Workshop for Seminar Coordinators
Seminar leaders learn everything they need
at January Workshop
Renaissance presenttion
Learning about the Real Renaissance
with Ricco (Richard Fuller)
Photo by Karl Bucholz

Seminars

At the heart of the Renaissance Society are the myriad seminars that we members ourselves devise and run.

The centerpiece of the seminar program is the full day of activities on Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., through the fall and spring semesters. The seminars are held in classrooms at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS).

Some morning and noon seminars are one-time presentations that don't require signups and allow members to drop in whenever they like the topic. These include the morning Travel and Adventure, Mini-Seminars and Documentaries. There are other morning and noon activities, ranging from the lively discussions of Cracker Barrel to use of smartphones and tablets and the exercise of ballroom dancing. Some of them allow drop-ins, while others require a full-semester signup.

The core afternoon seminars are held from 1 to 2:45 p.m. on Fridays (some start earlier). These seminars cover a wide range of topics chosen by leaders who are members just like you. Members sign up for the entire semester, usually 13 weeks. In many of these seminars, members are expected to lead and participate in group discussions. They are also expected to volunteer to do research and make a presentation on some aspect of the topic. Other seminars are taught by members, some retired teachers, who prefer to lecture. Others use movies to provide content and stimulate discussion.

There are also two Saturday seminars on campus. See the seminar schedule for details

Fridays close with the Forum from 3 to 4 p.m. Invited outside guests talk about a topic of interest, such as state politics, health or culture.

The off-campus seminars are held in other locations and on other days. These feature a huge variety of topics, from bridge and foreign language practice to writing and dinner groups. Most of these are semester-long and some continue from semester to semester. There are also one-day, off-campus seminars. Read the schedule carefully! The locations can be members' homes, public libraries, private meeting rooms or (in the case of the popular Walkabout hiking seminar) in public parks.

These seminars will not happen without members' participation. Check out the Participation page.

There is now a page devoted to helping seminar leaders You will find there the Seminar Leaders' Handbook and other things to help anyone leading or considering leading a seminar.

Want to see what kind of seminars have been offered in recent years? Here is a list of recent seminar topics. Another help can be utilizing online courses as a starting place for a seminar.