Alumni and Faculty mingling at President's house

Classes Without Quizzes

 Wofford's Mini Alumni College 

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 All Classes Without Quizzes will be held on Friday, October 24 
from 3:30 - 5:00 pm.


 *click on course name for description 

A. Harry Potter: Themes and Variations (Colleen Ballance and John Lefebvre)

In this course, you will be introduced to five major social themes found in the Harry Potter series and discuss their relevance. These themes include the religious aspect, the gothic nature, the boarding school, class-structure and the role of technology. This course is mainly for Muggles, but all are welcome to attend regardless of age and knowledge of the wizarding world.


B.  Real Pirates of the Caribbean (Ken Banks)

Johnny Depp is unmasked in this brief introduction to buccaneers, corsairs and plain old sea villains of the Caribbean of the 17th and 18th centuries. We tour the major pirate havens, examine tactics, symbols and social life, and get acquainted with several of the major blackguards. Eye patch and parrot are optional.   



C. Creative Writing: The Short Course (C. Michael Curtis)


This class will include brief fiction-writing exercises, followed by a reading and discussion of work done in class. The underlying premise is that everyone has stories to tell, but may just need a bit of coaching on matters of form and purpose.  

D. New Space Races (Bill DeMars)

We compare several contemporary interlocking space races with the classic Cold War space race to the moon between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Today’s space races include: (1) a space exploration contest between the governments of China, Russia, U.S., India, Europe, Japan, Iran and Israel; (2) a parallel competition between private companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Bigelow Airspace; and (3) the new militarization of space, especially between the U.S. and China.  

E. Climate Change: The Scientific Facts-Not Fiction (Terry Ferguson)


This course will present the scientific facts and the empirical data that currently exist for Climate Change. It will also discuss why there is almost unanimous agreement on the part of climate scientists that almost all of the current climate changes are due to human activity. There will be a discussion of what can and must be done.   

F. Americans in the Chinese Eyes (Li Qing Kinnison)


The relationship between China and the U.S. has gone through ups and downs in the past 100 years. Do you want to know how Chinese people have viewed Americans in the past and how they think of them in the present? This class attempts to address these topics with some historical background.   

G. What is Social Justice? (Frank Machovec)


This course will consider the following questions: Are highly unequal incomes necessarily inequitable? What is the justice role of equally-applicable rules in impartial adjudication of disputes (that is, procedural fairness)? How could we correct for the role of divine malpractice in outcome inequality? Should we attempt to do so? How has Christian theology contributed to the equating of economic inequality with social justice?   

H. Dig This: Wofford's Archaeological Dig in Israel (Byron McCane)


Each summer Wofford students get down and dirty excavating the ruins of an ancient village near the Sea of Galilee. Dr. Byron McCane, co-director of the excavation, leads this class on the village, its synagogue and a once in-a-lifetime experience for our students.   

I.  What is Rhetoric anyway? (John Miles)


We’ve all heard a phrase like “that’s just rhetoric” or “let’s get beyond rhetoric.” Although what follows these statements is something that is of interest: rhetoric. In this course we will define, investigate and analyze exactly what rhetoric is and demonstrate how it might be useful in our daily lives.   

J. Income Inequality: Does it matter? (Wesley Pech and Richard Wallace)


This course will consider the recent surprise best seller, Thomas Picketty’s Captial in the Twenty-First Century. We will look at the evidence of trends in inequality in developed economies and the reasons for concern over these trends. We also will address policy responses to the concerns.   

K. Terrible Sacrifices: Florida in the Civil War (Tracy Revels)


Though the smallest state of the Confederacy in terms of population and strategically abandoned by 1862, Florida has a fascinating Civil War story. This class will consider the Florida home front and the lives of those called upon to make “terrible sacrifices,” including Florida women, slaves and Unionists.   

L. Singleton Explains Grit Lit (George Singleton)


George Singleton, who has published six collections of stories, two novels, and a book of writing advice, will talk about current trends in contemporary southern short stories. He also will read from his own work. Attendees should bring their own moonshine.  



M. Understanding the Crisis in Ukraine (Rachel Vanderhill)
This class will provide a brief introduction to the politics and economics of Ukraine, Ukrainian-Russian relations and the EU’s association agreement with Ukraine. We will discuss the conflict from multiple viewpoints (Ukrainian, Russian, German, EU, American) and the various foreign policy options for handling the crisis.   

N. The Sublime Animated Films of Hayao Miyazaki (Steve Zides)


At lunch your friend comments that, “The Wind Rises, Miyazaki’s latest film, was historically engaging but not as magical as Spirited Away or as endearing as My Neighbor Totoro.” You smile and nod politely, never letting on that you have no idea what she is talking about. Luckily, you are planning to attend Wofford’s Homecoming and now is your chance to get up to speed on animated films. This class will give you a broad overview of the characters, plots and themes in the most acclaimed Miyazaki films. Whether you are familiar with these films or not, come join us for this animated discussion ... pun definitely intended.