Laurier Milton Lecture Series V: 2013 / 2014

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 fifth "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. at the Milton Centre for the Arts on the dates noted below.

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

Register online or phone: Milton Public Library (905) 875-2665 ext 3263.

October 9,
Where Did All The Baby Bottles Go? Chemophobia, Precaution and Politics in Canada's Decision to List BPA as "Toxic"
by Dr. Simon Kiss, Journalism Program, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences and Leadership Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts
In April 2008, Canada became the first country in the world to list BPA as "toxic" and subsequently banned the importation, sale, and manufacture of polycarbonate baby bottles. This lecture will explain the politics and science of this decision, shedding light on the politics, journalism and science of common household chemicals.
November 13,
Superhero Comics and Why We Should Care About Them
by Dr. Cindy McMann, Department of English and Film Studies, Faculty of Arts
Since Superman's first appearance in Action Comics in 1938, superhero comics have been considered a less than serious genre. A quick look at popular comics through the decades, however, reveals that authors and artists have always used the medium as a sophisticated forum to respond to problems in the real world. This talk will explore the political dimension of superhero comics: how comic books invite us to identify with their values, how the "superhero" changes the way we perceive ourselves and our worlds, and how their ethics can work to support or undermine the political ideologies of our day.
December 11,
Globalization and the University
by Dr. Peter Eglin, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts
"Who has the right to know?" asks Jean-Francois Lyotard. "Who has the right to eat?" asks Peter Madaka Wanyama. The global political economy that binds all earth's inhabitants in relations of grotesque inequality places a particular moral responsibility on the relative few whose freedom to know is bought with the attenuation of the many's right to eat. How does this costly bargain play out in the University? How might the cost be reduced there? Since Milton is the proposed home of a new university campus, the lecture might have some relevance for that projected enterprise.
January 8,
From the Big Bang to Black Holes: Canada's role in the global quest for the stars
by Dr. Shohini Ghose, Department of Physics & Computer Science, Faculty of Science
A journey through time and space to explore the development of modern astronomy and Canadian contributions to this amazing story: from ancient Inuit traditions to Commander Hadfield's inspiring musical messages from space.
February 12,
Current Repertoire of the Laurier Singers
by Dr. Lee Willingham and the Laurier Singers, Faculty of Music
Re-established in 2006, the Laurier Singers, directed by Dr. Lee Willingham, is a 24-voice auditioned choir from the Faculty of Music that specializes in repertoire suitable for smaller ensembles. This lecture-demonstration will present the choir singing current repertoire that they are presenting during this academic season, with performance commentary provided by members of the choir, and Dr. Willingham.
March 12
Rescheduled to
March 27,
The Incidence of Screens: an Extension of Human Abilities or a Historic Distraction?
by Dr. Anthony Cristiano, Journalism Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts
This lecture aims to provide critical answers to the conundrums posed by contemporary digital media. People are magnetized by the incidence of screens, placed around them or available on ubiquitous mobile devices, so much so that their engagement with and concentration on the physical surrounding appears to wane drastically. Does the use of Internet and digital mobile devices enhance or hinder our human abilities and how so? Are the new trends connecting or fragmenting our society? How are we to understand and approach the new (virtual) reality within the allegedly progressive direction of human history?
April 9,
Don't Forget the Music Please
by Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes, Music Therapy Program, Faculty of Music
This presentation will focus on the use of music and music therapy in work with clients diagnosed with Dementia, complex physical and/or mental health issues. Music therapy interventions and goals will be discussed with respect to persons living in nursing homes, attending adult day programs and/or in hospital. Case studies will be presented to illuminate the work in these settings as well as in Palliative care. The Buddy's Glee Club research projects will be described to illustrate the benefits of singing for health in older adults. Video and musical clips will be shared along with a short experiential relaxation activity.
May 14,
Extraordinary Progress and Glaring Gaps: Women's International Human Rights since 1970
by Dr. Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, Department of Global Studies, Faculty of Arts
This lecture discusses progress and problems in universal women's rights since 1970, focusing both on the international law of women's rights and on developments in Canada. It discusses ongoing debates about women's rights, such as the meaning of cultural relativism; women's position in religion; and debates about such matters as abortion, prostitution, and traditional practices. It also discusses new women's issues such as the effects of globalization on women and whether humanitarian law sufficiently takes into account the interests of women and girls.

Biographies of Presenters

Dr. Simon Kiss
Simon Kiss is a political scientist in the Journalism and Leadership programs at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research focuses on the role that the media plays in politics and the policy process and environmental politics. Before joining Wilfrid Laurier, he was educated at the University of Alberta and Queen's University and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the John F. Kennedy Institute Of North American Studies at the Free University of Berlin. His current research project on the politics and science of the regulation of BPA has led to articles in Mass Communication and Society, the Review of Policy Research and the successful application for a $56,000 grant from the Social Sciences Research Council of Canada, leading a group of researchers from WLU, the University of New Brunswick and Yale University to investigate risk perception in the Canadian context.
Dr. Cindy McMann
Cindy McMann is a sessional instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Department of English and Film Studies. She completed her doctorate at the University of Calgary, and specializes in the study of 20th century American literature. Her most recent research focuses on magic and the occult in mid-20th century American women's poetry. If she could have one superpower, it would be telekinesis.
Dr. Peter Eglin
(BA (University College, London), 1968; PhD (UBC), 1975) Peter Eglin has taught Sociology at Laurier since 1976. His teaching and research have focused on crime, suicide, human rights, membership categorization, the university and the responsibility of intellectuals. His books include The Montreal Massacre: A Story of Membership Categorization Analysis (with Stephen Hester, 2003) and Intellectual Citizenship and the Problem of Incarnation (2013).
Dr. Shohini Ghose
Shohini Ghose obtained her PhD in physics in 2003, and held an Alberta Ingenuity Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Calgary before joining Wilfrid Laurier University. She is an award-winning researcher in quantum information science, and is affiliated with the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo. She is a passionate educator, and recently co-authored Canada's first introductory astronomy textbook. A driving force behind creating Laurier's Centre for Women in Science, she serves as its first Director.
Dr. Lee Willingham
(ARCT, BMus, BEd, MMus, DEd [Toronto]) Dr. Willingham is an Associate Professor in the Music Faculty at Laurier. Lee arrived at Laurier in September, 2004, to coordinate the music education and choral programs. From 1998 to 2004, he was on the faculty of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, teaching in the preservice program in music education. Prior to that, he taught in the public high school system, and was coordinator of music for the Scarborough Board of Education. He is the founding director of the Bell'Arte Singers of Toronto, and conducted the choir for twenty years. Willingham served as the principal of the OISE/UT Summer Music program for a number of years, providing certification programs for teachers in music.
Dr. Anthony Cristiano
Dr. Cristiano teaches contemporary media courses at the Laurier Brantford Campus, in the Department of Journalism and Contemporary Studies. He is the author of the 2008 book Contemporary Italian Cinema: Images of Italy at the Turn of the Century and the director of a number of experimental films. Works includes La risata (The Laugh) screened at the Atlantic film Festival in Nova Scotia, and on Bravo! New Style Arts Channel, A Matter of Style screened at the VertexList Gallery Brooklyn, New York, and at the USF Verftet Bergen, in Norway, and A Self-Conscious Mise-en-scene screened at the New Zealand Film Archives, Wellington - New Zealand. He recently released a compilation of ten short films made in ten years (1998-2008) available in rental video stores and specialized video stores, FACETS
Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes
Amy is Practice Advisor/Senior Music Therapist at Baycrest Centre in Toronto, working with clients in the hospital and nursing home and supervising internship placements. At present she is a sessional instructor in music therapy at Wilfrid Laurier University. Amy is Past-President of the Canadian Association of Music Therapy, and Clinical Commissioner for the World Federation of Music Therapy. Amy owns and operates Notes By Amy: Music therapy and performing arts services.
Dr. Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann
Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann is Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights, jointly appointed to the Department of Global Studies and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Her most recent books include Reparations to Africa (2008) and Can Globalization Promote Human Rights? (2010), as well as her co-edited Economic Rights in Canada and the United States (2006) and The Age of Apology (2008). She maintains a website on political apologies as well as a blog, Rights&Rightlessness.