New lecture series to showcase Canada as never before

Canada is more than hockey, maple leaves, Tim Hortons and mounted police, and a new series that launched Wednesday, Sept. 29 is hoping to prove just that.

Hosted by the Canadian Studies program and student club in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, the Canada Like You’ve Never Heard it Before Lecture Series will explore everything from economics and indigenous issues to Canadian government and poetry.

Above: From left, LA&PS student Alison Sanelli, Canadian Studies Program coordinator Jon Sufrin and LA&PS student Mike Rowan helped organize the Canada Like You’ve Never Heard it Before Lecture Series

“The series really aims to showcase the breadth and depth of Canadian scholarship and research at York,” says Jon Sufrin, coordinator of the Canadian Studies Program and key event organizer. “We have many senior faculty from across York and across disciplines participating – including two Canada Research Chairs – who are eager to engage with students and members of the York community on key issues of the Canadian experience.”

Professor David McNab (left), who teaches in the Department of Equity Studies, kicked off the series with a look at the mid-1800s adventures of Métis William Kennedy and his search for missing Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin. His lecture was co-sponsored by The Centre for the Study of Indigenous Border Issues and couldn’t have been more timely: On July 25 a team of Parks Canada scientists, archaeologists and surveyors made a historic discovery. They found the HMS Investigator – a ship lost while searching for Franklin and his crew. The ship was found in shallow water in Mercy Bay along the northern coast of Banks Island in the western Arctic.

This discovery is a telltale sign that Canadian Studies is very much alive, noted McNab. He observed that the Arctic and the Inuit, as well as other indigenous peoples, are often overlooked but are key to understanding how we define ourselves as a country, and our history – right into the 21st century. “There’s lots to be learned from the recent discovery and from Kennedy’s writings about the relationships between indigenous peoples in the North and European Arctic explorers,” he said.

The next lecture will be given by English Professor B.W. Powe (right) on Thursday, Oct. 21 in the Renaissance Room, 001 Vanier College. Powe will present “Apocalypse and Alchemy: Marshall McLuhan and Northrop Frye”.

All faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members and proud Canadians are welcome.

“The speaker series will give students insight into how wonderful Canada is and how many things there are to learn about our country,” notes Alison Sanelli, a second-year humanities student.

Sponsors of the series include: the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies; Stong College; Vanier College; Winters College; New College; Calumet College; Founders College; Students for Canadian Studies; and the Canadian Studies Program.

For upcoming lectures and speaker bios, visit the Canada Like You’ve Never Heard it Before Lecture Series website.