Feed your brain with McLaughlin College’s free lunch talks

The start of another academic year brings with it an interesting assortment of speakers who will headline this semester’s series of lunch talks hosted by York’s McLaughlin College. The popular series returns today and continues through into March. All talks are conducted in a casual, open environment and, unless otherwise specified, take place in the McLaughlin Senior Common Room, 140 McLaughlin College, at noon.

The series kicks off today with a presentation by York political science Professor Roger Rickwood. His presentation, “Is McLaughlin a Castle?”, documents the early days of York’s McLaughlin College. Back in the 1960s, York University planners were facing the problem of mass enrolment and students drifted in a world of anonymity and conformity. York Professor George Tatham, for whom York’s Tatham Hall Residence is named, pioneered the regeneration of York University as a place of community and individual identity through the creation of an available college system – first at Glendon and then at McLaughlin. Rickwood will discuss whether Tatham’s original vision of McLaughlin College was based on an ideal model of an English Castle or on a secluded fortified ruin in the lake country. Find out the truth of this mystery, which has haunted McLaughlin College for more than 40 years.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, the presentation “Education Demands. Publishing Needs: An Insider’s Look at Publishing and the Publishing Industry” will examine the demand on academics in the higher education system to actively publish their research and scholarly findings in journals and peer-reviewed publications. This activity is regarded by some as a measure of productivity, and a benchmark of success and scholarship. York alumnus Shivu Ishwaran (BA Hons. ’93) has 15 years of experience in academic publishing and is currently the publisher at de Sitter Publications. As a publishing professional, he says with certainty that it is never too soon to think about getting published. Do you have a publishing plan? What should you publish? Who will publish your research? The expectation to publish in higher education is met by the needs of the publishing industry. Publishing is a business and is defined by a market space. It is not uncommon to meet people with a lifetime of education who have spent many months or even years writing books that are unlikely to be published. Ishwaran will address how important it is for academics with all levels of experience to think proactively about their publishing as they hone their experience.

On Monday, Oct. 26, Susan Dimock (right), master of McLaughlin College and a professor of philosophy, will present “International Criminal Law and Justice for Victims of Atrocity”. In her presentation, Dimock will explore issues concerning the creation and operation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). She will suggest that while the ICC is committed to the important goal of ensuring that those responsible for committing genocide and serious crimes against humanity  are not allowed to do so with impunity, it may, in unintended ways, limit the achievement of justice for such crimes.

York student Ani Mamikon (left), currently in her fourth year of study, is completing an honours double major in criminology and political science. On Wednesday, Nov. 25, she will talk about the non-governmental organization War Child Canada. Mamikon’s personal interest in international human rights led her to establish the first chapter of War Child Canada at York University in 2007. Given the level of conflict prevalent in the world today, Mamikon says she found that it was extremely important to shed light on the issue of child soldiers and war-affected children around the world. She will speak about her experience creating the club and what she has learned through her involvement with War Child Canada, a not-for profit-organization dedicated to providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the young victims of war around the world. The organization provides emergency relief and spearheads development projects for education and health care. War Child Canada currently provides support to communities in Afghanistan, Sudan (Darfur), Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Georgia.

For the lunchtime talks, a light lunch is served at noon and the talks begin at about 12:15pm, followed by a question-and-answer session. Each talk usually finishes shortly after 1pm. All are very informal.

Students who attend eight lunch talks during the fall and winter terms will receive a certificate of participation. Students who attend 10 talks or more will receive a certificate of active participation. The certificates are useful for students applying for employment or for letters of reference.

For information on subsequent lunch talk schedules, visit the McLaughlin College Web site.