Workshops on a range of topics in the arts, sciences, and current affairs are generally offered every two weeks at Knox College at the University of Toronto. The workshops are led by member-facilitators, and topics are researched and presented by the members of the class.





Workshop Dates

Week 1 Workshop dates are the weeks beginning:
Tues. Sept. 12, 26. Oct. 10, 24, Nov. 7, 21 Jan. 9, 23. Feb. 6, 20. Mar. 6, 20

Week 2 Workshop dates are the weeks beginning:
Tues. Sept. 19. Oct. 3, 17, 31. Nov. 14, 28. Jan. 16, 30, Feb. 13, 27. Mar. 13, 27

Workshops listing:

About Rome II

Biweekly, Friday, 12-2, Week 1 – Space Available

From Caesar’s death though the parade of emperors, Caligula to Caracalla, Constantine and Christianity, we will attempt to determine why the western empire collapsed, while the eastern continued for a further 1,000 years. We hope to examine some of the more interesting and lascivious of the emperors; how they kept the masses content and the wars distant. We’ll also explore how and where they lived, who they fought and why, and everything you wanted to know about post-Republican Rome.

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Architecture: Great Libraries of the World — New!

Biweekly, Thursday, 2-4, Week 1 – Workshop Full

The exquisite Admont Library in Austria, the George Peabody Library in Baltimore, the Library of Congress, the British National Library, the Raza Library in India, and many others are visual treats for lovers of art, architecture, history and books. We will explore the great libraries of the world, paying particular attention to the architecture, the architect, and the library’s social/political significance. We will consider how libraries have changed over time, how they fit in with their surroundings, and how they continue to evolve. A list of suggested libraries and resources will be provided to participants in early summer.

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Big Questions in Art — NEW!

Biweekly, Thursday, 10 -12, Week 2 – Workshop Full

The aim of this workshop is to stimulate visual art appreciation and intellectual discussion. Some of the issues we will be looking at are: “what is the role of public and private finance in the promotion of art?” “What factors contribute to a positive museum experience?” “What is the optimum aesthetic experience?” “What is the place of Indigenous Art in Canada?” “Does the restoration and conservation of art distort original work?” The workshop will be interactive with the viewing of works of art at each session.

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Celebration of Song

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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Contemporary Conflict Resolution

Biweekly, Friday 12-2, Week 1 – Space Available

Since the end of the Cold War, conflict prevention and resolution have risen to the top of the international agenda. This workshop covers the theory and practice of conflict resolution. It charts the development of the field from its pioneers to its contemporary exponents, offers an assessment of its achievements and looks at the challenges it faces in today’s changed security environment. Topics include reconciliation, responses to terror, gender issues, the ethics of intervention, dialogue, culture and future directions for the field. Conflict remediation at the personal, community and international levels will be explored.

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Contemporary Film A

Biweekly, Wednesday 12-2, Week 2 – Space Remaining

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 such aspects 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. For the first session, the facilitator will contact registered members with the two films for consideration and solicit volunteers for presentations.

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Contemporary Film B

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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Cultivate Your Green Thumb — NEW!

Biweekly, Wednesday, 12 – 2, Week 1 – Space Available

Gardening can provide tranquility, a sense of accomplishment and can be used as therapy. During this workshop, we will explore a variety of topics related to gardening, including horticultural therapy, shared and community gardens, balcony gardening, growing roses, hydroponic gardening, small garden landscaping techniques, new varieties of shrubs, organic gardening techniques, growing herbs and vegetables, starting seeds and seedlings indoors, transplanting, and interesting gardens around the world. This workshop may involve field trips in addition to classroom presentations and discussion.

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Documentary Film

Biweekly, Monday 10-2, Week 2 – Space Remaining

To accommodate the large number of registrants, this workshop will be held at Robarts Media Commons in the Robarts Library. The day has also been changed from Wednesdays to Mondays at the same time.

Documentary films reflect the richness and ambiguity of life, bringing us real stories from the world around us. Together we will explore this exciting medium by presenting films on a wide variety of topics: the arts, politics, social issues, science, and human interest. All films will be screened in class with group members making brief presentations on various aspects of the films, the filmmakers, and the themes introduced. The facilitators will provide presenters with copies of each documentary in advance.

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Economist Readers

Weekly, Thursday 10-12, Weeks 1 and 2 – Space Available

This group will meet to extract the wit and wisdom in politics, business, finance, culture, literature and science from this influential international journal. Subscription copies can be delivered by mail (phone 1-800-456-6086) or e-mail ( At each session, the group selects about a dozen articles and the discussion is led by the person proposing each article.

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