Re-Imagining the Humanities

November 17, 2011

All are invited to join faculty, staff and students from the four partner institutions in the Laurentian University Federation to contemplate and celebrate the Humanities as a cornerstone of university education. Each institution will be sponsoring one session, with the schedule as follows:

Session 1 – “Imagine: the Work of the Humanities and the University Experience”
University of Sudbury, Thursday, December 8, 2011, 12:00-1:30 p.m. (light lunch provided)

In response to a perceived “crisis” in the Humanities – as evidenced by the decreasing number of students prepared to invest their time, money, and energy in its programs – the University of Sudbury is hosting a panel discussion of the role that a Humanities education plays both within the University and within culture and society at large. In this first event of a Re-imagining the Humanities Series, the panel will discuss how the Humanities do need to be “re-imagined,” that is, imagined again as occupying their central and specific role of cultivating and exploring the rich resources and power of the imagination in the pursuit of knowledge and truth. The panelists, as teachers, scholars and administrators of the Humanities, through interrogating the place they occupy in today’s university, will give different perspectives on the space of imagination that is the Humanities.

The session will be held in the new lounge in Room 170 of the Laurent-Larouche building (the University of Sudbury’s class room and administrative building). A light lunch will be served.

Session 2 – “Imagine: Research Methods in the Humanities”
Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne, Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 4:00-6:00 p.m. in C-206.

What distinguishes research in the Humanities disciplines from research in other disciplines? How have research methods in the Humanities changed in recent years? What impact have these changes had on our production of knowledge? What constitutes data in the Humanities? To what extent can e-resources be a substitute for print materials? Are interdisciplinary methods replacing disciplinary methods? What place do research methods hold in the curriculum? Participants in the panel discussion will reflect on the recent evolution of research in the Humanities.

Session 3 – “The Heart of Humanities: A Valentine’s Day Symposium (gr. ‘drink-together’)”
Thorneloe University, Tuesday, February 14, 2011, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

You are invited for a dramatic reading and contemplations about meanings of love from the perspective of four humanities disciplines; followed by wine, cheese and discussion.

Session 4 – “Teaching the Humanities: Reel Life, Education Unscripted”
The Lougheed Teaching and Learning Centre of Excellence, Huntington University, Thursday, May 3, 2012

What do the cultural legacies and traditions of the Humanities teach us about this interdisciplinary field? Do information communication technologies (ICTs) change the ways in which we teach and learn across the Humanities? How have 21st century currents transformed the study and application of contemporary Humanities education?

This one-day symposium will raise important questions about the pedagogical realities of this expansive academic terrain by mapping the changes and challenges of Humanities education in the face of innovations and interruptions. Hosted by The Lougheed Teaching and Learning Centre of Excellence at Huntington University, Teaching the Humanities: Reel Life, Education Unscripted will bring interesting perspectives into dialogue and will feature thoughts from students to scholars and from supporters to sceptics.

Following the day program, slam poet, Taylor Mali will lead a public evening presentation as he delivers a 75-minute keynote address. Taylor Mali is a dynamic vocal advocate of teachers and the nobility of teaching. He is the author of two books of poetry, The Last Time As We Are (Write Bloody Books 2009) and What Learning Leaves (Hanover 2002). He received a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in 2001 to develop Teacher! Teacher!, a one-person show about poetry, teaching, and math which won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 Comedy Arts Festival. To learn more about Mali, visit

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