Lifelong Learners Institute

The Lifelong Learners Institute offers open courses for the community independent of Canisius College 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! Due to continuing COVID-19 protocols, classes meet through Zoom.

Classes meet weekly for six weeks and are limited to 16 students. Cost is $60. Questions? Email us at

Spring 2022

Witches & Wives:

Women in the Middle Ages

Thursdays, January 27 to March 3
5:30 to 7:00 PM

The trope of the damsel in distress, or princess locked in the tower, is a powerful and pervasive one. In this course, we will look at the role that women played in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. With a brief stop in the world of medieval romance, we’ll look at women both fictional and historical to see the roles that women played within the court and in the village. Were they as helpless as we’re made to think? Who were these women, and how different are their lives to ours today in terms of being able to make their own choices?

Session 1: Medieval Romance

Session 2: The Witches

Session 3: The Wives

Session 4: Women at Court

Session 5: Urban Women

Session 6: Women in the Country

Kara Larson Maloney earned her PhD at Binghamton University, writing almost 300 pages on King Arthur’s knights. She’s still not an expert. When not teaching writing or medieval literature at several colleges in Buffalo, she dreams of traveling, and finally finding the time to write that novel. Her most recent pandemic hobbies include baking, welding, and cross-country skiing.

Fall 2021

A Brief History of Byzantium

Jeff Brubaker (Classics)

Spring 2021

The Plague in Medieval Literature

Johanna Fisher (English)

The Crusades

Jeff Brubaker (Classics)

Fall 2020

Arthur: The Once & Future King

Kara Maloney (English)

Tempters & Temptresses: The Medieval Romance

Johanna Fisher (English)

Spring 2020

Jesus: From Messiah to God

Rebecca Krawiec & Matthew Mitchell (Religious Studies/Theology)

Fall 2019

The Vikings

Bridgette Slavin (History)

China & The Silk Roads

David Devereux (History)

Spring 2019

Medieval Art & Architecture

Eileen Sullivan (Art History)

From Odysseus to Harry Potter: The Evolution of the Hero

Robert Butler (English)

Fall 2018

Crown, Sword, & Charter: Making the Monarchy

Julie Gibert (History)

The Seven Wonders: Ancient & Modern

Erin Warford (Classics)

Spring 2018

The Great Persian War: Ancient Greek Influence on Modern Attitudes of War

Thomas Banchich (Classics & History)