PITTSFIELD -- The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Berkshire Community College will hold classes beginning on Sept. 16 and running until Oct. 29 concerning varied themes in history and law at locations in Williamstown, Pittsfield and Great Barrington.

OLLI courses are designed for learners ages 50 and up.

Two courses will deal with the U.S. presidency. On Mondays at BCC, Kit Dobelle, former U.S. chief of protocol during the Carter Administration and later, chief of staff to first lady Rosalynn Carter, will recall her experience to focus on the Camp David Accords, the Iranian hostage crisis and normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China.

Also on Mondays, Carl Goodman, adjunct professor of Japanese law at Georgetown University Law Center, will explore Japan's postwar American-drafted constitution and the current constitutional debate it has engendered. Japan's August 2013 election will make this subject topical and timely.

Tuesdays at Bard College at Simon's Rock, John Pollock, formerly an attorney specializing in white-collar and organized-crime defense, will examine the U.S. Bill of Rights with emphasis on the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 8th amendments. The class will also focus on an individual's constitutional rights when accused of or investigated for alleged criminal activity.


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On Wednesdays, David Auerbach, senior counsel at Pryor Cashman, LLP in New York City, will present "Presidents in Crisis: Wilson, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon" at The Clark Art Institute. Critical crisis points during the administrations of these five presidents will provide insight into the men and the major challenges they faced.

Another Wednesday class will be "The Role of Law in American Democracy," held on the Williams College campus and taught by Philip McKnight, who has taught classes at Williams, Smith College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

The class will explore varied topics including the rise of representative government, the establishment of individual liberties and the law of gender, race and sexual orientation.

These courses and others dealing with the arts, literature and science will be offered in OLLI's Fall 2013 semester.

For additional information, visit www.BerkshireOLLI.org or call the OLLI office at (413) 236-2190.