Here are some more details about the Speakeasy series of informal student-faculty conversations and debates (as I mentioned in my last newsletter) in the Faculty of Arts, beginning next week. These are co-organized by me (Michael Ullyot) and Kalista Sherbaniuk, one of the four Students’ Union Arts Representatives.

Can social media effect change in the world?

Twitter and Facebook are often credited with political and social influence, and trending topics like #BokoHaram or #ArabSpring can turn regional struggles into global movements. Or do they? Malcolm Gladwell has argued that social networks spread information, but do little to induce participation. It’s easier for us to follow and retweet causes than it is to make real changes in our lives, let alone the kind of real change in the world that Peter Singer advocates.

When + Where: Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 5pm, Faculty of Arts Lounge (SS104)

Speakers: Sarah Damburger (Communications Alumna) and Samantha Thrift (Communication & Culture)

How and why should I live a creative life?

We spend far more time consuming culture than creating it. We have a fear of failure, and that makes us too timid to explore ideas and ask the questions that lead to wisdom.

The solution? We should live a more creative life, thinking and acting in ways that make new possibilities for our lives and our world. Creativity opens our minds to the world, and shapes the world to our minds.

When + Where: Wednesday, 18 March 2015, 5pm, Faculty of Arts Lounge (SS104)

Speaker: Allan Bell (School of Creative and Performing Arts), Ian Williams (2014/15 Writer in Residence), and Patrick Finn (Drama)

Information for Presenters: The format of the Speakeasies will be informal panel discussions. We’ll convene in the Arts Lounge for food and drinks, and start the discussion about 15 minutes after the event begins. The room setup is tables and chairs in a semicircle, facing a front area where we’ll sit with you. (A data projector is available if you need it; please let the organizers know.) After introductions you each give a short opening presentation (say 5 minutes), designed to provoke discussion about key questions. We’ll then open the floor to comments, and loose the floodgates. After about an hour, we’ll downshift from discussion to mingling mode.

Here’s the poster for the series: Speakeasies_abstract_revised2


Leave a Reply