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UPCOMING EVENTS

Gain perspective on significant moments in history. Learn about people and cultures from around the globe. Prepare for your post-career life. Investigate the latest break throughs in science and technology.

LearningLife offers a high level of academic learning taught by outstanding faculty and community experts at world-class university. Costs range from $15-$160, depending on the number of sessions offered and their length.

Once you register, you become a member of the Learning Circle, which entitles you to discounts on future courses and events. Visit the Discounts page for full details on this and other discount programs.

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Courses and Events Listing

Art and Design

Renaissance Lives: The Men and Women Who Made the Modern World
From Michelangelo, Borgia, and Montaigne, to Cervantes, Machiavelli, and Elizabeth I, this course surveys the incandescent figures of the 15th and 16th centuries whose achievements defined the Renaissance and helped shape the world we now recognize as our own.

Unblocking Your Brain
Are you starting to think of yourself as that hamster on the wheel, always running, running, but never getting anywhere? There are things you want to achieve, but you can't get started, or worse, you start, but give up halfway? Relax, it's not you. It's your brain! In this action-packed immersion, you'll learn tools to unblock your brain and kick-start your creativity.

Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School
In the early 20th century, architect Frank Lloyd Wright revolutionized American architecture. With a belief that homes must be in unity with their environment, he transformed our notions of what a house could, or even should, be. This three-session lecture and home tour will introduce you to Wright's vision and the "Prairie School" of architecture.

Jewish History Through Song
For more than 2,000 years, Jewish people have been global wanderers, living among many cultures--from Iran to Israel, to the Western Mediterranean and North Africa, and most recently, the Americas. This journey has fostered a strong musical tradition that defies geography. We'll explore the complex and beautiful world of Jewish song, one that encompasses tradition while preserving history.

Inside the Ceramics Studio: The Aesthetic Practice of Two Minnesota Potters
Learn about the history of the vital culture of ceramics in Minnesota--how it began and how it has continued to inspire artists both here and elsewhere. After a morning presentation, you'll take your knowledge on the road, see some fall color, and visit the studios of two renowned ceramists in order to learn their working processes and methods, and further explore our state's dynamic clay culture.

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Encore Transitions

Encore Transitions Series: Preparing for Post-Career Life
What might your meaningful post-career life look like? What are your preferred routes for getting there? Will you have enough income? Will you want or need to continue working? How will you maintain a sense of purpose in your daily life? Encore Transitions is a pioneering series of courses designed to help you create pathways and prepare for a successful post-career life.

Encore Transitions: Pathways to Post-Career Life
Satisfying transitions may be marked by life-changing beginnings and endings, but they are bolstered by continuity. In Pathways to Post-Career Life, you will trace your journey, consider what's worth keeping and/or changing, and look for the routes you may take (and the detours you might encounter!), as you create pathways to the next stage of life.

Encore Transitions: Aging Well/Being Well
Did you know that as we get older, we become less like one another? This allows us to define good health and healthy longevity for ourselves. This course will explore the physical and social aspects of positive aging, and include discussions about the roles of resiliency, wellness, and well-being.

Encore Transitions: Making the Most of Post-Career Life: Money, Working, Helping
This course looks at the many different scenarios of retirement, including issues related to volunteering; new and traditional options for service; financial expectations and planning; and sculpting a lifestyle that fosters purpose, meaning, and a sense of accomplishment.

Encore Transitions: Launching Your Future
Whether it involves work, family, health, lifestyle, or where we call home, some form of encore transition is an inevitable part of life. But how do we prevent these changes from imposing themselves on us and instead, take positive action that allows us to steer our own ship and make our own choices? This course will help you take the daunting leap from thought to action.

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History and Society

Renaissance Lives: The Men and Women Who Made the Modern World
From Michelangelo, Borgia, and Montaigne, to Cervantes, Machiavelli, and Elizabeth I, this course surveys the incandescent figures of the 15th and 16th centuries whose achievements defined the Renaissance and helped shape the world we now recognize as our own.

When Champagne Became French: Wine, War, and the Creation of a National Identity
While Champagne, the region, sits squarely in France, what is it that really makes champagne French? From the Franco-Prussian War to the modern vineyards of Champagne, join historian John Kim Munholland and wine expert Jason Kallsen on this action-packed journey through the history of champagne, the world's most-prized sparkling wine. The final session includes a champagne tasting. A votre sante!

The Philosophy of Aging
From infancy and childhood to old age and the possibility of an afterlife, this immersion explores aging from many points of view. We will compare the chronological, biological, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of aging, and ask questions such as, why is old age honored in some, but not all cultures? What are the responsibilities that come with age? What do children owe their parents and vice versa?

Unfriending Al-Qaida: The Rise of a Post-Bin Laden Internet Generation
Join Jarret Brachman, an internationally renowned counterterrorism specialist, to learn about the current state of Al-Qaida and how some of its members are using social media to wage a war amongst one another. From #greenbirds to #blackflags, Brachman will give you an insider's look at the movement's online spaces, products, and conversations. He's not called a "laptop James Bond" for nothin'.

Inside the Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court is the most opaque of all the institutions of our federal government. This three-session course is an in-depth look into what makes the court tick: how justices are selected and cases decided, and how there are politics (always politics!) behind every docket.

In the Shadow of War
Even after it has ended, war continues to cast shadows over all who are touched by it, either directly or indirectly, and this course will focus on two novels that examine war's aftermath. Structured like a monthly book club, two sessions will be dedicated to Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng's, The Garden of Evening Mists, and the final session to Canadian author Frances Itani's, Deafening.

All Hail Hops! A Beer Love Affair
Come hopping with us this fall! Minnesota's love affair with hops has reached epic proportions: every day, another craft brewery pops up and another tantalizing new beer is on tap. Come find out what hops is, what it does to your beer, and what all the fuss is about in this four-session tour de hops.

Science in the News
Let's go! LearningLife participants are big readers (don't be shy!) who love timely, thought-provoking material that engages and inspires. Join us for this one-of-a-kind, salon-style course that will find its subject matter in the weekly "Science Times" section of the New York Times. Bring your coffee and your opinions! There's room for everyone at the table.

A Tenuous Balance: Human Impact on the Environment in the 21st Century
Simply put, we humans have overstayed our welcome on this grand planet: because of our actions, Earth's natural resources have been drastically compromised, leading to widespread loss of diversity. Join an internationally recognized ecologist to discover what scientists and researchers are doing on the front lines to restore the health of our planet.

Drones: The ABC's of UAVs
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, have been on the public's radar because of their military applications, but they are also being used in more creative, and environmentally conscientious, ways. This seminar will explore not only the history of drones, but also their future (hint: cows are involved).

Genomes: Understanding The Body's Ancestry
It's complicated, but grasshoppers and elephants are built from the same arrangement of just four chemical bases. How? A little (and huge) thing called genomes. In this fascinating seminar, participants will discover the amazing world of ancestry and genomes and how they hold the key to what makes you you.

Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School
In the early 20th century, architect Frank Lloyd Wright revolutionized American architecture. With a belief that homes must be in unity with their environment, he transformed our notions of what a house could, or even should, be. This three-session lecture and home tour will introduce you to Wright's vision and the "Prairie School" of architecture.

Jewish History Through Song
For more than 2,000 years, Jewish people have been global wanderers, living among many cultures--from Iran to Israel, to the Western Mediterranean and North Africa, and most recently, the Americas. This journey has fostered a strong musical tradition that defies geography. We'll explore the complex and beautiful world of Jewish song, one that encompasses tradition while preserving history.

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Literature and Reading

In the Shadow of War
Even after it has ended, war continues to cast shadows over all who are touched by it, either directly or indirectly, and this course will focus on two novels that examine war's aftermath. Structured like a monthly book club, two sessions will be dedicated to Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng's, The Garden of Evening Mists, and the final session to Canadian author Frances Itani's, Deafening.

The Native Woman in Literature
From the doe-eyed princess on your tub of creamy butter to the inarticulate Tiger Lily in Peter Pan, the American imagination has proved stubbornly unimaginative when it comes to the portrayal of Native women. In this book club, we'll read the work of three Native women who are leading a re-examination and renaissance of the Native woman in literature.

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Living Well

The Philosophy of Aging
From infancy and childhood to old age and the possibility of an afterlife, this immersion explores aging from many points of view. We will compare the chronological, biological, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of aging, and ask questions such as, why is old age honored in some, but not all cultures? What are the responsibilities that come with age? What do children owe their parents and vice versa?

Encore Transitions Series: Preparing for Post-Career Life
What might your meaningful post-career life look like? What are your preferred routes for getting there? Will you have enough income? Will you want or need to continue working? How will you maintain a sense of purpose in your daily life? Encore Transitions is a pioneering series of courses designed to help you create pathways and prepare for a successful post-career life.

Encore Transitions: Pathways to Post-Career Life
Satisfying transitions may be marked by life-changing beginnings and endings, but they are bolstered by continuity. In Pathways to Post-Career Life, you will trace your journey, consider what's worth keeping and/or changing, and look for the routes you may take (and the detours you might encounter!), as you create pathways to the next stage of life.

Encore Transitions: Aging Well/Being Well
Did you know that as we get older, we become less like one another? This allows us to define good health and healthy longevity for ourselves. This course will explore the physical and social aspects of positive aging, and include discussions about the roles of resiliency, wellness, and well-being.

Encore Transitions: Making the Most of Post-Career Life: Money, Working, Helping
This course looks at the many different scenarios of retirement, including issues related to volunteering; new and traditional options for service; financial expectations and planning; and sculpting a lifestyle that fosters purpose, meaning, and a sense of accomplishment.

Encore Transitions: Launching Your Future
Whether it involves work, family, health, lifestyle, or where we call home, some form of encore transition is an inevitable part of life. But how do we prevent these changes from imposing themselves on us and instead, take positive action that allows us to steer our own ship and make our own choices? This course will help you take the daunting leap from thought to action.

All Hail Hops! A Beer Love Affair
Come hopping with us this fall! Minnesota's love affair with hops has reached epic proportions: every day, another craft brewery pops up and another tantalizing new beer is on tap. Come find out what hops is, what it does to your beer, and what all the fuss is about in this four-session tour de hops.

Unblocking Your Brain
Are you starting to think of yourself as that hamster on the wheel, always running, running, but never getting anywhere? There are things you want to achieve, but you can't get started, or worse, you start, but give up halfway? Relax, it's not you. It's your brain! In this action-packed immersion, you'll learn tools to unblock your brain and kick-start your creativity.

Curing Cancer
Cancer + uncertainty = fear. "The Big C" is one of our most prevalent diseases, yet most of us, even those of us who have a connection to the disease, have no understanding of its origins or its various treatments. This two-session course is your introduction to cancer: how it begins, how it spreads, how to treat it, how to live with it, and what exciting new therapies are being researched.

Inside the Ceramics Studio: The Aesthetic Practice of Two Minnesota Potters
Learn about the history of the vital culture of ceramics in Minnesota--how it began and how it has continued to inspire artists both here and elsewhere. After a morning presentation, you'll take your knowledge on the road, see some fall color, and visit the studios of two renowned ceramists in order to learn their working processes and methods, and further explore our state's dynamic clay culture.

rss link icon

Science and the Environment

Extravagant Creatures: Your Dinosaur Primer
The dinosaur is at once mythic and homespun (T. rex, often portrayed as a monster, has since been found to have surprisingly maternal instincts). They are, as instructor Kristina Curry Rogers says, "biological superlatives." Join us for a journey of everything dinosaur: from paleobiology to evolution to the big boys (and girls) themselves, you'll learn everything you need to know about this magnificent creature.

Curing Cancer
Cancer + uncertainty = fear. "The Big C" is one of our most prevalent diseases, yet most of us, even those of us who have a connection to the disease, have no understanding of its origins or its various treatments. This two-session course is your introduction to cancer: how it begins, how it spreads, how to treat it, how to live with it, and what exciting new therapies are being researched.

Raptors: Diversity, Anatomy, Flight
This course offers the opportunity to study with three members of the University Raptor Center's highly trained staff. World-renowned for their work with these remarkable birds, you will learn to identify raptor species found in Minnesota, as well as species' migration patterns, roles in the ecosystem, and ultimately, how those roles influence the cycle of species' diversity.

Science in the News
Let's go! LearningLife participants are big readers (don't be shy!) who love timely, thought-provoking material that engages and inspires. Join us for this one-of-a-kind, salon-style course that will find its subject matter in the weekly "Science Times" section of the New York Times. Bring your coffee and your opinions! There's room for everyone at the table.

A Tenuous Balance: Human Impact on the Environment in the 21st Century
Simply put, we humans have overstayed our welcome on this grand planet: because of our actions, Earth's natural resources have been drastically compromised, leading to widespread loss of diversity. Join an internationally recognized ecologist to discover what scientists and researchers are doing on the front lines to restore the health of our planet.

Drones: The ABC's of UAVs
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, have been on the public's radar because of their military applications, but they are also being used in more creative, and environmentally conscientious, ways. This seminar will explore not only the history of drones, but also their future (hint: cows are involved).

Genomes: Understanding The Body's Ancestry
It's complicated, but grasshoppers and elephants are built from the same arrangement of just four chemical bases. How? A little (and huge) thing called genomes. In this fascinating seminar, participants will discover the amazing world of ancestry and genomes and how they hold the key to what makes you you.

rss link icon

World View

Renaissance Lives: The Men and Women Who Made the Modern World
From Michelangelo, Borgia, and Montaigne, to Cervantes, Machiavelli, and Elizabeth I, this course surveys the incandescent figures of the 15th and 16th centuries whose achievements defined the Renaissance and helped shape the world we now recognize as our own.

When Champagne Became French: Wine, War, and the Creation of a National Identity
While Champagne, the region, sits squarely in France, what is it that really makes champagne French? From the Franco-Prussian War to the modern vineyards of Champagne, join historian John Kim Munholland and wine expert Jason Kallsen on this action-packed journey through the history of champagne, the world's most-prized sparkling wine. The final session includes a champagne tasting. A votre sante!

The Philosophy of Aging
From infancy and childhood to old age and the possibility of an afterlife, this immersion explores aging from many points of view. We will compare the chronological, biological, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of aging, and ask questions such as, why is old age honored in some, but not all cultures? What are the responsibilities that come with age? What do children owe their parents and vice versa?

Unfriending Al-Qaida: The Rise of a Post-Bin Laden Internet Generation
Join Jarret Brachman, an internationally renowned counterterrorism specialist, to learn about the current state of Al-Qaida and how some of its members are using social media to wage a war amongst one another. From #greenbirds to #blackflags, Brachman will give you an insider's look at the movement's online spaces, products, and conversations. He's not called a "laptop James Bond" for nothin'.

Inside the Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court is the most opaque of all the institutions of our federal government. This three-session course is an in-depth look into what makes the court tick: how justices are selected and cases decided, and how there are politics (always politics!) behind every docket.

In the Shadow of War
Even after it has ended, war continues to cast shadows over all who are touched by it, either directly or indirectly, and this course will focus on two novels that examine war's aftermath. Structured like a monthly book club, two sessions will be dedicated to Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng's, The Garden of Evening Mists, and the final session to Canadian author Frances Itani's, Deafening.

Extravagant Creatures: Your Dinosaur Primer
The dinosaur is at once mythic and homespun (T. rex, often portrayed as a monster, has since been found to have surprisingly maternal instincts). They are, as instructor Kristina Curry Rogers says, "biological superlatives." Join us for a journey of everything dinosaur: from paleobiology to evolution to the big boys (and girls) themselves, you'll learn everything you need to know about this magnificent creature.

Raptors: Diversity, Anatomy, Flight
This course offers the opportunity to study with three members of the University Raptor Center's highly trained staff. World-renowned for their work with these remarkable birds, you will learn to identify raptor species found in Minnesota, as well as species' migration patterns, roles in the ecosystem, and ultimately, how those roles influence the cycle of species' diversity.

Science in the News
Let's go! LearningLife participants are big readers (don't be shy!) who love timely, thought-provoking material that engages and inspires. Join us for this one-of-a-kind, salon-style course that will find its subject matter in the weekly "Science Times" section of the New York Times. Bring your coffee and your opinions! There's room for everyone at the table.

A Tenuous Balance: Human Impact on the Environment in the 21st Century
Simply put, we humans have overstayed our welcome on this grand planet: because of our actions, Earth's natural resources have been drastically compromised, leading to widespread loss of diversity. Join an internationally recognized ecologist to discover what scientists and researchers are doing on the front lines to restore the health of our planet.

Drones: The ABC's of UAVs
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, have been on the public's radar because of their military applications, but they are also being used in more creative, and environmentally conscientious, ways. This seminar will explore not only the history of drones, but also their future (hint: cows are involved).

Genomes: Understanding The Body's Ancestry
It's complicated, but grasshoppers and elephants are built from the same arrangement of just four chemical bases. How? A little (and huge) thing called genomes. In this fascinating seminar, participants will discover the amazing world of ancestry and genomes and how they hold the key to what makes you you.

Jewish History Through Song
For more than 2,000 years, Jewish people have been global wanderers, living among many cultures--from Iran to Israel, to the Western Mediterranean and North Africa, and most recently, the Americas. This journey has fostered a strong musical tradition that defies geography. We'll explore the complex and beautiful world of Jewish song, one that encompasses tradition while preserving history.

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Saturday Morning Seminars

A Tenuous Balance: Human Impact on the Environment in the 21st Century
Simply put, we humans have overstayed our welcome on this grand planet: because of our actions, Earth's natural resources have been drastically compromised, leading to widespread loss of diversity. Join an internationally recognized ecologist to discover what scientists and researchers are doing on the front lines to restore the health of our planet.

Drones: The ABC's of UAVs
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, have been on the public's radar because of their military applications, but they are also being used in more creative, and environmentally conscientious, ways. This seminar will explore not only the history of drones, but also their future (hint: cows are involved).

Genomes: Understanding The Body's Ancestry
It's complicated, but grasshoppers and elephants are built from the same arrangement of just four chemical bases. How? A little (and huge) thing called genomes. In this fascinating seminar, participants will discover the amazing world of ancestry and genomes and how they hold the key to what makes you you.

rss link icon

One-day Immersions

The Philosophy of Aging
From infancy and childhood to old age and the possibility of an afterlife, this immersion explores aging from many points of view. We will compare the chronological, biological, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of aging, and ask questions such as, why is old age honored in some, but not all cultures? What are the responsibilities that come with age? What do children owe their parents and vice versa?

Unblocking Your Brain
Are you starting to think of yourself as that hamster on the wheel, always running, running, but never getting anywhere? There are things you want to achieve, but you can't get started, or worse, you start, but give up halfway? Relax, it's not you. It's your brain! In this action-packed immersion, you'll learn tools to unblock your brain and kick-start your creativity.

Inside the Ceramics Studio: The Aesthetic Practice of Two Minnesota Potters
Learn about the history of the vital culture of ceramics in Minnesota--how it began and how it has continued to inspire artists both here and elsewhere. After a morning presentation, you'll take your knowledge on the road, see some fall color, and visit the studios of two renowned ceramists in order to learn their working processes and methods, and further explore our state's dynamic clay culture.

rss link icon

View all events by start date

The Native Woman in Literature
Starts: 10/06/2014. three-session course

In the Shadow of War
Starts: 10/09/2014. three-session course

Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School
Starts: 10/09/2014. three-session course

All Hail Hops! A Beer Love Affair
Starts: 10/20/2014. four-session short course

Science in the News
Starts: 10/20/2014. four-session short course

Curing Cancer
Starts: 10/21/2014. two-session course

Inside the Supreme Court
Starts: 10/22/2014. three-session course

Inside the Ceramics Studio: The Aesthetic Practice of Two Minnesota Potters
Starts: 10/25/2014. One-Day Immersion

Encore Transitions Series: Preparing for Post-Career Life
Starts: 10/31/2014. Daytime course

Encore Transitions: Pathways to Post-Career Life
Starts: 10/31/2014. Daytime course

A Tenuous Balance: Human Impact on the Environment in the 21st Century
Starts: 11/01/2014. Saturday morning seminar

Raptors: Diversity, Anatomy, Flight
Starts: 11/06/2014. three-session course

Ebola: Rethinking Global Emergency Response
Starts: 11/06/2014. Headliners: November Edition

Unblocking Your Brain
Starts: 11/08/2014. One-Day Immersion

When Champagne Became French: Wine, War, and the Creation of a National Identity
Starts: 11/10/2014. three-session course

Extravagant Creatures: Your Dinosaur Primer
Starts: 11/11/2014. three-session course

Exploring the University Archives
Starts: 11/11/2014. four-session short course

Renaissance Lives: The Men and Women Who Made the Modern World
Starts: 11/12/2014. four-session short course

Jewish History Through Song
Starts: 11/13/2014. four-session short course

Encore Transitions: Aging Well/Being Well
Starts: 11/14/2014. Daytime course

Drones: The ABCs of UAVs
Starts: 11/15/2014. Saturday morning seminar

Unfriending Al-Qaida: The Rise of a Post-Bin Laden Internet Generation
Starts: 11/19/2014. two-session course

Encore Transitions: Making the Most of Post-Career Life: Money, Working, Helping
Starts: 11/21/2014. Daytime course

Encore Transitions: Launching Your Future
Starts: 12/05/2014. Daytime course

Genomes: Understanding The Body's Ancestry
Starts: 12/06/2014. Saturday morning seminar

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Headliners

Because of the timely nature of Headliners, each month's subject and speaker is announced just weeks before the event. See the Headliners page for details on the next event.


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