Study Groups

Below is a newly updated list of the study group choices for the Winter 2020 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 pm Jan 20 – Mar 30 CANADIAN ART AND ARTISTS  FULL
Tuesday 9:30-11:30 am Jan 21 – Mar 24 GREAT PLACES OF WORSHIP AROUND THE WORLD
Tuesday 1:30-3:30 pm Jan 21 – Mar 24 THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
Wednesday 1:30-3:30 pm Jan 22 – Mar 25 MONEY
Thursday 9:30-11:30 am Jan 23 – Mar 26 CHALLENGES OF CITY LIVING
Thursday 1:30-3:30 pm Jan 23 – Mar 26 POTPOURRI – ANYTHING GOES
Friday 9:30-11:30 am Jan 24 – Mar 27 1960’s  TO 2020 WHAT HAPPENED
Friday 1:30-3:30 Pm Jan 24 – Mar 27 SPAIN & PORTUGAL  FULL

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

Winter 2020 Colour Brochure (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
January 20 – March 30 (No class February 17, Family Day)
Moderators: Denise Ritchie and Burton Moon

The classics of literature are more than a bedtime read.  They transport us; they expose universal truths; they endure.  What continues to draw you to your favourite? What was life like for the author? What social and economic conditions affect the work?  Choose a classic, share your love of it, and explore how the life and times of its author contributed to making your choice a “classic”.

Possible Topics: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Jane Austin, The Bronte Sisters, George Eliot, Tolstoy, Gustave Flaubert, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, Thomas Hardy, James Joyce, George Orwell, D. H. Lawrence, H. G. Wells.

Monday p.m. 1:30 – 3:30
January 20 – March 30 (No class February 17, Family Day)
Moderators: Diana Coates and Pat Gilpin

A wealth of exciting art styles has originated in Canada. Art reflects the landscape, local culture, or defines a new artistic era. The visual arts include painting, sculpture, and photography. What styles or movements interest you? Which Canadian artist fascinates you?   Join us to be inspired by our rich artistic heritage.

Possible Topics: Art styles:  Folk art, abstract, landscapes, wartime art, Group of Seven, Inuit and First Nations Art.   Artists: Paul Peel, Tom Thompson, Emily Carr, Jack Bush, Greg Curnoe, Daphne Odjig, Norval Morriseau, Alex Colville, Mary Pratt, Maud Lewis.   Photographers: Freeman Patterson, Edward Burtynsky, Meaghan Ogilvie.

Tuesday a.m. 9:30 – 11:30
January 21 – March 24
Moderators: Edwin Kothiringer and Doug Leighton

 Great places of worship lie both in the eyes of the worshipper and those of external observers. The Kaaba, Hagia Sophia, Chartres Cathedral, Dome of the Rock, Ise and Atsuta Shinto shrines, the Watermark Community Church in Dallas (mega), Stonehenge, the Mormon Tabernacle and others are well known, but what makes them great? Both architecture and belief systems are expressed in these grand places. Let’s discuss.

Possible Topics: Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, The Vatican in Rome, The Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem, Karnak Temple Complex in Egypt, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, The Pilgrimage to Mecca, El Camino (pilgrimage walk),  Unitarian Church in Toronto, North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia (mega), Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, St. Georges Anglican Church in Sibbald Point, Ontario,

Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona, Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.

Tuesday p.m. 1:30 – 3:30
January 21 – March 24
Moderators: Helen Olmstead and Cheryl Stephenson 

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded over 130 times to individuals including Lester Pearson and Aung San Suu Kyi, and to groups including Doctors Without Borders and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Who were these Nobel laureates? What did they do to deserve the award? Was there controversy surrounding their choice? Did their work have a lasting impact?

Possible Topics: Complete list of Nobel Peace Prize Winners can be found at

 5. MONEY!
Wednesday p.m. 1:30 – 3:30
January 22 – March 25
Moderators: Peter Andreae, Russ Knight

 Does money make the “world go round,” or is it the “root of all evil”? Reflect on how money affects our personal lives through power, greed, generosity, philanthropy. Examine the business end of money: banking, investment, finance, taxes. Study the history of money from barter to bitcoin. Come and throw in your two cents’ worth.

Possible Topics: money laundering, quantitative easing, stock market, financial abuse, scams, security.

Thursday a.m. 9:30 – 11:30
January 23 – March 26
Moderators: Gary Shawyer and Susan Booth

 The promise of jobs and prosperity draws people to city living. Over time, urbanization creates large, complex and challenging social environments. Nearly 80% of Canada’s current population lives in cities. What are the critical issues facing city dwellers in London, Ontario, or around the world? What will future cities look like and how will they function? Important questions well worth exploring.

Possible Topics: Urban poverty, transportation challenges, waste management, infrastructure issues, creative cities, city planning, social isolation, economic development, housing pressures, air quality, community development, gentrification, city centre decay.


Thursday p.m. 1:30 – 3:30

January 23 – April 2 (No class February 13)

Moderators: Brenda Jackson and Roy Hind

 Potpourri is a wide-open field for any topic you want. Challenge the intellect, tickle the funny bone, explore a controversial subject or inform people of an important issue. Maybe you have an insight into something that you always wanted to share. Our audience is ready, attentive and appreciative.

8. 1960s TO 2020: WHAT HAPPENED?

Friday a.m. 9:30 – 11:30

January 24 – March 27

Moderator: John Husband

 Remember those magical 60s when we all tuned in or dropped out? Remember the thrill of the idealism of youth, the free spirit, the protests, and the civil rights, women’s, and hippy movements? How did we change as individuals, and what effect did this incredible decade have on our life today? Pick a cause and show the results it has had on today’s world.

Possible Topics:  What effect did the sexual morality of the sixties have on our society? What effect did the drug culture have on today’s attitudes? Where did the idealism go?
Did the sixties inhibit or encourage rabid capitalism?  What effect did the sixties have on the women’s movement?  What effect did the sixties have on civil rights outside of the USA?  Why after the anti war movement of the sixties have the Americans been constantly at war for 50 plus years?

Friday p.m. 1:30 – 3:30
January 24 – March 27
Moderators: Lisa Darling and Ed Jambor

 Occupying the Iberian Peninsula, Spain and Portugal share a complex history, including influences from Romans, Celts, Arabs, Northern Europe, and the Mediterranean.  Both became world powers during the Age of Discovery; however, each has developed a distinct culture. Whether your interest is the varied geography, renowned architecture and artists, festivals, food and wine, or the rich history, let’s explore these fascinating countries.

Possible Topics: Pamplona – Running of the Bulls, Prado, Spanish Civil War, La Tomatina, Salvador Dali, political movements, Flamenco Port/Sherry Alhambra, Francisco de Goya Lladro, porcelain art, Vasco da Gama, Pablo Picasso, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ferdinand Magellan, Conquistadors, Basque nationalism, geography, Antoni Gaudi, Santiago de Compostela, pilgrimage food – tapas, paella, Henry the Navigator, Portugese tilework, Fado music, Age of Discovery.

 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.