Study Groups

Below is a newly updated list of the study group choices for the Fall 2017 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 Sept 18 – Dec4 OUR CHANGING GLOBAL CLIMATE
Monday 1:30-3:30 pm Sept 18 – Dec 4 ARCHITECTURE: COMBINING ENGINEERING AND ART
Tuesday 9:30-11:30 am Sept 19 – Nov 28 CURRENT EVENTS
Tuesday 1:30-3:30 pm Sept 19 – Nov 28  SOUTH AMERICA
Wednesday 9:30-11:30 am Sept 20 – Nov 29 PHOTOGRAPHY IN OUR LIVES
Wednesday 1:30-3:30 pm Sept 20 – Dec 6 HEALTH AND ILLNESS THROUGH THE AGES
Thursday 9:30-11:30 am Sept 21 – Nov 30 VIKINGS: NORSEMEN TO NORMANS AND THEIR SHAPING OF EUROPE
Thursday 1:30-3:30 pm Sept 21 – Nov 30 POTPOURRI
Friday 9:30-11:30 am Sept 22 – Dec 1 GREAT WOMEN OF THE 20TH AND 21ST CENTURIES
Friday 1:30-3:30 pm Sept 23 – Dec 2 MUSICAL POETS

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

Fall 2017 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.

 1. OUR CHANGING GLOBAL CLIMATE
Monday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Sept 18 – Dec 4  (No class on Oct 9 or 23)
Moderators: Edna Blomqvist, Ljuba Gerow

From deluge to drought, our climate is changing.  What is happening today and what will be the impact on our future? What are the ecological, social, economic and political impacts today?  How will we adapt to this challenge on a personal, local, national and global level?
Possible Topics: Oceans rising, Northern carbon sink, desertification, receding snow packs, disappearing southern islands, population displacement, coastal flooding, volcanoes eruption, disappearing habitat, economic impact, desalinization, food supply, agricultural impact, spread of disease, political instability, social unrest, liveable cities, green roofs, Canada’s agriculture perspective

2. ARCHITECTURE: COMBINING ENGINEERING AND ART
Monday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Sept 18 – Dec 4  (No class on Oct 9 or 23)
Moderators:  Jane Auger, Patricia Robinson

Without great engineering, buildings do not survive. Without great art, they are not masterpieces. Gifted designers have combined both in sublime ways.  Let’s look at buildings from the ancient times to modern day.  Take us on a tour of these masterpieces, introduce us to their creators and tell us why they are memorable. 

Possible Topics:  Pyramids, Machu Picchu, Cathedrals, Crystal Palace, Taj Mahal, Sydney Opera House, Fallingwater, Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Burj Dubai, Louvre; Christopher Wren, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Le Corbusier, Eames, I. M. Pei, Eero Saarinen, Mies Van der Rohe, Louis Sullivan, Buckminster Fuller, Walter Gropius, Oscar Neimeyer, Zaha Hadid

3. CURRENT EVENTS
Tuesday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Sept 19 – Nov 28 (No class on Oct 24)
Moderators:  Russ Knight, Dolly Testa

A flexible program to discuss 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 since they generate discussion.  If it’s in the news, we want your views. 

4. SOUTH AMERICA
Tuesday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Sept 19 – Nov 28 (No class on Oct 24)
Moderators: Don Efron, Dagma Speechly

Enter South America and discover a world very different from ours. Ancient empires destroyed by the Europeans.  Modern countries shaped by indigenous people, revolutionaries, dictators, drug cartels, foreign government interference and global corporations.  Unique natural settings, flora and fauna.  Migrants heading north pass tourists going south.  Tell us what intrigues you about this other America. 

Possible Topics: Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, European colonization, Bolivar, Chavez, Peròn, Pelé, Pope Francis, Machu Picchu, rain forest, pampas, Andes, coffee, gold, drug wars, Galapagos, Amazon River, indigenous tribes, Lake Titicaca, Tierra del Fuego, Catholicism, Falkland Islands, geoglyphs, agriculture, economics and trade

5. PHOTOGRAPHY IN OUR LIVES
Wednesday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Sept 20 – Nov 29  (No class on Oct 25)
Moderators:  Cathy Cameron, John Husband

Photography is an art form, an agent for change, and a tool for discovery.  Iconic portraits and striking news photos shape political and social perceptions.  High-resolution imaging enhances medical diagnoses, geological exploration, and space research.  Explore great photographers, transformative photographs, and technological innovations. How has digital technology changed our understanding of the world? 

Possible Topics:  Photography as an art form; photography as social commentary and agent for change; the “great” photographers, the undiscovered and the overlooked; images from afar:  satellite and air photos from history; digital artistry, medical photography, photographic misrepresentation

6. HEALTH AND ILLNESS THROUGH THE AGES
Wednesday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Sept 20 – Dec 6  (No class on Oct 25 or Nov 29)
Moderators:  Elizabeth Brown, Susan Collins

Modern health, wellness, and longevity reflect centuries of experimentation, research, and discoveries – sometimes unanticipated. Some ancient medicines and treatments, like leeching, are still used today.  Others, like arsenic-based medications, have been supplanted. Knowledge of anatomy and disease processes, improved sanitation, development of anaesthetics, vaccines, penicillin, and organ transplantation have saved and improved lives. Join us in studying the fascinating history of medicine and health.

Possible topics: Hippocrates begins scientific study of medicine, leech and maggot therapy, from glasses to cataract treatment, ramifications of the invention of the microscope, history of blood transfusions, the development of anaesthetics, knowledge of what causes diseases, impact of antibiotics, vaccination, the study of anatomy, dissection, discoveries such as insulin, how battlefield medicine influenced civilian medicine, nutrition, phrenology.

7. VIKINGS: NORSEMEN TO NORMANS AND THEIR SHAPING OF EUROPE
Thursday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Sept 21 – Nov 30 (No class on Oct 26)
Moderators:  Helen Olmstead, Carl Silke

Scandinavian pagans rowed and sailed all over Europe, raiding, killing and pillaging from Russia to Sicily and beyond. Somehow these invaders transformed themselves into Norman Christians who set up Europe as it is known today. Who were these people? How did all of this happen?  There are incredible stories here!

Possible Topics: Early Viking conquests: Italy, Byzantium, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Russia; Catholic crusading Vikings; Norseman/Norman Law; Norman architecture; King Roger and King Rollo; knighthood and the development of music; Norsemen in the Canary Islands; Dukes of Normandy and art; Princes of Antioch; Counts of Calabria; Berengaria, Queen of England and Queen of Cyprus; Robert the Bruce of Scotland, Scottish “Clans” and the Arab question; 1066! William the Conqueror of England: Norseman or Viking? Who is a Viking? Who is not?

8. POTPOURRI
Thursday p.m.  1:30 – 3:30
Sept 21 – Nov 30 (No class on Oct 26)
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.

9. GREAT WOMEN OF THE 20TH AND 21ST CENTURIES
Friday a.m.  9:30 – 11:30
Sept 22 – Dec 1 (No class on Oct 27)
Moderators:  Mary Frances O’Hagan, Susan Pepper 

Women have come a long way – from chattel to people! It has not been an easy road; brave women have led the way. Let’s look at the women who have moved us forward – from social reformers to writers, politicians, scientists, teachers and business leaders. Even today, women are fighting for rights and respect. Let’s honour our leaders. 

Possible Topics: Angela Merkel, Margaret Sanger, Mary McAleese (Ireland), Julia Gillard (Australia), Elizabeth Arden, Oprah Winfrey, Mary Parker Follett, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gloria Steinem, Group of Five, Christine Lagarde, Hillary Clinton, Isobel Peron, Margaret Thatcher, Flora McDonald, Doris Anderson, Frances Kelsey, Marion Hilliard, Emily Carr, Simone de Beauvoir, Elsie MacGill, Frida Kahlo, Marie Sklodowska Curie, Gertrude Bell.

10. MUSICAL POETS
Friday p.m.  1:30  – 3:30
Sept 22 – Dec 1 (No Class on Oct 27)
Moderators:  Sally Stewart, Deborah Roberts

From Cole Porter to Kanye West, many musicians are also poets. Most great lyrics work because they are wedded to the right piece of music and the union of their parts is more potent as a song. Tell us about the lives of these individuals or collaborators and how their poetry is expressed in song.

Possible Topics: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Tupac, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, Ryan Adams, Alicia Keys, David Bowie, Jewel, Bob Marley; collaborators: Bernie Taupin & Elton John, Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein, Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBABurt Bacharach and Hal David

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.