For a downloadable file, click this link: Short Course Descriptions for 2018-2019
Fall 2018, Mornings, Sept. 14 – Nov. 16, 9:50-11:50 a.m.
A – The Beatles and Their World with Mike Daley, PhD: musicologist and musician; lecturer, York University.
This course will track the musical development of the Beatles, starting from the earliest days in Liverpool and Hamburg, moving through the excitement of Beatlemania, the rush of psychedelia, and the maturity of Abbey Road. While the focus will be on the music, we will also consider how recording techniques, the music business, the music of other artists, and the culture of the 1960s affected John, Paul, George and Ringo as they created the Beatles repertory.
B – Black History in Canada with Funke Aladeje, PhD: lecturer, Dept. of Gender and Woman’s Studies, Trent University.
This course will explore the presence of free and enslaved Africans in New France, the British colonies, and Canada. We will examine persons of African descent in British North America and the ‘passengers’ of the Underground Railroad and assess the structures of African Canadian communities, institutions and abolition movements through the twentieth century. Through lectures, guest speakers, and videos, we will consider the impact and contributions of African Canadians to Canada.
C – The Middle East and Global Conflicts with Saeed Rahnema, PhD: professor of political science & equity studies, York University.
This course deals with the most important factors and processes affecting numerous wars and continuing conflicts in the Middle East region. It will examine the involvements of foreign powers as well as the ethnic, religious and ideological diversity of the region. Such factors as economic development and the politics of oil, of water, and of gender will be included in the course. Religious fundamentalism and authoritarianism will also be considered. Conflicts in various parts of the Middle East, including the Iranian revolution, Israeli-Arab conflicts, the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and the US-led coalitions against Iraq, along with Canada’s Middle East policy will also be discussed.
Fall 2018, Afternoons, Sept. 14 – Nov. 16, 12:50-2:50 p.m.
D – Comparative Religions with Andrew Knight-Messenger; instructor, McMaster University and King’s University College, Western University.
Differing answers to the meaning and origins of life have been offered by the world’s religions. We will examine religious traditions, their founding narratives and figures, beliefs, development, understanding of life and death, ethics and rituals. Through this examination, this course will provide an opportunity to explore, compare, and contrast the religious traditions of the world.
E – Murder and Mayhem: the History of Fictional Crime with Margaret Mays (Cannon): mystery book reviewer for the Globe and Mail, on-line.
In this series, we will explore three distinct kinds of crime fiction from their 19th century inception to the present day. We will explore the classic puzzle plots of Golden Age authors like Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh right up to their current descendants M.C. Beaton and Peter Lovesey. A second group are the deduction mysteries of writers beginning with Conan Doyle whose writings are still alive and vital after 130 years. Finally, an exploration of the great spy novel from John Buchan’s Thirty Nine Steps to John Le Carre’s Legacy of Spies with side trips to Frederick Forsyth, Joseph Kanon, and other new and exciting espionage authors.
F – Theatres for a Reason: the Landscape of Theatre in Toronto with Robert Fothergill, PhD: professor emeritus York University; playwright, & critic.
This series of talks by practitioners and theatre critics, explores the Toronto theatre scene for the conceptions of an artistic mission or social purpose and how this is expressed in the targeting of an audience, the selection of a season’s programme, and the promotion of a distinctive “brand”.
Winter 2019, Mornings, Jan. 11 – Mar. 15, 9:50-11:50 a.m.
G – Great Museums of the World with James A.S. Thompson: continuing studies instructor in the GTA.
Beginning in 16th Century Italy and culminating with the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, we will explore the birth, development and expansion of the public museum. We will also encounter important patrons and directors associated with the great museums, and the politics influencing what to collect. The impact of universal education, changing tastes, and technology on great museums will also be covered.
H – Understanding Populism with Brian Singer, PhD: retired professor, sociology, Glendon College, York University.
Populism is a term much in the news, particularly since the election of Donald Trump. This set of lectures will argue that, as a political form, populism must be situated in relation to democracy. We will cover the elements of populism that have shadowed democracy in history, beginning with the struggle against oligarchy (or against the elite in today’s parlance). We will discover that populism sometimes threatens a transition to more authoritarian forms of rule.
Winter 2019, Afternoons, Jan. 11 – Mar. 15, 12:50-2:50 p.m.
I – Canada and the World with Adam Chapnick: deputy director of education at the Canadian Forces College; professor of defense studies at the Royal Military College of Canada.
In 2015, Justin Trudeau declared that Canada was back on the world stage. What did he mean? After all, Stephen Harper had said the same thing in 2006. So had Paul Martin in 2003. Where did this view come from? This course examines the evolution of Canadian foreign policy since the Second World War and its impact on how Canadians see themselves and their place in the world.
J – Film Noir with Geoff Pevere: lecturer, author, broadcaster, teacher, arts and media critic, and currently the Program Director with the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival in Toronto.
Something sinister was happening in American movies after the Second World War. A tone and style had emerged like a nightmare. It was called film noir, and it featured protagonists who were damaged, desperate and trapped in a world from which there was no escape. Film noir proved one of the most enduring and influential phenomena in movie history. This course is its story.
K – Deconstructing Water with Romila Verma, PhD: instructor, School of the Environment and Department of Geography, University of Toronto.
Water is an absolute necessity for life on Earth but its reckless consumption and mismanagement have driven us into a global crisis. This course is designed to convey the complex issues, dynamics and techniques to better manage water as a finite resource. The following topics will be explored: the science of water, demand and supply approaches, management and governance, and the role water plays in the development of civilizations, cultures, philosophies and spiritualities.