Meeman Individual Course Listings

Below is a list of standalone courses that are not part of a specific series for the Fall 2019 Meeman Center for Lifelong Learning offerings. 

Visit our registration form to signup for any course or any series offered this Fall.


Larry Hass

The Art of Magic
Dr. Larry Hass, PhD University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dean of the McBride Magic and Mystery School (Las Vegas), Professor of Philosophy and Theatre Arts (ret.)

This course will explore the astonishing art of magic. Magic is an ancient and universal art form. Indeed, there are written accounts of magic performances reaching back to 4000 BCE, and magicians appear in every known human culture. What is this extraordinary art form all about? Why do humans create magic? Why do they enjoy it? What are magicians attempting to do with their impossible wonders? We will answer these questions by studying performances from master magicians, by reading texts on the history, philosophy, and psychology of magic, by looking “behind the curtain” at the foundational elements upon which successful performances are constructed, and by learning to perform at least one excellent piece of magic!

Readings will be provided as PDF’s.

Three Tuesdays: September 10, 17, and 24 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Tuition: $190 | .6 CEU
Includes admission to Magical Life:  An Evening with Larry Hass at the Halloran Centre Theatre in Downtown Memphis on Friday night, September 27, 2019. Additional tickets available for purchase from the Meeman Center for Lifelong Learning.
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Justice Breyer

Justice Breyer’s Constitution - THIS COURSE IS FULL
Dr. Timothy S. Huebner, PhD University of Florida, Associate Provost and Sternberg Professor of History

This course will explore in three sessions the constitutional perspective of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Appointed to the Court in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, Justice Breyer has argued for “active liberty” and a “democratic Constitution.” In the first two sessions, we’ll explore what these terms mean and how Justice Breyer’s jurisprudence fits into the context of U.S. constitutional history. The third session will be Justice Breyer’s public lecture, hosted by Rhodes, on October 3. Participants in the course will have reserved seating for this event. 

This course is full. Email to be added to the waiting list. 

Two Thursdays:  September 19 and 26 | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. | Tuition:  $165 | .6 CEU


Middle East countries

Stability and Democracy in the Middle East
Dr. Esen Kirdis, PhD University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Associate Professor of International Studies

Middle East politics is associated with instability, oil, and authoritarianism. Nonetheless, the Middle East also encompasses stable states with no oil, such as Oman, Morocco and Jordan, as well as states with democratic institutions, such as Lebanon, Tunisia and Turkey. To understand stability and democracy in the Middle East today, this course will look into one of these issues each week: 
1.     Between secularism and democracy: Turkey
2.     The stable monarchies: Oman, Morocco, and Jordan
3.     Between military rule and democratization: Egypt
4.     The Arab democracies: Lebanon & Tunisia

Readings will be provided as PDF’s.

Four Wednesdays: October 2, 9, 23, and 30 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Tuition: $220 | .8 CEU
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Europe and US Leaders

Coming Together or Drifting Apart? European Populism and Trump’s America
Dr. Nikolaos Zahariadis, PhD University of Georgia, Professor of International Studies

The course looks at political and economic changes in Europe in light of the recent European elections to assess the current state of the transatlantic relationship. We will examine political trends in major European states, Brexit, intellectual ties between the far right and the US, as well as economic changes to gain a deeper understanding of whether and how Europe relates to the United States. To acquire more analytical leverage, we will compare US-European relations during the Obama and Trump administrations.

Readings will be provided as PDF’s.

Three Tuesdays: October 8, 22, and 29 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Tuition: $165 | .6 CEU
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Donatello's David

Donatello and the Dawn of Renaissance Art
Dr. Victor Coonin, PhD Rutgers University, Associate Professor of Art and Art History

The Italian sculptor known as Donatello helped to forge a new kind of art—one that came to define the Renaissance. His work was progressive, challenging, and even controversial. Using a variety of novel sculptural techniques and innovative interpretations, Donatello uniquely depicted themes involving human sexuality, violence, spirituality, and beauty. But to really understand Donatello, one needs to understand his changing world, marked by the transition from Medieval to Renaissance style and to an art that was more personal and representative of the modern self. Donatello was not just a man of his times; he helped shape the spirit of the times he lived in and profoundly influenced those that came after.

This Meeman class will coincide with the publication of Professor Coonin’s new book on Donatello, the first monograph to appear on this famous Renaissance sculptor in 25 years. Class will feature all the major works of Donatello, and controversies that still intrigue in the study of this great Renaissance master.

Class 1: Artistic Formation and The Business of Art
Class 2: Adorning the City of Florence and The Paduan Journey
Class 3: Homecomings and Continuing Controversies

Text: A. Victor Coonin, Donatello and the Dawn of Renaissance Art, Reaktion Books, August 2019, ISBN 978-1789141306

Three Thursdays: October 10, 17, and 24 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Tuition: $165 | .6 CEU
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The Romantic Piano

The Romantic Piano
Dr. Thomas Bryant, D.M. Northwestern University, Associate Professor of Music, Piano Coordinator

What is it about music for the pianoforte that makes it so romantic? Why is it that this music moves one so much? This mini-course will explore the great classics for the piano, beginning with late Classicism and journeying through the 19th-century Romantic period. Students will enjoy music from late Mozart and Beethoven to such geniuses as Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, and Liszt. Enroll, and be ready to soar with the Romantics!

Readings will be provided as PDF’s.

Four Thursdays: October 31, November 7, 14, and 21 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Tuition: $220 | .8 CEU
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Classes will meet in Hassell Hall 100