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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Courses generally run two hours per week for six consecutive weeks and are offered in morning or afternoon sessions. LALL offers courses three times a year:

  • Spring semester: usually runs the second week of April through the third week of May.
  • Fall semester: usually runs the second week of October through the third week of November.
  • Winter semester: usually runs the first week of February through the middle of March.

Note: Your instructor may recommend additional items for purchases (e.g. books). These are only recommendations and are not mandatory for participation in the course.

Brantford Course Offerings for Spring 2018

Brant's Ford: The Story of a Place

  • Dates: Tuesdays, from April 17 to May 29 (no class May 22).
  • Location: TBD.
  • Time: 10 - 11:50 a.m.

For thousands of years, the overland trail between Niagara and Detroit forded the Grand River at the present site of the city of Brantford. The community that grew up at the ford consisted of a unique mix of talents. They generated one of the most important industrial centres in Canada in its day. Brantford's history is wide and deep and is not interpreted to the degree that it should.


Bill Darfler was co-chair of the Brantford Heritage committee for many years. He currently sits on the boards of the Canadian Industrial Heritage centre and the Local History Multimedia association. He is the principal researcher for the Ontario Visual Heritage program and holds the Lt. Governor's Lifetime Achievement award of the Ontario Heritage Foundation.

Introduction to Literature

  • Dates: Tuesdays, from April 17 to May 29 (no class May 22)
  • Location: TBD
  • Time: 1-2:50 p.m.

Introduction to Literature is a survey reading course that introduces participants to the elements of literature and literary analysis through a variety of approaches and texts. The six week course is divided into three sections, each focusing on a specific genre. The class will spend two weeks examining and discussing works of fiction, two weeks of examining and discussing works of poetry, and two weeks examining and discussing a work of drama. While works studied will be situated in their historical and cultural context, the focus of the class will be to help develop the practice of "close reading" and to identify and develop the specific skill sets associated with that process.


Michael Ackerman is an assistant professor in the English department at Laurier Brantford. He specializes in 19th-Century trans-atlantic literature with a focus on literary representations of masculinity. He is also an inter-disciplinary researcher with an interest in disability studies, pedagogy and the potential benefits of inter-generational learning.

Waterloo Course Offerings for Spring 2018

A Study of the Deptford Trilogy

  • Dates: Mondays, from April 9 to May 14
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R271
  • Time: 9:30–11:20 a.m.

As an essayist, journalist, humourist, reviewer, critic, dramatist and novelist, Robertson Davies has a strong claim to be one of the leading men of letters in Canada during the last half of the twentieth century. That he also enjoyed an international reputation is attested by the fact that he was short-listed for both the Nobel Prize and the Booker Prize in 1986. Though he was active as a dramatist early in his career and was widely acclaimed for the humorous writing of his alter ego Samuel Marchbanks, he is probably best known for his eleven novels. He had the habit of composing his novels as trilogies, completing three trilogies and working on his fourth when he died in 1995. He completed two novels of this fourth trilogy.

In this course we will examine in some depth The Deptford Trilogy, which is considered by many to be Davies best. Each of the novels in the trilogy, Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders, are focussed on a kind of psychodrama undergone by each protagonist. As one critic (Lynne Nigh) states, "The Deptford Trilogy charts the quests of three connected protagonists for individuation in Jungian terms". We will examine the quest motif and the Jungian model for the human psyche as important contexts for these three novels.

Participants are encouraged to read the three novels before beginning the course to provide a richer in class experience.


Roman Dubinski is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Waterloo. After his retirement he began to teach various courses for LALL. His latest course was "A Study of Selected Short Stories by Alice Munro".

Artefacts and Examples from the History of Capitalism

  • Dates: Mondays, from April 9 to May 14
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R271
  • Time: 11:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

This course would present six sessions centred on an "artefact" or familiar object from our lives that leads to a discussion of its origins and influences.

  • Week 1: An introduction to the ideas behind the course, a look at how the way in which we look at history has changed over time. A sample of the artefact approach; a drop of gasoline.
  • Week 2: Moving Things. The artefact will be a cell phone. We will look at how goods, people, and information travel between people and how this has changed over time.
  • Week 3: Paying for Things: The artefact will be a credit card. We will look at the function of money in facilitating commercial exchanges, how what we think of as money changes and how various institutions are involved in exchange.
  • Week 4: Selling Things: The artefact will be a catalogue. We will look at the history of retail and shopping from early markets to online selling.
  • Week 5: What We Eat: The artefact will be a Timbit. We will look at how wheat has changed the world (including Canada) and how the ways we buy food have changed.
  • Week 6: Getting Away From It All: The artefact will be a boarding pass. We will look at the way in which the travel industry has changed over time.


Andrew Thomson teaches business history at the Schulich School of Business at York University and Canadian history at Laurier. Andrew has offered several courses for LALL, including Canadian Business History, Twentieth Century Quebec and Canada and the Great Depression.

The Writing's On the Wall: An Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Dates: Mondays, from April 9 to May 14
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R271
  • Time: 1:30–3:20 p.m.

From inspiration to story development, creative writing makes us "all apprentices in a craft where no one becomes a master" (Hemingway), and this course encourages writers to reflect on the art of the short story and develop their craft. Participants will be encouraged to write short stories and present them to the class to receive in-person and online feedback as well as forge lasting creative connections.

This course will explore the threads that weave together to create engaging short stories, including character development, narrative structure, sparking the creative process and publishing. Beginning and intermediate writers will find opportunities to hone their work, develop their creative skills and share their writing in an open and supportive environment.


Michael Daly received the 2016 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award for an outstanding debut novel, and The Havana Papers received a Hoffer non-fiction award. First published as a poet, his work as appeared in independent publications in Ontario, the United Kingdom and New York. Michael writes and produces the comedy podcast series Rodney Spitz PI and lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

History of Rock Music: Part III (1987-2000)

  • Dates: Wednesdays, from April 11 to May 16
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R271
  • Time: 9:30-11:20 a.m.

This course will trace popular music between 1987 and 2000 as an outgrowth of the creative youth culture that sparked the first generation of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s. We will look at how diverse artists from Guns 'n' Roses to NWA to Sinéad O'Connor to Nirvana continued that rebellious spirit, examine how and why the pop charts finally fell in love with female artists in the '90s (Whitney Houston, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion) after decades of male dominance, explore the epic Britpop feud between Oasis and Blur, investigate new country's crossover coup (Shania Twain, Garth Brooks), and uncover the seeds of the modern pop industry in the rise of manufactured boy and girls bands like the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys. Lectures will place the development of pop music in its social and cultural context, examine the musical characteristics of rock's and pop's subgenres and explain the importance of influential artists and movements. Lectures will include audio-visual material so that we can see the artists and hear their music as we discuss them.


Brent Hagerman's interests in rock music-and all popular music, really-are both personal and academic. When he was growing up in Bermuda his parents spent good money on music lessons for him (piano and saxophone) and he even spent a year in a classical music program in university. Then he discovered the electric guitar, switched degrees and started a rock band. But hey, his parents are pretty cool so they even came to some of his gigs.

After busking his way around a few countries, and a stint as a music journalist and editor of an alternative weekly newspaper, he eventually got a PhD in Religion and Culture. Brent has been fascinated with reggae music and the Rastafari religion most of his life, and put the two together for a dissertation on dancehall pioneer King Yellowman. This enabled him to study the themes of reggae, the technology of creating, recording and performing reggae and analyse the way reggae artists use religious symbols to create meaning. Because Yellowman had a fascinating rags-to-riches life story, Brent set out to write a critical biography on him. As such, Brent was able to go on tour with Yellowman and spend several weeks in Kingston, Jamaica interviewing him. The results of that research will hopefully be published soon as a book.

Currently, Brent teaches a wide variety of courses at Laurier ranging from Religion and Sexuality in the Religion and Culture department to the History of Rock 'n' Roll in the Faculty of Music. He also gigs regularly with various musicians, but mostly in a reggae-inspired band called the Baudelaires.

Waterloo You Never Knew: Life On the Margins

  • Dates: Wednesdays, from April 11 to May 16
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R271
  • Time: 11:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

Peek with us behind the curtain as this course unearths the controversial stories that communities own but don't often share-especially with others. These are the stories of the marginalized, the famous, the infamous, the weird and the wonderful-real people who, by choice or by design, lived on the margins of mainstream existence in a "typical" small Canadian community. Meet the ex-slaves, the cholera victims, the grave digging doctor, the séance loving politician, the rumrunner and the sorcery-practising healer. Life here as we thought we knew it will look a bit different. Our history is your history. Come inside. This is Waterloo You Never Knew, revealed.


Joanna Rickert-Hall is a social historian engaged in the unending search for arcane and overlooked histories-particularly those that involve folk medicine, magic, and early community relationships in rural Canada. A self-described "history truth-sleuth," Joanna's expertise lies in her ability to passionately engage her audiences in the classroom, the boardroom, or living history museum. She has provided professional commentary and insight for many a curious researcher. She is the 2015 recipient of the Jean Steckle Award for Excellence in Heritage Education. Joanna lives in Waterloo, Ontario.

Families in Film VI: Who Are You, Really?

  • Dates: Wednesdays, April 11, 18, 25, May 2
    • Please note, this course is offered for four weeks, with a three-hour class each week.
  • Location: TBD
  • Time: 1:30–4:20 p.m.

This course is an extension of the Families in Film series, back after a two year hiatus. This year's theme focuses on ambiguous identities in a range of extraordinary circumstances. As in previous courses in this series, the films have been selected from around the world to provide glimpses into other cultural, social, and family contexts. Each of the four classes will last for three hours, allowing for a brief introduction of salient background, full viewing of the film and discussion afterwards. Previous participation in a Families in Film course is not required.

This years films are:

  • The Official Story (Argentina)
  • Like Father, Like Son (Japan)
  • Borrowed Identity (Israel' also known as Dancing Arabs)
  • We Need to Talk about Kevin (US)


Professor Emeritus Deena Mandell taught in Laurier's Faculty of Social Work until June 2017. She has been a guest teacher in countries ranging China and Taiwan to Israel, Malta and Ireland. Her research and teaching have focused largely on families in interaction with social systems. Because she loves movies, the LALL series Families in Film was born.

Geology from a Lifetime of Exploration

  • Dates: Fridays, from April 13 to May 18
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R271
  • Time: 9:30–11:20 a.m.

We travel the world visiting fascinating people and countryside. This course will help you to view the landscape with a different eye, helping you to understand the processes, which shaped the scenery. Topics include the movement of continents continuously modifying them, primitive life formed and oxygenated the atmosphere allowing plants and animals to thrive for millions of years. Geology of Ontario first mapped by Sir William Logan, Minerals we eat and use for our technological world, Local glacial geology provides us with croplands, building materials and groundwater sources in Waterloo Region.

  • Week One: Continents Adrift: Geology of Scotland, Hugh Miller's Isle of Eigg
  • Week Two: Geology of the American Southwest, Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range Country: Grand Canyon and Death Valley, Sedona and Jerome Copper Camp
  • Week Three: Ontario Geology: Sir William Logan and the Geology of McGregor Bay, Manitoulin Island
  • Week Four: Local Geology and Water: What's under our feet in Waterloo Region, Groundwater our Precious Resource
  • Week Five: Minerals: Formation of Minerals, Oxidized Zone Minerals
  • Week Six: A Gathering of Stones: 50 years of collecting for the Earth Sciences Museum (will include a tour of the museum after the lecture via car pooling.)


Peter Russell retired curator of the Earth Sciences Museum at the University of Waterloo, he continues to work with the museum on a volunteer basis. The university designated him honorary member of UW in 1999 for his work in public awareness of science, for which he also received the 2004 Geological Association of Canada EWR Neale award. In 2012 he received The Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement. This award recognizes individuals who have made volunteer contributions to preserving, protecting and promoting community heritage over a period of 25 years or more. Last year Peter received Ontario Ground Water Association 2017 Earth, Wind, Fire and Water Award. The Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water Award is presented annually to a group or individual who has demonstrated their commitment to and excellence in protecting the quality and use of one of our earth's most precious commodities: ground water.

Liberalism, Democracy, and the Challenge of Socialism

  • Dates: Fridays, from April 13 to May 18
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R271
  • Time: 1:30–3:20 p.m.

Liberalism as it emerged from my previous class seems strongly to support a generally capitalist economics. Classical Liberal writers also supported Democracy. But Democracy tends to support deviations from capitalism. Much of the deviation is propelled by Marxism. If Marx is right, economics deviates very fundamentally from capitalism. Is he right? (Answer: No, as will be demonstrated.) So where does that leave us? The course will provide a look at basic readings (especially by Marx himself, but somewhat by other socialist and contemporary liberal theorists), and general analysis. Discussion will be encouraged!


Jan Narveson is distinguished professor emeritus, Philosophy, at the University of Waterloo. He is the author or co-author of seven books, editor or co-editor of three anthologies and author of several hundred published (and many more unpublished) papers on moral and political topics in philosophical (and other) journals and anthologies. He is also the founder (1974) and still president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, which puts on over 70 chamber music concerts annually, presenting musicians from all over the world. His many activities on behalf of music in the Kitchener-Waterloo community have earned him a volunteer award (l987), a Region of Waterloo Arts Award (1989), and an Honorary Doctorate (DLitt., 1989) from Laurier. In recent years he has also taught courses in music appreciation as well as political philosophy for the LALL program at Laurier. In 2003, in recognition of his work both academic and in community music, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. His wife Jean has also received an arts award (2009) as creator of The Music Times. Their two children are also musicians.

Active Aging Through Exercise and Nutrition

  • Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, from May 1 to May 31
  • Location: Laurier Waterloo campus, Athletic Complex
  • Time: 10:30–11:30 a.m.

In this course, participants will learn a foundation for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Through weekly workouts and nutrition talks, participants will learn functional movements related to everyday life and a better understanding of fuelling your body through nutrition. Participants will be given a one month membership, for the month of May, to the Laurier Athletic Complex as part of the course fee and will be encouraged to practice what they learn on their own time.

Tuesday classes will focus on exercise, so please come prepared to workout and be active. Thursday classes will be a lecture focused on exercise and nutrition, participants do not need to wear athletic clothes on these days. Prior to participation, you will receive a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q). Please complete this questionnaire early and discuss starting an exercise plan with your doctor prior to the start of the course.


Stefanie Kubacki has worked in the Department of Athletics and Recreation for five years. She has an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education and a Bachelors of Education degree from Laurier. She is a certified fitness professional and has a passion for health and fitness. In addition, her portfolio in the department includes oversight for fitness, dance and rock wall instructors, personal trainers and the intramural program.

Jennifer O'Neill has worked in the Department of Athletics and Recreation for 10 years and has been in the industry for 15 years. She has her undergraduate degree in Communications from Laurier and a portfolio of fitness certifications. She is a PRO Trainer and Fitness presenter with canfitpro and has a passion for health and fitness.

Contact Us:

T: 519.884.0710 x6036
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - noon, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.


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