Emeritus Society Spring 2022

About the Emeritus Society

The goal of the Emeritus Society is to provide stimulating noncredit opportunities for adult learners of all ages. The program 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 substantive 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.

This spring the program is excited to offer courses and lectures taught by outstanding UNC Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University faculty noted for their scholarship and engaging classroom style. Some classes will be offered face-to-face; others will meet online via Zoom. We hope you will find one or more of interest and join us.


We've updated our registration system to a system called RegPack, which is different from what we used for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020. If you have not registered for a class previously, you will need to create a new account. The person who creates the account is considered the primary and has the ability to register him or herself or another individual. One account can register one or more students, no need to create two accounts. It will save payment information, if you would like, to make the payment for each student easy, please follow the steps when prompted.


Please be sure that the email address you provide is current. That email will be used to invite you to enter Zoom meetings. In the weeks before classes start, you will be sent an introduction to Zoom materials. In addition, staff will be available a half-hour before the first class for orientation help. 

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

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.


  1. Look through the course descriptions below this section
  2. Click "Register Here" linked below or the "Register for this course" button below each course description. (browsers other than Safari, like Chrome or Firefox work best for registration)
  3. Create an account or sign into your existing account (make sure your user information is updated and correct)
  4. Register yourself
  5. Complete class selections
  6. Confirm selections
  7. Make a payment (save if you wish to register a friend or spouse)
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 for additional students (they do not have to create a separate account)
  9. You will receive a registration confirmation email and a payment confirmation email for each registration.

Register Here!

Please note: The charge will appear on your statement as being from Emeritus Society or SERVE, Inc.


To receive a refund, a written request must be received (emeritus@serve.org) prior to the first class meeting. A $5 processing fee will be deducted from the refund. Cancellation requests received after the first class meeting but before the second meeting will receive a full refund minus a $15 cancellation fee.


If you experience any issues registering please call (336) 740-0211 or email us at emeritus@serve.org.


    Pearl Harbor, Eighty Years Later

    The Japanese attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor is arguably the defining moment in American history in the Twentieth Century.  It propelled the country into the Second World War and into a position of world leadership it had up until then largely rejected.  The raid came as a stunning shock to the American people, its military, and its government.  From the beginning the question of why we were caught off guard has claimed the attention of historians, politicians, and concerned citizens.  And once the government revealed following the war that it had broken a top-level Japanese code, conspiracy theorists argued that the Roosevelt administration, eager to join Britain in the war against Hitler’s Germany, knew of the impending attack but failed to warn the military commanders at Pearl Harbor.  It is now clear that that was not the case.  But the confusion in Washington in the final weeks leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack was real.  US military and civilian leaders did anticipate a Japanese attack in the Pacific in the first week of December, but not against Pearl Harbor.  This course explores the background to the Japanese moves on December 7, our responses to increased Japanese aggression in Asia, our Asian policy, the events of Dec. 7, and the following six months, and the consequences for Japan, the US, and the world of that attack.  In retrospect, what appeared at first to be a stunning victory turned out to be the worst mistake any Japanese government has ever made. 

    1. Imperial Japan and the United States in the early 20th
    2. The United States Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy by 1941
    3. War Planning in the IJN and the USN Prior to December 7th
    4. The Raid and Its Consequences: Material and Psychological
    5. Who Knew What and When? The Conspiracy Theories
    6. The Imperial Japanese Navy’s Onslaught in the Western Pacific: Pearl Harbor to Midway 

    Mondays 10:00 - 11:30 am

    January 31 - March 7

    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

    Ron Cassell (Ph.D., UNC-Chapel Hill) Associate Professor Emeritus of History and fellow of the Royal Historical Society has long had an interest in 20th century political history.  He is a recipient of the Alumni Teaching Excellence Award. 

    Film and Relationships

    Why do we go to the movies? To experience great stories about…us, our world, our relationships. This engaging art form nourishes something deep within us. Movies also hold a mirror before us, showing us who we are as a culture and as individuals. At the same time, films can help to shape our identities, our communication, and our relationships. These reflecting and shaping functions of film can have a profound effect upon how we relate to one another.

    In this course, our quest will involve experiencing films, with a keen critical eye and ear, to examine how human relationships are developed, reflected, represented, and constructed in film. We will step beyond mere entertainment to discuss issues such as: friendship, love, and intimacy; mysteries, assumptions, and mis-directions; communication/ miscommunication; storytelling and dialogue; comic and tragic moments; ethics; diversity; conflict; the hero’s journey; community; and identity/ identification. Film viewing is a communal act that can lead to vigorous and engaging conversation. We examine important themes and tropes and issues by viewing and discussing these classic films from various genres:

    1. Singin’ in the Rain (Musical, 1952)
    2. Arsenic and Old Lace (Comedy, 1944)
    3. Rear Window (Thriller, 1954)
    4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Western, 1969)
    5. Star Wars (Science Fiction, 1977)
    6. Up (Animation, 2009)

    Mondays, 1:30 – 4:30 pm

    January 24 – February 28

    RED Cinemas

    Christopher Poulos (Ph.D., University of Denver) is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at UNC Greensboro. He teaches courses in relational and family communication, friendship, autoethnography/life writing, dialogue, communication ethics, and film. He is the author of two books and over 50 articles and book chapters.

    Navigating World History

    Does the world have a history? Or to put it another way, is there a global history of humankind, one that is not just the sum of the histories of separate societies but instead views the history of the world as a single human history? An academic enterprise a generation or so old, called “the world history movement,” says there is such a history. It involves the identification of the broad patterns of the human experience rather than the recounting and aggregation of numerous particular histories. In this series, we will use this comprehensive global perspective to survey the whole of world history from the emergence of humankind to the present. We will end up with basic answers to the big question—“What happened in history?” Or, more specifically, “what happened in each of the six periods or time frames into which we can divide world history”?

    1. 250,000 BCE to 600 BCE, Beginnings
    2. 600 BCE to 600 CE, Empires and Archetypes
    3. 600 to 1450 CE, Transregional Interactions
    4. 1450 to1750, Globalizing
    5. 1750 to 1900, The European Moment
    6. 1900 to 2021, Escaping the Past, Forging a Future

    Tuesdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am

    January 25 – March 1

    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

    Stephen Ruzicka (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is Professor of History at UNC Greensboro.  He is the 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.

    The Powerful Women of Classical Antiquity

    This course offers an introduction to some of the most extraordinary women of classical antiquity, some historical and some legendary.  We’ll explore how art, mythology, propaganda, and incomplete narratives have both propelled the legends of these women to great heights while shrouding the reality of their lived experience in ambiguity.  We’ll also consider the unique characteristics of “feminine power” as we discuss each woman’s capacity for leadership, intellect, and agency.

    1. The Warriors: The Amazons of Greek, Roman, and American Myth
    2. The Eastern Queen: Semiramis and the Women of Greek History
    3. The Wily Seductress: Cleopatra and the End of the Roman Republic
    4. The First Empress: Livia and the Dynastic Imperative
    5. The Warrior Queen: Zenobia and the Crisis of the 3rd Century
    6. The Philosopher: Hypatia, Alexandria, and the Twilight of the Gods

      Tuesdays, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

      January 25-March 1

      Christ United Methodist Church

      Rebecca Muich (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is Assistant Dean in Lloyd International Honors College and adjunct faculty with the Department of Classical Studies.  She is also a co-director of the UNCG in Rome summer study abroad program, and is working on a sourcebook in translation on Africans in the Greco-Roman world.

      Only the Rage is Bipartisan: Voters, Institutions, and Distrust in American Politics

      Anger and outrage were becoming increasingly prevalent in American politics long before the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.  In the 1980s, about half of Democrats and Republicans reported that the opposite party’s presidential candidate sometimes made them feel angry.  In 2016, those figures increased to about 90 percent among voters of both parties.  This anger has manifested itself in part as “negative partisanship,” whereby voters are increasingly motivated to participate in the political process by what they despise: the other party and its loyalists.

      Of course, voters aren’t angry in a vacuum.  Because it motivates us, political and media elites have reason to provoke anger in the public.  The unfortunate result: a decades-long increase in distrust in national political institutions.  In 1964, the year Lyndon Johnson won a landslide presidential election victory over Barry Goldwater, nearly 80 percent of Americans reported trusting the federal government to do what is right “just about always” or “most of the time.”  Today, less than one quarter of Americans feel the same way.

      First, we will consider the causes and effects of anger, distrust, and polarization from the perspectives of voters and politicians.   We will conclude by discussing how these now all-too-common attributes of American politics affect interactions among political institutions and whether there is any hope for a less angry future.

      1. Public Anger and Distrust
      2. The Disappearing Swing Voter
      3. Polarization, Partisan Sorting, and Gerrymandering
      4. The Curious and Infuriating Case of the U.S. Senate
      5. Remember when Presidents were Popular?
      6. Is Anger Cyclical?  Is Greater Comity on (or just over) the Horizon?

        Wednesdays, 1:30 –3:00 pm

        January 26 – March 2

        Christ United Methodist Church

        David Holian (Ph.D., Indiana University) is an Associate Professor of Political Science at UNCG where he teaches courses on American political institutions, including the U.S. Congress, the American Presidency, and the mass media.  His research interests include political communication, campaigns, and elections.  He is co-author (with Charles Prysby) of Candidate Character Traits in Presidential Elections.

        The Early Days of Rock 'n' Roll: From Berry to the Beatles

        Whether you are a fan of pop music, hip-hop, country, jazz, or good old fashion rock, the music you listen to today can be connected directly to the earliest days of one of America’s greatest inventions: rock ‘n’ roll. Artists such as Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Berry took styles of music from the past and combined them together to create something new and exciting. In doing so, they inspired future famous names such as Buddy Holly, the Beach Boys, and the Beatles. In this course, you will learn how it all began: from its humble beginnings when rock music wasn’t even on the national radar until the day when the Beatles came to America and changed the world. Join us for a little history, a little culture, and a lot of great rock ‘n’ roll music. (Note: Course may contain offensive language and material. It’s rock and roll!)

            1. How It All Began: The Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll
            2. The First Renegades of Rock – New Orleans and Chicago
            3. Memphis: Home of Blues, Soul, and Rock ‘n’ Roll
            4. The Push Toward Pop
            5. Doo-Wop Days
            6. Surf, Sun, and the Sounds of the 60s

        Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am

        Thursdays, February 3 – March 17 (no class March 3)

        Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

        Brian Carter (DMA, University of Michigan) is a Lecturer at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro School of Music and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music at Elon University. Prior to recently returning to his home of Greensboro, he was a professional opera and classical concert singer, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Music at Washington State University where he specialized in Vocal Studies and Literature, and History of Rock Music.

        United States History: Post 1865

        This course is a survey of the major political and social movements in United States History after the Civil War through the end of the twentieth century. We will discuss the diverse experiences of different Americans, evolving concepts of equality, and how the United States has changed demographically, economically, and culturally over time. Because it focuses on national social and political movements, we will not go in-depth into United States foreign policy except as it relates to domestic policy. The following themes/issues will be covered each week: 

        1. Reconstruction
        2. Western Expansion
        3. The Gilded Age & The Progressive Era
        4. Wars and Depression
        5. Civil and Human Rights
        6. The Rise of Conservatism

          Tuesdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am

          March 15 – April 19

          Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

          Virginia Summey (Ph.D., UNC Greensboro) teaches in the Lloyd International Honors College and works as an independent scholar. A native North Carolinian, her research foci are North Carolina history, southern political history, U.S. women's history, and civil rights. Her book on pioneering Judge Elreta Melton Alexander will be released by the University of Georgia Press in early 2022. She lives in Winston-Salem with her husband, Graham, kids Hannah and Marshall, and dog, Grits.

          Biblical Literature: Who Speaks for God? The Art of Prophecy

          “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” says the proverb. A fundamental human urge is to rise above and look ahead. Even the most anti-metaphysical of us seek transcendence as the sparks fly upward—if not through the oracles of some Supreme Being, then through supreme courts or astrology or demographics, economic theory or phrenology, climate projections or cybernetics. Whether the words of the prophets are written in the scriptures, the stars, or statistics, or merely written on the subway walls, we continue to seek out seers and visionaries to divine our destinies and the desires of our hearts. In the Bible, “Thus says the LORD” are the words that capture our most common perception of the prophet: a divine mouthpiece, with little or no personal contribution from the human speaker. But this is not the only prophetic model in the Bible, where God not only moves, but often speaks, in mysterious ways: the messenger may brandish bunches of arrows, wear an ox’s yoke or cords or sackcloth, or go stark naked; others give bizarre names to their children, weep before enemy messengers and heal foreign lepers, purchase besieged real estate, even invite wounds to their own bodies. Some speak from a furnace or a lion’s den; one is upstaged and rebuked by his own suddenly eloquent donkey; another denounces Israel’s spiritual adultery by marrying a prostitute. From Moses to Malachi and the Magi to the Revelation; from the Former and Latter Prophets to the Major and Minor; from Forthtelling and Foretelling Prophecy to Messianic and Apocalyptic— being “prophetic” in biblical terms can mean a number of things: to cry out locally against present idolatry and injustice, to intervene in great international affairs, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, or to see far off and into the last things, and declare the end from the beginning. None of these modes excludes any of the others, and most prophets do at least a bit of each. Nobles and laborers, married and monastic, men and women, warriors and conciliators, transcendently eloquent and plain-spoken—or even silent—all dare to speak for God. Join us!

          1. Nevi’im: Prophets Former and Latter, Old Covenant and New
          2. Forthtelling and Foretelling: Social Justice and the Scandal of Prediction
          3. Major Prophets I: Isaiah and Jeremiah
          4. Major Prophets II: Ezekiel and Daniel
          5. Minor Prophets: Kingdom Going, Kingdom Coming
          6. New Testament Apocalypse: Kingdom Come

            Wednesdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am

            March 2 – April 13 (no class March 9)

            Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

            Christopher Hodgkins (M.A. and PhD, University of Chicago) is Professor of English and Atlantic World Studies. The winner of UNCG’s Senior Teaching Excellence Award (2004) and Senior Research Excellence Award (2011), he is author or editor of seven books on Renaissance literature and the British imperial imagination, and, most recently, of Literary Study of the Bible: An Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020)—from which this course material is drawn. Recipient of four grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he currently co-edits George Herbert: Complete Works for Oxford University Press (both digital and print) and directs the international George Herbert Society and UNCG’s Atlantic World Research Network. He is directing a George Herbert Society conference at Cambridge University set for June 2022, and a UNCG Literary London Program projected for May-June 2022. He reads the Bible every day because it is true and beautiful.

            Music for the Time of COVID

            All of us have used music throughout our lives as a kind of “self-therapy” to celebrate our happy times or console us during sadness.  The Covid pandemic has had a devastating impact on all of us personally and collectively: isolation, fear of contagion, loss of contact with love ones, the hospitalizing and death of friends and relatives, the disruption of life in general, and incredible global human loss.

            If music “translates feelings into sound,” this course offers selected musical works from the Western tradition to offer emotional support, much like an empathetic friend who listens and mirrors back recognition of the validity of your feelings.  For that reason, this course is designed to be more experiential than didactic.  Repertoire will include works both familiar and new—music you might find useful in negotiating your way forward.   No prior musical training is required.

            1. Music for Spiritual Support
            2. Music for Contemplation
            3. Music for Contemplation, Grief and Letting Go
            4. Music for Moving Forward
            5. Music for Optimism
            6. Music for Spiritual Support and Closure

            Fridays, 2:30 – 4:00 pm

            March 4 – April 8

            UNCG School of Music Building

            Greg Carroll (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is Professor Emeritus of the UNCG School of Music where he has taught courses in music theory, composition, music literature and musicology since 1981.  He was past president of the Southeastern Composers League and a Faculty Mentor for the National Student Advisory Council for the College Music Society.  His compositions have been performed throughout the world.  In 1995 he was chosen the first winner of the Outstanding Teacher Award in the School of Music.  In 2010 his online music appreciation course, Musicopolis, won international honors and in response UNCG created the Excellence in Online Education Award, with Dr. Carroll its first recipient.  He continues to offer lectures for the Eastern Music Festival, the Greensboro Symphony, and the Emeritus Society.  In June and August he enjoys traveling to Europe and fishing in northern Minnesota.

            ONLINE Zoom Course

            The Call of the Wild

            “We need the tonic of wildness,” Thoreau told us sitting in his little hut by Walden Pond. From a past where the wild was ever-present to a day where it’s hard to find, people have longed for what the unknown and untamed offer, even—or especially? -- when it presents almost overwhelming hardship or dangers.

            In this class, we’ll read stories of women and men past and present who have acted on that longing. Using Thoreau and others (especially some poets), we’ll begin our first class with questions about what the wild might include and what it offers to those who seek it.

            We’ll read two books during our weeks together—Jane Mendelsohn, I Was Amelia Earhart and A Negro at the North Pole by Matthew Henson. And we’ll read as many small excerpts as we have time for! Including--
            Mark Twain, from Huckleberry Finn
            Eddy Harris, from Mississippi Solo
            Michael Collins, from Flying to the Moon
            John Muir, from Travels in Alaska
            Jane Goodall, from Untamed
            Rebecca Solnit, from The Art of Getting Lost
            Annie Dillard, “Living Like Weasels”
            Jimmy Chin, climber (YouTube video)
            Mary Rowlandson, from The Captivity Narrative

            We’ll conclude with a conversation about John Ford’s iconic Western Stagecoach and William Shakespeare’s The Tempest as journeys into many varieties of the wilderness.

              Fridays, 10:30 am – noon

              January 28 – March 4

              Online via Zoom

              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 Governor’s Teaching Excellence Award. She has never been in the wild much, though she loves to hike the Appalachian Trail and once zip-lined over the rainforest in Costa Rica.

              Adverse Weather and Class Cancellations

              When the university closes due to adverse weather (such as ice and/or snow, or other conditions) Emeritus Society classes are cancelled as well. Details can be found on the UNCG homepage (www.uncg.edu) or by dialing one of the following numbers:

              Adverse Weather Line (336-334-4400)

              Campus Switchboard (336-334-5000)

              Details are also available on the Triad’s four television stations: WFMY-TV (News 2), WGHP-TV (Fox 8), WXII-TV (News Channel 12) and WXLV (ABC 45). Some area radio stations also have information.

              When the university decides to remain open but Emeritus Society classes are cancelled, you will be notified of the cancellation by Serve, Inc.