Study Groups – Fall 2018

Below is a newly updated list of the study group choices for the Fall 2018 term at SLR. They are shown in the chart below. Detailed descriptions can be found beneath the chart.

These 10-week study groups have a fee of $65 each.

Day Time Dates Titles
Monday 1:30-3:30 am Sept 17 – Dec 3 TRADE MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND
Tuesday 9:30-11:30 am Sept 18 – Nov 27 CANADA’S FIRST NATIONS AND INUIT PEOPLE
Tuesday 1:30-3:30 pm Sept 18 – Nov 27 GREAT MOMENTS IN SPORTS
Wednesday 9:30-11:30 am Sept 19 – Nov 28 THE MASSEY LECTURES
Wednesday 1:30-3:30 pm Sept 19 – Dec 5 SCOTLAND
Thursday 9:30-11:30 am Sept 20 – Nov 29 IT’S A MYSTERY
Thursday 1:30-3:30 pm Sept 20 – Nov 29 POTPOURRI
Friday 9:30-11:30 am Sept 21- Nov 30 TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT
Friday 1:30-3:30 pm Sept 21 – Nov 30 THE AWESOME POWER OF THE PLANTS

To obtain your own detailed listing, you may print this page or you may click the pdf document below:

Fall 2018 Study Groups (pdf)

Here is the detailed study group listing for the Fall 2015 term. All groups listed will run for 10 weeks. We hope you will find one that piques your interest and you will join us in September.
For some hints on preparing your presentation see Resources Available, at the foot of the courses list, below.

Monday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Sept 17 – Dec 3 (no classes on Oct 8, Thanksgiving, and Oct 29, GL Fundraiser)
Moderators:  Rod Whitwham, Patricia Robinson

Evidence of trading goes back thousands of years, likely to the domestication of pack animals and the invention of ships. Today, international trade is at the centre of our world’s economy and is responsible for much of the development and prosperity of the modern industrialized world. Investigate and tell us about the romance, intrigue, the discoveries or conflict that trade has inspired.

Possible Topics: BRICs, Brexit, The Silk Road, clipper ships, Marco Polo. Conjure up visions of perhaps dangerous journeys and exotic trade goods. Slave trade, spice trade, tea trade, fur trade, oil trade, drug trade, free trade and fair trade, treaties such as NAFTA, tariffs, trade organizations like WTO.

Tuesday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Sept 18 – Nov 27 (no class on Oct 30, GL Fundraiser)
Moderators:  Helen Olmstead, Edna Blomqvist

 First Nations and Inuit peoples lived and thrived in all geographic areas in what is now known as Canada.  Highly varied physical environments led to distinctive cultures in terms of social organization, food resources, tools, housing, transportation, clothing, art, entertainment, language and spiritual beliefs.  Let’s explore the history and culture of their world.

Possible Topics: Migration from Asia, pictographs and petroglyphs, life in a longhouse, Inuit art, the Canoe, life in the Arctic, slavery, war, trade, The Three Sisters, buffalo hunts, totem poles, competitive sport, body painting and tattoos, major archaeological sites.

Tuesday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Sept 18 – Nov 27 (No class on Oct 30, GL Fundraiser)
Moderators:  Jim Easton, Alvin Shapiro

 Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue’s conquest! Rocket shoots, he scores! Bautista flips his bat! Northern Dancer wins by a nose! Ben Johnson rises and falls — say it ain’t so!  Leafs seize the Stanley cup again! Sports are made up of many great events that brought us to our feet cheering or left us devastated, even angry. Share the real stories of great sporting sagas.  What really happened? 

Possible topics:  Emmanuel De Grasse piles up the gold at Canadian track championships, Canadian Women’s Eight capture silver at rowing worlds. Joannie Rochette skates to Olympic Bronze riding on our tears! The Rocket Richard Riot, Bautista’s arrogance, Northern Dancer’s pedigree, Lance’s amazing lying and its effects. What Leaf’s Stanley Cup? Tiger Woods, forwards and backwards, FIFA Brazil’s humiliation and Sepp Blatter, Sochi Olympics triumph of state doping? 27-24 Toronto Argonauts are unstoppable, why?! 

Wednesday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Sept 19 – Nov 28 (no class on Oct 31, GL Fundraiser)
Moderators:  Blair Pierce, Margaret Cowan

Since 1961, the CBC has been broadcasting the prestigious Massey Lecture Series, bringing to Canadians some of the greatest minds of our time. Pick a favourite lecturer to share with the class.  Who are they?  Why were they chosen?  What were the societal factors that made their topic important?  What did we learn from them?

Possible Topics:  Adrienne Clarkson, Lawrence Hill, Stephen Lewis, Jean Vanier, Douglas Copland, Jane Jacobs, Norm Chomsky, Margaret Atwood, Martin Luther King Jr.   For a full list of Massey Lectures, visit

Wednesday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Sept 19 – Dec 5 (no classes on Oct 31, GL Fundraiser, and Nov 28, Winter Program Preview)
Cecile Tourigny, Helen Bullas

Scotland is a rugged country known for its fierce and proud people. Famous for their whisky and kilts, the Scots are a unique and valued part of the United Kingdom, but many seek to leave that union. Brilliant of intellect, the Scots produced philosophers, economists, inventors, poets, bards, engineers and the flush toilet!  Let’s learn about Scotland, its people and their place in the world.

Possible Topics: Famous Scots, Scottish separatism, Scottish Kings and Queens, Scottish emigration, Scottish culture, Scottish inventions, the role of Scotland in the UK, the role of Scots in Canada, the Scottish military tradition, Scottish castles, hiking in Scotland, tourism, golf, curling, literature.

Thursday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Sept 20 – Nov 29 (no class on Nov 1, GL Fundraiser)
Moderators:  Barbara Decker Pierce, Susan Pepper

Tell us about your favourite mystery novel, novel series or author. What makes the novel or author special? Examine the many genres of the mystery novel: the traditional whodunit, police procedures, espionage or psychological suspense. Is it the characters, settings or time periods that fascinate you? If made into a movie, which version did you prefer? Choose from classics or contemporary works.

Possible Topics: Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle; The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett; Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie; Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache), Louise Penny; The Girl Who Played with Fire,  Stieg Larsson; The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold; The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown.

Thursday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Sept 20 – Nov 29 (no class on Nov 1, GL Fundraiser)
Moderators:   Brenda Jackson, Roy Hind

This field is wide open for any topic you think will challenge the intellect, tickle the funny bone, provoke controversy, stimulate discussion or just keep us informed. Do you have some insight that you have always wanted to share with others?  Here, you have an attentive and appreciative audience.

Friday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Sept 21 – Nov 30 (no class on Oct 26, GL Fundraiser)
Moderator:  Cathy Cameron

Share the inspiring tales of exceptional people who overcame challenges to accomplish their goals.  What enabled Malala Yousafzi to transform from Pakistani schoolgirl to Nobel Peace Prize winner before her 21st birthday? How did people like Lucy Maud Montgomery and Stephen Hawking surmount adversity to excel?  Such uplifting stories of those who achieved much despite great obstacles give us insight into the power of the human spirit.

Possible Topics: J.K. Rowling, Mother Theresa, Terry Fox, Jeff Healey, Nelson Mandela, Helen Keller, Romeo Dallaire, Shania Twain, Jim Carrey, Steve Jobs, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Clara Hughes, Roberta Jamieson, Helen Keller, Beethoven, Thomas Edison, Frank Gehry, Tomas Bata, Oprah Winfrey, Jackie Robinson.

Friday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Sept 21 – Nov 30 (no class on Oct 26, GL Fundraiser)
Moderators:  Pat McCabe, Sally Stewart

Plants provide us with oxygen, habitat, food, medicines and endless beauty.  Jungles, forests, prairies and oceans all sustain plant life that we use and abuse, yet without them we cannot survive.  Tell us about a plant, a plant family or an ecosystem that fascinates you, or challenge the group to consider the economic impact of shrinking biodiversity or the consequences of environmental degradation.

 Possible Topics:  Carolinian forest, tundra, lichens and mosses, orchids, roses, healing herbs, spices, drugs from plants, invasive plants, exotic woods, genetically altered plants, hemp and marijuana, cocoa and cocaine, poppies and opium, seaweed, kelp, algae, bamboo.

Resources Available

A Presentation Workshop is offered before each term and is led by an experienced presenter. Please see the Calendar for dates and times.
For a comprehensive checklist on preparing your presentation, click on either:
Prepare a presentation (Pdf)

Other Resources

– Access to UWO Library
– DVD and large screen
– Overhead projector and transparencies
– Laptop and projector for PowerPoint presentations
– External speakers
– CD/tape player
– Photocopier
– Microphone

Do You Have An Idea For a Study Group?

Study Group programs are selected by the Curriculum Committee one year in advance and proposals are always welcome. Forms may be obtained in the office or you may obtain a copy of the document here:
Study Group Proposal (Pdf)

Please mail or deliver the completed form to the SLR office, Attention: Chair, Curriculum Committee.