Current Course Descriptions

Fall Term 2016

Sept. 19 - Oct. 27, 2016

Registration deadline was Sept. 15.

Monday courses:

A history of the Russian Czars
10 - 11:30 a.m.
Marbeck Center Kreider Room
Moderator: Phil Compton        

Learn about the history of Russia beginning with the first Czar through the last, Nicholas II. You will be introduced to some basic Russian language and typical Russian music.

Colloquium: Creativity, the Arts and Civic Life
1 - 2 p.m.
Marbeck Center Kreider Room
Moderators: Bluffton faculty and senior leaders       

"Creativity, the Arts and Civic Life" is the university's 2016-17 Civic Engagement Theme that explores the intersection of creativity, lifetime learning and solutions to the challenges of our time. Each week, participants will join a different Bluffton faculty or senior leader to explore this timely topic.

The resource book is "Spark: How Creativity Works," by Julie Burstein, NPR correspondent. The book is available for purchase at the Bookstore in Marbeck Center.


Meet the author event
10:45 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30
Sommer Center           

To kick off the ILR Colloquium series and the university's Civic Engagement Theme, Julie Burstein, author of "Spark: How Creativity Works," will deliver the Opening Convocation address. You are invited to this free event. Afterwards, you may join faculty and staff in the Marbeck Center Kreider Room for lunch and conversation with Ms. Burstein. Lunch cost is $6 and may be paid at the door.

Wednesday courses:

Film classics and films of literary classics
9 a.m. - noon        
Yoder Recital Hall         
Moderator: Phyllis Bixler

We will watch six classical movies and discuss what different kinds of artistry are used in films without sound and in black and white, or color.

  • Sept. 21: "City Lights"
    In this mainly silent movie, Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp falls in love with a young blind woman who sells flowers on the streets of New York. (1931, 87 minutes)
  • Sept. 28: "Little Women"
    In this early talking feature, Katherine Hepburn had a break-out role as Jo in Louisa May Alcott's classic novel. "1933, 115 minutes)
  • Oct. 5: "Jane Eyre
    This black and white version of Charlotte Brone's classic novel stars Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine, and it aptly captures the mood of the "Gothic" genre.  (1944, 97 minutes)
  • Oct. 12: "The Secret Garden"
    This colorful movie shows how Frances Hodgson Hurnett borrowed Gothic features from "Jane Eyre" in her classic novel for children (1993  101 minutes)
  • Oct. 19: "North by Northwest"
    This stunningly beautiful Hitchcock classic has Cary Grant running for his life, often accompanied by Eva Marie Saint, from New York City to Mount Rushmore. (1959  136 minutes)
  • Oct. 26: "Singin' in the Rain"
    The American Film Institute rates this number one in its list of movie musicals. It features singers and dancers Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds and Cyd Charisse. (1952  103 minutes)


Calligraphy: The Art of Writing Beautifully
1 - 2:15 p.m.      
Marbeck Center 1899 room               
Moderator: Ayane Hilda, Japanese outreach initiative coordinator, University of Findlay Mazza Museum
Class is limited to 12 students
$10 material fee

This course is designed to expose participants to the ancient art of Japanese calligraphy or shodo. This course will provide students with the opportunity to increase their appreciation for Asian culture and to develop their own unique form of personal expression, as they learn to write Japanese words, in the revered and historic style of calligraphy.


Thursday courses:

How they Do It: A comparison of sexual life cycles in the Animal Kingdom. the Mammals
10-11:30 a.m.   
Sommer Center Reichenbach Room                              
Moderator: Fran Core

This is the last of three studies of this kingdom. In this course, we will review reproduction, life cycles and parenting in mammals beginning with the egg laying monotremes, and the many, many marsupials. The placental mammals, most familiar to us, we will show variations in parenting, in length of "childhood", and parenting before adulthood is attained. Again, we will view David Attenborough's videos.

Prose, Poetry, Scripture and palms
1-2:15 p.m. 
Sommer Center Reichenbach Room
Moderator: Dr. Christina Walton

We will discuss the literary use of various forms of plant life, their value and habitats as featured in British literature, Biblical scriptures, stories and illustrations.


Registration and course fees (if applicable) are due at time of registration. To register, contact Robin Bowlus: (419) 358-3453 or