Early Spring 2018 Session (February 26 – April 13)

Learning in Retirement’s Early Spring 2018 Session will feature ten lecture series and three language workshops.

To view a PDF version of Learning in Retirement’s Early Spring 2018 Session brochure, please click here.

Lecture Series
Seven Wonders of the Muslim Civilization – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN
Buddhism: Living a Buddhist Way – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN
Introduction to Hip Hop Culture
Famous Artists of the Italian Renaissance
Worlds in Points of Light – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN
From Village to Empire: A Brief History of the Roman Empire – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN
Israel/Palestine: Can it Ever be Solved? – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN
Russia after Communism: Great Power or Regime in Decline? – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN
Great Ideas of Biology
Biological Warfare: Modern Medicine

Language Workshops
Spanish Conversation for Travellers I
Spanish Conversation for Travellers II – WORKSHOP CANCELLED
Essential Mandarin Chinese I – WORKSHOP CANCELLED

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 and the present. This lecture series will conclude by visiting an exemplary local site.

Lectures, visual presentations, film clips, and a field trip

  • Days: Mondays, February 26th – April 9th (no class April 2nd)
  • 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: H. 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
Buddhism: Living a Buddhist Way – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN

Lecturer: Tan Ngo

After the fall of Saigon in 1975 to North Vietnam, millions of Vietnamese people fled the country to find freedom elsewhere. Buddhism, which has been rooted in Vietnam since the second century, followed its people to the new lands. Buddhist temples are seen everywhere in North America. This lecture series will help you understand Buddhism, its traditions, and sects. Participants will be introduced to a Buddhist psychological system known as The Abhidhamma and will learn how this system plays a role in current healthcare programs, including mindfulness-based intervention programs, which are used to help patients with post-traumatic disorders.

Lectures, discussions, visual presentations, and a field trip

  • Days: Mondays, February 26th – April 9th (no class April 2nd)
  • 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: Tan was born in Vietnam and started his Buddhist monkhood at the age of 8. After the death of his teacher, Tan left the monastery and joined the South Vietnamese army in 1971 as a lieutenant. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Tan was confined in several concentration camps in Vietnam. After 3 years in the camps, he escaped as part of the boat people and settled in Ottawa in 1978. Tan worked as a database specialist in the government and retired in 2004. In 2000, Tan returned to monkhood. Tan began his PhD studies in Political Science at Carleton in the fall of 2016. He has a MA in Religion and Public Life from Carleton University and a BA in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. Presently, Tan is a teaching assistant to first-year political science courses. Tan’s research interests lie primarily in comparative politics, public affairs, and policy analysis. On request, he gives presentations on Buddhism to high school students in the Ottawa area. Tan has also been a guest speaker at Carleton University. He teaches Theravada meditation to people who are interested in learning how to relax and live a stress-free life. His Buddhist practice is rooted in Mahayana tradition.

Lecture Series 3
Introduction to Hip Hop Culture

Lecturer: Keith McCuaig

Hip hop culture has its origins in the South Bronx, New York City, in the early 1970s. In just over 40 years, this artistic movement has become a global phenomenon, and a commercial force. Hip hop culture comprises several art forms, including music, dance, visual art, and more. The focus of this lecture series will be on musical practices, although other artistic components will also be covered. Moving chronologically through the history of hip hop, we will explore the origins, major figures and subgenres, as well as several issues pertinent to the culture.

Lectures, discussions, visual presentations, and film clips

  • Days: Tuesdays, 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: 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
Famous Artists of the Italian Renaissance

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 Michelangelo, and culminate in the works of the mannerists Bronzino and Parmigianino.

Lectures

  • Days: Tuesdays, 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

Lecturer biography: Adriane Aboud 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 time she traveled extensively. Upon her return to Canada, she briefly took a job at the National Gallery of Canada before accepting her current post as an art history teacher at CEGEP Heritage College in Gatineau.

Lecture Series 5
World in Points of Light – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN

Lecturer: Robert Dick

Ancient observers had many of the tools needed to understand the essence of our universe, and in many cases they correctly framed this knowledge into a coherent cosmology. This lecture series explores the observations of our solar system. By combining ancient observations with our recent detailed view of other worlds, we will explore astronomy, not just as a modern science, but as a human endeavour that unites cultures from different continents and different eras. By the end of this lecture series, we will appreciate the importance of simple historical observations, and marvel with the insights provided by spacecraft and modern instruments.

Lectures, discussions, and visual presentations

  • Days: Wednesdays, February 28th – April 4th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $135.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants

Lecturer biography: Mr. Dick is a Professional Engineer with a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering and a M.Eng in Aerodynamics. Few people can claim to have combined their passion with their profession, for which he has been awarded The President’s Medal and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. The night sky has drawn Robert Dick outside for about 50 years. For over 40 of these years, Robert has been sharing his knowledge and interest with the public. He has introduced thousands to the science and passion of astronomy and stargazing through public education, college and university courses. With pictures and films, Robert brings the sky alive for the audience. Based on his reputation as a communicator and educator, he was invited by the Canadian Space Agency to be the astronomy instructor for the Canadian Astronauts. When as a young amateur astronomer, he experienced how artificial lighting affects the quality of the night sky. To better understand the impact of artificial lighting on the environment, in the early 2000s he formed a research group to study the biological impact of light at night. The resulting field of research is now called scotobiology – the study of the biological need for periods of darkness. Robert now teaches this topic to environmentalists and ecologists. This resulted in a practical guide to outdoor lighting that has been adopted by Parks Canada, the US National Park Service and is promoted in Australia, Europe and globally through the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. This Guideline also forms the basis for the Canadian Dark-Sky Preserve Program with 19 Dark-Sky Preserves across Canada – and International Dark-Sky Places with more than 50 sites around the world. Through articles in newspapers and magazines, with contributions to several CD-ROM and DVD products, and appearances on television and radio, Robert brings a lifelong interest and respect for the night sky and night ecology to the public of all ages.

Lecture Series 6
From Village to Empire: A Brief History of the Roman Empire – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN

Lecturer: Dr. Marcel Jesenský

All roads lead to Rome. Rome’s long and rich history, from village to empire, continues to fascinate our contemporaries. One small village community in the Italian peninsula eventually became one of the mightiest imperial powers the world has ever known. This series gives a basic introduction to more than a millennium of Roman history and society, unfolding Rome’s remarkable evolution through monarchy, republic, and then an empire that, at its height, stretched from Scotland to Iraq and the Nile Valley.

Lectures, discussions, visual presentations, and film clips

  • Days: Wednesdays, 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. Marcel Jesenský is a specialist on the United Nations, international relations, diplomacy, and European history. He holds a PhD in History (University of Ottawa). His book The Slovak-Polish Border, 1918-1947 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) chronicles the legacy of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. He teaches at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. His current research focuses on the United Nations under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2007-2016).

Lecture Series 7
Israel/Palestine: Can it Ever be Solved? – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN

Lecturer: Dr. Peter Larson

Over the last 70 years, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has cost thousands of lives and imposed misery on many innocent people. To many Canadians, the issue appears unsolvable. It is difficult to have a calm discussion about it, as emotions are high on all sides. This lecture series will examine the Israeli and Palestinian narratives and compare them to the historical record and current reality. We will also look at whether Canada’s current policies are likely to help bring about a resolution.

Lectures, visual presentations, and film clips

  • Days: Thursdays, March 8th – April 5th (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: Peter Larson is the Chair of Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP), a Canadian human rights organization focusing on the Middle East. His professional career included periods at the Public Policy Forum, the Conference Board of Canada, Le Droit, and as a consultant to labour unions and federal government departments and agencies. For the last 10 years, he has taken a particular interest in human rights issues in the Middle East, visiting Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, and the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza. He has also led many trips to Israel/Palestine for Canadians interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the complex Israel/Palestine issue. He is a frequent lecturer for church and labour groups, retiree associations, and service clubs. His presentations are appreciated for being fact-based and balanced. He is also the principal author of a weekly series of articles on the Middle East to be found at CanadaTalksIsraelPalestine.ca.

Lecture Series 8
Russia after Communism: Great Power or Regime in Decline? – LECTURE SERIES FULL, WAITLIST OPEN

Lecturer: Dr. Andrea Chandler

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has endured dramatic changes. Experiments with market economic reform and democratization in the 1990s transformed the political arena, but left many citizens facing hardship and insecurity. In 2000, Vladimir Putin became Russia’s President, and he has ushered in reforms aimed at strengthening the state and reviving national pride – but his leadership has also been associated with authoritarianism, tense relations with other countries, and economic stagnation. There are also signs of new restiveness in civil society, especially among young people. How can we explain Russia’s tumultuous political development?

Lectures, discussions, visual presentations, and film clips

  • Days: Thursdays, March 1st – April 5th
  • 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: Andrea Chandler is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University, where she has been a faculty member since 1993. She teaches courses on Russian politics, politics of post-communist countries, comparative politics, and democracy. She studied at Dalhousie University and Carleton University before earning a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University. She is the author of several books, the most recent of which is Democracy, Gender and Social Policy in Russia: A Wayward Society Houndsmills, (UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). She has published articles in a variety of journals, including Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Nationalities Papers and Democratization.

Lecture Series 9
Great Ideas of Biology

Lecturer: Dr. Alan Mortimer

Biology is central to our lives. In fact, we are biology. While our understanding of biology has led to great advances in human health, longevity, and quality of life, understanding what is actually going on has become more complex. This lecture series will provide a foundation for understanding biology in the modern world, by looking at overarching ideas that have led us to our current understanding, and application of that understanding, to medical and technical issues. We will examine Great Ideas such as evolution, the cell as the basic unit of life, genes and DNA, infectious diseases, and immunity. We will then use these ideas to examine some of the current issues in modern society, where biology plays a central role. The series is intended both for those with limited technical background and those with more knowledge of the subject.

Lectures, discussions, and visual presentations

  • Days: Fridays, March 2nd – April 13th (no class March 30th)
  • 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

Lecturer biography: Dr. Alan Mortimer graduated from Carleton University (MSc in Medical Physics) and Guy’s Hospital Medical 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 in 1989 became Chief Scientist, Life and Microgravity Sciences, gaining responsibility 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 at the Centre for Vaccine Evaluation. There, he was responsible for all research in biologic therapies as well as the approval and testing of all vaccines provided to Canadians. Currently, he is a consultant providing strategic advice to several government departments.

Lecture Series 10
Biological Warfare: Modern Medicine  vs. Modern Disease

Lecturer: Dr. Daniel Burnside

Modern medicine is making major strides in its fight against some of the worst deadly and debilitating diseases. In this lecture series, we will learn about the causes, symptoms, and outcomes of several prevalent diseases. More importantly, we will learn about the tools researchers are using to make breakthroughs to fight, and hopefully eradicate, those diseases, while highlighting research happening right here in Ottawa. Muscular dystrophy, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Zika virus infection, and AIDS will be discussed.

Lectures, discussions, visual presentations, and film clips

  • Days: Fridays, March 2nd – April 13th (no class March 30th)
  • 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: Daniel Burnside is a geneticist with a broad range of research interests in the health and biological fields. He primarily works with proteins and, by studying how they interact with other proteins, uses this information to better understand biological pathways, including the pathways that allow pathogenic microorganisms to invade our bodies. Recent work includes studying Zika virus and HIV infection, analyzing new anti-fungal compounds, and investigating DNA repair pathways. Additionally, he has been working to develop protein-drugs using computational tools, a new frontier in drug development. Daniel teaches second-year Human Physiology and Health Microbiology at Carleton University and works for a local biotechnology company. He is currently in the final year of his PhD studies, with a focus on molecular genetics. Daniel aims to make his lectures not only informative, but also entertaining, engaging, and directly applicable to everyday life. He uses simplified explanations, metaphors, and modern examples to impart knowledge that can be translated directly from the classroom to the community. His goal is to make science simple and understandable for everyone.

Language Workshop 1
Spanish Conversation for Travellers I

Lecturer: Dr. Ioana Dimitriu

This introductory Spanish workshop aims at providing participants with the grammatical and lexical elements that are essential for basic communication. Conversation topics will focus on travel and will include asking for directions, talking about the weather and the schedule, expressing food and accommodation preferences, describing places and tourist attractions, shopping for souvenirs, expressing medical concerns, and making an emergency call. Audiovisual materials will include cultural components related to different parts of the Spanish-speaking world. Practical for people who wish to be able to communicate in Spanish while travelling.

Language workshop

  • Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays, February 27th – April 5th
  • Time: 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (1.5 hours)
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $250.00 (HST included)
    • Workshop fee includes specialized printed materials.
  • Enrollment capacity: 14 participants
  • Note: There are no prerequisites to take this language workshop

Lecturer biography: Ioana Dimitriu holds a PhD in Spanish Literature and an MA in Spanish Comparative Linguistics from the University of Ottawa (2010; 2002). Her Doctoral Dissertation focused on the figure of the labyrinth as a literary metaphor in the fantastic prose by Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, and by Romanian historian of religions Mircea Eliade. She worked as an Assistant to the Ambassador of Argentina to Canada, and as a Spanish Sessional Lecturer at the University of Ottawa (2001-2008) and at Carleton University (2010 – 2017). In addition, Ioana has several years of experience teaching Spanish to adults who learn the language for travel purposes. Ioana’s personal interests include studying theology, exploring other cultures through reading and travel, and kayaking on Loon Lake in South-Eastern Ontario.

Language Workshop 2
Spanish Conversation for Travellers II – WORKSHOP CANCELLED

Lecturer: Dr. Ioana Dimitriu

Develop listening, comprehension, and speaking abilities in Spanish. Participants will practice the use of the present tense of regular and irregular verbs in oral communication. Conversation topics will focus on travel and will include making and responding to invitations, talking about favourite activities and daily routine, shopping for clothing, discussing culinary traditions, booking accommodation, checking in at the airport, and buying tickets for shows. Cultural components about different parts of the Spanish-speaking world will also be presented. This workshop builds on the knowledge acquired in Spanish Conversation for Travellers I. However, those who have not taken the first workshop are also welcome, provided that they master very basic communication skills in Spanish.

Language workshop

  • Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays, February 27th – April 5th
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (1.5 hours)
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $250.00 (HST included)
    • Workshop fee includes specialized printed materials.
  • Enrollment capacity: 14 participants
  • Note: There are no prerequisites to take this language workshop

Lecturer biography: Ioana Dimitriu holds a PhD in Spanish Literature and an MA in Spanish Comparative Linguistics from the University of Ottawa (2010; 2002). Her Doctoral Dissertation focused on the figure of the labyrinth as a literary metaphor in the fantastic prose by Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, and by Romanian historian of religions Mircea Eliade. She worked as an Assistant to the Ambassador of Argentina to Canada, and as a Spanish Sessional Lecturer at the University of Ottawa (2001-2008) and at Carleton University (2010 – 2017). In addition, Ioana has several years of experience teaching Spanish to adults who learn the language for travel purposes. Ioana’s personal interests include studying theology, exploring other cultures through reading and travel, and kayaking on Loon Lake in South-Eastern Ontario.

Language Workshop 3
Essential Mandarin Chinese I – WORKSHOP CANCELLED

Lecturer: Laura Luo

This language workshop is designed to provide participants with the most fundamental vocabulary and grammar in Chinese. Participants will begin with pinyin, the most common transliteration of Chinese sounds. Participants will also learn daily expressions and how to recognize important signs. In addition, the workshop will introduce participants to basic aspects of Chinese culture.

Language workshop

  • Days: Mondays and Wednesdays, February 26th – April 9th
  • Time: 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (1.5 hours)
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $250.00 (HST included)
    • Workshop fee includes specialized printed materials.
  • Enrollment capacity: 20 participants
  • Note: There are no prerequisites to take this language workshop
  • Lecture Series Outline

Lecturer biography: Laura Luo was born and grew up in Beijing, China. She came to Carleton University in 2004 with many years of experience as a language teacher both in China and in Canada, and she has been a Mandarin Chinese instructor at Carleton University since then. She has a passion for language-teaching and is well-liked by her students. She received the 2013-2014 CUSA Teaching Award from Carleton University.