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OLLI Special Events

Enjoy time with the Tufts OLLI community!

All OLLI members are welcome to join our community for these special events featuring authors, academics, artists, performers, and more! Be sure to check your member weekly digest for more details.

Our upcoming events are:

  • June 12 | OLLI at Night: The Secret Life of Jokes with David Misch
  • July 25 | OLLI at Night: Influential Women Performed by Marvento Duo
  • September 4 | OLLI at Night: World War II and the Transformation of America
  • October 23 | OLLI at Night: Revisiting the Summer of Barbenheimer

More information about each event can be found below!

 

Upcoming OLLI Events

OLLI At Night: The Secret Life of Jokes with David Misch

Wednesday, June 12 | 7:00pm - 8:30pm ET on Zoom

The well-known comedian George Orwell said “The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being but to remind him he’s already degraded.” Okay, that’s one explanation. But gagsters like Sigmund Freud, Immanuel Kant and Thomas Hobbes all had theories about humor, which means jokes are Really Important, not just a way to make someone snort up their milk. I like to call jokes “comedy in miniature.” (I like to call my cat “No! Not on the rug!”, but that tends to be situational.) Seen in a certain way – the way I see it – comedy uses the same basic components as all art forms: tension-and-resolution, pattern recognition, misdirection and surprise. For jokes, the big difference is they’re small, which makes them easier to pull apart, to see what makes them tick and why they make us laugh. Topics covered in this multimedia presentation include the Rule of 3 (Why are things funnier in threes? Really, why? I mean, why?); Is humor inherently hostile?; How jokes are related to Japanese haiku poetry; Why jokes make you smarter; Dirty jokes that aren’t dirty; and The Official Funniest Joke In The World.


About our presenter: Among David Misch’s TV and movie credits are the Emmy-nominated “Mork & Mindy,” the Emmy-losing “Duckman,” the Emmy-engorged “Saturday Night Live,” and the Emmy-ineligible “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” He’s the author of “Funny: The Book” and “A Beginner’s Guide To Corruption,” and is also a playwright, songwriter, blogger, teacher and recovered stand-up comic, and has spoken at Yale, Columbia, the Smithsonian, Oxford, CinestudioParis, University of Sydney (Australia), VIEW Cinema Conference (Torino, Italy), Raindance Film Festival (London), Austin Film Festival, American Film Institute, Disney, Sony, Lucasfilm, Midwest Popular Culture Association, USC and UCLA.

Full event details and the link to RSVP are available to current members in the Tufts OLLI Weekly Digest.

OLLI at Night: Influential Women Performed by Marvento Duo

Thursday, July 25 | 7:30pm In-person at Brookhaven at Lexington

Hosted with our Community Partner, Brookhaven at Lexington, the Marvento Duo, featuring Weronika Balewski, Flute and Elizabeth Basconi, Piano, celebrates music by women composers both past and present, and considers their legacies today. The program introduces legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger through her Three Pieces for Cello and Piano transcribed for flute and piano. Boulanger taught dozens of well-known composers, including Aaron Copland, whose Duo for Flute and Piano became part of the “American sound.” We also bring to life a seldom-played Suite by Clemence de Grandval, who played a major role in supporting new music in late 19th century Paris. In Jhula Jhule, Reena Esmail honors her grandparents through the Indian folk songs they taught her, while Emily Doolittle’s Palouse Songbook explores the birds of the palouse prairie of the American northwest. These composers are creating and influencing current generations of musicians. Learn more at marventoduo.com

This is a 60 min program with no intermission.

Full event details and the link to RSVP are available to current members in the Tufts OLLI Weekly Digest. As this event kicks off our 2024-2025 membership year, registration for the event will open on July 1, 2024.

OLLI at Night: World War II and the Transformation of America

Wednesday, September 4 | 6:30pm on Zoom

Honoring the 85th anniversary of the start of WWII, join the Tufts OLLI Community and Dr. Edward T. O’Donnell, Ph.D. Depart of History, Holy Cross College as he presents ‘World War II and the transformation of America’. This presentation examines the extraordinary changes ushered in by the U.S. entry into World War II.  First, it brought millions of American women into the workforce where, unlike World War I, they stayed after the war.  Second, the war provided an opportunity for African Americans to demand a new federal commitment to civil rights, beginning what were the early rumblings of the formal civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.  Third, World War II ended the Great Depression and launched the greatest peacetime expansion of the economy in American history.  Finally, the war firmly established the U.S. as one of the world’s two superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War.

Full event details and the link to RSVP are available to current members in the Tufts OLLI Weekly Digest. As this event kicks off our 2024-2025 membership year, registration for the event will open on July 1, 2024.

OLLI at Night: Revisiting the Summer of Barbenheimer

Tuesday, October 22 | 6:30pm - 8:30pm Hybrid (In-Person at Tufts, Virtually on Zoom)

Presented by Prof. Jonathan Lupo (Saint Anselm College)

Why did Barbenheimer happen? How did Barbenheimer happen? What does Barbenheimer tell us about movies today?

The surprise movie sensation of summer 2023 – and the talk it inspired – is explored in this presentation on two 20th century icons remade for the 21st century. Opening on the same day, Barbie and Oppenheimer were initially pitted against each other as a sort of culture war litmus test, invoking a gendered fan culture that played out in memes and other forms of online conversation. Surprisingly robust box office returns for both films also celebrated the films as proof of a “return to moviegoing” after Covid-19 appeared to mortally wound the film industry. Lost somewhat are the films themselves – vivid and rich examples of the musical and biopic, respectively, as well as signature works of directors in the primes of their careers. Based on a Barbenheimer class taught in spring 2023, this presentation will explore the movies and the memes of this singular phenomenon.

Prof. Jonathan Lupo is an Associate Professor in the English and Communication Department at Saint Anselm

Full event details and the link to RSVP are available to current members in the Tufts OLLI Weekly Digest. As this event kicks off our 2024-2025 membership year, registration for the event will open on July 1, 2024.

 

 

Past Speakers and Performers

 

Tufts' Beelzebubs National Renowned A Cappella Group
Elizabeth Stanley Tony-Nominated Star of Broadway & Television
Diane Taraz Folk and Traditional Singer and Songwriter
Richard Bell Author and Professor of History, University of Maryland
Phil Van Tee Comedy Magician, Los Angeles
Anthony Everett Emmy-Award Winning TV Anchor
Carol Hay Author and Associate Professor of Philosophy, U. Mass Lowell
Jo Marchant NYT Bestselling Author and Speaker
Robert Rotberg President Emeritus, World Peace Foundation
Richard Hoskin Author and Historian
Jonathan Biggane Author, Associate Professor of Management, California State University
Samantha Power Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former US Ambassador to the UN
David Sinclair Biologist, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Stephen Kurkjian Investigative Reporter, Founding Member of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team
Richard Bell Scholar, Writer, Teacher, Professor of History University of Maryland
Judge Charles Schudson Wisconsin Reserve Judge Emeritus and Author 
Moon Duchin  Founder of the Metric Geometry & Gerrymandering, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Tufts University 
Jonathan Garlick Leading Stem Cell Researcher; Professor of Oral Pathology, Tufts University
Mitchell Weiss Public Entrepreneurship Scholar; Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School
Nathan Carterette Virtuoso Pianist
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Presented by The Classic Repertory Company of New Rep Theatre
“Sinatra at the Sands” Presented by The Wally’s Jazz Orchestra
"A Night of Magic" Presented by Magician Kayla Drescher
Shakespeare’s “Othello” Presented by The Classic Repertory Company of New Rep Theatre
Michael Shermer  Acclaimed Skeptic & Science Writer 
Anthony Brooks Award-Winning Public Radio Journalist
Daniel C. Dennett Celebrated Philosopher & Cognitive Scientist, Tufts University
“The Scarlet Letter” Presented by The Classic Repertory Company of New Rep Theatre
Steven Hancoff American Guitarist, Writer and Arranger
“Historic Showstoppers” Presented by Opera On Tap of Boston
Louis Menand  Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian & Essayist 
Tod Machover  Award-Winning Composer & Inventor
Walter Willett World-Renowned Nutrition Expert