Arts Speaker Series 2018/2019


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!

All talks take place in the Surrey Cedar Boardroom, Room 2110, on KPU Surrey.

Thursday, September 13, 2018
11:30am - 12:30pm

Entry to Elementary: How Transition to Kindergarten Shapes Lifelong Success
Dr. Nancy Norman, Education Assistant Program and Teaching Fellow - K-12 Transformation

Going to kindergarten is a significant milestone in the lives of both children and their parents, and has strong implications for social-emotional wellbeing and academic success. However, it is often a time of increased stress and uncertainty, as daily schedules change, new teachers and peers are introduced, and environments and expectations are shifted. This presentation will highlight the importance of a smooth transition to school from an ecological systems perspective, and will emphasize key facilitators and barriers for typically developing children and for children with complex learning needs.  

Thursday, October 11, 2018
11:30am - 12:30pm

From Here and Beyond: Stories of Art, Scholarship, and Language Reclamation
Dr. Jennifer Hardwick, English

In the spring of 2017 a team of Indigenous and settler artists, scholars, Elders, activists, and community members assembled in Katarokwi/Kingston, Ontario, to create a series of public sound installations in Anishinaabemowin and Kanienke:ha, the traditional languages of the territory. The installations, which included stories, songs, prayers, conversations, and introductions, were designed to draw attention to the often-invisible presence of Indigenous peoples in the city, and to support grassroots language revitalization. This presentation will provide an overview of From Here and Beyond: Stories of Katarokwi/Kingston’s structure and outcomes, and offer some lessons I learned about collaboration, the importance of public scholarship, and the role that universities can play in supporting Indigenous language and cultural revitalization. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
12:00 - 1:00pm

The Kissing Challenge
Sylvia Grace Borda, Inaugural Artist in Residence

Artist Sylvia Grace Borda discusses a recent project that explores the theme of the kiss in art as an embracing and symbolic gesture of affection, and acceptance. In the development of the Kissing Project, Sylvia invited residents in Nelson, BC to kiss or embrace for the camera in an iconic location in the city.  The results formed the basis of a series of panoramic artworks in Google Street View that offer a new civic ontology about mapping social and urban identities. The project also led to unexpected outcomes - an unofficial archive of the diverse residents of Nelson, social regeneration and a renewed pride in ‘hailing from the Kootenays.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
11:30am - 12:30pm

Representations of the “Red-Skin” Other in Iranian School Textbooks
Dr. Amir Mirfakhraie, Sociology

In this presentation I examine and explore the answers to the following questions: How do Iranians curricula writers represent Indigenous peoples? Do they account for the historical memories of Aboriginal peoples? Are these images racist representations?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
12:00 - 1:00pm

“What Stays in Vegas…” Excess, Influence, and the New Business of Art
Dr. Dorothy Barenscott, Fine Arts 

Steve Wynn, American businessman, casino magnate, and luxury hotel owner, is also one of the world’s most prolific art collectors.  With a private collection of art valued at over half a billion dollars, and a constantly changing stable of iconic works, Wynn has become as famous for his art collection as he has for placing many of his most prized works of art on full public display in his properties. Through her examination of episodes related to Steve Wynn’s art collecting, selling, and exhibition practices “Vegas Style,” art historian Dorothy Barenscott will discuss recent research that seeks to unpack these and other powerful configurations, conflations, and meaning-making mechanisms that can be taken from the spaces of Wynn’s “over-the-top” casino-hotels as they collide with the practices of high art exhibition. At the core of her analysis will be questions of how, and to what ends, Wynn is using art to create an influential business model, and what Wynn’s success reveals about the role of excess, populism, entrepreneurship, and artist celebrity in today’s fraught art world.

Friday, February 1, 2019
11:30am - 12:30pm

Is Being Vegan a Moral Requirement?
Michaela Lucas, Philosophy 

More people are giving up meat, eggs and dairy products every year and becoming vegan. This talk will explore whether or not we all have a moral obligation to be vegan in a society that offers most of us a wide variety of choices about what to eat.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
12:30 - 1:30pm

Deities, Maidens, and Seductresses in Early Modern Spanish Musical Theatre
Dr. M. Virginia Acuña, Music  

Early modern Spanish rules of conduct and behaviour stated that women should neither participate in public activities nor speak in front of men. Yet, rather surprisingly, women monopolized the theatrical stage, performing all sung male and female roles in early Spanish operatic genres. This talk presents research findings from my current postdoctoral work funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and opens the door to discussions on gender roles and repression, and artistic expression.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
11:30am - 12:30pm

Learning as an Affective Jolt to Thought: A Pedagogy of Loss in Teacher Education
Dr. Adrienne Boulton, Educational Studies

How does meaningful learning occur in teacher education and what conditions make this process possible? This presentation will examine types of experiences that provoke a loss of certainty in teacher candidate’s perceptions in of what constitutes ‘good teacher practice’. These moments, produced through affective jolts to thought, create a pedagogical potential for teacher candidates to disrupt their perceptions and memories of what constitutes good practice and in doing so, provoke new and alternate potential for teacher practice.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
12:00 - 1:00pm

“I am a tandoori chicken; swallow me with a glass of alcohol”: Female Objectification in Bollywood Films
Dr. Asma Sayed, English

The depiction of female objectification and sexual violence against women in Bollywood films is indicative of broader socio-cultural issues and rape culture more generally. Taking examples from post-1970s Hindi films, this presentation will open a discussion about the role of popular culture in either upholding or disrupting patriarchal social structures. At the intersection of the fields of Film Studies, Feminist Cultural Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, this talk will be of interest to faculty, staff, and students, as well as cinema lovers generally. 

The 2017-18 archived Arts Speaker Series can be found here.