The mission of Senior College is to provide high-quality educational opportunities for seniors. Courses cover a wide variety of topics in the humanities, sciences, and the arts and are taught by emeritus and current University of Iowa faculty members and others.

Senior College is run by a committee of retired UI faculty and staff members. The volunteer committee works in cooperation with the Association of Emeritus Faculty and the University of Iowa Retirees Association and contracts with the UI Center for Advancement to host this webpage and handle registration.


Ten different courses are being offered from August through November. Most courses meet for four 2-hour sessions for a $30 fee. Some of this fall's courses will meet in person, some will be offered by Zoom videoconferencing, and others will be hybrid (offered both in person and by Zoom). Information on Zoom can be found in the Zoom Guide (PDF).

Please review all courses before registering. Detailed information about each course and instructor can be found by clicking on the "More" arrow in the gray box and is also available in the course catalog (PDF).

Once you have made your selections, use the "Register Now" button. After you register, you will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours.

If you have questions about course registration or would like to receive email updates for future sessions of Senior College, please contact the UI Center for Advancement at 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973 or via email at

Course 1

Will the Real Igor Stravinsky Please Stand Up?

INSTRUCTOR: Timothy Hankewich

Dates: Thursdays, August 18, 25; September 1, 8

Time: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Registration is now closed

While exploring the many reinventions of one of the 20th century's greatest composers, we will examine Stravinsky's journey from Russian nationalist to European cosmopolitan to American patriot.

INSTRUCTOR: The 2022-2023 season marks Timothy Hankewich's 17th year as the music director of Orchestra Iowa. Recent guest appearances have included performances with the Jacksonville and Victoria (Canada) Symphonies as well as a tour throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia with the Moravian Philharmonic and the Slovak State Orchestra. Previously Hankewich was the resident conductor of the Kansas City Symphony.

Registration for Course 1 is now closed.

Course 2

Secrets from the Cellar: How the World's Great Wines Evolved

INSTRUCTOR: Kent Foulker

Dates: Wednesdays, August 31; September 7; Mondays, September 12, 19

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

Location: Walker Homestead, 3867 James Avenue SW, Iowa City

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, August 24

Class Limit: 60

The fermentation of sugar to alcohol has colored our lives from the dawn of human history, bringing pleasure and enhancing enjoyment of food. Meeting at a working winery, we will observe modern wine production, including grape harvesting and processing, and will make virtual visits to other vineyards and wineries. We will study the history and production of four great wine styles—Burgundian table wines; Champagne; the fortified wines of Spain and Portugal; and Cognac and Armagnac, the spirits of France—and learn to appreciate their unique sensory characteristics by tasting three or four examples each week, paired with classic food samples. Fee for this course will be $80.

INSTRUCTOR: Kent Foulker, general manager at Walker Homestead Farm and Winery, is the 2022 Iowa Wine Growers Association Winemaker of the Year. His wines and spirits at Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery received multiple international gold and double gold awards. He has taught wine, beer, and spirits in Kirkwood Community College’s culinary arts program, of which he is a graduate.

Session 2 is now full. If you would like to be added to a waiting list for this course, email the course number, your name, and your phone number to Senior College at or contact the UI Center for Advancement at 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973.

Course 3

The Tale of Three French Revolutions and the Legacy of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables


Dates: Wednesdays, September 7, 14, 21, 28; October 5

Time: 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, August 31

Join us for this literary examination of French revolutionary history and reconnect with the most memorable characters of French literature—Jean Valjean, Fantine, Cosette, Thénardier, and Inspector Javert. In this five-week course, we will explore the role of Napoleon, the revolution of 1789, the Bourbon Restoration, and the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 in the personal and creative life of Victor Hugo as we discuss the five books of the novel and commemorate the 160th anniversary of this international masterpiece. The Penguin edition of the novel is recommended (translation by Norman Denny). Iowa City Book Festival events celebrating Les Misérables (a film screening, a public reading) are in the planning stages!

INSTRUCTOR: Anna Barker is an adjunct assistant professor of Russian and comparative literature at the UI. Her interests include Russian cultural history, Russian literature, and 19th-century European literature, art, and music. She has organized several literary celebrations, including public readings of Don Quixote, Moby-Dick, and War and Peace, and curated a UI Main Library Gallery exhibition focused on Dostoevsky.

Course 4

Remembering Horses and Bodies at the Dawn of the Metaverse


Dates: Tuesdays, September 13, 20, 27; October 4

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, September 6

Humans are increasingly spending time in virtual reality, accessed only via eyes and avatars. Yet in the Age of Horsepower, by contrast, horses and their huge, powerful bodies profoundly shaped human identities. Focusing on New York and Iowa City, this course will consider different strategies of remembering the history of human-equine relationships through performance on various social, theatrical, and archival stages. Course materials will include the instructor's original documentary film The Pull of Horses in Urban American Performance, 1860-1920 and digital records of the related 2020 UI Main Library Gallery exhibit about life alongside horses in Iowa City's and the nation's past.

INSTRUCTOR: Kim Marra is professor emeritus of theatre arts and American studies at the University of Iowa, where she was also affiliate faculty in the Department of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies and taught theatre and performance history. She is a lifelong equestrian and former competitor in the cavalry-derived sport of three-day eventing.

Course 5

Knowing Your Heart

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Mahi Ashwath

Dates: Wednesdays, September 28; October 5, 12, 19

Time: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, September 21

Lub—dub—lub—dub. Join us for an overview of heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States and the world. Discussions will cover the variety of heart diseases, including heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and arrhythmias. We will learn to recognize and understand these conditions as well as current options for treating and managing them, from lifestyle changes and medications to advanced imaging and procedures.

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Mahi Ashwath is a clinical professor of internal medicine and radiology in the UI Carver College of Medicine. Currently she is president of the American College of Cardiology, Iowa Chapter and has hosted several of the group's cardiology conferences.

Course 6

The Collecting Mind

INSTRUCTOR: Kevin Hanick

Dates: Thursdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27

Time: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Location: Students may attend on Zoom or in person at Coralville Public Library Room A/B, 1401 Fifth Street, Coralville.

Registration Deadline: Thursday, September 29

In-Person Class Limit: 60

This course will examine the ancient and widespread phenomenon of the human desire to collect. It will cover the psychology and history of collecting, various kinds of collections ranging from objects to experiences, and the care and legacy of personal collections. Illustrations will play a large role in class presentations, and students will be encouraged to share some of their own collections with the class. Before the course begins, the instructor will send a questionnaire to students to survey their collecting adventures and intentions.

INSTRUCTOR: Lifelong collector Kevin Hanick, founder of Urban Acres Real Estate and lead singer for the Recliners, has been active with the Iowa City Preservation Commission, The Housing Fellowship board, and Summer of the Arts. He earned an MA in English from the University of Iowa, where he has taught literature.

Course 7

The 2022 Midterms: Extreme Partisanship and the Assault on Democracy


Dates: Tuesday, October 18; Wednesdays, October 26; November 2, 9

Time: 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Location: Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, 1301 Fifth Street, Coralville

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 11

Class Limit: 175

The political landscape heading into the 2022 midterm elections is unlike anything we could have imagined just a few years ago. Since the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot, ruminations about civil war are not uncommon. It's clear that the very foundations of our democratic system, including fair elections, are being tested. In the context of the country's extreme partisan divide, this course will examine the key races and major issues surrounding the 2022 elections. Sessions will feature conversations with guest political scientists, video clips of political news and interviews, as well as lively in-class discussions.

INSTRUCTOR: Ben Kieffer is the award-winning host of Iowa Public Radio's daily talk show River to River, which he also helps produce. Kieffer previously worked in Europe, where he reported on the fall of the Berlin Wall and covered the Velvet Revolution in Prague. Kieffer is a Cedar Falls native and UI graduate.

Session 7 is now full. If you would like to be added to a waiting list for this course, email the course number, your name, and your phone number to Senior College at or contact the UI Center for Advancement at 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973.

Course 8

Introduction to Mental Health

INSTRUCTOR: John Westefeld

Dates: Thursdays, October 27; November 3, 10, 17

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

Location: Students may attend on Zoom or in person at Coralville Public Library Room A/B, 1401 Fifth Street, Coralville.

Registration Deadline: Thursday, October 20

In-Person Class Limit: 60

This course will examine a number of current issues related to mental health and mental health delivery in the United States. Topics will include how to find a therapist, the process of psychotherapy, myths about psychotherapy, the portrayal of psychotherapy in the media, several diagnostic categories (depression, anxiety, couples counseling, eating disorders, substance abuse, and bipolar disorder), and current resources both nationally and in Iowa City. We will watch videos related to some of the topics. Students' participation and questions will be strongly encouraged.

INSTRUCTOR: John Westefeld, professor emeritus of counseling psychology, is a board-certified psychologist. At the University of Iowa, his work focused on training psychotherapists at the doctoral level. Throughout his 44-year career, his primary research and practice interests have been suicide and suicide prevention, as well as educating the public about mental health issues.

Course 9

Reading History: Sinclair Lewis and the 1920s

INSTRUCTOR: Edward Agran

Dates: Mondays, October 31; November 7, 14, 21

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

Location: Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, 1301 Fifth Street, Coralville

Registration Deadline: Monday, October 24

Class Limit: 150

E. M. Forster wrote that Sinclair Lewis lodged "a piece of a continent in our imaginations." Lewis had just published Babbitt, two years after stunning the nation with Main Street in 1920. Three more powerful novels followed: Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, and Dodsworth. Lewis became the first U.S. writer to receive the Nobel Prize in literature, yet most literary scholars have assessed him, not always favorably, outside of his historical context. This course will consider his relevance to the formation of middle-class ideology from a historical perspective.

INSTRUCTOR: Edward Agran, professor emeritus of history at Wilmington College, retired to Iowa City in 2016. The author of "Too Good a Town": William Allen White and the Emerging Rhetoric of Middle America and Herbert Hoover and the Commodification of Middle-Class America: An American Promise, Agran is the recipient of numerous teaching awards.

Course 10

The San Francisco Sound: Music of the Counterculture, 1965-1973

INSTRUCTOR: Greg Newmaster

Dates: Tuesdays, November 1, 8, 15, 22

Time: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Location: Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, 1301 Fifth Street, Coralville

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 25

Class Limit: 150

The San Francisco sound created by the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, and many other musicians was a driving force for the counterculture of the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. Using music, archival photos and videos, and poster and album art of the period, we'll consider the cultural significance of this music as we examine profiles of the major bands and of impresario Bill Graham, who set the standard in presenting rock concerts for the burgeoning music scene; the work of poster artists and photographers; and the role of Rolling Stone magazine and FM radio personalities in amplifying the voice of the counterculture.

INSTRUCTOR: Music enthusiast Greg Newmaster has photographed over one hundred major recording artists in live performance and maintains a large archive of music memorabilia. He holds a BA in communication studies from the University of Iowa and worked for 15 years in corporate communications as a writer and producer of video presentations.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the UI Center for Advancement in advance at 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973.

Senior College Committee

Emil Rinderspacher, Chair 
Tom Rocklin, Vice Chair 
Warren Boe 
Gayle Bray 
Holly Carver 
Kelley Donham 
Lesanne Fliehler 

H. Dee Hoover 
George Johnson 
Frank Mitros 
Mary New 
Pam Willard 
Nancy Williams 

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An Iowa law professor shares his insights into what the storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump insurrectionists could mean for America. Derek T. Muller Members of Congress evacuated the House and Senate chambers on Jan. 6 as a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump raided the U.S. Capitol to protest the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. Following a Trump rally, rioters scaled walls, broke windows, and gained access to the Senate floor and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. At least five people died in the clash between rioters and law enforcement. Iowa Magazine interviewed Derek T. Muller, a professor and election law expert at the University of Iowa College of Law, to learn how these events could affect our democracy's future. Is there any precedent in American history for what's occurring during this transfer of power? It's hard to find any historical comparisons to 2021. In 1860, the election of Abraham Lincoln was enough to cause secession. And other presidents have been fairly sore losers, leaving town without attending the inauguration. But there's never been a sustained attempt like this by a president to seek to overturn the election results, to deny the legitimacy of the president-elect's victory, or to incite a mob to 'fight' for him like this. Was the Capitol breach a threat to democracy? Political violence is a great danger to democracy. We rely on the public's trust in the legitimacy of elections. Storming the Capitol and disrupting legislators during their official business of counting electoral votes is a worrisome sign for future elections. What crimes could those who stormed the Capitol be charged with? Rioters might be charged with assault or vandalism. More serious might be seditious conspiracy, defined as seeking to hinder or delay the execution of any law of the United States or by force taking away property. What is the 25th Amendment, and could it be applied to this situation? The 25th Amendment is a mechanism to ensure a transition of power in the event the president is unable to discharge his duties. It has been used twice for a temporary and voluntary transition of power when a president has undergone surgery. Another untested provision allows the vice president and a majority of the cabinet to write to Congress that the president is unable to perform his duties, in which case the vice president immediately becomes acting president. The president could then assert that no inability exists, and the vice president and the cabinet could argue again that he is unable. Congress would need to vote within 21 days by a two-thirds vote in both houses that the president is unable in order for the vice president to continue his duties. If invoked, the assumption is it would 'run out the clock' until Jan. 20. The provision was principally designed for situations where the president was incapacitated, like an assassination attempt in which he slipped into a coma. It would be a novel and significant thing for the vice president and cabinet to invoke it in cases like this. Do you think President Trump's role in the Capitol riot could lead to impeachment? Impeachment seems unlikely because Congress is not in session and would need to move quickly. The House could adopt articles of impeachment by a simple majority vote. The facts are straightforward, so there wouldn't need to be an extensive investigation to gather facts. It would then go to the Senate for a trial, which could remove the president by a two-thirds vote. It could also bar him from serving in any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States, effectively preventing him from becoming president again. It's also possible, if untested, to impeach him after he has left office, which would allow Congress to vote to bar him from future government service. Do you think the events that unfolded at the Capitol on Jan. 6 might lead to any changes in federal election law? It remains unclear how Congress might respond to this as a matter of federal election law. The Electoral Count Act of 1887?the statute under which Congress was counting electoral votes?allows objections like those lodged in Congress, and a small change in the future might make objections harder. In a broader sense, Congress might be more inclined to support H.R. 1, an omnibus election bill that requires independent redistricting commissions and campaign finance changes, but it's not clear if those changes could pass the filibuster in the Senate or would instill public confidence in elections. Statehood for the District of Columbia, after experiencing an out-of-control riot like this with fewer resources than it needed, may also be a more pressing issue and would add two senators and one representative from the District to Congress. What might the events of Jan. 6 mean for the future of our elections? It will take a long time to assess the fallout of these riots. Distrust in our elections is very high among a significant segment of the population right now, and some Republicans in Congress are encouraging that distrust. It is very hard to think of a productive way forward if the losing side in an election cannot accept losing.

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