Challenging Differences: Interdisciplinarity at Large

Green College Staff


Program of Public Presentations at Green College, UBC, 2019-20

“Challenging Differences,” the title for a series of events hosted by Green College’s newest cohort of Leading Scholars (all recently appointed UBC faculty members), is the keynote of the College’s larger program for the year. The phrase bespeaks not only the College’s mandate to bridge divisions between disciplinary specializations but also respect for the creative impetus given to individual and collective understanding, imagination, empathy and action by the irreducible differences of kind that structure and constitute human worlds, cultures and societies, and the physical universe itself.

The following series will run through the coming year. As always, unless otherwise signalled, Green College events are free of charge and open to all.

Challenging Differences
Convened and presented by: 2018-20 Green College Leading Scholars with invited visiting speakers

In the fall of 2018, Green College appointed its fifth cohort of Leading Scholars from among recently appointed faculty members at UBC. Those scholars represent the following fields: Architecture and Landscape Architecture; Botany; Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies; Civil Engineering; Computer Science; Educational Technolog; Engineering; French, Hispanic and Italian Studies; iSchool; Law; Linguistics; Pharmaceutical Sciences; Public Policy and Global Affairs; Social Justice; Sociology and Zoology. Over the academic year 2018-19, these scholars shared ideas and developed connections across disciplinary and field boundaries. Their series this year provides opportunities for the wider UBC and local community to join the conversation. Series poster available soon.

Environment, Power and Justice in Southern Africa
Convenor: Graeme Wynn, Geography, UBC

Students of southern Africa already understand that environmental divisions along class, race and gender lines originate in the economy, the state, and social norms. Building on and extending established narratives of historical environmental injustice in southern Africa, the lectures in this series discuss local experiences of unhealthy environments and inadequate resources to explore environmental disparities on a wide range of topics. They also seek to uncover alternative visions of justice. Series poster can be downloaded here.

Indigenous / Science Partnerships: Exploring Histories and Environments
Convenors: Alison Wylie, Canada Research Chair, Philosophy of the Historical and Social Sciences, UBC and Eric Simons, PhD student, Anthropology, UBC. In partnership with the Indigenous / Science UBC Research Cluster.  

As university-based researchers, we must find ways to move beyond the acknowledgment of historical and ongoing injustice in the treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We aspire to equitable, respectful and transparent partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and, in the context of such partnerships, offer our research capacities in support of Indigenous-defined and led initiatives. These commitments were the catalyst for forming the Indigenous / Science Research Excellence Cluster at UBC—a collective of archaeologists, natural and materials scientists, and philosophers and social scientists who study science practice. With this seminar series our aim is to showcase emerging projects and deepen our exploration of foundational questions about how, through community-engaged work, we can best take up the Calls to Action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Series poster can be downloaded here.

La Mise en Livre: The Book as Living Form     
In this series, Green College Writer in Residence Daniel Canty and his guests reflect upon the living promise of books. Three manuscripts in the making—Blue Meridian, a collection of imaginary cities; Seven Proses on Poetry, an essay-style, serial tuning-in to a personal poetic frequency; and Civilian Birds, a fictional, pictorial journey through a parallel universe—provide the anchor for a wider discussion of the art of the book and of the written lives that it harbours. The title for the series, La mise en livre, is a take on the theatrical mise en scène. It also signals literature’s extraordinary wager: to close the gap between presence and absence, the living and the dead, human agency and the shades and wonders of the material world… Introductory series poster can be downloaded here.

Building Canadian Literary Culture: A Publisher’s History
Scott McIntyre, CM, OBC, co-founder, publisher and CEO, Douglas & McIntyre, 1972-2013
2019-20 John V. Clyne Lectures at UBC

Beginning in the early 1970s as a small, regionally focused publisher, the Vancouver-based firm of Douglas & McIntyre grew in the course of the next four decades into a significant national and international operation, producing some 2000 Canadian books. Its authors included Doris Shadbolt, Wayson Choy, Farley Mowat, David Suzuki, Emily Carr, Douglas Coupland, Bill Reid, Richard Wagamese, Wade Davis and Robert Bringhurst. The emphasis of their list was always on the history, politics and culture of British Columbia, and Indigenous cultures were a priority from the start. The company took the culture of BC and its region to the world. In the three lectures that he will give at Green College between October 2019 and January 2020, Scott McIntyre gives a personal account of how Canadian publishers and writers, with the readerships that they formed and informed, helped reshape the Canadian public sphere after 1967 and put in place mechanisms to protect the freedoms of cultural creators as Canada and the world moved into an age of digital media. Series poster can be downloaded here.

Mehfil: Music, Text and Performance of South Asia     
Convenors: Anne Murphy, Asian Studies, UBC, co-Director, Centre for India and South Asia Research (CISAR) and M. V. Ramana, Director, Liu Institute for Global Issues, Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC. In partnership with CISAR.

Series poster will be available soon.

Security, Science and Law in the New Space Era
Convenors: Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law, UBC and co-Director, The Outer Space Institute; Aaron Boley, Canada Research Chair in Planetary Astronomy, UBC and co-Director, The Outer Space Institute

This series will address a number of key issues concerning the sustainable development of space. Humanity’s use of space is changing rapidly due to the lowering costs of space launches and the increasing number of state and non-state actors with launch capabilities, including large companies. However, along with these growing uses of space comes the risk of unintended consequences. Human space activity has already resulted in the accumulation of debris in orbit, which threatens satellites. Most of this debris is due to a combination of expendable rocketry and unintentional breakups of spacecraft. Yet, an unsettling amount of debris has also been caused by the intentional destruction of satellites in a display of military capabilities. Plans for large constellations of satellites promise global internet, but that will place thousands more satellites into the sky, creating light pollution for astronomers and exacerbating the production of debris. Mining asteroids also carries risks, such as unintentionally redirecting asteroids onto Earth-impact trajectories or causing new meteoroid streams that could threaten Earth’s satellites or lunar surface operations. What can be done to address the debris problem? What are the security challenges in space? Who will regulate space mining and resolve conflicts? Is space mining even legal under international law? Series poster will be available soon.

Early Music Vancouver at Green College: Cultures of Performance
Convenor: Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director, Early Music Vancouver (EMV)

In an exciting new departure for its programming at Green College, Early Music Vancouver presents a series of talks and recitals that exemplify modalities of musical performance in cultures distinct from that of the western classical repertoire. The first event of the series is a lecture-performance of Persian hand drumming by Hamin Honari on September 25. Event posters will be available soon.

Resident Members’ Series     
The Green College Members’ Series each week features a different presenter (or presenters) from among the Resident Members of Green College. Graduate students and Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholars are encouraged to offer talks on their areas of research or study and, as appropriate, to bring in their research colleagues from outside the College too. Like all academic programming at the College, these talks are open not just to Green College members, but to the community at large both within and beyond UBC.

Senior Scholars’ Series: The Passions that Drive Academic Life     
Convenor: R. Kenneth Carty, Political Science, UBC

This series is presented by the UBC Association of Professors Emeriti, now constituted as the Emeriti College. It provides opportunities for senior academics to describe their personal experiences and academic careers. Presenters are invited to distil a lifetime of scholarly work. Some present new projects; some reflect upon their changing attitudes to university life. The series is multidisciplinary and gives expression to the speakers’ mature and personal insights. The speakers seek to engage early-career scholars as well as other senior faculty and and to welcome the greater UTown / Point Grey neighbourhood to the richness of academic life at UBC. Series poster can be downloaded here.

Green College Special Lectures and Events     
Talks and performances by visitors invited to Green College and UBC for the Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professorships Program, the John V. Clyne Lectureship, the Dal Grauer Memorial Lectureship and other endowed appointments, and by distinguished Visiting Scholars, Writers, Artists, Journalists, etc. in Residence at the College, among others.

Additional programming details are in the “What’s on…” section of the College’s home-page or you scan our full listing of events here.

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How to Attend Dinner
Non-resident guests are welcome to join Resident Members for dinner at the College ($16 students, $20 others). Dinner is served in the Great Hall of Graham House from 6:15 to 7:30pm, Sunday to Thursday. Dinner includes three courses with usually a meat or vegetarian option and coffee/tea/juice. Wine and beer may be purchased with dinner. Note, however, that the kitchen cannot guarantee a full array of menu-choices for those who arrive after 7:15pm. Reservations are required. For information on how to make a reservation, click here.


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