Fall Course Registration

You will need to join as a new or returning LIFE member before you can register for a course.   Pay for your 2020-2021 membership at www.thelifeinstitute.ca


F20-01 Outsmarting Cyber-Criminals  NEW

It is inevitable that very soon, everyone will need to use the Internet to access products and services – it is becoming our way of life. As a result, Internet users and their devices are the biggest targets for cyber-criminals. With cyber-attacks continuously evolving and increasing at an alarming rate, how prepared are you? The good news is that you can learn how to outsmart cyber-criminals and enjoy the conveniences and efficiencies that the Internet brings. Don’t miss this chance to learn about cyber-threat management. You will acquire the knowledge and skills to counter the inevitable cyber-attacks - empower yourselves!

This is a lecture course led by an expert in the field presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Dr. Carlene Blackwood-Brown teaches information systems-related courses at Sheridan and Seneca Colleges. She is also the CEO and owner of Technologically Speaking, Inc. which provides cybersecurity-related consulting, training, and technical services to organizations and individuals, delivering those services to protect the integrity, security, and confidentiality of their digital assets.

Dates: Oct. 5 - Nov. 30 (8 sessions, no class Oct. 12)
Time:  Mondays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Carlene Blackwood-Brown

F20-02 Politics, People, and Other Issues

We face many important and challenging issues today, issues that will have far-reaching impact on our lives. We focus in this group on the fundamental questions and key people driving these world events. We welcome opposing views, which make for a stimulating dialogue, carried on in a collegial and respectful manner. Participants choose the topics for discussion at the beginning of each semester.

This is a discussion class, led by its course leaders, and will be presented on ZOOM.

Jay Waterman has been a member of this class for many years and has served as a Board member of LIFE. He is a Toronto native and retired lawyer.

Lloyd Cadsby is also a retired lawyer who is intrigued by the political and financial issues that dominate our lives. His background in mediation is useful in the give-and-take of class discussion.

Limited to 25 Participants
Oct. 5 – Nov. 30 (8 sessions, no class Oct. 12)
Time:  Mondays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fee: $65
Instructors: Lloyd Cadsby and Jay Waterman


F20-03 The Joy of Money - How Much is Enough?

In this age of pandemic, how to manage retirement successfully takes on new meaning! Many retirees forfeit an opportunity for enjoying the money earned and amassed over their lifetimes, because they find it hard to shift gears; many worry unnecessarily, and they continue to save instead of starting to use the capital they’ve accumulated. To maximize well-being, retirees should (1) clarify life and estate goals, (2) both manage and use their money wisely, and (3) know how much capital is essential to maintain lifestyle and achieve their goals and how much is surplus. If they are worrying about the possibility of a shortfall, they should know what changes must be made to ensure goals are achieved. With this information any surplus can be used to maximize happiness by spending it, by giving it to heirs as advances on their inheritances, or by giving back to the community. This course will help you clarify your goals, examine your financial situation, and give you insights to manage your money effectively to maximize happiness in retirement.

This is a lecture course taught by an expert in the field and presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Warren Mackenzie is the author of Zen and the Art of Wealth, The Philanthropic Family, and The Unbiased Advisor. He is a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail and to the magazine Canadian Money Saver. To this course he brings extensive financial experience and a Zen philosophy.

Dates: Oct. 5 – Nov. 16   (6 sessions, no class Oct. 12)
Time:  Mondays, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Fee: $55
Instructor: Warren Mackenzie

F20-04 Phantom Threads: The Films of Paul Thomas Anderson NEW

Considered by many to be the most talented and idiosyncratic American filmmaker of the last thirty years, Paul Thomas Anderson has melded hard-edged melodrama with epic style to create a series of contemporary classics, from Boogie Nights to There Will Be Blood. In this course, Adam Nayman, author of the new Abrams book Masterworks: The Films of Paul Thomas Anderson, will examine the director's career arc and aesthetic development using clips from his work, as well as from a number of predecessor and cinematic influences.

This is a lecture course taught by an expert in the field, accompanied by extensive visual material, and presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Adam Nayman is a critic, author and teacher based in Toronto. He writes on film for The Ringer and Cinema Scope and teaches at the University of Toronto. He has written several books on film, including The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together, for Abrams.

Dates: Oct. 5 – Nov. 30 (8 sessions, no class Oct. 12)
Time:  Mondays, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Adam Nayman

F20-05 Africa: Progress and Challenge NEW

The course will highlight the progress and positive news that is emerging from Africa today. We will focus on eight countries, including Ghana and Ethiopia among others, with a brief description of each, followed by some historical background to better understand the conditions under which the advances have occurred. The aim of this course is to encourage members to follow news from Africa and be more aware of the evolution of this beautiful continent. We read many negative reports, but beneath the surface there is much to celebrate. Suggestions will be given for further reading and study of the area.

As this course will be given as a fully illustrated ZOOM presentation, questions and feedback will be encouraged – largely through the ZOOM “chat box”.

Dr Philip Wood is a retired surgeon who has worked for many years in central Africa. He has moderated a number of LIFE courses and travelled extensively.

Dates: Oct. 5 – Nov. 30 (8 sessions, no class Oct. 12)
Time:  Mondays, 3 – 5 p.m.
Fee: $65
Instructor: Dr. Philip Wood


F20-06 Book Talk

Come and join the discussion about books in this lively, thought-provoking group where we explore, debate, and enjoy an assortment of contemporary novels and biographies.  We will present and discuss a different book at each class.  Our first three books will be: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens; Eleanor Oliphant is Perfectly Fine by Gail Honeyman; The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard. These books are available at the Toronto Public Library or for purchase from Indigo or Amazon. We will announce the books for the remaining classes prior to the start of the course. The moderators will present the book at the first class and then we will be looking for class members to present at subsequent classes.

LIVE AND INTERACTIVE ZOOM SESSION. This class involves participant presentations and lively discussion. 

Deborah WingatePatricia O’Sullivan, and  Lindy Small are pleased to moderate this longstanding group for LIFE. Deborah and Patricia are retired librarians, and Lindy is a retired educator. They enjoy books of all types and have been avid readers since childhood.

Limited to 16 participants
Date: Oct. 6, 20, Nov. 3, 17, Dec. 1 (5 sessions) 
Time: Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fee: $50
Instructors : Lindy Small, Deborah Wingate, and Patricia O’Sullivan

F20-07 Dazzling and Distinctive: Art and Architecture of the Islamic World NEW

Intricate and complex patterns, jewel-like mosaics, minarets, and domes – these are some of the features of the exquisite art and architecture of the Islamic world.

Join a visual journey through the ages to fabled places such as Mecca and Agra and the Taj Mahal, as well as the Dome of the Rock, the Great Mosque of Damascus, the Great Mosque of Samarra, the Imam Square in Isfahan and, of course, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

First, an introduction to Islam, its five pillars, the schism that divided it into the two predominant groups, and the basic principles of Islamic art and architecture. Then, each week we’ll survey the contributions made by various key Muslim civilizations from the 8th century onwards as we learn about their history, geography, key personalities, and main achievements. Finally, in addition to their architecture, we will explore the artistic legacies from each culture: mosaics in the Umayyad Caliphate, glassware by the Abbasids, rock crystal and lustreware during the Fatimids, metalwork under the Mamluks, miniature painting and carpets under the Safavids, jewelry under the Mughals, and ceramics under the Ottomans. Thus, you will “meet” all the major Islamic civilizations through their ongoing legacy in the arts. Come and enjoy the combined beauty of the art and architecture of the Islamic world which delights the eye and replenishes the spirit.

This is a lecture course led by an expert in the field with extensive audiovisual content presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Shermeen Beg is an internationally trained architect with a passion for architectural history, the built environment, and public spaces. She brings her experiences of exploring places from her travels to all her courses. Shermeen has offered several courses at LIFE on architecture.

Dates: Oct. 6 – Nov. 24 (8 sessions)
Time: Tuesdays,10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Shermeen Beg

F20-08 Photography Potpourri NEW

Photography Potpourri is a mixture of topics related to all aspects of photography – organizing, shooting, and editing. Each week participants will have an opportunity to choose from four to six different topics in which they are interested. Approximately 12 people will be in each breakout room, covering one topic per week. This small-group format will allow more intimate interactions where participants can have their specific questions answered. So be prepared to bring your camera to your ZOOM screen. For some sessions, learners will be asked to take photos ahead of time to share with others.

As this course will be offered via ZOOM, online access is required.

Rick Bornstein, Harold Hutner, Nan Weiner and Edward Zamble are all hobby photographers who have been taking photos for over 100 years – combined, that is! They have taught either at LIFE or elsewhere. Neith MacDonald worked at CBC for 35 years as a cameraman and still photographer.

Dates: Oct. 6 – Nov. 10 (6 sessions)
Time: Tuesdays, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Fee: $55
Instructors: Rick Bornstein, Harold, Hutner, Neith MacDonald, Nan Weiner, and Edward Zamble

F20-09 So You Think You Can Think! Tools for Critical Thinking in a Post-Truth World    NEW

With advances in technology resulting in the increasingly rapid transfer of information throughout the world, it has become more difficult to determine what is legitimate news and to distinguish reliable information from fake news. To enable you to make such distinctions with confidence, this course will empower you with the skill set of Critical Thinking. These skills will provide you with the ability to analyze information, understand the importance of bias and context, consider what counts as evidence, and to identify fallacies or errors in reasoning. Learning the critical-thinking skill set will empower anyone to become a more critical thinker in a post-truth world. This is a lecture course taught by an expert in the field and presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, and author. He is a past Visiting Research Scholar at Harvard University. Dr. DiCarlo has won several awards, including TV Ontario’s Big Ideas Best Lecturer in Ontario Award and Canada’s Humanist of the Year.

Dates: Oct. 6 – Nov. 24 (8 sessions)
Time: Tuesdays,12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Dr. Christopher DiCarlo

F20-10 In the Middle of the Middle East NEW

The Middle East is entering a new and dangerous phase – becoming a geopolitical sandbox for the world’s superpowers, China, Russia, and the United States. Alliances and rivalries are changing. The economic ruins left by endless civil and regional wars, compounded by the global economic decline as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, are destroying the lives of millions of people in the Middle East. Instead of progress toward peace and prosperity, the region is faced with the great challenges of climate change, resource scarcity, and human rights abuses by autocratic regimes. Will the Middle East be able to restructure and redevelop to its intrinsic potential or will it join the long list of Least Developed Countries (LDCs)? This course aims to provide a deep understanding of the internal and external factors that will determine the future of the Middle East.

This is a lecture course led by an expert in the field with extensive audiovisual content presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Amnon Zohar is a retired hi-tech entrepreneur. Born and educated in Israel, he is a graduate of the Israeli Military Academy for Computer Sciences. Amnon studied Political Science at York University and International Relations at Tel-Aviv University. He has offered several courses at LIFE, on Global Affairs and the Middle East, football (soccer), and leadership.

Dates: Oct. 6 – Nov. 24 (8 sessions)
Time: Tuesdays, 3 – 5 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Amnon Zohar


F20-11 Unravelling the Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls  NEW

The chance discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, hidden for two millennia in remote caves in the Judaean desert on the shore of the Dead Sea, is one of the most important finds in modern archaeology. When they were discovered in 1947, they provoked a double controversy. First, who “owns” the Scrolls and why were they kept so long from the public? Second, who wrote the Scrolls, and why? This course will examine the historical background of the Jewish communities of the first centuries BCE and CE and explore the themes found in the scrolls. By studying some of the texts, we shall discuss what impact they have had upon Judaism and Christianity, both then and now.

This is a lecture course with audiovisual material and will include some time for discussion. It will be presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Rabbi Lawrence Englander is Rabbi Emeritus of Solel Congregation of Mississauga, and Adjunct Rabbi at Temple Sinai. He has a Doctorate in Rabbinics and Jewish Mysticism and has taught at university undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as offering extensive courses in Adult Education.

Dates: Oct. 7– Nov. 11 (6 sessions)
Time:  Wednesdays,10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fee: $78
Instructor: Rabbi Lawrence Englander

F20-12 Sudden Impact: Assassinations in History NEW

From the assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March in ancient Rome to the remote “death from above” US targeted-killing drone strikes, assassination has been a tool of individuals with personal agendas and powerful special interest conspiracies, or has been used as a clandestine strategy of legitimate state power. This course explores the biographies of both the assassin and the target, and how the two come together in a single instant that sometimes can change the world forever and leave a deep impact on history.

This is a lecture course taught by an expert in the field, accompanied by extensive visual material, and presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Peter Vronsky, PhD, is a former television news and documentary producer, investigative historian, and bestselling author. During the decline and collapse of the Soviet Union, he worked in Russia producing news reports and documentaries on subjects ranging from Lee Harvey Oswald’s sojourn in Russia to nuclear weapons smuggling in Chechnya and the revival of Stalinism. He holds a degree in the History of Espionage in International Relations from the University of Toronto.

Dates: Oct. 7 – Nov. 25 (8 sessions)
Time: Wednesdays, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Dr. Peter Vronsky

F20-13 Two Painters Who Changed the World of Art Forever: Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso NEW

Two towering geniuses dominated the artistic world of their time and fundamentally changed the course of art. Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso were alike in their impact but could not have been more different in looks, character, and interests.

Leonardo was feminine in appearance, probably homosexual, and had an endless curiosity about the world and how it worked, never limiting his work to art alone. Picasso was a stocky, burly Spaniard, an inveterate womanizer, and a painter who lived and breathed art – and only art.

Their revolutionary contributions to art included, for Leonardo, the invention of a modern approach to portraiture and for Picasso, the invention of Cubism, a new language of painting, creating in effect a new art movement that led to artistic modernity. We will discuss the lives and works of these two fascinating artists.

This is a lecture course taught by an expert, accompanied by extensive audiovisual material, and presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Osnat Lippa graduated in art and design from London Guildhall University, with postgraduate work in digital imaging. She has taught at George Brown College, worked as a freelance illustrator, and presented workshops in the Silver Screens Arts Festival in digital media. She has presented many popular art history courses at LIFE.

Dates: Oct. 7 – Nov. 25 (8 sessions)
Time: Wednesdays, 3 – 5 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Osnat Lippa


F20-14 The Documentary Film: A Powerful Instrument of Social Change NEW

Since 1895, the moving picture has demonstrated a unique ability to emotionally engage and move audiences. The non-fiction content of these early films represented reality in a new way, and early filmmakers soon learned that they could influence and educate audiences as an agency for social change. As techniques and technologies changed, so too did the documentary’s ability to inform and influence power. Remember, it was a 10-minute video of George Floyd being killed by police that sparked thousands to take to the streets worldwide in protest - during a global pandemic, no less.

This course will examine some of the world’s most successful documentary filmmakers and their films with respect to social change: John Grierson and the National Film Board of Canada, Robert Flaherty, Dziga Vertov, and Colin Low. Important and influential films such as Nanook of the North, Man with a Movie Camera, The Fogo Island Films, If You Love This Planet, and The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning will be screened.

This is a lecture course taught by an expert in the field, accompanied by extensive visual material, via a pre-recorded presentation that will be sent to you a couple of days prior to the LIVE ZOOM Q&A Session which will occur at listed time and day.

Mark Terry is a postdoctoral fellow, course director, and professor at York University. His area of research expertise covers the evolution of the documentary film as an instrument of social change. Mark is also an award-winning social-issue documentary filmmaker in his own right, having produced and directed documentary films on every continent on earth over his 25-year career. His success in presenting visible evidence of climate change to the United Nations earned him the Gemini Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television in 2012 and the Diamond Jubilee Medal from Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.

Dates: Oct. 8 – Nov. 26 (8 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Dr. Mark Terry

F20-15 Trump and the Rule of Law NEW

The United States is one of the world’s oldest democracies. Yet the Trump presidency shows how the institutions and norms of a well-established democracy can be undermined by a president and a government majority who care more about power than principles. The Trump presidency has challenged long-standing norms with deleterious effects on domestic, international, and constitutional law. 

This course will examine President Trump's impact in areas of the law most affected by his actions, including individual rights, the environment, immigration, the Constitution of the United States, impeachment, and international law. We will also consider the practical consequences of Trump’s possible re-election in 2020.

The discussions may also include comparisons between U.S., Canadian, and British law where appropriate. Finally, it may be necessary as events unfold, before and during the course, to address additional issues.

This is a lecture course led by an expert in the field presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Eric Gertner practiced law both in government and private practice for more than 35 years. He has also been an adjunct professor in four of Ontario’s law schools and is a co-founder of the Supreme Court Law Review. He has been an instructor at LIFE Institute for a number of years, focusing on law and law-related subjects.

Dates: *Sept. 24 – Nov. 12 (8 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Instructor: Eric Gertner
*Please note the early start date of this course – designed to straddle the date of this year’s U.S. election.

F20-16 Get Psyched with Ryerson Research Students!

Come and hear about the latest research in psychology. The speakers will be outstanding graduate students from the Ryerson Psychology Department, and all presentations will include time for dynamic interaction and meaningful discussion. This six-part series will introduce you to a variety of cutting-edge ideas and findings in the following areas:

  • Danielle D'Amico: Online Cognitive Training for the Ageing Brain: Evidence, Challenges, and Future Directions: What’s here now and on the horizon
  • Liyana Swirsky: Motivated Cognition with Aging
  • Shruti Vyas: History of Perception/Sensory Psychology and Experimentation
  • Alyssa Saiphoo: Social Cognition: Attitudes, Heuristics, and Schemas
  • Leah Hamovitch: Exonerees and False Confessions
  • Emma Rempel: Juror Decision-Making and Technology in the Court Room

This LIVE ZOOM course will include research presentations with time for questions and discussion.

Dates: Oct. 8 – Nov. 12 (6 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 3 – 5 p.m.
Fee: $55
Coordinator: Danielle D'Amico

F20-17 Home Visits: Interior Decoration Through the Ages NEW

Let’s visit some beautiful homes on a tour of interior design beginning with the ancient styles of Egypt, Greece, and Rome and concluding with today’s most modern trends. Along the way you’ll see the best of Chinoiserie, Gothic Revival, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Arts and Crafts, and the Bauhaus movement, as well as the work of famous designers such as Robert Adam, William Morris, and Peggy Guggenheim. And you’ll visit some extraordinary interiors from ruins in Pompeii and Herculaneum to grand houses in Paris, from stately mansions in Britain to modern lofts in New York. Discover the cultural and historical origins of key developments and innovations, and how great interior decoration designs have been interpreted by talented people around the world. 

This is a lecture course taught by an expert in the field, accompanied by extensive visual material, and presented via LIVE ZOOM.

James Thompson has been teaching since 2006. He has a History B.A. from Queen’s University and a History M.A. from Durham University, UK. He studied Art History at the Courtauld Institute in London and has a B.Ed. from OISE.

Dates: Oct. 8 – Nov. 26 (8 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 3 – 5 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: James Thompson


F20-18 The Economist Seminar

Our stimulating discussions are based on articles from this prestigious and influential magazine . The topics dealt with are broad in scope: issues relating to nations, the economy, the arts, science, and the people influencing these concerns. We will focus on specific articles that the class members have been directed to and discuss the challenging issues that are raised in those articles. Join us in a lively and respectful exchange of views.

This is a discussion class, led by its course leaders, via live interactive ZOOM sessions.

Lloyd Cadsby and Jay Waterman are both retired lawyers who have found there is LIFE after law by pursuing their interest in world events.

Limited to 25 participants
Dates: Oct. 9 – Nov. 27 (8 sessions)
Time: Fridays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fee: $65
Instructors : Lloyd Cadsby and Jay Waterman

Please Note: Class members will be able to subscribe to The Economist at a considerably reduced annual rate.

F20-19 Exploring the Past: The Archaeology of Turkey NEW

Modern Turkey, once home to many ancient cultures, is full of extraordinary archaeological remains. These include the earliest known city, Catal Huyuk, and the earliest religious construction, Gobekli Tepe. Turkey was the home of the Hittite Empire and the location of the Trojan Wars. It is where coinage was first invented (Lydia) and where Midas was king. The great classical sites of Ephesus and Sardis are also to be found there. This course will introduce participants to the roughly 8000 years of archaeology that spans the Neolithic through Classical periods.

This is a lecture course taught by an expert in the field, accompanied by extensive visual material, and presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Dr. David Lipovitch is an archaeologist who has worked on or with excavations in Ontario, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey. He has been lecturing since the 1990s and is a course instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Dates: Oct. 9 – Nov. 27 (8 sessions)
Time: Fridays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Dr. David Lipovitch

F20-20 It's the Top 40! Classical Music's Greatest Hits! NEW

When speaking to audiences, I often refer to myself as a classical music disc jockey. And, as any good disc jockey will tell you, what people want to hear is the most popular music of the day – the top 40 tunes.  In the popular music world, these hits usually change frequently and quickly. But in the classical music world, they remain the same, and we enjoy hearing them again and again. That, of course, is the definition of a classic – with the passage of time it does not disappear, and it remains highly valued and forever popular. This program will identify 40 of these classics and help you understand why they, and their composers remain with us, to this day and beyond.  We’ll begin with my favourite – Mozart. Remember – a day without Mozart, is like a day without sunshine! We’ll meet many other musical geniuses along our way – like Beethoven, Shubert, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and more as we enjoy some of the most sublime music ever composed.

This course will be presented via LIVE ZOOM and includes many musical clips.

Howard Mednick has been an avid listener of classical and orchestral music for many years and has studied what makes it so special. He offers talks on this subject at Baycrest, public libraries, and for social groups. His objective is to give you a taste of this timeless music, and enable you to learn a little more about it, enjoy the experience of listening to great classical works, and gain the confidence to explore more of it on your own.

Dates: Oct. 9 – Nov. 27 (8 sessions)
Time: Fridays, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Howard Mednick

F20-21 And All That Jazz! A Socio-sonic History NEW

This course will offer an inside look into the history of jazz music, from its origins at the turn of the 20th century to the present day. The life and contribution of key artists will provide the narrative thread around which the stories of other major figures turn. Throughout the lectures the history of jazz will also serve as a point of departure for the examination of key social, economic, and political issues (e.g., social disparity, racism, intellectual freedom, etc.) that shaped the emergence and evolution of the genre.

This lecture course, presented via LIVE ZOOM and taught by an expert in the field, includes audiovisual material.

Originally from Buenos Aires, Dr. Alberto Munarriz is an ethnomusicologist, a professional musician, and a pedagogue with a multifaceted background and a broad range of interests. Much of his work has focused on the dialogues shaping the multiple realities of cultural expressions across the Americas.

Dates: Oct. 9 – Nov. 27 (8 sessions)
Time: Fridays, 3 – 5 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Dr. Alberto Munarriz


F20-22 The U.S. and China: The Best of Enemies NEW

The United States, while refusing to acknowledge the advent of Communist China in 1949, finally had no choice but to seek its support to get out of the Vietnamese nightmare and contain the Soviet Union. The famous visit to China of Richard Nixon in 1972 paved the way to a new era in the relations between the two countries. However, relations started to sour when Beijing chose to apply the liberal rules (in matters of trade) praised by the U.S. and China emerged as its most serious competitor. The Covid-19 pandemic, far from appeasing the existing and growing tensions between the U.S. and China, has only exacerbated them in recent weeks. This course proposes to explore the evolving relations between the two giants, from the late 18 th century to the present, with a particular emphasis on how their mutual perception of the other shaped their behavior and policies. The role played by Hong Kong in further shaping the Sino-American relationship will also be discussed.

This is a lecture course led by an expert in the field with extensive audiovisual material and presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Olivier Courteaux received his BA in history, MA in war and conflicts studies and PhD in contemporary international relations from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He has lectured at various Canadian universities, including Ryerson and the Royal Military College of Canada. He is the author of The War on Terror: the Canadian Dilemma (2009), Canada Between Vichy and Free France, 1940-1945, (2013) and Quatre Journées qui ébranlèrent le Québec on Charles de Gaulle’s famous 1967 “Vive le Québec Libre,” (2017).

Dates: Oct. 3 – Nov. 28 (8 sessions; no class October 10)
Time: Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fee: $95
Instructor: Dr. Olivier Courteaux


F20-23 The Importance of Being French: A History of Modern France Since 1815 NEW

Following the French Revolution and Napoleon's short-lived domination of Europe, the next two centuries proved most eventful for France. This course will look at the extraordinary succession of events that have marked France's history since 1815: two revolutions, a Parisian uprising, three wars with Germany with long-lasting consequences, periods of stability and economic growth interspersed with ongoing political and social tensions. Since the end of the Second World War, France has sought to establish herself as the leader of the European project, often with mixed results. "France cannot be France without greatness", once declared the great Charles de Gaulle. The question is: is there anything left of the exceptionalism of which the French are still so proud? Or is it nothing more than an illusion?

This is a lecture course led by an expert in the field with extensive audiovisual material and presented via LIVE ZOOM.

Olivier Courteaux received his BA in history, MA in war and conflicts studies and PhD in contemporary international relations from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He has lectured at various Canadian universities, including Ryerson and the Royal Military College of Canada. He is the author of The War on Terror: the Canadian Dilemma (2009), Canada Between Vichy and Free France, 1940-1945, (2013) and Quatre Journées qui ébranlèrent le Québec on Charles de Gaulle’s famous 1967 “Vive le Québec Libre,” (2017).

Dates: Oct. 4 - Nov. 29 (8 sessions, no class October 11)

Time: Sundays, 2-4 p.m. 

Fee: $95

Instructor: Dr. Olivier Courteaux