OLLI Outlook
The Monthly Newsletter of OLLI @Berkeley
May 2012
OLLI in the Press
2011-12 Annual Fund
Faculty Interview: Clare Fischer
Faculty Interview: Marvin Brown
Social Activities
Faculty Events
Member Benefits and Partner News
2011-12 Academic Calendar
The Lunch Bunch
Gift Certificates
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OLLI @Berkeley Staff
Susan Hoffman


Program Coordinator
Aileen Kim


Communications Coordinator
Satya Levine


Program Assistant 
Gerard Alcantara 


Research Assistant
Sandra von Doetinchem


Student Staff
Nika Allahverdi, Ramare Hopkins, BriAnne Lynn, Sabrina Liu, Tina Savong, Katherine Van Zalen, Suna Wilkerson


OLLI @Berkeley
University of California
1925 Walnut St #1570
Berkeley, CA 94720-1570
tel. 510.642.9934
fax. 510.642.2202
OLLI in the Press 

OLLI @Berkeley's receipt of the second $1 million endowment grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation was the subject of a recent article on the UC Berkeley News Center.

Dynamic campus program for students over 50 gets major support (April 24, 2012)   

Check out our Facebook page for photos from the Synthetic Biology classes field trip to Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville.


Share your photos of OLLI events and field trips, or even at lunch between classes. You can post a link to our Facebook page, or email us the photos and we'll post them for you.  


Cuba travelers: We would love to post photos from your March trip. Email satyalevine@berkeley.edu if you have photos to share. Thank you! 



We had a great turn out and fun was had by all. We have much to celebrate and are looking forward to a fabulous next five years. Photos of the High Five Celebration are on OLLI's Facebook page. Have a look and tag yourself and your friends. 


Brown bag lunching, joined by OLLI faculty, has been a highlight of the Spring term. OLLI members are encouraged to attend the last lunch of the term on May 9, when Fred Hiatt will be in attendance. (Note: Jason Victor Serinus was previously scheduled.)


2011-12 Annual Fund

This week, select classrooms are being visited by representatives from the OLLI Annual Fund Committee. The Annual Fund is an essential part of OLLI's budget which, in addition to supporting core programming, is our way of demonstrating to the University and the Bernard Osher Foundation how important OLLI is to our members.

To those who have already contributed, thank you! We have raised over $50,000 towards this year's goal of $60,000. If you have not yet made a contribution, please consider doing so at whatever level you are able. We aim to double our rate of member participation this year, and we have a ways to go.

If you are not sure if you've donated, you can visit http://olli.berkeley.edu/support/give.html to see a list of everyone who has given so far this academic year.

Make a donation


If you have any questions, please call the office at 510.642.9934.


Faculty Interview: Clare Fischer 

By Don Queen


This June, Clare Fischer will teach a four-week course using Naguib Mahfouz's The Journey of Ibn Fattouma. The novel recounts the spiritual pilgrimage of a disillusioned Muslim man seeking the perfect city who visits a series of imaginary city-states which are ruled with varying combinations of freedom and force.


Professor Fischer will facilitate a class using the literary interpretation of the Arab classic as a medium to better understand the political and religious underpinnings of Egypt's recent struggle for democracy which was hastened by the Arab Spring movement of 2010-2011.


In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak resigned and a military council has scheduled elections for this coming May and June.The class will relate the political events and their religious implications to the allegorical novel by Naguib Mahfouz, the only Arab language writer to receive a Nobel Prize. Basics about Islam and recent historical background about the Arab Spring in Egypt will be provided along with short lectures and extensive discussion among class participants. OLLI @Berkeley's summer term occurs during this crucial period and will be an ideal time to study the struggle for freedom as it is actually happening.


Naguib Mahfouz (1911-2006) is the author of over 34 novels and 300 short stories which were banned by many Arab countries until his receipt of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1988--the only Arab language writer to receive the prize. He was a liberal socialist and deeply concerned about the political destiny of Egypt. He outspokenly opposed fatwas against writers, resulting in a disabling assassination attempt.


Professor Fischer received a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley and is also professor emerita of religion and culture there. She served as Starr King School's Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Professor of Religion and Culture for over twenty years, mentoring and instructing graduate students. In 2005, the GTU honored her with the Sarlo Award for Excellence in Teaching, noting her exemplary commitment to interdisciplinary and interreligious teaching methods. She grew up in an inter-religious environment that contributed substantially to her interest in ecumenism and religious dialogue.


After retirement, she has taught at UC Berkeley in Women and Gender Studies and in the Theology and Religion Department of the University of San Francisco. She has taught several courses for OLLI @Berkeley built on her study of tourism and her association with Berkeley's Tourism Study Working Group. Her interest in the scholarly study of tourism began in 1973 when she accompanied her husband on the first of many field trips to Java and Bali. She has published papers on pilgrimage and other ritual activity. She is currently studying domestic tourism associated with the iconic "Rosie the Riveter" sites in the city of Richmond with a focus on the Victory Ship, Red Oak. She is planning to document senior volunteerism associated with the ship's restoration.


Clare Fischer will be teaching "Naguib Mahfouz's Allegory of Spiritual Quest" on Wednesdays from 10:00 am-12:00 noon, June 6-27, 2012. 


Faculty Interview: Marvin Brown 

by Satya Levine 


Q: How did you discover your interest in your subject and what course of education did you pursue that led you to this point?

A: I became interested in alternative economies as it became clearer to me that our mainstream economic framework could not move us toward a sustainable future. For the past 30 years, as a teacher, consultant, and writer, I tried to find ways to improve the role of business in society through better decision making practices, a system approach to issues, and a stakeholder approach to corporate responsibility. These ideas led me to think more deeply about the context in which business exists, and I have come to the conclusion that the problem is not really business, but rather our economic system. We need a new story about how to provide for each other.


My latest book, Civilizing the Economy (2010) provides such a story. It proposes that the basis for the economy is not property, but people (a civic economy), and that the purpose of the economy is not accumulating things, but making provisions for all. In the course, we will focus on alternative economies that expand on this economic vision.


Q: What are your current projects and areas of interest?

A: In collaboration with others, I am rethinking many of the topics of economics--from the meaning of money to the idea of economic growth. My "hobby-horses," so to speak, are the meaning of the civic, the legacy of slavery in current capitalism, and localization. Developing local economics involves everything from food to new currencies. The legacy of slavery and the meaning of the civic are more complicated, and totally intertwined. I don't know all that needs to be said here, but I know that any economic framework that avoids the legacy of slavery will fail.


Q: What is your vision for your OLLI course and what do you hope to have as the high point?

A: There are some great stories to tell, understand, and evaluate. I want people to know there are real alternatives to the current system. We have two guest speakers to tell their stories: Neal Gorenflo from Shareable.net and Allison Cook from The Story of Stuff Project. Other stories will be presented in short lecturers and video presentations. I hope that those who are looking for a story in which they can participate will find one (or more) in this course.


Q: What are some of your recent publications and activities in your field?

A: I continue to teach business ethics at the University of San Francisco's philosophy department, and to write about business and society. Recently, my book Corporate Integrity (2005) was translated into Chinese, and my latest book Civilizing the Economy (2010) was the inspiration for a latest issue of the Pratt Institute's magazine, Catalyst Strategic Design Review, on the same topic. I have an essay in that issue, "Designing the Future Economy." In June, I will attend a conference on the new economy sponsored by The New Economic Institute at Bard College in New York. I think that these events are signs that we are at the beginning of the story of alternative economies, and the next chapters should be quite interesting.


Marvin Brown will be teaching "Alternative Economies" on Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 pm, June 7-28, 2012. 


Social Activities


An OLLI member is starting a monthly gathering for people who would like to discuss articles from the New Yorker, or occasionally from the New York Review of Books or on-line sources. (This will be like a book group, but you don't have to read a whole book!) Gatherings will take place on the last Thursday of the month from 10:45 am to 12:30 pm. The tentative location is Nelly's Java in Montclair Village, Oakland. If the group turns out to be large, the location will be moved to a bigger spot in Montclair or Rockridge. If you're interested, please contact Susan S at suzeoak@gmail.com.



Fourth Age Salons are an opportunity for OLLI to better understand the learning needs and interests of members over 80. Upcoming Fourth Age Salons are scheduled to take place on the following Mondays in Room 41C University Hall (2199 Addison St):

  • May 21, 3:00-4:30 pm

Each salon will have a specific topic with a guest speaker. Please contact research assistant Sandra von Doetinchem for more information at sandra.doetinchem@berkeley.edu.  



OLLI is recruiting new volunteers for upcoming Open Houses. If you are interested, please contact Nikki Maziasz at olli_volunteer@gmail.com with "Open House" in the subject line. 


Faculty Events 


"Cry the Corrupted Country: Reflections on the Psychopathology of Capitalism"

Hosted by C.S. Soong

Friday, May 11, 7:30 pm

The Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley

More information and tickets 


Member Benefits and Partner News


City Commons Club of Berkeley meets every Friday from 11:45 am to 1:30 pm at the Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant Ave, Berkeley) to promote the lively discussion of topics of interest to San Francisco Bay Area residents. Come for lunch or just for the talk.  


50% Discount at Berkeley Arts and Letters  

Berkeley Arts and Letters offers a 50% student discount to OLLI members. Visit http://berkeleyarts.org for more information.  


Jazz Cafe: 10% Discount for OLLI members
Ongoing through the Spring term, show your OLLI student card and get 10% off on food and non-alcoholic beverages. The Jazz Cafe is located at 2087 Addison Street, just across the street from Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse.


2011-12 Academic Calendar
OLLI classes: June 5-28
Interest Circles: July 3-September 7
Summer Sessions auditing: May 21-August 10

FALL 2012
Open House: September 11
Term: October 1-November 9

Open House: January 8
Term: January 28-March 11
Holiday: February 18

Open House: March 12
Term: April 1-May 10

Term dates through the 2012-13 academic year are available at: http://olli.berkeley.edu/calendar/academicCalendar.html.

The Lunch Bunch

by Lucille Poskanzer


Café Clem

2020 Kittredge Street, between Shattuck Ave and Milvia St 

Berkeley, CA 94704




This is a charming new French café located next to the downtown Berkeley Library. It features delicious pastries and coffees as well as beer and wine, and wonderful sandwiches of all kinds, lovely salads, and omelets. There are tables inside, but the place to sit is on the terrace, while you watch the world go by. Unfortunately, the location is very close to Berkeley High, so try to get there either before or after the lunch crowds descend.


Gift Certificates
Share the sweetness of lifelong learning with a friend or loved one. Take a course together, or explore different interests and discuss what you've learned over lunch after class. Gift certificates are available for OLLI memberships, courses, and workshops. Download an order form or contact the OLLI office (510.642.9934) to purchase a gift certificate.