Summer Courses

All summer 2019 course locations are on the Ryerson University Campus in downtown Toronto


MONDAY

SM1 Jolson: The World's Greatest Entertainer NEW

How did an immigrant son of a Russian Rabbi/Cantor become the biggest (and highest paid) star of Broadway and Hollywood in the ‘20s and ‘30s and one of the bestselling recording artists of the 20th century? How did his star fade and then re-ignite in the late ‘40s? And why, 120 years after Jolie first stepped on a stage, is he still considered by many to be the greatest popular entertainer of all time?

The course will include substantial video and audio material.

WARNING: There will be discussion and photo/video display of “blackface” as a historical reality. It will be examined in as sensitive a way as possible and in context of the historical period in which it occurred.

Allan Price has been a professional actor for over 50 years, as well as a teacher and director. His passion for Jolson has evolved over time, having been originally kindled by his late father’s collection of 78rpm recordings. Allan began his theatre career while in university, graduating from University of Toronto in 1967. Following a seven year teaching career and over twenty years in the business world, while working part time in film/tv and stage, Allan finally realized his dream of becoming a full time actor twenty five years ago. He is based in Toronto, but has worked across most of Canada, including numerous summer theatres in Ontario.

Limited to 100 participants
Dates:
July 15 – August 26 (6 sessions, no class August 5)
Time:
Mondays, 12 – 2 p.m.
Location: VIC105

Fee: $50

Instructor: Allan Price


TUESDAY

SM2 The Life and Times of Julius Caesar NEW

Who was Julius Caesar? A hero? A villain? A fighter? The people’s champion? A dictator? This course examines the history and the myth of Caesar, his life and times, and his profound impact not just on the Roman Republic, but on the whole of the Mediterranean world and Western Europe

A lecture series presented by an expert in his field.

Dr. David Lipovitch (Harvard, ’99) is an archaeologist and has worked with archaeological excavations in southern Ontario, Israel, Jordan, the Republic of Georgia, and Turkey. He has been lecturing since the 1990s and is a course instructor in Wilfrid Laurier University’s history and archaeology departments, as well as a Research Affiliate at the University of Toronto. He is the zooarchaeologist at U of T’s excavations at Tell Ta’yinat, Turkey.

Limited to 100 participants
Dates:
July 16 – August 20 (6 sessions)

Time:
Tuesdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.

Location: VIC105
Fee:
$74

Instructor
: David Lipovitch


SM3 Make ‘Em Laugh: Six Great Funny Novels NEW

Humour is a genre that is too often overlooked in terms of literary merit but some of the best writers – and the most popular – have explored the delights of making readers laugh until their sides hurt! Beginning in the 1920s with E F Benson's Queen Lucia, we'll explore six British classics by writers as diverse as Evelyn Waugh, Stella Gibbons, Kingsley Amis and Douglas Adams, each one bringing their own unique take on what kind of story will tickle your funny bone. At the same time, readers will also have a chance to think about how humourous fiction can also make us think about the complications of the world in which we live.

A lecture course given by an enthusiastic storyteller, supplemented with video and class discussion.

Jeffrey Canton has lectured on great travel writers, contemporary essayists, the memoir and the novella at LIFE Institute at Ryerson as well as at the Baycrest Learning Academy. He was for many years a lecturer in the Children’s Studies program at York University. He’s also a writer and performer and has appeared as part of the Toronto Storytelling Festival, Myseum Intersections, Nuit Rose and the Hamilton Fringe Festival. He is the 2019 winner of Storytelling Toronto's Alice Kane Award and is currently the Children's Book columnist for The Globe and Mail.

Limited to 70 participants
Dates:
July 16 – August 20 (6 sessions)
Time:
Tuesdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.
Location: VIC103

Fee: $74
Instructor: Jeffrey Canton

SM4 A Secret History of Espionage

This course examines the evolution of intelligence services throughout the twentieth century, with particular reference to the two World Wars, technological changes, and the Cold War confrontation after 1945. The focus will be on British, German, US Russian intelligence. The course will survey the role that intelligence played in securing Allied victory during the two World Wars and in crucial Cold War events like the arms race, Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam War. Theoretical principles of intelligence gathering and assessment will be introduced and explored as will the portrayal of espionage in popular culture. The course will conclude with an examination of the challenges intelligence services face today, and the changing nature of spying in the post- Cold War and post-911 eras.

A lecture series taught by an expert in the field.

Dr. Peter Vronsky is an investigative historian and a recent New York Times Editors Selection author of a history of serial homicide. He is a former television news and documentary producer who earned his Ph.D. at University of Toronto in the fields of criminal justice history and the history of espionage in international relations.

Limited to 80 participants
Dates:
July 9 – August 13 (6 sessions)*
Time:
Tuesdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.
Location: VIC205
Fee:
$74

Instructor:
Peter Vronsky
*Please note start and end dates


SM5 The Bonaparte Saga NEW

The Bonaparte family rose to fame thanks to Napoleon, its most illustrious member. Twice, in the course of the 19th century, that family helped shape France’s destinies: two emperors, three kings, a queen, not to mention princes & princesses who cultivated their independence and often shocked the French establishment, a famous neurotic who helped saved Freud from the Nazis, an American politician who founded the FBI and a member of the French Resistance during WW2. This course proposes a fresh look at the Bonaparte dynasty and its astonishing rise and influence in the last 200 years.

A well-illustrated lecture series presented by an expert in history and France.

Dr. Olivier Courteaux received his B.A. in history, M.A. in war and conflict studies and Ph.D. 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). His latest book, The Empress Eugenie at Suez, 1869: France and Egypt during the Second Empire is scheduled for release in April 2019.

Limited to 300 participants
Dates:
July 9 – August 13 (6 sessions)
*
Time: Tuesdays, 12:10 – 1:50 p.m.
Location: LIB72
Fee: $74
Instructor: Olivier Courteaux
*Please note start and end dates


SM6 Films that Changed the World NEW

Films can change the world whether it is for social, political, innovative or technical reasons. In this film appreciation course, great films such as Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, Schindler’s List and the documentaries of Michael Moore will be viewed and discussed. This series will feature social thinking and stimulating conversation. Get lost in the great films for great minds.

Lecture course with discussion and film clips

Felice Gorica is a Ryerson Professor in the Film and Television departments. She has worked extensively in the media and entertainment businesses and has published books and articles on these areas. She’s a frequent and popular lecturer on the entertainment industry.

Limited to 100 participants

Dates: July 16 – August 20 (6 sessions)
Time:
Tuesdays, 12:10 – 1:50 p.m.
Location:
VIC105
Fee
:
$74
Instructor: Felice Gorica

SM7 All Shook Up: Music of the Sixties; a One-of-a-Kind Musical Decade NEW

A one-of-a-kind six-part overview of a one-of-a-kind musical decade – the 1960s. It was a decade that produced many of the greatest jazz albums ever made – Ellington at Newport, Miles’ Kind of Blue, Errol Garner’s Concert by the Sea, Ella’s Live in Berlin. It was a decade in which an unknown young pianist from Texas named Van Cliburn shocked the world by winning the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition. And it was a decade in which the likes of Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly left us all shook up with the advent of rock n’ roll, the biggest musical revolution of the 20th century.

Enjoy the music in this lecture series full of musical offerings.

Born and raised in Toronto, Tom Plewman graduated with a BA in History from the University of Western Ontario. For thirty years he owned and operated the Madrigal Classical Record Shop in London, Ontario, then in Halifax. He has a twenty-five-year background in radio and thirty-five years of experience giving talks on great composers for various church groups, retirement homes, and classes.

Limited to 100 participants

Dates: July 16 – August 20 (6 sessions)
Time:
Tuesdays, 2:10 – 3:50 p.m.
Location: VIC105
Fee: $74
Instructor: Tom Plewman

SM8 The World of Magic Realism NEW

The term magic realism refers to works of literature where fantastic, unreal events are taking place in an otherwise real world. It is literature of discovery of hidden meanings, which go beyond traditional understandings and beliefs. By the symbiosis of real and fantastic, magic realist authors invite the readers to heighten their awareness and delve deeper into the familiar world in order to uncover its depth and manifold meanings. In this course we will explore this versatile literary genre through the analysis of masterpieces of world literature authored by such writers like Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Tony Morrison, as well as Nikolai Gogol, Franz Kafka and Mikhail Bulgakov. Our discussions will revolve around cultural, existential, philosophical as well as literary issues, which these works contemplate.

A lecture series with some discussion. Leader will provide an optional reading list, questions for class discussion.

Dr, Svitlana Kobets has lectured on Culture, Religious Studies, Literature and Film at several North American and European universities and programs for life learners including University of Notre Dame and St. Michael’s College CE Program. Her research bridges Late Antiquity, Middle Ages and Modernity and she is deeply interested in sharing her knowledge about World Literature, and spiritual tradition.

Limited to 70 participants
Date: July 16 – August 20 (6 sessions)
Time: Tuesdays, 2:10 – 3:50 p.m.
Location: VIC103
Fee: $74
Instructor: Svitlana Kobets


WEDNESDAY

SM9 An Introduction to the Art of the Ancient Near East NEW

One of the most illuminating aspects of the archaeological record is the art left behind by ancient cultures. This course will introduce students to the art of the most important cultures of the ancient Near East including that of Egypt, Mesopotamia (Sumer, Assyria, and Babylon), Canaan, and Anatolia (Hittites and Syro-Hittites). Through the study of the archaeological record, one can not only learn about the sense of aesthetics, but also many other aspects of the people and their culture and politics.

A lecture course with power point and class notes, presented by an expert in the field.

Dr. David Lipovitch (Harvard, ’99) is an archaeologist and has worked with archaeological excavations in southern Ontario, Israel, Jordan, the Republic of Georgia, and Turkey. He has been lecturing since the 1990s and is a course instructor in Wilfrid Laurier University’s history and archaeology departments, as well as a Research Affiliate at the University of Toronto. He is the zooarchaeologist at U of T’s excavations at Tell Ta’yinat, Turkey.

Limited to 80 participants
Dates:
July 17 – August 21 (6 sessions)
Time:
Wednesdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.
Location: VIC205

Fee: $74
Instructor:
David Lipovitch

SM10 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.

A discussion class, led by its course leaders.

Jay Waterman
has been a member of the 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 30 participants
Dates:
July 17 – August 21 (6 sessions)
Time: Wednesdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.
Location: VIC106
Fee: $50
Instructors: Lloyd Cadbsy and Jay Waterman


SM11 Tai Chi, Part 1 NEW

Tai Chi rejuvenates your health and improves your quality of life. Practicing regularly increases your energy, improves your memory, uplifts your mood, strengthens muscle tone and improves flexibility. You will learn the steps of a simple and effective Tai Chi routine that you can practice at home, work, and while on vacation. Learn Tai Chi for a life enhancing experience. It will make you feel more confident, and young at heart.

Students must be comfortable standing and moving for one hour during the class. Wear loose fitting clothing and running shoes. Classes may be taken outdoors during summer months. Optional meeting for tea at nearby café after class ends.

Sue Lam is a health and wellness professional in community mental health and human resources. She has practiced Tai Chi for 20+ years and taught in community settings. Sue began training in Kung Fu as a child and later branched into Tai Chi at middle-age. She is an alumnus at Ryerson University with degrees in BCom, BSW, and MSW.

Limited to 15 participants

Dates: July 17 – August 21 (6 sessions)
Time:
Wednesdays, 10 – 11 a.m.*
Location:
RAC, Studio II
Fee:
$74
Instructor: Sue Lam
*Please note this is a ONE-HOUR class

SM12 The Châteaux of the Loire Valley: The Ideals of the Renaissance NEW

Less than 20 years ago, the Loire Valley joined the exclusive club of UNESCO World Heritage. With its architectural and artistic treasures, the French “Valley of the Kings” remains the cradle of the French Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is in the Loire Valley that Joanne of Arc won one of her most decisive victories against the English; and it is in the Loire Valley that the kings of France chose to build a string of royal residences, away from ever volatile Paris and invented Court life. The source of this brilliant civilization? Italy. Inspired by what he discovered in Italy, King Francis I had Chambord, the largest château of the early 16th century, built. Five centuries later, the Loire Valley remains at the heart of French history, culture and identity.


Participants will learn through a series of illustrated lectures, taught by an expert.

Dr. Olivier Courteaux received his B.A. in history, M.A. in war and conflict studies and Ph.D. 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). His latest book, The Empress Eugenie at Suez, 1869: France and Egypt during the Second Empire is scheduled for release in April 2019.
*Please note start and end dates.

Limited to 300 participants
Dates:
July 10 – August 14 (6 sessions)
*
Time: Wednesdays, 12:10 – 1:50 p.m.
Loation: LIB72
Fee: $74
Instructor: Olivier Courteaux
*Please note start and end dates


SM13 Aesthetics: The Philosophy of Art

Aesthetics is the philosophy of art. In this class we will contemplate: What is beauty? What is art? How does art affect us? Is dance art? Is comedy art? If a computer draws a great picture, is that art? To consider these questions, we will review materials across a variety of disciplines to include philosophy, neuropsychology, the history of art and aesthetics across cultures.

An expert in the field presents a series of illustrated lectures.

Dr. David Chandross holds a doctorate in the field of education with a major in the field of philosophy. His expertise is in the field of the philosophy of ideas including those of art and society. He has held academic positions across Canada with Simon Fraser
University, Humber College, Ryerson University and George Brown College throughout his career. He is currently the program coordinator for outreach programs at Ryerson University and is a visiting scholar in residence at the Human Factors Laboratory.

Limited to 80 participants
Dates:
July 17 – August 21 (6 sessions)
Time: Wednesdays, 2:10 – 3:50 p.m.
Location: VIC203
Fee: $74
Instructor: David Chandross


SM14 Travel the World through Great Cities on Film NEW

Longing to get away? We’ll escape to the world’s great cities by seeing them on film and experience the nostalgia and excitement of the big screen. We’ll see film clips from great movies that showcase London, Paris and Rome, Beijing, and the big apple in New York. We’ll discuss film technique, plot and story as it relates to the films and the history of the cities. Films range from classic to modern with greats such as James Bond, An American in Paris, and Roman Holiday. Armchair travelers should apply.

Lecture course with discussion and film clips

Felice Gorica is a Ryerson Professor in the Film and Television departments. She has worked extensively in the media and entertainment businesses and has published books and articles on these areas. She’s a frequent and popular lecturer on the entertainment industry.

Limited to 80 participants

Dates: July 17 – August 21 (6 sessions)
Time:
Wednesdays, 2:10 – 3:50 p.m.
Location:
VIC205
Fee:
$74
Instructor: Felice Gorica

THURSDAY

SM15 Africa: Learning from its Past to Understand its Present

In this course, we will explore the past, present and future of Africa. This course will begin by discussing the recent history of Africa, including exploring the different regions of the continent. The role and continuing influence of colonialism in the governance and economic structures will be examined. We will also scrutinize current social forces, including Western media, and their influence in shaping modern politics on the continent. And, we will situate Africa in the global context and understand the influence of other countries, regions and organizations. Gleaning insights about where Africa is headed will culminate this interesting series.

A lecture with some discussion.

Mohamed Elmi is a PhD candidate in Information Systems at the University of Cape Town and a lecturer in Global Management Studies at Ryerson University. Mohamed studies the role of technology in Africa. He holds a MA in International Development Studies.

Limited to 100 participants
Dates: July 18 – August 22 (6 sessions)

Time:
Thursdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.

Fee:
$74
Location: VIC105
Instructor: Mohamed Elmi


SM16 Antarctica: Terra Incognita

One of the most mysterious and unknown places on earth is an entire continent: Antarctica. Discovered just over a century ago, it is relatively new to humanity and is primarily a land populated by scientists. What we do know is that Antarctica is the coldest, highest, driest and windiest continent on earth. This course will bring to light much of what is known about Antarctica and explore some of the new discoveries being made today. We’ll cover such topics as the days of early exploration, the impact of climate change, the unusual fauna and marine life, the majestic glaciers of the continent’s west coast, its extreme weather conditions, its unique geo-political governance, and much more.

This course will combine lectures with extensive film clips from videos directed by the course leader, decorated polar explorer, Mark Terry. This course was previously offered in Fall 2018.

Dr. Mark Terry
is a Canadian explorer (one of Canada’s 100 Greatest Explorers as awarded by Canadian Geographic Magazine) and award-winning film maker (including several productions made in Antarctica) who is currently a course director and teacher at York University.

Limited to 80 participants
Dates:
July 18 – August 22 (6 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.
Location: VIC205
Fee: $74
Instructor: Mark Terry


SM17 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.

A discussion class led by the course leaders.
Class members will be able to subscribe to The Economist at a considerably reduced annual rate.


Jay Waterman
has been a member of the 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 30 participants
Dates:
July 18 – August 22 (6 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.
Location: VIC105
Fee: $50
Instructors: Lloyd Cadsby and Jay Waterman


SM18 The Art of the Hollywood Musical NEW

The Golden Age of Hollywood is a category of cinema occurring between the late 1920s and the early 1960s. During this time a genre flourished: the musical. Usually themed around romance, the musical was often lighthearted and provided many with a much-needed escape from the horrors of World War II. But the genre was unique in another, less-studied way. It provided visual artists a palette to create some of the most breathtaking scenes in cinema history: the “wedding cake” dance numbers of Busby Berkeley (1930s); Vincent Minnelli’s surreal stage productions of An American in Paris (1951); the reality-bending set pieces of George Cukor’s A Star is Born (1954) are just some of the samples of the artistic experimentation in the Hollywood musical this course explores.

A lecture course with slides, film clips and videos, with time for class discussion.

Dr. Mark Terry is a postdoctoral fellow, course director and professor at York University in Toronto. He has had a long career as a filmmaker, working primarily in documentary, but also spending five years in Hollywood working in the studio system (1993 to 1998). Prior to this period, Dr. Terry owned and operated Toronto’s Bayview Playhouse theatre staging such popular musicals as The World Goes ‘Round and Nunsense. His theatre productions outside of Toronto include the first Canadian production of a Fringe play mounted on Broadway: Caged (1991), and a five-year run of The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: An Evening with Charles Dickens in London’s West End. Today, Dr. Terry sits on the Board of Directors of two theatre companies: the Beech Street Theatre Company (Whitby) and the Bygone Theatre Company (Toronto).

Limited to 100 participants
Dates: July 18 – August 22 (6 sessions)
Time:
Thursdays, 12:10 – 1:50 p.m.
Location: VIC105
Fee: $74
Instructor: Mark Terry


SM19 An Introduction to Delicious Literary and Exciting Short Stories NEW

The short story is one of the great genres of literature. Short stories can be as dense as a novel and as elusive as a shadow but can provide readers with extraordinary insights into the human condition often in the most modest amount of space. This course will focus on 10 great writers from around the globe whose mastery of the genre allows writers to see the lives of others in remarkable ways. The course offers participants a chance to re-visit writers like Chekhov, Alice Munro and George Saunders along with new voices who are exciting and offer new insights into the genre. Each week , one story by each writer will be the primary focus of the talk but participants will be provided with a number of online sources from which they can also further explore the works of these writers and share their findings with the group.

A lecture course given by an enthusiastic story teller, supplemented with video and class discussion

Jeffrey Canton has lectured on great travel writers, contemporary essayists, the memoir and the novella at LIFE Institute at Ryerson as well as at the Baycrest Learning Academy. He was for many years a lecturer in the Children’s Studies program at York University. He’s also a writer and performer and has appeared as part of the Toronto Storytelling Festival, Myseum Intersections, Nuit Rose and the Hamilton Fringe Festival. He is the 2019 winner of Storytelling Toronto's Alice Kane Award and is currently the Children's Book columnist for The Globe and Mail.


Limited to 80 participants
Dates:
July 18 – August 22 (6 sessions)
Time:
Thursdays, 12:10 – 1:50 p.m.
Location: VIC205
Fee: $74
Instructor:
Jeffrey Canton


SM20 Fabulous Women Artists You May Never Have Heard Of

While the work and lives of female artists like Frida Kahlo, Helen Frankenthaler and Annie Leibovitz have received lots of well-deserved attention, it’s time to open ourselves up to the offerings of other exciting female artists. This course will delve into some of the under-discussed female artists like abstract painters Alma Thomas and Elaine de Kooning, Latina photographer Graciela Iturbide, Toronto’s multi-media illustrator Meera Sethi, Chicana-American muralist Judith Baca, painter Joan Mitchell and more. This course will include at least one class in which we will venture out to experience female-created art and meet its creators.

Note: This course is a combination of lecture, film clips and discussion, taught by an expert.

Rosalin Krieger earned an MA in Sociology and Equity Studies at OISE-U of T and is a global lecturer, academic coach, writing instructor, editor, writer, visual artist and food cultural guide based in Toronto.

Limited to 100 participants

Dates: July 18 – August 22 (6 sessions)
Time:
Thursdays, 2:10 – 3:50 p.m. Location: VIC105
Fee: $74
Instructor: Rosalin Krieger

SM21 A Pop Music Potpourri: Broadway, Big Band to the Brill Building! NEW

Highly informative and enjoyable, we’ll explore the lives and music of several of the 20th century’s greatest popular songwriters: Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Carole King and Burt Bacharach— as well as the evocative and hugely entertaining Big Band music of Swing Era giants Glenn Miller and Count Basie.

Enjoy the music in a series of lectures with power point and film clips.

Jordan Klapman
is a professional pianist, accompanist, bandleader, music director, composer - and music educator. Since 2005 he has presented unique popular musical lecture series throughout the GTA and beyond, including 16 music history courses at Ryerson’s LIFE Institute since 2012.

Limited to 80 participants

Dates: July 18 – August 22 (6 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 2:10 – 3:50 p.m.
Location: VIC205

Fee: $74
Instructor: Jordan Klapman

Accessibility: The LIFE Institute is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact the office two weeks in advance of the first class if you have any particular accommodation requirements.