CORVALLIS - The historical factors that led to the proliferation of a politicized Islam and the prospects for democracy in the Islamic world will be explored in a segment of Oregon State University's "Classes Without Quizzes, a special Homecoming Weekend program.

The program offers an afternoon of classes for OSU alumni, faculty, staff, students and the general public. It will be held Friday, Oct. 26, and includes a morning tour of the university's College of Engineering followed by lunch and six sessions of classes.

There is a $5 registration fee for any or all courses, plus $10 for lunch with the university's provost, Tim White. To register online, go to statewide.orst.edu/cwq01.html or call 1-800-235-6559. All classes and tours begin at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.

Jonathan Katz, associate professor of history at OSU, will discuss Islamic fundamentalism and the democratic currents in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Katz is an expert in Islamic intellectual history and colonialism. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1990.

Katz's class will be offered from 2 to 2:50 p.m., Friday Oct. 26.

Lisa Templeton, director of marketing for OSU Distance & Continuing Education, said Katz's class on Islamic fundamentalism and democracy, should draw a large crowd.

"Given the events of Sept. 11, we think there will be a lot of community interest in this class," Templeton said. "It gives participants the opportunity for a quick overview of Islamic fundamentalism and a chance to understand the current political situation with a historical context." Templeton said Classes Without Quizzes was first offered four years ago and was an immediate success. The program presents some of the university's most noted faculty teaching classes that appeal to the general public.

This year's schedule includes:

  • Morning tour of the OSU College of Engineering, 9:30 to 11:45 a.m. - The university's College of Engineering is the premier engineering program in Oregon and rapidly growing in both size and national reputation. The tour includes an insider's glimpse of the OSU Wave Lab, where researchers are working to better understand and predict tsunamis; the Radiation Center, which simulates operations of a nuclear reactor in a lab environment; and TekBots, which are robots that allow engineering students to apply theory learned in electrical and computer engineering classes to the real world.


  • Lunch with OSU Provost Tim White, noon to 1 p.m. - White will offer a short welcome, entertain questions, and introduce the selection of afternoon classes.


  • Whose "Knowledge," Whose Privilege? 1 to 1:50 p.m. - Judy Bowker, associate professor of communication, will present photographs from mountain villages in Oaxaca, Mexico, to set the tone for a discussion about communication research. Inquiry with women in these villages introduces critical questions about privilege, research, and knowledge.


  • Weather & Climate of the Pacific Northwest: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, 1 to 1:50 p.m. - George Taylor, state climatologist and a faculty member in the OSU College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, will discuss weather and climate and address common questions such as: What are these El Nino and La Nina things, and do they really affect us? Are we really in a wet cycle? It seems pretty dry to me. Should I be worried about global warming? Will it snow on Christmas? And most important of all, since weather guys are wrong all the time, how come they never get fired?


  • Islamic Fundamentalism/Islamic Democracy, 2 to 2:50 p.m. - Twenty years after the Iranian revolution made the Ayatollah Khomeini a household name, Islamic fundamentalism continues to grab headlines. Less visible are democratic currents in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim world. This lecture looks at the historical factors that led to the proliferation of a politicized Islam and explores the prospects for democracy in the Islamic world.


  • The King Island Wolf Dance: Myth & Ritual, 2 to 2:50 p.m. - Deanna Kingston, assistant professor of anthropology, explores the tension between change and continuity in folklore and dance over time. The King Island Inupiat Eskimos performed the Wolf Dance in 1982 and 1991. Her research discovered that although different generations of King Islanders understood different meanings of the dance, some general themes remained the same.


  • Hollywood vs. Hard Core, 3 to 3:50 p.m. - Jon Lewis, professor of English, presents a fast and fun survey of American film censorship from 1896 to 2001. Of primary interest will be the ways in which content regulation participates in the larger political economy of Hollywood.


  • Welcome to the World of Distance Education, 3 to 3:50 p.m. - Virtual campus, threaded discussion, streaming lecture, on-line discussion, synchronous, asynchronous, portal system, e-news: What does all this mean? Mark Merickel, associate dean of Distance & Continuing Education and executive director of Distance Education, will introduce the opportunities that distance education presents, especially for working adults, and demonstrate how accessible and successful the system can be.