Feb. 28, 2023 — A new course offered by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) during its Spring II 2023 session will examine the history of Ventura County agriculture through the lens of farm labor.

Registration for all courses opens March 6, and classes will take place between March 20 and May 5. OLLI at CSUCI allows adults aged 50 and up to take university-level courses without concern about grades, career preparation or degree requirements.

Theresa Avila, an Assistant Professor at CSUCI who teaches non-Western Art History, will present “Ventura County Agrarian Labor History,” which will include agricultural practices and worker strikes. Students will tour the traveling Smithsonian exhibition “Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields/Revolución en los Campos,” a contemporary art exhibit called “Stories of Labor From the Fields of Ventura County” and a display on local Bracero history at CSUCI.

“I’m interested in looking broadly at agrarian history and labor movements that happened and what motivated them because they speak to the industries being developed here and help us understand our ties us to national history, issues and labor movements,” said Avila, whose grandfather was a farmer in the Imperial Valley. “My hope is that the participants will develop a better understanding of and appreciation for the community that surrounds the campus.”

The all-new lineup also includes “History of the Civil Rights Movement,” an examination of racism in the United States taught by award-winning author Jason Hensley. A fellow of the Michael LaPrade Holocaust Institute of the Anti-Defamation League who holds graduate degrees in history and Biblical studies, Hensley will discuss the definition of racism, how it developed and took hold, what has been done about it and what remains to be done.

In “What About Fascism? Lessons From the 20th Century,” author and teacher Jared Day will review previous fascist regimes to help students understand the resurgence of ideas today.

Other courses will cover Jewish women who shaped America, 10 major psychoanalysts, the rollercoaster rule of the Stuart Dynasty, Exotic Revival architecture, the nuclear age, the fantasy world of musicals and Hollywood writers Billy Wilder and Preston Sturgis.

Courses will be offered at two new locations this session — the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce and The College of Law Ventura. They provide easy access off Highway 101 at the east and west ends of Ventura County. Classes also will continue to be held at the Studio Channel Islands Art Center and CSU Channel Islands John Spoor Broome Library in Camarillo.

All classes meet for two hours once a week for six weeks. Several are offered in person, and most can be attended on Zoom. The catalog of classes and registration are available at go.csuci.edu/olli. For more information, email OLLI@csuci.edu or call 805-437-2748.

The University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs, events and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation, or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the respective area below as soon as possible, but no  later than seven (7) business days prior to the event/activity: 

CSUCI Students: accommodations@csuci.edu  
CSUCI Employees: Christine.girardot@csuci.edu   
Members of the Public: titleix@csuci.edu  

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