Extraordinary Lives: Workshop on Biographies

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Monday;  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Two Terms; In-person

Biographies recount the stories of people’s lives, placing events, decisions and actions into context. Typically their subject matter concerns people who have faced significant obstacles in their lives or who have made a profound impact upon society.

This workshop focuses on biographical books and films that interpret the lives of noteworthy individuals. Each 2-hour session will feature 2 biographies, one book and one film.

A list of suggested easily-accessed biographical books/films will be circulated to registrants in June and the schedule will be developed in consultation between participants and facilitators. Each participant chooses one biography (book or film) on which to develop a brief maximum 20-minute presentation. Participants are encouraged to read the books or watch the films ahead of each session. A biography of personal interest can also be suggested for presentation provided there are easily-accessed resources available for other workshop members for prior preparation.

Discussion will typically focus on challenges individuals faced within the context of their time.


Barrie Wilson (barriewilson1908@gmail.com) is a retired professor of intellectual history from York University. A member of the Academy for 5 years, he’s interested in interactive discussions on a variety of historical topics.

David Phillips (phillipsdavid@rogers.com) is a retired lawyer and association executive in the financial services industry, specializing in financial regulation. David appreciates the opportunity that retirement provides to pursue a range of interests — Canadian history in particular. David has been a member of the Academy for 5 years.