Emeritus Society Fall 2019

  • Emeritus Society Fall 2019

The goal of the Emeritus Society is to provide stimulating noncredit opportunities for adult learners of all ages. The Society provides a learning environment that affirms the unique attributes that the adult learner brings to the classroom—delight in the joy of learning, intellectual savvy, and substantial life experience. Students are encouraged and supported in pursuing their intellectual interests with like-minded peers. Our college-level courses are designed to satisfy a hunger for intellectual nourishment without the pressure of tests and grades. We invite you to join us.

Kathleen Forbes, Director


The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris: Which and Whose?

Monday and Tuesday, April 15 and 16, 2019: fire breaches the roof, igniting, engulfing the spire at the crossing. At the speed of light images sparked around the world and into the phones held in the hands of the citizens of our global community. Eyes relayed to brains the catastrophe on the Île de la Cité.

Over the next few hours and all through the following week, messages arrived via text and email from friends asking me if I knew, expressing dismay, soliciting what I might be thinking. And as it all transpired, I well understood that my flood of correspondence was but a blip in the digital tide cresting on the subject.

The fire is now extinguished, the extent of the damage apparent and yet to be determined. As an art historian, I think that the event, though certainly profoundly tragic, also presents us with an ideal occasion from which we may celebrate the cathedral, for it is still with us in its wounded present, resonating with history, and now vitally exploring its future.

Within the reach of our classes we shall consider our old friend (for great works of art move into that space in our lives that we reserve for those friends) reminding ourselves of its place in the evolution of architecture, tradition and innovation; its cultural position and meanings—urban, national, continental, global—over its long life among us. And as when conversing with any long-valued acquaintance who is 856 years of age, we will of course recall things we know, things we have forgotten, and even reveal some matters that perhaps this Great Lady has not told us.

  1. Conflagration: The Recent Fire and the Known Status of the Building
  2. The Site: Cathedral and City
  3. Ancestry: The Building Type and Stylistic History Up to 1163 CE
  4. Notre-Dame, Paris: Tradition, Innovation, and Singularities
  5. Restorations and Renovations: Gothic and Gothic Revival
  6. Possible Futures: Proposals and the New Notre-Dame?


    Tuesdays, September 17–October 22
    2:00–3:30 pm
    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church


    Richard Gantt (MA, UNC Chapel Hill, MFA UNC Greensboro) is retired from the UNC Greensboro Department of Art, where he taught art history for over 30 years. His many research interests include architecture, landscape and urban design of 17th century France, and 17th and 18th century architecture, urban planning and nationalist agendas in early modern London.


    The Dangerous Politics of The Middle East

    The Middle East dominates the political headlines of the world’s media today, just as it has done for the past seven decades. Great power interests, religious animosities, the demand for energy resources, regional state politics, and regular bouts of civil and interstate conflict have all made the Middle East the geographical fulcrum for contemporary global politics.

    In this class we will analyze contemporary politics in the Middle East. We will explore the roles of Islam, regional issues, and the Great Powers in the area. We will assess recent Palestinian-Israeli developments, the conflicts in Yemen and Syria, the Iranian challenge, and the aftermath of the Arab Spring, among other significant topics.

    1. Where in the World is the Middle East?
    2. The Great Powers of the Middle East
    3. The Civil War in Islam
    4. The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
    5. Gulf Politics
    6. The Coming War and Why it Will be Worse than All the Rest

    Tuesdays, September 24–November 5 (no class October 15)
    10:00–11:30 am
    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

    Jerry Pubantz (Ph.D. Duke University) is Professor of Political Science and founding dean of UNCG’s Lloyd International Honors College. He is the co-author or editor of six books on the United Nations and is currently writing U.S. Presidents and the United Nations: Internationalism in the Balance for Routledge Press. His other writings include works on the Middle East, American foreign policy, and human rights. Dr. Pubantz is a member of the Middle East Policy Council’s National Advisory Board and former President of the North Carolina Political Science Association. His articles have appeared in the International Encyclopedia of Political Science, ArabiesTrends, and the Turkish Journal of International Relations, among other periodicals. Dr. Pubantz appears regularly on television and radio to discuss Middle East politics and international affairs. He has lectured at universities and colleges across the nation and internationally.


    Christianizing the Roman Empire

    Christianity developed many of its distinctive and enduring ideas and practices before A.D. 300. But Christians were through this time quite disorganized and disputatious, and by the year 300 comprised perhaps only 10% of the population of the Roman Empire. Yet within a century after 300, the Roman Empire became Christian and all other religious practices had been banned and criminalized.

    We will trace this remarkable transformation and consider the many ways that the world of the Roman Empire and Christianity itself changed over the course of the 4th century. Along the way, we’ll note how 4th century developments have framed many of the major issues in Western civilization from that time to the present.

    1. Formation of a Christian Identity, 30–300
    2. Constantine: The Beginnings of Churches and the Church
    3. Does the Father Precede the Son?  Orthodoxy and Heresy, 325–381
    4. Martyrs and Monks
    5. Pagan Pushback and Christian Victory, 361–391
    6. Christianization and Cultural Change

    Thursdays, 3:00–4:30 pm
    September 26–October 31
    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

    Stephen Ruzicka (Ph.D., University Chicago), is Professor of History. He is a recipient of the Alumni Teaching Excellence Award. As an ancient historian he writes about the 4th century B.C., but he likes to talk about everything.


    Lies, Conspiracies, and “Fake News”

    Lies, Conspiracies, and “Fake News” is full.  Please contact SERVE, Inc. (emeritus@serve.org or 336-740-0211) to be placed on the waiting list.

    With so much information available to us in the 21st century, how can we distinguish between what is true and what is false? How do we know which sources to trust? Can we really know anything at all, or is all information equally unreliable? This course provides an overview of the challenges we face in this age of digital information, and how we can equip ourselves to face them. We will focus on information literacy and analytical reasoning skills, discuss the notion of confirmation bias, and practice fact-checking claims on social media in order to identify information that comes from the most objective sources.


    1. Information Overload in the Digital Era
    2. A Brief History of “Fake News”
    3. Confirmation Bias and Logical Fallacies
    4. The Dangers of Spreading Falsehoods
    5. Fact-Checking 101
    6. What Can We Do Now?

    Wednesdays, 2:00–3:30 pm
    September 25–October 30
    Christ United Methodist Church

    Joseph A. Ross (Ph.D., UNC Greensboro) is a historian of human rights, genocide, international law, and the United States’ role in the world. His research examines a group of Americans who participated in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. Dr. Ross has been chosen as a Road Scholar by the North Carolina Humanities Council for his program, “Judging Nazis: John Parker’s Nuremberg Journey.” He has received support for his teaching from the Mellon Foundation Initiative.

    Lies, Conspiracies, and “Fake News” is full.  Please contact SERVE, Inc. (emeritus@serve.org or 336-740-0211) to be placed on the waiting list.


    Dress and Identity: Motivations and Meanings in Social Context

    Have you ever wondered why styles change? Why it’s difficult to find clothing that fits? Where your donations of used clothing really end up? Or maybe you’ve wondered why we even wear clothing at all? Social conventions, roles, and expectations, combined with personal preferences, needs, wants, and desires—all of these factors are important to shaping the nature of dress worn by individuals within a given society.

    Through the exploration of dress across cultures, social groups, and time periods, this series will introduce you to the variety of ways that humans dress the body and the motivations behind them. The role of globalization in the shaping and sharing of styles and what this means for traditional forms of dress will also be considered. The series will conclude with an exploration of the impact of technology and innovation on dress and identity, and a discussion of what dress of the future might look like.

    1. Defining Dress and Identity in Social Context
    2. Theories of Dress: Protection, Adornment, Morality
    3. Who am I? Communicating the Self through Dress
    4. What Goes Around Comes Around: The Fashion System
    5. Global Consumer Culture and the Ubiquitous Gap T-shirt
    6. Design, Technology, and Innovation: What’s the Next Big Thing?

    Thursdays, 2:00–3:30 pm
    September 19–October 24
    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

    Nancy Hodges (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) is the Burlington Industries Professor and Head of the Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies in the Bryan School of Business and Economics. Her research focuses on the dynamics of the global textile and apparel industries as well as consumer marketplace behaviors. She is the 2010 UNCG recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence ,and the 2013 recipient of the Graduate School’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award.


    Swift the Satirist

    At a time when accusations of corruption, lying, and ethnic hatred have become part of our political discourse, we will reread an author who obsessed about these topics nearly three centuries ago. In the 1720s Jonathan Swift wrote two of the greatest satires in the English language: Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal.  With savage indignation he not only ridiculed aspects of the early modern nation, but he also mocked Enlightenment optimism that reason could solve human problems and raised fundamental questions about our species.

    Swift had a unique cultural perspective. An Anglican clergyman of Irish birth and education, he was considered English by many in Ireland and Irish by many in England. When he composed these satires, he was the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin and a fierce opponent of England’s Whig government. To cope with the risks involved, Swift chose impersonation, parody, and irony as his strategies and arranged for anonymous publication.

    1. Swift before Gulliver
    2. Gulliver’s Travels: A Voyage to Lilliput
    3. Gulliver’s Travels: A Voyage to Brobdingnag
    4. Gulliver’s Travels: A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubbdubdrib, Luggnagg, and Japan
    5. Gulliver’s Travels: A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms
    6. A Modest Proposal

    It is recommended that students purchase the paperback edition of Gulliver's Travels: Oxford World's Classics (eds. C. Rawson & I. Higgins), available from online vendors or the Oxford University Press.

    Mondays, 2:00–3:30 pm
    October 7–November 11
    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

    Jim Evans (Ph. D., University of Pennsylvania) is Professor Emeritus of English at UNCG, where he taught and wrote about British and Irish literature for 45 years; he served as department head for a decade. In 2000 Evans received a teaching award from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. He was honored for his leadership and service with UNCG’s Bullard Award in 2013 and North Carolina’s Caswell Award in 2016.

    Shape-Shifting Events in North Carolina History

    North Carolina is often described as being different from her fellow Southern states, uncommitted to slavery and the Confederacy, progressive toward education and commerce, and enlightened regarding Civil Rights. But is that North Carolina’s reality? Or is it, as William Chafe said, a “progressive mystique?” In this course we will critically examine these claims, and in the process develop new ways to understand the history of this state, and explain its place in the nation.   

    We will travel through time as we survey North Carolina history, from colonization to the present. Through these events we will explore themes, other historical developments, and how North Carolina fits into broader United States history. Because this course covers 400 years of state history, it makes no claims to be comprehensive. Each week we will focus on one of the following six major events in North Carolina history.

    1. The Tuscarora War
    2. The Battle of Alamance
    3. Secession
    4. The Wilmington Massacre of 1898
    5. The Loray Mills Strike of 1929
    6. The 1960 Sit-ins

    Wednesdays, 10:00–11:30 am
    September 25–November 6 (no class October 16)
    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

    Virginia L. Summey (Ph.D., UNC Greensboro), is an independent historian and seventh-generation North Carolinian. Her dissertation focused on groundbreaking attorney and Judge Elreta Melton Alexander and the civil rights movement. Currently she is examining the role of white women in North Carolina White Supremacy Movement from 1898–1900. She lives in Winston-Salem with her husband Graham, daughter Hannah, and dog Grits.

    Six Big Ideas in Ancient Philosophy

    This course sketches a picture of the development of philosophical thought in the Ancient Greek and Roman era by examining six big ideas: "Unity," "Change," "the Ideal," "Cause," "Freedom," & "Skepticism." It is an introduction to a philosophical conversation that started over 2,500 years ago and hasn't stopped since. We will find that the questions these figures were asking and the ways they were trying to answer those questions aren't as old-fashioned as the term "ancient" might suggest, and that more often than not, those questions lead us to more questions.


    1. "Unity": Parmenides of Elea starts from a pretty modest premise: "That which is, is. And that which is not, is not." From this, he argues that everything must be one unified and unchanging totality, and that "change" and "plurality" are an illusion.  
    2. "Change": Heraclitus of Ephesus turns Parmenides on his head, cryptically suggesting that we "cannot step into the same river twice." Democritus of Abdera proposes a theory of "atoms" moving through the "void" to account for why things seem to change.
    3. "The Ideal": Plato borrows from Socrates and the Pythagoreans to work out a theory of the relationship between eternal ideal forms and the destructible, changeable world of sensory experience. A key puzzle in this theory concerns the soul, and whether it can exist after the body is destroyed.
    4. "Cause": Aristotle notes that Plato's ideal forms represent just one of four possible ways of responding to  a "why" question with a "because" answer. Out of this, he develops an account of human virtue that requires us to train the irrational parts of our souls.
    5. "Freedom": A slave named Epictetus and an emperor of Rome named Marcus Aurelius both argue that happiness is within our grasp, so long as we can stop worrying about what isn't in our control and focus on what is.  
    6. "Skepticism": Socrates famously claimed that the greatest human wisdom lies in knowing what one doesn't know. Subsequent thinkers from Pyrrho of Elis to Sextus Empiricus explore what it means to commit ourselves to the prospect that we don't know anything.  

    Mondays, 11:00–12:30 pm
    September 23–November 4 (no class October 14)
    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

    Adam Rosenfield (Ph.D., Stony Brook University) teaches in the Department of Philosophy at UNC Greensboro. He specializes in Philosophy of Science and Technology, particularly with respect to the technological aspects of scientific inquiry and the epistemic dimensions of technological systems. Additionally, Dr. Rosenfeld has a background in the history of philosophy (especially ancient philosophy), hermeneutics, and phenomenology.

    The Global Detective: Crime and the Avengers in Mystery Fiction

    Raymond Chandler, one of the creators of what are still called “hardboiled” detective novels, described the detective as an unlikely hero:  

    “He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him.”

    People in just about every corner of the planet love to read about this lonely figure who solves the crime and serves—not always legally—the cause of right. When you read mystery/detective novels you learn a lot about the people who live in a place, what they value, what they’ll go outside the law to get. And when you read from a variety of writers in the world, you get insights into how different cultures understand justice, how legal systems work, and the way the role of the detective shifts depending on which mean streets he (or sometimes she) travels.

    This class will examine six novels set in locales across the world. From nosy Miss Marple to Norwegian loner Martin Beck to ancient Chinese Judge Dee and beyond, we’ll explore how and if justice prevails, as well as whodunit. We’ll investigate our hero too, the mysterious figure who ferrets out secrets and tries to put the world right.

    Here are the books:

    Week 1: Any Miss Marple mystery by Agatha Christie (England).
        I’ll be talking mostly about Murder at the Vicarage.
        I’ll discuss The Guilty Vicarage by W.H. Auden.

    Week 2: Walter Mosely, Red Death (United States).
        I’ll discuss Chandler’s The Simple Art of Murder.

    Week 3: Maj Sjowall/Per Wahloo, Roseanna (Norway)—Scandinavian Noir.
    Week 4: Robert Van Gulik, Poets and Murder (China).
        Ancient justice and modern crime.

    Week 5: Maria Angelica Bosco, Death Going Down (Argentina).
        Or Tana French, The Likeness (Ireland).
        I’ll discuss P.D. James on crime fiction and the detective.

    Week 6: Alexander McCall-Smith, The House of Unexpected Sisters (Botswana).

    Final thoughts on the detective and why we love mystery fiction.

    This class will be delivered from a distance using the platform Google Hangouts. We will connect with Dr. Roskelley live from Kentucky by video conference. We will communicate with her via chat.

    Thursdays, 10:00–11:30am
    October 17–November 21
    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

    Hephzibah Roskelly (Ph.D., University of Louisville) is Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric and Composition. She is the recipient of the Alumni Teaching Excellence Award and the UNC Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award.

    Plagues: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

    Diseases caused by microbes have had a major impact on human health throughout history, and they continue to challenge us today. We have not been able to eliminate the worldwide scourge of infectious diseases, especially in developing countries. In this course, we will focus on diseases caused by bacteria or viruses that have had a devastating impact on human society at various times in history.

    1. What are Bacteria, Viruses, and Parasites, and How Do They Make Us Sick?
    2. Historic Pandemics: The Black Death, Smallpox, and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic
    3. Major Disease Threats Today, Especially in the Developing World
    4. Disease Eradication: Successful (Smallpox) and Not-Yet-Successful (Polio, Guinea Worm Disease)
    5. Predicting Pandemics: How Do We Prepare for Something That Hasn’t Happened Yet?
    6. Climate Change as a Health Problem: Are Tropical Diseases Coming to North Carolina?

    No expertise in science or medicine is needed to join the discussion.

    Tuesdays, 2:00–3:30 pm
    September 24–October 29
    Christ United Methodist Church

    Janne Cannon (Ph.D., UNC Chapel Hill) is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine and an Adjunct Professor at UNCG. Her research and teaching at the School of Medicine focused on infectious diseases, especially sexually transmitted diseases, and on bacterial genetics. At UNC Greensboro, she teaches courses for the undergraduate Honors program and the Emeritus Society.

    Central European Music in the 19th–20th Centuries

    The revolutionary eruptions across Europe in 1848 were triggered by the rise of nationalistic sentiment in many countries under the thumb of two German-speaking empires. Though these rebellions were crushed, artists celebrated their cultural heritage through music and the other arts, continuing into the 20th century. Many important post-WWII composers came from this region of Europe, and we will be taking a brief peek at seven or eight of them. Handouts will be emailed prior to the lecture day so that you will have more time to listen to music than having to listen to me talk!

    1. Bohemia: Smetana
    2. Bohemia: Dvorak
    3. Bohemia: Dvorak
    4. Hungary: Kodaly/Janacek
    5. Hungary: Bartok
    6. Poland: Wieniawski to Lutoslawski

    Fridays, 2:30–4:00 p.m.
    September 27–November 8 (no class October 25)
    UNCG School of Music

    Greg Carroll (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is Associate Professor of Music. He is a northern transplant to Greensboro from the upper Midwest. He was the first winner of the Outstanding Teacher and Excellence in Online Education Award at UNCG, and loves to share musical insights with others off-campus at EMF and GSO concerts. His compositions have been performed all over the world, and he prefers to spend the first weeks of August fishing in northern Minnesota.


    The Emeritus Society is open to people of all ages and educational backgrounds. The Society is a self-supporting arm of the University. Class fees, not tax dollars, are used to meet costs of the program. Classes are $120 per course. Additional courses are $80.

    Retired UNCG faculty and staff receive a $25 discount on their total course fee. This discount is for six week courses only and cannot be taken on fees for events, workshops or trips. Please use discount code UNCGRETIRED.

    You are registered only when payment is received. Register early to avoid inconvenience. Late registrants could miss important announcements such as last-minute changes in location. Instructors may not have enough materials for those registering late. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. If the class you want is filled, we keep a waiting list. Partial registrations to attend portions of the classes cannot be accepted. Detailed information on class location and parking will be supplied upon confirmation.



    NOTE new website and address.

    Online: (for credit card users only) http://serveincstore.org/emeritus

    Mail: Fill out the registration form. Include check payable to SERVE, Inc. or MC/Visa information. To ensure accurate registration, it is suggested that only one person be registered via form.

    Mail to:

        UNCG Emeritus Society
        Dixon Building, #201
        5900 Summit Avenue
        Browns Summit, NC 27214

    Phone: Call (336) 740-0211 to register with your credit card.

    Refund: To receive a full refund, a written request must be received prior to the first class meeting. Cancellations after the first class but before the second will receive a full refund minus a $10 cancellation fee. After the second class meeting no refunds will be given.

    Please contact Kathleen Forbes (keforbes@uncg.edu) if you experience any difficulty registering. 

    To ensure accurate registration, it is suggested that only one person be registered per checkout. Please completely check out and pay before starting a new registration.


    The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris: Which and Whose?

    The Dangerous Politics of the Middle East

    Christianizing the Roman Empire

    Dress and Identity: Motivations and Meanings in Social Context

    Swift the Satirist

    Shape-Shifting Events in North Carolina History

    Six Big Ideas in Ancient Philosophy

    The Global Detective: Crime and the Avengers in Mystery Fiction

    Plagues: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

    Central European Music in the 19th-20th Centuries

    Please note the updated price will appear on the next page.

    $ 120.00

    The first class you register for will be $120. Any additional courses will be $80 each.

    Type Event
    Organization store.servecenter.org