2021

Rediscovering Louis St-Laurent

A Zoom panel discussion about the influence of a politician whose astute policies and bold resolve moved Canada into the modern era.

Watch it on Youtube.

January 28, 2021.

Featuring MISC Director Daniel Béland in conversation with:

The Hon. Jean Charest, former premier of Quebec and former deputy prime minister of Canada on "Louis St-Laurent and 'Township Thinking'"

Patrice Dutil, Ryerson University professor and editor of The Unexpected Louis St-Laurent on "Louis St-Laurent in History"

Mary Janigan, historian and author on "Louis St-Laurent and Equalization"

Xavier Gélinas, curator of political history at the Canadian Museum of History on "Louis St-Laurent et le Québec"

Jean Thérèse Riley, policy consultant and Louis St-Laurent's granddaughter on “Louis St-Laurent’s Style and Personality”


The Resilience of Western Alienation in a Transformative Era

A lecture about western alienation, Canadian federalism, regional conflict, and more.

Watch it on Youtube.

February 12, 2021.

Why, in the evolution of the Canadian federal state, does there seem to be so much regional conflict and so little unity?

In this talk, Dr. Loleen Berdahl (Universities of Saskatchewan and Regina) considered the persistence of regional conflict in Canada by examining western alienation — that is, discontent emerging from one, some, or all of Canada’s four westernmost provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

This event was co-organized by the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship.


Race and Reckoning in Canada

A lecture about what defines the boundaries of Blackness and belonging in Canada.

Watch it on Youtube.

February 18, 2021.

Canadians revel in an image of their country as a multicultural exception in a world that has taken a hard-right turn towards intolerance of racial and ethnic pluralism. Canadians are particularly keen to draw a distinction between Canada and the United States, even as America's foundational ideas, beliefs, narratives, obsessions and psychoses have greatly influenced the formation of Canada’s national identity by negation. The logic is something like this: racism exists in the United States; Canada is not-America. So, there is no racism in Canada.

Dr. Debra Thompson used the analytical insights of black political thought and personal narrative in her lecture to make the case that there’s something truly unique about Blackness and the persistence of anti-Black racism in Canada, in part because of the lingering, ubiquitous spectre of Black America.


Building Back Green

A panel discussion about how to build a post-pandemic economic recovery that will help tackle climate change.

Watch it on Youtube.

February 25, 2021.

Featuring MISC Director Daniel Béland in conversation with:

Sylvain Coulombe, Associate Vice-Principal, Innovation and Partnerships in the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) and Professor & Gerald Hatch Faculty Fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering

Anja Geitmann, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Canada Research Chair in Biomechanics of Plant Development, and member of the Executive Committee of the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative

Christopher Ragan, Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, and former Chair of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission


Resistance in the Time of a Pandemic (2021 Mallory Lecture)

A lecture from human rights activist and artist Ellen Gabriel about the efforts of Indigenous communities to stop the theft and dispossession of their land, both historically and today. This was the 2021 Mallory Lecture.

Watch it on Youtube.

March 10, 2021.

While much of public life and industry has paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, construction and land dispossession of Indigenous peoples has continued across Canada. As a human rights advocate for the collective and individual rights of Indigenous peoples, Ms. Gabriel has worked diligently to sensitize the public, academics, policing authorities and politicians on the history, culture and identity of Indigenous peoples. Her lecture drew upon her wealth of activism experience and spoke to the issues facing Indigenous communities today.


Women, Social Media and Religious Authority in North America (2021 Eakin Lecture)

A lecture from anthropologist and ethnomusicologist Dr. Jessica Roda about how ultra-Orthodox women use social media as a transformative counterpublic space. This was the 2021 Eakin Lecture.

Watch it on Youtube.

March 18, 2021.

Dr. Roda’s research examines the use of social media by ultra-Orthodox women as a tool for the development of empowerment through an online ethnography of social media influencers and artists. The women in Dr. Roda’s research engage in writing, music, and film, and promote their work on their social media platforms. They label themselves as frum (Torah observant) female artists and are considered professionals because they acquire training from professionals in their fields, teach within their communities, and earn an income from their productions. Their followers readily join their Instagram live stories, Zoom calls, and online live shows, as well as keep up with their YouTube channels, highlighting a growing thirst for the representation of ultra-Orthodox women and girls in online spaces. Dr. Roda argues that frum female artists and influencers use social media as a transformative counterpublic space, in which they simultaneously challenge and reinforce religious norms and authority, creating multiple new expressions and understandings of female empowerment and female modesty.

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