“What might be possible for us if we were to retain the social commitment that motivates our critical work, while stepping off the field of competition?” Kathleen Fitzpatrick asked a rapt audience at SFU’s Harbour Centre last Wednesday, “We would have to open ourselves to the possibility that our ideas might be wrong.”
Fitzpatrick is Director of Digital Humanities at Michigan State University, the former Director of Scholarly Communication at the Modern Language Association, and—most recently—the invited speaker at this year’s Munro Lecture at SFU.
Named after Jock Munro—an economist and former SFU Vice-President, Academic—the lecture series has hosted a number of acclaimed scholars over the years, including Linda Tuhiwai Smith on decolonizing the research process and Arthur Hanson on China’s green economy. This year’s edition continued the conversation started during last fall’s President’s Dream Colloquium on Making Knowledge Public.
In her talk, Fitzpatrick discussed the individualistic nature of academic life and how it impedes the relationships that exist between universities and the communities that surround them. Drawing from her newly released book, Generous Thinking, she explored the many challenges that stand in the way of a more engaged academic system and offered a radical approach to how overcoming them—starting with a complete shift in how we think about public scholarship.
Her passionate appeal resonated with many in the audience, with nods, sighs, and the occasional “Yeah!” permeating the presentation. “Generous thinking,” it seems, had been on many listeners’ minds.
As John Maxwell, Director of SFU’s Publishing Department, aptly put it, “Kathleen Fitzpatrick has elegantly articulated what many academics have been thinking—that the black and white framing of university and society is not serving anyone well, and that our culture of internal competitiveness undermines any effort to be engaged and relevant.”
So what can today’s academics do to become more engaged, relevant, and connected?
“All… possibilities begin with cultivating the ability to think generously,” Fitzpatrick offered at the end of her lecture, “To listen to one another.”
During Read Local BC 2016, readers across the province can discover locally published books and meet authors resident in their community through a range of activities in bookstores and libraries throughout British Columbia.
Following the widespread success of the inaugural Read Local BC campaign in 2015, the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia (ABPBC) is launching the initiative for a second year from October 28 – November 7, 2016. Events and contests are posted on the Read Local BC Facebook page. Readers are invited to share events and your favourite BC reads with the hashtag #readlocalbc.
The President’s Dream Colloquium, started in 2011, is an initiative to bring leading thinkers to SFU and provide an annual forum for intensive interdisciplinary exchange amongst faculty and students in the form of a graduate course and public lectures.
We are witnessing dramatic shifts in the landscape of Indigenous relations in Canada. The recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) created challenging and inspiring opportunities for all of us.
The TRC issued 94 Calls to Action, with a number of the recommendations specific to institutions of higher education. The call is to work with Indigenous peoples to incorporate Indigenous knowledges and ways of learning through the eyes of local traditional knowledge keepers and elders, to inform intercultural learning and social healing.
This semester, the President’s Dream Colloquium will explore justice, identity and belonging in the context of Education for Reconciliation.
Some of the confirmed speakers include authors, such as award-winning visual contemporary Haida artist and author Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas; author, musiciain and broadcaster Wab Kinew; ethnographer, writer, photographer and filmmaker, Wade Davis; Hawaiian author and scholar-activist Manulani Aluli-Meyer; award-winning author of Indigenous Law books, John Borrows; and more.
While most lectures are free to attend (with some exceptions) you are required to reserve a seat.
For ten days every July, Indian Summer Festival presents provocative multi-disciplinary art events in Vancouver with musicians, actors, writers, filmmakers, and thought leaders. Don’t miss this incredibly diverse festival from July 7–16, 2016.
The theme for this year’s festival is Border Crossings. Borders are not just geographic, but also linguistic, religious, racial, sexual, emotional, psychological and culinary. Border Crossings seeks to create space to explore these intersecting boundaries where we meet ‘the other’ to engage in meaningful and lasting dialogue.
A couple of the events have prominent South Asian writers in attendance:
5×15 is an international speakers series that features five stellar speakers, speaking for fifteen minutes each on a topic they are deeply passionate about. The only rules: the talk should be unscripted, and fifteen minutes long. The only Canadian iteration and now in its third year, we return in 2016 with an all star lineup including Oscar-nominated filmmaker Deepa Mehta on ‘The Films that Changed My Life’, psychology professor Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani on ‘The Psychology of Good and Evil’, award-winning playwright and novelist Carmen Aguirre, and Toronto based writer and musician Vivek Shraya.
Being LGBTQ+ and South Asian means dealing with a complex tangle of the personal and the political, one that manifests itself in diasporic communities living in countries like Canada, where same sex marriage has been legal for a decade. To explore how this tangle unravels in life and art are three writers—Kolkata-based Sandip Roy, whose novel Don’t Let Him Know was recently published to worldwide acclaim, Minal Hajratwala from San Francisco, whose “A Brief Guide to Gender in India” for Granta went viral on the web and Vivek Shraya, a three-time Lamda Award nominated artist from Toronto. Hosting the dialogue is Romi Chandra Herbert, Co-Executive Director of PeerNet.
What does it mean to be a Muslim in a secular democracy like Canada? To explore this question and the others lines of inquiry within are three outstanding Canadian novelists. Karim Alrawi is an award-winning playwright and internationally respected speaker on issues of freedom of expression; Dr. Monia Mazigh is a human rights advocate, business leader, and was called the “nation-builder” of the year by The Globe and Mail in 2003; and Ameen Merchant, whose debut novel The Silent Raga was shortlisted for the 2008 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. The dialogue is hosted by Devyani Saltzman, Director of Literary Arts at the Banff Centre.
Showcased are this year’s Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize finalists, Ali Blythe, Amber Dawn, Raoul Fernandes, Miranda Pearson and Jeff Steudel, who will read from their nominated works. Acclaimed local poet and novelist Evelyn Lau will moderate this unique event.
At this year’s AGM, the Alcuin Society will present its eighth Robert R. Reid Award and Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Book Arts to the celebrated Canadian type designer Rod McDonald, for his outstanding contributions to typography.
Rod McDonald has more than fifty years experience working with lettering and type, has created many typefaces, and has taught typography at many institutions. As the Keynote speaker McDonald will show the short film, Carl Dair at Enschedé: The Last Days of Metal Type, and discuss both Dair’s and his own work and the making of the film. He will be available to answer questions.
Carl Dair created Canada’s first typeface for Roman letters – Cartier – and introduced it to the world in 1967. In 1998, McDonald updated and expanded Dair’s Cartier typeface for digital technology. In 2015, McDonald remastered Dair’s short silent film about typemaking at the 270-year-old Dutch type foundry Enschedé, with an introduction by himself, and narration and commentary by noted British type designer Matthew Carter.
Monday, June 6, 2016 @ 7 pm
University Golf Club – 5185 University Blvd. – Vancouver
This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited; reservations are required. Light refreshments will be served; open bar. Please email to reserve a seat.
Lunch Poems at SFU is a unique vibrant exchange of poetic ideas and cadence held the third Wednesday of every month, noon to 1 pm, in the Teck Gallery at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre Campus.
RAOUL FERNANDES’ first book of poems Transmitter and Receiver (Nightwood Editions, 2015) recently won the 2016 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. It explores the difficulty of communication, the ever‐changing symbolism of language, and the nature of human interaction in the age of machines.
ELENA JOHNSON has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards and the Alfred G. Bailey Poetry Prize. Her first book, Field Notes for the Alpine Tundra (Gaspereau, 2015), was written at a remote ecology research station in the Yukon.