October 17, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Students in the Foundations in Western Thought and Civilization program and King's Scholar students enjoyed a day in Stratford, which included a brief visit at the cenotaph. “The highlight of the day was the Stratford Festival's excellent production of Twelfth Night, which one student described as being ’better than anything I've seen at the movies in the last few years,” says Dr. Graham Broad, associate professor in History. 

The group joined King’s Alumni Association for a sold-out Stratford Festival excursion organized by The Office of Alumni Affairs. King’s principal, Dr. David Sylvester also attended. This year’s event included lunch and pre-performance lectures by King’s English professors, Dr. Ian Rae and Dr. Paul Werstine. In his talk entitled “Festivals and the Second Stratford Miracle,” Dr. Rae explored the interdisciplinary history of festivals in Stratford, in particular the relation between Stratford’s music program and the proposed construction of a new, multipurpose theatre complex there. Dr. Rae is teaching several English courses at King’s this year including Festival Culture in Canada, Contemporary Theory and Criticism and Water and Civilization: Literature, Ecology, Activism.

Dr. Werstine provided insight into the Twelfth Night performance the group was about to see. He guided the audience through the intricacies of the play and its Stratford production, explaining the play’s extensive use of music and highlighting Stratford’s clever costuming and set design. This year, Dr. Werstine is teaching English courses in Shakespeare, British Literature Survey and Poetics.

Foundations in Western Thought and Civilization is an interdisciplinary approach to first-year studies that explores the traditions of Western Civilization from three perspectives: History, Literature, and Philosophy. This program is limited to 25 motivated and scholastically accomplished students who want to spend their entry-year at university reading, writing, thinking, and talking about important ideas, human possibilities and universal knowledge. Annual extracurricular activities include a medieval feast in costume, a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Stratford Festival and other outings.

“In Foundations, I was able to look at subjects I’m passionate about and improve myself as a person. I enjoyed going on trips like the ROM or Stratford and working on developing my cultural sense and knowledge. Overall, it is an incredible experience, one that I will hold with me throughout my university career,” says current student, Colleen Sousa.

King's Scholars is an extra, recognized designation of academic achievement and excellence. The program features an integrated and interdisciplinary approach that engages students in experiential study of the ideas, cultures, structures and events that shape our world.