Laurier Milton Lecture Series VIII: 2016 / 2017

Overview of Lecture Series

Lecture series

Wilfrid Laurier University is pleased to partner with the Town of Milton and the Milton Public Library to present the eighth "Laurier Milton Lecture Series."

Wilfrid Laurier has long supported the public role of academics to bring their knowledge and thinking outside of the classroom. The Laurier Milton Lecture Series provides a wonderful opportunity to engage in a public dialogue with citizens of Milton on a broad array of important topics. We are pleased that the presentations represent the current research and analysis of members of different Faculties and University Departments/Programs.

The lecture series is a partnership between the Town of Milton, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the Milton Public Library.

Lecture Series Schedule

Admission is free.

All lectures take place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the dates noted below. October through April lectures take place at the Milton Centre for the Arts. The May 2017 lecture will take place at the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre.

Please note: Some or all of the lectures may be filmed and televised on TVCOGECO.

Register Online or call Milton Public Library (905) 875-2665.

October 12,
Credit Default Swaps (CDS), Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO) and Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) and How They Contributed to the 2007 Financial Crisis
by Dr. Adam Metzler, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science
The global economy is still feeling the effects of the financial crisis that began in 2007. At the centre of the crisis were (ostensibly) sophisticated financial products such as credit default swaps (CDS), collateralized debt obligations (CDO) and mortgage-backed securities (MBS). In this talk I will explain what these products are, how they were marketed to investors and rated by ratings agencies, and how they found themselves at the centre of the crisis, all at a level that does not require sophisticated knowledge of financial market.
Register online or call Milton Public Library (905) 875-2665.
November 9,
Archaeology at Old Fort Erie
by Dr. John Triggs, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Faculty of Arts
Under the direction of Dr. John Triggs, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, three seasons of archaeological investigation have been conducted at Old Fort Erie. This National Historic Site witnessed the largest massing of British and American troops ever during the War of 1812. During the six week-long siege hundreds of men on both sides died in one of the last major conflicts of the war. Archaeological investigations in 2012, 2013 and 2015 have revealed evidence that sheds light on the battle tactics employed by both sides, as well as the life of the soldiers, officers and First Nations people who were involved in the conflict. In addition, the most recent excavation uncovered buildings dating to the first Fort Erie, constructed in 1764 - the oldest British military fort in the province.
Register online or call Milton Public Library (905) 875-2665.
December 14, 2016
A Snapshot of Palliative Care Music Therapy: Voices of the Dying
by Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes, Faculty of Music
This presentation will provide a short introduction to music therapy in palliative care with a focus on the emerging themes in palliative care music therapy. The presenter will share case examples from her recent book Voices of the Dying and Bereaved: Music Therapy Narratives as well as audio clips that provide examples of how the themes are present in current clinical work. Participants will be invited to participate in a short experiential relaxation activity. (Please note that Dr. Clements-Cortes will be available before and after the lecture to sign copies of her book for those that bring them to the lecture.
Register online or call Milton Public Library (905) 875-2665.
January 11,
Green Biotechnology: Benefits and Risks
by Dr. Renuka Karunagoda, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science
People have been using microorganisms to make bread and cheese and preserve dairy products for more than 6,000 years. In 1970s, with the advent of molecular biology, scientists were able to manipulate DNA to acquire desirable traits in organisms. Today, this technology has reached a stage where scientists can take one or more specific genes from nearly any organism and introduce into another organism. Biotechnology applied to agricultural processes is known as ‘Green Agriculture’, which aims to introduce new traits to a plant in order to improve production, nutritional quality or any other desirable trait. Production of genetically modified (GM) crops has increased tremendously during the last two decades. In 2014, 18 million farmers used GM plants worldwide in 28 countries. A total area of 11.6 million ha of GM canola, maize, soybean and sugar beet was produced in Canada. The objective of this presentation is to provide the audience with the benefits and risks associated with green biotechnology and the balance between them.
Register online or call Milton Public Library (905) 875-2665.
February 8,
A Many Fronted Struggle: African American Rights Activism, 1776-1865
by Dr. Dana Elizabeth Weiner, Department of History, Faculty of Arts
Racism and civil rights have long and complex histories in the United States. In this talk in celebration of Black History Month, Dr. Dana Elizabeth Weiner shows how activists outside of the southern slave states worked for rights beginning in the 1770s. How did former slaves and free-born African Americans work against slavery and to improve their status? Did you know that slavery and racism affected African Americans even in the North and the West, as voting restrictions and other so-called “Black Laws” reveal? How did they fight back? The picture is a complex one, for some African Americans gained rights in the same years that others lost ground. Finally, the talk asks how civil rights activism affected African Americans’ motivations to enlist in the conflict that destroyed slavery, the U.S. Civil War.
Register online or call Milton Public Library (905) 875-2665.
March 8
Canada at Vimy: The Battle, Myth, and Memory
by Dr. Mark Humphries, Department of History, Faculty of Arts
The Battle of Vimy Ridge is remembered as one of the defining moments in Canadian history; it is even commonly said that Canada was born at Vimy Ridge. But what do we mean when we say this? Why do we choose to remember Vimy in such a special way and not other battles? Was it really such an important victory? At the battle's 100th anniversary, historian Mark Humphries looks at the events of 9-13 April 1917 and the process of myth-making that took place after that created such an indelible impression on generations of Canadians.
Register online or call Milton Public Library (905) 875-2665.
April 12,
Chamber Music at Laurier
by Director: Beth Ann De Sousa, Faculty of Music
Enjoy a presentation / concert by students in the Chamber Music Program at Laurier's Faculty of Music.
Register online or call Milton Public Library (905) 875-2665.
May 10,
Monks, Nagas, and Spirits: Establishing a Lao Buddhist Temple and Building Relationships in Canada
by Dr. Marybeth White, Department of Religion and Culture, Faculty of Arts
Between 1975 and 1995 over 17,000 Lao refugees arrived in Canada, sponsored by religious communities, private citizens, and the Canadian government. The two largest communities formed in the Greater Toronto and Montréal Areas. In this lecture, Professor White will explain the important roles of monks, nagas, and the spirit world in Lao Buddhism. She will also discuss how establishing a religious place builds relationships within the local community and the broader Canadian multicultural landscape as well.
Register online or call Milton Public Library (905) 875-2665.

Biographies of Presenters

Dr. Adam Metzler
Adam received his M.Math. (2004) and Ph.D. (2008) from the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo. Prior to joining Laurier, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario from 2008 until 2012. His research and teaching focuses on probability and statistics, especially their application to problems faced in financial risk management and financial regulation.
Dr. John Triggs
John Triggs, Ph.D. University of Toronto, 1998, is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University where he has worked since 2000. His research specialization is the archaeology of the Historic Period in North America, particularly on military, domestic and fur trade sites. Past university research projects have involved excavation at the Royal Navy base in Penetanguishene (1991-2000), various military and domestic sites in Bermuda (1988-2013), archaeological and documentary research at the 19th century industrial ghost town of Indiana located on the Grand River (2004-2011), and most recently a multi-disciplinary investigation of Old Fort Erie (2012-2015). He has also supervised and carried out dozens of projects as a professional consulting archaeologist for more than 20 years.
Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes
Amy Clements-Cortes, PhD, RP, MTA, MT-BC, FAMI is Instructor and Supervisor at Wilfrid Laurier University, Assistant Professor, Music and Health Research Collaboratory at the University of Toronto, Instructor and Supervisor at the Ryerson Chang School and a Music Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist. Amy has extensive clinical experience working with clients at end-of-life. She has multiple peer reviewed publications, including her new 2016 book: Voices of the Dying and Bereaved, and has given over 100 conference and/or invited academic presentations. Amy is President of the World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT), and Managing Editor of the Music and Medicine journal. She serves on the editorial review boards for 7 International journals.
Dr. Renuka Karunagoda
Dr. Renuka Karunagoda received her Ph.D. in Bioresources Chemistry from the United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Iwate University, Japan and M.Phil. in Biotechnology from University of Wales, UK. She is currently teaching Cell and Molecular Biology, Plant Biodiversity and Conservation and other plant biology courses in the Department of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University. Prior to joining Laurier, she worked as an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Biology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and a Visiting Professor of the M.Sc. in Biotechnology program of the University of Peradeniya. She also served as the Director of the Biotechnology Center, University of Peradeniya, where she worked mostly in building university-industry relationships in agricultural biotechnology and biosafety and risk assessment in genetically modified (GM) organisms. She has done various research in biotechnology including studies on consumer acceptance of GM foods in Sri Lanka, and was actively involved in developing a national biosafety framework for Sri Lanka.
Dr. Dana Elizabeth Weiner
Dana Elizabeth Weiner is associate professor of United States history at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she has taught since 2008. She holds a BA in History (Honors) and Women’s Studies from the University of California at San Diego, and MA and PhD degrees in U.S. History from Northwestern University. Weiner regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses about American slavery, women’s and gender history, race and rights, and the Civil War era. Her research explores race, activism, and grassroots politics. Her publications include a 2013 book about antislavery and anti-Black Law activism in the Old Northwest, Race and Rights: Fighting Slavery and Prejudice in the Old Northwest, 1830-1870. This book (awarded Best History Book at the 2014 Midwest Book Awards) focuses on anti-prejudice activists in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. WLU has supported Weiner’s research with a number of grants, and she has also won external research grants, including a fellowship from the Huntington Library. She is researching a book about citizenship claims and rights activism among free African Americans in California, spanning the transition from the Mexican era through Reconstruction. Since 2006, Weiner has presented sixteen professional conference papers, and enjoys sharing history with the public, as exemplified in eight public lectures as well as media appearances both locally and on C-SPAN’s American History TV.
Dr. Mark Humphries
Mark Humphries is the Director of the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS) and the Dunkley Chair in War and the Canadian Experience at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has published six books and more than a dozen articles on the medical, social, and operational history of the Great War. He has taken dozens of students on battlefield tours of Vimy Ridge and, as part of History Television documentary team, even visited several kilometers of tunnels under the site that have remained closed to the public since the war.
Dr. Marybeth White
Marybeth White completed the Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo joint PhD program, “Religious Studies in North America,” completing her doctorate in 2012. Her dissertation earned the WLU Gold Medal of Excellence. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at both WLU and the UW. Her areas of interest include: Buddhism in North America, religion and the public sphere, the re-creation of religious space and place in North America, and the politics of recognition within pluralist and multicultural societies. She is the author of Enlivening the Buddha: Laying the Foundations for the Re-Creation of Lao Buddhism in Canada (2012), That Luang: The Journey and Re-location of Lao Buddhism to Canada (2010), Lao Buddhism in Toronto: A Case Study of Community Relations (2006) and co-author with Dr. Janet McLellan in Changing Perceptions of Monasticism within Ontario Khmer and Lao Buddhist Communities (2015), Social, Religious, and ‘Spirit-based’ Capital within Cambodian and Lao Buddhist Communities in Ontario (2015), and Social Capital and Identity Politics Among Asian Buddhists in Toronto (2005).