OL 101 The Business of Opera – People, Houses and Traditions (OLLI Shares)  

July 8, 15, 22, 29  

9 – 10:15 a.m.  

Dr. Elizabeth Aversa  

The rich history, entrenched traditions and fascinating behind-the-scenes stories from the world of opera are explored in this course. Notable people, companies and private and public venues will be the focus, with plenty of great music to illustrate both fabulous successes and dismal failures in opera.  


OL117 Causes and Tactics In the Civil War (OLLI Shares) 

July 8 & 9, (Monday & Tuesday) 

1:15 to 2:45 pm (2 Sessions)  

John Mason 

Learn why some historians believe that from America’s beginning, a Civil War was inevitable. Explore topics such as the effects of the Industrial Revolutions, growth, multiple political compromises, and the root of the insurrection, slavery. Secondly, the course will explore military tactics in the 19th Century and how they changed as a result of the conflict.   




OL 118 Margaret Renkl’s The Comfort of Crows (OLLI Shares) 

June 4, 11, 18 

9:00 am – 10:30 am  

Ken Autrey, Jay Lamar & Wendy Cleveland 

This three-session course will include presentations and discussion on Margaret Renkl’s most recent book, The Comfort of Crows, in preparation for her visit to Auburn for OLLI Day in August. Renkl, a native of Alabama and a graduate of Auburn University, has published three popular works of nonfiction. A resident of Nashville, she writes regularly for The New York Times. Instructors will direct one class session each.  


Suggested materials:   

Margaret Renkl’s The Comfort of Crows is not required but is recommended. Books may be purchased from Auburn Oil Company at a 10% OLLI discount.  

Ken Autrey has previously taught poetry and literary nonfiction in universities and for OLLI.  

Wendy Cleveland, a former high school English teacher, has taught ekphrastic poetry several times for OLLI and has, on occasion, assisted with the Writing Our Lives class.  

Jay Lamar was Executive Director of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and is currently Associate Director of the Alabama Writers’ Forum 



OL 119 Spending time with Descendants of the Historic Slave Ship Clotilda (OLLI Shares) 

July 9, 10, 11 

9:00 am – 10:30 am 

Joan Harrell 

Participants are invited to explore the history and legacy of the descendants of the historic slave ship Clotilda. From West Africa to the American South, they will delve into their stories, resilience, and ongoing pursuit of justice. Through discussions and analysis, participants will deepen their understanding of this significant chapter in history and its impact on contemporary society.  


Suggested materials:  

Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale Hurston.  ISBN: 978-0062748201  

The Survivors of the Clotilda: Lost Stories of the Last Captives on The American Slave Trade by Hannah Durkin. ISBN: 978-1788310531 


OL 104 Revolutionary Women of Influence (OLLI Shares)  

June 4, 11, 18, 25  

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.  

Dr. Richard Rhone  

When studying the American Revolutionary War period, we usually hear only of the Founding Fathers. But while playing very different roles and sometimes only behind the scenes, women had a lasting influence. This class will concentrate on four women who made significant contributions.  



OL116 The Battle of Fort Blakeley and the Civil War Campaign for Mobile  (OLLI Shares) 

June 12 

10:30 am to Noon (One Session) 

Mike Bunn 

On the afternoon of April 9, 1865, some sixteen thousand Union troops launched a bold, coordinated assault on the three-mile-long line of earthworks known as Fort Blakeley. The charge was one of the grand spectacles of the Civil War, the climax of a weeks-long campaign that resulted in the capture of Mobile–the last major Southern city to remain in Confederate hands. This course takes readers into the chaos of those desperate moments along the waters of the storied Mobile-Tensaw Delta and onto Alabama’s largest Civil War battlefield 


OL115 Absolute Power and Porcelain (OLLI Shares)  

July 10, 17, 24, 31  

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.  

Ian Crawford  

The history of Enlightenment-era European monarchs’ diplomacy through their dining customs and etiquette. The class will look at timelines and utilize knowledge of material culture, enlightenment philosophy and political power shifts.