Are we falling into fate?
In a Massey lecture at McGill, anthropologist Margaret Visser will argue that we are letting modernity's freedom slip from our grasp and are falling back into fate.
November 1, 2002
2002 Massey Lecturer Margaret Visser to speak at McGill November 13
McGill University is proud to host one of five Massey Lectures in a series entitled Beyond Fate with Margaret Visser. The public lecture is co-hosted by CBC Radio 88.5.
On Wednesday, November 13th, Visser will present part 4: Transgression, at 8pm, in the English Department's prestigious Moyse Hall theatre, located in the Faculty of Arts, on the downtown campus of McGill University. The lecture will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions and to meet Margaret Visser. Beyond Fate will also be available as a book, published by House of Anansi Press.kate_arthur [at] cbc [dot] ca. --- >
"One of the proudest achievements of modernity," Margaret Visser writes, "is its investment in freedom. However, we seem, in important respects, to be letting that freedom slip from our grasp. People feel they cannot change the way things are and helplessly dread the way the future seems inevitably to be shaping up. In a word, we are falling back into fate." The 2002 Massey Lectures are about ancient habits of picturing reality that we rarely think about, but which can, unless we are very careful, lead us into fatalistic attitudes of mind, says Visser. "We can learn to detect the signs by which fatalism begins to manifest itself in our daily lives, in everything from table manners and shopping to sport. We can then go on to decide how to limit its influence over us."
This is the first time the Massey Lectures will be presented as a series of five, live public events across Canada. The lecture series will be launched at Massey College in the University of Toronto on November 6. In addition to the November 13 Montreal lecture at McGill, the other talks will take place in Vancouver at Green College, UBC on November 8; at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg on November 10; and at King's College, Halifax on November 15.
Beyond Fate, will be broadcast on IDEAS during the week of November 18 at 9:00 p.m., (9:30 NT) on CBC RADIO ONE.
Margaret Visser was born in South Africa and studied at the Sorbonne and the University of Toronto. She writes on the history, anthropology, and mythology of everyday life and is the author of several best-selling books, including Much Depends on Dinner and The Geometry of Love.