domestic Violence and Child Sex Offenders

In the first session, we will learn how abuse impacts all of us when we consider that one in four men and one in three women will be abused at some point in their lives. We will examine the Power and Control Wheel to understand the tactics that abusers use against their loved ones. In the second session, we will discover that virtually all child sex offenders groom their victims. Ninety percent of victims know their abuser, yet victims don’t disclose identities almost 80% of the time. We will explore the process of how offenders groom victims, the phenomena of delayed disclosure, and the dark myths of child sexual abuse.
Session One Presenter: Paige Dinger, Executive Director, Faces of Hope
Session Two Presenter: Jean M. Fisher, former Chief of Special Crimes, Ada County Prosecutor’s Office
Dates and times: Wed., Jan. 18 and 25, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

History of Weather and Climate Science (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This course will discuss the history of weather, climate science, meteorology, and climatology in America from 1800 to 1870; climate change science from 1800 to 2000; ideas on modifying the weather and climate from about 1890 to the present; the first American female PhD in meteorology, Joanne Simpson; and the tropical atmosphere from 1950 to 2010.
Presenter: Dr. James Fleming
, Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and Society, Colby College
Dates and times: Thu., Jan. 19, 26, and Feb. 2, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$35

NEW! The Supreme Court Under Scrutiny: The Least Dangerous Branch?

The Supreme Court, dubbed the “least dangerous branch” by Alexander Hamilton, is under intense public scrutiny. American citizens, increasingly concerned about the Court’s recent decisions, as well as those cases on its docket that have profound implications for the Bill of Rights, have raised questions about the nature, scope, and limits of judicial power more sharply than at any time in the last century. This lecture will address these issues and examine the implications for American democracy of cases involving voting rights, women’s rights, the LGBTQ community, affirmative action, religion, gerrymandering, religious freedom, and presidential power.
Presenter: Dr. David Adler, President, Alturas Institute
Date and time: Thu., Jan. 26, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $15 (Please note: Refunds will not be available for this lecture.)

Reading Idaho

This lecture will focus on three creative writers (while interweaving their literary ancestors) whose writing echoes the Idaho experience: Kim Barnes, Beth Piatote, and Grace Jordan. Participants will enjoy brief readings and biographies, and will explore questions such as how place affects writing, the Native American experience in Idaho, and accurate versus romanticized writing of the West.
Presenter: CMarie Fuhrman
, author; Director of Poetry and Nature Writing Faculty, Western Colorado University; and 2021-2023 Idaho Writer in Residence
Date and time: Mon., Jan. 30, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Writing Idaho (In Person Only)

Idaho’s unique landscape of deep gorges, high desert, big rivers, mountains, plains, and public land creates a diverse population and different ways of seeing and explaining the state through creative writing and poetry. In this workshop, we will look at the myriad and complex ways Idaho is presented in literature, poetry, and prose. Using prompts and imaginative engagement with the landscape, we will produce our own literature to expose, protect, or celebrate — or all of the above — the rich landscape and culture we call Idaho.
Presenter: CMarie Fuhrman
, author; Director of Poetry and Nature Writing Faculty, Western Colorado University; and 2021-2023 Idaho Writer in Residence
Date and time: Tue., Jan. 31, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$15
Capacity: 25

Starting in February

Renaissance Drama in England and Spain (In Person Only)

This workshop will provide a comparative discussion of three sets of Renaissance-era plays derived from shared stories: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in conversation with Lope de Vega’s The Capulets and the Montagues; Lope de Vega’s Duchess of Amalfi’s Steward in conversation with John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi; and Francisco Rojas Zorrilla’s Cleopatra in conversation with Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. We will read the Spanish plays in English translation.
Presenter: Dr. Matthew Hansen
, Professor, English Department, Boise State University
Dates and times: Wed., Feb. 1, 8, and 15, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$35
Capacity: 25

The Idaho Capitol Building

This lecture will present a history of the Idaho Capitol building, from its start in Lewiston, Idaho, to the Territorial Capitol building, to the present-day building. We will discuss the original building, the additions in 1920, and other changes made to the building through today.
Presenter: Dr. Doug Rutan
, former educator, school administrator, superintendent, and education coordinator
Date and time: Wed., Feb. 1, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Documenting the Habit of the Sisters of Charity of New York

Founded in 1809 by America’s first canonized Saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Sisters of Charity of New York has little documentation of its customary garments. This lecture will discuss the process of documenting the iconic traditional habit, the specifics of its accessories, differences in habit styles for postulants and novices, regulations for types and weights of fabric, and maintenance and mending practices commonly used between 1809 and 1968.
Presenter: Darrin Pufall Purdy
, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts, Costume Design, and Director of Theatre, Boise State University
Date and time:
Thu., Feb. 2, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Writing for Civic Engagement (Livestream/Recorded Only)

A healthy democratic society calls for thoughtful citizen engagement with society’s pressing issues. The best ways to contribute to community discussions include writing op-eds and letters to the editor, as well as offering personal testimony at public meetings. This interactive writing workshop will provide basic instruction on how to craft, submit, and present such statements. Participants will read and discuss examples of op-eds and testimony documents, and everyone will have a chance to present a brief testimony statement at the end of the course.
Presenter: Dr. Scott Slovic, University Distinguished Professor of Environmental Humanities, University of Idaho
Dates and times: Mon., Feb. 6 and 13, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

The Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve

The Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Network is a funded partner of NASA’s Science Activation Program and supports STEM engagement efforts throughout Idaho. The program has forged a cornerstone partnership with the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, the first gold-star-certified dark sky reserve in the U.S. Because it spans an underserved rural region, it is an ideal venue for STEM engagement. We will discuss the science of light pollution, the history of the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, and its NASA-funded outreach.
Presenters: Dr. Brian Jackson
, Associate Professor of Astronomy, Boise State University, and Carol Cole, Board President, Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve
Date and time: Mon., Feb. 6, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Meet the Author: A Conversation with Dorothy Wickenden (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Join us for a conversation with the author of The Agitators and Nothing Daunted, Dorothy Wickenden. The Agitators tells the story of America prior to the Civil War from the perspective of three women — Harriet Tubman, Martha Coffin Wright, and Frances A. Seward — advocating for abolition of slavery and for women’s rights. Her most recent book, Nothing Daunted, is the story of two restless society women who left affluent lives to “rough it” as teachers in Colorado in 1916.
Presenter: Dorothy Wickenden, author
Date and time: Tue., Feb. 7, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$15

The Conservation of Nature in South America: A Long History

Many recognize the U.S. government’s 1872 creation of Yellowstone National Park as a beginning of a modern conservation movement. Less known is how Canada, Argentina, Chile, and other countries quickly outpaced the so-called “Yellowstone model” with their own ideas and agendas. This lecture will discuss some of these unique contributions and how the broader face of conservation can inform more just, sustainable parks.
Presenter: Dr. Emily Wakild, Cecil D. Andrus Endowed Chair for the Environment and Public Lands, Boise State University
Date and time:
Tue., Feb. 7, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Special Event: Presidential Character (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Drawing from the findings in her last book, Amateur Hour: Presidential Character and the Question of Leadership, Dr. Lara Brown will center her lecture around the ways in which the public’s expectations for presidential character have evolved over the course of history and whether contemporary presidents have what it takes to successfully lead our nation. She will review recent past electoral dynamics and explore the structural issues that exist within today’s presidential nomination process. Dr. Brown also will discuss the most-talked about aspirants who are currently vying to win the presidency in 2024.
Presenter: Dr. Lara Brown, Professor and Director, Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University
Date and time: Wed., Feb. 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$15

American Transcendentalism (Livestream/Recorded Only)

The American Transcendentalists lived outside of Boston in an area famous for its history, its utopian movements, and Walden Pond. This course will examine four central Transcendentalist writers: Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the way their local environment inspired their iconic works of literature.
Presenter: Dr. Samantha Harvey, Professor, English Department, Boise State University
Dates and times:
Thu., Feb. 9, 16, 23, and Mar. 2, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$45

Don’t Lie to Me! (Livestream Only)

Occasionally we may wonder if someone is being completely honest with us. Understanding deception can provide control over a situation and send up a warning bell to be careful. In this workshop, you will learn the difference between lying and deception, misunderstood information in body language, and written and verbal signs of deception.
Please note: This lecture will not be recorded and will not be offered as part of future archived programs.
Presenter: Carrie Stuart Parks, forensic artist and author
Date and time: Mon., Feb. 13, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$15
Capacity: 75

Current Controversies in Public Education (In Person Only)

Beginning with a discussion about the perceived purposes of public education, this seminar will facilitate discussion on the following topics: Critical Race Theory, LGBTQIA+, Censorship, School Choice, and School Funding.
Presenters: Dr. Phil Kelly, retired professor, College of Education, Boise State University, and Dr. Jennifer Snow, Professor of Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies, College of Education, Boise State University
Dates and times: Tue., Feb. 14 and 21, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

The Politics of War (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Many Americans believe there should be little or no dissent in wartime, that the public should rally behind the troops and give them whatever they ask. The historical memory of World War II (“the last good war”) has etched that idea in our political consciousness. In fact, there have been debates and dissent regarding America’s wars throughout history, and key military decisions have often been shaped by political considerations. We will discuss these conflicts and puncture myths about the politics of some of America’s wars.
Presenter: Dr. Charles Stevenson, Professor of American Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Date and time: Tue., Feb. 14, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Using the Arts to Enhance Health (Livestream/Recorded Only)

In 2020, the World Health Organization published a major study on the benefit of using the arts in healthcare and established an office to promote its use worldwide. The arts can uplift the patient experience; address post-traumatic stress disorder and other outcomes of military service; and benefit people living with burnout, cancer, dementia, and other aspects of chronic care, as well as with trauma. This lecture will provide an overview of how the arts are being used in medical care, education, and public health, and will give a brief history tracing the use of the arts from Ancient Greece to today.
Presenter: Naj Wikoff, Vice President, National Organization for Arts in Health, and co-founder, National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military
Date and time: Wed., Feb. 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Toshio Mori: The First Japanese American Fiction Writer

California native Toshio Mori was the first Japanese American to publish a book of fiction. His collection of short stories, Yokohama, California, appeared in 1949, published by Caxton Printers, an Idaho book publisher. The book was scheduled to be published in 1942, but the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Mori’s internment — along with 100,000 other Japanese Americans — in U.S. camps caused the delay. Learn about Mori’s life, his struggle to get published, and his literary legacy, and hear an archival recording of Mori reading one of his short stories.
Presenter: Alessandro Meregaglia, archivist and Associate Professor, Albertsons Library, Boise State University
Date and time:
Thu., Feb. 16, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Memoir: Memory and Metaphor (Livestream Only)

Take inspiration from 20th century African American artist Romare Bearden’s “Tomorrow I May Be Far Away” to mine your memories and personal metaphors in this interactive creative writing workshop.
Please note: This lecture will not be recorded and will not be offered as part of future archived programs.
Presenter: Mary Hall Surface, Museum Educator and Teaching Artist, National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian Associates
Date and time: Tue., Feb. 21, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25
Capacity: 50

Broadway Musicals: A History (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This course will provide a survey of Broadway musicals from the 20th century to today, from Tin Pan Alley-driven comedy works, through integrated musical plays that flourished in the mid-20th century American musical panorama, to the rock era. We will explore book musicals, concept musicals, and the arrival of British mega-productions. Additionally, we will profile the world’s leading composers, directors, and performers, and study some of the most unforgettable shows, such as Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, Company, Wicked, and more.
Presenter: Emanuel Abramovits, concert promoter and former Cultural Director, Union Israelita de Caracas
Dates and times: Wed., Feb. 22, Mar. 1, 8, and 15, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$45

College of Innovation and Design

Boise State University’s College of Innovation and Design (CI+D) launches innovative ideas and programs that bring value and a competitive advantage to our students and supports our community. CI+D’s programs focus on increasing access, affordability, employability, and interdisciplinary research. Learn how CI+D is helping to create the future of Boise State.
Presenter: Veronica Roper
, Project Director, College of Innovation and Design, Boise State University
Date and time: Wed., Feb. 22, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Special Event: A Luminary View of Art History (In Person Only)

Have you ever touched the art in a museum? Have you pulled a fragile piece out of a museum’s storage cabinet or found yourself in the middle of a painting? You can do all these things in the new Keith and Catherine Stein Luminary on the Boise State campus! Join us on a journey exploring the art of various periods and places around the world. We will roam through prehistoric caves and Van Gogh’s daubed strokes within minutes as we walk through the Luminary’s immersive touchscreen gallery.
Parking will be available in the Brady Street Garage on the Boise State campus.
Presenter: Dr. Lisa Hunt, Interim Director, Keith and Catherine Stein Luminary and Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Arts, Boise State University
Dates and times: (Please note: Participants may register for ONE tour date and time.)
Fri., Feb. 24, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Fri., Mar. 10, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Fri., Mar 31, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Cost:
$10 (Fee will support Boise State’s School of the Arts. This fee is non-refundable.)
Capacity: 20 each tour

Beginning Digital Photography (Livestream Only)

In this highly interactive course, you will learn the basics, like those dials on your camera; those mysterious menu items; composition; f/stops, shutter speeds, exposure meter, and how they all work together; ISO and white balance; different types of lenses; the number-one problem in photography and how to manage it; and much more.
Please note: This lecture will not be recorded and will not be offered as part of future archived programs.
Presenter: Eli Vega, photographer, author, and instructor
Dates and times: Mon., Feb. 27, Mar. 6, and 13, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$35
Capacity: 20

Raising Ramparts: Our Love Affair With Walls

We have built walls since earliest recorded time. The ancient Romans, Greeks, Persians, and Chinese left us remnants of their border walls to explore. Europe and Asia are dotted with castles and fortified cities. The Incas in Peru built walls using construction methods that have been lost in time. And we have more recent walls in North America. We will visit some of these historical walls, discuss the issues that prompted their construction, and review their strengths and vulnerabilities as we move across the world from 11,500 BCE to the present.
Presenter: Walt Adams, retired, Boise Cascade and Packing Corporation of America
Date and time: Mon., Feb. 27, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Chinese Art and Innovation (Livestream/Recorded Only)

At the crossroads of East and West, an ancient Chinese past connects with the first light of modernity. In this course, we will examine sacred bones and divinations from ancient tombs that changed the direction of civilization. By studying the Shang and the Ming dynasties, Islam, Christianity, and the literati turning their backs on society, we will discover an ancient idea remade in the minds of the masses.
Presenter: Hugh Leeman, multidisciplinary artist and educator
Dates and times:
Tue., Feb. 28, Mar. 7, and 14, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$35

Starting in March

Canada Today: Politics, Culture, and Comparisons to the U.S.

Canada and the U.S. are deeply intertwined, sharing the world’s longest non-militarized border, trading over a million dollars a minute, and moving animals, sports, and the arts back and forth between them. Despite these connections, the two countries differ in a variety of social and political ways. We will discuss Canada’s history, culture, and politics, and we will explore its values and systems. We also will examine commonalities and differences between Canada and the U.S., as well as the impacts these have on the response of governments and citizens to difficult issues facing them today.
Presenter: Dr. Lori Hausegger, Director of Canadian Studies Program and Associate Professor of Political Science, Boise State University
Dates and times: Wed., Mar. 1, 8, and 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$35

Using Art to Solve Crime (Livestream Only)

Americans are fascinated with real-life drama, crimes, and mysteries around them. One of the most interesting and unusual uses of art occurs in the forensic field. Forensic artists are trained to draw composites from the memory of witnesses, sketch crime scenes for the courtroom, and reconstruct skulls of unknown homicide victims. How do they do it? Find out from a forensic artist who trains other artists.
Please note: This lecture will not be recorded and will not be offered as part of future archived programs.
Presenter: Carrie Stuart Parks, forensic artist and author
Date and time: Mon., Mar. 6, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership
Capacity: 75

The Hawks, Falcons, and Eagles of Idaho

Idaho has 11 species of hawks, six species of falcons, and two species of eagles. This course will look at the occurrence of these species in the state by habitats, geographical locations, and seasons. We also will listen to vocalizations, examine particularly interesting behaviors, and learn to identify and distinguish each from similar species. Both historical and current raptor conservation programs will be covered. Finally, we will touch briefly on useful phone apps.
Presenter: Terry Rich, ornithologist, environmental educator, and writer
Dates and times:
Tue., Mar. 7 and 14, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

The Changing Landscape of Books and How They’re Published

Whether writing for yourself, your family, or strangers, the world of publishing today offers a myriad of choices and opportunities. We will discuss the good, bad, and ugly aspects of these, such as traditional publishing under the “big five” publishing houses, small-press publishers, and e-book publishing using online e-book sites. We will discuss Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, new serialization sites that are now springing up, plus the growth of audiobooks, their creation, and publishers.
Presenter: Joanne Pence
, author and publisher
Date and time:
Thu., Mar. 9, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The Grand Canyon (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Arizona’s Grand Canyon is world-famous for its geology, archaeology, ancient and modern history, and unique biology. Whether you’ve already experienced the Grand Canyon, are planning a trip, or just doing some armchair traveling, you will enjoy exploring what makes this area so astounding, fascinating, and unique.
Presenter: Dr. Stephenie Slahor, professor, writer, and lecturer
Dates and times: Thu., Mar. 9 and 16, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25

Area 51: Nevada’s Tantalizing Secret (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Area 51 began as a remote site in Nevada for the testing of unconventional aircraft and propulsion systems. Although off-limits to the public, the site still tantalizes with stories and lore about extraterrestrial visitors and their modes of transportation. This lecture will describe the facts and theories of Area 51, and the curiosity it stirs in us.
Presenter: Dr. Stephenie Slahor, professor, writer, and lecturer
Date and time: Mon., Mar. 13, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

The Fine Art of Giving Fine Art

You’ve spent a career building a collection of art or artifacts for your enjoyment and investment, yet preparing your collection for gifting can be a daunting task. Who will best care for it? Who decides what is accepted? What are the tax considerations? In this lecture you will learn the process and procedures of gifting collections of art and artifacts, and you will discover potential tax benefits.
Presenters: Fonda Portales
, University Art Curator and Collections Manager, Boise State University, and Jennifer Neil, CFRE, Senior Executive Director of Gift Planning, Boise State University
Date and time:
Thu., Mar. 16, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Introduction to Neuropsychological Evaluation

The field of neuropsychology focuses on the relationships between brain and behavior. In clinical settings, doctors use neuropsychological evaluations to help diagnose neurological conditions, determine cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and make recommendations. This lecture will discuss neuropsychological assessment and how it is used in clinical settings, cognitive domains, types of recommendations made as a result, and limitations of testing.
Presenter: Dr. Tory Kimpton, Clinical Neuropsychologist, St. Luke’s Health System
Date and time:
Mon., Mar. 27, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The Soviet Union: An Insider’s View (Livestream/Recorded Only)

The Bolshevik Revolution, followed by several years of civil war and foreign intervention, changed not only the political structure of the Soviet Union, but also its economy, its social fabric, and even the nature of the most personal relationships among its citizens. We will explore why the majority of Russians today admire Putin despite a growing economic crisis, why they are intolerant of homosexuality, why many Russian women hate feminism, and other similar issues that perplex Western observers. We also will ponder the future of Russia and its role in international affairs.
Presenter: Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig, linguist, author, and educator
Dates and times: Mon., Mar. 27, Apr. 3, and 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $35

Made to Move: Nine Simple Steps for Active Aging

We will provide practical tools and encouragement to help you maintain or regain your mobility as you age, regardless of where your journey begins. Instructions for simple benchmark movements will help you establish a baseline, wherever you are in life. Activities will be recommended to help you improve if you cannot fully achieve this benchmark. Exercise recommendations for strength and endurance using general household items will be demonstrated.
Presenter: Joseph Wegley, physical therapist and clinical therapist in Neurologic Physical Therapy, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Hospital
Date and time: Tue., Mar. 28, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Technology Ecosystems in Idaho and Early-Stage Innovation

This lecture will discuss technology ecosystems (interconnected and interdependent networks of diverse entities), the growth of technology and innovation in Idaho, and why this growth is different today than it was in the 1970s. What has changed, and what remains the same?
Presenter: Jay Larsen, founder and CEO/President, Idaho Technology Council
Date and time:
Wed., Mar. 29, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Great American Economic Thinkers: Part III

How does capitalism work? Does it work? Could it work better? Ultimately, what sort of economy should the U.S. be pursuing? This final course of a three-part series wrestles with how American thinkers have sought to answer these questions and how their various ideologies and political programs shaped the development of the American economy. We will examine the reconstruction of capitalist thought after the Great Depression and explore the works and concepts of John Maynard Keynes, Joseph Schumpeter, feminist economics, John Kenneth Galbraith, the New Left, Neoconservatives, and Neoliberals. (To register for the recorded Parts I and II of this series, contact the Osher office.)
Presenter: Dr. Shaun S. Nichols, Assistant Professor of History, Boise State University
Dates and times:
Wed., Mar. 29, Apr. 5, 12, and 19, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$45

Fighting the Odds: Senator Frank Church

This lecture will provide a review of the life and career of Senator Frank Church based on his biography, Fighting the Odds, and share photos from the Frank Church Collection at Boise State University.
Presenter: Garry V. Wenske, Executive Director, Frank Church Institute, Boise State University
Date and time: Thu., Mar. 30, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Starting in April

Nanoworld With X-rays (Livestream/Recorded Only)

The National Synchrotron Light Source II at Brookhaven National Laboratory creates light beams 10 billion times brighter than the sun. Researchers use this light and X-rays to advance our knowledge in a wide range of scientific areas, such as life sciences, energy storage, nuclear and environmental sciences, and geology and planetary sciences. This lecture will take the audience from Röntgen’s discovery of X-rays to their use in modern science at state-of-the-art facilities, using highlights from different scientific areas to emphasize the significance of this research.
Presenter: Dr. Juergen Thieme, Scientist at NSLS-II, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Adjunct Professor, Department of Geosciences, Stony Brook University
Date and time: Tue., Apr. 4, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Greek Tragedy: Oedipus (In Person Only)

The familiar tragedy of Oedipus is just one part of a rich trove of Greek drama about the royal house of Thebes. In this course, we will read Sophocles’ three stunning Theban tragedies: Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus. Composed at different times in Sophocles’ career, the three plays resonate with one another and with the ever-changing world of fifth-century Athens. We also will read Euripides’ sweeping rendition of the Theban saga in The Phoenician Women, along with a briefer look at Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes and Euripides’ The Suppliants.
Presenter: Dr. Richard Leahy, Professor Emeritus, English Department, Boise State University
Dates and times: Tue., Apr. 4, 11, 18, and 25, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$45

Timelessness of Persian Poetry: Love and Resilience

Poetry is an integral part of Iranian culture, transcending time and place, and it is still recited and quoted by many people around the world. We will explore the timelessness of Persian poetry through reading the works of classical poets such as Rumi and Hafez, and contemporary poets such as Ahmad Shamlou and Forugh Farrokhzad.
Presenter: Azam Houle, former children’s librarian, City of Boise
Date and time: Wed., Apr. 5, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Forests and Trees in Folklore and Myth

We will explore forests as they appear in myths and folktales through the ages and what they tell us about the evolving human relationship with arboreal communities. Focusing primarily on stories from European traditions, we will look at forests as sources of magic, danger, fear, desire, safety, transformation, adventure, and mystery. We also will take a closer look at a variety of individual mythic trees, such as the Norse Yggdrasil, and the common “mortal” species and their folkloric attributes.
Presenter: Tracey Kindall, history teacher, The North Fork School
Dates and times: Thu., Apr. 6, 13, 20, and 27, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $45

Constructing a Pacific Northwest Bioethic

This introduction to bioethics (the study of the ethical issues emerging from advances in biology, medicine, and technology) will offer an historical perspective on this relatively new profession, discuss the weaknesses of the field in Idaho, and propose a uniquely Pacific Northwest perspective on our future together — a future shaped by the pandemic.
Presenter: Dr. L. Bryan Williams, social and bioethicist and President, McCall College
Dates and times: Thu., Apr. 6, 13, 20, and 27, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$45

Collaboration in Idaho: From the Owyhees to the Panhandle

Idaho has become a leader in using collaboration to solve challenging natural resource issues that had remained unresolved for decades. You will learn how the diverse collaboratives came together to resolve wilderness designation and access issues in the Owyhee Canyonlands, as well as forest restoration and protection issues in Idaho’s National Forests all the way to the Panhandle. These collaborative efforts serve as models for resolving other complex natural resource issues facing the West. An optional self-guided tour of the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Scenic Byway also will be offered.
Presenter: John Robison, Public Lands Director, Idaho Conservation League
Date and time:
Tue., Apr. 11, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

America and the Great War

This lecture will cover the involvement of the U.S. in World War I. We will discuss the beginning of the war, initial American neutrality and subsequent entry into hostilities, and the building of the American Expeditionary Force. Special emphasis will be placed on Franco-American relations during the war.
Presenter: Dr. Reginald Jayne, Clinical Associate Professor, Applied Sciences and Multidisciplinary Studies, Boise State University
Date and time:
Wed., Apr. 12, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The History of Public Health

This lecture will focus on the history of public health and its impact on the health of the population. The evolution of theories of disease causation will be reviewed. We also will discuss forces contributing to better health, such as improved sanitation and nutrition, medical advances, and economic development.
Presenter: Dr. Doug Myers, occupational epidemiologist and Associate Professor, Department of Public Health and Population Science, Boise State University
Date and time:
Fri., Apr. 14, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Shakespeare’s Language: Verse as a Tool (In Person Only)

Shakespeare’s plays were always meant to be heard aloud. In this seminar, we will read a Shakespeare play with special attention paid to how the verse can be used as an acting tool. We also will discuss the play’s historical context and analyze the language, so there is no word left unknown.
Presenter: Chris Canfield, Founding Artistic Director, The Boise Bard Players
Date and time: Mon., Apr. 17, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Green Burial: The Greenest Way to Go (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Let’s face it: We’re all going to “go” one of these days, and green burial is the greenest way to go. Learn about the science and practice of green burial and other alternative disposition methods, such as water cremation and human composting. We also will discuss the green burial movement and its connection with land conservation and restoration. Attendees will have an opportunity to complete a green burial planning guide to serve you and your loved ones in planning your disposition wishes.
Presenter: Mary Ann Perry, hospice respite volunteer, home funeral guide, and green burial educator
Date and time:
Tue., Apr. 18, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The Fight for the Right to Read

Libraries provide crucial social infrastructure for communities, circulating books, tax forms, and Wi-Fi hotspots; offering programs for babies, teenagers, and seniors; and contributing substantially to our quality of life. These services are also under attack in a polarized world. In this lecture, we will discuss efforts to ban books in libraries from Boundary County, Idaho, to Long Island, New York, and describe the ways library workers are fighting back across the country.
Presenter: Emily Drabinski, Associate Professor and Critical Pedagogy Librarian, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Date and time: Wed., Apr. 19, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Special Event: Anne Frank Memorial Tour (In Person Only)

In 1995, a traveling exhibit on Anne Frank drew in tens of thousands of visitors from across Idaho. Over the course of the next several years, a group of community leaders, human rights stalwarts, and citizens throughout the state and country worked tirelessly to create a permanent Anne Frank Memorial. This is the only Anne Frank Memorial in the U.S., one of the few places where the full Universal Declaration of Human Rights is on public display, and is recognized as an International Site of Conscience.
Presenters: Docents of the Anne Frank Memorial
Dates and times: (Please note: Participants may register for ONE tour date and time.)
Fri., Apr. 21, 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Fri., Apr. 21, 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Cost:
$10 (Fee will support the Anne Frank Memorial. This fee is non-refundable.)
Capacity: 50 each tour

Wastewater SARS-CoV2 Testing

The City of Boise has been analyzing wastewater for the SARS-CoV-2 virus since May of 2020 to get a broad view of the spread of the virus. This lecture will discuss how wastewater analysis provides a leading indicator of case counts in a community, especially in a time when many people are using at-home tests. By collecting these data, the city is contributing another dataset to aid in the understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presenter: Haley Falconer, Environmental Division Senior Manager, City of Boise
Date and time: Mon., Apr. 24, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Cybersecurity Preparedness

This lecture will provide a high-level overview of what citizens should know to protect their digital information from being compromised. Device management, password management, and best practices will be covered.
Presenter: Toby King, Chief Information Officer, CapEd Credit Union
Date and time:
Tue., Apr. 25, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Holocaust Destination: Ecuador (Livestream/Recorded Only)

When Hitler and the Nazis rose to power in the 1930s, it became evident to Jews across Europe that their civil and religious rights would soon be in peril. Approximately 5,000 Jews ended up in Ecuador as a haven in the storm. This lecture will explore how many Jews thrived and made lives in Ecuador, even though they could have left once WWII ended. Even American Jews were unaware of this tiny Jewish community and its many contributions to their adopted country.
Presenter: Doris Rubenstein
, author and Arts Correspondent, American Jewish World
Date and time: Wed., Apr. 26, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Special Event: Campus Art Tour (In Person Only)

Boise State University curates a permanent art collection of over 2,000 pieces, including public art in communally accessible landscapes. It is administered by a curator who works with an advisory committee consisting of experts in the field, as well as stakeholders in campus planning. In this exclusive walking tour, members will explore the typology of public art on campus, examine the historical and site-specific contexts of several works, and discuss the continued curation of public art at the university, including new acquisitions.
Parking will be available in the Brady Street Garage on the Boise State campus.
Presenter: Fonda Portales
, University Art Curator and Collections Manager, Boise State University
Date and times: (
Please note: Participants may register for ONE tour time.)
Fri., Apr. 28, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Fri., Apr. 28, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Cost:
$10 (Fee will support Boise State’s Fine Arts Department. This fee is non-refundable.)
Capacity: 20 each tour

Starting in May

The Play’s the Thing: Idaho Shakespeare Festival 2023

The Idaho Shakespeare Festival (ISF) provides exceptional modern productions of Shakespeare’s plays — and other great dramatic works — in an extraordinary setting. Knowing about the plays ahead of time, as well as the interpretive issues and directorial challenges, can greatly enhance the theater experience. This course will focus on two plays to be performed at ISF in Summer 2023: Shakespeare’s As You Like It and a stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved Sense and Sensibility. The sessions will focus on the plots, historical contexts, and interpretive challenges of the plays, followed by discussion from ISF directors about the particulars of their anticipated productions.
Presenter: Dr. John Ottenhoff, Professor Emeritus of English, Alma College
Dates and times:
Mon., May 1 and 8, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

Nature’s Law of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (In Person Only)

Diversity is a natural law that we have attempted to ignore with grave consequences. This seminar will use nature in an interactive process to explore the importance of embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the world of work, the economy, the environment, and society. Through nature, we can learn from our past actions and leverage the enormous power of diversity to solve the complex challenges facing our world.
Presenter: Michele Sandberg, Chief People Officer, CapEd Credit Union
Date and time: Tue., May 2, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Jewish Composers and Classical Music: Part I (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This course will explore how Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment period, triggered a surge of prolific composers, such as Mendelssohn, Jacques Offenbach, and Gustav Mahler. We also will discuss the incredible conductors who migrated to America and conducted the best of our major orchestras, giving a distinctive — and sometimes criticized — sound to each of them.
Presenter: Emanuel Abramovits, concert promoter and former Cultural Director, Union Israelita de Caracas
Dates and times: Wed., May 3, 10, and 17, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$35

Writing a Legacy Letter (Livestream Only)

A legacy letter, or an ethical will, is a written document that allows individuals to share their life lessons, express their values, and transmit their blessings to future generations. Briefer than a memoir, a legacy letter is typically just a few pages. Writing one is a rewarding experience that creates an enduring gift for family, friends, and loved ones. This workshop will include discussion and brief writing exercises to help attendees examine their life history, explore their values, and complete a legacy letter.
Please note: This lecture will not be recorded and will not be offered as part of future archived programs.
Presenter: Jay Sherwin, JD, founder, Life Reflections Project
Date and time: Wed., May 3, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$15

Writing the American Sonnet (In Person Only)

This poetry reading/workshop will familiarize students with the American sonnet, a looser, more musical, and more inventive variation than its traditional counterpart. Having no required rhyme scheme or specific meter, the poets will have freedom to innovate their own constraints within 14 lines. We’ll start with a reading of some American sonnets written by the instructor and published in her new book, Hand Signs from Eternity’s Yurt. This will be followed by a discussion of the techniques of the American sonnet and a guided workshop devoted to composing American sonnets.
Presenter: Diane Raptosh
, author, writing instructor, and Co-Director, Criminal Justice/Prison Studies, The College of Idaho
Date and time:
Tue., May 9, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25
Capacity: 25

They Should Have Been Famous: Women Artists From 1500 to 1800

Unconventional lives, remarkable images, and dramatic human history all dance together in this course. Starting during the Renaissance, a group of exceptional women began to challenge authoritative traditions and social norms in order to become accomplished artists. Several had painting skills that rivaled Raphael and Michelangelo. Documenting the history of women artists is a recent phenomenon, but over the last 30 years, their amazing stories have gradually emerged. We will attempt to provide the belated recognition they so rightfully deserve.
Presenter: Susie Fisher, former high school art teacher
Dates and times: Wed., May 10 and 17, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25

“To the Best of My Ability”: Four American Presidents

This course will examine the lives and character of four notable American presidents: George Washington (1789-1797), Andrew Jackson (1829-1837), Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865), and Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). Emphasis will be placed on the experiences during each man’s formative years and how those events shaped each individual’s character, and by extension, their presidency. Significant accomplishments and failures will be highlighted, as well as the place each figure holds in American memory.
Presenter: Gail Chumbley, author and retired American history instructor
Dates and times: Thu., May 11 and 18, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

The Lost Cause Myth, Power, and Racial Disinformation Campaigns

The Lost Cause Myth is perhaps the most successful racial disinformation campaign in U.S. history. Civil War Confederates popularized it nationally to paint the white South as a victim of Northern vengeance amid Reconstruction and to uplift white supremacy’s defenders as patriotic righters of Yankee-based wrongs. Its patterns and positions still reverberate within political, educational, and economic battles over race, democracy, and access to the American Dream. This course will explore the myth’s history from 1865 to the present, tracing its advocates’ motives, impacts, and patterns nationally and in Idaho.
Presenter: Dr. Jill Gill
, author, History Professor, and former Director, Marilyn Shuler Human Rights Initiative, Boise State University
Dates and times: Thu., May 11 and 18, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25

Boise State Public Radio: Reader’s Corner

Now in its 15th year, Reader’s Corner on Boise State Public Radio engages authors of fiction and nonfiction to discuss their works in conversation with Dr. Robert Kustra. He will share his love for reading and discuss the publishing world today in light of significant mergers and consolidation. Dr. Kustra will share his experiences with authors who have appeared on Reader’s Corner and expand on some of the most urgent and impactful books covered on the show. Dr. Kustra also will preview upcoming interviews and set aside time for recommendations for future interviews from the audience.
Presenter: Dr. Robert Kustra
, President Emeritus, Boise State University
Date and time: Mon., May 15, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Meet Craig Johnson, Bestselling Author

Saddle up, because New York Times bestselling author Craig Johnson, creator of the Walt Longmire series, will be presenting for the Osher Institute. The Longmire mysteries have been translated into more than twenty languages and are the basis for the hit Netflix series. A self-proclaimed cowboy novelist, Mr. Johnson has been referred to as one of the most delightfully engaging and entertaining writers on the circuit today.
Presenter: Craig Johnson
, author
UPDATED Date and time: Thu., May 18, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Special Event: Osher Spring Picnic

Join us at the Idaho Botanical Garden to celebrate the end of another Spring semester! Enjoy music, fun events, and refreshments, including an ice cream sundae bar just for Osher members. Attendees will be welcome to stroll the grounds of the Botanical Garden afterwards. This event is included with membership, but registration is required for planning purposes.
Location:
Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Rd., Boise
Date and time: Fri., May 19, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Starting in June

COMING SOON! Osher Institute Summer Conference on Aging (In Person Only)

The Osher Institute has connected with numerous industry experts to provide a two-day, comprehensive slate of sessions concerning issues on aging. Each day will feature several choices of sessions. Detailed information on presenters, activities, and registration options will be forthcoming.
PLEASE NOTE: Registration for this event will be available later in the Spring 2023 semester.
Location:
Ron and Linda Yanke Family Research Park, 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd.
Dates and times: Tue., June 13, and Wed., June 14, 9:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are member-led opportunities for learning and engagement outside of the classroom.

Hiking in the Foothills

Come explore Boise’s wonderful Ridge to Rivers trail system on moderately strenuous hikes of one-and-a-half to two hours in duration. Start from a different trailhead each week to experience the beauty of the open space surrounding our city. Information with details on date, time, and location will be emailed in advance of the planned hike.
Facilitator: Dennis Hynes
Hikes: Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m.-noon

NEW! Idaho Botanical Garden

Members of this SIG will work collaboratively to select one or two Idaho Botanical Garden (IBG) events each season that Osher members can volunteer at to support IBG, facilitate name recognition in the community for the Osher Institute, and have fun together. Anyone who has visited IBG knows it is a wonderful – and sometimes, magical – place in our community.
Facilitator: Mary Lou Kinney
Meetings: Thu., Jan. 19, 10:00-11:00 a.m., and Thu., Feb. 16, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Capacity: 30

Journeying Together

This SIG is a group of Osher members that meets every month in a seminar. Each member, in rotation, presents on a topic they have researched to the group. Topics cover a wide range of subjects, such as literature, history, sociology, and technology.
Facilitators: Diane Ronayne and Paul Penland
Meetings: Second Friday of each month, 12:30-3:00 p.m.
Capacity: 20

Make Your Family Tree Better

Meet with other Osher members to discuss common questions and issues involved with family history research and genealogy. Discover new ways to find solutions to your research challenges, hear other members’ experiences, and share your own findings with the group.
Facilitator: Thad Webster
Meetings: First and third Tuesday of each month, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Capacity: 25

(Mostly) Foreign Films at The Flicks

Join Osher members who enjoy films — both foreign and American — by gathering at The Flicks, Boise’s premier independent movie theater. Following each film, members will have the opportunity to meet in the theater for a short discussion. The Flicks utilizes best practices for social distancing and safety issues.
Please note: Due to robust interest in this SIG and the limited size of the theater, the film may sell out.
Facilitator: Bob and Toni Fontaine
Meetings: One Monday a month, around 4:30 p.m.
Location: 646 W. Fulton St., Boise

Personal Writing

Join Osher members who are interested in personal writing (memoir, essays, etc.) in a supportive setting. Each meeting will be peer led and will focus on a specific area of personal writing or a theme. No prior writing experience is necessary.
Facilitator: Merilee Marsh
Meetings: every other Friday, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Capacity: 25

Reading Writers Paired

Take part in a casual and exploratory book group — something different than the typical format. Each month, SIG members choose two books that have something in common such as era, location, or theme. Members can choose to read one book or the other, and both works are discussed at the next meeting.
Facilitator: Carol Delaney
Meetings: Third Thursday of each month, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Capacity: 25

NEW! Taste Buds

Join the Osher Director for a monthly meetup at area restaurants to sample various cuisines for lunch. Members will identify a subsequent restaurant, food truck, or other dining option for each month. Lunch is at members’ own expense, but the company and conversation are included at no charge. Registration is required. Information on the restaurant, address, and link to the menu will be provided at least five days in advance. Please wear your Osher name badge while attending. 
Facilitator: Dana Thorp Patterson
Meetings: Second Friday of each month
Location: Varies monthly
Capacity: 20

Walking the Greenbelt

Take part in the beauty of the Boise River Greenbelt with other Osher members who want to get exercise while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Moderate to brisk walks that begin and end at the Yanke Building will be the core of this SIG.
Facilitators: Sharon Bixby and Diane Ronayne
Meetings: Fridays, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Location: 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Boise. Meet on the east side of the building.

Stay Connected

Osher News: Read our monthly e-newsletter to keep up to date on events, newly added programs, important membership information, and more.

Facebook: Like us on Facebook! Discover curated articles, see sneak peeks of the next catalog, and get real-time updates on Boise State campus news and Osher Institute programs.

Casual Coffee Social Hours: Join Osher Director Dana Thorp Patterson for monthly casual coffee social hours. Great conversation is always supplied—we just need you to join us! Dates for each meeting are announced in Osher News and on the Osher Facebook page.

Osher on Demand: Visit our blog, Osher on Demand, to access a wide variety of online resources including recorded lectures from Osher Institute presenters, curated TED Talks, academic articles, podcast recommendations, virtual tours, and more!

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