Brain food: McLaughlin’s popular lunch talks return




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Ever wonder how Canadian prisoners got the vote or how you could qualify for a Cambridge University fellowship? Wonder no more. Attend the upcoming McLaughlin College Lunch Talks and find out. Over the next three weeks, the college is once again serving free lunches with side orders of brain food. Turn up at noon (unless otherwise indicated) in the McLaughlin Senior Common Room, 140 McLaughlin College, grab a sandwich and salad, and listen to speakers on NAFTA, Downsview Park, a Russian princess-turned-diplomat, the future of mankind and the roots of youth alienation. 

Thursday, April 23 – Canada’s NAFTA Supraconstitution

For almost two decades, scholars have debated whether NAFTA should be considered a part of Canada’s constitution, a sort of de facto constitutional extension. York law Professor Stepan Wood (left) (BA Hons. ’88, LLB ’92) examines this debate and argues that supraconstitutional analysis can be a promising lens for understanding and challenging contemporary political and legal forms of globalization. He explores this topic in his forthcoming book, A Perilous Imbalance: Globalization and Canadian Law and Governance, co-written with Stephen Clarkson.

Wood teaches property, environmental and international law at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, where he is also law faculty coordinator of the J.D./Master in Environmental Studies joint degree program. He clerked for Justice John Sopinka of the Supreme Court of Canada and worked as a lawyer with White & Case LLP n New York City before pursuing graduate studies at Harvard Law School. As an undergraduate, he studied international relations and anthropology. His main research interest is the role of voluntary non-state standards in regulating corporate social and environmental performance. He published Environmental Law for Sustainability (co-edited with York Professor Benjamin Richardson) in 2006.

Friday, April 24 – Progress on the Park

Downsview son Tony Genco (left) (BA ’88), president and CEO of  Downsview Park Inc., describes the history and challenges of creating a self-sustaining urban recreational greenspace for the enjoyment of future generations.

Tuesday, April 28 – How Canadian Prisoners Got to Vote

Rick Sauvé was the force behind the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in 2002 to grant voting rights to all prisoners in Canada. Sauvé earned a law degree while serving a life sentence for murder. He recounts this remarkable story and his continuing efforts to prove his innocence.

Wednesday, April 29 – Dorothea Lieven: Russian princess, pioneer diplomat, mistress of many

John McErlean, professor emeritus in York’s Department of History, gives a talk about a 19th-century Russian noblewoman who became a trusted ambassador to London. McErlean, a former York professor, is an expert on Napoleon and 19th-century Russia and Corsica. His Napoleon et Pozzo di Borgo in Corsica and After, 1764-1821 was published in 1996. His collected essays, D’Ajaccioa à St.Pétersbourg, is in revision for publication in Corsica. He has published over 100 articles. His play, Mr. Churchill Investigates: A Chequered Affair, was first performed in 2004. He has served as an historical consultant for the musical Napoleon, several historical murder mysteries and an exhibition in Corsica.

Thursday, April 30 – Clare Hall: A College for Advanced Study in the University of Cambridge

Sir Martin Harris (left), president of Clare Hall since 2008, offers York faculty members and current and future graduate students a chance to learn about the opportunities for fellowships at the University of Cambridge. A graduate of Cambridge and London in linguistics and philology, Harris has been vice-chancellor of two universities and chancellor of one, and chaired national reviews on modern languages, careers services and postgraduate education. He was the first director of the United Kingdom’s Office for Fair Access to Higher Education and has headed advisory boards and commissions concerned with health, university superannuation and other issues. He was knighted in 2000 for his contribution to British society.

Tuesday, May 5 (6:30pm reception, 7pm lecture, Founders Assembly Hall, 152 Founders College) – The Mid-Point in York’s First Century: Perspectives on Sustainability and the Future of Humankind

David Bell (right), professor emeritus and former dean of York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, presents this talk as part of the University’s 50th anniversary College Master’s Public Lecture Series. The mid-point of York’s first century coincides with the mid-point of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD 2005-2014). It is an ideal time to reflect on the educational ideas and socio-political circumstances of York’s founding and the contrasting – and critically urgent – sustainability challenges and opportunities of the next 50 years. Bell talks about York’s educational role in helping society develop a culture of sustainability that would allow humankind to flourish beyond the next century.

Thursday, May 7 (5pm, McLaughlin College Junior Common Room, 014 McLaughlin College) – Roots of Youth Alienation and the Challenges Ahead

In this annual McLaughlin Public Policy Lecture, York Chancellor Roy McMurtry (left) talks about youth alienation, based on his recent report commissioned by the Ontario premier. McMurtry, a senior counsel with Gowlings in Toronto, was attorney general of Ontario for 10 years in the Bill Davis cabinet, high commissioner to the United Kingdom, chief justice of the Superior Court of Justice, and chief justice of Ontario from 1996 to 2007.