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.


Two Weeks At A Glance

Workshop Space Availability

Workshop Room Assignment



Workshop Dates

Week 1 Workshop dates are the weeks beginning:
Tues. Sept. 11, 25, Oct. 9, 23, Nov. 6, 20, Jan. 8, 22, Feb. 5, 19, Mar. 5, 19

Week 2 Workshop dates are the weeks beginning:
 Mon. Sept. 17, Oct. 1, 15, 29, Nov. 12, 26, Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11, 25, Mar. 11, 25

Workshops listing:

All About Sherlock – NEW

Biweekly, Tuesday, 2-4, Week 1 – Room 5 – Space available

Channel your inner “Dr. Watson” and join us in unravelling the world of one of the greatest fictional detectives in literature: Sherlock Holmes. Why is this fictional detective, created over 100 years ago, still part of our popular culture? We will read 10 Sherlock Holmes short stories over the course of the workshop and discuss plot, characters, and their effect on mystery writing from 1887 to the present day. Workshop participants will give a presentation on potential topics such as forensic science, logical reasoning, Scotland Yard, Victorian medicine and villains, to name a few!

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Architecture: A Closer Look At Architectural Features

Biweekly, Thursday, 2-4, Week 1 – Room 5 – Space available

This workshop will focus on architectural features such as windows, doors, roofs, stairways, columns and arches, as well as building materials like concrete, wood and glass. By exploring their origins and development, we hope to better understand and appreciate what we see around us today. A suggestion list will be provided, or members can choose their own favourite, in order to prepare a 20-minute illustrated presentation, followed by group discussion that explores the history and evolution of that particular feature, as highlighted by important buildings and architects. Think of Ghiberti’s baptistery doors or Calatrava’s curvaceous columns!

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Art: Seeing, Thinking, Doing

Biweekly, Tuesday, 10-12, Week 2 – Room 5 – Space Available

This workshop will investigate various artists, design elements and principles, and give participants an opportunity to explore these topics through discussion and hands-on activities. Each week a group member will give a short presentation about an artist, with a brief background, and then show how their work exemplifies this concept. Together, we will pursue an art activity based on the principle discussed. Whatever your artistic ability, this workshop will be an opportunity to learn more about art, experience various techniques, and have fun!

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Athens vs. Sparta: The Peloponnesian War

Biweekly, Wednesday, 10-12, Week 1 – Room 1 – Space Available

Four centuries before Christ. there was a titanic war between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta. Athens, with its famous philosophers, politicians and artists, differed sharply from conservative Sparta with its code of extreme discipline and ruthless militarism. An Athenian general, Thucydides, resolved at the war’s onset to keep an eyewitness record that would be a “possession forever,” and so it has proven to be ever since. He set new standards of accuracy, objectivity, and thoroughness, giving us a tale full of strategy, subterfuge, atrocities, heartbreak, and recognizable humanity. Everyone will read his text, and make a 20-minute presentation on a section of it or on one of a few background topics. Relating it to our world today is encouraged.

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Byzantium – NEW

Biweekly, Friday, 12-2, Week 2 – Room 5 – Space Available

Despite the move from Rome to Constantinople, they called themselves Roman, spoke Latin and followed the Roman legal system. Their borders fluctuated, flowing from the Nile to the Danube to the Tigris, and at times included Cordoba, Milan, and the Balkans. They fought off Rus, Slavs, Arabs, Vandals, and Goths, not to mention for and against the Crusades. This lesser-known Christian empire lasted more than 1,000 years until overrun by the Ottomans in 1453. In that time Constantinople saw over 80 Emperors, including Justinian and Heraclitus along with a few Empresses, including Theodora. Participants are expected to prepare one 20-minute presentation and to do some reading from the sources mentioned.

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Can “I” Survive And Thrive In A Digital Age – NEW

Biweekly, Friday, 12-2, Week 1 – Room 5 – Space Available

Some of us fear technology, some of us are eager to embrace it: it offers both threats and promises to the human brain. In this workshop we will discuss how technology is changing us and our society, and seek a balanced approach to the future. Is it possible to welcome technology as an enabler while maintaining and celebrating our value-centred humanity? To stimulate interest and discussion, participants will be offered a variety of approaches through articles and videos, and will be asked to choose one topic to explore and present to the group during the course of the year.

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Canadian Art

Biweekly, Thursday, 10-12, Week 2 – Room 5 – Space Available

This workshop examines painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media in Canada. We will discuss a wide range of subjects, from the “iconic” Canadian artists such as Lawren Harris, Alex Colville and Kenojuak Ashevak to some “rising stars” such as Shari Boyle, David Altmejd, and Rebecca Belmore, as well as Canadian art movements such as “The Painters Eleven,” “Les Automatistes,” and the “Indigenous Group of Seven.” Participants will be able to choose from a vast array of individual artists and artistic trends for their presentations.

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Celebration of Song

Biweekly, Friday, 12-2, Week 2 – Room 1 – Workshop Full

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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China Rising – NEW

Biweekly, Wednesday, 10-12, Week 1 – Room 5 – Workshop Full

As the Trump policy of “America First” shrinks American influence on the global stage, Xi Jinping‘s signature initiative, called “The China Dream,” is increasingly expanding China’s role in such 21st-century concerns as trade and globalization, climate change, and shifting political re-configurations in Asia and elsewhere. Is China’s massive, multi-billion dollar investment in “One Belt, One Road” creating a new Silk Road that includes not just Eurasia, but also Africa and South America? Each participant will be expected to make a 20-30-minute presentation and to read a short 2-3 page article emailed to all participants prior to each session.

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Cities of the Future: Challenges and Exciting Opportunities – NEW

Biweekly, Tuesday, 12-2, Week 2 – Room 1 – Space Available

It is anticipated that in 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, a majority of them with more than 10 million inhabitants. Building cities that can accommodate such a large number of people is the challenge for the next 25 years. In this workshop we will look at megacities that have successfully or unsuccessfully dealt with the economic, demographic, cultural and management issues they have faced. We will examine the factors that make a megacity livable and sustainable, and we will discuss the research, competitions and projects around the world that will drive planning and investments in megacities. Participants will be asked to make a 20-minute presentation and to actively participate in the bi-weekly discussions.

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