UC Retiree Learning Series

The UC Retiree Learning Series was a major success this fall!  The Retirement Center is looking forward to another series for winter 2019.  Partnering with Bay Area retirement communities, the aim of the series is to expand learning opportunities for retirees off campus, and to provide an opportunity for retirees to explore Bay Area retirement communities in a low pressure environment. Lectures will run for approximately 1 hour, followed by a social hour and reception. There is no cost for participants to attend, through the generous support provided by our host communities.

Spring 2019 Opportunties

Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
David Hollinger, Professor Emeritus of History 
Who Owns Christianity’s Spiritual Capital? The Quarrel within American Protestantism Today
Hosted at The Lake Merritt
1800 Madison Street Oakland, CA 94612
Online Registration or contact the Retirement Center at 510-642-5461, ucbrc@berkeley.edu.

Description: The ecumenical-evangelical divide in American Protestantism is more significant than ever for two reasons. First, evangelical Protestants are playing a more conspicuous role in American politics, and during an era in which the principle of church-state separation is weakening in relation to the free-exercise principle. Second, the growth of Protestantism in the Global South has strengthened the claims of conservative evangelicals in the US to speak for the faith, and to further marginalize the liberal, ecumenical Protestants (often called “Mainline Protestants”) whose demographic decline has been dramatic for the last half-century. American evangelicals are increasingly allied with Protestants of the Global South, especially on LGBTQ issues. The recent quarrels within the United Methodist Church about same-sex relationships dramatize a portentous consequence of treating of Protestant denominations as global, rather than national or regional. Inclusion has its costs. This new strength for conservative Christianity presents a severe challenge to the ecumenical Protestants. Who has possession of the spiritual capital of Christianity?

Bio: David A. Hollinger is the author of seven books, including Protestants Abroad: How Missionaries Tried to Change the World but Changed America (Princeton University Press, 2017), After Cloven Tongues of Fire: Protestant Liberalism in Modern American History(Princeton University Press, 2013), and Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism (Basic Books, 1995, 2000, and 2006). He is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a former President of the Organization of American Historians. He is Preston Hotchkis Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, and earlier taught at the University of Michigan, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of Oxford.

Thursday, May 23, 2019, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. 
Sam Davis, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, College of Environmental Design
Designing for the Homeless
Hosted at St. Paul's Towers
100 Bay Place, Oakland, CA 94610
Contact the Retirement Center at 510-642-5461, ucbrc@berkeley.edu to be placed on the waitlist.

Description: Davis presents a perspective, considering the personal concerns of the homeless, the social costs of homelessness, and organizational and design issues. He examines problems of community fit and site planning, building design and organization, and interior layout and suggests how to weigh costs and optimize expenditures.

Bio: Sam Davis is Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley where he taught from 1971 until 2009. He served as the Interim Dean of the School of Social Welfare on the Berkeley campus (2011-12), as Interim Dean of The College of Environmental Design (2008-09), as Chair of the Department of Architecture (1993-96), and as Associate Dean of the College of Environmental Design (1998-2002). He has written three books on housing, The Form of Housing, The Architecture of Affordable Housing, and Designing for the Homeless: Architecture that Works. He received a Humanities Research Fellowship from the University of California and a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on homelessness. 



Winter 2019 Learning Opportunities 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Charles Henry, Professor Emeritus of African American Studies
What Would King Do in Today’s Politics
Hosted at The Lake Merritt

1800 Madison Street Oakland, CA 94612
This talk argues that a free market society (one emphasizing deregulation and privatization) and post-racial politics of the Obama Era have weakened Black institutions at a critical time when the Black community is under attack by a resurgent White nationalism. Specifically it contends that the shift from the “prophetic gospel” represented by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., to one of a “prosperity gospel” (i.e. financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God) has undercut Black politics and its ability to confront structured racism.

Thursday, January 31, 2019, 2:30 - 4:30 pm - SOLD OUT
Richard Walker, Professor Emeritus of Geography
Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area
Hosted at Belmont Village Albany 
1100 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706
The San Francisco Bay Area is currently the jewel in the crown of capitalism— the tech capital of the world and a gusher of wealth from the Silicon Gold Rush. It has been generating jobs, spawning new innovation, and spreading ideas that are changing lives everywhere. It boasts of being the Left Coast, the Greenest City, and the best place for workers in the USA. So what could be wrong? It may seem that the Bay Area has the best of it in Trump’s America, but there is a dark side of success: overheated bubbles and spectacular crashes; exploding inequality and millions of underpaid workers; a boiling housing crisis, mass displacement, and severe environmental damage; a delusional tech elite and complicity with the worst in American politics. This sweeping account of the Bay Area in the age of the tech boom covers many bases. It begins with the phenomenal concentration of IT in Greater Silicon Valley, the fabulous economic growth of the bay region and the unbelievable wealth piling up for the 1% and high incomes of Upper Classes—in contrast to the fate of the working class and people of color earning poverty wages and struggling to keep their heads above water. The middle chapters survey the urban scene, including the greatest housing bubble in the United States, a metropolis exploding in every direction, and a geography turned inside out. Lastly, it hits the environmental impact of the boom, the fantastical ideology of TechWorld, and the political implications of the tech-led transformation of the bay region.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 2:30 - 4:30 pm - SOLD OUT
Robert P. Goldman, William and Catherine Magistretti Distinguished Professor of Sanskrit
A Little Old Fashioned Karma Comin' Down: The (not quite) Secret History of Sanskrit in America
Hosted at Belmont Village Albany 
1100 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706
Every day Americans speak, hear, read, write and chant Sanskrit words as part of their ordinary lives, whether watching the political news on TV, reading the sports page in their local newspaper, listening to their favorite popular music, ordering clothing or cosmetics online, dining out or, of course, going to their yoga or meditation classes. So, words like “mantra”, “karma”, “pundit”, “nirvana”, guru and, needless to say, “yoga”, are as much part of the shared universe of contemporary American English as “hot dog,” “blockbuster,” “selfie” and “ginormous.” But how many of us know exactly where these words come from and understand the universe of discourse from which they have entered our daily lives? In this talk I will review the history of Sanskrit terms and concepts in America from the Transcendentalists such as Emerson and Thoreau through the first arrival of Indian religious teachers on our shores, the Boston Brahmins, Robert Oppenheimer at Alamagordo to the New Age self improvement movements and contemporary politics and the internet marketing of such firms as Carvana and Credit Karma.