Dames: Lives of Notorious Women

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Bi-weekly;  Week One;  Tuesday;  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Online via Zoom **NEW** **Workshop Waitlisted**

They spurned conventions and broke rules; they shaped events and changed history; they occasionally shocked contemporaries. ‘Dames’ will explore the lives of extraordinary women who fashioned life on their terms and whose actions and decisions, above all, had impact.

We will focus on exceptional women from a variety of fields. Some ‘dames’ we may discuss are the sovereigns – Catherine the Great and the Empress Dowager Cixi, spies such as Mata Hari, adventurers like Gertrude Bell, artists such as Tamara de Lempicka, scientists like Émilie du Châtelet, and out-and-out influential people such as Imelda Marcos, Wallis Simpson and Coco Chanel.

Presenters will discuss the time in which the dame lived, their decisions, challenges, accomplishments and long term impact.

A list of notorious women will be sent to participants; however, members may propose a ‘dame’ of their choice. All participants will make a 20-25 minute digital presentation.


Following her very early retirement as an educator and photographer, Sharon Harris  (sharonlh546@gmail.com) is a long-time member of the Academy where she co-facilitated numerous arts-related workshops and held many administrative positions.  Through various media Sharon enjoys vicariously exploring the lives of unconventional women who dared to defy their society’s limitations.

Patti Stoll (knoxacademypatti@gmail.com) is a retired consultant, professor of management, and dean of business.  Since joining the Academy in 2017 Patti has enjoyed learning with colleagues, volunteering, and co-facilitating workshops in fitness and in the arts. She is looking forward to another year of challenging and fun workshops.

Workshop Materials:


To request to be added to a waiting list, email registerattheacademy@gmail.com.