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.




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Workshop Space Availability


Two Weeks at a Glance


Workshop Dates

Week 1 Workshop dates are the weeks beginning:
Mon. Sept. 9, 23, Oct. 7, 21, Nov. 4, 18, Jan. 6, 20, Feb. 3, 17, Mar. 2, 16

Week 2 Workshop dates are the weeks beginning:
 Tues. Sept. 17, Oct. 1, 15, 29, Nov. 12, 26, Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11, 25, Mar. 10, 24

Workshops listing:

New Yorker Readers I

Biweekly, Thursday, 10 – 12, Week 1 – Full
Room 5

Join the Readers for a lively, provocative, fun, thoughtful and always timely discussion of articles, stories, reviews, poems, cartoons and covers of the New Yorker magazine. Participants choose articles via email in order to identify articles for discussion prior to the meeting, so that they can discuss and express their opinions at the workshop. We encourage different perspectives and lively debates. The New Yorker is available online, by mail or newsstand.

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New Yorker Readers II

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

Join the New Yorker Readers workshop to discuss the timely commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, poetry, and even the cartoons of this outstanding American magazine. The New Yorker’s great range of articles give its readers a springboard for some very lively discussions. At each biweekly meeting, members will discuss articles they have already chosen by earlier emails sent to workshop facilitators. The New Yorker is available by subscription, at the newsstand, or online.

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Non-Fiction: New and Noteworthy

Biweekly, Tuesday, 2 – 4, Week 2 – Space available
Room 5 (Fall) ; Room 1 (Winter)

This lively workshop examines non-fiction books written in the last few years that draw attention to important issues. Some of the books likely to be read, presented, and discussed are: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Harari, Educated by Tara Westover and The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy by Arthur Manuel. In order to participate in the often-spirited discussions, everyone is expected to read the selected books and make one 20-minute presentation structured to provoke discussion.

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Biweekly, Wednesday, 10 – 12, Week 2 – Full
Room 5

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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Photographic Image, The – New for 2019 / 2020

Biweekly, Friday 12 – 2, Week 1 – Space available
Room 5

An examination of how the many facets of photography have developed over the last century and a half; how it has documented human and social conditions; and how it has altered and illuminated our perceptions and opinions. The camera has been used as a tool by painters, journalists, scientists, and artists. We will look at how different photographers worked in these and other areas throughout the decades, as well as how the changing technology has led to changes in the types of images the photographers could produce.

Participants will be expected make a short presentation based on an outline supplied by the facilitators, or on a topic of their own choosing after consultation with a facilitator. It is also the intention of the workshop to visit a few galleries and photo exhibits in Toronto and then discuss the work. If the group desires, we can also schedule a photography ‘outing’ and then view participants’ photographs and provide feedback.

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Reading Through Borders: Displacement, Migration, and Refuge – New for 2019 / 2020

Biweekly, Tuesday, 10 – 12, Week 2 – Workshop Full
Room 5

Forced migration/displacement is a phenomenon that marks our current era and challenges the political agenda of many nations. Through novels, memoirs, and non-fiction our readings will highlight the experiences of “asylum seekers” and “refugees” as well as the economic and geopolitical forces such as imperialism, globalization, and climate change that precipitate global migrations. The reading list and schedule will be established in June. Each workshop participant will be invited to select one of the books to present to the group. The participants are expected to do all the readings.

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Socio-Political Feature Films

Biweekly, Tuesday, 12 – 4, Week 2 – Space available
Robarts (Fall) ; Room 5 (Winter)

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 2018-19 were The Battle of Algiers (1966) and The Crying Game (1992).

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Stand-Up Comedy For Seniors

Biweekly, Thursday, 12 – 2, Week 1 – Space available
Room 1

Back by popular demand! Laughter is the best medicine and stand-up comedy is just what we need to help us cope with the challenges of aging. This fun-filled workshop will include studying videos of professional comics, and writing and performing our own original jokes. At the end of the workshop, the group will do a comedy show of their material for Academy members in March 2020. No memorization is required; index cards are fine.

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T.S. Eliot: A Defining Poetic Voice – New Offering for 2019 / 2020

Biweekly, Friday, 12 – 2, Week 2 – Space available
Room 5

T.S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 for his outstanding contribution to 20th century poetry. Saint or sinner, Eliot has been described by many as the greatest poet of the modern era. This workshop will involve close readings and analyses of The Love Song of Alfred J Prufrock, The Wasteland, and Four Quartets, three of his most highly acclaimed and complex works.

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Web of Natural Science, The

Biweekly, Thursday, 12 – 2, Week 1 – Full
Room 5

Our natural world is a web of wonder, beauty and complexity. In this workshop we will take a broad look at natural phenomena through many scientific disciplines. These may include psychology, chemistry, physics, geology, bacteriology and more. We will see that there are many ways in which scientific studies overlap to inform our everyday existence. Each session will focus on an article of your choice, generally from the current year of the journal Scientific American. Source material will include Scientific American, Discovery Magazine, Science News and The New Scientist.

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