Colloquium Series

The Arts & Humanities Colloquium Series. Talking Arts. Seeing Ideas.

Join us on line for a REFLECTIVE and INTELLECTUALLY ENGAGING series of faculty presentations.

Since its beginning in 2009, the presentations of the Arts and Humanities Colloquium have engendered conversations about ideas among members of the Arts and Humanities Faculty and their communities both at VIU and in the mid-Island region. Our presenters have shown how important the arts and humanities are to understanding today’s world. We are delighted to share our scholarly and creative work with our audiences and invite you to join us.

For 2020-21 the VIU Arts and Humanities Colloquium Series will be streamed on line via Zoom. 

All presentations take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. 

Fall 2020

Fall 2020 VIU Colloquium Series Poster

Making Kin with Plants: The Picture Books of Elsa Beskow

September 25, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Terri Doughty, English

Humans still see plants as lower life forms, yet we could not live without plants. Fostering more respectful relations between humans and plants requires a cognitive shift in humans to reject species hierarchies and recognize that plants and humans are interconnected in webs of kinship. Swedish artist Elsa Beskow facilitates this shift, blurring the plant/human boundary, representing plants living intelligently within complex communities, and modeling human children interacting in non-exploitative ways with plants.

Understanding Women's Pain in Canadian Medical History

October 23, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Whitney Wood, History

Pain is a universal experience, but the ways in which individuals experience and express pain are historically and culturally specific. Drawing on a broad range of sources, this presentation demonstrates that nineteenth- and twentieth-century ideas about the varying levels of pain women experienced in giving birth were a product of mounting gender, class, and racial anxieties during a key period of social and cultural change. These attitudes contributed to the professionalization of obstetrics and the medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth, and they continue to shape women's encounters with the Canadian health care system into the twenty-first century. 

Click here to join: Zoom Meeting ID:  694 3879 8655    
Password: 55555


‘Behold the Wonder of this Present Age, A Famous River now Becomes a Stage’: Pageantry on the Frozen Thames

November 27, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Sarah Crover, English

In season 10, Doctor Who dedicates an episode to London’s last Frost Fair in 1814. The plot is fantastical; but the spectacle, and the emphasis on the danger and beauty of the frozen Thames, is firmly rooted in historical events. During sustained freezes of the London Thames from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, Londoners produced increasingly elaborate “Frost Fairs” set up on the iced-over river. These fairs had something for everyone, from personalized postcards to bawdy houses. Alternately horrified and gleeful, early modern accounts reflect Londoners’ hopes and fears about who they were and where they fit in the larger world.


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View  past presentations on YouTube

Posters from past seasons

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