Shadbolt-GLS Big Idea Seminar Series

Join us for a new season of the SFU Shadbolt Graduate Liberal Studies Big Idea Seminar Series! These free seminar style classes provide participants with an opportunity to revisit, rethink, and reframe many of the most influential works of Western culture in light of current topics of social importance. Our two two-hour seminar/workshops which address a wide range of topics are facilitated by GLS students, alumni and PhD candidates and are designed to encourage community engagement and debate.

September 2017

Flourishing: Ancient and Modern Approaches

What is happiness? Is the pursuit of happiness our highest goal, or is it best thought of as a by-product in the pursuit of other, higher goals? The new science of ‘happiness studies’ speaks to our current obsession with these questions. This seminar will apply insights from ancient Greek and contemporary texts in the exploration of these timeless questions.

Facilitator: Duane Fontaine
Wednesday September 13 and 20, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Tommy Douglas Library, 7311 Kingsway, Burnaby
Registration (604) 522-3971
http://www.bpl.bc.ca/locations-hours/tommy-douglas

Where the Boys Are: The Role of Men in the 21st Century

Questions hang over the function of males in post-industrial societies. No longer required, nor perhaps desired, as traditional providers and protectors, many young men flounder educationally and appear purposeless as adults. Even their basic reproductive function is debatable. Here we will consider what men want and what they are for. Do frameworks exist that synchronise young men’s aspirations with society’s needs, and if so how should they be applied?

Facilitator: John Carter
Wednesday September 13 and 20, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Kerrisdale Community Center, 5851 West Blvd., Vancouver
Registration: 604-257-8100 or Register Online

Mightier Than the Sword: Female Journalists’ Impact on Gender Equality in Afghanistan

Since the fall of the Taliban, Afghan women have entered the media as reporters, directors, writers and producers. Misogyny still prevails in Afghanistan, but media have given women the means to influence public affairs by disseminating information about their social, economic and political realities. Mightier Than the Sword, named best 2017 Canadian Documentary by the Female Eye Film Festival, follows three young women who are using media to navigate a path towards gender equality in a nation deemed the most dangerous country for women in the world.

Facilitator: Roberta Staley
Thursday September 14 and 21, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Mount Pleasant Library, 1 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC
Registration: (604) 257-3080 or Register Online

Where the Boys Are: The Role of Men in the 21st Century

Questions hang over the function of males in post-industrial societies. No longer required, nor perhaps desired, as traditional providers and protectors, many young men flounder educationally and appear purposeless as adults. Even their basic reproductive function is debatable. Here we will consider what men want and what they are for. Do frameworks exist that synchronise young men’s aspirations with society’s needs, and if so how should they be applied?

Facilitator: John Carter
Thursday September 21 and 28, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Century House,  620 Eighth St, New Westminster, BC
Registration: (604) 519-1066
http://www.centuryhouseassociation.com/

Culture, Identity and Food – An Exploration

In cultural terms, food represents a lot more than nourishment. It can function as a touchstone of identity, a marker of class and status, a magic potion that heals or harms, and a divider or unifier of socio-cultural groups. In this seminar we will explore how groups and individuals use food habits, in particular restrictions and prohibitions, to create and bolster socio-cultural identities, and how food fads arise and evolve.

Facilitator: Carol Tulpar
Thursday September 28 and October 5, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Bob Prittie Metrotown Library, 6100 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby
Registration: (604) 436-5430
http://www.bpl.bc.ca/locations-hours/bob-prittie-metrotown

October 2017

The Threat of the Uppity Woman

There is a trope of women who use charm — if not sexual allure — to gain wealth and social position. Media, society, and authoritative voices portray women as stylish and scheming, manipulative and ambitious. Outside the private sphere, women’s success and their achievements become tainted. These uppity women, whether in popular culture or politics, are punished for their temerity and face ruination. Why? Let’s explore this enduring representation and talk about what is really going on.

Facilitator: Reema Faris
Wednesday October 4 and 11, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Mount Pleasant Library, 1 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC
Registration: (604) 257-3080 or Register Online

Culture, Identity and Food – An Exploration

In cultural terms, food represents a lot more than nourishment. It can function as a touchstone of identity, a marker of class and status, a magic potion that heals or harms, and a divider or unifier of socio-cultural groups. In this seminar we will explore how groups and individuals use food habits, in particular restrictions and prohibitions, to create and bolster socio-cultural identities, and how food fads arise and evolve.

Facilitator: Carol Tulpar
Thursday September 28 and October 5, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Bob Prittie Metrotown Library, 6100 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby
Registration: (604) 436-5430
http://www.bpl.bc.ca/locations-hours/bob-prittie-metrotown

Work and Care: Duty or Joy?

Work and Care figure prominently as indicators of a life well lived. However, many of us feel exhausted by the demands of work and burdened by the needs of others.  In this seminar, we will examine the economic and ethical foundations that have contributed to our current state of fatigue and disaffection, and explore theories that may offer alternatives leading to greater fulfillment and well-being.

Facilitators: Duane Fontaine and Kerstin Stuerzbecher
Thursday October 12 and 19, 7:00 to 9:00pm
Century House,  620 Eighth St, New Westminster, BC
Registration: (604) 519-1066
http://www.centuryhouseassociation.com/

The End is Nigh? Apocalypse in Literature and Society

The world is going to hell in a handbasket! Or is it? Concerns about the decline of civilization have fostered a rich literary tradition of dystopian novels, plays and short stories. The literature of Huxley, TS Eliot, Achebe and Atwood express concerns about emerging ideologies and social movements in the past century. To what extent are these concerns relevant today? This seminar will explore the dialogue that exists between literature, society and politics as we face twenty first century anxieties like populism and climate change.

Facilitator: Veronica McGhee
Tuesday October 17 and 24, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Mount Pleasant Library, 1 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC
Registration: (604) 257-3080 or Register Online

Finding Home in an Evolving City

In an accelerated state of urban development, when houses and buildings are being demolished, how do we hold onto our memories in order to create a sense of home and place in the city? In this seminar we will explore ideas of home, drawn from many disciplines, and how and why it often conflicts with urban development policies.

Facilitator: Jennifer Chutter
Wednesday October 18 and 25, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Tommy Douglas Library, 7311 Kingsway, Burnaby
Registration (604) 522-3971
http://www.bpl.bc.ca/locations-hours/tommy-douglas

November 2017

Western Ideas: Japanese Story-Telling

Pop culture in Japan has transformed traditional Japanese story-telling by combining western ideas to create new stories for young people. Japanese comics (manga) and animation (anime) intended for audiences from toddlers to young adults, share a background of western ideas and philosophies with Japanese Shintoism and Buddhism to generate popular Western games such as Pokémon and Super Mario. Using manga and anime as a springboard, this seminar will facilitate a conversation to explore the fluidity of culture and ideas from different world views. We will also discuss what it is that makes some cultures more readily able to adapt to ideas from another culture while others strongly oppose such change.

Facilitator: David Leung
Thursday November 2 and November 9, 7:00 to 8:45pm
Bob Prittie Metrotown Library, 6100 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby
Registration: (604) 436-5430
http://www.bpl.bc.ca/locations-hours/bob-prittie-metrotown

The Threat of the Uppity Woman

There is a trope of women who use charm — if not sexual allure — to gain wealth and social position. Media, society, and authoritative voices portray women as stylish and scheming, manipulative and ambitious. Outside the private sphere, women’s success and their achievements become tainted. These uppity women, whether in popular culture or politics, are punished for their temerity and face ruination. Why? Let’s explore this enduring representation and talk about what is really going on.

Facilitator: Reema Faris
Monday November 13 and 20, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Kerrisdale Community Center, 5851 West Blvd., Vancouver
Registration: 604-257-8100 or Register Online

Culture, Identity and Food – An Exploration

In cultural terms, food represents a lot more than nourishment. It can function as a touchstone of identity, a marker of class and status, a magic potion that heals or harms, and a divider or unifier of socio-cultural groups. In this seminar we will explore how groups and individuals use food habits, in particular restrictions and prohibitions, to create and bolster socio-cultural identities, and how food fads arise and evolve.

Facilitator: Carol Tulpar
Wednesday November 15 and 22, 7:00 to 9:00pm
Century House,  620 Eighth St, New Westminster, BC
Registration: (604) 519-1066
http://www.centuryhouseassociation.com/

Mightier Than the Sword: Female Journalists’ Impact on Gender Equality in Afghanistan

Since the fall of the Taliban, Afghan women have entered the media as reporters, directors, writers and producers. Misogyny still prevails in Afghanistan, but media have given women the means to influence public affairs by disseminating information about their social, economic and political realities. Mightier Than the Sword, named best 2017 Canadian Documentary by the Female Eye Film Festival, follows three young women who are using media to navigate a path towards gender equality in a nation deemed the most dangerous country for women in the world.

Facilitator: Roberta Staley
Wednesday November 15 and 22, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Tommy Douglas Library, 7311 Kingsway, Burnaby
Registration (604) 522-3971
http://www.bpl.bc.ca/locations-hours/tommy-douglas