OLLI logo
December 2016 
Sign Up for Winter Courses 

Our Winter term starts January 23, 2017. Browse course listings and sign up at olli.berkeley.edu/courses

Mark your calendars for our Winter Info Sessions:
Thursday, January 5 from  3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Lafayette Library and Learning Center,  3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd
Includes a free lecture by Darren Zook, UC Berkeley:
"Is It Just Me, or Is the World Falling Apart?"

Tuesday, January 10 from  10:00 to noon (doors open at 9:30)
Freight and Salvage, 2020 Addison Street

Please note that the OLLI office will be closed from December 19 through January 2 due to UC Berkeley's annual curtailment. Online registration will be available during that time; phone and in-person registration will resume when our office reopens on January 3, 2017. Mailed registration forms will be processed on January 3, 2017.

Faculty Profile: Darren Zook

Jennifer Monahan, OLLI Staff

Darren Zook
Darren Zook teaches in Political Science and International and Area Studies at UC Berkeley. His research interests include human rights, comparative Asian politics, international law, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He has taught with OLLI@Berkeley in the past, and will be teaching two classes for us this Winter: "Global Hotspots" and "The First 100 Days: Domestic Challenges Facing the 45th President."

You earned a Ph.D. in history at Cal. How did that lead you to your current areas of interest?
My topic -- agrarian development in rural India -- could have been approached through several disciplines: economics or political science, for instance. I chose history because history as a discipline asks a different set of questions, questions that were a better fit for the way I wanted to approach my topic.

Your work has taken you all over Asia: India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Burma, Japan, China, Mongolia, South Korea, and even North Korea. What brought you to North Korea, and how was it?
North Korea is not the kind of place where you can do formal research, because you are too closely supervised. In 2008, when the ban was lifted on Americans traveling to North Korea, I immediately started looking into how I could go there because I knew that just seeing the country would be very revealing and a useful perspective for the kind of work that I do. When I arrived on my first trip, it was immediately apparent that everything I had read about North Korea was wrong, or at least written by people who had never been there. I was interested in their legal system, and when my government minders learned this I was given access to a treasure trove of documents. During that first trip, the northeast part of the country was still off-limits; I returned in 2011 and was able to visit more places. It's certainly one of the strangest places I have been. Visiting it was also reassuring in that all we ever read about are the North Korean leaders rather than the everyday people, but I was able to have some very good conversations with my minders and with others whom I met there. They tell you it's all staged, but I also  had real, unstaged interactions during my visits.

What are your current research interests?
In 2012 I spent the year in Singapore researching cyber security: not just the security ramifications of individuals on their various devices but also cyber warfare and concerns about Russia, China etc. making serious breaches of our security. I'm almost ready to start writing the book; my project over the winter break will be to sit down and start drafting.
I also recently finished a book manuscript about diversity and identity in America, and I'm currently shopping it around to publishers. All of my projects look at human rights and social justice in one culture or another. I also focus on identity politics in various cultures.

Will either of your upcoming courses be taught differently in the wake of the recent election?
Initially, I was planning to teach the "First 100 Days" course with a focus on the chief executive. Now we will not only look at what the president will do, but also how that will affect citizens and -- whether we like these actions or whether we don't like them -- what we can do as citizens to participate and shape the outcomes.
For the "Global Hotspots" course, I was already planning to study the Russian fringe. Now that we know Vladimir Putin is happy about the results of the recent US elections, what will this new relationship between the US and Russia mean for the Baltic states and other areas of international policy? We'll definitely talk about that.

Travel Study

San Sebastian, Spain Culture and Culinary Traditions of Northern Spain
June 1-10, 2017
In collaboration with Cal Discoveries 

Explore monuments, learn about regional history, and sample local cuisines and wines as you make your way from Madrid to San Sebastian. Led by UC Berkeley professor Alex Saragoza, this tour will be a perfect companion to Professor Saragoza's upcoming Winter course on Northern Spain. View the tour brochure.

Faculty News

Lisa Gold will perform with UC Berkeley's Gamelan Sari Raras at Hertz Hall on Saturday, December 3 at 8:00 p.m. Event details

Devorah Major has recently published a new collection of poems entitled " and then we became." Read a profile of Major in the Marin Independent Journal

Professor Dan Kammen has written an open letter to President-elect Trump arguing that the economic case for clean energy and climate leadership is as compelling as the environmental case. Read the letter

On Campus

The UC Berkeley Department of Music is offering a free Holiday Chorus Concert on Wednesday, December 7 at noon in Hertz Hall. View event details

"Power to the People: the World of the Black Panthers," an exhibit of photos by Stephen Shames, is on display at North Gate Hall through January 5. (Holiday curtailment closures may apply.) View details.

New Faces at OLLI: Kasey Wood

Kasey Wood Kasey Wood will be the Classroom Coordinator for our Lafayette courses, and will also provide classroom support in Berkeley.

Kasey is a conference and event services professional who formerly worked in conjunction with the OLLI program at SFSU and has been directly involved with event planning campus-wide. His areas of expertise include several computer software applications, audio/visual and customer service. In his spare time, Kasey likes to spend quality time with his family, visiting museums and national parks, and riding motorcycles.

Day at the Races

racetrack photo On Friday, November 4 the Member Services Committee organized a "Day at the Races" at Golden Gate Fields. A good time was had by all... especially those who bet on "Sizzling Eddie."

Lunch Bunch

Berkeley Social Club
2060 University Avenue, between Shattuck and Milvia
This is a brand new place close to the OLLI classrooms. At present it's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (although this might change with time). It offers Korean-influenced food, along with more standard options. Try the millionaire's bacon for a real treat! Beer on tap reflects the previous tenants, Perdition Smokehouse. The space is bright and airy, and there's a nice outdoor area also. It's good for large groups, too. Prices are moderate. 

Lucille Poskanzer
December 2016