Alumni

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Baba Brinkman, MA student and rapper

Baba Brinkman
Baba Brinkman graduated from the University of Victoria's English MA program

Baba Brinkman

The world is full of religions, thousands of them. New religions are formed every day, while others are forgotten. Religion inspires feelings of universal love, and also inspires people to wage war and murder cartoonists. Some think religion is true, others think it's merely comforting, while more and more atheists are dismissing religion as a dangerous delusion. How are we to make sense of it all?

Award winning rapper and playwright Baba Brinkman reveals the hidden logic in his exciting new show "Rap Guide to Religion." The bottom line: religion evolves. As an atheist himself, Baba sees no truth in the supernatural claims of religion, so instead he looks for the evolutionary benefits of belief. Religion and evolution are supposed to be mortal enemies, right? But they become surprisingly compatible once you understand religion as a natural product of evolution. Just like rap concerts, religions are designed to "move the crowd" by any means necessary and with the help of some famous rappers, Baba Brinkman is determined to find out why.

Fresh from a five-star-rated run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, "Rap Guide to Religion" traces the roots of faith from tribal animism to radical Islam to Justin Bieber thanking god at the MTV Teen Choice Awards. Hailed as a "celebration of science and reason" (Theater Pizzazz), the result is one part rap concert, one part comedy, and one part TED talk, adding up to a whole new species of off-Broadway theater.

From Canucks to Polar Bears: The Life andTimes of Humanities' Alumnus of the Year, Lucas Ackroyd

akroyd award
Lucas Ackroyd graduated from the University of Victoria's English Undergraduate program

Lucas Ackroyd

Tracking polar bears in the Arctic Circle, peering into magma-filled volcanoes in Maui, tasting whiskey at Scottish breweries, and rafting the waterfalls of New Zealand. Not your typical list of accomplishments for a writer. But Lucas Aykroyd’s career as an international award-winning travel and sports writer has been anything but typical.

“Everyone thinks you’re on vacation all the time,” Lucas says, “I mean, it’s true, but you’re always working in the background.”By combining his passions and interests with his talents as a writer, Lucas travels around the world writing about anything from his adventures on horseback on Easter Island to the ABBA museum in Sweden to hockey championships and the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Since 2013, Lucas has won a Travel Media Association of Canada award, a Society of American Travel Writers medal, and even five medals at the North American Travel Journalists Association Awards. He has been featured in National Geographic Traveler, the Toronto Star, and The Globe and Mail for his travel articles. In the first half of 2015 alone, he has already lined up trips to Cuba, Sweden, Hawaii, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

“I absolutely plan to keep on travelling in the future,” Lucas says, “I kind of like working and being on vacation all the time. It might not be the perfect job, but really, this is just about as good as it gets.”