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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 early April to mid-May.
  • Fall semester: usually runs mid-October to end of November.
  • Winter semester: usually runs end of January to mid-March (no classes held during the university's reading week).

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 Fall 2018

Courses on the Brantford campus for the fall 2018 term will begin on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 and run for six weeks until Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Courses will be offered at a cost of $50 for the full six-week course with an option to purchase individual class tickets for $10 per class.

Waterloo Course Offerings for Fall 2018

Courses on the Waterloo campus for the fall 2018 term will begin the week of Oct. 22, 2018 and run for six weeks until the week of Nov. 26, 2018. Courses will be offered at a cost of $70 per course. The course, Active Aging Through Exercise and Nutrition, will be offered at a cost of $90.

Poetry Appreciation: The Poetry of Tony Harrison

  • Dates: Mondays, October 22 to November 26
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R270
  • Time: 9:30–11:20 a.m. 

Course Description

Tony Harrison is an English poet, translator, dramatist and filmmaker, who many critics refer to as Britain’s leading poet-playwright. Although from working-class Leeds, Harrison won a scholarship to Leeds Grammar School and from there went on to Leeds University to study linguistics, Latin and Greek. Much of his work combines ancient Greek stories and myths with Yorkshire culture and European history. In 2010, He won the European Prize for Literature and in 2015, the David Cohen Prize in recognition of his entire body of work. In this course, we read a range of Harrison’s poetry from his earliest to his later poems, and we will look at his film-poem Prometheus. As in all poetry appreciation courses, the aim is to provide meaningful entry into the poetry by giving readers the necessary tools for enjoying the verse in ways that encourage them to continue exploring poetry on their own.


James Weldon is retired from the Department of English and Film Studies at Laurier, where he taught Middle English literature, Tolkien and Stylistics. He has published articles on Piers Plowman, Lybeaus Desconus, the Naples Manuscript, Old English poetic verbs and W. H. Auden. He is a former co-ordinator of Medieval Studies at Laurier, former Chair of the Department of English and Film Studies and former President of the Canadian Society of Medievalists. In 2010, he co-edited a collection of essays, with Robin Waugh that honoured George Clark, titled The Hero Recovered (Medieval Institute Publications). His critical edition of Lybeaus Desconus (with co-editor Eve Salisbury, Medieval Institute Publications, TEAMS series), appeared in December 2013. Under a book contract, he has submitted his critical edition of the texts of the Naples Manuscript to Arizona State University, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies. He is currently fascinated with and studying Ancient Greek and Latin literature.

In Search of Old Ontario

  • Dates: Mondays, October 22 to November 26
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R270
  • Time: 11:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

Course Description

Shunpkiking, or travelling the back roads of Ontario, one is exposed to and impressed by Ontario’s rich natural and cultural history. Ontario’s natural landscape and built/cultural heritage is impressive, attracting thousands of visitors from abroad and within the province. Many writers—some professional, some amateur—and historical societies have documented the history of Ontario in numerous publications. The provincial and federal governments, as well as local heritage groups, have erected thousands of the plaques and historical markers at significant locations throughout Ontario. Many communities operate museums that depict their interesting local history.
Through the use of slides and print material, we will discover Ontario’s natural (geologic) and cultural history through the patterns of urban and agricultural settlement, the architecture of public and private buildings, churches, cemeteries and industrial buildings such as mill sites and early transportation routes.
It’s our province to discover!

  • Week one: The World Beneath Our Feet: Ontario's Natural History
  • Week two: Southen Ontario's Prehistory and Aboriginal History
  • Week three: European Settlement Patterns
  • Week four: Colonization Roads and Place Names
  • Week five: The Built Heritage 1: Ontario's Secular and Public Buildings
  • Week six: The Built Heritage 2: Changing Resources and Technology of Constructing the Ontario Landscape and Building Styles


Warren Stauch is a life-long resident of Kitchener with a keen interest in the geography and history of the Waterloo Region and the Grand River watershed. Warren earned a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Geography at Waterloo Lutheran University in 1968 and a Master of Arts in Geography at Laurier in 1978. After a year at Althouse College of Education in London, Ontario, Warren taught Geography for 30 years in three high schools before retiring in June 1999. In 1967, Warren was asked to be a step-on guide for the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and has been leading bus tours of the local area for the past 51 years. In retirement, Warren has taught interest courses at the Laurier Association for Life-Long Learning in Waterloo. In addition to bus tours, Warren also does local historical walking tours, and presents slideshows on a variety of topics.

The Road to Reconciliation Must Start with the Truth

  • Dates: Mondays, October 22 to November 26
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R270
  • Time: 1:30–3:20 p.m.

Course Description

Since the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report in 2015, Canada has been moving toward Reconciliation at a quickened pace, often to the determent of the Truth. We, as a country, cannot reconcile our residential schools and our colonial roots without first having a grounded understanding in the truth of Indigenous peoples here on Turtle Island. 
This course will begin a discussion through examining events and issues that have affected and continue to affect Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island since the point of contact. In our time together, we will examine the state of Indigeneity through a political, social, historical and contemporary lens. It is only through a grounded understanding of the colonial landscape in Canada that we as a country will begin to make systemic change that will benefit not only Indigenous peoples but everyone that now calls Canada home. 


Erin Hodson is Laurier's Indigenous Curriculum Specialist. Erin is of Mohawk descent, Turtle Clan. She received her Master of Education, with a focus on the social and cultural context of education, from Brock University in 2017. For almost 10 years, Erin worked for the Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education at Brock University, where she created and taught courses focusing on Canadian history through the understanding of the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. Erin has been involved in many research projects investigating the state of Indigenous education in Canada. During her research, Erin has witnessed firsthand the benefits of engaging with Indigenous culture for her own people’s sense of self within mainstream education and for the benefit of non-Indigenous people as well. Erin has been an outspoken advocate for including Indigenous content throughout all levels of education and is greatly looking forward to assisting Laurier’s staff and faculty in incorporating Indigenous practices and content into their teaching methods.

Active Aging Through Exercise and Nutrition

  • Dates: Tuesdays, October 23 to November 27
  • Location: Laurier Athletic Centre, 75 University Ave. W.
  • Time: 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Course Description

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 gain a better understanding of fuelling your body through nutrition. This course is perfect for anyone looking to start their fitness journey or wanting to get back into fitness. Participants will be given a one month membership as part of the course fee and will be encouraged to practice what they learn on their own time. Every week there will be both lecture and exercise components within the two-hour course time on Tuesdays. Please come prepared to work out and/or bring a change of work-out clothes every week. Prior to participation, you will receive a 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 Laurier's Department of Athletics and Recreation for five years. She has an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education and a Bachelor of Education 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 dance and rock wall instructors, and the intramural program.  
Jennifer O’Neill has worked in Laurier's 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.

"Mad" History: From Joan of Arc to the Assassin Guiteau

  • Dates: Wednesdays, October 24 to November 28
  • Location: Bricker Academic Building, BA306
  • Time: 9:30–11:20 a.m.

Course Description

In this session, we will look at six case histories to see how ideas of mental illness have changed over time. From divine gift to fashionable affectation and deadly curse, how societies define and treat the mentally ill gives great insight into their culture. Topics will include Shakespeare’s iconic “mad” characters (Lear, Hamlet, Ophelia), melancholy as a fashionable 18th-century disease and the rise of the Victorian asylum, among others. People in the past did not diagnose mental illness according to contemporary standards, so we will try to understand just how they understood mental disease, what they believed caused it and how they sought to cure sufferers.


Amy Milne-Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of History. Her first book, London Clubland: A Cultural History of Gender and Class in Late Victorian Britain was published in 2011. Her teaching areas include the history of mental illness, British criminal history and the British Empire.

Irreverence and Its Virtues

  • Dates: Wednesdays, October 24 to November 28
  • Location: Dr. Alvin Woods Building, DAWB 3-106
  • Time: 1:30–3:20 p.m.

Course Description

This course will look at examples of irreverence in religion, art and secular culture that have fostered both revelation and revolution. But what is irreverence, exactly?
Irreverence is a confrontational passion that can ignite hatred, anger and disgust, while posing questions capable of destabilizing social, moral and religious norms. Irreverence’s value is found in the ways it can empower healthy purpose and reverence, and it provides a useful gauge for the distance between two conflicting positions.
Is irreverence always the opposite of reverence, or is it’s meaning harder to pin down? Can disgust be healthy? We’ll start with an overview of what philosophers, theologians and cultural theorists have to say.


Anna-Marie Larsen has a Master degree in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy from Martin Luther University College, and an undergraduate degree in visual art from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. As a curator she has organized exhibitions and written extensively on ways that art and artists interrupt societal values and norms.

Beyond Beaches, Burros and Burritos: Discover the Real Mexico

  • Dates: Thursdays, October 25 to November 29
  • Location: Frank C. Peters Building, P224
  • Time: 9:30–11:20 a.m.

Course Description

Mexico is not what we see in Hollywood films. It is a country rich in complex history, culture, traditions and myths. Mexico is the product of Indigenous practices and traditions melded with those of its Spanish colonizers. It is the sound of mariachis, the bright colours used by Diego Rivera and Krida Kahlo and the sweet burn of a roasted chile. This six-week course will take you on a tour of Mexico’s diverse regions, while looking at its culture, history and traditions. You will learn a few words of Spanish, savour Mexican food and study ancient and modern history and culture.

  • Week one: This is Mexico
    • From Pyramids to Postmodern Skyscrapers: A Brief History of Mexico
    • Mexico City: The Mega-Metropolis
    • The Central Highlands
    • Sopa de Tortilla
  • Week two: The Pacific Coast and Jalisco
    • From Mariachis to Marimbas: Music and Dance
    • Mexican Celebrations and Holidays
    • Frijoles Charros
  • Week three: The Gulf Coast and Veracruz
    • Olmecs
    • Ancient Myths
    • Huachinango a la Veracruana
  • Week four: The Yucatan Peninsula
    • The Mayans
    • Art
    • Cochinita Pibil
  • Week five: Southern Mexico: Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas
    • Toltecs and Zapotecs: Monte Alban, Mitla, Palenque
    • Textiles and Handcrafts
    • Mole
  • Week six: The North: The Great North, Baja California
    • Cañon del Cobre (Copper Canyon)
    • Titans of Industry
    • Modern Mexico


Patricia Uribe is a proud citizen of the Americas. She has lived throughout North and South America, from Canada to Argentina. Her formative years were spent in Mexico City, where she developed her passion for all things Mexican. Patricia has worked in education, journalism and public relations for 20 years. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in English and History from Western University. She is also a graduate of D’Youville College’s Teacher Certificate program. In her spare time, she drives her kids around, plays in the kitchen, reads and travels.

Dogmatism, Open-Mindedness and Other Intellectual Vices and Virtues

  • Dates: Fridays, October 26 to November 30
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R270
  • Time: 9:30–11:20 a.m.

Course Description

This course will critically examine various intellectual vices and their corresponding virtues.  Among the intellectual vices to be considered are the following:

  • dogmatism
  • closed-mindedness
  • confirmation bias
  • intolerance
  • intellectual pride
  • the Dunning-Kruger effect
  • in-group and out-group homogeneity biases
  • intellectual laziness
  • carelessness

The course will also include an examination of possible causes of these intellectual vices (e.g. indoctrination, censorship and the internet) and possible cures. Students will be given a handout each time summarizing the lecture content. Each session will attempt to balance lecture and discussion.

  • Week one: Introduction
    • Belief Systems and the Difficulties of Cultivating Intellectual Virtues
    • Taxonomy of Intellectual Vices
  • Week two: Dogmatism and Open-Mindedness
  • Week three: Intellectual Laziness/Carelessness and the Love of Truth
  • Week four: Intellectual Pride and Humility, Laziness and Carelessness
  • Week five: Intolerance and Tolerance
  • Week six: Causes and Cures of Intellectual Vices
    • Indoctrination
    • Censorship
    • Internet
    • Ideological Identities
    • Liberal Education

Book List

  • Baehr, Jason. The Inquiring Mind: On Intellectual Virtues and Virtue Epistemology. Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Jacobs, Alan. How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds. New York: Currency, 2017.
  • McEntyre, Marilyn. Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies. Eerdmans, 2009.
  • Roberts, Robert C. and W. Jay Wood. Intellectual Virtues: An Essay in Regulative Epistemology. Clarendon Press, 2017. 


Elmer Thiessen (BTh, BA, MA, PhD) is semi-retired, and moved to Waterloo, Ontario in 2007, after teaching philosophy at Medicine Hat College (Alberta, Canada) for 36 years. His current official position is that of a “roving philosopher,” open to short-term teaching and research positions anywhere in the world. Recent overseas teaching stints have included the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology in Jamaica (Fall 2013), and Meserete Kristos College in Ethiopia (Summer 2011). He also teaches regularly in the Laurier Association of Life-Long Learning.

Listening to Medieval Music

  • Dates: Fridays, October 26 to November 30
  • Location: 202 Regina St. N., R270
  • Time: 11:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

Course Description

Come explore the wonder and richness of medieval music! In this course, we’ll examine the pieces that best reflect the different historical and cultural aspects of medieval times. Starting with a quick introductory survey, we will dive into the repertories of plainchant, sacred and secular song and the motet, presented via recordings and facsimiles from original medieval manuscripts. Some of the pieces we will study include:

  • The earliest examples of plainchant and musical notation, from the monastery of St. Gall, Switzerland.
  • A unique group of secular songs associated with Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, her son King Richard the Lionhearted and Robin Hood.
  • Music from the Codex Calixtinus and its associated medieval tour guide for pilgrims.
  • The surprises hidden in the sacred and secular motets from the 12th and 13th centuries.
  • Classic works by masters Phillippe de Vitry and Guillaume de Machaut.
  • The famous canon, Sumer is icumen in.


Dr Alma Santosuosso is a Professor Emeritus at Laurier, where she taught music history for 33 years. She has published six books and several articles on the topics of medieval notation and music theory manuscripts, including a three-volume series on Music Theory in Medieval Normandy. 

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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