Moving beyond boundaries at Congress 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, along with our sponsors, are proud to host eight top-flight speakers and thinkers as part of Congress 2014’s Big Thinking lecture series.

Our Big Thinking speakers will present forward-thinking research, ideas, and solutions from across borders and beyond “boundaries”. To top it off, all their exciting and enlightening lectures are free of charge and open to the public!

This year’s confirmed lineup includes:

Saturday, May 24, 2014 : Lyse Doucet is BBC’s Chief International Correspondent, who also presents for BBC World TV and World Service Radio. She played a key role in the BBC’s coverage of the Arab Spring, and her work has also focused on major natural disasters such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and the more recent Pakistan floods. Before joining the BBC’s team of presenters in 1999, Lyse spent 15 years as a BBC foreign correspondent with postings in Jerusalem, Amman, Tehran, Islamabad, Kabul and Abidjan.

Sunday, May 25, 2014 : Cindy Blackstock is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta. A member of the Gitxsan Nation, Dr. Blackstock has worked in the field of child and family services for over 20 years. An author of over 50 publications, Dr. Blackstock’s key interests include exploring, and addressing, the causes of disadvantage for Aboriginal children and families by promoting equitable and culturally based interventions.   

This lecture is organized in partnership with Research Matters.

Monday, May 26, 2014 : Tim Cook is the First World War historian at the Canadian War Museum, an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University, a frequent commentator in the media, and a former director for Canada’s History Society.  He has published six books, including the two-volume history of Canadians fighting in the Great War. In 2012, he was awarded a Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal for his contributions to Canadian history and, in 2013 he was awarded the Pierre Berton medal.

Monday, May 26, 2014 : Lise Bissonnette is a writer, journalist, editor, analyst and administrator, who has devoted her time to personal research projects since 2009 after having headed major Quebec institutions such as the daily newspaper Le Devoir  and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. She has been awarded nine honorary doctorates by universities in Quebec, Canada and the United States. She is also a member of the Académie des Lettres du Québec, and in 2010 received the Prix du Québec for her contribution to culture.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 : David Plotz is the Editor in Chief of Slate and one of the hosts of the Slate Political Gabfest. Before taking over the magazine in 2008, Plotz was Slate’s deputy editor, Washington editor, and political correspondent. He is the author of The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank (2005) and most recently, Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned when I Read Every Single Word of the Bible (2009).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 : Catherine Dauvergne is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, and the recipient of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship (2012) for her work in the area of immigration and refugee law in Canada and around the world. Her research is grounded in a belief that how we define and police the boundaries of our societies determines the terrain of our political engagements and says much about our national identity.

This lecture is organized in partnership with the Trudeau Foundation.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 : Benjamin Barber is an American political theorist and author of the 1996 bestseller Jihad vs. McWorld. He is the current president and founder of the Interdependence Movement and the NGO "CivWorld", as well as Senior Research Scholar at The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society of The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Walt Whitman Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Rutgers University.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 : Lawrence Hill is the author of nine books, including The Book of Negroes, winner of various awards including The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and Canada Reads. He travelled across Canada in the fall of 2013 to deliver the 2013 Massey Lectures, based on his new non-fiction book Blood: The Stuff of Life. He is finishing a new novel and has co-written the adaptation for a television miniseries of The Book of Negroes, which is slated to air in 2015 on CBC in Canada and on BET in the USA.

This lecture is organized in partnership with the Royal Society of Canada.


Big Thinking supporting sponsors:

Association of Universities and Colleges of CanadaCanada Foundation for Innovation

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2014Big Thinking