The York Circle

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Past Lectures

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 |

2017 Lectures

October 21, 2017

Measuring What’s Treasured? Changing Budgets Because Women Matter

Speaker: Isabella Bakker

Today many disparities and inequalities between the sexes have become embedded, to a greater or lesser extent, in the allocation of public resources. Gender budgeting is one tool now widely used in over 90 countries to supplement tax and spending decisions to yield greater income and tax fairness.  Canada has also inaugurated such a process in its 2017 Federal Budget. This talk will explore the potential benefits of gender budgeting and give some examples from other countries of how policies can achieve greater fairness and efficiency.

The OSIRIS-REx Mission and its Canadian Laser Altimeter

Speaker: Michael Daly

The NASA OSIRIS-REx mission that launched in September 2016 will sample asteroid 101955 Bennu, the first B-type asteroid to be visited by a spacecraft. Bennu is thought to be primitive, carbonaceous, and spectrally most closely related to CI and/or CM meteorites. Canada, through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), has contributed the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA).  It will measure the range between the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and the surface of Bennu to produce digital terrain maps of unprecedented spatial scales for a planetary mission. The mission and Canadian instrument will be described by the PI for the altimeter.

Painful Predicaments: The Incredulous Neglect of Infants in Pain & What Everyone Can Do To Help

Speaker: Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Attempts to simplify the pain experience on a simple 0-10 scale will always fall short.  Our brain, our mind, our body, our social context impact how we feel pain. Pain is a synthesis- a sum that is greater than its parts. As health professionals and scientists, we depend on a person to report to us their unique synthesis after being subject to a painful stimulus. But what happens when a patient cannot report?  Historically, infants in pain have been subject to incredible neglect of their pain and suffering in both medical and  non-medical contexts due to their inability to speak for themselves. This talk will review the history of infants in pain and discuss how all adults, regardless of parenting status, can move make a difference for infants in pain.

Exercise and the Heart: What Every Sports Buff Should Know

Speaker: Peter Backx

We all know exercise is good for the mind and body. Recent studies have found a link between endurance sports and atrial fibrillation, the most common electrical disturbance (i.e. arrhythmia) affecting the upper chambers of the heart whose incidence is reaching epidemic levels.  Exercise’s association with atrial fibrillation is unexpected because this condition is more commonly associated with aging, heart disease and general poor cardiovascular health.  Our mouse models reveal that endurance exercise causes atrial alterations resembling closely changes seen in atrial fibrillation patients and are thereby providing us with novel approaches for treating and preventing this cardiac arrhythmia.


2016 Lectures

September 24, 2016

Augusta Emerita (Mérida, Spain): Monument of Imperial Power in the Roman West

Speaker: Jonathan Edmondson

This lecture examines the monumentalization of the Roman colonia of Augusta Emerita (Mérida in Spanish Extremadura) from its foundation in 25 BCE to c. 125 CE. Founded as a colony for veteran soldiers, ten years later it was selected to become the administrative centre of the new Roman province of Lusitania. The lecture traces the development of the urban centre, showing how its public monuments were modelled in significant ways on the architecture of the imperial centre, Rome. The lecture uses the latest archaeological and epigraphic evidence to assess the impact of the city’s monumental architecture on the lived experience of those who resided in or visited the colony and to explore how Emerita served as an impressive monument of Roman power at the western edge of the Roman Empire.

Making the team or making our own team? Sport, belonging, and the place of ethnoracial and/or religious sport organizations.

Speaker: Yuka Nakamura

Multiculturalism, on paper, ensures people can maintain and take pride in their cultural heritage. In Toronto, multiculturalism manifests in the diversity of foods, neighbourhoods, and festivals that are available for us to enjoy. But as a lived experience, it seems there are limits to how this diversity may be expressed, specifically with respect to organizing along ethnic, cultural or religious lines, with critiques of being isolationist or anti-multiculturalism. Are fears of segregation and separation warranted? This presentation explores the relationship between sport and multiculturalism, and considers the impact of sport organizations that are defined along ethnic, racial or religious lines.

DisplayCult Curator’s Talk

Speaker: Jennifer Fisher

DisplayCult is a curatorial collaborative that over the past 20 years has aimed to rethink exhibition prototypes by amplifying sensory aesthetics, interrogate the diverse histories of display, and engage with the performative aspects of presentation. This talk by founding member Jennifer Fisher will focus on a range of DisplayCult exhibitions including NIGHTSENSE (2009), Odor Limits (2008), Linda Montano (2003), Museopathy (2001), Vital Signs (2000) and CounterPoses (1998). Together with Jim Drobnick, Fisher recently founded the Journal of Curatorial Studies and has edited two recent special issues that focus on affect theory and curatorial practice: “Affect and Museums” and “Relationality and Affect.”
In this talk, Hynie focuses on her work with mental health in Rwanda. Rwanda is a small country in East Africa that has rebuilt community in the 22 years since the 1994 genocide by reviving historic communal practices. These practices build mutually supportive networks that foster both connectedness and independence. She describes the “Rwandan way” of engaging these networks of community and social support to address mental health needs, how they have tried to build on these traditions to address maternal depression in Rwanda, and reflects on what Rwanda can teach the global mental health community about social support and resilience.

Media Architecture: Digital Placemaking in 21st Century Cities

Speaker: Michael Longford

The proliferation of interactive screens – large and small – on city streets and in our pockets are changing buildings and bodies into new kinds of interfaces and adaptive displays, creating dramatic interactive public spaces and transforming the ways in which we experience the urban environment, our community and ourselves. Enabled by smartphones, tablets, and wearable computing connected to GPS, cameras and distributed sensor networks; the city turned interface is increasingly responsive encouraging new social behaviors informed by cinema, gaming, and social media.
This talk will explore a number of recent projects by artists, architects and new media companies contributing to the emerging practice of digital placemaking.

May 7, 2016

Learning to be a Global Citizen: A Unique Response to Global Health in the Classroom, Community and Abroad

Speaker: Lesley Beagrie

“As a Faculty of Health graduate, you are an agent of change” – a bold statement from Dean Harvey Skinner, but one that has been actualized within our programs over the past five years. Through curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular actions, our graduates learn the attributes of what it takes to be a global citizen – an agent of change. Embracing York’s values of social justice and equity, our new Global Health BA/BSc program is an example of interdisciplinarity that embeds ideas of social innovation and change-making into its courses, to ensure the outcome of graduates who can make a difference both locally and globally.

A Journey Through Time: Disability Histories as Agents of Change

Speaker: Geoffrey Reaume

This presentation surveys the historical experiences of people with disabilities from ancient and medieval European history to twentieth century North American society. This includes discussion of evolving concepts of disability over the centuries; the changing place of disabled people in society from acceptance to segregation to integration; and the ways in which disabled people have influenced history individually and collectively. Underlying this presentation is an emphasis on interpreting history from the perspectives of people with physical, mental and sensory disabilities as agents of change in the past and present.

Abishyize hamwe ntakibananira or Nothing is impossible for those who work together: Social Support and Resilience in Rwanda, and What it Tells Us About Global Mental Health

Speaker: Michaela Hynie

Global health highlights the universal challenges that span international boundaries and common, global solutions. But the global health movement also incorporates understanding local solutions. Communities develop strategies to manage specific problems in particular settings, and these local strategies can be a window into the global by revealing common problems through new lenses. This is particularly true in the area of mental health, where cultural understandings and solutions must be taken into account for interventions to be successful, but where local approaches can also provide new insights into common human experiences.

In this talk, Hynie focuses on her work with mental health in Rwanda. Rwanda is a small country in East Africa that has rebuilt community in the 22 years since the 1994 genocide by reviving historic communal practices. These practices build mutually supportive networks that foster both connectedness and independence. She describes the “Rwandan way” of engaging these networks of community and social support to address mental health needs, how they have tried to build on these traditions to address maternal depression in Rwanda, and reflects on what Rwanda can teach the global mental health community about social support and resilience.

Raising Resilient Children (with Developmental Disabilities): Caregiving and Advocacy in a Multicultural Setting

Speaker: Nazilla Khanlou

“It’s a joy, blessing…it’s all I thought it would be and more. But it’s also very challenging and unpredictable.” Raising resilient children is a dynamic process that is influenced by individual, family and societal factors. Parents of children with disabilities experience both the rewards of raising their children and the challenges of ensuring helpful support across services. They balance the roles of parenting their children with caregiving and advocating for them. Drawing from community-based studies in the GTA, this presentation considers the effects of gender, social support and migration on parents of children with developmental disabilities.

March 12, 2016

Frequent Fliers: New Discoveries in Songbird Migration

Speaker: Bridget Stutchbury

Each fall, billions of songbirds leave Canada on an epic journey to their far-away wintering grounds in Central and South America where many live in tropical forests shared by toucans, howler monkeys, and jaguars. Dozens of species have experienced serious, long-term population declines that are driven in part by the threats that these birds face on migration and while in the tropics. But only recently has it been possible to track the entire migration of individual songbirds to find out how they accomplish their amazing 10,000 km (or more!) round trip and to map out critical habitats used during migration. Bridget Stutchbury will reveal her surprising migration tracking results for Purple Martins and Wood Thrushes and discuss how this research can help us save songbirds.

Understanding Brain Function by Studying Neurological Patients and Magnetic Brain Stimulation of the Healthy Brain

Speaker: Jennifer Steeves

Research over the past few decades has shown that there are distinct brain regions that process different aspects of what we see in the visual world. For example, there are specific brain regions that process faces, objects and scenes. Patients can have damage to these brain areas (from stroke, disease or injury) causing specific difficulty perceiving these distinct categories of visual images. My research program examines these brain areas using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and brain stimulation approaches in patients and in healthy people. With brain stimulation, we can mimic the neurological patient disorders using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with fMRI to guide the stimulation. TMS temporarily interrupts neural function in a specific part of the brain, which allows us to observe brief reversible changes in brain function, resulting in changes in behavior. We can then understand the function of the targeted brain stimulation region and observe how that region is connected to the rest of the brain. We are currently working with patients with stroke or degenerative brain disorders to attempt to re-balance disrupted brain networks by changing the function of one region with TMS. The anticipated impact of our fundamental neuroscience work is wide, in that it will eventually results in the development of treatment protocols for clinical use for neurological disorders and diseases.

Canada’s Welcome Mat to Refugees: A Time for Reweaving

Speaker: Susan McGrath

Across Canada, people in 188 communities are organising to welcome refugees, mainly Syrian, who come sponsored by the government or by private groups of people. The new Liberal government has committed to bring 35,000 Syrians by the end of 2016, mainly government sponsored, and more are expected to come as private sponsored. Canada has had a long and mixed history in terms of refugees: sometimes the welcome mat has been out and other times it has been pulled in. The research shows that refugees will have a better settlement experience if they feel that they are welcome. The arrival of the Syrian refugees to Canada, (less than 1% of the over 4 million displaced) creates an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a welcoming community and on Canada’s role on the world stage in responding to global humanitarian needs. The presentation draws on the work of the Refugee Research Network based at York’s Centre for Refugee Studies and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Because it's 2016: The Case for Gender Parity in Business and Academia

A panel discussion presented by TD Bank Group:

2015 Lectures

Nov. 28, 2015

Structure in the near universe and its relevance to your life

Speaker: Marshall McCall

Recently, careful examination of the organization of galaxies in the neighbourhood of the Milky Way has led to revelations about our place in the Universe. All of the bright galaxies within 20 million light-years are confined to a thin sheet of which we are also a part. Furthermore, the largest surround us. Indeed, the nature of our existence appears to be linked to structure in the extragalactic environment in which we find ourselves. In this richly illustrated talk, the path to discovery and the astrophysical implications for our development are presented. In the process, the audience will learn its address in the Universe, namely, that we live on a planet around a star in a galaxy in the Local Group encompassed by the Council of Giants of the Local Sheet next to the Local Void at the periphery of the Local Supercluster of Laniakea in our corner of the Cosmic Web!

What is your favourite vice? Canadians and their bad behaviour since 1500

Speaker: Marcel Martel

To invest in vice can be a sound financial decision, but despite the lure of healthy profits, individuals and mutual funds have been reluctant to invest in this type of stock. After all, who would take pride in supporting the tobacco industry, knowing it sells a deadly product? And what social responsibilities do investors bear with respect to compulsive gamblers who have lost so much money that suicide becomes an attractive option? This talk reviews the debates and regulations that have conditioned Canadians' attitudes towards certain "bad" habits or vices such as drinking, drug use, gambling, smoking and sexuality.

As time goes by: How memory and decision making change with age

Speaker: Shayna Rosenbaum

Episodic memory is our internal record of the past events in our lives. Its decline is prominent both in healthy aging and in age-related brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, that affect the functioning of a brain structure called the hippocampus. Difficulties remembering the details of past personal events directly limit one’s ability to function in everyday life. Recent research shows further that people who are unable to remember past events often have difficulties imagining or “pre-experiencing” future events. Does this imply that people with episodic loss are confined to the “here and now”? Can one make important decisions about how one’s life should go or about which actions one should take when one is unable to remember past or imagine future personal experiences? Using patient and brain imaging methods, we have demonstrated that while episodic memory and future imagining are affected in healthy and unhealthy aging, other time-related decisions remain unchanged with age. These findings help to predict what individuals experiencing episodic memory decline can and cannot accomplish in their daily lives and are being used to guide clinical interventions.

Precious objects: The material culture of nineteenth-century child celebrities

Speaker: Marlis Schweitzer

Snuff boxes, figurines, fans, medals, paper dolls, cups, sketches, tables, eggs, and ink pots. What do these seemingly disparate objects suggest about the production and consumption of child celebrity in the early to mid-nineteenth century? What do they reveal about audience-performer relations and the labour undertaken by child performers in service to national or imperial agendas? And how might historians use these objects to re (dis)cover lost, overlooked or forgotten performance repertoires? Responding to the recent “material culture” turn within theatre and performance studies and the uptake of “thing theory” by historians of the Victorian era, this talk explores the careers of two celebrated child performers - Master William Henry West Betty and Jean Margaret Davenport - through the objects that circulated alongside them as they traveled from city to city and from one side of the Atlantic Ocean to the other.

Sept. 26, 2015

The art of emulation: Pioneering telematic frontiers in the 21st century

Speaker: Shawn Brixey

Shawn Brixey, dean of York’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, is an MIT Media Lab-educated artist, researcher and inventor working at the interface of art, science and technology. Known for pioneering complex experimental media artworks that synthesize physics, astronomy, cosmology, biology and computing, Brixey’s projects include:

  • Alchymeia, a nanotechnology and telepresence public artwork commissioned for the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan;
  • Chimera Obscura, an online massive-­multi-­user gaming and telerobotic installation for the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive;
  • Eon, a Rockefeller Foundation-­funded telepresence project using text-­to-­speech synthesis to create voice-encoded sonoluminescence; and,
  • Voltar, a new Arctic environmental art installation commissioned by the European Union’s Capital of Culture focusing on global climate change.

Using a series of groundbreaking hybrid arts and sciences project-­based case studies, this presentation explores the emerging frontiers of telematic research. Telematics is concerned with the creation of new forms of hybrid experiences‐at‐a‐distance that merge the fields of stereo 3D imaging, computer vision, computational graphics, locative media, motion simulation, haptics and interactive immersive environments and explore levels of situatedness, agency, presence and absence.

What’s so great about judges? Some serious and not-so-serious suggestions

Speaker: Allan Hutchinson

Any effort to understand how law works has to take seriously its main players – judges. Like any performance, judging should be evaluated by reference to those who are its best exponents. Not surprisingly, the debate about what makes a "great judge" is as heated and inconclusive as the debate about the purpose and nature of law itself. History shows that those who are generally considered to be candidates for a judicial "hall of fame" are game-changers who oblige us to rethink what it is to be a good judge. So the best of judges must tread thin line between modesty and hubris; they must be neither mere umpires nor demigods.

A “war on science”?: The politics of evidence in Canada today

Speaker: Natasha Meyer

In 2015, the Politics of Evidence Working Group at York launched the Write2Know Campaign ( to respond what some are calling the Canadian government’s “war on science”. This letter-writing campaign draws attention to the cancellation of more than 100 federal research programs; the closure and destruction of libraries and archives; the firing of thousands of federal scientists; and exposes government policies that make it hard for federal scientists to speak freely to the public. Write2Know offers a platform for people to pose questions directly to federal scientists and ministers on matters of public and environmental health and safety. The letters address gaps between research and government policy; grapple with issues of social and environmental justice including the impacts of resource extraction, oil sands pollution, marine plastics and more; and highlight the colonial context in Canada, which renders Aboriginal communities especially vulnerable. To date, more than 4,000 letters have been signed and sent and a new campaign is planned for this fall. This mass request aims to amplify the injustices of a government that imposes constraints on access to research.

May 9, 2015

It is not just the body that hurts: Psychological factors in sport injury

Speaker: Frances Flint

“I thought I was invincible until this happened!” Such were the words of a highly recruited university basketball player. She had never experienced a major injury before, and her entire life was drastically changed. What happens to physically active people when their lives are changed suddenly because of an injury? Is the psychological reaction of a university athlete different from that of a professional athlete? What makes one injured athlete respond to an injury and the recovery in a positive manner, while another athlete could give up and fail to complete a rehabilitation program? Stated quite simply, we do not have enough research to definitely answer these questions. Another injury that has recently gained considerable attention in the media and throughout sport is the concussion or mild traumatic brain injury. Parents, athletes, health-care professionals and administrators have all been drawn into the discussion about the potential long-term effect of concussions. This presentation focuses on: identifying some of the factors that affect injured athletes psychologically; how the reaction to a concussion or a musculoskeletal injury might differ; and finally, how this information might guide us in helping injured athletes.

Kids in sport: Laying the foundation for confidence, character and success

Speaker: Jessica Fraser-Thomas

Given the increasingly competitive job market, parents feel growing pressure to effectively facilitate their children’s healthy development and success. While involvement in extracurricular activities is consistently shown to be beneficial for children and youth, parents often struggle to know how to best approach the most popular extracurricular activity – sport. Parents have many pressing questions:

- What is the appropriate age to start sport?
- What should we look for in a youth sport program?
- How many activities are optimal?
- How can we ensure “healthy” competition?
- Should we be concerned about aggression and questionable social norms in sport?
- How do we talk to children about tough losses, “bad” ref calls, or other complex sport situations?

These and other questions are being addressed by exploring research conducted at York alongside broader youth sport research. Specific topics discussed in this talk include: early sport specialization, dropout, parental involvement and behaviours, aggression and morality, pre-schooler sport and positive development through sport.

How the Internet has changed history and historians

Speaker: Sean Kheraj

The Internet is changing the ways we can know history and the stories we can tell about the past. This lecture explores the role of the Internet in today’s historical scholarship and how the Internet has changed research gathering, analysis and communication.

Making marks

Speaker: Marlon Griffith

Mas’ - an abbreviation of masquerade, in the Trinidadian vernacular - is an urban public form of commemoration through the body, a way through which a society collectively and through individual gestures asserts it values and sense of itself. The action of one individual can not only animate an object, but a whole city.

Marlon Griffith’s interest in the Carnival processes and experiments goes beyond their physical space and explores narratives outside the traditional platform. As our cities expand, public spaces have begun to shrink, adding a whole new dimension to these actions and the lives we live within them. The mas’ should be a metaphor for the city, and the city is reconstructed and played out within them.

From the masks of Carnival to the donning of powder on the chests of young women, these thoughts and gestures become a platform for working outside of conventional. As Griffith continues to develop these symbols and ideas that inform and define his work, they are continually stripped down to their basic form and abstracted to create new images and narratives. They are both public and participatory and respond critically and poetically to the socio-cultural environment that shapes contemporary societies.

In this talk, Griffith discusses his past works, which have taken place all over the world, including his upcoming project “Ring of Fire”, commissioned by the Art Gallery of York University and staged at the Parapan American Games.

Feb. 28, 2015

Physics and the Martial Arts

Speaker: Stanley Jeffers

Most martial artists are not physicists, yet the forms of their practice conform to well-known physical laws, including those discovered many years ago by Isaac Newton. Important concepts include the relationship between force and acceleration and the conversation of linear momentum, all of which concern linear motion. Aikido, in particular, relies heavily on concepts appropriate to angular motion, as most Aikido movements are circular in form and involve angular velocity, angular momentum and its conservation.

In this talk by Stanley Jeffers, associate professor emeritus and senior scholar at York's Department of Physics and Astronomy, the basic physics concepts involved are explained in a non-mathematical way with illustrations of their application to martial arts practice. The talk also features Kabir Bansil,1st kyu Aikido Yoshinkai, Ni Dan Tae Kwon Do.

What Older Athletes Tell Us About Maximizing Our Potential as We Age

Speaker: Joe Baker

One of the most robust and intriguing trends over the past century and a half is the consistent increase in the human lifespan. While generally positive, such increases in longevity pose challenges from both individual and societal perspectives. For example, large proportions of seniors are sedentary and/or obese, which negatively affect a range of health outcomes, including quality of life. One group of older adults that continues to participate in high levels of sport and exercise are “master athletes”. Baker’s research suggests that this group is important for understanding the capabilities of older people and for deconstructing negative stereotypes about getting older. Perhaps more importantly, his work highlights the health and performance consequences of holding negative attitudes about aging and older people. This presentation summarizes Baker’s research and highlights reasons people of all ages should be optimistic about life as an older person.

Why are Canadians Ranting and Raving About Income Splitting?

Speaker: Lisa Philipps

Income splitting has moved from the arcane corners of tax planning into the bright light of the public square. Controversy over the “Family Tax Cut” will be pivotal to the 2015 federal budget debate and the election to follow. Osgoode professor Lisa Philipps is an award winning teacher who believes in demystifying tax laws and the fundamental choices that inform them. In this lecture, Philipps goes behind the dollars to look at why income splitting has become a flashpoint for debate about inequalities within and between families.

Reimagining Long-Term Residential Care

Speaker: Pat Armstrong

One of the most common responses Pat Armstrong hears when she tells people that she is doing research on long-term residential care is “I will never go there, or put my parents in there”. Armstrong, who is distinguished research professor with York's Department of Sociology, leads an international project focused on reimagining long-term residential care and working towards making it a positive alternative for both residents and care providers. Drawing on research in residential care homes in Norway, Sweden, Germany, the U.K., Canada and the U.S., this presentation shares some of the promising practices she has seen in her team’s intensive visits.

2014 Lectures

Nov. 29, 2014

Will Northern Fish Populations be in Hot Water Because of Climate Change?

Speaker: Sapna Sharma

In this presentation, Sharma discusses the effects of climate change on lakes around the world. Using lake ice records collected at a monastery in Japan since 1442 by Shinto priests, Sharma demonstrates how the climate has changed over the past 550 years. Additionally, she examines how, in the last 25 years, lake water temperatures have changed in response to alterations in air temperatures and solar brightening. By better understanding the past, we can forecast how climate change is expected to influence Canadian sport fish populations over the next 50 years.

Bodies in Motion: A Relational Approach to Copyright Law and Choreography

Speaker: Carys Craig

The viral success of Gangnam Style stirred up discussion in the blogosphere about copyright in this musical work which was reproduced and disseminated by millions worldwide. While many queried the lawfulness of the amateur reaction and parody videos that reproduced the musical track or applauded Psy for his decision to allow their proliferation, there was relative silence about the lawfulness of mimicking his distinctive dance moves. The notion that public flash mobs, circling one hand over their heads while maniacally hopping sideways, ought first to have obtained permission from Psy (or his choreographer) might seem absurd. It would, however, have been sound legal advice.

The fact that choreographic works attract copyright protection is not controversial in itself, yet almost every core element of copyright doctrine sits uneasily with the practices and processes of choreography. The purpose of this talk is not only to explore the complexities of applying copyright to choreography, but to employ choreography as a conceptual site within which to critically assess copyright’s central assumptions about the processes and products of authorship.

Sept. 20, 2014

Mad People's History from Ancient Times to the Present

Speaker: Geoffrey Reaume

This talk by Geoffrey Reaume, associate professor with York's Faculty of Graduate Studies and with the School of Health Policy and Management at York's Faculty of Health, discusses the history of mad people from ancient to modern times, from the perspectives of those deemed mad.

The purpose of this discussion is to raise issues about how people considered mad have been treated over the centuries in the western world and how people who have experienced madness have interpreted their own histories in a way that challenges conventional ideas on this subject. Most importantly, this presentation is intended to show mad peoples' abilities and contributions to society as we fight against prejudice and advocate for inclusion of people with psychiatric disabilities.

Promoting Environmental Conservation and Community Well-being in a Biological Corridor in Costa Rica

Speaker: Felipe Montoya

The goals of the Las Nubes Project are to improve rural livelihoods and community well-being in the global south in ways that are conducive to effective stewardship and care for the natural environment. A multi-pronged strategy to strengthen socio-environmental links is key to the Las Nubes Project.

This presentation by Felipe Montoya, associate professor at York's Department of Environmental Studies, focuses on diverse activities that integrate the natural, cultural and built environment, with the aim of creating positive synergies among them to promote socio-environmental health and well-being. These activities include research, teaching and community engagement efforts.

Secularism and Sovereignty in Canada: Law, Religion, and Politics from the Origins of the Nation to the 'Charter of Values'

Speaker: Benjamin Berger

Public discussion and academic debate about the nature of the interaction of law and religion tends to focus on the nature and demands of secularism: "What is 'the secular'? What does 'secularism' demand? What does it mean to live in a 'secular society'?" A so-called "Charter of Secularism" proposed by the PQ government in the fall of 2013, and a subsequent April election in which that bill formed the centrepiece in the incumbent government's platform, put the concept of secularism at the heart of public debate in Canada.

This talk by Benjamin Berger, associate professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, will explore the details of-and the political story behind-the Quebec Charter, using it as a foothold for talking about religion and politics in Canadian history and as a basis to reflect on the utility and limits of reasoning about the nature of "the secular".

May 3, 2014

Chronic Pain After Surgery: Epidemiology, Risk Factors and Preventive Analgesia

Speaker: Joel Katz

Argumentation is a common daily activity whose frequency belies its complexity. There are many ways to approach how we handle disagreements, decisions and problem-solving. Professor Michael Gilbert sharw his three essential components that form the core of his theory of argumentation.

The Importance of Bees: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation

Speaker: Laurence Packer

In this talk, Dr. Packer outlines two Canadian-led initiatives that aim to make it easier for people worldwide to identify and study bees. He also outlines what we can do to assist with the conservation of bee populations.

The Effect of Forgiveness, Grudges and Revenge on Transgressors' Willingness to Apologize: Why Bill, Lance, and Rob May Have Said Sorry

Speaker: Ward Struthers

In this talk, Dr. Struthers shows that victims can facilitate or hinder apologies by forgiving transgressors or by holding grudges and seeking revenge. He also shows that, ironically, these responses can backfire if communicated in an indirect versus direct way.

Feb. 22, 2014

Innovations in Management Education: Preparing Young People for Leadership Now and in the Future

Speaker: Jean Adams

This talk features key research findings from the Schulich School of Business aimed at reinventing management education in academic and workplace contexts. Joined by three of her colleagues, Jean Adams discusses the main issues and opportunities surrounding this topic and shares insights on creating and deploying online content for rapid talent development.

Practical Solutions for Climate Change and Energy Security at York University

Speaker: José Etcheverry

This presentation showcases an innovative new project that brings together York researchers, students and facilities' staff to implement a practical solution called REM (renewable energy mobility). The REM project aims at implementing, on the Keele Campus, an innovative approach to serve people's mobility needs by providing affordable, fun and reliable transportation solutions that have a lower ecological footprint than conventional fossil-fuelled automobiles.

The Arts as the Best Catalyst for Sustainable Societies

Speaker: Ian Garrett

This presentation seeks to reframe your date night of a dinner and show as the potential savior of our world. Professor Garrett explores the often surprising positive effects of the arts on the many social, economic and environmental issues we face and what is being unearthed to show that the arts may be the best catalyst for a sustainable society.

Changing the Conversation in Your Brain

Speaker: Kari Hoffman

This talk focuses on how the neurons in our brains communicate, what the signs and signals of neural 'plasticity' (or the changing nature of these communications) are and how we can hope to change this conversation for the better.

2013 Lectures

Sept. 28, 2013

Three Pillars of Argumentation

Speaker: Michael Gilbert

Argumentation is a common daily activity whose frequency belies its complexity. There are many ways to approach the ways in which we handle disagreements, decisions, problem-solving and such like, Professor Michael Gilbert will present three essential components that form the core of my theory of argumentation.

An Overview of Domestic Conflict in Canada

Speaker: Rhonda Lenton

In this presentation, Dr. Rhonda Lenton will provide an overview of the level of domestic conflict in Canada based on a survey of 1,500 men and women in domestic relationships.

Law and Literary Reputation: Edgar Allan Poe, L.M. Montgomery, and Theodore Dreiser in Court

Speaker: Kate Sutherland

In this talk, Professor Kate Sutherland will provide three specific lawsuits involving writers as litigants: a libel suit launched by Edgar Allan Poe against a fellow writer and critic, a lengthy contractual battle fought by L.M. Montgomery against her first U.S. publisher, and a case brought by Theodore Dreiser against Paramount Pictures over a film adaptation of one of his novels.

Why Canadian Business Needs to Be Taking Advantage of Global Opportunities

Speaker: Lorna Wright

Lorna Wright will talk about three aspects of why Canadian businesses need to take advantage of global opportunities: where we are in a global world, what we should be doing to get us moving faster and what we (York Schulich) need to take advantage of global opportunities.

May 4, 2013

Signal Processing: The Enabling Technology for Modern Era Advancements

Speaker: Amir Asif

Dr. Asif's presentation will provide an overview of signal processing, what some of the state-of-art research directions in signal processing are, and the scope of signal processing activities being conducted in the Signal Processing and Communications Lab at York University.

Bilingualism, Brain, and Behaviour: What's the Connection?

Speaker: Ellen Bialystok

In this video, Dr. Bialystok will describe her work showing behavioral advantages and disadvantages in children, younger and older adults, and the positive effects of bilingualism on the onset of dementia.

Bananas, Onions, and Pomegranates: The Self and Language

Speaker: Matthew Clark

The self seems at once essential and elusive: everyone has a self, but it's not easy to explain exactly what the self is. In this presentation Dr. Clark investigates the way the self is represented in language. The first part of the talk concerns the theory and methods of philology.

February 23, 2013

Intellectual Property: A Catalyst for Innovation in Canada

Speaker: Giuseppina D'Agostino

At this York Circle Lecture & Lunch session from February 23, Professor Pina D'Agostino (BA '96, LLB '99) provides insight on her latest research surrounding intellectual property and innovation. Professor D'Agostino currently serves as Founder and Director of IP Osgoode, Osgoode's Intellectual Property (IP) Law and Technology Program.

My Adventures in Space: A Return Trip to Mars

Speaker: Janusz Kozinski

Dr. Janusz Kozinski is Founding Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering, the new home of the Renaissance Engineer. His research includes projects related to the next generation of nuclear reactors, environmental impact of energy technology, fabrication of novel nanomaterials, public security in buildings immune to bioterrorism, and Mars exploration.

Stem cell programming and back again: What's all the fuss about?

Speaker: John McDermott

This presentation will focus on the stem cell biology and molecular genetics of development. Dr. John McDermott is a Professor of Biology and the McLaughlin Research Chair at York University. Professor McDermott's research interests include the molecular genetic regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle gene expression during development and disease.

The Wounded Brain: Assessing function pre-dementia and post-concussion

Speaker: Lauren Sergio

Prof Sergio will talk about two prominent health issues facing Canadians are: 1) the impact of dementing illness on the elderly and 2) the impact of concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) on young athletes and workers. Whether caused by trauma or degenerative disease, the effect of mild brain insult on one's functional abilities is not well understood.

2012 Lectures

Sept. 22, 2012

Laughing at the Gods

Speaker: Allan Hutchinson

Professor Hutchinson, speaks on a chapter of his new book, Laughing at the Gods; Great Judges and How They Made the Common Law, Hutchinson highlights the work of eight judges he calls "game changers".

First Health, Then Medicine

Speaker: Harvey A. Skinner

Dr Skinner, York's Dean of Faculty of Health is an internationally recognized scholar on what motivates individuals and organizations to change. He is a pioneer in the use of information technology for eHealth.The Dean discusses how should we reconcile the inherent tensions and trade-offs between prevention and care in creating transformative solutions?

April 28, 2012

Organized Crime- From the Local to the Global and Home Again

Speaker: Margaret Beare

This presentation will focus on the international aspects of organized crime. Dr. Beare will examine some of the international perspectives that link our domestic, Canadian, organized crime problems and policies to the wider international community. The current objective appears to be the 'harmonization' of international responses to organized crime--but there may be some indications that we are harmonizing to the wrong response.

What is happening in Quebec Politics? Volatility, Cynicism, and La Question Nationale

Speaker: Francis Garon

Over the last year, Quebec politics has undergone what seems to be a major shift in terms of partisanship. The rise of the NDP, the near collapse of the Parti Quebecois, and the creation of the Coalition Avenir Quebec may have been symptoms of structural political changes. However, in spite of these critical events, the Quebec electorate still seems as volatile and unpredictable as ever before. Taking a historical perspective, the presentation will try to make sense of the current situation in light of the evolution of the main divides that have structured Quebec politics since the Quiet Revolution.

Studying Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer at the Single-Cell Level

Speaker: Sergey Krylov

The lecture will start with an exporation of the challenges of studying cancer and will then describe innovative single-cell technologies that allow us to look deep inside the processes that govern cancer initiation and development.

Diabetes Prevention Requires Lifestyle Change: Why Pills Don't Work

Speaker: Michael Riddell

In the current world of medical care, we often search for pharmacological solutions for the treatment and prevention of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and obesity. In this lecture, Dr. Riddell will describe why drug treatment often fails to prevent these conditions and why regular exercise is the "polypill" that we have all been searching for.

February 23, 2013

Intellectual Property: A Catalyst for Innovation in Canada

Speaker: Giuseppina D'Agostino

At this York Circle Lecture & Lunch session from February 23, Professor Pina D'Agostino (BA '96, LLB '99) provides insight on her latest research surrounding intellectual property and innovation. Professor D'Agostino currently serves as Founder and Director of IP Osgoode, Osgoode's Intellectual Property (IP) Law and Technology Program.

My Adventures in Space: A Return Trip to Mars

Speaker: Janusz Kozinski

Dr. Janusz Kozinski is Founding Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering, the new home of the Renaissance Engineer. His research includes projects related to the next generation of nuclear reactors, environmental impact of energy technology, fabrication of novel nanomaterials, public security in buildings immune to bioterrorism, and Mars exploration.

Stem cell programming and back again: What's all the fuss about?

Speaker: John McDermott

This presentation will focus on the stem cell biology and molecular genetics of development. Dr. John McDermott is a Professor of Biology and the McLaughlin Research Chair at York University. Professor McDermott's research interests include the molecular genetic regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle gene expression during development and disease.

The Wounded Brain: Assessing function pre-dementia and post-concussion

Speaker: Lauren Sergio

Prof Sergio will talk about two prominent health issues facing Canadians are: 1) the impact of dementing illness on the elderly and 2) the impact of concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) on young athletes and workers. Whether caused by trauma or degenerative disease, the effect of mild brain insult on one's functional abilities is not well understood.

2011 Lectures

Oct. 29, 2011

Can You Blame the Financial Crisis on Mathematicians?

Speaker: Thomas Salisbury

During the 2008 financial crisis, some commentators blamed the problem on "too many Math PhDs". Join Professor Salisbury as he unravels the basis for this claim, and considers whether it is actually fair or not.

Canadian Utopias: A Short History

Speaker: Colin Coates

The utopian history of the United States began with the Puritan settlers in Massachusetts and includes a wide variety of utopian attempts throughout the country’s history. The history of Canadian utopias are less studied. Join Professor Coates as he examines the Canadian experience of utopian endeavors.

When Did Walking Become Such a Balancing Act?

Speaker: William Gage

Over the past century, intense research and debate has attempted to address the question, “How do we bipedal animals stand and walk so well?” Standing and walking emerge from a complex organization of neuromuscular commands that originate from seemingly all levels of the nervous system. Join Professor Gage as he explores what we know about changes in standing and walking that occur with age.

Pagans and Parties: The Haunting History of Hallowe'en

Speaker: Nicholas Rogers

Join Professor Rogers as he explains why Halloween has been a contentious holiday in the last two centuries and why trick-or-treating is a tame, American version of what Halloween is really about. Halloween has been at the centre of debates about the use of urban space, sexual politics, Latino identities, and the rampant commercialism of horror.

Bonus: Gary Brewer's talk about Growth & Change on the York University Campus

Apr. 30, 2011

The Bird Detective: Investigating the Private Lives of Birds

Speaker: Bridget Stutchbury

Based on her book, The Bird Detective, Stutchbury will explain why some birds readily divorce their partners, why females sneak copulations with neighboring males, and why mothers sometimes desert their babies.

The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano, the African, and the Abolition of the British Slave Trade

Speaker: Paul Lovejoy

Widely admired in literary circles and among proponents of social justice, the life of Gustavus Vassa, better known by his African name, Olaudah Equiano (c. 1742-1797), was a pioneer in advocating the aboliton of slavery and the emancipation of those in slavery. He was truly a liberator of his people.

My Gold Medal Experience: Olympic Poetry

Speaker: Priscila Uppal

Poet and York University professor Priscila Uppal will discuss her experiences as Canadian Athletes Now Fund’s first poet-in-residence during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games. Uppal celebrated with the Canadian athletes and their families by writing poetry about winter sports, the games, and the personalities and performances that captured a nation’s imagination.

A World of Suburbs? Finding the Heart of the Urban Century in the Periphery

Speaker: Roger Keil

The 21st century has been heralded as an urban century. Indeed, urbanization is now the most tangible shared experience of humanity. Behind the story of the 'urban revolution' lies an important and perhaps astonishing truth: Most urban dwellers now live in the periphery.

2010 Lectures

Oct. 30, 2010

Adventures in Animal Behaviour

Speaker: Suzanne MacDonald

Join Professor MacDonald as she takes you on a journey inside the lives of animals, from elephants in Kenya to tigers in the zoo, to computer-loving orangutans. She will describe her research to learn how animals think, and how we can use that knowledge to enrich their lives, both in captivity and in the wild.

Immigration: Opportunities and Challenges for the Toronto Metropolitan Area

Speaker: Valerie Preston

Drawing upon extensive pictures and data of the urban development around the Golden Horseshoe, this talk will enrich your understanding of how Toronto has become the city it has over the past decades.

Do Machines See Like Humans Do?

Speaker: John Tsotsos

Vision research has been part of York's depth of science research in many fields over many years. This session will tell us how "seeing" happens in machines in all the complexity of that field - you will have "sights" and "insights".

Detective Work in Ontario Churches: Cases of Denominational and Ethnic Identity in the Religious Architecture of Toronto and Vicinity

Speaker: Malcolm Thurlby

This richly illustrated presentation explores church architecture in Toronto, Guelph, Hamilton and the Niagara peninsula. We investigate clues that reveal the association of specific motifs and building types with different religious and ethnic groups.

May 1, 2010

Charles Darwin: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Love Transmutations

Speaker: Seth Feldman

Having worked for a year on a documentary about Charles Darwin, Professor Feldman will be talking about just why it is that Darwin matters - to many different kinds of people and in some rather surprising ways.

From the Playground to the Workplace: Relationships Matter!

Speaker: Debra Pepler

We have had an opportunity to step into children's worlds and observe their complex interactions using video cameras and remote microphones.

Law Tales - Some Great Cases That Shaped The Legal World

Speaker: Allan Hutchinson

Hutchinson will be talking about a couple of the law's leading "great" cases that shaped the legal world (ones that all students and lawyers must know) and put them in their social, legal and political context.

Debts and Deficits: Where Are We Headed?

Speaker: Bernard Wolf

As a consequence of the economic crisis, governments have been running large deficits sometimes resulting in ballooning national debts. What are the implications? Canada is faring relatively well compared to countries such as the United States, Greece and Spain, but even here the problem will require increasing scrutiny.

2010 Lectures

Oct. 24, 2009

First Health, Then Medicine: A Prescription for Personal Health and Our Healthcare System

Speaker: Harvey Skinner

Imagine a future in which almost everyone is healthy and aging gracefully.

Planets, Planets Everywhere!

Speaker: Paul Delaney

While the number of planets in our own Solar System has diminished from 9 to 8 in recent years, the total number of planets known to exist has topped 350 and is growing almost daily.

Food, Glorious Food! - A Light-hearted Look at Food and Drink Onstage

Speaker: Phillip Silver

As Hamlet says in Shakespeare's play of that name, the purpose of playing is "to hold as 'twere the mirror up top nature". And so it might be expected that one part of human nature - our need for food as nourishment or pastime - frequently manifests itself onstage.