CommUniversity, a series of Sunday classes taught by area experts, will begin its 38th year in February. The annual non-profit event is coordinated by a board of directors from local colleges, churches, libraries and other community organizations.
Three Augustana faculty will teach classes at CommUniversity this year, and the keynote speaker will be Dr. David Crowe, Augustana professor of English. His talk is entitled, "Revolutionary Neighbors: Hemingway and Ho Chi Minh in 1920s Paris."
CommUniversity classes meet Sunday afternoons in February. This year's classes are offered in Religious Studies, Arts and Humanities, Personal Enrichment, and Regional Studies.
On the first Sunday, Feb. 4, all participants meet in St. Ambrose University's Rogalski Center in Davenport at 1 p.m. for the annual keynote and kick-off.
Registration for CommUniversity has begun online and by mail.
Augustana faculty and their CommUniversity classes include:
• Dr. Sarah McDowell, assistant professor of English: "Fantasy, Reality, and Morality." Join me in reading "A Wizard of Earthsea," "The Tombs of Atuan," and "The Farthest Shore" by Ursula LeGuin to discover how reading fantasy can help us face reality. We will explore notions of freedom, identity, mortality, and responsibility as we seek to answer the question, "How should I live my life?"
• Dr Tamara Feldent, assistant professor: "The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum." An innocent, honorable person has nothing to fear from the media and police overreach even in an age of terrorism, right? Heinrich Böll examines that notion in his 1974 novel "The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum," and in 2018 the topic is eerily relevant.
• Dr. Stephen Hager, professor of biology: "Climate Change Captured." Students will explore climate change in the classroom by studying the evidence for and consequences of global warming; in the field using simple photographic techniques to monitor habitat effects at a local nature preserve; and through reflection photography that captures thoughts and emotions that stem from classroom and field experiences.
Katie Hanson, Augustana assistant professor of English and education, has been the president of the CommUniversity board since 2009. She also is chair of the program committee. The Augustana Department of Education supports CommUniversity with registration services.
Julie Oliger, 309-794-7259