Public lectures and events

Making Values Matter: Popular Culture to the Rescue!

Sat, 21 Feb 2015 1:30 PM

We think of values such as justice, equality, empathy and solidarity as “human,” and hence as “universal.” Whether secular or religious, these values are seen as rising above ordinary, everyday concerns. Their expression and protection relies upon cherished documents, ranging from written constitutions to scripture, and established institutions, from courts to churches, yet these can never quite assure their success.

The champions and fans of these essential values are found in what might consider an unlikely place: popular culture. Music, books and magazines, cinema, dance, art and social media are the spaces that matter. We will explore how what we regard as our most universal values come to fruition at the most local, everyday level of our lives.

This free event is co-sponsored by the SFU Seniors Lifelong Learning Society.

Date(s): Sat, Feb 21, 2015, 1:30–3 p.m.

Location: Room 1900, SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre)

Admission: Free and open to all adults, but please Register

Related topic(s): Liberal Arts


  • Amyn B Sajoo

    Educated at the University of London and at McGill University, where he received his doctorate, Amyn Sajoo spent his early years in East Africa. Those environments had much to do with the making of his twin passions: social justice and the mysteries of artistic expression in multiple traditions. His recent Companion to Muslim Cultures brings together those interests.

    Sajoo’s professional career began with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and he later served with the Justice and Foreign Affairs departments. As “Canada Fellow” at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, he wrote his first book, Pluralism in Old Societies and New States (1994). Fieldwork in the region also fuelled an appetite for Asian art. There followed a series of projects on the interface of civil society and human rights—with particular regard to the role of religion in democratic life. This is reflected in his many books, including Muslim Modernities: Expressions of the Civil Imagination (2008).

    He has taught at SFU since 2003 in political science and history, as well as in the Liberal Arts and Adults 55+ Program. He is a frequent commentator in the media, including The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun and CBC Radio.



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