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Professor plays poetry for sport



Linking scholars to contemporary culture



School of Canadian Irish Studies


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October 29, 2009 | Vol. 5, No. 5 |

A different kind of lens

Publications Mail Agreement No.40042804

Communication studies uses President's Conference theme

to present an innovative view of surveillance

Comm studies professor Owen Chapman (left) holds up the Mobitouch Cube while research assistant Sam Thulin accepts a sound file on his cell phone during the demonstration for Bluetooth Beats in the Cj Atrium Oct. 26.


At the second edition of the President's Conference on Nov. 4, the focus will be Surveillance, Security and the End of Privacy the outward eyes watching us each day. The research-creators from Concordia’s Mobile Media Lab (MML) in the Department of Communication Studies have discovered a few ways to turn the eye inward.

The MML developed three unique ways to creatively demonstrate the potential of surveillance methods and wireless connectivity, on Oct. 26 and 27.

The team demonstrated two projects using the Mobitouch Cube - a 12”x12°x4” short-range Bluetooth transmitter able to wirelessly transmit files between cell phones, PDAs, com- puters, etc. - a piece of equipment comm studies professor Kim Sawchuk (one if the featured speakers at the con-

'ference’s afternoon session) acquired

during her recent sabbatical in Italy. For the Discoverable project, MML programmed the Cube to send passers- by whose wireless devices are set to dis- coverable which means the device can be recognized by other Bluetooth devices a request to upload a 1- to 23-minute, lo-fi artistic video or sound file developed by research-cre-

ation faculty relevant to the confer-

ences theme.

The project Bluetooth Beats sent vari- ous single-instrument music tracks comm studies’ professor Owen Chapman and research assistant Sam Thulin developed to numerous cell phones. Once tracks were downloaded, the participants clicked play, launching into a collaborative, improvised con- cert. (Bluetooth Beats will be displayed at the conference on Nov. 4.)

“People think of Bluetooth for utili- tarian, pedestrian uses, says Chapman. “We thought, ‘if we could serve out pre-

prepared audio files to a group of peo- ple so they could play them together, wouldn't that be cool?”

On Oct. 26, the third project, Moebius Maps, addressed the massive surveillance project of Google Earth and Google Street View. Under the direction of comm studies instructor and PhD candidate Mélanie Hogan, enlisted Concordia students docu- mented the locations of cameras, etc. throughout the city; surveying the sur- veillance, if you will. Still in develop- ment, they plan to expand the project in days to come and hope to engage high school students to widen the observatory range.

In September, when Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning Ollivier Dyens approached Sawchuk to present at the conference, they both saw the MML projects not only as a platform to showcase unconventional forms of




CONCORDIA JOURNAL | October 29, 2009

Keeping an eye out for the PCS

Nov. 4 event to focus on the delicate balance between surveillance and privacy


Cameras secretly peering at you from hidden locations. Software tracking your every click. Machines that know exactly where you are at all times. Whether you like it or not, youre being watched.

Some say it’s for safety, some . gay it’s for control. In today’s soci- ety, where is the line between protection and privacy?

This issue will be at the centre the second edition of the President's Conference Series

(PCS), Nov. 4 in the D.B. Clarke

Theatre. Under the theme of

Every Breath You _ Take: Surveillance, Security and the End of Privacy, the conference will examine the complex social, political and technological rela- tionship between individual pri- vacy and public security.

“We know were being watched, but we allow these things to happen, says Vice- Provost Teaching and Learning Ollivier Dyens, one of the confer- ences key organizers. “We want to ask, ‘does this help or hinder our society? Why do we allow such infringements on our priva- cy? Have we irreversibly accepted this state of supervision?’

“The jury is still out about whether heightened surveil- lance is to the benefit or detri- ment of society, he says. “This is why we want to have this con- versation.”

This second edition builds upon the overwhelming success of the inaugural conference,

Understanding Desire, in ‘April. Organizers have again invited leading researchers from Concordia to share their unique perspective and stimulate dis- cussion about this topic that permeates many disciplines and facets of life.

As well, organizers are invit- ing more Concordia, CEGEP and high school students than last year to participate in the discussion (by attending either in person, by webcast or by Google video chat). Organizers have received interest from numerous Montreal high schools, as well as schools from northern Quebec and upstate New York.

Attracting this audience is notably pertinent, says Dyens, since it’s a population that's the most accepting of the current state of heightened surveillance thanks in part to their affinity for choosing to display their pri- vate lives online via prevalent social media websites such as

One-day colloquium to address politics of difference

On Nov. 6, Concordia will host the one-day colloquium Heritage, Authenticity, and the Politics of Religious Difference in H-767.

The seminar will welcome 12 experts to discuss the politics of cultural heritage, authentici- ty and religious difference in the context of multi-cultural and religiously plural societies, such as Canada (especially Quebec), the Netherlands, Ghana, Poland and Brazil.

“To my knowledge, there has not been enough analysis of events going on in Quebec in comparison with other con- texts, says Department of Communication Studies Professor Jeremy Stolow, the colloquium’s convenor. “This will be a great opportunity for Concordia researchers, stu- dents and other interested par- ties to meet and discuss issues of.common concern, in dia-

logue with both well-established and emerging international scholars.’

Stolow, who conceived and organized the event, will be among six other Concordians presenting. Others include sociology and anthropology professor David Howes, history professor Erica Lehrer, and

communication studies Professors Joseph Rosen, Yasmin Jiwani and Monika Kin Gagnon.

While tackling such a topic has the potential to provoke passionate and deep-rooted reactions from _ individuals from any number of back- grounds, Stolow remains com- mitted to creating a productive arena for new ideas.

“We are all experienced teachers and public speakers, and I am sure we will handle any possible heated moments with an appropriate amount of respect and decorum, he says. “I hope our discussion will pro- voke new ways of thinking [...] and in particular to set the agenda for new questions.’

Currently teaching COMS

498D: Special Topics (a class focusing on media, religion, and culture), Stolow has asked his entire class to attend the colloquium and to write reports on what they learn.

The timing of the Nov. 6 event coincides with the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting, tak- ing place here in Montreal the same weekend. (See p. 4).

Funding for the event was secured from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC), and also through the competi- tion for Aid to Research Related Events from the office of the Vice-President of Research and _ Graduate Studies.

In January, Stolow was appointed to the International Advisory Board of the Center for Religion and Media at New York University, a research hub where he served as a post-doc- toral fellow in its inaugural year 2003-04.

Facebook and Flickr.

Dyens is confident the event will create dialogue that res- onates both within the internal and external Concordia com- munity, and help to generate discussion between the two.

“In this, as well as many other fields, we have some of the top researchers in the world. It’s our responsibility as a leading univer- sity to tackle difficult issues and engage the community so they can make more informed deci- sions about the ways they live.’

The conference will be divid- ed into three sessions:

« The morning session (10 to 11:30 a.m.) will welcome Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engin- eering Professor Mourad Debbabi and special guests from the RCMP, Competition Bureau and Streté du Québec to discuss cyberforensic tech- nology;

« The afternoon session (2 to 3:30 p.m.) will present chem-

istry and biochemistry Professor John Capobianco, Centre for Pattern Recog- nition and Machine Intel- ligence Director Ching Y. Suen and Communication Studies Professor Kim Sawchuk to discuss the sci- ence of surveillance;

« The evening session (7 to 8:30 p.m.) will welcome Com- munication Studies Prof- essors Yasmin Jiwani and Tim Schwab, and History Prof- essor Shannon McSheffrey to discuss the question of bal- ancing privacy and security through sociological and his- torical lenses.

Visit conferences to learn more about the event and speakers. The site also hosts valuable information about surveillance and security, including an extensive bibliog- raphy and helpful tips on pro- tecting your identity in the vir- tual world.

A different kind of lens


innovative research, but also a unique method to demonstrate the invisible exchange of infor- mation that surrounds us.

Chapman explains that while the Cube does have capabilities to “develop statistics” about those who accept files (such as time/place or type of phone), it is not programmed to collect personal information attached to cellular service... for now, at least.

At this point, it’s pretty inno- cent, Chapman says. But for those with the smarts and the motivation, the potential to gather personal info of unsus- pecting citizens exists.

“These types of networks peo- ple sometimes take for granted are definitely being taken advan- tage of. People need to realize theyre leaving traces of them- selves everywhere. We are far more discoverable than we know.

“There's a bit of moral panic one can take on with issues like this. But I think we dont just want a_ knee-jerk reaction against it, he says. “Short of moving to a mountaintop some-

where, youre going to have a hard time avoiding constant connectivity. Just think about it and be aware. This is a good time to take advantage of what's out there.”

a | Requested by. Discoverable ©

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CONCORDIA JOURNAL | October 29, 2009

The future in the past

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Department of English Professor and Chair Jason Camiot.


While he may spend much of his time in an era long gone, English Professor and department Chair Jason Camlot always keeps one ear on the future.

His primary area of expertise is Victorian Studies, but Camlot has spent much of his time since 2002 focusing his research on the history of sound recording.

His hard work and ear-to-the- ground have yielded quite a pos- itive reputation as an accom- plished poet and researcher. His work includes the publication of five books, numerous high-pro- file speaking engagements, and an appointment as one of 30+ Local Arrangement Coordin- ators (LAC - those helping to arrange for the needs of individ- ual societies) at the Congress of the Humanities and Social

Sciences 2010, here at Concordia for the first time next May.

More ‘than 70 academic soci- eties and 9 000 delegates will be attending Congress ~ the biggest academic event in Concordias history.

Now in his second year as English Department Chair, Camlot will be serving as the LAC for the Canadian Association of Chairs in English (CACE) confer- ence, which will gather chairs of all English departments in Canada.

“CACE will be discussing issues from administrative mat- ters, such as running a depart- ment under constrained budgets, to more intellectually interesting subjects, such as the future of English studies, Camlot says.

Outside his Congress responsi-

bilities, one of his current proj- ects is the creation of an online catalogue of recordings from the SGWU Poetry Series. Taking place here between 1962 and °75, the series, curated by members of the English Department, invited prominent poets from Canada and the US. to show off their poetic chops, and was recorded for posterity.

Organizers welcomed “nearly every prominent North American poet of the time, including Robert Creele and Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg, as it turns out, had a unique fondness for presenting in Quebec thanks to the connection his good friend Jack Kerouac had to the province. While born’ in _ Lowell, Massachusetts and considered perhaps the personification of lit- erary Americana, Kerouac was the son of emigrants from Quebec. On his mother's side, he was related to René Lévesque.

“Montreal was known as the poetry capital in the 40s and 50s. In the 60s, it was still working in a lyric mode associated with Irving Layton and Leonard Cohen, when more open-form poetics were catching on elsewhere, he says. “In a sense, this archive is a way to hear Montreal poetics encountering poetics from all over the world and redefining itself?

Camlot recently received a grant from the Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies, and hired a few grad students to help transcribe and contextualize the 250 hours of audio which will soon be online as a pdf reference tool, followed by the online listen- ing archive within the next year.

“It’s interesting documenta-

tion of what poetry meant in the 60s. It really reflects the era in which it was created,’ he says.

In the era of today’s virtual world, Camlot is also sharing his research with the interdiscipli- nary research videogame devel- opment initiative Technoculture, Art and Games; or TAG (see Journal, April 2, 2009).

Using his research in sound recording and poetry recitation, “the larger question were inter- ested in asking is, ‘how can we use the underused vocal inter- face to create narrative action in video games?,, he says.

“The starting point is a game equivalent of Guitar Hero, sort of like ‘Recitation Hero, he laughs.

Camlot will also be presenting at the 11th annual Modernist Studies Association conference, to be held at the Delta Centre- Ville Nov. 5 to 8. Hes arranged a panel entitled, “Hearing (in) Modernity” that will cover the history of sound recording as it relates to the literary studies.

An accomplished poet as well (see Journal, March 22, 2007), Camlot will also be participating in a gala poetry reading (orga- nized by his English Department colleague, Omri Moses) showcas- ing local poets. Among the pre- senters will be Sina Queryas, one of six Concordians recently nom- inated for a Governor General's Literary award (see Accolades). Along with other poets from McGill and UdeM, “we'll be showing off our own poetic chops, he says.

Check out congress2010 to see Camlot dis- cuss his role on video and to learn more about Congress at Concordia.

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The provincial government just announced longtime (now retired) Concordia photography teacher Gabor Szilasi has been named as the 2009 recipient of the prix Paul-Emile-Borduas. The prestigious distinction is awarded by the Quebec government recognizing lifelong achievement in visual arts, architecture and design. Szilasi will receive the award during an official ceremony at the National Assembly Nov. 3.

Over the last 50 years, Szilasi has created one of Canadas most influential bodies of work through environmental, domestic and commercial and urban portraits of Quebec and Budapest. His work has been presented at more than 30 exhibitions, and is part of 13 distinguished collections (including the Musée dart contemporain de Montréal, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the National Gallery of Canada). Szilasi taught at Concordia from 1979 to 95.


Once again this year, Concordia alumni and faculty are notably present on shortlists for the Governor General's Literary Awards, the Quebec Writers Federation Awards and the Writers Trust Awards.

Eric Siblin [MA Hist 87] is nominated four times for his book, The Cello Suites. His name appears on the nominees list for a GG in the non-fiction category, the QWF Mavis Gallant Prize for non-fiction, the QWF McAuslan First Book Prize, and a Writers’ Trust award non-fiction prize.

Carmine Starnino [BA 94, MA Eng 01] has been nominated twice: His book This Way Out is up for both a GG in the poetry category, as well as the QWF's A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry.

Part-time Etudes francaises prof David Homel’s Wildlives (co-translated with Fred A. Reed) is up for a GG in the Fr-Eng} translation category, as well as the QWF Translation prize. (Among his numerous awards, Homel won GGs in 01 and 95, and the QWF Hugh MacLennan Award for best Quebec fiction in 2003.)

English professor Sina Queyras’ Expressway has been nominated for the GG's poetry award.

Howard Scott [BA Translation 79, MA Translation/Womens Studies 84] is also nominated in the GG’s Fr-Eng translation category for A Slight Case

of Fatigue.

Part-time English instructor Jon Paul Fiorentinos {BA Eng 01, MA Creative Writing 03] Stripmalling (see Journal, April 23, 2009) is nominated for the QWF Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction.

Both the GGs and the QWF awards will be announced Nov. 17. The Writers Trust prizes will be awarded Nov. 24.


Congratulations to the JMSB’s MBA program for improving its rating among the top business schools in Canada and the world. On Oct. 21, the Washington, D.C-based Aspen Institute - the international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open- minded dialogue - rated the JMSB second in Quebec, third in Canada and 34th worldwide for its demonstration of significant leadership in integrat- ing social, environmental and ethical issues into its curriculum. Last year, the JMSB rated the same provincially; eighth in Canada and 59th world- wide. This year, 149 business schools from 24 countries participated in the 18-month survey.

Further congrats to JMSB Dean Sanjay Sharma for being named to the India Abroad Power List 2009. At a ceremony held at the Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Queen's Park office on Oct. 19, Sharma was honoured as one of 30 outstanding members of Canada’s Indian community based on his outstanding contributions to society. From left: Ontario Minister of Government Services Harinder Thakkar, JMSB Management Professor Pramodita Sharma, JMSB Dean Sanjay Sharma, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.



CONCORDIA JOURNAL | October 29, 2009


The majority of the open portion of the Oct. 16 Senate meeting was spent dis- cussing a report submitted by the Senate Committee on Academic Planning and Priorities (SCAPP).

Provost David Graham introduced the SCAPP recommendations for Senate Committees, their memberships and mandates. This represents the third report on Senate procedures SCAPP was mandated to produce.

It was agreed to discuss the report generally and send the comments back to SCAPP for review. The composition of the standing committees remained a sticking point for many Senators. The report suggested the President, Provost and Vice-President Research and Graduate Studies be considered ex-officio voting members of allstanding committees. Some Senators expressed concern this could weight certain committees heavily towards administrative repre- sentation. Among the related concerns raised were that student representa- tion was not similarly increased and that there were no reserved spaces for part-time faculty representation. SCAPP will review the concerns raised and address them in a subsequent version of their report.

| $500,000


Earlier in the meeting, Senators asked that two items on the consent agenda concerning curriculum changes be brought into the main meeting.

Banking on student SUCCESS: On Oct. 20, the TD Bank Financial Group announced a $500 000 gift that will fund five annual TD Financia! Group Fellowships in Business Education for PhD students worth $15 000, and five annual TD Bank Financial Group Scholarships in Business Education for master’s-level stu- dents worth $5 000. :

In recognition of the gift, the university will name a third-floor, [20-seat classroom and public lecture hall in the new MB Building the TD Bank Amphitheatre.

Present at the announcement were (from left) JMSB Dean Sanjay Sharma, TD Canada Trust’s Senior VP, Quebec Region, Christine Marchildon, President Judith Woodsworth, Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni Relations, Kathy Assayag and Chair of Concordia’s Board of Governors, Peter Kruyt.

William Lynch of Engineering asked for clarifications regarding discrepancies in documents pertaining to ESL requirements for certain students. Existing ESL courses 207, 208 and,209, which focus on reading and writing, are being replaced by more comprehensive courses. The documents were approved, subject to an amendment to indicate that courses ESL 208 and 209 will be deleted only in the 2012-13 calendar year.

The JMSB curriculum changes provoked questions on whether a standard number of credits is required to designate major or minor program status, since the proposed amendments referred to 12-credit programs. Acting JMSB Dean George Kanaan explained these changes referred to programs that offer 12 credits on top of a standard 42-credit set of basic courses.

100 years of religious study

“The AAR programming com- mittee was really impressed by

President Judith Woodsworth reviewed the Homecoming events, some of which, like Family Fair Day, were very successful despite uncooperative weath-

| | | | b d Ontari h

er. She also acknowledged the recent opening of the JMSB building and the Quebec and Ontario researchers.

KAREN HERLAND A major component of the series

announcement of funding for three new campus constructions through the ; ; ; Knowledge Infrastructure Program. Finally, she encouraged participation at The American Academy of willbe a presentation by Charles our suggestions. Usually the the Nov. 4 edition of the President's Conference Series and the Nov. 13 convo- Religion is celebrating its centen- Taylor and Gerard Bouchard. venue committee just suggests

local restaurants.’

Several Concordia grad stu- dents and professors will be pre- senting during the conference, both within the context of the

“Its going to be amazing to hear what they have to say, said Lamoureux-Scholes. “This is the

nial at its annual meeting in Montreal next week and PhD stu- The search for a new Dean of Graduate Studies is underway and a long list of dent and lecturer Laurie potential candidates is anticipated for late November. Tamoureux Scholes has worked

cation ceremony.


The next meeting of Senate is on Nov. 6.


For updates and breaking news



The photograph of the signing for the CUPFA Collective Agreement on p. 2 of the Oct. 15 issue was taken by Creative Media Services and mis- takenly credited to Marion Elissalde.

Dominic Ng is the Engineer in Residence for the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, but not the AlAA‘s faculty supervisor.


hard to make the most of what she sees as an entirely appropri- ate location for the milestone.

With several related depart- ments in four institutions, “were the second-largest centre for reli- gious studies in North America, after Chicago, said Lamoureux- Scholes.

She began organizing in 2007 with the support of religion pro- fessor Donald Boisvert and department chair Lynda Clarke to coordinate an extremely active Montreal venue committee to showcase the work done here. The committee brought together 30 researchers from across six institutions.

“We created interesting ties between different departments, said Lamoureux-Scholes, adding the committee met at least once at each institution. The experi- ence has led to great opportuni- ties for networking amongst scholars, and a strong local pres-

ence at the Nov. 7 to 10 confer-

ence with over 5 500 anticipated delegates. |

A key element of the confer- ence this year will be a special series on Religion in Quebec, with 17 special panels featuring

laurie Tamoureux:Scholes

first time they are going to be speaking as scholars, and they have had 16 months to reflect on the process.’

The series was just one of the proposals made by the local venue committee. They also have produced a pamphlet outlining the specific religion programs available in Montreal. The infor- mation will be included in each delegate's package.

The venue committee will host a few films, local tours of religious sites, and has helped coordinate performances by the Sweetgrass Singers and a Southeast Asian dance troupe.

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Religion in Quebec series and in the larger conference.

For more about the American Academy of Religion, go to, and for more about local programming, go to reli-


The Concordia Journal is published 18 times during the academic year on a biweekly basis by the Internal and Web Communications Department of Concordia University.

Tel: 514-848-2424 ext. 4183 Fax: 514-848-3383 E-mail:

ISSN 1185-3689 Publications Mail Agreement No.: 40042804

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Concordia Journal, GM-606,

1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Montreal QC, H3G |M8.

Editor: Karen Herland Senior Writer: Russ Cooper Junior Writer: Anna Sarkissian

Concept | Layout: Caroline Grainger


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | October 29, 2009


Robert Walsh

President, Forensic Technology Robert Walsh, President and founder of Forensic Technology, is an innovative engineer, inven- tor and entrepreneur whose pio- neering work has helped make the world a safer place. His Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) rev- olutionized the way that firearm crimes are investigated and solved by tracing digital finger- prints on bullets or cartridges. After graduating from Loyola College in 1963, Walsh went on

Honorary Degrees

Concordia will award four honorary doctorates at this year’s Fall convocation

to study mechanical engineer- ing at McGill. Among many awards, he was honoured by Ernst & Young in 2002 with the Québec Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

AA Bronson

Artist, co-founder of General Idea

AA Bronson is an award-win- ning artist, writer, curator and healer whose work has been widely exhibited. With Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, he founded the artist's group General Idea. They became known internationally for their

work in punk, queer theory, and AIDS activism.

In 1994, his partners passed away of AIDS-related causes and his work became more focused on the concept of healing.

Bronson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of Toronto, the Governor General’s Visual Art and Media Award, and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.


cs Elizabeth Comper Philanthropist and teacher Elizabeth Comper started her career as an elementary school

teacher and never lost touch with her desire to change lives. She is a director of the Ontario Arts Council Foundation and the Royal Conservatory of Music, among others. She and her husband Tony helped found Canada’s largest theatre arts award, the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize.

Comper is a recipient of numerous awards, most recent- ly the Scopus Award from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

She earned a BA at Concordia and a masters in library science from McGill.

Tony Comper . Immediate Past President and

Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group

Over the course of 40 years at BMO, Tony Comper achieved remarkable success and played a central role in developing BMO's innovative computer sys- tem. He was appointed presi- dent in 1990 and CEO in 1999.

Comper also dedicates countless hours to organiza- tions and councils. He and his wife Elizabeth founded FAST (Fighting Antisemitism Together) and he is involved in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, among many oth- ers.

Comper was honoured with the Human Relations Award from the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews and the Scopus Award from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

For information for faculty and staff about the convocation ceremonies, see news.concordia. ca. Or, if you are a Fall 2009 grad- uate, please visit the student convocation website, registrar.

Cutting-edge professors share their expertise

Centennial speaker series at Marianopolis features Concordia talent

Some of our best and brightest academics will be presenting their research at Marianopolis College through a_ special arrangement for the CEGEP's centennial.

On Oct. 28, Roméo Dallaire, Senior Fellow at Concordias Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, repre- sented the university as part of Marianopolis’ Centennial Speaker Series. The world-renowned Senator and Lieutenant-General (ret) spoke about youth activism and Canadas role in the world.

“Mr. Dallaire is a strong nation- al figure with a very powerful message, says Sami Antaki, Executive Director of University Communications Services.

“His words are even more rele- vant with the recent Will to Intervene report, he continued, referring to the document

released in late September which urged the governments of Canada and the United States to take direct action to prevent future genocides (see Journal, Sept. 17, 2009).

President Judith Woodsworth will also be one of the distin- guished guests of honour at LuminoCity, the Marianopolis College Centennial Gala on Nov. 5.

Damon Matthews, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography Planning and Environment, was the first of four Concordia professors to speak during the colleges activity peri- ods on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Matthews touched on the sci- ence and solutions behind cli- mate change. He spoke about dis- appearing Arctic sea ice, ocean acidification, and Canada’s eco- logical footprint.

“Canada, for various rea- among the worst coun- tries in the world night now in terms of proximity to our Kyoto targets. Even the US., which did

“We've chosen professors who are doing research in fields that have truly captured our imagination.”


not ratify Kyoto, is closer to meet- ing its emissions targets than we

are; he told the audience. For a video excerpt from his presenta- tion, visit

Following suit, Andreas Athienitis and several of his stu- dents will make a presentation on Nov. 3. Athienitis is Concordia’ Research Chair, Tier 1, in Solar Energy in Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is also director of the Solar Buildings Research Network (SBRN).

Jennifer McGrath, associate professor of psychology, will delve into sleep and stress on Feb. 23. Her research explores the pro- gression of cardiovascular dis- ease risk factors along the devel- opmental spectrum and assesses community prevention efforts using public-health perspectives.

Vincent Martin from biology has experience sharing his research with CEGEP students -

he was already invited to Vanier College. On March 23, he will be lecturing at Marianopolis. He is Canada Research Chair in Microbial Genomics and Engineering and also a member of the Cellulosic Biofuels Network (CBioN), a major national project focusing on the conversion of agricultural waste into biofuels.

“In association with the Office of Research and the Provost, we've chosen professors who are doing research in fields that have truly captured our imagination, says Chris Mota, director of Media Relations.

“This is a great opportunity for our researchers to reach out to CEGEP students to show them the breadth of important work being done at Concordia and to inspire them with their ideas and energy, Antaki added.



CONCORDIA JOURNAL | October 29, 2009

Going Public outside the box

= _“


Members of the Going Public sescareh ¢ cena and Liz Sevéenko, Director of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, were given a private tour of the collection at the Ecomusée du Fier Monde in Centre-Sud. Go to for video of the tour.


A group of Concordia scholars are inviting their peers to make connections Outside the Box.

The group, calling themselves Going Public, formed this year to invite scholars to think together with non-academ- ic culture workers, invited for ‘residencies combining lec- tures and workshops. Their goal is to find ways to translate scholarship into public dialogue and engagement.

“We came together with a shared interest in doing,’ says Erica Lehrer, one of the four members of the research team who comprise Going Public. Trained as an anthropologist, Lehrer teaches in the History Department and holds the Canada Research Chair in Post-Conflict Memory, Ethnography & Museology.

On Oct. 22, Lehrer hosted Liz Sevéenko, whose work at New York’s Lower East Side Tenement Museum led to her directorship of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience ( This 10-year-old net- work includes over 200 museums around the world that harness the power of a historic site (like a former gulag in Russia or a stop for slave traders in Senegal) to inspire dia- logue and action around pressing contemporary issues, such as immigration, xenophobia, or human rights.

In her introduction to the lecture, Lehrer stressed how Sevéenko’s ability to “find innovative ways to combine social and historical research with meaningful public cul-

Algonquian conference offers opportunity


Having the Algonquian Conference at Concordia is great timing according to Manon Tremblay, the coordinator of the Centre for Native Education.

Having finally settled into new digs in the Hall Building, the centre is poised to offer more to the 160 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students at Concordia. Since 1992, the centre has offered academic support, along with computers, a documentation centre and study/meeting space.

“Our focus is on supporting academic achievement. We want to remove obstacles and help students stay the course” As of last year, they inaugurated five Concordia bursaries specifically for the students they serve.

Concordia is also gearing up to offer a program in First Peoples Studies. The proposal has been evaluated by CREPUQ.and although details remain to be ironed out, plans are moving forward through the School of Community and Public Affairs.

The annual Algonquian Conference has never been held here before. Presenters represent a range of disci-

tural work,’ had influenced her own practice.

Sevéenko joked about how the term ‘innovative is often applied in hindsight to work that is initially considered marginal. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum began at a moment when the concept of museums as defined solely by their collections was being challenged. “Our col- lection was really our stories, the stories of people who had lived in the building we occupied:

The museum used the stories of former immigrants to stimulate conversations among the diverse immigrant communities in the neighbourhood today. After learning of resources available to (and lacking for) immigrants decades ago, a group of new arrivals researched and developed a handbook of resources for new immigrants in the contem- porary context.

The museum also used the history of clothing produc- tion “sweatshops” that had occupied the apartments a century ago to develop a dialogue between garment work- ers, industry and designers about today’s labour condi- tions. Sevéenko stressed the “neutral ground” of the muse- um allowed these diverse stakeholders to take part in a wide-ranging conversation.

That connection between history and action underlies Sevéenkos international work. She spoke of coordinating and learning from the efforts of local projects around the world through the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, around shared issues like incarcera-

plines such as political science, sociology, education and history.

“Two hundred people from a variety of fields are going to be here for a scholarly conference, said Tremblay. “It’s great exposure for our students or those considering the


Algonquian remains the largest First Peoples group in Canada, stretching from Labrador to the Rocky Mountains and from the Northwest Territories south into the US.

Tremblay herself is studying linguistics, which, it turns out, is a major focus for many of the researchers who will attend the conference. The Algonquian group includes 30 distinct languages. “I get to meet a lot of the people whose books and articles I have read.

Tremblay explained that of the 11 Aboriginal lan- guages spoken in Quebec, eight are Algonquian. “The largest Algonquian language spoken in Quebec is the Cree-Naskapi-Innu complex.’

The conference begins with a reception Oct. 29 and continues through to Nov. 1. For more information, or to register, contact Tremblay at


tion - whether in gulags, residential schools, or Guantanamo.

Sevcéenko’s lecture was also the history department's annual Public History lecture. Lehrer credits the dynamism of the five-year-old public history program at Concordia with much of the impetus for the Going Public project. “We were interested in the possibility of doing publicly engaged scholarship and collaborative research.’

During Sevcenkos visit, team members and students joined her in a tour of the Ecomusée du fier monde, described by its director, René Binette, as Montréal's only museum dedicated to the city’s working class population. Sevcenko also offered a workshop to interested students and researchers the next day.

In addition to Lehrer, Going Public includes team founder Steven High, from the Department of History, Liz Miller, communication studies, and Ted Little, of the the- atre department. Given the team members diverse discipli- nary training, developing the project has itself been a dia- logue.

“Different backgrounds mean we sometimes have differ- ent language to describe what were trying to do said Lehrer. “But the very productive area of overlap includes searching for a broader definition of scholarship that can both contribute and seek knowledge collaboratively with practitioners working beyond the walls of the academy.

The next lecture in the series will be held on Nov. 19. _


Morning Star, an elder at the Centre for Native Education, participates in a weekly beading session. For video see



CONCORDIA JOURNAL | October 29, 2009

School of Canadian Irish Studies takes flight


It takes more than one person to lift an idea off the ground. As Michael Kenneally, interim principal of the newly creat- ed School of Canadian Irish Studies learned, it takes politi- cal will, institutional support and significant interest from the community. |

Those elements were aligned as the school was official- ly launched last week at a celebration featuring high-pro- file guests with Irish roots including Premier Jean Charest, former Prime Minister Paul Martin and former Premier Daniel Johnson.

Two hundred people gathered in the chapel of the Grey Nuns Mother House for the event, emceed by Canadian Irish Studies