The York Circle

Header image one.
Header image two.
Header image three.

Distinguished Speakers

Some of York’s most distinguished faculty members have given their time and their expert knowledge to the York Circle. We are very grateful to them.

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

2016 Speakers

Lesley Beagrie

Beagrie’s professional career has been predominantly in academic nursing education, having developed and delivered BScN education at four Ontario universities. She has expertise in curriculum development and academic administration through the initiation of a variety of curricular models including 2nd entry/accelerated programming, while her clinical and research interests are in women’s health and mental health on campus.
Beagrie joined York University in 2004 as the director of the School of Nursing and held that position until 2008. Previously, she was the founding director of the joint Trent/Fleming nursing program at Trent University in Peterborough. Since joining York, Beagrie has been involved in many programmatic innovations and curriculum renewal and evaluation. She served as associate dean, Professional and Global Programs from 2008-14 and was interim master of Stong College until 2015, where she implemented a new focus on student success. Currently, she is co-chair of the pan-university Mental Health Steering Committee, committed to supporting a mentally healthy campus, and the vice Chair of Senate. She was the program initiator of the current Global Health BA/BSc program in the Faculty of Health and instrumental in leading both the Agents of Change program and experiential education for the Faculty.
She has been involved in nursing associations at the provincial, national and international levels, including external examiner and reviewer status for international nursing programs at the University of Toronto and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jonathan Edmondson

Born in Liverpool (U.K.), Jonathan Edmondson took his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge before joining York’s History Department in 1987. He specializes in the social, cultural, and economic history of the Roman Empire, especially Roman Spain, and has also published on Roman family history and Roman public spectacle, especially gladiators.

He is currently working on the funerary epigraphy and the social and cultural history of Augusta Emerita (Mérida, Spain), for which he was awarded a five-year SSHRC Insight Grant in 2014. He has recently co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Roman Epigraphy for Oxford University Press (2015) and Roman Literary Cultures: Domestic Politics, Revolutionary Poetics, Civic Spectacle for the University of Toronto Press (2016).

Jennifer Fisher

Jennifer Fisher is Professor of Contemporary Art and Curatorial Studies in the Department of Visual Art and Art History. Her research focuses on exhibition practices, affect theory, and the aesthetics of the nonvisual senses. Her writings have been featured in anthologies such as The Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Culture and The Senses in Performance, and journals such as Art Journal, Border/Lines, nparadoxa, and Visual Communication. She is the editor of Technologies of Intuition.

Darren Gobert

R. Darren Gobert (Ph.D., Columbia University) is Professor of English and Theatre & Performance Studies at York University. Among his publications are the books The Theatre of Caryl Churchill (Bloomsbury) and The Mind-Body Stage (Stanford University Press), which won best book prizes from both the Canadian Association for Theatre Research and the American Society for Theatre Research. In 2016, he was awarded the President’s University-Wide Teaching Award in the category of senior faculty. He is also the editor of the quarterly journal Modern Drama.

Michaela Hynie

Hynie is a cultural psychologist, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at York University and the founder and director of the York Institute of Health Research’s Program Evaluation Unit. Hynie is interested in engaged scholarship and working in partnership with students, communities and organizations, both locally and internationally, on research addressing complex social issues.

Her work centres on the relationship between different kinds of social connections (e.g., interpersonal relationships, social networks, etc.) and resilience in situations of social conflict and displacement, and interventions that can strengthen these relationships in different cultural, political and physical environments. This includes work on culture, migration and health inequities; climate change adaptation and environmental displacement; and social integration of refugees. Hynie’s work has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Grand Challenges Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Lupina Foundation, and a range of health and human services agencies.

Philip Kelly

Philip Kelly is a Professor of Geography at York and Director of the York Centre for Asian Research. Born in Liverpool, UK, he was trained at Oxford, McGill and the University of British Columbia and started his professorial career at the National University of Singapore. At York, he has run several research projects, including the Filipino Youth Transitions in Canada project, the Toronto Immigrant Employment Data Initiative, and the Canada-Philippines Alternative Transnational Economies project.

Nazilla Khanlou

Nazilla Khanlou, RN, PhD, is the Women’s Health Research Chair in Mental Health in the Faculty of Health at York University and an associate professor in its School of Nursing. Khanlou’s clinical background is in psychiatric nursing. She conducts interdisciplinary and community-based mental health promotion research focusing on youth and women in multicultural and immigrant-receiving settings. She is founder of the International Network on Youth Integration (INYI), an international network for knowledge exchange and collaboration on youth. She has published articles, books, and reports on immigrant youth and women, and mental health.

Joy Kirchner

Joy Kirchner is the University Librarian at York University where she oversees York’s seven libraries on two campuses. A new strategic plan and a restructuring plan has been launched to strengthen the Libraries’ expertise in research management, digital scholarship, publishing, data infrastructure, open access and research metrics. She is the co-chair of York’s Open Access/Open Data Steering Committee; she is chair of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries Advancing Research Committee where she is advancing national discussion on sustainable scholarship, research metrics and open access; she sits on several publishing boards and an international alternative research metrics board. Previously, Joy held senior leadership positions at the University of Minnesota and the University of British Columbia; she was a faculty member with the prestigious Institute for Scholarly Communications and the first eResources Librarian in North America at Columbia University. Her current research and scholarship is focused on emergent areas of digital scholarship.

Michael Longford

Michael Longford is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computational Arts and the Director of Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design. His research interests include the history of early wireless communications in Canada, rich media content development for mobile technologies, and locative media practices. In his creative practice, he has collaborated on a number of projects exploring the ways in which mobile technologies can be used to animate public space.

Susan McGrath

Susan McGrath, C.M. is a professor at York’s School of Social Work, where she served as director of the Centre for Refugee Studies from 2004-12. She is currently leading three major research initiatives, all funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, including the global Refugee Research Network of refugee researchers and practitioners. She was awarded the 2015 SSHRC Partnership Impact Award and in 2014, was invested into the Order of Canada in recognition of her outstanding achievement in research and policy on refugee rights and for fostering collaboration amongst scholars in her field.

Yuka Nakamura

Science. She studies how race, class and gender, impact people’s identities and sport experiences. Dr. Nakamura is especially interested in sport organized by ethnic and/or religious groups, as a way to create a sense of community, and the impact of racism and assumptions about race. She is currently focusing on the role of sport in the lives of mixed-race people, and of Muslim men.

Geoffrey Reaume

Geoffrey Reaume is an associate professor in the Critical Disability Studies program at York University, where he teaches courses on mad people’s history and disability history. He earned his PhD in history in 1997 at the University of Toronto and is the author of Remembrance of Patients Past: Patient Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1870-1940 and Lyndhurst: Canada’s First Rehabilitation Centre for People with Spinal Cord Injuries, 1945-1998. He is also a co-founder of the Psychiatric Survivor Archives in Toronto.

Jennifer Steeves

Jennifer Steeves is an associate professor of psychology and a member of the Centre for Vision Research at York University. She holds appointments in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at Sick Kids and the University of Toronto, as well as the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Her research examines how the brain processes our visual world - specifically how we recognize faces, objects and scenes using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and brain stimulation with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Her work tries to reverse engineer the brain by studying what happens when the brain’s function is disrupted in clinical patients or by applying TMS in healthy individuals.

Bridget Stutchbury

Bridget Stutchbury is a professor of Biology at York University. She completed her M.Sc. at Queen’s University and her Ph.D. at Yale, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Since the 1980s, she has followed songbirds to their wintering grounds in Latin America and back to their breeding grounds in North America to understand their behaviour, ecology and conservation. Her latest research uses “geolocators” to track the amazing migratory journeys of songbirds. She serves on scientific advisory committees for Wildlife Preservation Canada and Earth Rangers. She is author of Silence of the Songbirds (2007, finalist for the Governor General’s Award) and The Bird Detective (April 2010).

Lesley Wood

Lesley Wood is interested in how ideas travel, how power operates, how institutions change, how conversations influence practices, how people resist and how conflict starts, transforms and ends. She is the author of Crisis and Control: The Militarization of Protest Policing, and Direct Action, Deliberation and Diffusion: Collective Action after the WTO Protests in Seattle, which won the Canadian Sociological Association’s Porter Book Award.

2015 Speakers

Pat Armstrong

Pat Armstrong is a professor of sociology and women’s studies at York University. She is a distinguished research professor in sociology, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and is the former Chair of the Canada Health Services Research Foundation/Canadian Institute of Health Research. Focusing on the fields of social policy, women, work and health and social services, she has been widely published, co-authoring and co-editing such books as Troubling Care: Critical Perspectives on Research and Practices and A Place to Call Home: Long term Care in Canada. She is currently co-director of the Ontario Training Centre, a member of the board for the York Institute for Health Research and has served as Chair of the Department of Sociology at York. In addition, she has served as an expert witness in more than a dozen cases on issues related to women’s health care work and pay equity.

Joe Baker

Joe Baker is an associate professor and head of the Lifespan Health and Performance Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. He has also held visiting researcher/professor positions in the U.K., Australia and Germany. His research considers the varying influences on optimal human development, ranging from issues affecting athlete development and skill acquisition to barriers and facilitators of successful aging. Baker is author/editor of seven books and more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Shawn Brixey

Shawn Brixey is a highly-regarded educator, administrator, artist and researcher. He is an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and holds a master’s of science in Advanced Visual Studies from the Media Laboratory in the Department of Architecture at MIT. 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. Brixey came to York from the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, where he was associate professor of Digital Arts and Experimental Media. He held UW’s Distinguished Arts Award, and the Floyd and Dolores Jones Endowed Chair in the Arts, from 2009-13. Prior to that, he headed UW’s groundbreaking Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS), which he co-founded. Brixey is also the principal investigator for AMPD’s Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) project, 3 Space, working to pioneer a new centre at York dedicated to three converging spheres of exploration: spatial imaging, interactive immersive digital environments and location aware computing.

Frances Flint

Frances Flint joined York’s faculty in 1977 and has served as head coach of the varsity women’s basketball team, master of Stong College and founding coordinator of the Athletic Therapy certificate program. She was recognized by the Canadian Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in 1988 for her work in the development of Canadian basketball. In 1991, Flint’s research was presented with the AASP Dissertation Award and NASPE Sport Psychology Academy Outstanding Dissertation Award. She also received the Faculty of Arts Dean’s Award for Outstanding Contributions in Teaching in 1993 and the Canadian Athletic Therapists’ Association Distinguished Educator Award in 2002. Flint conducts research in the areas of psychology of injury and field management of sport injury, and combines her background in sports medicine and sport psychology to develop integrated rehabilitation programs for injured athletes.

Jessica Fraser-Thomas

Jessica Fraser-Thomas’ research focuses on children and youths’ development through sport, with a particular interest in positive youth development, psychosocial influences (e.g., coaches, family, and peers) and withdrawal. She is currently working on projects exploring children’s earliest introductions to organized sport, characteristics of sport programs that facilitate optimal youth development and how youth sport models may inform Masters athletes’ development. Fraser-Thomas is a recipient of the 2007 Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology Young Scientist Award and the 2012 Province of Ontario Volunteer Service Award. She is a former high-performance athlete and now parents five young sport participants, occasionally competing in Masters sport herself.

Markus Giesler

Markus Giesler is York’s youngest tenured marketing professor. He has been recognized among Fortune’s young business-school star professors on the rise, Wired’s best-recognized experts studying high-technology consumption and the world’s top 40 business professors under 40 (Poets & Quants). Giesler’s research explores marketing as a sociological design process. He analyzes big sociological data sets to understand the influence of complex, multi-actor market, brand, retail, technological and political systems on the consumer experience. His blog (, which is syndicated by Huffington Post and Marketing Magazine, reaches half-a-million monthly readers.

Marlon Griffith

Marlon Griffith started his artistic practice as a Carnival designer — a “mas’ man,” as Trinidadians would call him. This background deeply shapes his work as a contemporary visual artist, which has performative, participatory and ephemeral characteristics derived from Carnival. Griffith’s work is based upon a reciprocal dialogue between Mas' (the artistic component of the Trinidad Carnival) and art as a means of investigating the phenomenological aspect of the embodied experience. Experimenting with fundamental questions in perception, Griffith’s work interrogates contemporary culture outside the traditional pitfalls of representation. Operating outside the context of Mas’, Griffith’s performative actions are stripped down to their basic form and abstracted to create new
images and narratives that respond critically and poetically to our socio-cultural environment. In 2010, Marlon was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a Commonwealth Award. He has been residing and working in Nagoya, Japan since 2009. He is in residency at York University from May to August 2015.

Allan C. Hutchinson

A member of Osgoode’s faculty since 1982, Allan Hutchinson served as associate dean from 1994-96 and, in 2003, was named associate dean, Research, Graduate Studies and External Relations. Hutchinson is a legal theorist with an international reputation for his original and provocative writings. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2004 and named a distinguished research professor by York University in 2006. His research interests include: law and politics, legal theory, the legal profession, constitutional law, torts, jurisprudence, civil procedure, and racism and law. As well as publishing in most of the world’s leading common-law law journals, he has written or edited many books of his own. Much of his work has been devoted to examining the failure of law to live up to its democratic promise. His latest publications are Evolution and the Common Law and The Companies We Keep: Corporate Governance for a Democratic Society. In 2007, he received the University-Wide Teaching Award and was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.

Stanley Jeffers

Stanley Jeffers studied physics at Imperial College, University of London. His doctoral work was in the area of opto-electronics. He did a postdoctoral year in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Toronto before joining the faculty at York. Jeffers has worked in the areas of observational astronomy, remote sensing and theoretical physics. He has trained for 26 years in several Japanese martial arts; most extensively in the art of Aikido Yoshinkai with Takeshi Kimeda Sensei (9th Dan Aikido Yoshinkai, 6th Dan Iaido, 5th Dan Jodo), the highest ranked teacher of Aikido Yoshinkai outside of Japan. Jeffers is San Dan (3rd Dan) in Aikido Yoshinkai, Yon Dan (4th Dan) in Jodo and Ni Dan (2nd Dan) in Iaido.

Sean Kheraj

Sean Kheraj is an assistant professor of Canadian and environmental history with research focusing on a wide range of topics in human-nature relations, including parks and conservation, urban environments, animals and energy history. He is the author of Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History, winner of the 2014 Canadian Historical Association Clio Prize for Best Book in British Columbia History. He is also editor-in-chief of the Network in Canadian History and Environment website, where he hosts and produces the Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History podcast.

Marcel Martel

Marcel Martel graduated from York University in 1994 with a PhD in history. He is a professor in the Department of History, where he holds the Avie Bennett Historica Canada Chair in Canadian History. Martel is the author of several journal articles, book chapters and books on moral regulation, minority rights, public policy and national identity. His recent monographs include: Canada the Good: A Short History of Vice since 1500; Not This Time: Canadians, Public Policy, and the Marijuana Question, 1961-1975; and, Le Deuil d'un pays imaginé. Rêves, luttes et déroute du Canada français. He also co-authored Speaking Up: A History of Language and Politics in Canada and Quebec.

Marshall McCall

Marshall McCall is an astronomer, professor and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at York University. Born and raised in Victoria, B.C., he has been interested in space and astronomy since kindergarten, which is when his mother towed him into the night to see Sputnik. His professional skills were initially honed as a gardener at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. After acquiring a BSc from the University of Victoria, he went on to graduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin, obtaining his PhD in 1982. He has spent most of his research life studying galaxies, their structure, evolution and formation, and how they are organized. His primary research adversary is interstellar dust, and he has spent a good deal of time uncovering what lies behind it, including two hitherto unknown galaxies in the backyard of the Milky Way, as well as the Council of Giants surrounding us.

Natasha Myers

Natasha Myers is the convener of the Politics of Evidence Working Group, co-founder of the Write2Know Project, co-organizer of the Technoscience Salon and director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory. She is the author of Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter, a book that explores how multidimensional data forms in the life sciences are shifting the cusp of visibility, the contours of the biological imagination and the nature of living substance. She has published numerous articles on craft, creativity and embodied knowledge in the life sciences and is developing new research on the intimacies among plants and people in a time of climate change.

Lisa Philipps

Lisa Philipps is a scholar and well-known commentator on tax law and fiscal policy issues.  On faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School since 1996, Philipps has taught a range of tax courses and has written widely on topics such as family taxation, research-and-development tax credits, balanced budget and tax referendum laws, judicial interpretation of tax laws, taxes and disability, and charitable donation tax incentives.  Philipps has provided expert research and advice to a number of bodies, and is currently serving as special counsel with Ontario’s Ministry of Finance.  She practiced tax law with the firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon and had previously taught at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia before joining York. Philipps has served in many leadership roles at York, most recently as associate vice-president research from 2011-2014.  A volunteer with several non-profit organizations, she is presently on the board of the Federation for Humanities and Social Sciences.

Shayna Rosenbaum

Shayna Rosenbaum is an associate professor in the Departments of Psychology and Biology at York University, associate scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest, and registered as a clinical neuropsychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She received her PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience from the University of Toronto in 2003 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rotman. She has published extensively on the topic of memory in the healthy and damaged brain and has received numerous awards for her neuroimaging and patient research. She is an elected member of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ontario Science Centre.

Marlis Schweitzer

Marlis Schweitzer is an associate professor in the Department of Theatre at York where she teaches courses in theatre and performance history. Her publications include: Transatlantic Broadway: The Infrastructural Politics of Global Performance; When Broadway Was the Runway: Theater, Fashion, and American Culture; and, Performing Objects and Theatrical Things (co-edited with Joanne Zerdy). Her articles have appeared in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, TDR and Canadian Theatre Review, among others. She is the editor of Theatre Research in Canada/Recherches théâtrales au Canada. The research she’ll be sharingis part of a larger SSHRC Insight Grant titled, “Ambassadors of Empire: Child Performers and Anglo-American Audiences, 1830s-1880s.” For more information, see

2014 Speakers

Jean Adams

Jean Adams is currently Director of the Managing Contemporary Enterprise course at Schulich School of Business and Associate Co-Director at York University’s Institute for Research on Digital Learning (IRDL). Her research and articles focus on using new technologies to promote innovative learning, particularly by fostering a “learner in control” pedagogical approach. Other research interests include the study of organizational learning, the role of e-learning, leadership and management education, high performing teams, critical thinking, creativity and innovation. Adams holds a doctorate from York University. She received the President’s University-Wide Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence (2009) and the Governor General’s Gold Award (2005) for exceptional academic distinction.

Benjamin Berger

Benjamin Berger's areas of teaching and research specialization are criminal and constitutional law and theory, law and religion and the law of evidence. Prior to joining Osgoode, Berger was an associate professor in the Faculty of Law and held a cross appointment in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Victoria, where he began teaching in 2004. He served as law clerk to the Rt. Honourable Beverley McLachlin, chief justice of Canada, and was a Fulbright Scholar at Yale University. He has published broadly in his principle areas of research and his work has appeared in multiple edited collections and in legal and interdisciplinary journals. He is the editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society and is an associate editor for the Hart Publishing series Constitutional Systems of the World. He received the 2010 Canadian Association of Law Teacher's Scholarly Paper Award for an article entitled "The Abiding Presence of Conscience: Criminal Justice Against the Law and the Modern Constitutional Imagination”. Berger is active in professional and public education and is involved in public interest advocacy. While at UVic Law, Berger twice received the Terry J. Wuester Teaching Award and was awarded the First-Year Class Teaching Award. He received the Osgoode Hall Law School Teaching Award in 2013. He convenes the Osgoode Colloquium on Law, Religion & Social Thought (, which is open to all interested members of the community.

José Etcheverry

José Etcheverry joined the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in 2007. He is currently an Associate Professor conducting research, graduate training and undergraduate teaching on renewable energy as Co-Chair of the Faculty’s Sustainable Energy Initiative. Prior to joining York, Etcheverry taught environmental policy at Simon Fraser University and the Centre for Environment at the University of Toronto. Etcheverry’s areas of academic interest include climate change mitigation, international and national renewable energy policies, rural electrification, educational and capacity development networks and new media and communications. His current academic research is focused on renewable energy technology transfer, innovative training and knowledge mobilization techniques, climate change mitigation and sustainable energy policies.

Ian Garrett

Ian Garrett is Assistant Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University. In 2008 he co-founded the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA), a think tank for Sustainability in the Arts and Culture, based in Los Angeles. He has spoken around the globe on the intersection of sustainability and the arts on everything from the environmental impacts of music festivals to the emerging organizational structures for arts businesses.

Kari Hoffman

Kari Hoffman is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health at York University. She has appointments in Psychology, Biology, and the Neuroscience Graduate Diploma Program, and is a member of the Centre for Vision Research and the York University Autism Alliance. Hoffman received her PhD in Neuroscience in the lab of Bruce McNaughton at the University of Arizona, with a project that pioneered high-yield, multi-site recordings of neural populations in the macaque. In her post-doctoral fellowship with Nikos Logothetis at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, she compared multi-site recordings with non-invasive imaging techniques during perceptual tasks. Hoffman's lab is now focused on discovering the mechanisms of plasticity in neural ensembles during perception and memory. Hoffman has been awarded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Krembil Foundation, and received new investigator awards from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, and the Alzheimer's Association.

Ray Jayawardhana

Ray Jayawardhana is a renowned astrophysicist, award-winning science writer and author of Strange New Worlds and Neutrino Hunters. He uses many of the world’s largest telescopes to explore planetary origins and diversity. His research and writing have garnered numerous accolades, including a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship. An avid traveler, Jayawardhana’s adventures have taken him from the steamy depths of a South African mine to the arid mountain peaks of the Chilean Andes; he has camped out on a remote ice field in Antarctica for five bone-chilling weeks and experienced the thrill of weightlessness on a parabola-hopping aircraft high above the Atlantic.

Joel Katz

Joel Katz is a Professor of Psychology and Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology at York University. He is the Director of the Acute Pain Research Unit, Toronto General Hospital and a Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at the University of Toronto. He is a former Psychologist-in-Chief at the University Health Network. Katz has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles, 50 books chapters and other works. He has been invited to present his work at professional and scientific meetings in North America, Europe and Asia. Katz’s research program is aimed, broadly, at understanding the psychological, emotional and biomedical factors involved in acute and chronic pain. He and his students and colleagues are exploring factors involved in the transition of acute, time-limited pain to chronic, pathological pain after surgery, accidents and spinal cord injury.

Felipe Montoya

Felipe Montoya is a professor and Chair in neo-tropical conservation, and the director of the Las Nubes Project with the Faculty of Environmental Studies. He received his MSc in Tropical Plant Ecology from the University of Costa Rica in 1988 and his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 1999. As an environmental anthropologist, Montoya has been teaching at the University of Costa Rica, carrying out field research and engaging with rural communities in Costa Rica for close to 20 years. His work has focused on the links between environmental stewardship and community well-being. His current work is located primarily in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor in southern Costa Rica, where he continues to move the Las Nubes Project forward.

Laurence Packer

Laurence Packer has been studying bees since 1975. His research laboratory is one of the largest and most diverse groups of bee researchers in the world. His bee collection is the largest in Canada and one of the most diverse in the world, with over 250,000 specimens from over 100 countries. Packer and his students have published over 150 research articles and have described over 75 new bee species. He is the author of the award-winning book Keeping the Bees (HarperCollins) and was a member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada for five years.

Geoffrey Reaume

Geoffrey Reaume is an associate professor in the Critical Disability Studies program at York University, where he has been on faculty since 2004. He earned his PhD in History in 1997 at the University of Toronto. His doctoral dissertation was published in 2000 as "Remembrance of Patients Past: Patient Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1870-1940" by Oxford University Press and was republished in 2009 and 2010 by University of Toronto Press. Research from this study has been made into a play, "Angels of 999", which was staged by psychiatric survivors from 1998 to 2000. Since 2000, Reaume has given more than 125 wall tours of the 19th-century patient-built boundary walls, which currently stand at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He is also a co-founder of the Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto.

Ward Struthers

Ward Struthers is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University. He received his PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Manitoba in 1995 and began working at York University in 1996 after a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). His research interests lie in the areas of social cognition and social motivation or the study of how individuals make sense of themselves and others in different interpersonal relationships (e.g., coworker, romantic, friendship). Most recently, his research focuses on the relations between forgiveness, grudges, revenge and repentance following interpersonal transgressions.

Noël Sturgeon

Noël Sturgeon is Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. She is the author of Ecofeminist Natures: Race, Gender, Feminist Theory and Political Action (Routledge 1997), Environmentalism in Popular Culture: Gender, Race, Sexuality and the Politics of the Natural (University of Arizona 2009) and numerous articles on environmentalist, antimilitarist, and feminist movements and theories. She has been a Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer at York, a Rockefeller Fellow at the Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture, Rutgers, and a Visiting Scholar at Murdoch University, Australia, the JFK Institute at the Frei Universitat in Berlin, the Center for Cultural Studies, UCSC and universities in Taiwan, China, Japan, and Ukraine.

2013 Speakers

Amir Asif

Dr. Amir Asif is the Chair and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the founding department of the Lassonde School of Engineering. He received his Masters and PhD degrees from Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests are in signal processing and communications with current focus on time reversal; distributed signal processing for sensor networks; and genomic signal processing. Dr. Asif has authored over 100 international publications, and the textbook "Continuous and Discrete Time Signals and Systems" published by Cambridge University Press. He was the recipient of York University Presidential Teaching Award in 2008 and has served on several editorial boards including IEEE Signal Processing Letters (2001-2004, 2009-12) and IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing (2013-date).

Ellen Bialystok

Dr. Ellen Bialystok is a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University and Associate Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. Much of her research in the past 20 years has focused on the effect of bilingualism on children's language and cognitive development, showing accelerated mastery of specific cognitive processes for bilingual children. More recently, this research has been extended to investigations of adult processing and cognitive aging, showing the continuity of these bilingual advantages into adulthood and the protection against cognitive decline in healthy aging for bilingual older adults.

Matthew Clark

Dr. Matthew Clark is an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities at York University. He specializes in Classical Philology, and most of his publications concern Homeric Epic. Dr. Clark has an interest in the Ancient Novel; Rhetoric; and Literary Theory. He is also interested in literary traditions, both oral and written, and in the way artists use these traditions in the formation of their own works. All of these interests require close attention to the history of literature and the history of language. Dr. Clark's next project will be a study of the ancient travel writer Pausanias and his use of Greek myth.

Giuseppina D’Agostino

Professor Pina D'Agostino is a graduate of York and Osgoode and brings creativity and passion to her role as Founder and Director of IP Osgoode, Osgoode's Intellectual Property (IP) Law and Technology Program, the IPilogue, (the first IP law blog of its kind), the IP Intensive Program and the Innovation Clinic. Widely published in comparative and international IP law, she completed her doctorate and masters at the University of Oxford, has testified before Parliament's Legislative Committee on Canada's copyright reform initiatives and her work has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Michael Gilbert

Michael A. Gilbert is professor of philosophy at York University where he has taught since1975. His books include How to Win an Argument, the novel Office Party and most recently the monograph Coalescent Argumentation. His work is focused on Argumentation Theory, and also Gender & Transgender Theory. Two recent major publications are "Natural Normativity: Argumentation Theory as an Engaged Discipline," in the journal Informal Logic in 2007, and "Defeating Bigenderism: Changing gender assumptions in the 21st century," which appeared in Hypatia in the summer of 2009. His new book entitled, Arguing with People, will be published by Broadview Press in 2014.

Isabel Killoran


Janusz Kozinski

Dr. Janusz Kozinski is Founding Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering, the new home of the Renaissance Engineer. Educated in Krakow, Poland, he subsequently went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and spent much of his career at McGill University, where he was Sir William Dawson Scholar and Associate Vice-Principal (Research & International Relations). Dr. Kozinski served as Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. 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. As part of his research in Europe, Dr. Kozinski went into space in a series of zero-gravity parabolic flights organized by the European Space Agency.

Rhonda Lenton

Dr. Rhonda Lenton has been working as the vice-president academic & provost since November 2012. Prior to her current position, she had served as the vice-provost academic at York University since 2009. As a strong proponent of community engagement and innovative partnerships, Lenton played an instrumental role in the creation of the York University-TD Community Engagement Centre and expansion of York's intra-institutional collaborations with other post-secondary education partners. As Chair of the President's Task Force on Community Engagement, Lenton facilitated discussions with a broad range of constituencies, culminating in a final report that contributed to the University's future planning.

Before joining York in 2002, Lenton was an associate dean/professor at McMaster University. A sociologist by training, she earned her PhD from the University of Toronto in 1989. Her areas of teaching and research expertise include research methods and data analysis, gender, and familial violence. She has published peer-reviewed book chapters and articles in an array of academic journals, including the Canadian Journal of Criminology, Journal of Nursing Measurement, and Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology. With the assistance of York's Institute of Social Research, she is currently conducting a telephone survey on domestic violence in Canada.

John C. McDermott

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. He has published over 90 research papers in international journals and conference proceedings, has contributed to several national peer review grant selection panels for CIHR and NSERC Canadian funding agencies, and has presented over 75 papers including 12 invited papers at national and international conferences. Dr. McDermott has supervised over 25 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He has also contributed to the editorial boards of several international journals and received national and international awards including prestigious awards from the American Physiological Society, and a Fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was Visiting Professor at King's College London, obtained a Visiting Readership in Biological Sciences at the University of Durham, UK, was Visiting Honorary Scientist at the University of Manchester, UK, and held a Research Fellow position in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology at Harvard Medical School. John was a Member of the Institute Advisory Board for the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis.

Lauren Sergio

Dr. Lauren Sergio is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University. She received her PhD, specializing in the neural control of movement, from McGill University in 1994, and pursued post-doctoral studies in neurophysiology at the Université de Montréal. Her research examines the effects of age, sex, neurological disease, head injury, and experience (elite versus non-elite athletes) on the brain's control of complex movement. Dr. Sergio works with a wide range of adult populations, including NHL draft prospects and Alzheimer's disease patients, using behavioural and brain imaging techniques. She is also a Research Scientist at Southlake Regional Health Centre, part of the York Lions Sport Medicine team, and is the director of York University's Neuroscience Graduate program.

Kate Sutherland

Professor Kate Sutherland first joined Osgoode Hall Law School in 1998 and became assistant dean in 2012. Sutherland was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in 1995 and the Law Society of Saskatchewan Gold Medal in 1989. She has written and presented in areas such as charter equality rights, sexual harassment, childhood sexual abuse and tort law. She has served as editor or co-editor of several publications, including Review of Constitutional Studies, Constitutional Forum, Points of View, and Saskatchewan Law Review. Sutherland has also written several literary pieces, including "The Necklace" in The New Quarterly, Winter (1997), Summer Reading: A Collection of Short Fiction (Saskatoon: Thistledown Press, 1995), and "Lucia" in Prairie Fire (1992). Sutherland's community involvement has included her work for the Boston AIDS Care Project, University of Saskatchewan Women's Centre, Her Story Calendar Collective, Saskatchewan Action Committee on the Status of Women and the Saskatchewan Writers Guild.

Lorna Wright

Dr. Lorna Wright is currently working as the director of the Centre for Global Enterprise and EDC Professor of International Business at the Schulich School of Business, York University. She was associate vice president International of York from 2009 to 2012. She is an academic entrepreneur, being the founding director (1992-2000) of the Centre for Canada-Asia Business Relations at Queen's University and also the co-founder (1997) of the Asian Business Consortium, which included four universities. She spent fifteen years working for various organizations in Thailand, Indonesia and Japan, and has done projects in Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea and China as well. She speaks Thai and Indonesian fluently and has a working knowledge of Japanese and Spanish.

Dr. Wright has obtained a PhD degree from the University of Western Ontario (now Western University). Her research interests are in the areas of cross-cultural management, international negotiations, and conditions for SME business success internationally. Her geographic area of interest is the Pacific Basin region.

2012 Speakers

Margaret Beare

Margaret Beare, a professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, combines academic teaching with research and policy development. Her research interests include transnationalization of crime and law enforcement; public and private policing; organized crime; women and the criminal justice system; money laundering; public policing strategies and corrections. Former Director of the Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption, Professor Beare has been involved in police research for more than 20 years. Her book, Criminal Conspiracies: Organized Crime in Canada (Toronto: Nelson Canada, 1996), was the first academic book to look at organized crime in Canada and to trace the development of the concept and the legislation, and remains the point of reference for scholarship in the field.

Stephen Gaetz

Stephen Gaetz is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and is the Director of the Canadian Homelessness Research Network and the Homeless Hub the first comprehensive and cross-disciplinary web-based clearinghouse of homelessness research in the world. Prior to coming to York University, Gaetz worked in the Community Health Sector, both at Shout Clinic (a health clinic for street youth in Toronto) and Queen West Community Health Centre in Toronto. His research has focused on the economic strategies, health, education and legal and justice issues of people who are homeless, as well as solutions to homelessness from both a Canadian and international perspective. Professor Gaetz continues to play a leading role internationally in knowledge dissemination in the area of homelessness. Under Professor Gaetz’s leadership, York played host to the Canadian Conference on Homelessness in 2005 – the first research conference of its kind in Canada.

Francis Garon

Francis Garon is an Assistant Professor at Glendon College's Political Science Department and School of Public and International Affairs where he teaches at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Born in Québec city, he obtained his Ph.D. from Université de Montréal and joined York University in 2007. His areas of research are Québec/Canadian Politics, and Public Policy and Administration. His actual research project compares public debates on immigration and integration issues in Canada, France, the UK, and Belgium.

Laurence Harris

Dr. Laurence Harris is the director of the Centre for Vision Research at York University, one of the 3 largest and most highly respected vision research groups in the world. He is also the director of the Multisensory Integration Laboratory which seeks to investigate how information from different senses is combined by the brain. Examples include the visual and balance systems role in orientation and self motion perception; and vision and localizing events in space and time. Dr. Harris is a professor of psychology, biology and kinesiology and has been the chair of the Psychology department at York University. He is the author of over 100 scientific articles and has edited nine books on topics pertaining to Vision. He is the Editor-in-chief of the journal "Seeing and perceiving: a multisensory science."

Allan Hutchinson

Holding an LL.D. from the University of Manchester and being a member of Gray’s Inn as well as LSUC, he has been a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University since 1982. During that time, he has also held a variety of visiting appointments around the world, including University of Wales, London, Sydney, Monash, Toronto, and Harvard Law School. He was recently appointed to the position of Distinguished Research Professor at York University, was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, and was awarded the University-wide Teaching Award.

Professor Hutchinson has published and/or edited 17 books, including recent books from Oxford University Press and from Cambridge University Press, and has contributed many chapters in books, numerous articles in the world’s leading law reviews, and many essays, notes and comments in a range of popular newspaper outlets.

Sergey Krylov

Sergey Krylov earned a PhD in chemistry from Moscow State University in 1990 and joined York's Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science and Engineering in 2000. As Canada Research Chair in bioanalytical chemistry at York, he leads research to develop novel methods for studying the molecular mechanisms of diseases and for engineering drugs and diagnostics. His research interests include biophysics, instrumental bioanalytical chemistry, cell biology, and molecular mechanisms of diseases. Krylov's lab is developing a method of analyzing molecular mechanisms called chemical cytometry to study the molecular mechanisms of stem cells, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Michael Riddell

Michael Riddell is an associate professor and the graduate program director in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science in the Faculty of Health. Trained at the University of Guelph (Human Kinetics), McMaster University (PhD Medical Sciences) and the University of Toronto (Physiology), Michael is an internationally recognized leader in the area of exercise and stress physiology, as they relate to metabolism and diabetes. He is also the director of the York University Sports Camp for Teens with Diabetes, and has lived himself with type 1 diabetes since the age of 14.

Harvey A. Skinner

Dr Skinner 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. Dr Skinner has a special interest in global public health and is currently the Chair of the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO) leading peace-building initiatives in the Middle East. Also, he is on the Board of the Canadian Association for People-Centred Health. He has served as an expert advisor to Health Canada, the World Health Organization, U.S. Institute of Medicine, U.S. National Institutes of Health. From a personal perspective, Dr. Skinner ‘walks the talk’ as an avid runner (completed 7 marathons) and he enjoys spinning, sailing and skiing.

Jim Whiteway

Jim Whiteway was born and raised in the Toronto area, took his undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University in Kingston, then obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from York University. After working for several years at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, he returned to Toronto when he was awarded a Canada Research Chair at York University. He is presently the Director of the Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science at York. His area of specialty is atmospheric physics and this involves laser remote sensing from various platforms such as aircraft and spacecraft. Usually his work is carried out in remote areas ranging from the Canadian Arctic to tropical Australia. Following on this theme, he has recently has led the Canadian component of the NASA Phoenix mission to Mars.

Kathy Young

Kathy Young, a professor in York University’s Department of Geography, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, is an Arctic hydrologist whose long-term research is focused on improving our understanding of the inter-relationships between climate, hydrology and ecology of permafrost environments. Professor Young is presently investigating the hydrology of large complex wetland systems situated in broad climatic settings (Polar Desert vs. Polar Oasis climates) and geomorphic landscapes (e.g. moraine, coastal, bedrock). She has published approximately 51 refereed articles and another 117 non-refereed reports or conference papers. Young's publications in recent years reflect her interest in various aspects of northern hydrology, microclimate and her experience of working in northern environments.

2011 Speakers

Colin Coates

Professor Colin Coates holds the Canada Research Chair in Canadian Cultural Landscapes at Glendon College, where he teaches in the Canadian Studies programme. In July 2011, he became director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. He is also president of the newly formed Canadian Studies Network - Réseau d’études canadiennes, an association dedicated to the scholarly study of Canada. A specialist in the history of early French Canada and environmental history, he has been conducting research on Canadian utopias since coming to York University in 2003.

William Gage

William Gage is the Associate Dean of Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Health at York University. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, where he teaches a graduate level course in biomechanics and neuromuscular control of posture and gait. He holds scientific appointments as an Associate Scientist in the Centre for Stroke Recovery at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, and as Scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Dr. Gage is particularly interested in how balance and walking are affected by age, by joint disease (arthritis), and by stroke.

Roger Keil

Roger Keil (Dr. Phil, Frankfurt) is the Director of the City Institute at York University and Professor at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, Toronto. Among his publications are In-Between Infrastructure: Urban Connectivity in an Age of Vulnerability (ed. with Douglas Young and Patricia Burke Wood), Praxis(e) Press, 2010; and The Global Cities Reader (ed. with N. Brenner, Routledge 2006). Keil’s current research is on global suburbanism and regional governance. Keil is the co-editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR) and a co-founder of the International Network for Urban Research and Action (INURA).

Paul Lovejoy

Paul E. Lovejoy FRSC, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of History, York University, holds the Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History and is Director, Harriet Tubman Resource Centre on the African Diaspora. His recent publications include (2001): The Biography of Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua: His Passage from Slavery to Freedom in Africa and America (Princeton: Markus Wiener Publisher) (co-edited and introduction, with Robin Law). He is a member of the Executive Committee of the UNESCO “Slave Route” Project, co-edits African Economic History and Studies in the History of the African Diaspora – Documents (SHADD), and is Research Professor and Associate Fellow of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE), University of Hull (UK).

Nicholas Rogers

Nick Rogers is one of the world's leading scholars of the political culture of 18th-century British and Atlantic worlds. He has explored a remarkably diverse range of topics, from reactions to press gangs in British ports to religious conflicts amongst London's crowds, from food riots to public reactions to blunders made by admirals, and even the genealogy of Halloween festivities. In 1999, Rogers was awarded the Wallace Ferguson Prize for his book Crowds, Culture and Politics in Georgian Britain, a study of 18th-century Britain that fundamentally transformed our understanding of early modern Britain. In June 2011, Professor Rogers was named distinguished research professors for sustained and outstanding scholarly, professional or artistic achievement largely accomplished at York.

Thomas Salisbury

Thomas Salisbury is a professor and former department chair in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at York University. He teaches financial engineering at York, is director of analytics Quantitative Wealth Management Analytics group (QWeMA), and leads the Finsurance project at MITACS. He chaired the task force that initiated the 2007 revision of the Ontario grade 12 curriculum, and subsequently served on the Ontario Minister of Education's curriculum council. He has served terms as Deputy Director of the Fields Institute, and as President of the Canadian Mathematical Society.

Bridget Stutchbury

Bridget Stutchbury was born in Montreal and raised in Toronto. She completed her M.Sc. at Queen’s University and her Ph.D. at Yale, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. She is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Ecology and Conservation Biology at York University, Toronto. Since the 1980s, she has studied the ecology and conservation of migratory songbirds. She is author of the book Silence of the Songbirds (2007, finalist for Governor General’s Award) and The Bird Detective (2010)

Priscila Uppal

Priscila Uppal is an internationally acclaimed poet, novelist, and professor at York University. Her recent books include Winter Sport: Poems (2010), Successful Tragedies: Selected Poetry 1998-2010, To Whom It May Concern: A Novel (2009), and Ontological Necessities (2006, shortlisted for the $50,000 Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry). Time Out London (U.K.) recently dubbed her “Canada’s coolest poet.”

2010 Speakers

Seth Feldman

A founder and past president of the Film Studies Association of Canada, Seth Feldman has published widely on national and international cinemas. Dr. Feldman is the author and broadcaster of 26 radio documentaries for the CBC's Ideas program, and his arts and media commentary appears regularly on the CBC and other Canadian broadcast outlets, and in the popular press. His most recent program was a four hour series, The Evolution of Charles Darwin, broadcast in November and December, 2009.

Professor Feldman has served as associate dean and dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University, as chair of the Canadian Association of Fine Arts Deans, and on the board of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans. He is currently completing a second term as director of York's Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies.

Suzanne MacDonald

Suzanne MacDonald is currently a professor in the Department of Psychology at York University, appointed to the graduate programs in both Psychology and Biology. She received her PhD in animal learning and behavior from the University of Alberta, and then did postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia, before moving to York in 1990. She has three main areas of research expertise: memory and cognition in nonhuman primates; psychological well-being of captive animals; and reproductive behavior of critically endangered species. Much of her research is conducted at the Toronto Zoo, where she has volunteered as the “behaviorist” for over 15 years.

Debra Pepler

Professor Pepler’s major focus is on aggression and victimization among children and adolescents, particularly in the school context. Professor Pepler was awarded a Network of Centres of Excellence: New Initiatives grant to establish PREVNet – Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network, together with Dr. Wendy Craig – an interdisciplinary initiative that brings together 65 researchers from 27 Canadian universities and 50 national organizations. Dr. Pepler has been honoured for her research with the Contribution to Knowledge Award from the Psychology Foundation of Canada, the University of Waterloo Arts in Academia Award, and the Canadian Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public or Community Service.

She has been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at York since 1988, and served as the Director of York’s LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution. She is a Senior Associate Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children and is a Registered Psychologist.

Valerie Preston

Valerie Preston is Professor of Geography at York University and the York Director for CERIS - The Ontario Metropolis Centre, one of five Canadian research centres that promote policy-relevant research about immigration and diversity. Her research focuses on the housing and labour market experiences of immigrants. Working closely with municipal governments and nongovernmental organizations, she is involved in several studies of immigrants’ housing and employment including the Toronto Immigrant Employment Data Initiative, a project that provides non-profit organizations with relevant statistical information about the labour market integration of immigrants in the Toronto metropolitan area.

John Tsotsos

John Tsotsos is Distinguished Research Professor of Vision Science at York and holds the Canada Research Chair in Computation vision. Last year he received the Inaugural President’s Research Excellence Award. Born in Windsor, Ontario, he holds a doctoral degree from Computer Science at the University of Toronto where he is cross-appointed in Computer Science and Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences. He is known for his creative ideas and ability to engage all of us in understanding his exciting work.

Malcolm Thurlby

Malcolm Thurlby is a professor of art and architectural history at York. Born in London, England and received PhD from University of East Anglia with a dissertation on Scupture in England 1140-1250. Well known authority on medieval architecture and sculpture and Canadian heritage buildings. His passion for architecture extends to fine food and wine, soccer, the Muppets, and driving his wife’s BMW Z3.

Bernard Wolf

Professor Wolf is doing research on global restructuring of the automotive industries and on financial aspect of the global economy. He has lectured widely in Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, including extensively in China and has organized many international conferences, both in Canada and abroad. He has published numerous papers and articles and has served on various editorial boards. He was Canadian Chairperson of the Academy of International Business, Chairman of the International Business Division of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, and has acted as a consultant and advisor to a number of corporations and to the Canadian government.

At York University, Professor Wolf has been Director and one of the originator’s of Schulich’s pioneering International MBA Program. He is currently on the executive committee of two research centers and Chair of the University’s Honorary Degrees Committee.

2009 Speakers

Paul Delaney

Paul Delaney completed his undergraduate training at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia and his graduate studies in astronomy at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. A passionate observer and educator, he has been at York University since 1986, coordinating all aspects of the campus observatory including its public outreach program.

Philip Silver

Phillip Silver recently completed ten years as the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts. He has taught stage design in York’s Department of Theatre since 1986. His scenery, lighting and costume designs have been seen in close to 300 productions in Canadian theatres, including Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, National Arts Centre, Canadian Opera Company, Grand Theatre, Canadian Stage Company, Tarragon Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre New Brunswick, Vancouver Playhouse and Citadel Theatre, where he served as Resident Designer from 1967 to 1978.

Harvey Skinner

Dr Skinner 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. Dr Skinner has a special interest in global public health and is currently the Chair of the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO) leading peace-building initiatives in the Middle East. Also, he is on the Board of the Canadian Association for People-Centred Health. He has served as an expert advisor to Health Canada, the World Health Organization, U.S. Institute of Medicine, U.S. National Institutes of Health. From a personal perspective, Dr. Skinner ‘walks the talk’ as an avid runner (completed 7 marathons) and he enjoys spinning, sailing and skiing.

Other Speakers

Rob Bowman

Professor Rob Bowman has been writing professionally about rhythm and blues, rock, country, jazz and gospel for over a quarter century. Nominated for five Grammy Awards, in 1996 Bowman won the Grammy in the "Best Album Notes" category for a monograph he penned to accompany a 10-CD box set that he also co-produced, The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles Volume 3: 1972-1975 (Fantasy Records). Bowman played a seminal role in the founding and creation of The Stax Museum of American Soul Music (opened in Memphis in 2003), and has helped pioneer the study and teaching of popular music in the world of academia. A tenured professor at York University in Toronto, Bowman regularly lectures on popular music around the world.

Diana Di Mauro

Diana Di Mauro is pursuing her Ph.D. in Musicology, specializing in opera history and Pedagogy at York University. She is passionate about beautiful singing and has a gift for making the often misunderstood world of opera fun and approachable for the uninitiated. She has done extensive study of Italian method of singing and Bel Canto both in her Ph.D. research and as a trained classical singer.

Rob Fothergill

Professor Fothergill is a playwright, critic and theatre historian. Teaching dramatic literature and criticism, Professor Fothergill was a long-time member of the English Department at York University's Atkinson College before joining the Department of Theatre in the Faculty of Fine Arts 1994. He served as Chair of the Theatre Department from 1994 to 1999.

Rob Fothergill's drama, Detaining Mr. Trotsky (Canadian Stage Company,Toronto, 1987), won a Chalmers Award and several Dora nominations. His most recent play is The Dershowitz Protocol, an examination of the ethics of torture in the context of the current 'war against terror'. It was presented at the SummerWorks festival in 2003, received its US premiere in Rochester, New York, in June 2006, and was produced in a German translation in Bonn, Germany, in April 2008.

Vanessa Lanch

Vanessa Lanch is a vocal performance Masters graduate with Distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, UK, Laureate Graduate of the Flanders Opera Studio in Belgium and holds undergraduate degrees for Theatre and Vocal Performance from York University. Recently, Vanessa was a 2010 NATSAA Winner in Toronto, for her performances of recital and opera repertoire. She has sung opera roles for the Centre for Opera in Sulmona, Italy (COSI), Wish Opera (Toronto), Opera By Request (Toronto), Pax Christie Chorale, Stratford Symphony Orchestra, The Britten Pears Programme (Aldeburgh, UK), Flanders Opera (Belgium) and the Grimeborne Fringe Festival (London, UK).

Elizabeth Lunstrum

Elizabeth (Libby) Lunstrum is an Assistant Professor of Geography at York University and Faculty Associate with the York Centre for International and Security Studies (YCISS). Her research and teaching focus on environmental conflict, processes of bordering and creating territory, and human mobility. Her current research examines the politics of labour migration and environmental displacement within southern Africa’s Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. She has conducted research in Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the United States. She is currently spearheading a collaborative research project on displacement induced by conservation, climate change, and resource extraction and is a founding member and co-organizer of the Critical Border Studies Speaker Series at York.

Ron Westray


Deanne Williams

Specializing in Medieval and Renaissance literature, especially Shakespeare, she has published articles on a variety of topics. She has a special interest in the work of pioneering female scholars such as Hope Emily Allen and Dame Frances Yates, and in the adaptation of Shakespeare by contemporary novelists and filmmakers such as Rohinton Mistry and Roman Polanski.

Mark Wilson

Professor Wilson currently serves as Associate Dean, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Planning in the Faculty of Fine Arts. He began his professional theatre career as an actor in 1983, and has extensive performance credits in theatres across Canada. His recent directing credits include Mister Invisible at St. John’s Resource Centre for the Arts in Newfoundland and Underworlds for Red Sky Performance at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio.