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September 2016 
Director's Message

susan hoffman It's hard to believe we're starting our tenth year.

When we opened our doors in Fall 2007, we had only 15 courses and 307 members that first term. By 2010-2011 we had reached 1,000 members, and we offered our first courses in Lafayette in Fall 2011. Last year, we had over 2,200 members... and this year we are on track to offer 100 courses.

These numbers are impressive, but by far the most impressive aspect of OLLI @ Berkeley is our community: our excellent faculty, our dedicated volunteers, and all the members who come back year after year for our innovative courses. 

Ask any OLLI member and they will tell you: come for the classes, stay for the community.

I am truly honored to be part of such an engaged community, united by the joy of learning.  

Susan Hoffman

Info Sessions Next Week

Curious about Fall courses? Come to an info session and meet instructors and OLLI members!

Berkeley: Tuesday, September 6
10:00 a.m. - noon (doors open at 9:30)
Freight and Salvage, 2020 Addison St.

Lafayette: Thursday, September 8
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3941 Mt Diablo Blvd
Includes a talk by Kayleen Asbo on " Artistic  Dialogues : Mozart, Beethoven, and T.S. Eliot"

With the Center Street Garage closed for reconstruction, we recommend carpooling or taking public transit. Please allow extra time for parking.

Faculty Profile: Stephanie Wells

by Jennifer Monahan, OLLI Staff

Stephanie Wells Stephanie Wells will teach her first OLLI course this Fall: "From Charlotte Bronte to Virginia Woolf." In addition to studying English and dramatic art at the University of London, she  has a B.A. from Berkeley, M.A. from University of Virginia, and Ph.D. from UC Davis, with a focus on modernism and postmodernism in American and British novels and poetry. She has been a literature professor for over 20 years and currently teaches at College of Marin.

Tell us more about your research interests within the modern and postmodern period.
The first is the intersection of literature and visual art, among other arts. So for example in a course on modernism, we'll look not only at literary works but also at art, architecture and music, since all of these shed light on ways of thinking in a given time period.
The second is gender. My course this fall gives a socio-historic perspective on the ways in which changing roles for women led to shifts in the very definition of womanhood between Charlotte Brontë's time and Virginia Woolf's. Likewise, we see changes in what it means to be a woman artist; those reasons are closely tied in to social class.

In your upcoming course, what had you choose Charlotte Brontë as a starting point for modern womanhood as opposed to, say, Jane Austen?
I find Jane Eyre interesting as a character because she embodies Victorian ideals of womanhood in some ways while breaking away from them in others. Jane Eyre isn't the first independent-minded heroine, of course.
In Brontë's novel -- and in Victorian society -- education becomes a marker of class that's not related to money -- perhaps the only such marker -- and Jane occupies a liminal space where she is treated both as a servant and as an (almost-) equal. Jane is submissive, subservient, and accepting of her place... but she is also a firebrand who won't brook mistreatment or injustice.
And there's another even more interesting twist in the book that I'll avoid revealing for first-time explorers, but let's just say it complicates the implications of women's options in absolutely mesmerizing ways. Overall, the female characters in Jane Eyre navigate and embody the different ways to be a woman -- and there aren't very many ways available.

Other than championing "a room of one's own," how has Virginia Woolf helped shape the notion of a modern woman?
Woolf is operating at a different time and in a different social class than Charlotte Brontë, and she uses her privilege to highlight the role of class (i.e. wealth) in artistic creation. In claiming that artists need talent, time, space, and money, she links her argument about gender to some basic tenets of Marxism. She doesn't do this as stridently as writers who come later, but her essays are pretty polemic.
Meanwhile , her novels explore what it means for "real" women to navigate this change. The central characters in Mrs. Dalloway and To The Lighthouse are both wealthy and operating within the distinctly un-modern, Victorian "angel of the house" paradigm, but Woolf depicts them with real sympathy rather than judgment. These characters explore what it means to be a strong woman while operating within social paradigms that are hard to tear down, and Woolf portrays them with kindness even while urging younger women to challenge these same roles.
And Woolf's writing style is so compelling. No-one can write a sentence like she can. Her representation of consciousness is particularly interesting, with the way that she renders in language the flickerings of consciousness on the screen of the mind.

What are you most looking forward to in teaching this class?
Everything about it! And especially being surrounded by people who have no need to go to school for grades and credits but who still want to read a good book and exchange ideas!

Hearing Resources

Did you know that one in three people ages 65 to 74 has some degree of hearing loss? That for adults over 75, that number rises to one in two? And that hearing loss can contribute to social isolation and relationship stress?

With hearing loss so common, we strive to make our classrooms accessible. All of our faculty are asked to wear microphones, and we encourage students to let faculty members know if their speaking style presents difficulties. In addition, most of our classrooms have assistive listening options; you can see a room-by-room list on our website.

As part of our efforts to build awareness about age-related hearing loss, we have created a resource page on our website with information about hearing loss, assistive listening systems, and links to further research. Many thanks to the Advisory Research and Evaluation Team (ARET) for compiling this information. 

Fall 2016 Speaker Series

History, politics, current events, literature: it's all covered in our Fall Speaker Series. All lectures are held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Freight and Salvage (2020 Addison St. in Berkeley).

October 5
Supreme Court 2016
Jesse Choper and Marshall Krause

October 12
OLLI faculty writers

October 19
A Sense of Justice
Ericka Huggins

October 26
L ooking Back on the Spanish Civil War
Adam Hochschild

These lectures are free for OLLI @Berkeley members as well as UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff. $10 for the general public.

Travel Study

Cuba with Cal Discoveries and Alex Saragoza
square in cuba See Cuba before it changes! Cal Discoveries, which has organized several OLLI trips in the past, is offering a tour of Cuba from January 5 through January 13. Alex Saragoza, former director of the Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley, will be guest lecturer on the tour... which complements Professor Saragoza's fall course on Contemporary Cuba. Download a trip brochure for details.

Faculty News

Pierluigi Serraino's new book "The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study" has been very well received. Read reviews in the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Dwell... or listen to a podcast on 99% Invisible

Joe Lurie has a talk and book signing at the Berkeley Public Library on September 27 at 5:30. His book "Perception and Deception" draws from his experiences in 30 years as Director of UC Berkeley's International House.  Event information

Lauren Carley's novella "Siberian Iris" has just been published. Look for it on Amazon (print and Kindle, with an audio version coming soon). 

On Campus

From a photographic retrospective of the Black Panther Party to a panel discussion on "Surreal Politics," UC Berkeley hosts a number of exhibits and talks open to the public this Fall. View some highlights from the campus event calendar.

UC Berkeley's Homecoming Weekend, September 30 through October 2, includes a number of public lectures as well as tours and expositions all over campus. 

New Faces at OLLI: Max Godino

Max Godino Please join us in welcoming our new Classroom Coordinator, Max Godino. Max previously worked as a classroom coordinator with San Francisco State's College of Extended Learning for 13 years. He graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in political science and used that interest to live, work and travel on five continents for many years before returning to the Bay Area where he grew up. He is also a co-owner of Adobe Books in San Francisco, a cooperative used bookstore and art gallery dedicated to the preservation of knowledge, art, and community. In his leisure time you can find him riding bikes, building a log cabin, working on various art projects, and going on adventures with his family.

Lunch Bunch

Ike's Place
2172 Shattuck Ave, between Center and Allston
This newly opened storefront, close to the downtown BART station and the OLLI classrooms, is part of a very popular Bay Area chain. It offers a huge selection of made-to-order, somewhat pricey, eclectically named sandwiches. There is some indoor seating, but most people order "to go." Unfortunately, it can get really crowded at lunchtime, so it's not the place for a grab and go. Lots of people think this place is the greatest, and the sandwiches are large enough to share, but if you do not like to wait on line, this place is not for you.
Lucille Poskanzer
September 2016