Beatty lecture, homecoming, Montreal Matters, Interfaith conference and pumpkins

James Gustav Speth
James Gustave Speth

Beatty Memorial Lecture goes green

Long considered one of the most influential voices in the mainstream environmental movement, James Gustave Speth, who will deliver this year’s Beatty Memorial Lecture, has veered toward downright radicalism with the publication of his new book The Bridge at the Edge of the World (Yale University Press, 2008). In the book, Speth, Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale, points out that despite the ever-increasing sophistication and political savvy of environmentalists, our world is closer to environmental catastrophe than ever before. The time has come, he contends, to completely reconfigure the operating system he holds most accountable for the planet’s demise – modern capitalism.

In moving toward what he calls a “non-socialist alternative” to capitalism, Speth suggests a series of societal and economic changes, including a wider variety of ownership patterns in the private sector such as more co-ops and more employee ownership plans and a pricing “revolution” that would make any product that is environmentally destructive prohibitively expensive.

The Beatty Memorial Lecture; Oct. 18; 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.; Centre Mont-Royal Auditorium, 1000 Sherbrooke St. West. People at Macdonald Campus can watch a simulcast in Room R2-045 of the Raymond Bldg. Admission is free but reservations must be made with Lorraine Torpy at 514-398-3992 or by email at

There is no place like Homecoming

You can take the person out of McGill but you can’t take McGill out of the person – which is why Homecoming 2008 (Oct. 16-Oct.19) will attract more than 4,000 people to the downtown and Macdonald campuses. And what’s not to love about Homecoming? Old ties are renewed, old haunts are revisited and, you have to admit, the University puts on a pretty good show.

First off, there’s the food. On the menu: more lunches, brunches, breakfasts and dinners than can possibly be healthy. To work off the extra calories people can take guided tours of Old Montreal or both campuses; take part in the Mac Athletics shinny hockey game; or trip the light fantastic at the annual Green and Gold Dance.

To feed the brain, people can take part in a myriad of events including checking out the Redpath’s brand new (though prehistoric) triceratops skull and sitting in on the Great Debate – Faculty of Arts professors against the award-winning team from the McGill Debating Union in a friendly, but intense, meeting of the minds. Finally, there is the ever-popular Classes Without Quizzes lecture series led by some of McGill’s most eminent and engaging academics. Topics range from jazz appreciation to the latest developments in sustainable energy.

And what would Homecoming be without a football game? On Saturday, Oct. 18, the Redmen will square off against the Université de Montréal Carabins at Molson Stadium.

Homecoming 2008; Oct. 16-18. For a full list of events, schedules, prices and registration information go to

Religious Studies interfaith conference

The Faculty of Religious Studies and the Canadian Sikh Council team up to present an interfaith conference at the Birks Heritage Chapel, Thursday, Oct. 16. Scriptural Authority and Status in World Religions celebrates the 300th anniversary of the consecration of the Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib. Speakers from McGill, Concordia, UQAM and the Université de Montréal will discuss Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Special guest speaker Professor Balbinder S. Bhogal from Hofstra University in New York will focus on Sikhism. McGill professor Arvind Sharma will provide the Summation.

Scriptural Authority and Status in World Religions; Thursday, Oct. 16, 9:30 a.m.  to 4:30 p.m., Birks Heritage Chapel; 3520 University Street. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Registration deadline is Friday, Oct.10. To register, or for more information, write to

Pick a pumpkin at Mac Market

Why overpay for your pumpkin at some fancy commercial market this Halloween when you can get one for less than half the price at Mac Market? The Macdonald Campus Market is once again overflowing with the harvest time yields from the campus farm. The farm produced an abundance of fresh produce this year, including apples, green and red peppers, squash, eggplant, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes, but the star attraction rises up from the pumpkin patch. A few 400-lb giants have been set aside for special events, but over 1,000 regular size (20 lbs and under) pumpkins will be available to the public for $3 to $5, depending on the size.

Mac Market; open weekdays from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at the McGill’s Macdonald Campus, 21,111 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne de Bellevue. Look for the Mac Market signs.

Did you say yoots?

For the seventh year, McGill and the CBC are at it again – exploring issues of interest to the community in Montreal Matters. This year, the month-long event turns its sights on youth – with an array of provocative offerings for the general public to enjoy. On McGill’s slate are two not-to-be-missed events: “Bringing the Future Forward: What Can A Girl Do With A Camera?” an art exhibition and colloquium organized by Prof. Claudia Mitchell, Faculty of Education, on October 22, 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the McGill Bookstore Café. The event is a photographic tribute to the memory of Jackie Kirk, a humanitarian aid worker and adjunct professor at McGill who was recently killed in Afghanistan. The photo exhibit features works by girls and young women in Montreal, Rwanda, Swaziland and South Africa. Their photographs capture images that illustrate the vulnerabilities, challenges and successes they face every day.

“Shoot First, Answer Questions Later: Youth Media, Youth Voice” led by McGill Education Professors Michael Hoechsmann and Bronwen Low, is a media screening and panel discussion which will explore a range of youth-made and youth-led media productions, including older (film, video and radio) and newer (remix and mash-up) forms. The goal is to share ideas, challenge conventional assumptions and identify new paths for future discussions in youth and media studies. The event takes place Oct. 28, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Chancellor Day Hall.

For more information on Montreal Matters and more details of McGill events,