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Wine Stories: History, Myths, Regions and Trends

This class is currently full. Please contact us to be wait listed.

Wine Stories: History, Myths, Regions and Trends-* class in session
Ian Taplin

Mondays  March 25 – April 29   5:30 – 7:30 pm
Class Location-  Footnote – 634 W. Fourth Street, Suite 120

Reminder: The $70 annual membership fee is being waived for all new Lifelong Learning members for Spring 2019 term

This course takes an eclectic approach to stories about wine. We will start by examining some recent trends in wine production and consumption – who is drinking what, what the trends between old world and new world wine production are. What wines are popular in the USA and what do we know about the demographics of wine drinkers? Do men and women like different types; what are young people drinking these days?

Then we plunge into history and look at the origins and development of wine making in a world famous area – Bordeaux. How does that market currently operate? We then consider the inscrutable issues of terroir. What does it really mean and what does its chequered history tell us about politics and power as much as about wine? We then look at the growth of a wine industry in the USA, focusing upon two regions: Napa and North Carolina. In the former we trace the story behind early wine making and all of its challenges and then consider events of the last few decades that have led to the growth of iconic wines from that region. Then we turn to the local scene and examine the history of wine making in NC. From the early struggles to grow grapes, the role of the Moravians, the stark competition with hard liquor, Prohibition and then finally an industry resurgence in the 1970s. What is the current state of the industry? What better way of answering that question can be found in a tasting of some NC wines which will conclude the course.

Ian Taplin, Professor of Sociology and International Studies at Wake Forest University, has spent the past decade researching and writing about wine. Specifically he has examined the rise of iconic or cult wines in Napa, recently organizing a trip for the Business School Board of Visitors to that region to meet winery owners. He has also written a book on the history of the NC wine industry (The Modern American Wine Industry, Pickering & Chatto, 2011) and currently serves on the North Carolina Grape Council. Finally he is a Visiting Professor at Kedge Business School Bordeaux where he teaches in the wine mba programme and has published his research of classified growth wines in that region.

Making Modern American Art

This class is currently full. Please contact us to be wait listed.

Making Modern American Art-*class in session
Allison Slaby
Tuesdays  March 12 – April 16    11 am – 12 noon (one hour meeting per week)
Class Location-  Reynolda House Museum of American Art

Note: The course fee for this class is $75

What makes modern art modern? In the twentieth century, artists began to focus on form and color in art rather than narrative subjects or accurate records of objects or scenes. Increasingly, artists used their paintings to record their gestures in space rather than the physical world in front of them, resulting eventually in pure abstraction. Even artists who retained their hold on the figure or the natural world emphasized the formal qualities of their work over subject matter. In this course, we’ll explore ways of experiencing modern art that go beyond attempts to puzzle out meaning. This course will be held in conjunction with the Spring 2019 exhibition at Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Hopper to Pollock: American Modernism from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. The course will be held at Reynolda House and taught by Reynolda’s curator, Allison Slaby.

Allison Slaby is the curator at Reynolda House Museum of American Art. At the museum, she has curated over twenty exhibitions, including the Fall 2016 exhibition, Grant Wood and the American Farm.  She has recently published a paper entitled “Grant Wood’s Agrarian Landscapes:  Myth, Memory, and Control” in Formations of Identity: Society, Politics and Landscape (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2016). She earned her master’s degree in art history, specializing in American art, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Before coming to Reynolda House, she held positions at Harvard University and at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library in Washington, D.C.

Leonardo and Michelangelo in Their Time

This class is currently full. Please contact us to be wait listed.

Leonardo and Michelangelo in Their Time-*class currently in session
Dr. Bernadine Barnes
Mondays  1 – 3 pm   March 18 – April 22

Class Location-  Brookstown Campus

In this course, you will learn about the human side of two great Renaissance artists, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. They were often rivals, but they had much in common, and both worked within a culture that was at once open to discovery, socially restricted, and politically tumultuous. Some of the works we’ll look at are well-known, others less so, but all reflect the complex times in which the artists lived.

There are many books on both of these artists. Walter Isaacson’s recent biography of Leonardo is well-researched and engaging. I also recommend my own book, Michelangelo and the Viewer in his Time for an overview of that artist’s work.

Dr. Bernadine Barnes teaches Renaissance art at Wake Forest, where she is professor of art history and chair of the art department. She has published three books on Michelangelo, including her most recent work, Michelangelo and the Viewer in his Time.

The Book of Psalms: Poetry and Spirituality

The Book of Psalms: Poetry and Spirituality-*Class in session
Dr. Neal Walls
Fridays  March 8 – April 12     10 am – 12 noon
Class Location-  Brookstown Campus

While much of the Bible purports to be God speaking to humanity, the Book of Psalms is a record of humans speaking to God in their emotional heights and depths. The poet Alicia Ostriker notes that “the Psalms are both glorious and terrible, both attractive and repulsive” in their emotional expressions of abiding trust in God and in their raw expression of anger and alienation. The psalms are “poems of emotional turbulence,” encompassing loving hymns, heartfelt thanksgiving, soulful laments, and violent imprecations. This class will engage in a close reading of selections from the Book of Psalms as ancient Hebrew poetry and as resources for contemporary spirituality. The course moves from an examination of the psalms’ original Jewish context, through an exploration of their numerous genres and literary styles, to their value in individual and communal contemplative practices today.

A scholar of the Hebrew Bible and related ancient Near Eastern texts, Dr. Walls is fascinated by the breadth, depth, and complexity of Old Testament literature. He is the author of two books, The Goddess Anat in Ugaritic Myth and Desire, Discord and Death: Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Myth, and the editor of a book on divine images. Dr. Walls has previously taught Lifelong Learning classes on the City of Jerusalem, the Old Testament and on Demons and Angels. He is currently engaged in research on topics in ancient Near Eastern mythology and Genesis 1-11, and enjoys leading pilgrimages and travel programs in the Middle East and Africa.

Constitutional Law: Rights and Liberties

Constitutional Law: Rights and Liberties- *Class in session
Shannon Gilreath
Thursdays   1 – 3 pm  February 7 – March 14

Class Location-  Brookstown Campus

This course will provide a waterfront view of U.S. constitutional law, with particular emphasis on the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment and the 1st Amendment’s speech and religion clauses. After our survey of the important cases, students should be able to better understand the legal and political realities underlying arguments about constitutional rights, better apprehend applicable constitutional rules, and better understand the evolution of those rules over time.

Shannon Gilreath is a Professor of Law at the Wake Forest University School of Law. He has taught constitutional law, litigated constitutional cases, and was recently named one of the most influential constitutional scholars in the country by the National Constitution Center.

Why Business? Creating Value in a Humane and Just Society

Why Business? Creating Value in a Humane and Just Society-  *Class complete
Matthew Phillips
Tuesdays    January 29  – March 5   5:30 – 7:30 pm
Class Location-  Wake Downtown – Room 1505

Reminder: The $70 annual membership fee is being waived for all new Lifelong Learning members for Spring 2019 term

When you work in a business organization or decide to start a new company, are you doing the best thing for your community? We’ll look at the data about human prosperity and the best theory from the most ardent supporters and fiercest critics of the free market system to explore the role of business in a humane and just society. With an understanding of that system, we’ll explore what works and doesn’t about market economies. Most importantly, we will consider the role of business professionals in creating value, insuring broad prosperity, and stewarding the profession of business.

Matthew Phillips teaches courses in business law and ethics across the Wake Forest University Business School’s undergraduate and graduate programs, and he serves as director of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism, which focuses on the connections of business and capitalism to a humane and just society. He leverages a passion for innovative teaching and experience as a tax and estate planning lawyer to engage students with the practical intersections of law and business, but also emphasizes the underlying principles that will shape managers’ interaction with law and ethical decision-making throughout their careers. He has received awards for excellence in teaching and was named the 2015 Charles M. Hewitt Master Teacher by the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. Matthew received undergraduate and law degrees from Wake Forest and a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University, where he focused on the intersections of law and religion in American history.

Europe in the Interwar Years: From Versailles to Danzig

Europe in the Interwar Years: From Versailles to Danzig- *Class complete

Dr. Charles Thomas
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Class Location-  Kulynych Auditorium, Byrum Welcome Center, Wake Forest University Main Campus

Schedule of Class Meeting Times:
Wednesday January 30
Wednesday February 6
Wednesday February 13
Monday February 18
Tuesday February 26
Wednesday March 6

**PLEASE NOTE: Due to availability constraints of the meeting space, this class has an irregular meeting schedule. 


This course picks up where Dr. Charles Thomas’s very popular Lifelong Learning course on World War I ended: the remarkable and controversial period of history between the two World Wars. In 1919 delegates of the victorious Allied and Associated Powers converged on the city of Paris to bring a formal end to the First World War and create a viable peace settlement for Europe and the world. Visionaries such as the American president, Woodrow Wilson, envisioned that they were making the world “safe for democracy.” When he saw the outlines of the postwar settlement, however, the supreme Allied military commander, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, allegedly observed “This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years.” Foch was correct almost to the exact day, for on September 1, 1939, twenty years, two months, and three days after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Adolf Hitler, himself a veteran of the First World War, initiated the Second World War by invading Poland. We will begin with the Paris Peace settlement of 1919 and move week by week across different European states, studying the ways that each country attempted to achieve stability, prosperity and security in the 1920s and 1930s, culminating with the succession of crises that led Europe back into war.

Dr. Charles S. Thomas is Emeritus Professor of History at Georgia Southern University and Visiting Professor of History at Wake Forest University. He is a specialist in the two World Wars of the twentieth century. He has taught in the Lifelong Learning Program regularly since its first year, and his classes are immensely popular.