SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College’s opening convocation, the Benjamin B. Dunlap Chamber Music Concert and several art exhibitions are highlights of the college’s events in September. All events listed are open to the public and are free of charge unless otherwise noted. Please check the online calendar at the for frequent updates. For athletics events, please go to

For more information, contact Laura Corbin at or 864-597-4180.

Monday, Sept. 2

Fall classes begin.

Thursday, Sept. 5
Opening Convocation
peaker: Edward B. (Ed) Wile, Class of 1973 and former investment consultant
11 a.m., Leonard Auditorium, Main Building

Edward B. (Ed) Wile, a 1973 Wofford graduate, former Wofford trustee and former investment consultant, will be the featured speaker at opening convocation, marking the opening of the 2019-20 academic year.

Tuesday, Sept. 17
Benjamin B. Dunlap Chamber Music Concert: The Vega String Quartet
7 p.m., Leonard Auditorium, Main Building

The Vega String Quartet, quartet-in-residence at Emory University, will perform, featuring Bela Bartók String Quartet #3 and Beethoven String Quartet. The Quartet – Elizabeth Fayette, violin; Jessica Shuang Wu, violin; Yinzi Kong, viola; and Guany Wang, cello – is cultivating a new generation of chamber music lovers through dynamic performances and innovative community engagement. The New York Times raved that the quartet’s “play had a kind of clean intoxication to pit, pulling the listener along … the musicians took real risks in their music making,” and the L.A. Times praised their “triumphant L.A. debut.” They concertize both nationally and internationally, most recently in Baltimore, Chicago, Nashville, Sacramento, Berlin, San Miguel and the “Brahmssaal” in Vienna’s Musikverein. The quartet’s major performing projects at Emory have included performing the complete cycle of Beethoven quartets as well as pairing Bach’s complete works for solo violin, viola and cello with the six Bartók quartets. They also have developed a series of “Jazz Meets Classics” programs, bringing the two genres together. Recent highlights include the Quartet’s debut at Amsterdam’s famed Concertgebouw, a multicity tour of Denmark, with performances at such venues as the Royal Danish Conservatory, and appearances at El Paso Pro Musica and the Sitka Music Festival.

Tuesday, Sept. 17
Imagine Science Films: The Wofford Tour III
7 p.m., McMillan Theater, Campus Life Building

The Imagine Science Films Festival is held every fall in New York City. For the event, filmmakers from all over the world submit works that humanize science through the lens of personal reflection and cultural metaphor. The result is a collection of interdisciplinary art films tangentially focused on science and society. This year, the Imagine Science organization has created a custom-made mini-film just for Wofford College. This mini-film is a collection of short features, all centered on the theme of trans-humanism, the use of future technology to enhance our lives and potentially alter our physical form.

Wednesday, Sept. 18
Imagine Science Films: The Wofford Tour III
3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., McMillan Theater, Campus Life Building

(See description of program above.)

Wednesday, Sept. 18
Speaker: Poet, songwriter Laura Eve Engel
7:30 p.m., Olin Teaching Theater, Franklin W. Olin Building

Poet and songwriter Laura Eve Engel will read from her new book of poems and talk about writing poetry and music.

Thursday, Sept. 19
Imagine Science Films: The Wofford Tour III
7 p.m., McMillan Theater, Campus Life Building

(See description of program above.)

Thursday, Sept. 19
Artist’s Talk: “Otherness²: Hiding in Plain Sight,” Lee Ann Harrison-Houser
7 p.m., Richardson Family Art Gallery, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts

(See exhibition description below.)


Tuesday, Sept. 3, through Saturday, Dec. 14
Richardson Family Art Museum, upper level, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts
“Southern Gothic: Literary Intersections with Art from the Johnson Collection”

From the haunting novels of William Faulkner to the gritty short stories of Flannery O'Connor, the Southern Gothic literary tradition has exhumed and examined the American South’s unique mystery, contradictions, and dark humor. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, American writers, epitomized by Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, sought to reinterpret the Gothic imagination of their European counterparts, dramatizing the cultures and characters of a region in the midst of civil war and its tumultuous aftermath. Decades later, a new generation of authors—including Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers, and Toni Morrison—wove Gothic elements into their own narratives, exploring the complexities of a changing social terrain and the ancient spirits that linger in its corners.

With works drawn exclusively from the Johnson Collection, Southern Gothic illuminates how nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists employed a potent visual language to transcribe the tensions between the South’s idyllic aura and its historical realities. Often described as a mood or sensibility rather than a strict set of thematic or technical conventions, features of the Southern Gothic can include horror, romance, and the supernatural. While academic painters such as Charles Fraser and Thomas Noble conveyed the genre’s gloomy tonalities in their canvases, Aaron Douglas and Harry Hoffman grappled with the injustices of a modern world. Other artists, including Alexander Brook and Eugene Thomason, investigated prevailing stereotypes of rural Southerners—a trope often accentuated in Southern Gothic literature. Collectively, these images demonstrate that definitions of the Gothic are neither monolithic nor momentary, inviting us, instead to contemplate how the Southern Gothic legacy continues to inform our understanding of the American South.
Special event: Curator’s Talk: 7 p.m., Oct. 17, Elizabeth Driscoll Smith

Tuesday, Sept. 3, through Saturday, Dec. 14
Richardson Family Art Museum, lower level, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts
“Props: Personal Identities in the Portrait Photography” by Richard Samuel Roberts

The term “props” brings to mind the objects used in the theater that help establish the meaning of a scene. In this theater context, the word is shortened from “properties,” things collectively owned by a theater group. But could the term also reflect the notion that props show “properties” of a character, offering layers of information and meaning to a viewer? “Props” is also a slang term, meaning “proper respect.” This show analyzes props in photographic portraits taken by Richard Samuel Roberts between 1920 and 1936 to see the way that the “props” – most often objects chosen by the sitters themselves – tell us something about the self-identity of the sitters. The objects chosen often underscore the proper respect due the sitters based on their attainments, but also can give insights – in an otherwise very formulaic genre – into the inner desires and predilections of the sitters. Props thus can help us see beyond the surface, or, perhaps conversely, can reify socially-agreed upon tropes.

Tuesday, Sept. 10, through Saturday, Oct. 12
Richardson Family Art Gallery, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts
“Otherness²: Hiding in Plain Sight” by Lee Ann Harrison-Houser

“Otherness²: Hiding in Plain Sight” explores the outsider’s perspectives and the impact of “othering.” During the creative process, Lee Ann Harrison-Houser pursues authenticity and begins to reveal untold stories in her work. However, she instinctively hides within the mark-making with her use of symbolism, graffito and abstraction. Layer after layer of gesso and paint erase her disclosures. Subsequently, the art installation shares these stories only in a type of hide-and-seek game for the viewer. For deeper connections, the viewer physically moves to a separate space to match the conceptual titles back to the abstract squares. Through this physical movement and mindfulness, the storyteller role shifts away from the artist and moves to the viewer to create awareness, conversation and the momentum for change.
Special event: Artist’s Talk: 7 p.m., Sept. 19, Lee Ann Harrison-Houser


Thursday, Oct. 17, through Friday, Dec. 20
Richardson Family Art Gallery, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts
“Siendo Mujer: A Short Study of the Female Experience in South America”

As Wofford College’s 35th Presidential International Scholar, Lydia Estes attempted to uncover the visual representation of “la mujer,” or the woman, in the South American countries of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru. “Siendo mujer” means “being a woman,” and this exhibition represents the conversations she shared with resilient, creative women for whom art plays a significant role in their female experiences and vice versa. It is further a collection of their artwork and Estes’ photographs of these women, their spaces and moments that contribute to the story each is trying to tell through their work. Her research revealed more questions, such as how are women stereotypically portrayed in their societies? How are female artists confronting these images through their artwork, and how are the mediums they work in an aspect of their protest? And lastly, how will art change the female experience in future South American societies?

Tuesday, Oct. 1, through Friday, Dec. 20
Martha Cloud Chapman Gallery, Sandor Teszler Library
“50 and Forward: The Sandor Teszler Library Since 1969”

The Sandor Teszler Library celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. This exhibition showcases the life of the library.
Special event: “50 and Forward: Show and Tell” with Library’s Special Collections: 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 26

Hours for Richardson Family Art Gallery and Richardson Family Art Museum:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – 1-5 p.m.; Thursday, 1-9 p.m.; Sunday-Monday, closed.

Wofford College, established in 1854, is a four-year, residential liberal arts college located in Spartanburg, S.C. It offers 26 major fields of study to a student body of 1,690 undergraduates. Nationally known for its strong academic program, outstanding faculty, study abroad participation and successful graduates, Wofford is recognized consistently as a “best value college” and is among the New York Times’ “Top Colleges Doing the Most for the American Dream,” a ranking based on accessibility for low- and middle-income students. The college community enjoys Greek Life as well as 19 NCAA Division I athletics teams.