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MacKay Lecture Series

The annual MacKay Lecture Series features four lectures given by internationally renowned speakers, addressing subjects related to the liberal and performing arts. Three of the lectures revolve around a common interdisciplinary theme chosen each year by the Faculty's Research Development Committee from a selection of faculty proposals. The fourth lecture is on a broadly based historical theme, in recognition of the generous donation funding the lecture series that was given by Gladys MacKay in appreciation of the education that her husband, the Reverend Malcolm Ross MacKay, received at Dalhousie as a B.A. student in History (1927).

MacKay Lecture Series - 2016-17

"Immigration Politics in Review," organized by Pauline Gardiner Barber and Ruben Zaiotti. 


Thursday, November 17th, 7:00 pm, Room 127 Goldberg Computer Science Building

Dr. Minelle Mahtani
Associate Professor of Human Geography and Program in Journalism
University of Toronto - Scarborough

Title: "Living Race in the Post-Racial Era? Mixed Race Amnesia in Canada"


Thursday, January 19th, Room TBC

Dr. Audrey MacKlin
Professor and Chair in Human Rights Law
University of Toronto

Title:  "Resettling Canada's Refugees: Cosmopolitanism, Citizenship and Privatisation".


Friday, February 10th, Room TBC

Dr. Thomas Faist
Professor of Sociology of Transnationalism, Migration and Development
Bielefeld University, Germany

Title: "The Futures of Migration in Europe and Germany: A New Normalcy?"




MacKay Lecture Series - 2015-16

"Multilingualism Matters--Beyond Babel," organized by Krista Kesselring. 


7:00pm, Thursday, September 24th
Weldon Law Building, Room 105

Patricia Lamarre, "Parkour de ville: What the linguistic trajectories of young multilingual Montrealers tell us about Quebec post-Bill 101"

Patricia Lamarre is a professor at the University of Montreal (Faculté des sciences de l’éducation) and is director of the research group « langues, identités et relations intergroupes » of the Centre d’études ethniques des universités montréalaises (CEETUM).  Her main research area is the study of the language practices of young adults in Montreal, a city with a very high level of individual bilingual and multilingualism. Her theoretical framework is situtated within critical sociolinguistics, examining the stakes and power relations underlying language politics and language practices from an historical and materialist perspective. In addition to a number of key policy papers, her publications include works in the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Langue et sociétéFrancophonies d’Amérique and Linguistic Landscapes: Multilingualism and Social Change.


7:00pm, Thursday, October 22nd
Weldon Law Building, Room 105

Sherry Simon, "The Translational Life of Cities: How Language Exchange Shapes Urban Culture"

Sherry Simon is a professor in the French Department at Concordia University.  She has published widely in the areas of literary, intercultural and translation studies, most recently exploring the cultural history of linguistically divided cities, multilingual cities in situations of post-conflict and the cities of the former Habsburg empire.  Among her publications areTranslating Montreal. Episodes in the Life of a Divided City (2006) and Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory. (2012), both of which have appeared in French translation.  She has edited or co-edited numerous volumes, including Translation Effects: The Shaping of Modern Canadian Culture (with K. Mezei and L. von Flotow), (2014). She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Académie des lettres du Québec. She was a Killam Research Fellow (2009-11) and in 2010 received the Prix André-Laurendeau  from l’Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS).


7:00pm, Tuesday, October 27th
Weldon Law Building, Room 105

Monica Heller, "Multilingualism in the Globalized New Economy"

Monica Heller is Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, and currently President of the American Anthropological Association. Her work focusses on changing ideologies of language, identity and nation with an ethnographic focus on francophone Canada. Her recent publications include Paths to Postnationalism: A Critical Ethnography of Language and Identity (2011, Oxford University Press) and Language in Late Capitalism: Pride and Profit (2012, Routledge, co-edited with Alexandre Duchêne). She is co-author (with Lindsay Bell, Michelle Daveluy, Mireille McLaughlin and Hubert Noël) of Sustaining the Nation: Mobility, Labour and Identity (Oxford University Press), due out by the end of 2015. 


7:00pm, Thursday, November 5th
Rowe Building, room 1028 (Potter Auditorium)

Marcia Chatelain, "Teaching in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter: Social Media, Social Justice, and Social Change in Classrooms and Communities"

Marcia Chatelain is associate professor of history and African-American Studies at Georgetown University.  Her first book, South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015) examines the ways in which African-American’s women’s outreach to girls constructed Black girlhood during the dynamic changes of the Great Migration period, and it argues that girlhood was a contested ideological space in which African-Americans grappled with anxieties and hopes for the period.  Her second book project, Burgers in the Age of Black Capitalism: Race, Civil Rights, and Fast Food in America explores the ways in which dining culture shaped African-American protest, entrepreneurship and activism in the 20th century.  Burgers in the Age of Black Capitalism engages visual representations of African-American consumers in advertising in the post-Civil Rights era to understand the relationship between the politicized marketplace and a long history of struggle.  In 2014, she launched the#FergusonSyllabus initiative to encourage educators to devote the first day of classes to teaching about the national crisis in Ferguson, Missouri.

MacKay Lecture Series - 2014-15

"Performance Across Boundaries," organized by Roberta Barker (Fountain School of Performing Arts).  All lectures are free and open to the public.


7:00pm, October 2, 2014
Scotiabank Auditorium, Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building:
Christopher Baugh (University of Leeds): "Devices of Wonder and the Spectacle of Power"

Christopher Baugh is Emeritus Professor of Performance and Technology at the University of Leeds. For most of his career, he has found ways to combine work in the professional theatre alongside teaching and research. He has designed in Bristol, London Manchester and in the USA. As scenographer with the Abbey Theatre, Dublin The Borstal Boy won a New York Drama Critics Tony award for  ‘best staged play’, and as scenographer with Mecklenburgh Opera (London), the Prudential Award for Opera 1991. He has written widely on the history of stage technologies. His books include Garrick and Loutherbourg (1990) and Theatre, Performance and Technology: the development of scenography in the 20th century (2005), which was nominated in 2007 by the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) for a Golden Pen Award. The enlarged 2nd edition of this book (2013) brings analysis up to date and considers recent transformations within scenographic performance and practice. Forthcoming in 2015 is an annotated translation of Jean-Pierre Moynet’s 1873 memoire, L'envers du théâtre; machines et decorations.  He has a particular interest in the use of digital technologies in contemporary theatre and performance practices. He was a founder member of the Society of British Theatre Designers, and is a vice chair of the Society for Theatre Research.


… the great design was to entertain the town with variety of music, curious dancing, splendid scenes and machines …” (Thomas Shadwell & Matthew Locke, Preface to Psyche,1675)

In Florence in May 1589, the wedding to end all weddings took place between Christine of Lorraine and Ferdinando di Medici. It was an event circumscribed by politics, economics and social power. It required the building and equipping of a theatre, the construction of complex machinery and costumes for hundreds of singers, musicians and actors. The resulting architecture, performance practices and technologies became commodified and dominated western theatre for the next three centuries. Today, digital technologies enable theatre and opera to be commodified as international cultural assets of similarly important political significance. Performances such as Phantom of the Opera or Don Giovanni have become as globalized as McDonalds or Coca Cola. This lecture argues that “devices of wonder” – the technologies of performance – have always played, and still do play, a vital and sophisticated role within the complex cultural phenomena of theatre, opera and public performance.


7:00pm, October 15, 2014
Room 127, Goldberg Computer Science Building
Philip Auslander (Georgia Institute of Technology): "Barbie in a Meat Dress: Performance and Mediatization in the 21st Century"

Philip Auslander is a Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He writes on performance, popular music, media, and visual art. His publications include: Presence and Resistance: Postmodernism and Cultural Politics in Contemporary American Performance (University of Michigan Press, 1992), From Acting to Performance: Essays in Modernism and Postmodernism (Routledge, 1997), and Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture (Routledge, 1999), for which he received the prestigious Callaway Prize for the Best Book in Theatre or Drama. Most recently published books are Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricality in Popular Music (2006), also for the University of Michigan Press, and a second, updated and expanded edition of Liveness published by Routledge in 2008. Auslander is the founding editor of The Art Section: An Online Journal of Art and Cultural Commentary (www.theartsection.com) and a working film actor.

Abstract: Although mediatization is a permanent condition of modern societies the particular forms it takes on are historically contingent. The processes of mediatization derive from the workings of the culturally dominant media forms of a particular time. Today, the televisual has clearly yielded sway to the digital in all its forms. In seeking to understand the implications of this transition for performers navigating this new cultural terrain I focus on two currently successful pop music artists, Nikki Minaj and Lady Gaga, who both create multiple personae that morph with astounding velocity. Gaga, in particular, takes this strategy so far that she seems to have no stable performance persona or brand image at all. Her constantly changing appearance and image suggests instead the urgency and frequency with which we must adjust our self-presentations to the multiple platforms on which we continuously perform them.


7:00pm, November 6, 2014, 
Room 127, Goldberg Computer Science Building:
Marlis Schweitzer (York University): "Precious Objects: The Material Culture of Nineteenth-Century Child Performers"

Marlis Schweitzer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at York University where she teaches courses on performance and commodity culture, theatre research methodologies, and nineteenth-century popular entertainment. She is the author of When Broadway Was the Runway: Theater, Fashion, and American Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) and Transatlantic Broadway: The Infrastructural Politics of Global Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming), and co-editor (with Joanne Zerdy) of Performing Objects and Theatrical Things (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Her current SSHRC-funded research asks how the movement of child performers along global theatrical circuits affirmed Anglo-American cultural values, served imperial interests, and provoked debate about colonial as well as national identity in the mid-nineteenth century. She is the Editor of Theatre Research in Canada/Recherches théâtrales au Canada.

Abstract: Snuff boxes, figurines, fans, medals, paper dolls, cups, sketches, tables, eggs, and ink pots. What do these seemingly disparate objects suggest about the production and consumption of child celebrity in the nineteenth century? What do they reveal about audience-performer relations and the immaterial labour undertaken by child performers in service to national or imperial agendas? How might theatre historians use these objects to re(dis)cover lost, overlooked, or forgotten performance repertoires? Responding to the recent “material culture” turn within theatre and performance studies and the uptake of “thing theory” by historians of the Victorian era, this talk will explore the careers of three celebrated child performers--Master William Henry West Betty, Jean Margaret Davenport, Charles S. Stratton (Tom Thumb)through the objects that bear their image and circulated alongside them as they traveled from city to city and from one side of the ocean to the other. 


7:00pm, November 20, 2014
Rowe 1009
Maria Subtelny (University of Toronto), "Rules for Rulers: Political Ethics in Medieval Islam"

Maria Subtelny (Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto) is a specialist in the history and culture of medieval Iran and Islam. She received her PhD from Harvard University and has been teaching at the University of Toronto for over 25 years. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including Timurids in Transition: Turko-Persian Politics and Acculturation in Medieval Iran, which received the Houshang Pourshariati Award; and Le monde est un jardin: Aspects de l’histoire culturelle de l’Iran médiéval, which received the Saidi-Sirjani Award.  She is currently editing and translating the Akhlaq-i muhsini, a popular work of political ethics by the 15th-century Persian author and polymath Husain Va’iz Kashifi, which was dedicated to one of the descendants of Tamerlane.

For more information about the MacKay Lecture Series, please contact the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dalhousie University, 494-1440. 


MacKay Lecture Series - 2013-14

“European and Canadian Separatisms”

Jerry White, Canada Research Chair in European Studies

The last few years have seen the increased electoral success of a number of European separatist movements that have been either dormant (such as Catalonia’s) or until now advancing very slowly (such as Scotland’s). In some ways these seem to echo the separatist movement that is most known to Canadians, that in Quebec. Catalonia’s separatists couch their arguments mostly in linguistic terms, and Scotland’s separatists are looking to undo a multi-national union with deep roots in British history. But it is worth asking what these movements really share, and how they differ. How is the Quebec sovereigntist movement facing globalisation? Do Catalonia’s problems really tell us more about federalism – within Spain and the EU alike – than they do about language? And what is the role of language in Scottish nationalism?

The 2013-2014 MacKay Lecture series will examine these questions through the works of three scholars from different disciplines across the humanities and social sciences: a historian, a political scientist, and a poet/translator.


Thursday, 13 February 2014
"Myths, Nations and Collective Imaginaries: A New Frontier for Cultural Research"

Gérard Bouchard
Scotiabank Auditorium, Marion McCain Arts & Social Sciences Building

Gérard Bouchard is Canada Research Chair in the Comparative Study of Collective Imaginations at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. In Quebec he is best known for being one half of the “Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences,” colloquially known as the Bouchard-Taylor Commission, which was at the centre of public debate in Quebec during 2008. He is also a renowned scholar, and the author of such definitive works of social history as Genèse des nations et cultures du Nouveau Monde. Essai d’histoire comparée (2000), La culture québécoise est-elle en crise? (with Alain Roy, 2007), and most recently L’interculturalisme. Un point de vue québécois (2012).


Wednesday, 5 March 2014
"The Language of Incomprehension: How Not To Be a Minority Language Writer"
Christopher Whyte
Room 127, Goldberg Computer Science Building, 6050 University Avenue

Christopher Whyte is a poet, novelist and translator. He left his academic post at the University of Glasgow in 2005 to devote himself to writing full-time, and he presently lives in Budapest. His novels Euphemia MacFarrigle and the Laughing Virgin (1995), The Gay Decameron (1998) and The Cloud Machinery (2000) are all about revising the myths of Scottish identity, a project he began with his anthology Gendering the Nation: Studies in Modern Scottish Literature (Edinburgh University Press, 1995). In Gaelic, he is the author of the 2002 poetry collection An Tràth Duilich/The Difficult Time. He has also produced widely acclaimed scholarly editions of the great Gaelic poet of the 20th century, Sorley MacLean: his Dàin do Eimhir / Poems for Eimhir appeared in 2002, and his edition of An Cuilithionn 1939 / The Cuillin 1939 appeared in 2011.


Wednesday, 12 March 2004
"Recognition and Political Accommodation, From Regionalism to Secessionism: The Catalan Case"
Ferran Requejo Coll
Room 127, Golberg Computer Science Building, 6050 University Avenue

Ferran Requejo Coll is Professor of Political Science at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. His awards include the Rudolf Wildenmann Prize (1997), the Ramon Trias Fargas Prize (2002), and the 2006 Spanish Political Science Association Prize for best book (Multinational Federalism and Value Pluralism, Routledge 2005). He has published numerous books – In English, Catalan, Spanish and French – on comparative approaches to federalism, with special attention to small nations, multinational states, and the European Union. His most recent book is Political Liberalism and Multinational Democracies (2010), the English edition of his 2009 book Liberalisme polític i democràcies plurinacionals, which is part of the “Clàssics del Federalisme” series.


Thursday, March 20, 2014
"Dis-united kingdoms? Debating Britain in Seventeenth-Century Scotland"
Roger Mason
Room 104, Weldon Law Building (6061 University Ave.)

Roger Mason (Department of History, University of St. Andrews) is a specialist in political thought and culture in early modern Scotland. He is also general editor of the New Edinburgh History of Scotland and Director of the Institute of Scottish Historical Research. He has published numerous articles and books, including key works on John Knox, George Buchanan, and the Anglo-Scots regal union of 1603. Professor Mason has emerged as one of the foremost scholars of the varieties of unionism that preceded the formation the United Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, a union now in question.

For more information contact the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dalhousie University, 494-1440.

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