Around campus: More lectures than you can shake a lectern at

Fall signals the opening of lecture season at McGill. Although the Beatty Memorial Lecture has come and gone (see front page), the University still has a wide range of offerings on subjects varied enough to pique the interest of just about everyone. For the full list of lectures and other events on campus go to’s champion

One of the original Death-of-God theologians, University of Strasbourg’s Professor Emeritus Gabriel Vahanian established his international reputation as a theologian of culture with such books as The Death of God: The Culture of Our Post-Christian Era, Wait without Idols, and No Other God. Conservative religious figures routinely warn against the danger of secularization, just as proponents of the modern secular state decry the theocratic tendencies of religion. Both sides assume that the sacred and the secular are diametrically opposed. Gabriel Vahanian rightly calls such misbegotten assumptions into question. The problem lies elsewhere. In the light of the biblical dialectic of holiness and the secular, Vahanian vindicates the secular, weaving together philosophy, history, and theology in a yet reinforced, deconstructionist fashion.

On Oct. 27 and 28, Vahanian will deliver two lectures as part of the Birks Lecture Series 2008.

Birks Lecture Series; Oct. 27 and 28; 7 p.m. (both nights); Birks Heritage Chapel; William and Henry Birks Building; 3520 Universiry; 2nd floor. Information:

Women in academia

Dr. Evelynn Hammonds, Dean of Harvard College and Barbara Gutman Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science, will deliver this year’s Muriel V. Roscoe Lecture.  Dr. Hammonds is an expert on the history of academia and the author of numerous articles on the history of disease, race and science, African American feminism, African American women and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and analyses of gender and science. Her current work focuses on the intersection of scientific, medical and socio-political concepts of race in the U.S.  Her lecture is entitled “Women in Academia: 21st Century Challenges.”

The McGill Women’s Alumnae Association established the endowment for the Muriel V. Roscoe Lecture on the occasion of its 100th anniversary in 1988.  The purpose of the lecture is to stimulate debate on issues where women have a special voice and to recognize the contributions of women in all areas of society.

McGill Women’s Alumnae Association annual Muriel V. Roscoe lecture; Thursday Oct. 23; 6 p.m; Room 112 of the Otto Maas Chemistry Building. Admission is free. For more information call


No fear of controversy

Long considered a must-read for doctors, researchers and just about anyone with an interest in medicine, The Lancet is the world’s leading independent general medical journal covering issues related to all aspects of human health. Since its launch in 1823, the journal has sought “to combine publication of the best medical science in the world with a zeal to counter the forces that undermine the values of medicine, be they political, social, or commercial.” Since taking the helm of The Lancet in 1996, editor-in-chief Dr. Richard Horton has not shied away from controversy. In 2006, Horton accused British PM Tony Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush of telling “lies” and “killing children” in Iraq. This was followed by the publication in The Lancet of controversial new estimates of the death toll of Iraqi citizens that were vastly higher than previous estimates. On Oct. 29, Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, will deliver the 33rd Osler Lecture titled  The Global Doctor: Scientific Medicine and Social Movements.

Richard Horton; The Global Doctor: Scientific medicine and social movements; Oct. 29; 6 p.m.; Palmer Howard Amphitheatre, McIntyre Medical Science Building, 5th floor. Open to the public, free admission. For more information:

The law in cyberspace

The World Wide Web, which transcends traditional physical and national boundaries, presents a host of new questions and concerns that legal communities around the world must tackle. With technological advances occurring so rapidly, how can the law keep up?

On Oct. 27, McGill will host the 3rd Biennial Symposium, The Internet: Governance and the Law. Chaired by James Archibald, Director of Translation Studies, the symposium is organized by the Center for International Legal Studies, based in Austria, and will take place in the Moot Court, Faculty of Law, and at the Faculty Club.

Sessions will deal with topics such as international Internet governance, cyber-regulation, free speech vs. defamation, privacy vs. security, consumer protection, cybercrime and terrorism, domain names, open source and intellectual property rights, e-commerce, and piracy.

Governance and the Law; Oct. 27; 9 a.m. – noon; Maxwell Cohen Moot Court, Chancellor Day Hall; 3644 Peel Street; and 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish Street. Free for students enrolled at the faculty of Law or at L’école du Barreau du Québec. For more information, contact James Archibald at 514-398-8225.

Farmers’ Market is back!

You loved them so much the first time that the people running the ever-popular Farmers’ have decided to extend their downtown campus engagement. And what’s not to love? This tasty collaboration between students, the Students’ Society of McGill University, and McGill Food and Dining Services provides hungry shoppers with great deals on the freshest produce, including organic goods, fine herb seedlings, and whole-grain breads and muffins. Important note: there’s only one day left – Tuesday, Oct. 28. Don’t miss it, and don’t forget to bring your own bags.

McGill Farmers’ Market; Tuesday Oct. 28;11 a.m.- 3 p.m., “Three Bares” Park (on the west side of the main campus avenue, just south of the Arts building).