An Evening with Justin Trudeau in Toronto
In celebration of its 20th anniversary and in keeping with its history of fostering debate on issues that matter to Canadians, MISC organized a series of conversations featuring Canadian public leaders from across the political spectrum with ties to McGill. On March 9th, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau (BA, '94) presented a lecture on "Canadian Liberty and the Politics of Fear", followed by a question period moderated by Professor WIlliam Straw. Trudeau's speech was also preceded by a lively debate featuring recent McGill graduates and moderated by Mathew Mendelsohn, Director of the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation at the University of Toronto.
Video of Trudeau's speech can be viewed here on the Liberal Party of Canada website. Articles on the event are also available on CBC News, Global News, and The National Post. Finally, photos taken at the event are available here.
2015 Winter Eakin Lecture: Social Identities and Language Attitudes in Quebec, presented by Ruth Kircher (April 15th)
For the 2015 Winter Eakin Lecture, Professor Ruth Kircher from the UK’s Liverpool Hope University presented her research project on social identities and language attitudes in Quebec - the first systematic study of the relationship between social identities, language attitudes, and language policy in the Quebec context. Well recognized for her research, her doctoral work received the Prix du Québec from the Quebec Government Office in London, and a scholarship from the International Council for Canadian Studies.
She has also published articles on language issues in Montreal in the Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics and the Journal of French Language Studies, as well as in several edited volumes. View photos of the lecture here.
Sport & Identity Symposium (May 5th)
In sports, we celebrate inclusion and common purpose, but throughout history, sports have been marked by prejudice and exclusion. From lacrosse to women’s hockey, Canadian sports have expressed collective resistance, protected endangered community traditions, and have been key sites of conflict over the character of Canadian society. This symposium brought together five scholars to discuss what role sports plays in the expression of Canadian cultural identities.
An Evening With Thomas Mulcair and the McGill Four in Toronto (May 19th)
This special MISC event, which was part of the Institute's 20th anniversary celebration, involved a keynote speech by Thomas Mulcair and a panel discussion featuring the “McGill Four”: Charmaine Borg, Matthew Dubé, Mylène Freeman, and Laurin Liu - McGill alumni all elected to Parliament for the NDP during the 2011 election while still studying at university. Each MP presented the portfolios they held as part of the Opposition Shadow Cabinet before Althia Raj, Huffington Post’s Ottawa Bureau Chief opened up the discussion.
View photos from the event here.
Inauguration of The Lili de Grandpré Reading Room (September 17th)
On September 17th, MISC's Reading Room was officially renamed the Lili de Grandpré Reading Room. To accompany this special occasion, MISC played host to a presentation by the 2015 recipient of the Len Blum Award, Iain Childerhose, who discussed his collaborative work with Professor Nathalie Cooke and food historian Fiona Lucus in preparing a new edition of Catharine Parr Traill's 1854 classic,The Female Emigrant's Guide. The group shared updated recipes (including samples of dandelion root coffee and bush cakes), and described how the guide evolved into a toolkit for historical culinary exploration, providing resources for culinary enthusiasts to discover unfamiliar dishes and forgotten techniques of food production and sourcing. You can view photos of the event here.
Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont: Ron Evans, a Métis Elder, Tells Stories of the Riel Rebellion (October 20th)
Métis elder Ron Evans grew up in the traditional ways of his people, learning from elders and continuing their tradition of storytelling. A veritable human encyclopedia of stories, myths, and oral history, Evans was invited to MISC to orate stories of the Riel rebellion and of two men who marked Canadian history forever. Friendship, betrayal, politics and war intertwined in a moving tribute to the struggle of the Métis for recognition and justice. His visit to MISC coincided with the Québec Intercultural Storytelling Festival, for which he was the honorary storytelling “elder”.
Manuel de Jesús Velázquez: Canadian Studies in Cuba (October 21st)
Manuel de Jesús Velázquez (University of Holguín) visited MISC as part of the Canada in the Americas Initiative, a project which aims to bolster the understanding of Canada throughout the Americas. Professor Velázquez's presentation featured a talk on the developing relationships between Canada and Cuba, and how they may be used as a framework for Canadian studies on the island. In the context of the study of English-speaking cultures in Cuba, he also spoke of the trilogy of books he was working to publish with the support of MISC: The English Saga, The American Saga, and The Post-Colonial Sagas.
Learning, Sharing and Adapting: Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledge and Use of Plants with Nancy Turner (November 11th)
This book talk by Nancy Turner explored the complex, long-term, and ever-changing relationships developed between the First Peoples of northwestern North America and their environments. Plants have supported their survival and well-being for over 13,000 years, providing them with necessary food, materials, medicines and ceremonial items. Many of these culturally important plants – over 250 species – have names in multiple Indigenous languages, often reflecting common usage across different speech communities and language families. How did people acquire this rich knowledge about their environments, including plants, algae, and fungi? How did they pass on their knowledge, practices, and beliefs from generation to generation, and from community to community? Even more importantly, in the face of rapidly changing times, how can this precious knowledge be recognized, maintained, and perpetuated for the benefit of future generations? This talk strived to answer all these questions and more.
2015 Eakin Lecture: La modernité canadienne: A Family Romance? A broad look at the extended family of Joseph Gauvreau and its place in the development of cultural modernity in Quebec (November 16th)
Dr. Craig Moyes, Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies at King’s College London, raised the question of modernity in (French) Canada by evoking a number of characters and chapters in the Gauvreau “family romance”, which include the crisis and defence of Catholicism in the ‘30s, le Refus global of the 40s, and the cinema of the Quiet Revolution. Photos of the event are available here.