News & events

Universities host hundreds of events to mark Canada 150

John Lutz reflects on the symposium earlier this year hosted by Songhees First Nation and UVic, which included the unveiling of the first-ever translation of the BC treaties into local Indigenous languages, as part of a larger feature story in University Affairs magazine on Canada 150 events at universities across Canada. Six of the 600 events, including UVic's, are highlighted in this story. UA/AU Canada 150 at UVic

Brittney Slayes of Unleash the Archers to Speak at Upcoming Metal Music Conference

Brittney Hayes (known professionally as Brittney Slayes), a UVic alumna and the lead singer of Victoria-born metal band Unleash the Archers, will be giving a keynote talk on July 10th for UVic’s upcoming conference Boundaries and Ties: The Place of Metal Music in Communities. Her talk is entitled “View from the ‘Apex’: A Metal Musician’s Views on Metal and Community” and will draw on her firsthand experience with local, national, and international metal communities.

New classical music piece pairs Toronto composer with Indigenous community

UVic alumni Richard Van Camp (Writing / Lansdowne Speaker of 2017) and Rosa Mantla (CALR/Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Language Revitalization), now a master's student in the program, were interviewed yesterday by Matt Galloway, host of CBC Toronto's morning show, ahead of a world première concert last night at the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music featuring Tłı̨chǫ language lyrics. CBC

Award winners bring Holocaust lessons alive for new generation

Two University of Victoria professors whose efforts to infuse their teaching and research with lessons from the Holocaust are among 10 faculty members and three graduate students receiving top awards this week at the university’s REACH Awards. The awards—which combine existing Teaching Excellence Awards with the Craigdarroch Research Awards into a single event—celebrate the extraordinary teachers and researchers at UVic who are making an impact in the classroom and beyond. “The REACH Awards mark a new era of recognition for our university,” says UVic President Jamie Cassels. “By honouring teaching and research together, we acknowledge how they’re inextricably linked for the betterment of our students, our university, our partners, and society at large.” Music scholar Suzanne Snizek is an expert in “suppressed music”—the classical music silenced under the Nazi regime because of the composers’ ideologies, aesthetic or Jewish heritage. Through audio recordings, publications, performances and lectures around the world, she’s part of a global effort to bring these forgotten treasures back to life. “If it’s a good piece of music, it should be played,” says Snizek, who was delighted when one of her music students picked two suppressed pieces for her end-of-year recital. “One of the challenges for this music is that it gets ghettoized again as ‘suppressed music.’ So I’m trying to present it on its own terms, and include it in my teaching here so students can encounter this music for themselves.” Helga Thorson leads UVic’s I-Witness Holocaust Field School, an intensive semester of lectures (including some by Holocaust survivors), presentations and travel to Central European Holocaust memorials. The field school has dramatically influenced the lives and career choices of many students who take the course, says Thorson. “The combination of a scholarly way of looking at things and the students’ emotional reactions to the memorials—something about that awakens something much more in them than would classroom learning alone,” she says. “It leads them to a point of deep learning and often becomes transformational in both their personal and professional lives.” The awards are being presented at an evening ceremony on May 25 at the Royal British Columbia Museum. A full list of recipients:

The clock is ticking on BC's election. Is it ticking even faster for salmon, whales and bears?

In a National Observer story on the outlook for coastal wildlife, Jason Colby (History) talks candidly about the dismal prospects for endangered southern resident killer whales off southern Vancouver Island, in the face of increased shipping related to oil and gas production and transport. N Observer

The plan to 'reawaken' cryogenically frozen brains and transplant them into someone else's skull

Eike-Henner Kluge was quoted in the National Post's report of an Italian surgeon, who plans to perform the world's first human head transplant within the next 10 months and is now preparing to "reawaken" cryogenically frozen brains and transplant them into someone else's skull. NP

Chronicling 19th-century First Nations societies

To mark Canada's 150th birthday, the Vancouver Sun is profiling 150 noteworthy British Columbians, including James Alexander Teit, "one of the least recognized but most significant of North America's anthropologists." Professor Emeritus Wendy Wickwire, who authored three books on Teit, was quoted for today's story (also published in The Province). VSun

OpEd: Remembering promises — lessons from 75th anniversary of dispossession of Japanese Canadians

Jordan Stanger-Ross (History) and colleague Eric Adams of the University of Alberta, both part of the UVic-led Landscapes of Injustice research project, have an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun about the federal government abandoning a promise made 75 years ago to return property to the thousands of Japanese Canadians interned during the Second World War. VSun

The value of learning in your mother tongue first

Opening the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group's "Cracks in the Concrete" conference is a panel discussion tonight on the future of language revitalization. Participants Moustapha Fall (French) and Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins (Linguistics) spoke to Jack Knox of the Times Colonist about the importance of being educated in your native tongue first, then using that base to learn another. TC

Ideafest: Finding where we fit amid global migration

Ahead of the Ideafest event on the issue of migrating people, the Times Colonist interviewed one of the presenters, Annalee Lepp (Gender Studies). "Immigration will probably be one of the critical pieces of future discussions on the political scene," she said, speaking on the need for government action. The story appeared on the front page of the business section. TC

Sabina Trimble: BC Studies Prize

Stories about places—What do they mean to disparate social groups? How do they assert a sense of ownership over a piece of land? These are the complex questions that UVic History graduate student Sabina Trimble sets out to address in her award-winning article in BC Studies, “Storying Swí:lhcha: Place Making and Power at a Stó:lō Landmark.” Her work just won the 2016 BC Studies Prize, a very notable achievement for a student who has just completed her Master’s degree.

History Reading Room designated as the “Rippin Room”

History Reading Room as the “Rippin Room” in memory of Andrew Rippin, much beloved former dean of the faculty. Rippin, who lead the faculty for a decade, was a professor of History and noted researcher on Islamic History and Qu'ranic studies. Tributes were offered by John Lutz, chair of History, who recalled Rippin as dean, friend, and kayaking companion, as well as by current dean Chris Goto-Jones, who said how moved he has been by seeing Andrew’s model of compassion and wisdom still very alive in our faculty. The mood of the room was captured by Hélène Cazes (French) who hoped that some future student, perhaps decades from now, would see Rippin’s picture on the wall of the reading room and perceive his qualities of wisdom, scholarship, and wit.

World launch of The Thinking Garden

There was standing-room only for a packed house of UVic and Pearson College students, community members, children, and UVic faculty for the world launch of The Thinking Garden, a documentary about a plot of land farmed by a small group of African women. The film was inspired by UVic Historian Elizabeth Vibert’s oral history project amongst a small group of village women in Limpopo province, South Africa, who collaborated in the midst of a drought and in the last years of apartheid to create a community garden to support their families. On her first meeting with the women, one of them asked Vibert if she would be making a movie about their garden, and the idea stuck. Vibert turned to award-winning Métis filmmaker and colleague Christine Welsh, who in turn drew in noted cinematographer Mo Simpson. Their team expanded to include assistant director and translator Basani Ngobeni. The Thinking Garden probes issues of climate change, gender relations, community collaboration, and struggle in the turbulent years since apartheid. It highlights what Welsh terms her inspiration: “ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things.”

WordsThaw Writers Festival, The Malahat Review’s fifth-annual literary symposium

The Malahat Review will host its annual WordsThaw Writers Festival from March 16 to 19. Since 2013, dozens of poets, novelists, short fiction writers and journalists have marked the coming of spring with a symposium celebrating Canadian literature. Held each year at the University of Victoria, WordsThaw Writers Festival brings together writers, students, editors, publishers and others for a weekend of readings, panel discussions, workshops and socializing.

Politics of killer whale captivity

In a blog post to NICHE (Network in Canadian History and Environment), Jason Colby (History) speaks to the influence of killer whale captivity on the environmental and animal rights politics of Vancouver. This is the fifth and final post from contributors to Animal Metropolis: Histories of Human-Animal Relations in Urban Canada (University of Calgary Press, 2017). In each entry, the contributors use their own chapters as the basis for wider discussions about contemporary developments that highlight the complex interactions between humans and animals.

Erin Donoghue Brooke (English Honours) Mitacs research fellowship

Erin Donoghue Brooke (English Honours) is UVic’s first outgoing Humanities student to win a prestigious Mitacs research fellowship, a program that matches Canadian students with international research teams. For twelve weeks between April¬ and June, Erin will assist the French research team of Dr. Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin at the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III, working on a database of Shakespeare allusions in francophone film and television.

Finding inspiration in The Thinking Garden

Elizabeth Vibert and professor emerita Christine Welsh are the creators of a new documentary, The Thinking Garden, on a unique farming collective in South Africa. Vibert spoke to Oak Bay News about the film, which is an official selection of the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival. Its official launch takes place March 1 at UVic's David Lam Auditorium. Trudeau Fellow and professor emerita Nancy Turner was also quoted.

Douglas Treaties translated into Indigenous languages of Vancouver Island for first time

The first-ever translation of the original Douglas Treaties into the local Indigenous languages is a key element in the three-day symposium hosted by Songhees First Nation and UVic's Department of History and Faculty of Law. The Canadian Press and CBC News have now picked up the story, also published in Yahoo News, News 1130, CityNews, CTV News and Winnipeg Free Press. It appeared this morning as an item in the scrolling news ticker of the national CBC TV 24/7 channel and as a front-page photo in the Times Colonist today.

Historic gathering on Indigenous and treaty rights includes transformative translations

The first-ever translation of the original Douglas Treaties, also known as the Vancouver Island or Fort Victoria treaties, into the local Indigenous languages is a key element in a historic event in Victoria this weekend. Hosted by the Songhees First Nation and the University of Victoria’s Department of History and Faculty of Law, over 300 people will come together on Feb. 24, 25 and 26 from local First Nations and the campus and wider communities to explore the significance, misunderstandings, impacts and repercussions of the Douglas Treaties. The conference organizers commissioned the Lekwungen and SENĆOŦEN translations of the treaties. Read the campus article for more on the translations and upcoming symposium (which has already reached capacity). The Indigenous versions of the treaties—which have never before been available in the local languages—will be presented this weekend in a ceremony at the Songhees Wellness Centre to the Royal BC Museum to be kept in perpetuity alongside the English versions. The three-day gathering is one of four signature series events by UVic to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary. More info on UVic's Canada 150 This conference was funded, along with local sponsorship, by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

First Nations, Land and James Douglas: Indigenous and Treaty Rights in the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, 1849-1864

The Times Colonist looked at the issues that will be highlighted this week at the symposium First Nations, Land and James Douglas: Indigenous and Treaty Rights in the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, 1849-1864, of which John Lutz (History) is a co-organizer, on the history of the Indigenous people on Vancouver Island and the Douglas Treaties. UVic's Faculty of Law is a co-host of the symposium.

John Lutz on the life and artworks of Grafton Tyler Brown

John Lutz (History) was interviewed this week by guest host Jason de Souza for CBC Radio's province-wide weekend morning show, "North by Northwest." The interview will air this weekend and features details about the new exhibit, opening at Legacy Downtown and guest curated by Lutz, on the life and artworks of Grafton Tyler Brown.

The first media war – 500 years ago

In 1517, a dissenting monk in Wittenberg, Germany crafted what could be described as the first “media savvy” message to the masses, and unwittingly started a religious storm that helped shape the history of Europe. UVic historian Mitchell Hammond, in the first Café Historique of the year, will look back 500 years to the birth of the Protestant Reformation and will explore how early Protestant polemicists built upon the new culture of print. Luther and his followers crafted a coherent message, but neither they nor anyone else were in control of the combined impact of print technology and religious sensibility. The Spring 2017 series of UVic’s Café Historique will focus on the theme of marking anniversaries (1517, 1867, 1917) and on the meaning of commemoration. Hosted by UVic’s Department of History, the monthly talks take place at Hermann’s Jazz Club under the convivial café concept modeled on 19th-century Parisian salons, when artists, philosophers and other intellectuals would gather to talk informally about topics of the day.

Early BC artist who was born black, was white in Victoria

John Lutz authored a story on Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918), one of the first professional landscape artists to work in the Pacific Northwest, and also provided details about the upcoming exhibition. On Feb. 4 at Legacy Downtown, Lutz and an art historian will also present a talk on Brown's life and art, and on how Brown's racial identity shifted throughout his career.

BC ranked highest with 188 medically assisted deaths, of which 77 were on Vancouver Island

A Times Colonist survey of coroners, health ministries and health authories found that BC ranked among the highest for medical assistance in dying, with 188 assisted deaths recorded. That is one more than in Ontario. Eike-Henner Kluge provided comment for Sunday's front-page story, which was also published in The Province and Vancouver Sun.

Implications of the Trump presidency on the Conservative leadership race

Penny Bryden (History) was interviewed ahead of the US inauguration by Roundhouse Radio on implications of Donald Trump as president, specifically for the Conservative leadership race in Canada. CHEK News was at Friday's panel at UVic and carried clips with comment by Bryden, along with Oliver Schmidtke (Centre for Global Studies).

Legacy’s kick off to Black History Month

On Feb. 4, kick off Black History month with an afternoon presentation about BC’s first Black professional artist at Legacy Art Gallery Downtown. University of Victoria history department chair John Lutz and writer and art historian Robert Chandler will speak about the life and art of Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918) and the story of how his racial identity shifted throughout his career to where he eventually “passed” for white.

Like correcting people? Then take up Latin

Alexandra D'Arcy (Linguistics) provided comment for the National Post in its story about prescriptivism in the English language. The article appears prominently in the national newspaper today and includes quotes from other leading experts including Harvard linguist Steven Pinker. It was also carried in numerous Postmedia newspapers this morning including the Vancouver Sun and Ottawa Citizen.

UVic's Top 10 of 2016

It’s been a great year for stories about UVic’s Faculty of Humanities! UVic's Top 10 of 2016 features an article on Indigenous language revitalization co-led by Dr. Peter Jacobs (Linguistics) and a story about the UVic-led Landscapes of Injustice research project of which Dr. Jordan Stanger-Ross (History) is project director.

Centuries-old manuscripts a 'portal' to new worlds

Nearly two dozen rare medieval and early modern manuscripts are available until May 1 in Victoria, thanks to an innovative new collaboration between UVic Libraries and Les Enluminures, a firm based in New York, Chicago and Paris which has the largest inventory of text manuscripts and miniatures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. UVic is the first Canadian institution to partner with Les Enluminures. The Times Colonist picked up the story in today's paper, including interviews with Iain Higgins, Hélène Cazes and PhD student Brian Pollick, who donated the initial funds to create the Medieval Manuscript Fund at the UVic Libraries.

Manuscripts as treasures across the ages

With winter upon us already and a new year heralding a fresh run of Game of Thrones, researchers, history buffs and fans of the popular medieval fantasy epic can see for themselves nearly two dozen rare medieval and early modern manuscripts this month in Victoria, thanks to an innovative new collaboration between UVic Libraries and Les Enluminures, a firm based in New York, Chicago and Paris which has the largest inventory of text manuscripts and miniatures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. UVic is the first Canadian institution to partner with Les Enluminures.

"Violence and the Good Life": Foreign Fighters in Syria and Spain - 2017-08-16


This lecture puts current Jihadist war volunteers into historical perspective by comparing the foreign fighter phenomenon in contemporary Syria to the civil war in Spain (1936-39).
Many have assumed that modernity would produce rational, self-interested and expressive individuals and a peaceful, law-abiding world. The phenomenon of foreign fighters raised in liberaldemocratic societies therefore appears to be a pathology of modernity. Is it possible that violent radicalization represents an alternative “good life” to the dominant liberal narrative?

Times:11:00 - 12:00



REACH Awards

This May, an inaugural event—the REACH Awards—will combine the Teaching Excellence Awards with the Craigdarroch Research Awards into a single event that celebrates the extraordinary teachers and researchers who lead the way in dynamic learning and make a vital impact at UVic, in the classroom and beyond.