Lecture Series

We offer four Lecture Series throughout the year. During each semester there is a lecture on Fridays from 1:30 – 2:30 pm. In January and June there are lectures on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:45 –11:15 am. Lectures are held at 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW.



All of the Fall 2016 lectures, except Allan Lichtman’s, will be held in our new Lecture Hall (Room A-101) in 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, the Spring Valley Building.  Professor Lichtman's lecture will be in the Abramson Recital Hall in the Katzen Center.

Reservations Required

To manage seating, reservations are required to attend a lecture. One week prior to a lecture we will open seating. You can make a reservation by following the directions below. Attendees may make two reservations per order. Your name must be on the Reservations list in order to enter the lecture and you must be in your seat five minutes before the lecture starts to ensure your seat is not given away.

Why We Are Using Eventbrite

This summer we had overflow crowds attending several lectures at the Katzen Center. Due to fire code, we had to ask members to leave after they had arrived, which understandably frustrated many people. In order to prevent similar problems, we have decided to use Eventbrite, which is a free, widely used event-management website and app. Please take the time to read the directions below thoroughly.

When Can You Register for a Lecture?

Registration for each lecture opens at 9:00am on the Wednesday two days before the lecture and closes at 12:00 noon on the day of the lecture.

How to Use Eventbrite

  1. Click on the link below (or on our website) for the lecture for which you want to register.

  2. On the Eventbrite lecture page, click on the green "REGISTER" button on the lower right.

  3. A pop-up window with the lecture name will appear. Select whether you want 1 or 2 tickets. Click on the green "CHECKOUT" button.

  4. You will have 8 minutes to finish your registration. Enter your first name, last name, email address, and confirm your email address. Click on the green "Complete Registration" button. A confirmation screen wlll appear and you will receive an email with your ticket(s). You are done.

You do not need to bring your ticket to the door. We will have a list at the door of individuals with reservations.

Friday, September 30 — Allan Lichtman (Abramson Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center)
Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House 2016
Forget the polls. Dismiss the pundits. Ignore the campaign news cycle. Professor Allan J. Lichtman has developed a system for predicting the behavior of American voters that is so accurate he has successfully predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1984. Spurning the usual demographics, analytics, and polling, he believes that the American electorate is smarter and more pragmatic than it is often given credit for and that it will reward the political party which serves it well and punish those which fail. His 13 keys are true/false statements that he says indicate whether the incumbent party will be able to hold onto the White House. Will he continue his winning streak in 2016?
Allan J. Lichtman is Distinguished Professor of History at American University and the author or co-author of nine books and more than 100 articles. He has testified as an expert witness on civil rights in more than 90 cases and regularly provides media commentary and analysis. updates the forecasting system Lichtman initially developed in 1981 with Russian mathematician Vladimir Kellis-Borok.
Reservations: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-lecture-allan-lichtman-on-9302016-tickets-27577189115

Friday, October 7 — Robert Daly (4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Room A-101)
人,文, 国: Three Ways to Think About China’s Rise
Americans are inundated with news about China. The daily media take of China stories incites our admiration, envy, sympathy, abhorrence, and fear, often within a single paragraph. In order to come to terms with China’s complexity and to respond to the challenges and opportunities that China offers, Americans must look at China through three lenses at once: 人, or people: China is home to one-fifth of the world’s people, and we must be concerned for their welfare and celebrate their progress. 文, or culture: China is the oldest continuous civilization on earth, which is a source of strength and a burden to the Chinese people. 国, or nation: China is a powerful state ruled by the aggrieved an ambitious Communist Party of China. This lecture will explore relationships between these three meanings of China from the Chinese and American points of view, and will suggest how the three lenses might best be adjusted to gain a clearer focus on this rapidly changing country.
Robert Daly is Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the U.S. at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He came to the Wilson Center from the Maryland China Initiative at the University of Maryland. Prior to that, he was American Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing. Daly began work in US-China relations as Cultural Exchanges Officer at the US Embassy in Beijing in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Friday, October 14 — David Maraniss  (4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Room A-101)
Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story

David Maraniss has been chronicling American life in the 1960s as told through sports figures, future presidents, and everyday heroes. With his latest bestseller, Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story, Maraniss captures this great American city at its pinnacle. In 1963 the city reflected the spirit of the entire country at the time: cars, music, labor, civil rights, and much of the American dream was defined by this Detroit quartet. Once in a Great City shows, though, that the shadows of collapse were evident even then. “Like sitting on a bar stool next to one of the great old-time city newspaper columnists who seemed to know, and drink with, everyone in town.”
Born in Detroit, David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, and bestselling author of First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton; Barack Obama: The Story; They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967 and When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, hailed by Sports Illustrated as “maybe the best sports biography ever published.”
Reservations: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-lecture-david-maraniss-on-10142016-tickets-

Friday, October 21 — Leslie Fenwick (4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Room A-101)
Presidential Politics and Education Policy: Progress Since the Brown Decision
Education is one of the nation’s major domestic policy priorities as demonstrated by President Bush's support for the No Child Left Behind initiative and President Obama’s investment of an unprecedented $91 billion in educational programs across the country. The 2016 Democratic and Republican presidential nominees have distinct plans for education progress. This lecture will examine the progress (or lack thereof) of the nation’s public schools since the Brown decision, the presidential candidates’ plans, and will feature findings from Fenwick’s forthcoming book, Jim Crow’s Pink Slip: Public Policy and the Near Decimation of Black Educational Leadership.
Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick is Dean Emerita of the Howard University School of Education and a professor of education policy. She has been a university administrator and tenured professor for over 20 years. She also has been an urban school teacher and administrator. A former visiting scholar in education at Harvard, Fenwick’s research has been referenced in The New York Times and her editorial articles on teacher diversity and other urban school issues have appeared widely. Dr. Fenwick received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her PhD from The Ohio State University.
Reservations: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-lecture-leslie-fenwick-on-10212016-tickets-27778185300

Friday, October 28 — Town Hall Meeting
(4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Room A-101)

Friday, November 4 — Stephen Hess (4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Room A-101)
America’s Political Dynasties from Adams to Clinton
America was founded in rebellion against nobility and inherited status. Yet from the start, dynastic families have been conspicuous in our national politics: the Adamses, the Lodges, the Tafts, the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, and today the Bushes and the Clintons. Presidential historian Stephen Hess offers a tour of the families that have loomed large over America’s history and those that have taken center stage in this year’s presidential race. The Constitution states that “no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States,” yet as Hess points out, it seems political nobility is as American as apple pie.
Stephen Hess, a leading authority on media and government in the US, is a senior fellow emeritus in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution. He served on the White House staff during the Eisenhower and Nixon presidencies, as advisor to Presidents Ford and Carter, and is a best-selling author.
Reservations: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-lecture-stephen-hess-on-1142016-tickets-27778534344

Friday, November 11 — Edward Alden (4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Room A-101)
Immigration: How Did America Become So Divided?
The United States has long seen itself as a “nation of immigrants,” built by successive waves of newcomers seeking a better life for themselves and their families. In recent years, however, the central issues of immigration — How many people should we admit? What kind? From where? How do they fit into American society? — have become more contentious than at any time since the early part of the 20th century. What explains these growing divisions over immigration, and how might these controversies be resolved in ways that strengthen the United States in the 21st century?
Edward Alden is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who specializes in US immigration and international economic policy. The former Washington bureau chief of the Financial Times, he is the author of The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration and Security Since 9/11, and was project director for the CFR Independent Task Force on US Immigration Policy, co-chaired by Jeb Bush and Mack McLarty.
Reservations: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-lecture-edward-alden-tickets-27778623611

Friday, November 18 — Caron Dale (4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Room A-101)
A Taste of Jewish Soul Music — from Eastern Europe to the Shores of America
Learn about the roots of klezmer music and Yiddish song with a musical demonstration and a little zingen a lang (sing-a-long), too. This discussion will offer a short history of the Yiddish language, life in the shtetl, Yiddish on the stage and in Hollywood, and klezmer as a form of communication. Come prepared for a journey of centuries, culture and art, and be prepared to use your vocal cords.
Caron Dale is founder and lead vocalist for Lox & Vodka, the widely acclaimed Klezmer, Jewish and American music group. She is a WPAS performer, a well-reviewed songwriter, Cantorial Soloist of Hevrat Shalom and founder and CEO of the non-profit, Chords of Courage.
Reservations: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-lecture-caron-dale-on-11182016-tickets-27778704854


OLLI does not endorse any of the viewpoints expressed by the speakers in its series.


We thank the Lecture Committee and all those who suggested and contacted speakers: Chuck Edson, Ken Guenther, Judith Havemann, Tina Fried Heller, Lynne Heneson, Jeanne Kent, Denise Liebowitz (Chair), Dorothy Marschak, Mary Fran Miklitsch, Stan Newman, Diane Renfroe, Richard Ringell, Barbara Rollinson, Steve Sherman, and Art Siebens.