In the Social Sciences, people like to talk about how complex and diverse our world is. This year, the Vanier College annual Social Science Festival will explore the complexity of diversity and the diversity of complexity during a week long program of guest speakers, discussions, debates, presentations and other activities from October 19th to the 23rd, 2015. 

“But what do complexity and diversity mean?” asks principal festival organizer, Anthropology teacher, Jacky Vallée. “We sometimes oversimplify diversity by talking about categories of people and experiences as though they did not overlap. During the festival we will invite participants to think about and discuss the diverse strands of complexity in which we are immersed as well as the complex nature and intersections of diversity.”

The festival will touch on complexity and diversity with regards to racial, sexual and ethnic identity, life experience, human relations to our world, culture, ability and disability, and pedagogy. The goal of the event is to stimulate interest and curiosity among participants and to provide an opportunity to apply analytical skills to real world concerns in an exciting context.

There are many interesting presentations to choose from, with topics such as racism in schools, the atomic bomb, the Oka crisis, Canadian residential schools, creativity among LGBTQ People of Colour and Indigenous people, animals and the law, physical and invisible disabilities, the Armenian genocide, student engagement, anthropological fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, procrastination, and even vampires!

Students have several other activities to choose from such as the Ask a Psychologist panel and 3 workshops from the Commerce department on creativity, the stock market, and legal advice for future entrepreneurs.

Last but not least, we will have our annual zany tradition of the Social Science Quiz show in the auditorium during UB! Please come support the students as they compete for the grand prize!

All members of the Vanier community and of the general public are welcome!

The Social Science Festival was started in 2000 by anthropology teacher, Mark Prentice. Every year, Vanier College showcases the work of researchers, activists, community workers and others from Vanier, from the local Montreal community and from elsewhere.

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