2017-18 Perspectives

Canada Globe 2  Sept. 8:  CANADA IN THE WORLD IN 2017

 When Justin Trudeau became Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister in 2015, he boldly announced to the world “Canada is back.”  Based on the initial responses of Canadians at home and leaders abroad, his message was well received.  But what did it really mean?  This lecture explores Canadian foreign policy beginning with an overview of critical national interests and concluding by exploring a series of contemporary challenges.

Adam Chapnick, PhD, is a professor of defence studies at the Royal Military College of Canada.  He is located in Toronto where he also serves as the deputy director of education at the Canadian Forces College.  He is the author or editor of 7 books, including The Middle Power Project; Canada and the Founding of the United Nations and The Harper Era in Canadian Foreign Policy.


 canstockphoto388255Sept. 15:  WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS REVISITED

 Wrongful convictions still plague the criminal justice system.  Who is not familiar with the names Donald Marshall, Guy Paul Morin, David Milgaard and Stephen Truscott?  The object of this lecture is to look at issues leading to wrongful convictions and reflect on how they might be eliminated.

James Lockyer is the preeminent wrongful conviction lawyer in Canada.  He has successfully represented each of the men referred to above and many more.  He is the founding director of the Association of the Wrongly Convicted.  He holds honorary Doctorates of Law from five Canadian universities and a sixth from the Law Society of Upper Canada.  His many awards include the Advocates Society Award for his work in criminal justice.


  canstockphoto31894272Sept. 22:  GUTS … THE INSIDE STORY

 Factors that interfere with the delicate ecological balance of the ‘gut microbiota’ are creating an epidemic of chronic disease leading to a new paradigm in restorative medicine, Microbial Ecosystem Therapeutics. This lecture is an update on the micro-ecology of the human gut, emphasizing its importance to health and introducing some surprising recent findings.

Emma Allen-Vercoe, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph.  She is a microbial ecologist who has created the “Robogut’, an in vitro model of the gut.



This illustrated lecture will discuss the conception of a new basilica by Pope Julius II.  Bramante’s design, with its references to ancient architecture, was both a tribute to St. Peter and a monument to the ambition and power of the pope.  But, after his death, subsequent popes and architects changed that vision resulting, after 120 years of construction, in the church we see today.

Kenneth Bartlett is Professor of History and Renaissance Studies at Victoria College, U of T.  He is the author of several books including: The Experience of History (2017).  He has produced five video series, most recently The Smithsonian Guide to Essential Italy.  Recipient of multiple teaching awards including the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship, he was also a finalist in the TVO Best Lecturer Series in 2007.

2015 Perspectives

 * Course Fee for 3 lectures = $21.00  (no single lecture tickets)

Ballet-downSep 11: Ballet Laughs: the Surprising Comic Side of a Classical Art.Ballet-down

Romance, escapism, beauty, athleticism - those are ballet's acknowledged fortes - but comedy? Surprisingly, there are more hilarious moments in ballet than than you might expect.

Katherine Barber, known to legions of fans as “Canada's Word Lady”, is also a highly knowledgeable balletomane who teaches ballet appreciation courses and presents “Ballet Talks” for The National Ballet of Canada. She vivaciously communicates her love and knowledge of the art form while demystifying its sometimes intimidating aspects.

Sep 18: Fighting Fair: Legal Ethics for an Adversarial World

Along with used car dealers and telemarketers, lawyers are considered to be among the least trustworthy of all professionals. To gain more respect, lawyers may have to earn it by reframing their ethical responsibilities. In response to law’s moral dilemma, Allan C. Hutchinson takes seriously the idea that ‘litigation is war’. By drawing an extended analogy with the theory of ethical warfare, he examines the most difficult questions facing practicing lawyers today. Comparing the role of military officers to legal professionals and theories of just peace to legal settlement, Hutchinson outlines a boldly original approach to legal ethics.   Fighting Fair’s recommendation for an honor-based approach to ethics will be a thought-provoking tool for anyone concerned about the moral standing of the legal profession.

Allan C. Hutchinson, LL.B, LL.M, LL.D, FRSC, is a Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. As a legal theorist with an international reputation for his original and provocative writings, he has published and/or edited 18 books, including Evolution and The Common Law, Is Eating People Wrong?: Leading Cases and The Common Law.

Sep 25: The Idiot Box to Smart TV’s: The Struggle for Canadian Broadcasting

Despite the proliferation of communication devices, television remains the undisputed champion for accessing Canadian viewers. This lecture will examine the complex relationship between Canadians and their TV sets, paying particular attention to the cultural implications of how Canadians receive their television: from rabbit ears, to the arrival of cable, to the current explosive growth of Netflix.

Gregory Taylor, PhD, teaches at Ryerson University. He is the author of the book, Shut Off: the Canadian Digital Television Transition (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013) which was shortlisted for the 2014 Donner Prize for outstanding book on Canadian policy.  His book is the basis for today’s lecture.