Ecofeminist Vandana Shiva Presents UVic 50th Anniversary President's Distinguished Lecture

One of the world’s most important ecofeminists and social justice activists, Dr. Vandana Shiva, will explore “The Future of Food” in a President’s Distinguished Lecture on Mar. 27, 2013 at the University of Victoria.

Shiva’s lecture will address issues of biodiversity, food quality and organic farming practices in relation to increasing corporate control of seed patents and trade, and displacement of farmers. “In a period of climate change, the world needs a biodiverse system,” Shiva says. “The system of seeds based on monoculture is wrong and inappropriate. The biodiverse system has produced more food, and biodiversity means that seeds must be in the hands of farmers.” (The Guardian, Feb. 25, 2013)

University-trained as a physicist and philosopher, Dr. Shiva founded Navdanya (“nine seeds”)—a women-centred movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seeds—in India in 1987. She is a leading proponent of community food security, organic farming, seed saving and women’s involvement in agriculture. Navdanya has conserved more than 5,000 varieties of rice, wheat and other produce, and is actively involved in the rejuvenation of Indigenous knowledge and culture.

Time Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as an environmental “hero” in 2003, and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators of Asia. She is a leader and board member of the International Forum on Globalization.

During the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, the President’s Distinguished Lectures are combined with special convocation ceremonies in which each scholar receives an honorary degree. Dr. Shiva will receive the degree of Honorary Doctor of Laws. The two earlier speakers and degree recipients in the series were author and historian George Dyson, and poet and novelist Anne Michaels.

“The Future of Food” begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 27 in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium. Although tickets for this event are fully reserved, an in-person waitlist will be taken at the UVic Ticket Centre beginning at 6 p.m. on the evening of the lecture. A video recording of the presentation will be available on the UVic website at the week of April 2.

More information:

Note: Dr. Shiva has limited availability for interviews on Mar. 26 and 27. Please contact Melanie Groves in UVic Communications at 250-472-4357 to make arrangements.

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Media contacts

Joy Davis (Ceremonies and Events) at 250-721-7632 or

Melanie Groves (UVic Communications) at 250-472-4357 or

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Keywords: ecofeminist, biodiversity

People: Vandana Shiva

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