The ‘imaginary’ is more than the world of dreams and fantasies. It also addresses how we imagine and re-imagine ourselves and others. This year, the Vanier College Humanities Symposium will ask the following questions: What is the nature of these imaginaries? From what sources do they take shape, and how active or passive are we in their making? The symposium, running February 2-6, 2015, will feature guest speakers who will explore the idea of imaginaries from different points of view.
Humour with Jonathan Goldstein
The week will kick off with CBC Radio Host, author and humorist Jonathan Goldstein, in conversation with Vanier’s own Burt Covit. Jonathan Goldstein is the host of Wiretap, a radio show featuring a mix of funny and surprising stories and conversations. He is also the author of the novel, Lenny Bruce is Dead, the short story collection, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible!, and the memoir, I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow.
Influences of childhood
On Tuesday, February 3 at 10 AM, Award-winning author Heather O’Neill will examine the way in which the influences of an artist’s childhood affect their work for the rest of their lives. Heather O’Neill is a poet, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist who published her first novel Lullabies for Little Criminals in 2006 and whose recent novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night was shortlisted for the 2014 Scotia bank Giller Prize.
On the positive and the negative
On Thursday, February 5 at 12:30 PM, Michael O’Brien will deliver the Special Humanities Lecture “Imaginary Gardens and Real Toads”, where he will examine the positive and negative implications of the terms “imaginative” and “imaginary” and their relevance to our lives.
Medical decisions, dangerous masculinity, risk, mobile cinema and more…
Other symposium speakers will include Veronique Fraser exploring how medical decisions are made on behalf of another person; Alanna Thain who will discuss experiments in mobile cinema; David Meren who will engage with Canadian imaginings of “development”; Maggie Kathwaroon whose talk “The Expendable Male: Masculinity for the 99%” will look at dangerous notions of masculinity; Brian Aboud who will expose how the notion of “risk” has become a central component of collective, personal and organizational imaginaries; David Koloszyc who will examine modern day imaginaries in an age of mass media; Avery Plaw who will discuss the use of drones to replace direct armed conflict; and finally Julie Nagam who will show us alternative cartographies of the urban landscape created by Canadian Indigenous artists.
All events will take place in the Vanier Auditorium (A-103). For the complete list of speakers and times, please see the Humanities Symposium Schedule. Open to the public.