OLLI SF State Courses

While we are sheltering in place, OLLI SF State is offering courses and a free speaker series online via Zoom Conferencing. Please join us!

Please also find Zoom instructions below.

Fall 2020 Session  |  Fall Mini Courses  |  Free Speaker Series

Fall 2020 Session: October 12 - November 20, 2020 - Open for Registration!

Download Fall Session Schedule (PDF file, 140kb) 



Writers on Writing with Diane Frank

Mondays 10/12 - 11/16, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

This is not a writing course. Writers on Writing is a literary salon, where published authors will read from their books, talk about their creative process, and answer questions. Read more...


The Art Force: The Imagination and Power of Public Art Now with Annice Jacoby

Mondays 10/12 - 11/16, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

An exploration of contemporary art changing in response to conceptual, artistic, aesthetic, social and political ideas and forces. Read more...



Three Novels of Jane Austen: Light in a Dark Time with Nicholas Jones

Tuesdays 10/13 - 11/17, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Austen's novels, written early in the 19th century, delighted readers in their day and have continued to attract devoted fans even in the 21st century, as well as spinning off countless films and adaptations. Read more...


The Top Tourist Sights of the Solar System and the Galaxy* with Andrew Fraknoi

Tuesdays 10/13 - 11/3, 12:30 pm - 2:15 pm

* This is a 4-week course, 1.75 hours each. $70. Open to non-members!

Join us on an illustrated tour of the cosmos as astronomers understand it today. The discussion will be accompanied with really dramatic color images from the latest space probes and the world's largest telescopes, many of them new. Read more...


American Feminist Art: Then and Now with Josephine Withers

Tuesdays 10/13 - 11/17, 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

This course will examine how Feminist art and art activism of the past 50 years have had wide-ranging effects on American culture. Read more...



The Classical String Quartet with Alexandra Amati

Wednesdays 10/14 - 11/18, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

This course introduces the intimate genre of the string quartet, which is a metaphor and image of a polite conversation among peers. Read more...


Heinrich Böll: Short Stories, Novels, and Film with Marion Gerlind

Wednesdays 10/14 - 11/18, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

In this interactive seminar, we’ll explore selections from one of the most famous (West) German authors of the twentieth century. Read more...



Adam’s Tongue: How Human Language Evolved with Asya Pereltsvaig

Thursdays 10/15 - 11/19, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

As we shall see in this course, human language is radically different from communication systems that served other species (including bees, dolphins, and apes) for at least half a billion years; and no other species managed to acquire human language, even with dedicated human help. Read more...


Film Noir in the 1950s* with Elliot Lavine

Thursdays 10/15 - 11/19, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

*Films will be viewed individually outside of class.

As the 1950s dawned, a new world greeted the movie-going public, one now dominated by a growing concern that communism might soon devour America as well as the vague anxiety generated by the anticipation of nuclear war. Read more...


Ponder-in-Place: A Personal Narrative Writing Workshop* with Sarah Broderick

Thursdays 10/15 - 11/19, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

*This course has limited availability and is considered a "specialty" course. The cost is $145.

In this creative writing course, we will use our immediate, daily experience as a portal to writing. Students will be encouraged to keep a log that captures their processing of life on- and offline. Read more...



The Fertile Crescent: Mesopotamia & The Birth of Civilization with Douglas Kenning

Fridays 10/16 - 11/20, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will begin by looking back to the birth of gods, agriculture, commerce, the wheel, and story. Then agriculture gave birth to astronomy, writing, mathematics, and cities. Then cities gave birth to priests, metalworking, bureaucrats, taxes, law, and the military. Read more...


The Films of Alfred Hitchcock: 1944 - 1962 with Cary Pepper

Fridays 10/16 - 11/20, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

The Master of Suspense hit his stride in his American films during these years, when Hitchcock made some of his most-remembered movies. Read more...



Fall Mini Courses Tuesday, September 29 - Tuesday, October 6

Mini Courses are open to ALL — members and non-members. Spread the word!

Download Fall Mini Courses Schedule (PDF file, 118kb)


Women's Crusade: The Vote with Patricia Dougherty 

Tuesday Sept 29, 10am - 12:30pm


Art and Discipline of Submitting for Publication with Cary Pepper - RESCHEDULED

NEW DATES ARE: MONDAY Oct. 12  & MONDAY Oct. 19, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm


Leonardo da Vinci’s Hidden Message: Leonardo’s Knot with Caroline Cocciardi 

Wednesday Sept 30, 10am - 12:30pm


Madrigals: Poetry and Music with Nicholas Jones 

Wednesday Sept. 30 and Friday Oct. 2, 1:30 - 2:45pm


Politics, News Media, and the November Election with Tim Redmond 

Thursday Oct. 1, 10am – 12:30pm


Wise Counselor and Faithful Servant: The Life of Andrew Smith Hallidie with Taryn Edwards

Thursday Oct.1, 1:30pm - 4:00pm




Speaker Series - Free Offerings

We are offering complimentary lectures via Zoom. This list will be updated as lectures are scheduled. Please check back often for new listing:

Could Congestion Pricing Improve SF’s Transportation Future? with Paige Miller

Monday, September 28, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Resources for Savvy Consumers with Nelson Santiago

Wednesday, October 14, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Age-Related Hearing Loss with Jessie Johnson

Monday, October 26, 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Wild Women in Art with Karen McSorley

Monday, November 9, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Adolph Sutro: King of the Comstock Lode and Mayor of San Francisco with Bill Huber

Tuesday, December 1, 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

More talks will be listed here as they are scheduled.




ZOOM Video Conferencing - While We Are Apart

The Way It Works:

  • You download the app on your phone, computer or tablet
  • schedule a meeting and share an invitation (two invitations below)
  • At the designated time you click on the meeting link in the invitation, enter the meeting code and arrive at the meeting. 
  • To hear and be seen in the video conference, you should make sure both your camera and microphone are turned on within the Zoom application - usually on the bottom left of the screen. If either are turned off you will see a red line through the camera icon and/or microphone icon.
  • Use your volume controls on your device to turn up the volume so you can hear. 
  • **NOTE: You can test all of this before a meeting if you want.**


This video shows how Zoom looks on different devices.


Fee Assistance

The Hal Wanaselja Memorial Fund

Through the generosity of Maryalice Reinmuller, in loving memory of her husband Hal Wanaselja, fee assistance is available for OLLI classes throughout the year through an application process.

See guidelines and application.  

Hal Wanaselja was a life-long learner. His family home was on then-rural, Staten Island, NY where the family property line ran close to the local railroad tracks. He was fascinated by rail travel and it became his vocation and avocation and enabled him to travel the world. The youngest of six children of Estonian immigrants, music, art, education, and living history were part of his heritage. We are grateful for Maryalice's support in honor of Hal's love of OLLI; the classes, teachers, and classmates who challenged him to think, question and laugh.  Please email olli@sfsu.edu for more information on how to be considered for fee assistance.


2020 Class Sessions and Mini Course Sessions

Mini Courses: September 29 - October 6

Fall Session: October 12 - November 20 

Mini Courses: December 7 - 11

2021 Class Sessions and Mini Course Sessions

Mini Courses: January 12 - 14

Winter Session: January 25 - March 5

Mini Courses: March 16 - 18

Spring Session: April 5 - May 14

Mini Courses: May 25 - 27

Summer Session: June 7 - July 19 (Monday classes will skip July 5)

Mini Courses: July 27 - 29

Late Summer: August 9 - September 20 (Monday classes will skip Sept. 6)

Mini Courses: September 28 - 30

Fall Session: October 11 - November 19 

Mini Courses: December 7 - 9