Luncheon Programs

Luncheon programs at Trumps Catering (TC) ($25) or Talmage Terrace (TT) ($19) start at 12 Noon, with the lecture starting at 12:30 PM. You must register for luncheon programs no later than one week before the scheduled date.

Directions to Trumps Catering                          Directions to Talmage Terrace

OLLI@UGA reserves the right to use photographs or video taken at any OLLI@UGA event or activity for general publicity purposes such as advertising, news articles, electronic presentations or Web content on behalf of the organization.

You will register for luncheon programs as you would normally register for classes. Register Now for our Fall luncheons (opens July 25, 10 AM)

Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: Travels of the Crafts (TT) Tuesday, Sept. 11
William and Ellen Craft are remembered for their dramatic escape from southern slavery in mid-nineteenth-century Macon, Georgia. In 1848, Ellen disguised herself as an invalid gentleman slaveholder, and her husband William accompanied her during their flight by masquerading as his master’s faithful servant. They recounted this escape in their best-selling memoir Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom, published in London (1860, 1861). Barbara McCaskill’s talk examines the Crafts as cosmopolitan figures whose travels in the US, Canada, and Great Britain exposed the contingencies and messiness behind the triumphal story of freedom that they told to the British and American press and public. Barbara McCaskill is Professor of English and Associate Academic Director of UGA’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. She wrote Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory (2015), and a teaching edition of the Crafts’ 1860 memoir (1999). She co-edited two essay collections about Ethnic American Literature (2006; 1993). Her book on Rev. Peter Thomas Stanford, with doctoral student Sidonia Serafini and Rev. Paul Walker of Birmingham, UK, is forthcoming.

2018 Election: What to Expect (TC) Tuesday, September 25
Lief Carter and Bob Grafstein will describe what is already baked into this election cake and what outcomes might still surprise us. Lief Carter received his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard and his PhD from UC-Berkeley. He taught political science at UGA until 1995 and twice received the Josiah Meigs Teaching Award. From 1995 to 2008 he taught at Colorado College. He is the author of The Limits of Order, Reason in Law, Contemporary Constitutional Lawmaking, and many other works. Robert Grafstein is the Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Political Science in the School of Public and International Affairs. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. He is the author of Institutional Realism, Choice-Free Rationality, and numerous articles, as well as coeditor of A Bridge Too Far? Commonalities and Differences Between China and the U.S.

Bombs Away! Reasons to Remove Ordnance on Vieques, Puerto Rico (TC), Tuesday, Oct 9
For more than 60 years, Vieques, Puerto Rico was used for weapons testing and military exercises by U.S. and Allied Forces. Dr. Porter’s discovery and documentation of carcinogens leaching from unexploded ordnance (UXO) on the island contributed to the end of bombing in 2002 and an acceleration of ordnance disposal. The preferred method of ordnance disposal, open-pit burning, however, simply spews more toxic material into the air upwind from local communities. Hurricanes Irma and Maria exposed more UXO, even on bombing ranges that had been demilitarized, and the concern now is that multi-generational cancer cases will increase as these and other island bombing ranges. James W. Porter is the Josiah Meigs Professor Emeritus of Ecology at UGA. He specializes in the ecology of coral reefs. Dr. Porter has testified before Congress five times, most recently on the impact of global warming on coral reefs. His film, Chasing Coral, won first place at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. He has participated in film premieres around the world and in Athens, Georgia.

Agnes Varda: The Most Important Woman Filmmaker in the World (TT) Thursday, October 11
Agnes Varda shot her first feature film in France in 1954. She has been writing, directing, and producing movies ever since. In 2018 she won an Academy Award at age 89. Varda set the stage for the French New Wave and launched a career in fiction films, documentaries, and even museum art installations. Her films include Cleo from 5 to 7 and Vagabond. Richard Neupert, a good friend of Agnes Varda, will share key scenes from her films to provide a lively portrait of her as a truly fascinating, creative force in world cinema. Richard Neupert coordinates the UGA Film Studies program and is President of the Board of the Ciné movie theater. His books include The End, A History of the French New Wave, French Animation History, and John Lasseter. He is the Charles H. Wheatley Professor of the Arts and a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor.

China’s Transition to Global Power Under Xi Jinping (TC) Tuesday, October 23
Clifton Pannell will examine the recent shift in China’s Communist Party leadership following the 19th Party Congress in October, 2017, and recently affirmed by China’s 13th National People’s Congress in March, 2018. The party’s acceptance of this shift shows the clear continuing consolidation of power of President and Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping. Class discussion will focus on Xi and the current senior leaders whom he has maneuvered in place and the implications of this for China’s domestic development and foreign affairs. Clifton Pannell is professor of geography and associate dean of the Franklin College of Arts & Sciences emeritus at UGA. His teaching and research activities focus on the economic, political, and urban geography of China and East Asia. He was educated at UNC, Chapel Hill (BA), Univ. of Virginia (MA), and the University of Chicago (PhD). After retiring from UGA, Pannell served as visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Oregon.

Understanding American Muslims: Past and Present (TC) Tuesday, November 6
Because education is the best vaccine against discrimination, the Council on American-Muslim Relations of Georgia regularly delivers informative presentations about American Muslims to audiences across Georgia, including church groups, mosque visitors, civic organizations, and political activists. In this presentation CAIR Georgia Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell will explain the basics of who Muslims are, what Muslims believe, and what Muslims practice before answering questions about those and other topics, including current events. Audience members are encouraged to ask anything and everything on their minds. Edward Ahmed Mitchell is a Muslim-American attorney who serves as Executive Director of the Georgia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Mitchell, a graduate of Morehouse College and Georgetown University Law Center, previously served as a criminal prosecutor for the City of Atlanta. He is also an editor of, a member of the Georgia Association of Muslim Lawyers, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Community Center of Atlanta.

Kicking Ash & Taking Names: A David-and-Goliath Battle, 2016 (TC) Thursday, Nov. 29
Dink NeSmith has led his hometown of Jesup’s fight to keep the second-largest waste-management company in America from dumping millions of tons of toxic coal ash in its privately owned landfill. The company’s biggest shareholder is Bill Gates. Since January 2016, NeSmith has written 85 personal columns on the issue. On April 24, 2018, he went to Washington to testify before the EPA. So far, no more coal ash has been dumped in Wayne County. Dink NeSmith is a 1970 graduate of the University of Georgia. In 1972 the Jesup native borrowed $3,000 to get into the newspaper business. Today he is president and co-owner of Athens-based Community Newspapers Inc., publisher of more than two dozen newspapers in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. A former chairman of USG’s Board of Regents, NeSmith and his wife Pam live in Oglethorpe County at their Historic Smithonia Farm. They have three children and eight grandchildren.

Reflections of a Former Director of UGA’s Performing Arts Center (TC) Tuesday, December 4
During a 44-year-long career of presenting concerts, a person goes to a lot of performances, meets a lot of interesting people, and collects a lot of stories about the experiences . . . many of them quite humorous. From securing a gallon of specially bottled spring water from Texas and a watermelon in the dead of winter for Willie Nelson’s bus to learning how to make Kathleen Battle’s bed under the critically watchful eye of the diva herself, every new day brought fascinating and ever-changing challenges. In his presentation, George Foreman will recount his most memorable incidents as a presenter. George Foreman became the director of the UGA Performing Arts Center in January, 2010. He stepped down from that position in January, 2018, and became a full-time faculty member at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. Foreman earned his PhD in musicology at the University of Kansas, and in addition to his work as a concert presenter, he is a nationally recognized authority on wind bands in 19th century America.