Fine art, Shakespeare, politics, philanthropy, “Fake news,” and ballroom dancing are among the subjects to be presented on two consecutive Fridays, Oct. 13 & 20, during Purdue University Northwest’s seventh annual Friday University.
Intended for adult learners of all ages, the classes aim for intellectual enrichment through a variety of interesting discussions in expert-led workshops without the pressure of pre-requisites or tests. All classes will be held at PNW’s Hammond Campus.
“Friday University has been an enormously popular program since its inception seven years ago. The idea of Friday University was actually brought to PNW by a local community activist,” said Friday University Executive Producer Richard Rupp. “We’ve been working with our friends in the community for a number of years on this continuing quest to offer a diverse range of courses from the sciences to the arts. We have expanded this year’s classes to range from a panel on politics in the Region with The Times Publisher Chris White and several reporters to an awesome class on the history of jazz.”
Registration now open for Friday University
The registration fee is $90 per day or $170 for both days. An individual day includes Continental breakfast, two morning classes, lunch, and one afternoon class. “A Taste of Thai” and “Wine Tasting 101” each has an additional lab fee of $12. The duration of each class is 90 minutes.
Following is the Friday University course schedule:
Friday, Oct. 13
9 – 10:30 a.m.
- “Objectivity, Analysis and Discernment in the Age of Trump” – (Instructors Richard Rupp, Lisa Goodnight and Prudence Gourguechon). Engage with a political scientist, a communication scholar, and a prominent psychiatrist as they maintain their professional objectivity while their personal values and beliefs conflict with the subjects of their analysis.
- “50 Shades of Color: The Fine Arts in Northwest Indiana” – (Instructor Judith Jacobi). Wear comfortable shoes and participate in an enlightening walking-tour through the evolution and significance of more than 50 abstract paintings, artistic displays and amazing sculptures thoughtfully placed throughout the PNW campus buildings and grounds.
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
- “The Times Panel” – (Panelists include The Times of Northwest Indiana publisher and news team). Meet The Times editors and reporters you have been reading for years and learn how The Times and the Region are charging forward with game-changing projects like the South Shore rail expansion, transit-oriented development, environmental initiatives, and demands for better and more accountable government.
- “The Aesthetics of Ruins: Old and New” – (Instructor Renee Conroy). Are the dilapidated civic structures in places like Gary (Ind.) and Detroit (Mich.) challenging the standard philosophical views with respect to artistic ruins? Explore the recent cultural phenomena associated with “Rust Belt ruins”. This course will examine whether these structures deserve the aesthetic regard essentially connected to the age value and the romantic sublime associated with ruin appreciation.
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
- “Adventures in Latin America” – (Instructors Kenneth Kincaid and Janet Davis). Recently back from studying abroad in Cuba and Nicaragua, these faculty members will be joined by several students who will share their experiences and demonstrate the importance of travel at an early age.
- “A Taste of Thai” – (Instructor Timothy O’Donnell). Learn to cook authentic Thai recipes in PNW’s state-of-the-art kitchen. With PNW students ready to assist, explore the unique ingredients, elegant techniques, and the sometimes fiery recipes of this distinctive southeast Asian cuisine.
- “Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash” – (Instructor Cathy Gilotti). Take a hard look at the book that grapples with individual and societal consumption, waste management, landfills, recycling, climate change and much more.
Friday, Oct. 20
9 – 10:30 a.m.
- “Impact Investing: Unlocking New Resources for Northwest Indiana”— (Instructor Ryan Strode). Learn how impact investing – making for-profit investments that offer both a social and financial return – can help unlock exponentially more capital for good in northwest Indiana, contributing to economic development while strengthening the sustainability of the organizations we support.
- “Ballroom Dancing”— (Instructor Vanessa Quinn). Kick up your heels and join our coach on a tour of the great ballroom dancing styles. Explore the history and significance of both international and American styles of dance. Students will experience the Foxtrot, Waltz, and Tango. No partner required. Dancing shoes encouraged.
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
- “Post-Truth and Fake News: The New Logic of Political Belief”— (Instructor John Rowan). Despite the evident problems stemming from this approach, “Post-truth” tactics seem to work and the fact that examples of “Fake news” ensue from it should not be surprising. This course offers insights and explanations into the phenomena we are all experiencing.
- “The Future is Here: Science and Imagination at Purdue Northwest”— (Instructors Chenn Zhou and Jack Moreland). Ready for a tour into the future? The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) is a nationally and internationally recognized institution that offers 21st Century technologies to create virtual worlds for innovative solutions that solve real-world problems. Students will be invited into the amazing CIVS Immersive Theater where they will see the 21st and even 22nd Century on display. Learn about the role PNW has played in modernizing the local steel industry’s blast furnace and the center’s impact on economic development and environmental quality in northwest Indiana and around the world.
- “Lobster Hormones: Real Science or Just Another Tasty Dinner?”— (Instructor Chris Holford). The American lobster has become an iconic culinary delight. This seminar will include an examination of the life history of lobsters, including the science behind reproduction, growth and development of these crustaceans. Whether you are interested in the science or just want to be the best informed guest at dinner, this seminar holds something for you.
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
- “Wine Tasting 101” — (Instructor Michael Flannery). Participate in a wine tasting tour d’ force and learn the five S’s of Wine Tasting: Sight, Swirl, Smell, Sip, and Savor. In addition to sampling an array of wines, students will learn about pairing wines with food and how to enjoy the entire experience!
- “Is Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice Anti-Semitic?”— (Instructor Mitchell Brown). The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s supreme masterpieces. It is also one of his most controversial works. Over the centuries it has been used as an exemplar of racism as well as a plea for tolerance. Which is correct? A wide-ranging discussion will allow us to see the play in all its complexity.
- “Jazz: The 20th Century Theme Song for America”— (Instructor Neil Nemeth). Jazz has been described as America’s classical music and our country’s most significant contribution to the history of music. This lecture will explore the history of jazz through its business practices, technological developments, and cultural/entertainment/political considerations.
Registration and additional course details are available online.
Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two Northwest Indiana campuses in Hammond and Westville. With more than 15,000 students enrolled last fall and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university.