Study Groups Winter 2018

Below is a newly updated list of the study group choices for the Winter 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 9:30-11:30 am Jan 22 – Apr 2 SOUTHEAST ASIA – EXOTIC CROSSROADS
Monday 1:30-3:30 pm Jan 22 – Apr 2 THE JOY OF THEATRE
Tuesday. 9:30-11:30 am Jan 23 – Mar 27 EXPLORATION OF THE UNIVERSE
Wednesday. 9:30-11:30 am Jan 24 – Mar 28 CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Wednesday. 1:30-3:30 pm Jan 25 – Mar 29 POTPOURRI – ANYTHING GOES
Thursday 9:30-11:30 am Jan 26 – Mar 30 CURRENT EVENTS
Thursday 1:30-3:30 pm Jan 26 – Mar 30 CANADA AT WAR
Friday 1:30-3:30 Pm Jan 27 – Apr 6 RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD

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

Winter 2018 Study Groups (pdf)

Here is the detailed study group listing for the Winter 2018 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 a.m. 9:30 – 11:30
Jan 22 – Apr 2  (Family Day, Feb 19 – no class)
Moderators:  Cam Dockstader, Jacqui Dockstader

Southeast Asia includes the emerging industrial countries of Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia, affluent developed economies like Singapore, and mostly agrarian countries such as Myanmar and Vietnam.  This region has a long and varied history with a variety of cultures and religions. The wealth of natural resources and large population make it an area of emerging interest to the West. Let’s study Southeast Asia!

Possible Topics:  Histories, cultures, religions, conflicts, terrorism, environmental issues, piracy, economies, the Vietnam War, personalities, international relations, attitudes to the West, China’s role in Southeast Asia, Rohingya.

Monday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Jan 22 – Apr 2  (Family Day, Feb 19 – no class)
Moderators: Bob Bryan, Denise Ritchie

Live theatre from Greek tragedy to Shakespearean farce to modern day drama is a shared experience that entertains and engages us emotionally and intellectually.  Does theatre reflect cultural traditions? Are theatre actors born or made?  How do sets, costumes, makeup and digital enhancements create theatrical magic?  What is it about theatre that intrigues, excites or moves you to tears?

Possible Topics: The Aeneid, Shakespearean tragedy, Ibsen dramas, Broadway musicals, ballet, hip hop, fringe festivals, improvisation, opera, pantomime, puppetry, stage production, lighting, sets, costumes, makeup, other fascinating aspects of the theatre.

Tuesday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Jan 23 – Mar 27
Moderators:  George Cranton, Herman Sahrmann 

 The universe fascinates us.  We have built on the discoveries of the past to create instruments that map the universe and its dark energies.  We send probes to reveal the wonders of our solar system.  We search for signs of life circling other stars.  Join us and share what captivates you about the universe and its explorers.

Possible Topics:  Ancient Greek astronomy, Copernicus, Galileo, Tye Brache, Kepler’s law, Stephen Hawking, space exploration, invention of the telescope, Hubble Telescope, SETI, astrobiology, the Goldilocks zone, exoplanets, comets, asteroids, search for life on Mars, Trappist-1 planets (7 newly discovered planets), the wonders of the universe in photographs (e.g., Pillars of Creation), famous and not-so-famous space flight pioneers (e.g., Hidden Figures), proposals from private companies for space flight.

Tuesday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Jan 23 – Mar 27
Moderators:  Helen MacKenzie, Jean Surry

 The 19th century marked a major turning point in history.  Literature and the arts, science and technology, and new political and social movements flourished. The Industrial Revolution transformed the agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by machines. Significant socioeconomic and cultural changes occurred, some positive and some negative.  Tell us what intrigues you about this time period.

Possible Topics:  Steam power, textile manufacturing, railroads, poetry, art, theatre, education, women’s rights and roles, child labour, urbanisation, metallurgy, medical advances, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, food and nutrition, population growth, Florence Nightingale, mining, labour organisation, Charles Darwin, theory of evolution, housing conditions, gas lighting, impact on the environment, social class, Old vs. New money, liberalism, religious movements, cement, glass manufacturing.


Wednesday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Jan 24 – Mar 28
Moderators:  Jacqui Griffin, Janet Johnson

 Children’s literature may have changed over the years, but has the content changed as much as we think?  Stories provide a foundation for lifelong learning.  They educate, entertain and amuse us with vivid images and compelling narratives. What did we read as children, what did our children read, and what are our grandchildren reading, and why?

Possible Topics: Grimm, Disney, Robert Munsch, Harry Potter, graphic novels, Nancy Drew, Wizard of Oz, Superman, Batman, other comics, The Little Prince, fairy tales, Winnie the Pooh,  Gordon Korman, Lois Lowry, original Pinocchio compared to the Disney version,  Peter Pan, Lucy Maude Montgomery, children’s shows on TV,  September 17, Red Wolf, Silver Birch/Red Maple reading incentive programs, Captain Underpants.

Wednesday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Jan 24 – Mar 28
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.

Thursday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Jan 25 – Mar 29
Moderators:  Peter Andrea, Cheryl Whipp

 This is a flexible program to present newsworthy topics. If you are interested, we are interested.  Presentations can be drawn from any source covering the current political or social scene, even historical events with relevance to today’s world.  Issues may be local, national or international.  Controversial topics are most welcome.  If it is in the news, we want your views.

Thursday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Jan 25 – Apr 5 (Founders’ Day Luncheon, Feb 15 – no class)
Moderators:  Sandy Morton, Linda Vandussen

 We think of Canada as a peacekeeping nation, yet we have participated in many major conflicts since Confederation. What was it about these conflicts that convinced our leaders to involve us? How did Canadians respond to such commitments? What was/is the role of the home front in times of war and peace? Come and discuss the military events that continue to influence our nation.

Possible Topics:  Riel Rebellion, overseas conflicts from the Boer War to peace keeping, conscription crises during both world wars, peace keeping versus peace-making, significant battles (e.g., Dieppe, the Medak Pocket), the role of women in the military, the impact of war on the home front, the impact of war on our economy, the role of the military in the Canadian economy and society, the use of the Canadian military to assist civil authorities, NATO, NORAD, UN, British Commonwealth Air Training Program.

Friday p.m.  1:30  – 3:30
Jan 26 – Apr 6 (Good Friday, Mar 30 – no class)
Moderators:  Phyllis Simner, Ann Walker

 Human yearning inspires many faiths and their practices.  Humans have relied on religion for community, reassurance against the unknown, and as a system of social ethics. Some old faiths have disappeared while others are changing with the times. We will focus on learning how various religions developed, their differences and commonalities.  What impact has religion had on global political ethics?

Possible Topics: History of various religions, monotheism vs. polytheism, Renaissance & the reformation, spirituality, atheism; humanism, famous religious leaders, politics and religions, arts and music in religions, future of religions.

 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.