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Sherlock Holmes and the Science of Deduction

Sherlock Holmes and the Science of Deduction
Bradley Jones, PhD
Thursdays 3 – 5 pm        May 25 – June 29    Brookstown Campus

The original writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will be used as a guide for the development of the skills of observation and deduction. Each session will open with a discussion of a particular theme from the canon (Victorian women, Holmesian justice, precursors to forensics, natural alkaloids). Following a brief intermission, each session will end with a group activity designed to mimic one of Sherlock Holmes’s famous deductions (describe the owner of a common object, decipher the Dancing Men, analyze fingerprints, explore graphology). Any copy of the complete Sherlock Holmes will suffice for reading material.  We will cover a subset of Doyle’s works.

Brad Jones graduated from Wake Forest with a BS in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. He joined the chemistry faculty at Wake in 1989, and now serves as the Dean of the Graduate School. Dr. Jones’ scholarly interest in analysis quite naturally led to his love of mystery novels, and particularly to the cases of Sherlock Holmes. He has taught a First Year Seminar entitled the “Analytical Methods of Sherlock Holmes” yearly since 1999.

Not Without Laughter: The Role of American Humor in Shaping Culture

Not Without Laughter:
The Role of American Humor in Shaping Culture
Rian Bowie, PhD
First class will meet on Friday, May 26, 12 noon – 2 pm
Remaining classes will be held on Wednesdays May 31 – June 28, 12 noon – 2 pm
Brookstown Campus

From The Onion to SNL, Americans flock to receive a daily dose of humor that is often edgy and, at times, very political. The dominance of SNL, for example, highlights the power of humor in contemporary American political and social discussions. The best humorous or satirical sketches expose the flaws in society while still producing laughter. In this course, we will examine how writers across the generations have utilized humor as a tool to both cut into and heal the wounds that have existed within American political and social life. Readings will include short prose pieces and one-act plays that will range from light and witty to deeply sarcastic. Each will show how humor has been harnessed to speak truth to power and to speak for those whose voices have not always been represented within the mainstream. Writers for this course will include Langston Hughes, Luis Valdez, Julius Lester, Zora Neale Hurston, Mark Twain, Fanny Fern, and Andy Borowitz.

Rian Bowie returns to Lifelong Learning after teaching a very popular class last year on Mark Twain. She is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of English. Her interests include nineteenth century American and African-American Literature and American political satire.


IMPROVment: An Improvisational Movement Class for Brain and Body Health

IMPROVment: An Improvisational Movement Class
For Brain and Body Health
Christina Soriano
June 19 – 23, June 26 – 30, 10 – 11am (M-F both weeks)  Brookstown Campus

NOTE: Additional hour on last day: Friday, June 30, 11 am -12 noon: Presentation about dance and the brain with neuroscientist Dr. Christina Hugenschmidt

All Lifelong Learning members are invited to the final class meeting and the presentation  –  Friday, June 30, 10 am – 12 noon

As we age, our balance sometimes feels compromised and the ability to multi-task can become a challenge. How can we move about in this busy world as confident and expressive movers, promoting good brain and body health? This unique movement class will challenge participants to spontaneously create movement material based on cues such as visual images, rhythmic sensibility, breath, and music. This class will encourage problem solving tactics through movement and at the same time, be a lot of fun! No previous dance experience is necessary. Participants with movement challenges are encouraged to take this class.

In this movement course, participants will be introduced to exercises that:

-nurture a strong community environment
-promote great cardiovascular health
-support each person’s creative contributions as expressive movers and shakers
-encourage moving and reacting spontaneously in space
-share fall and recovery techniques in safe ways
-promote physical and cognitive decision making
-bring spontaneity back to our lives in meaningful ways

Important note: Participants in this class are invited (but not required) to also join Christina and other community members in a rehearsal and performance opportunity, August 1-12 at Wake Forest.  Participants will be involved in an intergenerational dance, with a rehearsal process happening August 1-11, and the performance at Wake Forest’s Brendle Recital Hall on August 12th. The performance will be part of the Carolina Summer Music Festival, featuring live music by Martha Bassett, who will sing Patsy Cline songs!

Christina Soriano is an Associate Professor of Dance at Wake Forest University. She teaches composition, improvisation, modern technique, and a course in conjunction with a chemistry professor entitled Movement and the Molecular. Her work in collaborative scientific studies examines how improvisational dance can help people living with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases, and their carepartners, improve mobility, cognition and balance. She teaches weekly movement classes to people with Parkinson’s Disease and their carepartners. Last year, she and her neuroscience collaborator Christina Hugenschmidt were the presenters at the Fall Lifelong Learning Lecture. More information on Christina’s work can be found at

Older and Wiser: Living Well, Aging Well

Older and Wiser: Living Well, Aging Well
Annamae Giles, MSW
Mondays  1-3 pm          July 10 – August 14      Brookstown Campus

What does current research tells us about aging? What strategies will benefit us as we age? How can we best care for aging loved ones while we also care for ourselves? This informative and interactive class will explore many facets of aging, using hands-on and creative activities. Topics covered will include myths and realities of aging, legal issues, policies and government resources, psychosocial aspects of the older adult, and mindfulness activities.

Annamae T. Giles, MSW has worked in the field of aging and health care for more than 20 years. Annamae is currently a Clinical Instructor for UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work in the Winston-Salem Distance Education Program and Program Coordinator for the Elder Care Choices employee benefit at Senior Services Inc. She has experience working in the fields of rehabilitation, hospital social work, hospice, and aging, and has led many workshops on aging issues. Annamae received her MSW at University of Kentucky.

Health, Disease and Society in the Age of the Black Death

Health, Disease and Society in the Age of the Black Death
Monique O’Connell, PhD and Sharon DeWitte, PhD
Thursdays 2:30 – 4:30 pm
July 13 – August 17
Brookstown Campus

The course will focus on Europe between 1300-1600, with a close look at the Black Death from both literary and scientific perspectives, and an examination of developments in medicine and public health as the Black Death becomes endemic in European society. Fourteenth century Europeans recognized that they were living at a time of calamitous social and political upheaval. Recent scientific discoveries in the history of climate and infectious disease provide exciting new perspectives on how we can understand the history of a society in crisis. We will look at the short and long term effects of the bubonic plague on European society, using Florence and London as case studies.

This interdisciplinary course is co-taught by a historian, Dr. Monique O’Connell of Wake Forest University, and a biological anthropologist, Dr. Sharon DeWitte of the University of South Carolina. Dr. O’Connell teaches courses on Mediterranean and European history in the medieval and early modern period. This is the second class Dr. O’Connell has offered with Lifelong Learning, having taught a class on Machiavelli’s World in 2016. Dr. DeWitte’s primary research interest is infectious disease in the past, how disease shaped population dynamics, and how host and environmental factors affect disease patterns.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Feminism But Were Afraid To Ask!

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Feminism
But Were Afraid to Ask!
Elizabeth Way, PhD
Tuesdays 3 – 5 pm             July 11 – August 15           Brookstown Campus

Was your grandmother or great-grandmother one of the first American women to cast a vote in 1920? What did feminism mean to women back then? What did it mean to men? What about women and men of color? What issues were important to women in the 19th century? From Abigail Adams and Susan B. Anthony to Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, many women and men advocated for changes for women through their writings. In this course, we will explore the early foundations of Enlightenment and first-wave feminism in the United States of America and Europe. From voting rights and education for girls to legal rights and temperance advocacy, the efforts of these amazing women and men changed the face of America forever. Join us on this exciting journey back in time as we trace the history of the early women’s movement, with a few surprises along the way!

Suggested Reading: Miriam Schneir, ed., Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings (Vintage, 1992) ISBN: 9780679753810

Reading Schedule for this class:
11:  Introduction; Video: “Not For Ourselves Alone”; Schneir, Feminism, Part I
(Schneir’s “Introduction” recommended)
18:  Feminism, Part II
25:  Feminism, Part III
1:  Feminism, Part IV
8:  Feminism, Part V
15:  Feminism, Part V continued; film viewing of Suffragette

After completing an undergraduate degree at Wake Forest, Elizabeth Way received an MA in English Literary Studies at Durham University in England, and completed a PhD in English at the University of Georgia. She specializes in British Romanticism, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Gothic, and genre studies. Dr. Way taught a class on Gothic Fiction with Lifelong Learning in 2016.

Professional Baseball: Globalization of the American Pastime

Professional Baseball: Globalization of the American Pastime
Charles Kennedy, PhD
Wednesdays 2:30 – 4:30 pm      July 12 – August 16           Brookstown Campus

Perhaps unlike any other institution in the United States, professional baseball has both reflected and helped to define the changing contours of an imagined American identity since the early Twentieth Century. Today the “American pastime” has become truly globalized. In this class we will look at the history and development of professional baseball in the US, including the MLB, Negro League, minor leagues and the Players Association, the role baseball plays in America’s national identity and ethnic relations, and baseball as a global business and its development in other countries.

Professor Hank Kennedy is a member of the Politics and International Affairs Department at Wake Forest. Dr. Kennedy’s academic specialty is South Asian politics, but his attachment to baseball has been even longer and far more visceral. He cannot remember not being a Yankee fan – it is an integral part of his identity. Growing up in St. Pete Beach, Florida during the era when his beloved Yankees trained in St. Petersburg, Dr. Kennedy was afforded an opportunity to live in the same neighborhood with many major league players and their families. His irrational attachment to the game and to the Yankees has led to his developing a freshman seminar course dealing with professional baseball and globalization, the course upon which our Lifelong Learning course is based.