Keep On Learning courses at Wartburg College this year will explore life and death, inner and outer space, Hitchcock and Shakespeare and big bands.

The seven-course helping, consisting of four classes each, begins Thursday, Sept, 8 when Pastor Larry Trachte presents “The Time of Our Lives: Living with Life and Loss.” Classes meet on Thursdays with coffee at 9 a.m. and presentations from 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the Heritage Room of Saemann Student Center.

Pre-registration is not required. Participants may attend the first class of each course for free, but a fee of $30 is payable at the second class.

This season’s lineup includes:

•  The Time of Our Lives: Living with Life and Loss — Sept. 8, 15, 22, 29. The Rev. Trachte, professor emeritus of religion and former college pastor at Wartburg College, adapts his popular “Living with Death” course, which considers the changing perspectives of time and thoughts of the afterlife and living in hope.

• Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense — Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27. Dr. Scott Cawelti, professor emeritus at the University of Northern Iowa, where he taught writing, film and literature, examines Alfred Hitchcock’s renown as the “architect of anxiety” by focusing on four acclaimed films: “Rear Window,” “Vertigo,” “North by Northwest” and “Psycho.”

• Life in the Universe: Is That All There Is? — Nov. 3, 10, 17, Dec. 1. Dr. Charles Figura, associate professor of physics and director of the Platte Observatory at Wartburg College, explores the concept of life on Earth, the solar system, and the universe, including the candidates for life among the stars.

• Mindfulness and Health: The Benefits of Being Present — Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26. Dr. Cynthia Bane, associate professor of psychology at Wartburg College, will discuss how Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction enables individuals to cultivate mindfulness and develop adaptive coping strategies that have proven effective in treating physical and psychological disorders and reducing stress.

• What Made the Big Bands Big and Will They Ever Come Back? — Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23. Bill Shepherd, founder of the Bill Shepherd Big Band and associate professor of music in general studies at the University of Northern Iowa, will provide a glimpse of life with a touring big band, including film footage made during his year with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. The class also includes videos of Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey/Buddy Morrow, and Lawrence Welk.

• Microscopic Life: It’s as Exciting as Outer Space and Much Closer — March 1, 8, 15, 22. Although the microscope preceded the telescope, Dr. Stephen Main, professor emeritus of biology at Wartburg College, discusses why scientists took a century longer to understand its significance, including explanations for ferments, disease, and the reproduction of plants and animals. Participants will see demonstrations of light and scanning electronic microscopy.

• In Love (and War) with Shakespeare — March 29, April 5, 19, 26. Anita Ross, director of the Waterloo Community Playhouse/Black Hawk Children’s Theatre, explores the wit and wisdom of William Shakespeare in four comedies: “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Love’s Labours Lost,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Twelfth Night.”

Parking is available near Saemann Student Center for those entering campus on Wartburg Boulevard.

The Wartburg Alumni and Parent Programs Office coordinates Keep on Learning with the assistance of a volunteer committee. For more information call 319-352-8491 or e-mail alumni@wartburg.edu.