An international community of academics, activists and artists will come together at Trent University May 21 – 23 to take part in “Contesting Canada’s Future,” a conference which will examine Canada in the new century and features addresses by well-known water rights activist Maude Barlow, recognized Canadian writer Miriam Toews and Idle No More activist Erica Lee, among others.
The conference covers themes ranging from environmental policy to artistic practice and will feature a roster of stimulating keynote speakers. It will also host a meeting of the International Council for Canadian Studies, with academics from across the globe coming to Trent. Special panels will explore art and politics, the future of work, and Canada in the global context.
“This interdisciplinary conference will bring local, regional and international communities together in an unprecedented and exciting discussion about Canada,” said conference co-chair Dr. Bill Waiser ‘71, Trent alumnus and distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan. “With such a strong history in Canadian Studies it’s only fitting that Trent University is hosting this Conference as one of the last events in their 50th anniversary celebrations.”
The “Contesting Canada’s Future” conference, centered at Trent University and extending into venues across Peterborough, will feature several dynamic and engaging panels including:
- “Knowing Canada: Past, Present, and Future” which will include presentations by Bronwyn Drainie, editor of the Literary Review of Canada and CBC producer Mark Starowicz. – Thursday, May 21, 1 p.m. at Lady Eaton College (LH 201)
- “The Future of Art and Politics,” a roundtable involving acclaimed film maker Peter Raymont, a recipient of a Trent honorary degree this spring, and photo artists and activists Carole Conde and Karl Beveridge. – Friday, May 22, 4 p.m.at Lady Eaton College (LH 201)
- A reading by Miriam Towes - Thursday, May 21 7:30 p.m. at Market Hall (140 Charlotte St, Peterborough)
- A conversation with Maude Barlow – Friday, May 22, 9 a.m. at Lady Eaton College (LH 201)
- A plenary roundtable on “Canada, Canadians and International Affairs” which will involve Amnesty International’s Alex Neve. – Saturday, May 23, 9 a.m. at Lady Eaton College (LH 201)
- A conversation with Erica Lee Idle No More activist – Saturday, May 23, 1 p.m. at The Great Hall, Champlain College
- A roundtable discussion on “The Future of Work” involving Jim Stanford of Unifor, Canada’s largest sector union – Saturday, May 23, 2:30 p.m. at Lady Eaton College (LH 201)
Speaking of the event, Dr. Joan Sangster, professor of History and Women’s Studies at Trent and co-organizer of the conference, said: “We thought it was a great idea to showcase the study of Canada, not only because it has been a research strength at Trent, but also to provide scholars, activists and artists with an opportunity to debate and discuss current issues of concern — integrating themes relating to Canada’s past, present, and future.”
Since Trent University’s founding half a century ago, the institution has been at the forefront of the study of Canada across all disciplines and research areas. “Contesting Canada’s Future” will showcase the interdisciplinary study and academic strength that have come to shape and define Trent’s identity, as well as the important work and legacy of Trent’s founding president, Professor T.H.B. Symons.
Registration for the conference is now open. To view the final program of the conference or to register, visit www.trentu.ca/canadaconference2015