Early Spring 2017 Session (February 27 – April 7)

The Early Spring 2017 Session will run over six weeks and will offer the following ten lecture series.

To view a PDF version of Learning in Retirement’s Early Spring 2017 Session brochure, please click here.

Seven Wonders of the Muslim Civilization – Lecture series FULL, waitlist open
Famous Artists of the Italian Renaissance – Lecture series FULL, waitlist open
Road Trip USA: Exploring the Musical History of Six American Cities – Lecture series FULL, waitlist open
Plagues to Pandemics: Our Struggle to Understand and Control Infectious Disease
Germany from 1871 to the Present – Lecture series FULL, waitlist open
Women and Islam – Lecture series FULL, waitlist open
History of Human Nature
Impact of Vitamins and Nutrients on Neurological Function
The Planning History of Canada’s Capital
Science, Faith, and Society

Lecture Series 1
Seven Wonders of the Muslim Civilization – Lecture series FULL, waitlist open

Lecturer: H. Masud Taj

Featuring: the enigmatic Ka’aba, singular Dome of the Rock, urban Suleymaniya, Isfahan’s labyrinthine bazaar, the incomplete Sultan Hasan Madrassa, sensuous Alhambra, infinite Cordoba, and the photogenic Taj Mahal. Extant structures from 7th to 16th century in different regions will be introduced along with concurrent Muslim thinkers, poets, mystics, scientists, and architects. As the enigmatic buildings are laden with inscriptions (given the centrality of Quran and status of calligraphy in Muslim culture), they provide us clues to the monuments’ meaning in our attempt to make sense of the past as of the present. This lecture series will conclude by visiting an exemplary local site.

Lectures, visual presentations, film clips, and a field trip to the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa

  • Days: Mondays, February 27th – April 3rd
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 40 participants
  • Lecture series outline

HMasudTaj1Lecturer biography: Masud Taj, award winning Adjunct Professor of Architecture at Carleton University and Visiting Fellow at Aligarh Muslim University, India, was mentored by the leading exponent of Islamic Architecture, Hassan Fathy in Egypt. He delivered Keynote at the International Conference of Islamic Art and Architecture. Engaging the Other (Macmillan) featured his research in Spain that was showcased by the Faculty of Public Affairs in 2015 and at Author Meets Readers event at the Ottawa International Writers Festival 2016. His books are archived in University’s Special Collections and Embassy of Liminal Spaces inducted in the Library of Parliament. 

Lecture Series 2
Famous Artists of the Italian Renaissance – Lecture series FULL, waitlist open

Lecturer: Adriane Aboud

This lecture series will examine the art of some of the most famous artists of the Italian Renaissance. The lectures will be organized chronologically so participants will come to understand and recognize, not only each artist’s personal style, but an overall view of the evolution of renaissance styles and subjects. The series will begin with early artists such as Botticelli, move through well-known figures like DaVinci, and culminate in the works of the mannerists Bronzino and Parmigianino.

Lectures and discussions

  • Days: Mondays, February 27th – April 3rd
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALecturer biography: Adriane Aboud is an art history teacher at Heritage College. She received a Bachelor’s degree in History and Art History from McGill University in Montreal, and a Master’s degree in Art History from the University of Nottingham in England. She lived in Europe for two years during which she travelled extensively. Upon her return to Canada she briefly took a job at the National Gallery of Canada before accepting her current post as a CEGEP teacher in Gatineau.

Lecture Series 3
Road Trip USA: Exploring the Musical History of Six American Cities – Lecture series FULL, waitlist open

Lecturer: Keith McCuaig

The 20th century saw an explosion in regional musical styles in several areas of the United States. During this lecture series, we will learn about the musical history of six great American metropolises. The cities and styles to be discussed include New Orleans jazz; Memphis rock ‘n’ roll and blues; Chicago jazz and blues; Detroit R&B and soul; New York City jazz, punk and hip hop; and Nashville country.

Lectures, discussions, visual presentations, and film clips

  • Days: Tuesdays, February 28th – March 28th (5 weeks)
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Lecturer biography: With an M.A. in Music and Culture, and twenty years experience as a musician, Keith McCuaig is a KeithMcCuaigspecialist in all things music and art. He loves exploring the histories of popular music, especially the interconnectedness of genres, and looking at the socio-cultural significance of music. Keith has extensive experience in researching, writing and teaching a variety of musicological topics; he’s delivered guest lectures at two universities, presented at multiple international musicology conferences, and taught musicology courses through Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. From performing, writing, recording, and producing, to lecturing, giving music lessons, and working with community music programs such as Ottawa Bluesfest’s Blues in the Schools and Be in the Band, Keith’s life and passion is music.

Lecture Series 4
Plagues to Pandemics: Our Struggle to Understand and Control Infectious Disease

Lecturer: Dr. Alan Mortimer

Disease, plagues, and pandemics have impacted our civilization throughout human history. Current events, such as the Ebola outbreak in Africa, the spread of Zika, and problems with Influenza vaccines throughout North America, only serve to remind us that we are not immune to new diseases and epidemics. We will trace our fight to protect ourselves from these unseen killers by studying a variety of diseases from smallpox, cholera and plague to influenza, HIV, SARS, Ebola, and Zika. We will examine each disease to discover how it causes illness, discuss its social, economic, and political impacts, and follow the struggle to control them. Finally, we will address the remaining challenges in the control and eradication of infectious disease, particularly in developing countries. By the end of this lecture series, we will be able to discuss, with deeper understanding, current outbreaks such as Ebola, Zika, and Influenza, and look to what the future may hold.

Lectures, discussions, and visual presentations

  • Days: Tuesdays, February 28th – April 4th
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Lecturer biography: Dr. Alan Mortimer graduated from Carleton University (MSc in Medical Physics) and Guy’s Hospital AlanMortimerMedical School, London, England (PhD in Medicine). He joined the research staff of The National Research Council of Canada in 1975 specializing in medical ultrasound. In 1986 he moved to the Canadian Space Agency and became Chief Scientist, Life and Microgravity Sciences in 1989, responsible for all life sciences and physical sciences research. Dr. Mortimer accepted the position of Director of the Centre for Biologics Research, Health Canada in 2002 and later the Centre for Vaccine Evaluation. Here he was responsible for all research in biologic therapies as well as the approval and testing of all vaccines provided to Canadians. He currently is a consultant providing strategic advice to several government departments.

Lecture Series 5
Germany from 1871 to the Present – Lecture series FULL, waitlist open

Lecturer: Dr. Marcel Jesenský

German history is renowned for its peculiarities and paradoxes. The “land in the centre of Europe” played a pivotal role in European history. For centuries, the loose “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” was dominated by the Austrian Habsburgs. With late unification, domestic tensions contributed to the unleashing of two World Wars. The status of a divided Germany has had implications for the cold war world. After 1990, the reunited Germany has the largest population in the EU and is a much bigger player on the international scene.

Lectures, discussions, visual presentations, and film clips

  • Days: Wednesdays, March 1st – April 5th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

MarcelJesenskyLecturer biography: Dr. Marcel Jesenský is a specialist on the United Nations, international relations, diplomacy and European history. He holds a Ph.D. in History (University of Ottawa), a Master’s degree in European and Russian Studies (Carleton), and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering (TU Košice). He completed post-graduate studies in international relations and law (Comenius University Bratislava) and worked at the UN. His latest book “The Slovak-Polish border, 1918-1947” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) chronicles the legacy of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. He is teaching at the University of Ottawa and at Carleton University, and his current research focuses on the United Nations under Ban Ki-moon (2007-2016).

Lecture Series 6
Women and Islam – Lecture series FULL, waitlist open

Lecturer: Dr. Monia Mazigh

This lecture series is an introduction to contemporary issues related to Muslim women. Through a broad range of fiction and non-fiction books, articles, and videos, we will explore the question of women in Islam. It will focus on historical, social, media, and political representations of Muslim women. We will avoid the trap of easy media representation or sensationalism centered on the orientalist discourse of passive Muslim women in need to be saved. Instead, a more nuanced and multidimensional approach to tackle some of the issues affecting Muslim women will be explored. We will examine Women and Islam not as a homogenous entity but rather the heterogeneity of “Women” and of “Islam.” Participants will be introduced to several fiction and non-fiction works by some of the most known contemporary Muslim women writers. Issues such as women’s role in Islam, veiling, polygamy, Islamic traditions, as well as Islamic feminism will be discussed.

Lectures, discussions, and visual presentations

  • Days: Wednesdays, March 1st – April 5th (5 weeks)
  • Note: No class March 8th
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Lecturer biography: Dr. Monia Mazigh was born and raised in Tunisia and immigrated to Canada in 1991. She speaks Arabic, MoniaMazighFrench, and English fluently and holds a Ph.D. in finance from McGill University. Dr. Mazigh has worked at the University of Ottawa and taught Finance at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. In 2004, she ran in the federal election as a candidate for the NDP, gaining the most votes for her riding in the history of the NDP. Dr. Mazigh was catapulted onto the public stage in 2002 when her husband Maher Arar, was deported to Syria where he was tortured and held without charge for over a year. During that time, Dr. Mazigh campaigned vigorously for her husband’s release and later fought to re-establish his reputation and sought reparations. In January 2007, after a lengthy inquiry, her husband finally received an apology from the Canadian Government. Dr. Mazigh has authored a book called Hope and Despair which documents her ordeal after her husband was arrested and how she campaigned to clear his name. It was published in 2008 and nominated for the Ottawa Book Award. Dr. Mazigh wrote many articles published in the Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, the Ottawa Citizen, Le Devoir, the Huffington Post and other newspapers. In 2011, Dr. Mazigh published a novel in French, Miroirs et Mirages. Stories of four Muslim women living in Canada. Miroirs et Mirages was shortlisted for the prestigious Ontario Trillium Award and for the Ottawa Book Award. In summer 2014, Mirrors and Mirages was published in English by Anansi House. Dr. Mazigh published in September 2015, her second novel in French about the events of the Arab Spring. Hope has Two Daughters has been published in English in 2017 by Anansi House. Dr. Mazigh presently lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children.

Lecture Series 7
History of Human Nature

Lecturer: Dr. Neven Leddy

This lecture series will trace different conceptions and defining features of human nature, from antiquity to the present. Over the six sessions, we will track the decline of a theological understanding of human nature and the rise of the social sciences as a means to explain human behaviours and motivations. Each week will be based on short readings excerpted from significant – but now always well-known – texts from the past. We will pay close attention to the Utopian impulse and altruism in various formulations of human nature, as well as the recurring themes of love, human depravity, and decision-making. These themes will be evaluated in texts that are more often considered for their political significance, including the works of Adam Smith and Charles Darwin. We will discuss the secularization of human nature and the declining emphasis on the individual across all of these works.

Lectures and discussions

  • Days: Thursdays, March 2nd – April 6th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

nevenleddy2Lecturer biography: Neven is an historian of the eighteenth century Atlantic World, specializing in cultural and intellectual  history. He has taught in the Humanities and Social Sciences at numerous Canadian universities. At Carleton he teaches in the College of Humanities and in the History Department. His research interests include the history of ideas, especially in the social sciences.

Lecture Series 8
Impact of Vitamins and Nutrients on Neurological Function

Lecturer: Dr. Nafisa Jadavji

This lecture series will examine the role of vitamins and nutrients on neurological function during development, adulthood, and aging. There will be a specific focus on neurology and how these compounds affect normal function and disease processes. An introduction to basic neurology will be covered at the beginning of lecture series. Topics will include: how nutrient and vitamin deficiencies affect neurological function during development, effects of over-supplementation, and diseases of aging, such as neurodegeneration and stroke. This lecture series will cover B-vitamins (folates), vitamins D and E, as well as the nutrient choline.

Lectures, discussions, visual presentations, and film clips

  • Days: Thursdays, March 2nd – April 6th
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

NafisaJadavjiLecturer biography: Dr. Nafisa M. Jadavji is a Neuroscientist. Currently, she is postdoctoral fellow researcher and instructor at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. She completed her doctoral training at McGill University in Montréal, Canada and postdoctoral training at the Charité Medical University in Berlin, Germany. Her post-doctoral research focuses on understanding how dietary and genetic deficiencies in folate metabolism affect the course of stroke and neurodegeneration using a mouse model. Her research has been published in Behavioural Brain Research, Biochemical Journal, Neuroendocrinology, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, European Journal of Neuroscience, and Neuroscience. Dr. Jadavji has been funded by the Federation of European Neuroscience Society (Europe), NeuroWIND (Germany), Canadian Association for Neuroscience, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, National Science & Engineering Research Council (Canada), International Brain Research Organization, Parkinson’s disease Foundation (US), Burroughs Wellcome Fund (US) and Fonds de la recherché en santé Québec (Canada). She is a regular reviewer for the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, Neurotoxicity Research, Journal of Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience. Currently, Dr. Jadavji is an Editorial board member for Updates in Nutritional Disorders and Therapy and JSM Nutritional Disorders Journals. She is also the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Journal of Young Investigators (JYI) and Executive Committee member of the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPs).

Lecture Series 9
The Planning History of Canada’s Capital

Lecturer: Michael Lait

We will begin by tracing Ottawa’s early history and its growth into a frontier lumber town, highlighting the problems with social order, municipal politics, the public health and environmental problems (e.g., the Great Fire of 1900 and the Cholera epidemics of 1911/1912). Following this, we will cover the earliest plans (Todd Report of 1903 and the Holt Plan of 1915), as the federal government sought to beautify the capital. Early plans, such as City Beautiful and City Scientific, will be examined, including the Gréber Plan (1950) and its implementation. The final lecture looks at Prime Minister P.E. Trudeau’s impact on the development of Ottawa as well as recent attempts to update the capital’s master plan. We will explore whether the federal government still has a role to play in planning the capital region and what concrete actions still need to be undertaken to make Ottawa not only a green capital, but one that is worthy of the nation.

Lectures, discussions, and visual presentations 

  • Days: Fridays, March 3rd – April 7th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

michael-laitLecturer biography: Michael has long been interested in the intersections between environmental issues and social justice. His graduate studies began in Criminology and focused on the sub-discipline of Green Criminology which is interested in the regulation and prevention of environmental harm. His thesis looked at the federal government’s One-Tonne Challenge, which was a public education and outreach program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of Canadian consumers. Michael then moved to the field of Sociology for his doctoral because of the discipline’s more expansive focus. His dissertation examines the history of Gatineau Park, which is located adjacent to the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau. Originally, Gatineau Park, located at the doorstep of Canada’s capital, was supposed to be a national. In addition to looking at the reasons why it was not made into a national park, his research investigates the consequences of not having national park status, as Gatineau Park has been vulnerable to urbanization pressures and private development.

During his doctoral studies, Michael come to appreciate the three missions of the university: research, teaching, and community service. He has published preliminary research findings in local and national journals. Through his experience as instructor for ENST4000 – Seminar in Environmental Studies, he’s developed a passion for interactive teaching, where the classroom becomes a space for the exchange and development of ideas. Michael is also a member of the Community First: Impact of Community Engagement (CFICE) action research project; specifically, worked with a not-for-profit, the Ottawa Eco-Talent Network (OETN), and helped it startup operations and obtain funding. Along with the OETN, he has experienced the real-world benefits of campus-community engagement.

Lecture Series 10
Science, Faith, and Society

Lecturer: Dr. Colin Cordner

The focus of this lecture series will be on exploring the element of tacit knowing, commitment, and passion play in human understanding, science, and society. To that end, we will spend our time analyzing the work of the late scientist and philosopher Michael Polanyi. His extensive work on the culture of science and what he termed ‘the tacit dimension of personal knowledge and wisdom’ will be explored. We will also grapple with questions such as “is it really the case that real knowledge can be picked-up from textbooks or videos?” or, as Polanyi argues, “is experience, apprenticeship, and the human touch crucial to understanding?”. If so, what are the implications for education and democracy?

Lectures, discussions, visual presentations, and film clips

  • Days: Fridays, March 3rd – April 7th
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Lecturer biography: Colin Cordner is a Doctor of Political Science, who has written and taught on a range of topics, ranging from ancient civilizations, classical philosophy, and the history of political ideas, to the history of science, millenarian movements and political religions. He is currently working on the philosophies of Michael Polanyi and Plato and the place of passion and tradition in science and education.