Fall 2017

Course offerings for the Fall 2017 semester include selections in Art, Classics, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology, Social Science and Writing.


Decoding Abstract Art

5 weeks, Wednesdays, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM

What can we bring to abstract works of visual art that will help us engage in a dialogue with the work?


La mythologie grecque : une sagesse à retrouver

12 semaines, les mardis 11:00-13:00

Dans ce cours, nous tenterons de nous interroger sur les sens possibles de ces récits et de voir s’ils sont réactualisables pour nous aujourd’hui. Y a-t-il une sagesse du mythe? Pouvons-nous comprendre l’art de ces mythes avec ses contraintes et ses règles?

The Last Stand of the Roman Republic

12 weeks, Wednesdays 6:15 PM- 8:15 PM

What were the causes of the end of the Roman Republic? Did social conflicts within Rome and the expansion of Roman domination over the Mediterranean hasten its fall?


Islam: Visions, Voices and Veils

12 weeks, Mondays, 6:15-8:15PM

Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion. How do we distinguish between the religion of Islam and the culture of Muslims? How does Islam fit in a secular society? This course will present both a historical background of Islam, as well as an exploration of its modern expressions.



American Dreams, American Nightmares: The Immigrant Experience in Literature

12 weeks, Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30PM

This course will focus on the American immigrant experience as reflected in short stories, novels, memoirs, and selected poems written between 1880 and 1950 (part 1 Fall 2017), and 1950 and the present (part 2 Spring 2018).

Detecting the Noir

12 weeks, Tuesdays, 10:00-NOON

This course will look at the genre of noir as it transitioned from the “hard-boiled” crime fiction to the noir thriller and film.

Goodbye, Great Britain?

12 weeks, Wednesdays, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Will the Brexit strategy end with “Goodbye, Great Britain” and “Hello, Little England”? Will British literature go Brexit, too? These are some of the questions this course will explore through readings taken from contemporary British fiction, drama, and journalism, which depict the unsettled condition of a country apparently divided against itself.

Rewriting India: The Emerging Vision (Pointe-Claire)

address: St. John the Baptist Church, 233 Sainte-Claire Ave.

12 weeks, Mondays, 1:30-3:30 PM

This course explores India’s recent history through the works of novelists and essayists who have followed in the wake of Salman Rushdie’s seminal 1981 novel Midnight’s Children. Readings include fiction by Arundhati Roy, Aravind Adiga, and Hari Kunzru, as well as non-fiction selections


Soli Deo Gloria: The Life and Times of J.S. Bach

12 weeks, Mondays, 1:30-3:30PM

Johann Sebastian Bach was the last of many generations of Bach musicians. Who was this towering genius who considered himself an artisan, a humble servant of God?


More About Opera

10 weeks, Fridays, 10:00-NOON

How has the perception of opera changed over the centuries? Does the advent of opera in high definition, whether in the cinema or on television, and the use of surtitles affect the way we react to opera? Have our expectations of this genre changed in the light of such technological advances?


After the Fall: When History Went Off Script

12 weeks, Mondays, 6:15-8:15PM

Where do we now stand in the wake of widespread criticism leveled at the master narrative of Progress and the myth of the West’s superiority? Have we genuinely and deeply metabolized the savagery perpetrated, ironically, in the name of Civilization?

Democracy and Demagogues

12 weeks, Thursdays, 1:30-3:30PM

Demagogues–charismatic speakers whose arguments appeal to emotion and prejudice rather than to reason–can gain the support of the people in a way that threatens the very democracies in which they come to power. How can democratic governments protect themselves from such leaders?



New Religious Movements of the Roman Empire: Early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism

12 weeks, Thursdays, 6:15-8:15PM

Throughout its rich history, the Roman Empire acted as a melting pot for many cultures and religions, including Christianity and Judaism. In this course we will focus on the genesis of these movements and the ways they came to be acknowledged and attain significance in the religious landscape.

The Reformation: 500 Years Later

12 weeks, Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30PM

How is doctrine—religious, political, and intellectual—formed, and how should we weigh its value? How should we interpret the Bible, a text written thousands of years ago?



The Past and the Future of Humankind

12 weeks, Thursdays, 1:30-3:30PM

In this course, we will accompany Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari on an iconoclastic and speculative exploration of human history through his pair of books, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, which approach history as a subject closely intertwined with psychology, sociology, and philosophy.

Humanoid Robots: How Will Artificial Intelligence Reshape our Society and Economy?

12 weeks, Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30PM

Will artificial intelligence displace human beings, rendering them redundant? Or will it provide untold benefits? This course will explore the social and economic aspects of the ongoing changes and challenges resulting from artificial intelligence.

Social Issues Roundtable

12 weeks, Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30PM

This 12-week discussion course will explore some of the social issues concerning the world in general, and some of more specific concern to Europe and North America.

The Hidden Life of Trees

12 weeks, Tuesdays, 3:45-5:45PM

Are trees social beings? In his 2015 international bestseller, The Hidden Life of Trees, forester and author Peter Wohlleben makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. Can our study of trees restore us to a source of wonder, respect, and meaning? Could it allow us to become a life-enhancing species? What would that look like?


Creative Non-Fiction Writing Workshop

12 weeks, Thursdays, 6:15-8:15PM

Are you an aspiring writer? If you have stories to share and are curious about the people and places you encounter, we’d love to have you join us in the Creative Non-Fiction Writing Workshop.


Imaginative Poetry Writing

12 weeks, Fridays, 6:15-8:15PM

In this combined literature and creative writing workshop, inspired by the practice of New York School writers Kenneth Koch and Paul Violi, students will hone their style by reading and imitating a wide range of short texts by traditional and contemporary poets.


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