Lectures and special events to April 1

The politics of persuasion

McGill’s Department of Art History and Communication Studies, Media@McGill and the Office of the Dean of Students present Whoever Tells the Story Writes History:  Public Debate and the Politics of Persuasion, a lecture by journalist, author and activist Catherine Orenstein, founder and director of The Op-Ed Project.

In the United States, public debate across a variety of platforms is overwhelmingly dominated by a narrow section of society – mostly white, privileged and (about 85 per cent) male. What are the reasons – and more importantly, what are the consequences – and solutions?  And to what extent is the same true for the Canadian public sphere?  Orenstein will give a brief overview (and critique) of some of the conventional thinking on the root cause of the problem, before addressing the consequences and solutions. She will discuss how the narrow range of voices that shape our national (and international) conversation has coloured the topics we hear about, the things we understand as problems, and our understanding of leadership. Orenstein will also focus on how the dearth of women’s voices in public discourse has affected the way research is conducted, stories are reported, and history plays out.

Catherine Orenstein: Whoever Tells the Story Writes History:  Public Debate and the Politics of Persuasion; Mar. 23, 6 p.m., Beaverbrook Seminar Room (230), Ferrier Building, 840 Dr. Penfield. For more information: http://media.mcgill.ca.

The legal human

The McGill Research Group on Health and Law presents its first annual lecture on Mar. 19 with Professor Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Digitization and imaging techniques, combined with genetic understandings, have made the body more transparent, more fluid, more temporally manipulable than at any time in history. Professor Jasanoff will discuss these changes and what they imply for legal thought, which has tended to be governed by rough and ready physical criteria of what counts as being inside or outside the body and its zones of integrity or privacy. She will analyze how these changes in biological and legal thought intersect with market developments, from organ trade to embryo donation.

Professor Sheila Jasanoff: Life and the Law: Configuring the Human, Mar. 19, 4 p.m.; Room 100, Maxwell Cohen Moot Court, Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel St. For more information call 514-398-6666.

Canada and the challenge of development

McGill’s new Institute for the Study of International Development (which has absorbed the Centre for Developing-Area Studies) and the Public Policy Forum present a seminar examining the role Canada should play in the developing world today.

Since at least the 1960s, Canada has striven to be a leader in fostering development in the global south, consistent with the role it has sought to play on the global scene more generally. Yet the international context for understanding the challenges of promoting development has changed considerably. This seminar is intended to start a dialogue that will help develop a new understanding of Canada’s potential role in working with developing countries. Professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a member of the International Development Research Centre’s Board of Governors and President of the Centre for Policy Research (New Delhi) will deliver the keynote address on the first day of the seminar. David Morley of Save the Children Canada delivers the second day’s keynote address and the Rt. Honourable Joe Clark will be the closing keynote speaker.

The Challenges of Development Today: Practitioners’ Perspectives on Where to Move Forward; Mar. 23-24, Hotel Omni Mont-Royal, 1050, Sherbrooke St. W. Open to the public but please RSVP at adm.cdas@mcgill.ca. For more information: www.mcgill.ca/cdas/events/conferences/

Brace Research Day

The Brace Centre for Water Resources Management, McGill’s multidisciplinary research centre focusing on specialized training and policy and strategic studies in water resources management, presents its 8th annual Brace Research Day.

The event is an opportunity for the Centre’s academic members and graduate students to present their research work. Presentation topics range from bacterial transport and community water strategies to the remediation of contaminated aquifers and levees and waves. The opening lecture will be given by Dean Chandra Madramootoo on “Future Challenges in Water for Food Security.” Earth and Planetary Sciences Prof. Jeff McKenzie will deliver the afternoon opening lecture.

8th Annual Brace Research Day; March 27; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Room R3-048, Raymond Building, McGill University Macdonald Campus, 21111 Lakeshore Rd.  For more information: www.mcgill.ca/brace or contact Dr. Caroline Begg at caroline.begg@mcgill.ca

Shakespeare the director…

William Shakespeare’s talents as a writer and thespian are well documented. But he was also skilled at directing plays. Canadian actor and director Albert Schultz will examine the Bard’s attributes as a director in From Page to Stage: Shakespeare the Director, this year’s annual Shakespeare Lecture.

Schultz, the founding artistic director of Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company, studied drama at Toronto’s York University and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He has appeared at the Stratford Festival in Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Twelfth Night and As You Like It. The recipient of several awards including a Gemini Award, and the Joan Chalmers National Award for Artistic Direction, Schultz has also directed several Soulpepper productions as well as Susan Coyne’s Kingfisher Days for the Tarragon Theatre.

From Page to Stage: Shakespeare the Director; The lecture is presented by the Friends of the Library and Making Publics Project. A reception will follow. Mar. 19; 5 p.m. to 6 p.m; Moyse Hall, Arts Building, 853 Sherbrooke St. W. For more info or for reservations email rsvp.libraries@mcgill.ca  or call 514-398-4681.