Five Vanderbilt law professors will co-teach Osher Lifelong Learning course on “The Living Constitution”

Feb 5, 2013

“The Living Constitution: Supreme Court Decisions that Affect Our Lives,” co-taught by five Vanderbilt law professors, is one of the nine non-credit community education courses offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt to adults over age 50 this spring.

The class, which was organized and coordinated by Professor Emeritus Robert Covington, will be co-taught by Professor Emeritus Tom McCoy , Professors Mark Brandon and Susan Kay, and Adjunct Law Professor David Hudson.

The class will meet at the Vanderbilt Commons Center for six Wednesdays, starting March 13, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.

Vanderbilt’s Osher non-credit courses, which run from March 11 through April 19, are open to all adults who are 50 and older. Participants pay an $80 class fee that entitles them to sign up for three classes. Additional classes cost just $10 each.

“There are no educational requirements or tests to take,” said Norma Clippard, program director. “However, we believe the Osher classes provide an intellectually stimulating environment that is important in keeping our minds healthy as we age.”

In addition to “The LIving Constitution, Supreme Course Decisions that Affect Our Lives,” Osher classes offered during spring 2013 include:

  • “Just the facts, Ma’am and Only the Facts!” will be led by Starley Carr, retired special agent of the FBI, and Dick Garner, retired special agent of the ATF. They will provide perspective on the real lives and experiences of special agents. The class meets from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Mondays, starting March 11, at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 4715 Harding Road.
  • “Contemporary Moral Problems,” will be taught by John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy. He will explore a variety of moral problems, including corruption, cheating, and individual rights versus public good. The class runs from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. for six Tuesdays, starting March 12, at Belle Meade United Methodist Church, 121 Davidson Road.
  • “Meet the Ballet!” will be led by Mitchell Korn, adjunct professor of music and educational outreach at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music; and Paul Vasterling, CEO and artistic director of the Nashville Ballet. The curriculum includes the repertoire for the upcoming Nashville Ballet productions of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. Students will meet for six Tuesdays, starting March 12, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Belle Meade United Methodist Church.
  • “D.H. Lawrence,” will be taught by Robert Barsky, professor of French and comparative literature and director of the W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies. He will survey the corpus of literature written by Lawrence, with an emphasis upon Lawrence’s efforts to represent the desiring body in language. The class meets for six Wednesdays, starting March 13, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Commons Center.
  • “Modern Architecture,” will be taught by Leonard Folgarait, professor of history of art. The class, which focuses on major developments in European and American architecture, including the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, meets for six Thursdays, starting March 14. The class runs from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at the Commons Center.
  • “African Diaspora through the Americas,” will be co-taught by Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History; and Marshall Eakin, professor of history. The class, designed to offer an overview of the rise of the African slave trade and the subsequent diaspora of Africans through the Americas, meets for six Thursdays, starting March 14, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
  • “Governing in an Era of Polarization in Washington and Beyond,” spotlights research from Vanderbilt’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions on issues such as electoral accountability and public education, legislative effectiveness of women in Congress and more. Joshua Clinton, Alan Wiseman and David Lewis, three of the center’s co-directors, will lecture along with Jason Grissom, assistant professor of public policy and education. The class will meet for six Fridays, beginning March 15, from 9:30 to 10:45 at the First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Ave. S.
  • “Ancient Prophecy: Bridging Two Worlds,” will be taught by James Crenshaw, the Robert L. Flowers Professor of Old Testament, emeritus, at Duke University. The course will explore the ways biblical prophets initially functioned both to support kings and to criticize them for abuse of power. The class meets for six Fridays, starting March 15, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the First Amendment Center.

To sign up for classes, visit or contact Norma Clippard:  or 615-343-0700.

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