Thursday Courses: Registration

N.B.: Course times, dates and locations listed are subject to change. Should this occur it is in order to obtain the best possible classroom space for members. Thank you for your flexibility, understanding and patience.

W20-34 Currents in Events - What Matters

This is a participatory class, and everyone should want, and will be expected, to join in the discussion.  General participation helps the group better understand the complexity of the topics being discussed, and the variety of views and feelings that they evoke. It also minimizes the possible “lecturing” tendencies of anyone else in the group. In our weekly sessions the group will discuss two topics of major interest in current events, as previously selected by class participants. The objective of such discussions, over the course, will be to deepen participants’ (and the moderator’s) knowledge of significant current events and expose the variation in viewpoints that sometimes makes reasoned discourse difficult. These discussions may be particularly relevant to those with strong views, since they will be especially challenged to consider other points of view.

As described above, this is a discussion class with member participation expected.

Jess Hungate, BA and JD (Harvard), and MPA (Princeton), has worked as a lawyer in New York City and Toronto, and currently volunteers in various capacities in the public and private sector. He is interested in public policy, politics and board governance, among many other things, and believes strongly in collaborative learning approaches.

Limited to 25 participants

Dates:
Jan.30 – Mar.26 (8 sessions, no class Mar. 19)
Time: Thursdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.
Fee: $65
Location: VIC304
Instructor: Jess Hungate

Please note: There will be no class during the week of March 16.  In addition, two classes may have to be rescheduled.


W20-35 Eight Women Philosophers You Should Know About NEW

Can you name the contemporary female philosophers who have transformed the intellectual landscape of the past few decades? Well, this course will introduce you to eight of them who have contributed significant and ground-breaking ideas across all fields of western philosophy from metaphysics to political theory, as well as in other areas such as biology, ethics, ecology, economics, and law. You’ll be given some critical background on the philosophical concepts that influenced these women so that their ideas and contributions will become clearer. Among the innovative philosophers you’ll encounter will be Elizabeth Anderson, whose work centres on the philosophy of economics; Donna Harraway, author of A Cyborg Manifesto; Kate Kirkpatrick, whose interests lie in feminism, theology, and the French existentialists, such as Simone de Beauvoir; Carolyn Merchant, eco-feminist and author of The Death of Nature; and more. Critical thinking, questions and discussion about these philosophers and their ideas will be an integral part of this course.

This is a lecture series with PowerPoint notes, video clips, and some discussion, presented by an expert in the field.

Marianne Loranger holds a doctorate in the field of Philosophy and Education, with additional postgraduate degrees in Philosophy, Science, and Theology, which includes a unique combination of graduate specialties in Global and Humane Education and Eco-spirituality. Dr. Loranger has held academic positions at the University of Toronto, OISE, and Niagara University. She has previously taught other philosophy courses at LIFE.

Limited to 50 participants

Dates: Jan.30 – Mar.19 (8 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.
Fee: $95
Location: CED303
Instructor: Marianne Loranger


W20-36 Art and Life in 19th-Century Paris NEW

Let’s take a visual trip to 19th-century Paris to consider the city as a living entity and see how it was transformed over the next 100 years. During that period, a series of coup d’états and revolutions resulted in a succession of political regimes which strongly impacted the city’s life and art. We’ll also analyze other decisive factors that changed the nature and face of Paris, including the social and economic effects of the Industrial Revolution; Paris’s place in the limelight of five World’s Fairs; the role of photography as both a documentation of the city’s transformation and its own relationship to the visual arts; and the undoubted hegemony of Paris as the cultural and artistic centre of Europe. Applying an interdisciplinary approach, we’ll explore common themes and how they were treated throughout that century in various disciplines: visual and performing arts, literature, music, social histories, popular imagery, painting, sculpture, architecture, and decorative arts. And we’ll meet some of the important personages of the age, luminaries such as Napoleon I and III, Baron Haussmann, Balzac, Zola, Manet, and more.

This is an illustrated lecture series with some opportunity for discussion. A reading list will be available for interested participants.

Claudette Mainzer, PhD, has taught art history at the University of Toronto and Wilfrid Laurier University. She has lived and traveled extensively in France and also led a one-week, art history tour of Paris. She has offered this course, Art and Life in Nineteenth-Century Paris, to varied audiences from university students to adult education programs

Limited to 60 participants

Dates: Jan.30 – Mar.19 (8 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 10:10 – 11:50 a.m.
Fee: $95
Location: Chelsea - Monarch
Instructor: Claudette Mainzer


W20-37 Thursday Morning at the Opera

La Nozze di Figaro by Mozart
Anna Bolena
by Donizetti
I puritani
by Bellini
La Juive
by Halévy

Opera, with its combination of music and drama, delivers an emotional impact as no other artistic form can, and here for the winter term are four works that do just that!

First up is Mozart’s joyful comic opera La Nozze di Figaro which conveys the delights of love, both pure and adulterous, through gorgeous melodies and clever lyrics, providing us with a dazzling musical treat. Then, a turn to the tragic with Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, the story of the unfortunate second wife of Henry Tudor, her suffering so effectively conveyed through dramatic song. I puritani, Bellini’s final masterpiece, is a romantic tale of passionate love and madness set during the English Civil War, with a magnificent bel canto score. Finally, we’ll hear La Juive by the French composer Halévy. a dramatic story of the plight of outsiders, a Jewish goldsmith and his beautiful daughter who loves a Christian man, in a city gripped by religious fanaticism.

This class is led by a LIFE instructor, and the full-length performances of the operas (on DVD) are introduced by an expert in the field.

Marcel Deurvorst, lifelong opera and classical music aficionado, continues in his fourteenth year of presenting superb music to LIFE members from his own and David Gates’ CD/DVD collections. As always, Professor Eric Domville, University of Toronto Professor Emeritus, lecturer, broadcaster, and writer, will introduce these four operas.

Limited to 100 participants

Dates: Jan. 30 – Mar. 19 (8 sessions)
Time:
Thursdays, *10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fee: $75
Location: Arts and Letters Club - Great Hall
Instructor
: Marcel Deurvorst
*Please note starting and ending times


W20-38 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:

  • Stress and the brain – what we know and what we can do about it
  • Visual face processing across our lifespans
  • Interrogation techniques, false confessions, and wrongful convictions
  • Fatigue and insomnia across the lifespan
  • Orthorexia Nervosa: pathological healthy eating
  • Understanding behaviour in digital environments and developing ways to change their design

Bring your lunch and enjoy learning what’s here now and on the horizon in these areas.

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

Limited to 60 participants

Dates: Feb.6 – Mar.12 (6 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 12:10 – 1:30 p.m.
Fee: $55
Location: KHE119
Coordinator: Danielle D’Amico


W20-49 Let’s Go North of Bloor, Part Three: Food Culture Tours in North Toronto, Markham, and Scarborough NEW

We will experience an eclectic mix of delicious foodie epicenters in North York, North Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill and Scarborough. Each tour will begin with a short talk about the historical/cultural distinctions and foods. Each location is accessible by public transit or car. Venues will be chosen based on proximity to one another with some possible exceptions. New tour locations and extra stops of interest may be added. Walking will be minimal and shopping time will be provided for everyone.

The itinerary for this course will be different from Part Two. It is not necessary to have participated in the previous courses to take Part Three. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase food items during the walks.

Rosalin Krieger earned a master’s degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto and is a global lecturer, education consultant, literary advisor, editor, writer, and visual artist based in Toronto. She is an award-winning broadcaster, a member of Canadian Women in Food, and an intrepid food consultant/enthusiast. She hosts social-historical food tours in North Toronto, Markham, Thornhill, and Richmond Hill.

Limited to 30 participants

Dates
: January 30 – March 19 (8 sessions)
Time
: Thursdays, 12:10 – 1:50 p.m.
Fee
: $95

Location: Itineraries will be emailed to participants in advance of each session
Instructor
: Rosalin Krieger


W20-39 The Power of Mythology: Stories, Beliefs, and Civilization NEW

In this fascinating course we will learn about the world’s great mythologies and how they impact our lives. Myths are stories about our world and contain explanations for how it operates. We all live within mythologies, although to us they are indistinguishable from reality. Many myths are deeply embedded in our minds and may even be genetically determined according to the theories of Carl Jung and his archetypes. Mythology shapes society and our behaviour to this day, and inspires writers, artists, theologians, and historians. Myths form the basis of great novels, and can be seen reflected in video games, films, and spiritual practice. Today’s social media gives myths new life as they often supersede rational thought, taking the form of racism, religious movements, social media memes, cults, and social revolutions. Understanding our own mythologies and those of others can allow us to see life in a whole new way.

Participants will learn from an expert in the subject in a series of illustrated lectures.

David Chandross, BSc, MSc, MEd, PhD is currently a professor in residence at Humber College where he leads initiatives in simulations and serious game development. He is a two-time award-winning game designer who collaborates with numerous organizations to improve learning. Clients include the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Elections Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Senior Executive of the Chang School at Ryerson, Baycrest Health Sciences and the College of Family Physicians, Ontario.

Limited to 60 participants

Dates:
Jan.30 – Mar.19 (8 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 12:10 – 1:50 p.m.
Fee: $95
Location: Chelsea - Monarch
Instructor
: David Chandross


W20-40 Screen Goddesses NEW

Experience the glamour of the silver screen as we learn about the lives and enjoy the movies of Hollywood’s most luminous screen goddesses. We will explore their early days, find out how they rose to stardom, view clips of their greatest movies, revel in their fashions, and discuss their enduring influence on the cinema. Goddesses will include Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Vivian Leigh, and Ava Gardner.

This will be a lecture course with numerous film clips and time allowed for questions.

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 in these areas. She is a frequent and popular lecturer on the entertainment industry.

Limited to 100 participants

Dates: Jan.30 – Mar.19 (7 sessions, no class Feb.13)
Time: Thursdays, 12:10 – 1:50 p.m.
Fee: $85
Location: Arts and Letters Club - Great Hall
Instructor
: Felice Gorica


W20-41 Speakeasy: Let’s talk about What’s on Our Minds

This course is for people who enjoy absorbing heaps of knowledge about current events and diverse other things, but lack sufficient opportunities to discuss them with others. What do we talk about in Speakeasy classes? Generally, current events and important social issues, with discussions usually widening to deeper issues and implications. Terry gets the weekly ball rolling by emailing potential topics to the class, and members also suggest topics and lead the discussion of each.

Mandatory Rule: The tone is upbeat, and every member will be given ample chance to speak. When opinions diverge, we politely agree to disagree and never indulge in personal criticism.

Terry Poulton moderated LIFE’s popular memoir-writing courses (Recording Recollections and Leaving a Legacy) for seven years. She is a former journalist and author who now focuses on freelance editing and helping people write their life stories.

Limited to 12 participants

Dates: Jan. 30 – Mar. 19 (8 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 12:10 – 1:50 p.m.
Fee: $65
Location: SHE540
Instructor
: Terry Poulton


W20-42 Caravaggio and Vermeer: Masters of Drama and Optical Illusion NEW

In his book, Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters, David Hockney argues that optical devices such as mirrors and lenses were used by the great masters to create their highly detailed and realistic paintings and drawings from the early 15th century on. He notes that in 1600, the look of European painting changed, and the agent of that change was Caravaggio. Some, not all, of Caravaggio’s work displays unique optical novelty and disturbing immediacy, at once coldly precise and yet hauntingly real, and completely alien to the geometrical perspectives of Renaissance art. These particular paintings were done in Rome where Caravaggio was part of a scientific and experimental milieu in a household frequented by Galileo, who was then developing the telescope. And half a century later in the Netherlands Vermeer painted very differently, but with the same breathtaking intensity and realism. Other painters used optical devices, but Caravaggio and Vermeer made them a central technique in how they portrayed the world. We will look at the body of work of these two masters to discover the innovative techniques they used in their masterpieces that were far in advance of their time, long before the reality of photography and film.

This is a lecture course taught by an expert in the field.

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.

Limited to 100 participants

Dates: Jan.30 – Feb.20 (4 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 2:10 – 3:50 p.m.
Fee: $60
Location: Arts and Letters Club - Great Hall
Instructor
: Osnat Lippa
*Please note: This course, W20-42 Caravaggio and Vermeer: Masters of Drama and Optical Illusion, and the course W20-43 The Female Gaze: Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman, run consecutively, and therefore both may be taken.


W20-43 The Female Gaze: Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman, Two Trailblazing Women Photographers NEW

This winter, the AGO will honour Diane Arbus with a major solo exhibition of 150 works. The first in Canada in almost three decades, Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956–1971, will explore her artistic evolution and the most compelling and demanding body of portraits the 20th century had seen to that point. Meanwhile in London last fall a major new retrospective explored the development of Cindy Sherman’s work from the mid-1970s to the present day. Focusing on the artist’s manipulation of her own appearance and her deployment of material derived from a range of cultural sources, including film, advertising and fashion, the show explored the tension between façade and identity. We will explore the works of these two fascinating female photographers and how they reinvented themselves and the medium of photography in the 20th and 21st centuries.

This is a lecture course taught by an expert in the field.

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.

Limited to 100 participants

Dates: Feb.27 – Mar.19
(4 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 2:10 – 3:50 p.m.
Fee: $60
Location: Arts and Letters Club - Great Hall
Instructor: Osnat Lippa
*Please note: This course, W20-43 The Female Gaze: Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman, and the course W20-42 Caravaggio and Vermeer: Masters of Drama and Optical Illusion, run consecutively, and therefore both may be taken.


W20-44 Hard Boiled: Classic American Noir Detective Fiction NEW

This course offers participants a lively look at what's been dubbed the “Hard-Boiled” School of Detective Fiction – grittier, more violent, and more likely to blur the line between the detective and the crimes committed than “Golden Age” writers like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers. We’ll examine the lives and times of writers as diverse as Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler, and through an examination of their books, we’ll explore the conventions and clichés of the genre. Most importantly, in these hard-boiled mysteries we’ll meet a range of tough, edgy characters new to the mystery genre, including Sam Spade, Mike Hammer, and Lew Archer amongst others. We'll also look at why there weren't any really notable women writers in this genre and how it has played an important role in contemporary approaches to mystery fiction.

This is a lecture course, taught by an expert, with opportunity for discussion. A list of suggested readings will be made available, which will enrich your enjoyment of the classes, but they are not required reading.

Jeffrey Canton has lectured on great travel writers, contemporary essayists, the memoir, and the novella at the LIFE Institute at Ryerson and 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 60 participants

Dates: Jan.30 – Mar.19 (8 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 2:10 – 3:50 p.m.
Fee: $95
Location: Chelsea - Monarch
Instructor
: Jeffery Canton


W20-45 Understanding Today’s Music NEW

Do you want to learn more about today’s music and what makes it so popular? Surprise your grandkids with your up-to-date musical knowledge? Join us for a course that is part music appreciation and part critique. Together, we will listen to the top three songs on the Billboard Charts from 2010 to the present and discuss the melodies, messages, and motives therein. Not only will you gain a better understanding of today’s music, but you might also expand your own musical interests!

This course is a lecture series, with video clips, taught by expert in the subject, with opportunities for discussion.

Sina Fallah is the Music Education Program Coordinator at the SMART Lab, as well as an active musician and composer. He is currently teaching at the Chang School of Continuing Education and is the first violinist at Strings Attached Orchestra, in addition to being active in other musical groups.

Limited to 40 participants

Dates: Jan.30 – Mar.19 (8 sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 2:10 – 3:50 p.m.
Fee: $95
Location: CED303
Instructor: Sina Fallah


Accessibility: The LIFE Institute is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact the office 2 weeks in advance of the first class if you have any particular accommodation requirements.