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Academy of Learning in Retirement

Our Fall 2014 schedule includes a varitey of topics. Make sure you attend them all!


A Geographer’s Way of Understanding the World

Presented by Dr. John Wright, Rents Professor of Geography, NMSU

In “China’s Urban Gamble,” we will look at the economic, cultural, and environmental effects of the most rapid urban expansion in world history.  In “Ukraine Confronts Russia,” the current political upheaval will be described and interpreted with an eye on Vladimir Putin’s goals.  In “Japan: Tsunamis, Nuclear Power, and the Bushido Code,” the 2011 natural disaster will be linked to the country’s unique physical and historical geography.  In “Trekking to Upper Mustang, Nepal,” we will explore a remote Buddhist kingdom in Himalaya Mountains on the border with Tibet. 

Dates:   Mondays and Wednesdays

              September 15, 17, 22 & 24


Nationalism, Ethnic Cleansing, and Genocide

Presented by Dr. Andrea Orzoff, Associate Professor of History, NMSU

What is nationalism, this mysterious force which has brought ancient empires to their knees, created new countries, and destroyed them again?  How and why does nationalism lead to ethnic or religious violence? What is the difference between ethnic cleansing and genocide, and how had the international community contributed to these events’ unfolding? Is it accurate, or appropriate, to describe the Holocaust as a paradigmatic genocide?  Dr. Orzoff’s lectures will address these issues and more, focusing on European nationalism and violence during the modern period.

Dates:   Mondays and Wednesdays

                October 20, 22, 27, & 29



Theatre: Beginnings to Broadway

Presented by Professor Tom Smith, Department Head, NMSU Theatre Arts

Lecture 1:            Pre-Show: Origins

Lecture 2:            Act 1: Shakespeare to Melodrama

Lecture 3:            Act 2: American Theatre and the rise of the Musical

Lecture 4:            Post-Show: the 21st Century and Broadway today

Dates    Mondays and Wednesdays

                November 3, 5, 10, & 12


How Memory Works

Presented by Melissa J. Guynn, PH.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, NMSU

Topics to be covered include:

·         How we answer questions about memory in the laboratory

·         Classifications of different types of memory

·         Basic memory mechanisms of encoding (into memory) and retrieval (from memory)

·         Common memory metaphors

·         Problems with normal memory that are likely by products of an adaptive memory system

·         Memory in the real world and techniques to improve this memory

·         Aging and memory

·         Evidence regarding effects of brain specific nutrients on memory

Dates:   Tuesdays and Thursdays

                December 2, 4, 9, & 11