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Two talks: Guatemala (Ron Long); Security-obsession (Ezzat Fattah)

You are invited to the next two talks in the Spring seminar series of the SFU Retirees Association.

Everyone in the SFU community is welcome, the talks are free, and no registration is required.

The talks are held in Halpern 126 at 12 Noon.

Feb 9      The Color and Culture of Guatemala: Ron Long

 The accomplishments of the ancient Maya that are so evident at Tikal are incredibly impressive. But Mayan culture continues to enliven modern day Guatemala.  Our visit begins at Tikal and continues through the lives of today’s Maya. We avoid the tourist traps to see how the Maya live. Compared to our own, almost everything is different in their culture which makes it endlessly interesting. And the color and energy that are everywhere evident make modern Guatemala a photographers dream. (Ron Long is well-known to the SFU community for his wonderful photography.)

March 16    The challenges to criminology in a security-obsessed society. Ezzat Fattah

The world has changed since the events of 9/11. Western democratic governments have become obsessed with internal security and have created legislation and practises that challenge both their traditional human rights legislation, international conventions, and even international court rulings. Such measures as indefinite  imprisonment without trial, the use of torture, “no-fly” lists, limits on free speech, rules against group strolls in the park in Toronto, and the mandatory retention of DNA of individuals with no convictions, have all arisen within modern democracies. Unfortunately, criminologists, social scientists, and academics who are expected to be society’s guardians and used to be the first to protest violations of human rights and freedoms and other undemocratic measures, have been conspicuous by their silence. Could this apathy, indifference and complacency be explained? Is there any hope for change? (Ezzat Fattah founded the SFU Criminology department and continues to discuss his research internationally.)

Marilyn Bowman, seminar coordinator, SFURA