Lifelong Learners Institute

The Lifelong Learners Institute offers open courses for the community independent of Canisius University degree programs. Our instructors come from a wide range of academic disciplines to give our courses a broad cross-section of knowledge, experience, and experience. No papers or tests are given! Just much good discussion!

Classes meet weekly for six weeks and are limited to 16 students. Cost is $60. Questions? Contact Yvonne Widenor at 716-888-2531.

Fall 2023

The Power in Myth: Opening to the Mystery of the Universe

Tuesdays, October 17 to November 28
12:00 – 1:00 PM EST
via ZOOM

Mythologist Joseph Campbell stated that myth “opens the heart and the imagination to the wonders of the universe and the mystery of existence.” This powerful gift in myth can guide us, “to the spiritual potentialities of the human life.” In this course, we will read a variety of myths from around the world, from ancient to not-so-ancient peoples, and consider the power within the stories that direct our attention to the wonders of human existence, and of the universe through which we journey. Sample myths from the ancient world will be sent via email.

Wk 1: Introduction & Defining Myth, Thinking in Mythic Ways

Wk  2: Cosmologies of the Ancient World, Flood Stories & the Gods

Wk 3: Defining Love in Myth

Wk 4: The Hero’s Journey, Myths of Transformation

Wk 5: Feminine power in Myth

Wk 6: Power in Myth

Johanna Fisher is an adjunct professor in the Department of English and Co-Director of the Women & Gender Studies Program at Canisius University. Professor Fisher has taught courses such as Romancing the Grail, High Adventures and Chivalrous Knights and The Quest in Medieval Literature for over 20 years. She has also taught German and German literature courses with an emphasis on the contemporary era. She is originally from Bayern, Germany and lives there part-time when not teaching at Canisius.

2023-2024 Semester

To Hell & Back: Reading Dante’s “Il Inferno”

Johanna Fisher (English)

2022-2023 Semester

From Odysseus to Harry Potter: The Evolution of the Hero

Robert J. Butler (English)

2021-2022 Semester

Witches & Wives: Women in the Middle Ages

Kara Larson Maloney (English)

A Brief History of Byzantium

Jeff Brubaker (Classics)

2020-2021 Semester

The Plague in Medieval Literature

Johanna Fisher (English)

Arthur: The Once & Future King

Kara Maloney (English)

The Crusades

Jeff Brubaker (Classics)

Tempters & Temptresses: The Medieval Romance

Johanna Fisher (English)