Ideas for June 2017
Thursday, June 1
THE PHILOSOPHER'S WALK
Frédéric Bouchard is philosopher of science and biology at the University of Montreal, and the perfect companion for a walk through the Jean Talon Market. The result is a fascinating discussion about mushrooms, unpasteurized goat cheese and honey bees, and how they can make you think about humankind's place in the universe in a whole different way.
Friday, June 2
THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF BREXIT
Some have called it the unravelling of Europe, while others claim it may signal the end of liberalism. Brexit both surprised and confounded experts who never thought it would happen. Sound familiar? Timothy Garton Ash is an historian, political writer and newspaper columnist. He teaches at Oxford and Stanford, and delivered this talk, the Donner Canadian Foundation Lecture, in Toronto on November 21, 2016.
Monday, June 5
WHY GROW UP?
They are known as MAMILS -- middle-aged men in Lycra -- and more and more of them are found on bicycles and in parks and pools. Are weekend warriors only getting in shape or are they one more public demonstration of lengthening adolescence? In her book Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age, Paul Kennedy talks with philosopher Susan Neiman, who believes that "Having created societies that our young want to grow up into, we idealize the stages of youth."
Tuesday, June 6
THE CHALLENGE OF WORDS
In our hyperfast, overcaffeinated, 140 character, social-media-blasted, Facebook-overloaded age there are still people writing serious books. The novel -- an art form that's centuries old, and hasn't really changed a lot in all that time -- still has the capacity to hold our attention from subway commute to library chair. But we tell ourselves we're in a different era now and wonder what's to become of serious writing in the digital age? From the 2016 Stratford Festival, a discussion featuring writers Shani Mootoo, Charles Foran and Monia Mazigh.
Wednesday, June 7
FAIL BETTER: WHAT BASEBALL CAN TEACH US ABOUT FAILURE AND COMMUNITY
Writers seem to be more attracted to baseball than to any other sport, but philosopher Mark Kingwell recently published the first book-length philosophical consideration of what has long been called America's national pastime. Paul Kennedy takes him out to a ballgame, and spends time discussing everything from autobiography to metaphysics -- including how he borrowed the title for his baseball book from a play by Samuel Beckett.
Thursday, June 8
PUSHING THE FRONTIERS OF KNOWLEDGE: The 2017 Killam Prize
Once a year the Canada Council Killam Prize is bestowed on five of Canada's top academics in five different fields. Paul Kennedy interviews this year's winners and finds out what inspires them to break new ground. Passion, drive and creativity fuel Canada's intellectual heavyweights, no matter the field.
Friday, June 9
ORCHIDS: A LOVE STORY
Suggestive, romantic, sexy orchids! It turns out they're even sexier in their own world. Wily, deceptive, manipulating - oh, are those human terms? Get ready to travel between history and science, how we think about orchids and who they really are in nature among themselves. A celebration of all things orchid with contributing producer Marilyn Powell.
Monday, June 12
BEWITCHED: THE MACBETH CONUNDRUM
Shakespeare's play tells us how Lord and Lady Macbeth plotted the killing of King Duncan. The Bard seems pretty clear it was murder, and he's terribly interested in the psychology of it all - why people commit murder, and how they deal with it. Lady Macbeth goes mad and kills herself; Macbeth himself clings desperately to his own sanity. But was the killing of Duncan actually, legally, murder? We might say yeah, guilty as heck, but a lawyer might say -- not so fast, maybe they were... bewitched! The Macbeths on trial, from the Stratford Festival.
Tuesday, June 13
Shakespeare's English isn't quite like what we speak today, but we get it. Scholars argue about what the plays would have sounded like back then, and while they do, we listen to Shakespeare in British, Canadian, American accents -- sometimes even in foreign languages. So what happens when you set As You Like It in Newfoundland -- as they did at Stratford last year -- with the appropriate accents and a kitchen party? What are the challenges, and what can the play teach us that we perhaps didn't know before?
Wednesday, June 14
DISTANT FUTURE WARNINGS: THE CHALLENGES OF COMMUNICATING WITH ETERNITY
Radioactive waste and toxic mine tailings stay deadly for thousands of years – maybe forever. Generations in the distant future will need to know about these places, and to stay away. Starting from the contaminated underground storage at Giant Mine near Yellowknife, contributor Garth Mullins wonders how we can send the future warning messages that can outlast signs, governments, languages, cultures, nations – maybe even humans.
Thursday, June 15
POLICING: TO SERVE OR PROTECT
Do the police serve the public by doing what communities say they want and need? Or, do cops think they know what's best for public safety and must protect us? Inspector Shawna Coxon, from the Toronto Police Service; Todd Foglesong, Professor of Global Practice at the Munk School; Donald Worme, Q.C., I.P.C., a Cree lawyer based in Saskatoon; and moderator Ron Levi, Director of the Munk School's Global Justice Lab, debate the dynamics of policing, trust and public consent. Part 1 of a 2-part series in partnership with the Munk School of Global Affairs. Part 2 airs Thursday, June 22.
Friday, June 16
VESTIGIAL TALE, Part 1: WHAT SCIENCE TELLS US ABOUT THE HUMAN DRIVE TO TELL STORIES
Analysing stories is usually territory claimed by writers, critics, and university scholars. But recently, evolutionary psychologists have begun to look at the human propensity for storytelling from a scientific perspective. Why are we humans such suckers for a good story? Literary critics find the answer in story structure, characters, and plotlines. The literary Darwinists find the answer in evolution. Documentary-maker Chris Brookes looks at the evolutionary origins of human storytelling. Part 2 airs Friday, June 23.
Monday, June 19
BUILDING TENSION: PRESERVING THE PAST AND BUILDING THE FUTURE
Across Canada, our city cores are becoming indistinguishable jumbles of tall glass buildings - new and shiny always seems to beat heritage or repurposing. City planning often ignores scale and community. Four prominent and insightful architects discuss ways to tear down the edifices of modern planning and design.
Tuesday, June 20
Wednesday, June 21
RECONCILIATION BEFORE RECONCILIATION
Dr. Tracey Lindberg calls it (W)rec(k)-onciliation, and uses that as the title and theme of a lecture she delivered at Vancouver Island University, the second in an Indigenous Speakers Series. Dr. Lindberg is a Cree academic and writer. In her talk and an interview with Paul Kennedy she explores the importance of reconciliation with self, with community, and with Indigenous peoples in advance of reconciliation with Canada.
Thursday, June 22
POLICING: OLD COPS, NEW EXPECTATIONS
Counter-terrorism, fighting cybercrime, policing highly diverse societies: Can the police do it all? Should the police do it all? Do the police want to do it all? Cal Corley, CEO of the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance, and former Assistant Commissioner with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Inspector Shawna Coxon, Toronto Police Service; Micheal Vonn, Policy Director, B.C. Civil Liberties Association; and moderator Ron Levi, Director of the Munk School's Global Justice Lab, weigh the implications, the challenges and the trade-offs for the police, for justice and for all of us.
Friday, June 23
VESTIGIAL TALE, Part 2: WHAT SCIENCE TELLS US ABOUT THE HUMAN DRIVE TO TELL STORIES
Analysing stories is usually territory claimed by writers, critics, and university scholars. But recently, evolutionary psychologists have begun to look at the human propensity for storytelling from a scientific perspective. Why are we humans such suckers for a good story? Literary critics find the answer in story structure, characters, and plotlines. The literary Darwinists find the answer in evolution. Documentary-maker Chris Brookes looks at the evolutionary origins of human storytelling.
Monday, June 26
US AND THEM, Part 1: South Africa
From Johannesburg, a talk by journalist and activist Sisonke Msimang. She calls for a South Africa that moves beyond the old, familiar stories of race — pre- and post-Apartheid — and aims for a truer, more equitable sense of multicultural belonging for all. Part 1 of a 5-part series featuring talks presented in South Africa, Israel, India, Germany, and Canada -- all countries dealing with the reality of a diverse population. Paul Kennedy speaks with expert observers in each nation -- writers, academics, and activists -- as they deliver public talks illuminating one aspect of their country's ethnic, religious, and economic tensions. The series is produced by CBC IDEAS in partnership with The Laurier Institution.
Tuesday, June 27
US AND THEM, Part 2: Israel
From Ruppin, Israel, anthrolopogist Galia Sabar reflects on her nation's ethnic and religious pluralism, and calls for recognizing a new tribe of Israel: non-Jewish labour migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees.
Wednesday, June 28
US AND THEM, Part 3: India
From Mumbai, political scientist Neera Chandhoke gives a heartfelt talk on the life-and-death stakes of religious toleration and secular coexistence in India.
Thursday, June 29
US AND THEM, Part 4: Germany
Sociologist Aladin El-Mafalaani looks at migration to Germany, and argues that conflicts between long-established citizens and newer immigrant groups can actually be a sign of successful integration.
Friday, June 30
US AND THEM, Part 5: Canada
The final, powerful talk in our series comes from Toronto, where Indigenous education advocate Roberta Jamieson looks ahead to this weekend's celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, and calls for a deeper, more engaged, and respectful Canada in relation to Indigenous people.