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Biweekly, Friday  2-4, Week 1   
space available

Pandemics have been with us since ancient Greece and have occurred throughout the centuries. The Black Death plague and the Spanish Flu killed millions, but we don’t commemorate them as we do wars.  In our lifetime we have witnessed AIDS, Ebola, SARS, Zika, and now Covid-19. This workshop will look at epidemics, plagues, and pandemics and their impact on society. What can we learn from past pandemics?  How do societies change after pandemics?  Are conspiracy theories and scapegoating common? How do politics and epidemics interface? What are the implications for civil liberties and privacy? Are pandemics inevitable? What’s in store for the future?  Each participant will be expected to research one topic and make a presentation to be followed by discussion.  Suggested topics and references, with many online articles, will be provided.

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Unfortunately, the University has terminated our previous arrangement with the Media Commons at the Robarts Library. Despite a dedicated search by Doug Wilson, he has not been able to find a suitable alternate location. As a result, at this time, we are not able to include the Documentary Film workshop in our schedule for the upcoming year.

We intend to reintroduce it in the line-up for 2021/2022.

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Biweekly, Friday   2-4, Week 2
space available

This workshop is focused on discussions of current events. Members suggest topics of interest; they are expected to be aware of events reported in the various media and to come prepared to discuss them. Each session will begin with a listing of the proposed events of interest, followed by a short introduction of each event by the member who suggested it, and then by discussion.

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Biweekly, Thursday  2-4, Week 2
space available

Jazz music is considered to be America’s greatest original art form and is well known for its creativity and innovation. Since its emergence at the beginning of the 20th century, its evolution has been closely woven into the tremendous changes and upheaval in American society.

Our Jazz Appreciation workshop features examples and discussions of various different eras and personalities and how the evolution of jazz has reflected and contributed to those changes.

Each participant is requested to select a musician, personality, or genre and prepare a presentation of approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Examples of recorded music should be provided to share with the group and time allowed for group discussion to follow.

This is an enthusiastic, highly interactive and fun class in which all are welcome from curious beginners to those who have enjoyed all aspects of jazz for many years. Wherever possible, we invite a guest musician to explain and illustrate the role of their own instrument in jazz.

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Biweekly, Monday 2 – 4, Week 2    

WORKSHOP CANCELLED

The readings for this workshop will focus on four major themes:

1) the five major religions and current inter-faith dialogues among them;

2) the nature of religious belief;

3) the rise of global inter-religious hatred and violence; and

4) how prominent individual believers translate their religious beliefs into a life well lived.

We will begin the workshop with a discussion of Stephen Prothero’s God is Not One: Eight Rival Religions that Run the World. Some other books that  we will consider include: Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood: Religion and History of Violence; Barbara Taylor, Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others; Edgar Bronfman, Why be Jewish? and the Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.

An extensive bibliography will be provided with books available in multiple copies through the Toronto Public Library. Participants will be asked to do a presentation of 20 minutes on all or part of the book of their choice.

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Biweekly, Friday 12-2, Week 2
space available

 

Virginia Woolf has fascinated biographers, critics, and the common reader since she published The Voyage Out in 1915.  Along with T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Ezra Pound, Woolf was the voice of modernism in English literature. Virginia Woolf’s unique life and contribution to literature offer an intriguing insight into writing and living with originality and courage.

In this workshop we will explore Woolf’s life and work, both fiction and non-fiction.   The workshop is appropriate for students of Woolf as well as those looking for an introduction to Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.  Participants are expected to give a short presentation.

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Biweekly, Friday, 12 – 2, Week 2
space available

Songs are a vital part of our lives. First, participants will give presentations on their choice of historical periods of song, composers (e.g., Cole Porter, Jim Webb, and Lennon & McCartney), performers (e.g., Tiny Tim, the Beatles, Mel Torme), or favourite songs. Second, we will sing the songs we discuss. No experience is required – just enthusiasm for singing. We can sing a capella, or with a karaoke machine or with the accompaniment of whichever instruments members of the course wish to play (piano, guitar, accordion, percussion).

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Biweekly, Thursday 12-4, Week 2    
workshop full

Feature films are an excellent way to highlight current and historical social and political issues in order to inform and arouse a broad public. This workshop aims to stimulate thought and discussion through such films. We will view the films together, giving the opportunity for immediacy of reaction to the issues. Before viewing, one participant will briefly introduce the film, its director, actors, the making of the film, etc. After viewing, a second participant will address issues the film raises. Both presenters will suggest discussion questions. All films will be subtitled to assist hearing. Examples of films viewed in 2019-20 were Breaker Morant (1980) and Vera Drake (2004).

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Biweekly, Thursday 12 – 2, Week 2
workshop full

Welcome to all Film Fans! In each session we jointly choose two contemporary films. Each member is then expected to view and rate them, based on a set of criteria developed by the group, as well as their personal enjoyment. This has been a lively workshop where members are never at a loss for discussion. Members will take turns introducing the films, but everyone should come prepared to discuss them.

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Biweekly, Wednesday 12 – 2, Week 2
workshop full

Please join us for lively discussions of contemporary films. At each meeting we choose two films to view on our own before the next class. Films may be from any genre — indies, art films, block-busters — or whatever moves the class when voting. The two presentations per class will focus on aspects such as themes, production values, and take-home values. We rate the films individually, and then compare our class rating to the Internet rating, just for fun. Prior to the first session, the facilitator will contact registered members with the two films for consideration and solicit volunteers for presentations.

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