The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series -June 8, 2019

Please join us for The York Circle Lecture and Lunch on Saturday, June 8 from 9am to 1pm.

Hear from four of York's leading faculty members on a wide range of interesting topics that speak to some of the key themes that define York University.

The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series is held four times a year and is open to our community of alumni and friends.

Complimentary coffee, light snacks and lunch will be provided.

Saturday, June 8, 2019 | 9am-1pm

9am - 9:45am: Registration, Coffee and Light Snacks

9:45am: Opening Remarks

Location: Life Sciences Building - Keele Campus, York University





Event Schedule

First Session (10am-11am)

Session 1A - Deborah Britzman
On Not Being Able to Write: How May We Study Creative Inhibitions and Creative Freedom? (SESSION AT CAPACITY)

Session 1A – On Not Being Able to Write: How May We Study Creative Inhibitions and Creative Freedom

Anxiety in writing, speaking, and creative work is one of the large dilemmas in university life, affecting not only students who have difficulty finishing assignments and dissertations but also affecting professors who feel pressure in the experience of “publish or perish.”  With the idea that both creativity and inhibitions are emotional situations that turn on problems of freedom and desire, the presentation brings new thinking on the positive and negative dangers and risks inherent in imagination.

Speaker: Deborah Britzman - Distinguished Research Professor of Education and York Research Chair, Faculty of Education

Deborah Britzman is Distinguished Research Professor at York University and holds a Tier One York Research Chair in Pedagogy and Psycho-social transformation. Professor Britzman’s area of research is in psychoanalysis and education with emphasis on emotional situations of teaching and learning. Professor Britzman, a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada, also holds a small private practice in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Britzman is the author of numerous articles and eight books, the most recent are A Psychoanalyst in the Classroom with the State University of New York Press and Melanie Klein: Early analysis, play and the question of freedom with Springer Press.


Session 1B - Christine Till
Emerging Issues on Community Water Fluoridation and the Developing Brain

Session 1B – Emerging Issues on Community Water Fluoridation and the Developing Brain

Community water fluoridation refers to the practice of adding fluoride to drinking water for the prevention of tooth decay. Most of the research supporting water fluoridation is now decades old and there is ongoing controversy as to its safety and risks. This talk will discuss the current controversy related to the safety of water fluoridation, with particular focus on early-life exposure to fluoride. The talk will present research conducted on a national pregnancy cohort study testing whether early-life exposure to fluoride adversely impacts intellectual abilities in Canadian children. The safety of water fluoridation will be discussed in the context of contemporary exposures to fluoride.


Speaker: Christine Till – Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Training, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health

Dr. Till is an associate professor at York University, adjunct scientist to the Neurosciences and Mental Health Program at SickKids, and a clinical neuropsychologist. She is the 2019 recipient of the President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award. Her research interests include children’s environmental health and understanding both protective and risk factors for cognitive decline following insult to the developing brain. She is the principal investigator on an NIH-funded grant focused on testing the effects of fluoride exposure during pregnancy on child neurodevelopment. Her team is involved in three different population-based cohorts to understand how environmental chemicals are implicated as underlying risk factors for emerging morbidities in childhood, including ADHD.



Break: 11-11:20am

Second Session (11:20am-12:20pm)

Session 2A - Paul Ritvo
Mindfulness and the Science of Cultivating Peace (SESSION AT CAPACITY)

Session 2A Mindfulness and the Science of Cultivating Peace

The 24 hour news cycle informs us about the world becoming less peaceful, on an international, national and individual basis.  Why is peacefulness so elusive in a society more technologically linked than ever before?  In explaining this ‘why’, mindfulness has moved from periphery to centre stage as a low cost secular method that assists people in becoming physically and mentally more healthy.  In this talk, we will explore the science of mindfulness and how it applies on a personal, familial and educational basis.  There has emerged an evidence-based path for using mindfulness to enhance personal peace and productivity.  We will examine it carefully and personally.

Speaker: Paul Ritvo – Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science

Dr. Paul Ritvo is a full professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science and Department of Psychology at York University.  He is an Affiliate Scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute of Princess Margaret Hospital and the Southlake Regional Health Centre. Dr. Ritvo has been practicing meditation for 40 years and researching meditation for 15 years, focusing on neurological, cardiovascular and mental health.  He is a practicing clinical psychologist, specializing in stress, anxiety and depressive disorders.

Session 2B – Natalie Coulter
Hey You! Smile: Girls, T-Shirts and the Socio-Political Demands for Fun!

Session 2B – "Hey You! Smile": Girls, T-Shirts and the Socio-Political Demands for Fun!

Girls, particularly tween girls, are almost always portrayed as being fun, or having fun. Using the graphic t-shirts of the tween clothing store Justice with says such as “Hey you! Smile” or “When in Doubt, Laugh”, as an example, Coulter will show how this constant emphasis on girls to be fun  precludes girls from other emotions and functions as a means to keeps girls from being political. In this presentation Coulter will trace how positioning girlhood as a moment of fun functions limits the political possibilities for girls and works to maintain a form of consumer culture.

Speaker: Natalie Coulter - Assistant Professor, Department of Communications Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Natalie Coulter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and is the upcoming Director of the Institute for Digital Learning and Culture (IRDL). She is currently completing a SSHRC funded research project entitled, The Embodied Tween: Living Girlhood in Global and Digital Spaces. She has published a co-edited book entitled Youth Mediations and Affective Relations (2019), and her book Tweening the Girl: The Crystallization of the Tween Market was published in 2014.  She has articles in the Journal of Consumer Culture, Canadian Journal of Communication, Journal of Children and Media, Popular Communication and Jeunesse. She is a founding member of the Association for Research on the Cultures of Young People (ARCYP).



Complimentary lunch: 12:20-1pm
Event ends: 1pm

Register by using the button below; we'll send you a reminder closer to the event date.


Event Location

This edition of The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series will take place on York University’s Keele campus in the Life Sciences Building .  For directions to Keele campus by car or public transit, visit and click on the appropriate heading.  If you plan to drive, you will be required to pay for parking.  Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The closest public parking lots are:

  • Arboretum parking garage #80 on the map ($7.00 Flat Rate). Pull a ticket from the machine upon entry and pay at the pay station when leaving. Machine accepts cash, coins and credit cards.
  • Thompson Road ‘Pay and Display’ parking lot #79 on the map ($7.00 Flat Rate). You are required to purchase a ticket from the ‘Pay and Display’ machine in the lot and place it on the driver’s side of the dash. Machine accepts coins and credit cards only.