LALL offers a variety of learning opportunities throughout the year.
Upcoming offerings are listed below. Be among the first to know about upcoming offerings by signing up for our email list.
A selection of past offerings are also included below to highlight some examples of LALL programming.
Register for spring 2023 courses on our registration website.
When the evening news is all about climate emergency, violence, economic instability, and political polarization, what does it mean to have hope? On a personal level, when faced with illness or overwhelming difficulty, do you have hope? This lecture explores hope from various perspectives (e.g. psychological, spiritual, political, musical) and looks at whether or not this four-letter word can help us with the difficult things that are coming. Participants will be invited to wrestle with and enjoy the questions: What’s the difference between true hope and false hope? Can you teach someone to be hopeful? What if hope would be officially included as one of the social determinants of health? Participants will be invited to leave feeling hopeful.
Matthew Bailey-Dick lived in Waterloo for more than 25 years where he worked as an educator in both academic and non-academic settings, as a pastor in three Mennonite churches, and as a hospice volunteer. In his graduate studies, Matthew looked into the connections between adult education, death education, peace and conflict studies, and hope. He currently lives on a farm on the Saugeen/Bruce Peninsula where he works as a hospital chaplain and as a small-scale renovator.
What causes some people to become criminals while others become contributing members of society? This course seeks to answer that question. We will discuss how various factors impact human decisions. We will explore the biological factors that influence our behaviour and how experiences at a very young age effects how we behave. We will also discuss what causes some people to be more aggressive than others and how various parenting styles impact children and their future lives.
F. W. (Wayne) Morris worked for 30 years in the Correctional Services of Ontario and Alberta. He worked with Young Offenders and Adults, men and women and all levels of security. He also was an Area Manager of Probation and Parole and in charge of Policy Development for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, receiving numerous commendations. In October 2000 he was awarded the Exceptional Service medal (Canada) for exceptional service in the area of corrections. Upon leaving corrections, Wayne became an Administrator at Conestoga College, in charge of Social Service and Community Safety Programs. During this time he developed the Community and Criminal Justice Degree program and was the Head of Community Services for Ontario Colleges (2008-2010). Wayne has taught a very broad selection of courses at both the government and post- secondary levels and has presented at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (New York, 2012). He has a strong interest in Criminal Psychology, and acquired a Master’s degree in Social-Community Psychology while working in Corrections. Wayne has taught criminology courses at Wilfrid Laurier University over the past 9 years specializing in Introduction to the Criminal Justice System, Psychology of Crime and Advanced Criminological Theory.
Since the mid-to-late 19th century, police have used the camera to identify criminals. Police photography initially took form in rogues galleries, which were collections of mugshots used to identify and keep track of offenders. These galleries gave way to formalized identification cards, complete with profile and frontal photographs, and then to fingerprinting and other forms of latent identification. This presentation addresses the history of ‘making the criminal visible.’ How and why did police use the camera in their work? What were the benefits and problems associated with using the camera to identify criminals? And what is at stake in continued efforts by police to make the criminal visible?
Dr. Jonathan Finn is a Professor of Communication Studies. He teaches and researches in the fields of visual communication, sport studies and surveillance studies. He is the author of Capturing the Criminal Image: From Mug Shots to Surveillance Society and Visual Communication & Culture: Images in Action. His most recent book is Beyond the Finish Line: Images, Evidence and the History of the Photo-Finish (McGill-Queens 2020) and he is currently studying self-tracking technologies in health and fitness.
Did you know that the Region of Waterloo is home to a Cold War nuclear shelter? Built in 1966 and designed by the same architectural firm responsible for the CN Tower, the bunker was constructed to ensure the continuity of government in the event of a catastrophic nuclear strike. Join Dr. Sara Matthews for a discussion about this fascinating local history as well as her collaborative work on Canadian civil defence propaganda posters. Together we will explore the visual communication of public safety and consider the question, how is citizenship constructed in relation to threat?
Dr. Sara Matthews is Associate Professor in Communication Studies and Global Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Working in the field of critical security studies, her projects explore the relations between visual culture and martial politics as well as how communities craft creative modes of relationality and survival in response to practices of state securitization.
How are royalty portrayed in historical novels, movies, plays and TV series? What is the impact of historical fiction on popular views of history? What are the most memorable works of historical fiction that portray royalty? We will discuss four famous royal couples and how their legacies have been shaped by their portrayals in popular culture.
Part 1 - Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Queen Victoria has been a popular subject for films and TV series in recent decades. We will discuss portrayals of the young queen and her accession to the throne including the PBS/ITV Victoria series and films about the older Queen Victoria including Mrs. Brown and Victoria and Abdul
Part 2 - Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
The most famous popular culture depiction of the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip is the Netflix series, The Crown. We will discuss how the royal couple are dramatized in The Crown on Netflix and the controversies associated with the series. We will also discuss how Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are portrayed in historical novels.
Lunch - lunch is included in the cost of registration. Participants will select their individual boxed lunch option and list any dietary needs at the time of registration.
Part 3 - King Louis VI and Marie Antoinette
Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and the dramatic circumstances of the French Revolution are a popular subject for films and historical novels. We will compare three films about Marie Antoinette and discuss how the French Revolution is fictionalized in historical novels.
Part 4 - Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra
The lives and assassination of the last Imperial Family of Russia have inspired more than a century of plays, films, TV series, novels and even a broadway musical. We will discuss the 1971 film Nicholas and Alexandra, the Ipatiev House episode of The Crown on Netflix and the fictional portrayals of women claiming to be Nicholas and Alexandra's youngest daughter, the Grand Duchess Anastasia.
Carolyn Harris is an instructor in history at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. She received her Ph.D in European history from Queen’s University in 2012. Her writing concerning the history of monarchy in the UK., Europe, and Canada has appeared in numerous publications including the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Smithsonian Magazine and the BBC History Magazine, and she is the author of 3 books: Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada, Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette and Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting. She frequently provides royal and historical commentary for the media including CBC, CTV, CNN and the BBC. She is the co-editor of the English Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty series, which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan this year. She lives in Toronto.
This series of talks grows out of a course offered by LALL in 2018. The material here is new and stands separate from the previous course. In this series we look at examples of the history of three types of items or pastimes associated with pleasure and entertainment. Tobacco, Alcohol and Sports all have played a role in societies around the world and across history. We will examine examples of each, the controversies and challenges they presented, and the ways in which each has been seen as an opportunity for enterprise.
Week 1: Tobacco. The Guardian has noted that Tobacco is the only consumer product that kills when used exactly as the manufacturer intends. It does so at an alarming rate – one in two long-term users will eventually be killed by their habit. Despite this the history of its use is long and often very profitable. Where does tobacco come from? How did it become so commonplace and how has science changed that?
Week 2: Alcohol. This week looks at the history of alcohol and its appearance in various cultures. We also look at the origins and impact of various types of liquor. Gin, rum, and whiskey have interesting backgrounds and their development has influenced the societies which used them. In most cases these spirits influenced, and were influenced by, the politics of the nations involved. We will also consider the Temperance movement in Canada and the creation of the LCBO.
Week 3: Sports. This week we look at the mass commoditization of locally developed often indigenous pastimes. The professionalization of labour force and mass marketing of what had been recreations. We will also consider Sport as spectacle and spectacle as big business. Diverse marketing, spin-offs, and tie-ins have all made sports a global business powerhouse. Topics will include the Premiership and English Football as well as the early NHL.
Dr. Andrew Thomson teaches the History of Capitalism at the Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto. He holds a doctorate from the University of Waterloo and a Masters degree in history from Wilfrid Laurier University. Before coming to Schulich he taught courses at Wilfrid Laurier University in both the history and the MBA programs. His research has focused on the careers of entrepreneurs in nineteenth century Canada, many of which were published in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. In 2011 he published the centennial history of Wilfrid Laurier University, Leadership and Purpose, A History of Wilfrid Laurier University. Dr. Thomson has been a frequent contributor to LALL in the past.
The climate is warming rapidly, and precipitation is changing, across the globe due to anthropogenic addition of green house gases to the atmosphere. This is primarily due to the burning of coal, oil and gas. This talk will discuss the concepts controlling global climate changes. We will then discuss the effects of this change on the climate and waters of the Canadian Arctic. In the Arctic, the climate is resulting in changes to the vegetation of the tundra, permafrost snow and to lakes and streams. A recent change as the Arctic climate warms is the movement of beavers into the Arctic tundra. When combined with the changing climate, beavers are resulting in dramatic changes to the tundra with implications to lakes, streams and the people living in this region.
Professor Philip Marsh received his PhD from McMaster University in 1983, and was a Research Scientist at the Environment and Climate Change Canada National Hydrology Research Centre in Saskatoon until 2013. During this time, his research focused on the hydrology of the Canadian High Arctic and the Mackenzie River Basin. Much of his research over this period of time was carried out in the Mackenzie Delta region of the NWT, with hydrologic studies of the surrounding region. Since joining Laurier in 2014 as a Canada Research Chair, his research has continued to focus on climate change issues in the NWT. This research is integrated into research needs of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and the Government of the NWT.
Over the past few hundred years, German-speaking artists have played an important role in western art history. At the same time, their art has played an even more important role in marking and commenting on the changes in their societies. This course will look at significant works of art that tell the story of Germany and Austria from medieval times until today.
James Skidmore is Professor of German Studies at the University of Waterloo, where he also chairs the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and is Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, a research institute at the university. HIs research and teaching interests centre on German cultural studies, specifically the role of literature and film in representing social change and political issues, and he is also known for his innovative work in online teaching. Born and raised in Saskatoon, he studied there and in the United States before taking up academic positions at the University of New Brunswick and Wilfrid Laurier University before landing at the University of Waterloo in 2000.
When the American poet Louise Glück won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2020, the Swedish Academy praised “her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.” Her searingly honest explorations of life experiences – childhood, family life, marriage, and later adulthood combines the themes love, death, fear, sadness, and loss through the stories of classical myth, legend, the Bible, and other archetypes. In this course, we will follow Glück Nobel’s lecture, which outlines her poetic development. After an introduction and brief survey of formative influences, we will read a series of her shorter lyrics by focussing on ways to approach and appreciate the remarkable achievement of one of the world’s great living poets.
James Weldon is retired from the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he taught for twenty-nine years. He also taught at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, N. B. and the University of Cagliari in Cagliari, Italy. His publications range from medieval (Piers Plowman, Lybeaus Desconus, medieval manuscripts) to modern (W. H. Auden), and for over ten years he has offered LALL courses on Beowulf, W. H. Auden, Robert Frost, Seamus Heaney, and Tony Harrison, to name a few.
The city of Madaba, located 30km southwest of Amman amidst the fertile plains of the Central Jordanian Plateau, presents an opportunity to explore a site with over 5,000 years of occupational history. The Tell Madaba Archaeological Project was initiated in order to investigate the development of centralized institutions and state-ordered societies in Transjordan, as well as the role of an urban centre within the larger context of a regional settlement network. The evidence gathered from this urban centre can then be compared to remains from similar contexts at functionally different sites in the surrounding area. Excavations on Madaba’s west acropolis have produced 11 distinct occupation phases. Substantial remains from key periods in the site’s settlement history have been discovered. These remains reflect Madaba’s waxing and waning fortunes as a regional centre, from its beginnings in the late 4th millennium BCE to its resurgence as a prosperous Byzantine town and to its final re-establishment in the late 19th century.
Debra Foran is an archaeologist who specializes in the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods in the southern Levant. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies and the Medievalism and Medieval Studies Program at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her current research focuses on the relationship between ritual, landscape, and economy during the Classical and Medieval periods in central Transjordan. She is the Director of the Khirbat al-Mukhayyat and Tall Madaba Archaeological Projects and regularly leads undergraduate field schools in conjunction with these projects. She holds a Licentiate in Medieval Studies from the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto. She earned a Master of Arts and PhD in Ancient Studies from the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Near Eastern archaeology from WLU. She has published several articles on her excavations in Jordan and the interaction between religious and lay communities in the Madaba/Mount Nebo region during the Byzantine period.
Memory is critical for both learning/academic and social aspects of our lives. Come and find out how our memory works, as well as when and why it sometimes seems to fail us.
Dr. Eileen Wood is a Full Professor in the Psychology Department at Wilfrid Laurier University. She graduated with a Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University and an M.A. from the University of Western Ontario. As a developmental and educational psychologist she has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, books, and several chapters as well as online resources. Her effectiveness as an educator has been recognized through local, national and international teaching excellence awards including a 3M Teaching Fellowship and the CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology. Her research strengths have been recognized through the University Research Professor Award and two Book of the Year Awards. Her primary research interests involve examining how children, youth, and adults (young through old) acquire, retain and recall information in educational contexts. Specifically, her research involves examining, evaluating and developing instructional strategies that facilitate learning and memory in formal and informal learning contexts. In particular, her research focuses on the impact of new technologies as instructional tools.
Learn about a foundation for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. This lecture will include a high overview of nutrition and exercise tips including debunking some healthy eating myths, and functional movements for everyday living. Come dressed to move, we will go through some exercises and stretches as a group!
Stefanie Kubacki worked in the Department of Athletics and Recreation at Laurier for 5 years where she oversaw a variety of recreational programming including group fitness, personal training, dance, intramurals, and rock climbing. She has an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education, a Bachelors of Education degree, and a Masters of Education degree from Laurier. Currently she is working in the Student Success department at Laurier helping students to reach their academic goals, while coaching group fitness part-time at the local F45 gym. She is a certified fitness professional (canfitpro-FIS) and has a passion for health and fitness.
The Canadian Machine Telephone Company was an early competitor to Bell Telephone. The technology was developed and financed by people in Brant County and Brantford. What happened to the company? Why have you probably never heard of it? What was its legacy?
Jack Jackowetz was born and raised in Brantford. His interest in the history of the City and the County began with his father’s stories about growing up in Brantford. Jack is an artist; focusing on our built heritage. Jack began writing a history column for BScene, a local arts and entertainment paper. Studying history helps him learn about the origin of our community. It helps him discover the soul of our community. Jack graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a degree in Business Administration.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine offers a sobering reminder that war between states is far from a thing of the past. Similarly, the recent return to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan has exposed in stark terms the limitations of international peacebuilding efforts in conflict-affected countries. In this lecture, I draw on recent research conducted as part of a book project on Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals – on peace, justice, and strong institutions – to reflect on the future of peace, both within and between states, in a world that seems increasingly in turmoil.
Timothy Donais is an associate professor in the Department of Global Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada, where he teaches in the field of peace and conflict studies. From 2018-22, he served as the director of the Master of International Public Policy program, and co-director of the PhD Program in Global Governance, both at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. His research focuses on questions of ownership and inclusivity in peacebuilding contexts, on security sector reform, and on protection of civilians in peace operations. He is the author of Peacebuilding and Local Ownership: Post-Conflict Consensus-Building (Routledge, 2012), The Political Economy of Peacebuilding in Post-Dayton Bosnia (Routledge, 2005), and the editor of Local Ownership and Security Sector Reform (Lit Verlag, 2008). He is currently co-editing a volume entitled Sustainable Development Goal 16 and the Global Governance of Violence: Critical Reflections on the Uncertain Future of Peace (Routledge: forthcoming 2023).
March of 2023 marks 70 years since the death of Joseph Stalin, one of the twentieth century’s most notorious leaders (and that’s saying a lot). This three part series will focus on the Life and Times of Stalin. Born in 1878, Stalin rose to power after the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924 and held onto that power until his own death in March of 1953. These were tumultuous decades, marked by peasant collectivization, rapid industrialization, widespread famine, the Gulag, an episode known as The Great Terror, and the horrific events of World War II (the Great Patriotic War for Russians). Untold millions died across these years; yet Stalin remains surprisingly popular in the Russian imagination.
Historians have been busy since Stalin’s death trying to make sense of this period, and this mini-course will discuss the most important recent findings. Our first class will be devoted to a brief overview of Stalin’s life, though we will also consider the Soviet state and society that Stalin inherited in 1924. Our second meeting will deal with Stalin in power, with particular attention to the years from 1929 to 1945 when Stalin oversaw the dramatic transformation of the Soviet Union. Our third class will address both Stalin’s latter years and his legacy within and beyond the Soviet state.
Friesen deals with much death and mayhem in this series, but he will also give an idea of how Soviet society developed beyond the devastation as shown in hugely popular Soviet movies, novels, and other resources.
Leonard G. Friesen has been a professor of History at Wilfrid Laurier University since 1994 and is a specialist in Imperial Russian and Soviet history. During these years, and until Covid, he made almost annual trips to Russia and Ukraine. Friesen's own roots are from the Black Sea lands and includes his mother, who was born in the Soviet Union in 1929. He is the author of four books and numerous articles and always looks forward to communicate presentations like LALL.
Discover the benefits of activity and how it relates to health and wellbeing. What are some of the lived constraints on activity as we age? Learn how the discourse of science colours perception of the older adult and activity.
Patricia Barlow has an MA in Health and Aging from McMaster University (2017) with a focus on older adults and falls prevention and polypharmacy. She is an older adult fitness consultant with 25 years of experience in the community facilitating fitness classes across age and ability. Her passion is sharing knowledge with, and advocating for, older adults.
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