Quick links
You are here: Home » Knox College Summer ProgramSee our image gallery

Knox College Summer Program



Now in its 24th year, the Knox College Summer Program is a non-degree morning lecture series for the curious mind. The series focuses on diverse subjects with lectures presented by experts in their fields.

As the Civic Holiday falls on August 7 this year, Week 1 (Courses A and B) will start on a Tuesday and run for 4 days. Week 2 (Courses C and D) will run for 5 days. The class times have been altered so that each course has same length. All classes are held at Knox College, 59 St. George Street, Toronto. Click here for a PDF version of the 2017 courses

Course prices, including HST: 1 course: $130; 2 courses (save $25): $235; 3 courses (save $70): $320; 4 courses (save $120): $400

Register here.

Learn more about this year’s lecturers.

2017 Courses: August 8-11 & August 14-18

Italian Music, Culture, and Politics from the 16th to 20th Centuries

COURSE A: AUGUST 8-11, 2017

Tues., Wed., Thurs.: 9:00 – 11:00 AM; Fri. 9:00 –10:30 AM

Lecturer: Roseen Giles


Back by popular demand, Roseen Giles will trace the history of Italian music and a selection of Italian musicians from the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. She will reference the music of both well and lesser known Italian composers including Luca Marenzio, Claudio Monteverdi, Francesco Cavalli, Giuseppe Verdi and Giocomo Puccini. The aim of this course is to understand music as a cultural force closely intertwined with social and political movements in Italian history. She will trace the role music played in Italy’s development from city states to a unified country. As well, participants will have a chance to enjoy Roseen’s selections of wonderful music.



An Astronomical Potpourri

COURSE B: AUGUST 8-11, 2017

Tues., Wed., Thurs.: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM; Fri. 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Lecturer: John Percy


The course begins with an exciting overview of modern astronomy, followed by an amusing look at common misconceptions about astronomy, from everyday life to the birth of the universe. In honour of Canada 150, we will then examine Toronto’s astronomical heritage: how we became an astronomical “centre of the universe.” The Birth, Life, and Bizarre Deaths of Stars (Dr. Percy’s favourite research topic) explains itself. Throughout, we will reflect on the ultimate question (and maybe provide a partial answer): are we alone in the universe?



Perspectives on the Global Shift to the Hard Right

COURSE C: AUGUST 14-18, 2017 

Mon.-Fri. 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Lecturers: Tony Burman, Brian Stewart, Samantha Stevens-Hall, Sean Kinnear


Through the eyes of two award-winning journalists and two millennial scholars, this course will grapple with the possible global shift to a less civil society. Brian Stewart (former CBC senior journalist and presently of the Munk School of Global Affairs) and Tony Burman (former editor-in-chief of CBC news and English Al Jazeera, and presently a Star journalist) will examine the shift to the hard right in the United States and Europe. Samantha Stevens-Hall, PhD candidate in African History, will provide historical context and offer lessons from politics on the African continent. Sean Kinnear, currently working on a PhD in Soviet History, will discuss the Russian dimension as well as the uses of social media in the new world.


Inuit Art

COURSE D: AUGUST 14-18, 2017

Mon.-Fri. 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Lecturer: Will Huffman


Will Huffman from Dorset Fine Arts, the marketing arm of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative, writes: “Cape Dorset is a small Arctic hamlet and home to a modest 1300 residents on the southern tip of Baffin Island, and is hailed as the most artistic community in Canada.” The aim of this course is to familiarize us with the history of this unique Inuit community and its artists. Many of Cape Dorset’s artworks are exhibited and collected worldwide but are relatively unfamiliar names in Canada. Huffman will acquaint us with some famous, and not so famous, contemporary graphic artists, printmakers, and sculptors from Cape Dorset – including the likes of Kenojuak Ashevak, Tim Pitsiulak, and Shuvinai Ashoona. As well, he will speak about the joys and challenges that face artists from the far North.


Register here.

Learn more about this year’s lecturers.