Reconciliation through reason

Elizabeth White

Five days into Congress’s Big Thinking series we are met by the P-word - philosophy. It would be expected for its connotations – a dwelling in abstraction and removal from apparent worldly application – that the lecture would invite the attention of only a select few academics and powerful minds. But the academic and political reputation and innovative, socially impactful work of Daniel Weinstock, the MacDonald Professor of Law at McGill University, drew a full house of keen attendees to his reflexive and broadly relevant presentation, “So, are you still a philosopher?”

Through discussion of his theoretical and analytical approach, Weinstock introduced the audience to philosophy in action.  In ideology and application, he actively and critically engages public policy concerning ethics and human rights. His approach invigorates and solidifies studies of socio-political philosophy, rendering them dynamic, accessible,...


Impact of Harper’s reshaping of Canadian history and identity discussed in micro-lecture session

Vanessa Hawk

Political scientists and historians alike filled seats and pulled chairs from neighbouring rooms across to see the “History under Harper: Federal identity initiatives in Conservative Canada” panel discussion; such a popular event that not even the early hour could dissuade the audience from spilling into the hallway.

Twelve academics were allotted three minutes each in the micro-lecture session to discuss the how historical initiatives undertaken by the Harper government have and will impact Canadian identity and institutions.

Matt James (UVic) manned the timer during the discussion, which was hosted in partnership by the Canadian Historical Association and the Canadian Political Science Association on Wednesday, June 5.

Panelists highlighted numerous examples of federal initiatives under Harper’s government that have reshaped Canadians’ understanding of our history and therefore our identity. While the consensus seemed to...


What does a 21st century learning experience look like?

Andrina Fawcett

Personalized learning with dashboard

Brad King of Simon Fraser University discussed how he changed typical collaboration practices used to build technology in his presentation “Designing a 21st Century Learning Experience”. King, developer of the customized digital dashboard used by the West Vancouver school district, allows students to create their own digital space which includes a school centered social network, assignment notifications, built in calendar with assignment alerts, and customizable skins. “This allows students the opportunity to have a digital record of their school career”, King stated, but perhaps more...