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Summer Program

The Summer Program at Knox College 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.

2019 Courses: August 12-16 & August 19-23

All classes are held at Knox College, 59 St. George Street, Toronto.

Click here to download a PDF of this year’s brochure.

Course prices, including HST:

  • 1 course $145, HST included
  • 2 courses (save $30) $260, HST included
  • 3 courses (save $75) $360, HST included
  • 4 courses (save $160) $420, HST included

Click here to register.

Music, Medicine, and Natural Science

COURSE A: August 12-16, 2019, 9:30 – 11:00 AM

This course will explore the history of music as medicine from antiquity to the present day. We will explore the intertwined histories of arts and science through topics such as music and healing; musical understandings in human anatomy; harmony in the natural world; cultural studies of music and health; philosophy of sound in cosmology; and music as treatment in the history of medicine. Drawing on a variety of readings, including primary source material from Plato through Ficino, Galileo, and Kepler, to contemporary debates on the efficacy of music in healing and prevention of disease, this course will introduce you to the close connections that have, and continue to exist between the arts and science. In short, the objective of this course is to understand how human creativity—the making and unmaking of what is true and what is false—has driven new discoveries in the science of medicine as much as it has in the art of music.


Roseen Giles is Assistant Professor of Music at Duke University, as well as the curator of DUMIC (Duke University Musical Instrument Collections). She has taught previously at Colby College, and was a Fellow of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto in 2017. Her primary area of research is the musical culture of early modern Italy, wherein she examines the aesthetic, professional, and personal relationships between poets and musicians of the seventeenth century. Roseen Giles is also an active baroque flautist, performing regularly in both orchestral and chamber settings.

Waste Culture

COURSE B: AUGUST 12-16, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

How is it that consumerism as a way of life has come to threaten the very survival of our species? In search of answers to this question, we must first ask, how do we relate to the things we get rid of? And, in what ways does our relationship with waste shape our culture?

Starting with the truth of the contemporary moment — that we turn resources into waste faster than we turn waste back into resources — this lecture series will draw upon recent thinking in art, design, history, psychology, and anthropology, in an effort to better understand our material world.

Overflowing with stuff, objects, and things, our homes are the perfect place to begin examining the problems associated with overconsumption. In doing so, these lectures will explore consumer identity, shopping, domestic space, product design, ownership behaviour, garbage, reuse, and possible solutions to the wasteful ways of modern life.


J.P. King is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and educator. He makes images, films, and publications in an effort to confront some of the most pressing social, psychological, and environmental issues today. He recently completed the City of Toronto’s first Artist-in-Residence program at Solid Waste Management Services, his specialization is in the study of how waste shapes culture. For this ongoing research, he was nominated for a Governor General’s Innovation Award and has received support from SSHRC and The Banff Centre. He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media, and Design from OCAD U, where he was a President’s Scholar from 2013-2015. He currently teaches at U of T Daniels, The Haliburton School of Art and Design, and Concordia University’s Centre for Expanded Poetics.

Up from the Streets of Toronto

COURSE C: AUGUST 19-23 9:30 – 11:00 AM

Our city has a growing homelessness problem. This course aims to deepen our understanding of the challenges and successes of a cross-section of local organizations who work on a daily basis with housing our city’s most vulnerable populations. Each day a different representative will give us an inside look at and an analysis of their organization’s operations.

We will get an inside look at the common and unique challenges and successes of Sistering, NaMe Rez, Parc, OCAP, and City Hall. The whole series of lectures will be chaired by Bob Luker, a Summer Program participant who has had a 45 year career in community housing in Toronto. He will act as common thread to help us analyze the many perspectives on this critical problem which affects everyone in our community.


Chair: Bob Luker is a retired professor of Community Work at George Brown College and is currently an anti-poverty activist with Put Food in the Budget. He is also a Summer Program participant.
Priyana Sheth is a director of Sistering. Sistering is a multi-service agency for at-risk, socially isolated women in Toronto who are homeless or precariously housed.
John Evans is a life long community activist and retired leader of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) which is a direct-action anti-poverty organization based in Toronto.
Steve Teekens is the Executive Director of Na-Me-Res (Native Men’s Residence) of Toronto. Na-Me-Res is a safe space for Aboriginal men to learn new skills and live healthy lives on or off the street.
Victor Willis is the Executive Director of PARC (Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre) and sits on several boards including CAMH and the Parkdale Land Trust. PARC works with members on issues of poverty and mental health.

The Reverse Gaze: Indigenous Views of the Other

COURSE D: AUGUST 19-23, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Drawing from a vast archive of materials from international public
collections of Indigenous material history, two key questions will be
asked: how do we represent people who are different from ourselves, and what are the consequences that arise out of this representation? This course will address social, political, cultural, economic or aesthetic aspects of Indigenous-European encounters as mediated through art and visual culture; as well as generating new knowledge of the media and methods through which historical Indigenous artists represented and critiqued Europeans, and the meanings their works may hold today. Broadly, understanding how and why we conceive of our ‘others’ is an urgent problem at a time when fear of the other is informing international public conversations on the politics of immigration and race relations.


Gerald McMaster, O.C. (PhD, University of Amsterdam), curator, artist, author, and professor of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University. He has worked at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 1995 he was Canadian commissioner to the Biennale di Venezia; Artistic Director of the 18th Biennale of Sydney in 2012; and curator to the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018.

Click here to register.