Workshops

Workshops are held on a wide range of topics including the arts, science, history, current affairs, and film. Workshops are developed and led by Academy members who are called “facilitators”. Members research and deliver presentations on the subject of their choice, and lively discussion follows.

 

Workshops listing

Lesser-Known Classical Composers ***Cancelled***

Bi-weekly; Week 1; Wednesday; 10 am – 12 pm
Location: TBD

There are only a handful of classical music composers whose names are known by all. The idea behind this workshop is to have participants explore the music of some lesser know composers. There are literally hundreds of men and women whose names and great music are unfamiliar to most of us. But there are online examples of the work of many of these lesser knowns. Pick an era, scan the list of composers from that era, browse the Internet for musical examples of their work. Share your discovery with fellow workshop participants. It’s time to explore some lesser know composers’ music, and a workshop seems a good way to begin that exploration.

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Let’s Just Laugh ***Cancelled***

Bi-weekly; Week 1; Thursday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: TBD

In this fun-filled workshop, we will explore the various genres of comedy including Stand-Up, Sketch, Improv, Satire and Slapstick and the many contexts in which comedy is delivered such as Sitcom, Late Night, SNL, movies, plays, literature, cartoons and more!

Learn what makes us laugh and share what makes you laugh.  Find out the secret of comedy writing in all its forms.  If ‘laughter is the best medicine’, then it’s more urgent now than ever to find your funny bone!  Enjoy the humour as participants share their favourite examples of comedy in the workshops.  Participants may even try their hand at writing and presenting their own comedy in front of the class at the end of term, but only if they wish, no pressure whatsoeve

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Memoir Writing and Reading

Bi-weekly; Week 1; Monday; 10 am – 12 pm
Location: TBD

Memoir, unlike autobiography, is the art of reminiscing about particular events, people and/or time periods in our lives and is becoming increasingly popular. As in previous years, participants will present extracts from their own writing. Ideas/prompts are offered to stimulate writing in class and provide a source for longer pieces. Time will be given to share these explorations in a supportive and inviting atmosphere. Participants are encouraged to provide constructive feedback to sharers (who request it), as learning from others (and from published memoirs) is a significant component of this workshop.

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New Yorker Readers

Bi-weekly; Week 1; Thursday; 10 am – 12 pm
Location: TBD. ***Workshop Full***

Join the Readers for a lively, provocative, fun, thoughtful, and always timely discussion of items from The New Yorker magazine.  At each meeting we discuss 3-4 articles, reviews, stories, poems, cartoons and covers – or anything else that may be found in the magazine. Readers choose the items to be discussed from previous issues (preferably the last 2 or 3), email the details (title, author, issue, page) of the items to the facilitator who relays them to the rest of the class. All are encouraged to read the chosen articles so they can be prepared to discuss them in a thoughtful manner at the next meeting. The person who chose the article leads off the discussion with a five to six-minute presentation – explaining why the article was of interest and posing any questions that were brought to mind.

A very brief summary of the topic is permissible so long as plenty of time is left for discussion. Presenters should assume workshop participants have read the selected articles and there is no need to reiterate their content.

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Opinions A

Bi-weekly; Week 2: Tuesday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
via Zoom

Participants will discuss articles taken from a wide range of journals, newspapers, and other sources. Topics should be substantive enough to be worthy of discussion. The group will consider the case made by the author in the light of experience, alternative points of view, and other material that may be offered by the presenter. Participants are expected to read articles chosen for review, take turns introducing an article and starting the discussion, and are encouraged to suggest suitable articles from their own reading.

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Opinions B

Bi-weekly; Week 2; Wednesday; 10 am – 12 pm
Location: TBD

This version of Opinions will meet at Tartu at the earliest opportunity, but until then will meet via Zoom.  Once in Tartu, there will be no concurrent Zoom.  Members who wish to enjoy Opinions via Zoom only should enrol in Opinions A”. 

Participants will discuss articles taken from a wide range of journals, newspapers, and other sources. Topics should be substantive enough to be worthy of discussion. The group will consider the case made by the author in the light of experience, alternative points of view, and other material that may be offered by the presenter. Participants are expected to read articles chosen for review, take turns introducing an article and starting the discussion, and are encouraged to suggest suitable articles from their own reading. 

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Paradigm Shifts

Bi-weekly; Week 1; Tuesday; 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
via Zoom

Paradigm is defined as: “a model of something, or a very clear and typical example of something.”

“Paradigm shift” has its origin in science but is applied today from everything from science, politics, advertising, and pop culture.

Examples from history would be realizing the world is round, not flat; the earth is not the center of the universe; the discovery of the new world; the germ theory of disease; the first use of horses in warfare; various political revolutions; the rise of a new religion.

Our Workshop will search out the most significant change in each field and resulting impact on the world. (presenters’ choices) with 12 fields to draw from for each workshop session. Each workshop session will have 2 Paradigm shifts presentations.  There will be some disagreement, therefore we will vote at the end.

Note: Everyone is expected to make a 20-25 minute presentation on a chosen topic.

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Reading Colonialism and its Aftermath – section A

Bi-weekly; Week 2; Wednesday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: TBD **  WORKSHOP FULL **

We will read mostly fiction, possibly memoir, and perhaps include documentary film about colonialism and its lasting effects, from the points of view of the colonized, rather than of the colonizers. We will explore twelve colonial projects of Europeans and their descendants in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, East, South and West Africa, and the Americas.

Some of the writers we are considering are Chinua Achebe, Natasha Brown, TsiTsi Dangarembga, Amitav Ghosh, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Andrea Levy, Viet Thanh Nguyen, MG Vassanji, and Katherena Vermette.

Each participant will select one of the readings to present to the group. Everyone is expected to do all the reading and be prepared to participate in the group discussion.

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Reading Colonialism and its Aftermath – section B

Bi-weekly; Week 2; Tuesday; 10 am – 12 pm

Via Zoom***NEW***Fall Term only

This is a shortened, online version of Reading Colonialism and its Aftermath A with only six sessions and six books, meeting virtually between September and the end of November. 

We will read books written from the points of view of the colonized, rather than of the colonizers, to explore colonial projects of Europeans and their descendants in West, East and Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Canada.

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Reflections on Reading: Challenging Assumptions

Bi-weekly; Week 1; Wednesday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: TBD

If you’re a bibliophile, this is the workshop for you! This workshop is inspired by a 3-part series from CBC Ideas called ‘Reading With a Grain of Salt’.   We will explore questions about reading and books.  Why do we read? Does reading make you a better or more intelligent person?  Is there a valid difference between literary fiction and popular fiction? What is the impact of the Internet on reading? Why are book clubs so popular? Each participant will make a presentation and all participants will be expected to read 2-3 articles prior to each presentation. We are happy to provide assistance and topics and references will be available.  Come and share your own reading experiences and challenge some of our assumptions about reading.

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