Arts Speaker Series 2023 – 24

Arts Speaker Series 2023 – 24.

Join us and learn about the interesting research our faculty are doing. There are a wide range of topics, so we are sure that at least one of them will pique your interest. Hope to see you there!

To register, please click here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023
12 - 1 pm 

Examining Admissions Barriers in BC: A Disability Justice,  Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Project 

Katelyn Watson, Zafreen Jaffer, Dr. Fiona Whittington-Walsh (Lead Advisor on Disability, Accessibility, and Inclusion /Sociology), Dr. Jennifer Hardwick (Faculty, English/Chair, Policy Studies), Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Studies have shown that students with disabilities are often excluded from receiving adequate education. This project uses an intersectional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) lens with a particular focus on disability justice to examine admissions policies and processes at BC transfer system institution. Our BCCAT-funded study sought to identify and explain the barriers in post-secondary admissions that students with disabilities might face; to make recommendations for how to improve equity and inclusion in admissions based on Universal Design for Learning, accessible design, and disability justice principles; and to suggest further avenues for study. 


Wednesday, October 25, 2023
1 - 2 pm 

Let's Talk Climate with KPU's Climate+ Challenge
Tracy Sherlock, Journalism and Communications, Christina Shorthouse, Public Relations and Ashley Pocrnich, Journalism alumni , Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Anxious about climate change? You're not alone. Join us to learn about the KPU Climate+ Challenge, an inclusive and solutions-oriented initiative designed to get more folks at KPU talking about - and addressing - the climate crisis. We are building a community at KPU and beyond where students, faculty, and staff can collaborate, exchange ideas, and feel empowered to effect change. Through its website, Moodle site, and regular opportunities to meet, the team is helping instructors in all disciplines to incorporate climate into their courses and developing specific resources to support this work. Every one of us can take action to stop accelerated climate change and growing social inequities. Join us to find out more about getting involved in the Climate+ Challenge community, its Student Advisory Council, Book Club, Climate Credential Working Group, and the newly-launched first-year ARTS course "Introduction to the Climate Crisis."

POSTPONED - Wednesday, November 15, 2023
1 - 2 pm 

This event has been postponed until further notice. Please check back for future updates.

Acting like yourself: How the dramatic arts can inform pedagogy aimed at fostering therapeutic presence 
Dr. Sarah Hickinbottom-Brawn, RCC Department of Educational Studies, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
This presentation will share theoretical work produced during a KPU educational leave exploring how the dramatic arts can inform understandings regarding the meaning of therapeutic presence and its cultivation in counselling and psychotherapy students. The concept of therapeutic presence will be examined against an historical overview of ideas about presence in acting from 
Diderot to Stanislavski through to contemporary thought in American and British theatre. It will be argued that this history sheds light on issues such as the nature of self, authenticity, emotion, connection and power dynamics that can extend understandings of therapeutic presence and its development. This topic will appeal to students and instructors in counselling and psychotherapy, as well as those interested in theatre studies, philosophy of self, and interdisciplinary studies.

Thursday, January 11, 2024
1 - 2 pm 

Speaking Up: A New Approach to Scholarly Speaking

Dr. Craig Stensrud, Instructor, Department of English, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Dr. Moberley Luger, Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Department of English Language and Literatures, Chair of the Co-ordinated Arts Program, University of British Columbia 

A recent survey reports that 80% of students experience anxiety about oral presentations that impacts both “learning and well-being.” We believe this anxiety is rooted in the way that students think about scholarly speaking – and in the way speaking is commonly taught in universities. In this presentation, we will introduce an open-access website that we’ve build to change student and instructor thinking about oral presentations: The Precedents Archive for Scholarly Speaking (, a site that teaches the key rhetorical “moves” for presenting scholarly research using video recordings of undergraduate student presentations. Our presentation will introduce students to a useful resource and invite instructors to reflect on how they can make their presentation assignments less intimidating and more equitable.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024
12 - 1 pm 

Gadamerian Hermeneutics and Confucian Interpretation: A Pedagogical Exploration of Teaching 
Dr. Ying Ma, Department of Educational Studies, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Against the prevalence of managerial and instrumental approaches to teaching in the neoliberal regime, I focus on a dialogic encounter between Gadamerian hermeneutics and Confucian ways of interpretation to imagine otherwise. I primarily investigate what they may contribute to classroom teaching as a pedagogy of “understanding”, rather than a method of “determining”, “assessing” or “answering. This presentation also hopes to bridge philosophy and classroom teaching in a philosophical/pedagogical exploration.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2024
1 - 2 pm 

Rocks are Time-tellers: A Bad Sociology of Fossils and BC’s Burgess Shale 
Dr. Rebecca Yoshizawa, Department of Sociology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
This talk will share findings from a sociological study of paleontology, expanding the notion of what sociology can be by focusing on rocks, more specifically fossils, in order to theorize meanings of place and time and proffer new ideas for managing life on a changing planet.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024
12 - 1 pm 

Terra (In)Cognita: An Excursion to the Anthropocene 
Dr. Robert Dearle, Department of English, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Since being proposed as a replacement for the geological term Holocene in 1999, the term Anthropocene has gained popularity within academia and beyond. It has supplied energy not only for renewed discussions of humans’ impacts on and relationship to the Earth’s biosphere, terrain, and climate, it has also prompted fundamental questions about the viability of modern industrial society. For some, the Anthropocene signals an ontological rupture akin to finding oneself in a new world that is both familiar and strange, one dominated by processes that are human-driven but also—paradoxically—beyond  human control. This presentation will explore the Anthropocene as concept, attitude, and aesthetic, with particular focus on its implications for the Humanities, literature, and the study of literature.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
12 - 1 pm 

 Less (-) Stress and Reduced (↓) Anxiety Levels to Enjoy More (+) of Life! 

Arash Farzaneh, LANC (French Instructor) Department of Language and Cultures, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Stress and anxiety are part of life, and, in fact, we cannot, nor should we avoid or evade them. In fact, we can use and channel them to not only enjoy our learning and teaching much more but to also become more open and receptive to creativity and the overall enjoyment of life! This enjoyment of life can be enhanced via deep engagement with the arts in all its rich shapes, forms, and glories to help deal with life’s multi-faceted pressures and stressors. 

Arts Speaker Series 2023/2024 Registration

All presentations will take place from 12 - 1 PM or 1-2 PM via Microsoft Teams. Please register using the form below.
A Microsoft Teams link to the event will be sent to registrants two days prior to the event date.