ILR Course Descriptions - Spring 2021

The Arthurian Legends

Instructor: Rebecca Phillips, Professor Emerita, WVU Parkersburg; Ph.D. in English from WVU

Who was King Arthur? Was he a real person? Why was Guinevere always being abducted? What is a Grail? Why are there so many conflicting versions of these stories? This course will explore these and other questions, beginning with the earliest 6th Century references to someone who may have been the basis of the legends, moving through the variety of medieval developments of the tales, and ending with a quick look at some modern versions.

Cost: $30
Limit: 60 participants
Day & Time: Mondays, 3-5 p.m.
Dates: March 15, 22, 29; April 5, 12, 19, 26; May 3
Location: Zoom

Daniel Parker: Witness to the West

Instructor: David Torbett, Ph.D., Israel Ward Andrews Professor of Religion, Marietta College

This course will examine the world of Reverend Daniel Parker, a kind of spiritual tourist who documented the issues and historical events of the Ohio Valley in the early 19th Century. He literally toured from New England to Western Pennsylvania to Ohio as a western settler, down the Mississippi to New Orleans and back to Ohio up the Natchez Trace. Possible topics: westward expansion of the United States; American Indians, religious diversity, slavery, race, and abolitionism in the Ohio Valley; the Market Revolution; education in Ohio; the death of Meriwether Lewis; the New Madrid Earthquakes; the Whiskey Rebellion; the War of 1812; the Cincinnati race riots of 1836 and 1841; love, romance, gender, family and happiness in the early 1800s. Participants may find valuable background information in Torbett’s recently published book, The Autobiography of Daniel Parker: Frontier Universalist.

Cost: $30
Limit: 60 participants
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 3-5 p.m.
Dates: March 16, 23, 30; April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4
Location: Zoom

Birds and Birding 101

Instructor: Dawn Hewitt, editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest, serious birder since 1979

Birding can turn one’s life into an endless and joyful scavenger hunt. This class will introduce the basics of birding, providing a head start on the learning curve. The focus will be how to identify birds, primarily the most common birds of the Mid Ohio Valley and North America. By the session’s end, attendees will be able to recognize 50 or more bird species by sight and 10 or more by sound.

Optional morning birding outings to local hotspots will be every Saturday after Wednesday’s class. Binoculars and a bird field guide are recommended for these outings.

Cost: $20
Limit: 60 participants
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 3-5 p.m.
Dates: March 17, 24, 31; April 7 (First 4-weeks)
Location: Zoom

The Library: Palace of We, the People

Instructor: Cindy Brown, MSLS, University of Kentucky, Retired Librarian, and other librarians

Inspired by The Library Book by Susan Orlean, this course will consider libraries past, present, and future. A variety of speakers will present on multiple topics, such as ancient and medieval libraries, Andrew Carnegie and the rise of the public library, the role of libraries in a democracy, libraries as community centers, and the impact of technology.

Cost: $25
Limit: 60 participants
Day & Time: Thursdays, 3-5 p.m.
Dates: March 18, 25; April 1, 8, 15, 22 (6 sessions)
Location: Zoom

Understanding Leadership: An Arts and Humanities Perspective

Instructor: Robert M. McManus, Ph.D., McCoy Professor of Leadership Studies and Communication, Marietta College

Laozi, Marx, the Buddha, Ibsen, Machiavelli—these are just a few of the world’s great thinkers who have weighed in on the subject of leadership over the centuries. This course draws upon the works of the great philosophers, authors, and artists found in world civilization and presents an arts and humanities perspective on the study of leadership.

Please note: Participants should purchase the book Understanding Leadership: An Arts and Humanities Perspective, 2nd Edition by Robert M. McManus and Gama Perruci. Additional outside readings will be made available free of charge. 

Cost: $30
Limit: 60 participants
Day & Time: Fridays 1:30-3:30 pm (earlier than the other courses) March 19, 20; April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; May 7
Location:  Zoom  

Hitched to Everything Else: Habitat Conservation in the Mid-Ohio Valley

Instructor: Michael Schramm, Visitor Services Manager at Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge 

Come learn about local ecosystems through the lens of conservation! Participants will learn about the mission and work of several local conservation organizations, will deepen appreciation of how everything is connected, and will discover how – as citizens of the area – they can support efforts to promote healthy local ecosystems. Topics will include saving monarch butterflies and other pollinators, surveying mussels in the Ohio River, tackling invasive plants, reporting bird sightings, protecting and restoring wetlands, and more.

Cost: $20
Limit: 60
Day & Time: Wednesday, 3-5 p.m.
Dates: April 14, 21, 28; May 5 (Second 4-weeks )
Location: Zoom

Click here to register online with a credit card

Click here to register by postal mail

To Participate in Classes Using Zoom 

You will need a microphone and a camera. They may be incorporated into your computer or be add-on components. You can also access Zoom with a smartphone, but visuals may not be as easy to see. 

  1. Click on the link emailed to you by the instructor of the specific course. 
  2. If you are new to Zoom, click on the box with “Download and Run Zoom.” That will download a free Zoom app on your computer. If you already have Zoom Client installed on your computer, click on the box with “Launch Meeting.” 
  3. When the system dialog prompts, click “Open Zoom Meeting.”
If you have questions or would like to try a practice session email our webmaster at: