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Curious Minds Speaker Series

Hot Docs’ signature lecture series, now streaming nationwide on Hot Docs at Home. New on-demand courses offered each month!

Led by acclaimed lecturers and cultural leaders, and ranging in a dynamic variety of topics, series are offered in six installments each and can be watched on your own schedule.

Series Registration: $49 (Members: $33, $27, Free)


Curious Minds Speaker Series sponsored by

China: Beyond the Headlines

University of Toronto's Dr. Diana Fu offers a revelatory portrait of one of the world’s most fascinating countries during a moment of profound transformation.

Streaming until September 30, 2022

Diana Fu is an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Her research and commentary has appeared in the BBC, CBC, The Globe & Mail, and The New York Times, among others.


The Hidden World of Architecture

Canada’s leading architecture critic examines a fascinating, often underappreciated, dimension of our buildings and our cities: the effect they have on our inner thoughts and emotions.

Streaming until September 30, 2022

Led by Christopher Hume, who was the architecture critic and urban issues columnist for the Toronto Star from the early 1980s until his retirement in 2016.


Reading the Sixties: Writing the Revolution

From Susan Sontag to James Baldwin to Philip Roth, explore the revolutionary writers, books and debates that defined the 1960s, a time when authors pushed the boundaries of what we could print, say and think.

Streaming until August 26, 2022

Led by Ira Wells, an assistant professor of literature at the University of Toronto. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, The Walrus, and more.


The Art of Picasso

Examine the extraordinary works and legacy of Pablo Picasso in relation to his artistic influences, the key events and ideas of his time.

Streaming until August 26, 2022

Led by art critic and historian Barbara Isherwood, the host of ArtSync TV and a frequent lecturer at the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto.


Indigenous Art in Canada

Explore the many ways Indigenous artists and their visual art traditions have shaped the cultural bedrock of our land in this timely and thought-provoking series led by Dr. Gerald McMaster, one of Canada's most distinguished scholars and curators of Indigenous art.

Streaming until August 5, 2022

Dr. McMaster is the Director of Wapatah, the Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University, and has curated major exhibits at leading institutions on four continents.


The Great Singers

Ella, Judy, Peggy, Barbra, Nat, Ray. Pianist and music educator Jordan Klapman hosts a virtual music festival celebrating the lives and timeless songs of six legendary singer-entertainers.

Streaming until August 5, 2022.

Jordan Klapman has taught over two dozen courses on 20th century popular music at universities, colleges, and continuing education centres since 2003.


Rebel Women

Celebrate the trailblazing women in music, politics, film, writing and science, who refused to play by the rules—and changed the world in the process.

Streaming until October 28

Led by award-winning Globe and Mail journalist and author Elizabeth Renzetti


The 1970s: Cold Wars, Hot Art and the Legacy of the Sixties

Survey the influential people, movements and ideas that defined the 1970s—an era of new social freedoms, enduring political divisions and lots of unfinished business from the swinging 1960s.

Streaming until July 6, 2022

Led by Dr. Peter Harris, the former Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science of the University of Toronto.


Rome: The Eternal City

After his popular series on The Renaissance, celebrated academic Dr. Kenneth Bartlett returns to explore the rich cultural traditions, the stunning art and architecture, and the dramatic political history of one of the world's most enchanting cities.

Streaming until June 8, 2022

Dr. Kenneth Bartlett is a Professor of History and Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto.


Politics at the Movies

Acclaimed author and film critic Adam Nayman uses some of the greatest films in history to examine the impact that movies have had on the politics, and the culture, of the world’s most powerful country.

Streaming until October 28, 2021.

Adam Nayman is the author of several acclaimed books, including The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together, and Paul Thomas Anderson: Masterworks.


The Age of Reinvention

Learn about the cultural and political changes that emerged in the wake of WWII, and in the shadow of the Cold War—and their extraordinary impact on the modern world.

Streaming until April 28, 2022

Led by Dr. Peter Harris, the former Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science of the University of Toronto.


Beethoven: Maestro for the Ages

On the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, explore the life, times and music of the legendary composer.

Streaming until April 28, 2022

Led by broadcaster, writer and lecturer Rick Phillips, former host and producer of CBC Radio's Sound Advice®.


Rebel Paris

Meet the rebellious spirits and renegade thinkers who have shaped the City of Light throughout history.

Streaming until April 28, 2022

Led by Lisa Pasold, a Governor General’s Award–nominated travel writer and journalist.


The Treasures of South Asia

A fascinating journey through the history and art that flourished in the South Asian kingdoms from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Streaming until April 28, 2022

Led by Professor Sudharshan Durayappah, who teaches in the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Toronto.


Houses of Cultural Icons

From the aromatic kitchens of Julia Child to the mid-century modernist rooms of Frank Lloyd Wright, this series uses the houses of some of history’s most celebrated figures to explore the meaning of home.

Streaming until April 28, 2022

Led by architecture writer and consultant John Ota, writer of the popular book The Kitchen.


The Magic of Musicals

An insider’s guide to the biggest Broadway shows in history, from West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof to Dream Girls and Les Mis.

Streaming until December 31, 2022

Led by Michael Rubinoff, the Olivier Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated producer of Come From Away.


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