Weekly Programs

 

One of the College’s most popular activities has been a series of weekly talks held at the Faculty Club during the academic year. The presenters are often Fellows reporting on their recent work, but outside speakers are also invited. The topics are wide-ranging and cover a broad spectrum of disciplines and subjects. The format calls for an approximately one-hour talk followed by a coffee break and then a discussion period. The talks are usually recorded and made available as either streaming or downloadable podcasts. The discussion sessions, which are often very lively, are not recorded. The sessions are so popular that seating is limited and Fellows are given priority although others are welcome if space permits.

 

Past Weekly Talks

 

Oct
23
Wed
2019
SC Talks: ” Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Early Plays by Mary Sidney Herbert “, John Yeomans, October 23, 2019 @ The Faculty Club
Oct 23 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

All presentations will be held on Wednesday from 10:00am-12:00pm at the Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street. Programs are free for Fellows of Senior College, but RSVP is required. Members of Senior College who are not Fellows and visitors are asked to donate $10.00 to help defray costs. The Senior College Lunch (12:00pm) may be reserved for a reasonable fee with RSVP for the program. Registration

Contact and Chair: Harold Atwood

The Talk: “Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Early Plays by Mary Sidney Herbert”

Sir Philip Sidney’s sister, Mary Sidney Herbert, led a circle of poets after his death in 1586. Her family touring group, Pembroke’s Men, performed the first published plays (1594-5) later attributed to “Shakespeare”, that is, The Taming of a Shrew, Titus Andronicus, two Henry VI plays, along with Marlowe’sEdward II. Mary, Countess of Pembroke, helped write these plays with Christopher Marlowe, George Peele and Thomas Nashe, according to testimony of the authors from 1591-5, and evidence reviewed in The New Oxford Shakespeare (2016-7).

Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609) appear to be family stories about William Herbert from his mother, Mary Sidney Herbert (Williams, 2012; Yeomans, 2017). The puzzles in the 12-line Dedication to “W.H.” from “OUR.EVER-LIVING.POET” are answered by the 12-line Sonnet 126 to “my lovely Boy”. The birth and rise of her son in the first 63 sonnets are followed by her struggles to write sonnets while dealing with Will’s tawdry affairs. The feminist messages of Sonnet 126 are final judgments: “Her Audit…and her Quietus is to render thee”. Her allegorical conclusion, Mother Nature conquers Father Time, celebrates the power of women, and reveals Mary Sidney Herbert as the immortal “Shakespeare”.

Shakespeare’s major poems, from Venus and Adonis to A Lover’s Complaint, were each written from the view of a noblewoman or goddess, often about her brother Philip. Word styles and frequencies in these poems are closely associated with those of the Sidney family of poets. The First Folio (1623), dedicated to her two sons, William and Philip Herbert, suppressed her achievements by crediting authorship of all 36 plays to the Globe actor, William Shakespeare.

John Yeomans, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, is an active contributor to the Colloquia, Book Club, Summer Lunch Discussions, and weekly Program meetings of Senior College. Following graduate and post-doctoral work at the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Pennsylvania, he began his continuous and highly successful academic career at the University of Toronto in 1978. In research, he employed advanced neurophysiological procedures to map neural pathways in the mammalian brain, and then added modern neurogenetic technology to define the roles of specific neural receptor proteins in control of pleasure, and addiction to opiates. His scientific contributions are recorded in a large number of primary scientific publications, book chapters and reviews, and invited lectures. He has trained outstanding graduate students, and has contributed extensively in leadership roles of neuroscience organizations, grant review committees, and editing of scientific journals. Following official retirement at age 72, he began an entirely new academic investigation into the history of English literature, focusing on the authorship of Elizabethan classics, with particular attention to Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays. This work, performed during the past 5 years, has already led to 8 local and international lectures, 1 publication, and 2 manuscripts, and will be presented at Senior College.

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Oct
24
Thu
2019
Colloquium: “The Future of Work” October 24, 2019, 2-4pm @ Senior College Centre, room 412A
Oct 24 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

The Colloquiums are free for Fellows of Senior College, but RSVP is required.

A moderator and a reporter will be recruited from the registrants. The reporter is to write a short summary of the colloquium to be circulated to Fellows and published in the Senior College Bulletin and the website.

Chair and organizer: Margrit Eichler 

The Future of Work

Work comes in two versions: paid and unpaid. Unpaid work will change as much as paid work in the future, but we will focus on the future of paid work – although that is likely to make unpaid work even more important than it is at present.

We have all experienced some major changes in how we do our own work. However, important as such changes were (e.g. from writing by hand, to writing on a typewriter, to getting used to an electric typewriter, to writing on a computer) they pale in significance to the changes we can expect in the near future.

In the last 100 years, we lost 90% of existing jobs due to robots, and new ones appeared to replace them, see https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/01/18/technology-has-already-taken-over-90-of-the-jobs-humans-used-to-do/#6dd1a7dd1bdd

Here are some examples of jobs we can expect to lose, including perhaps a couple of unexpected ones:
https://www.fool.com/slideshow/9-jobs-are-being-taken-over-robots/?slide=11

The past experience of jobs lost and created may not be particularly helpful this time around. For the shorter run, the RBC divided all jobs into skill clusters: Solvers, Providers, Facilitators, Technicians, Crafters and Doers. https://www.rbc.com/dms/enterprise/futurelaunch/_assets-custom/pdf/RBC-Future-Skills-Report-FINAL-Singles.pdf They forecast that in Canada there will be 2.4 million job openings between 2018 and 2021, but that our young people are not properly prepared for the jobs that will need to be staffed. To meet the demand, we would have to dramatically shift our education system.

For the long term, Harari argues that we may find ourselves with “a useless class” who will not have the stamina to constantly adjust to shifting jobs. He therefore argues for a Universal Basic Income, coupled with strong communities and meaningful – unpaid – pursuits. In other words, he is suggesting that we need to de-couple income from work. (See the attached chapter on Work of his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century)

Questions to consider:
How has your own work changed during your lifetime?
Do you find the categorization of jobs into Skill Clusters useful?
If so, what does this mean for our education system?
Do you agree with the likelihood that a “useless class” is likely to emerge?
Do you agree with the uncoupling of income and work?

For a bit of comic relief, see the attached comics.


Comics about the future of work
harariWeb

 

 

Oct
30
Wed
2019
SC Talks: “Pierre Trudeau and the End of Separatism”, Monique and Max Nemni Trudeau’s biographers, October 30, 2019 @ The Faculty Club
Oct 30 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

All presentations will be held on Wednesday from 10:00am-12:00pm at the Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street. Programs are free for Fellows of Senior College, but RSVP is required. Members of Senior College who are not Fellows and visitors are asked to donate $10.00 to help defray costs. The Senior College Lunch (12:00pm) may be reserved for a reasonable fee with RSVP for the program. Registration

Contact and Chair: Janet Paterson

The Talk: “Pierre Trudeau and the End of Separatism”

As Pierre Trudeau would have been one hundred years old on October 19, 2019, it seems appropriate to reflect on his legacy. When he went to Ottawa, in 1965, Canada was in the midst of the most serious crisis of its history. Separatism was threatening to break apart the country. For more than half a century, this threat was at the forefront of Canadian politics. Some accuse Trudeau of having spoked the fire of separatism through his disdain of Quebec’s concerns. We contend that indeed, Trudeau was the sworn foe of separatism, but he was Quebecers’ best friend. We will try to show that his relentless defense of federalism was indeed the solution best suited to Quebecers’ and Canadians’ needs.

Bio

Monique is a retired professor from l’UQAM (L’Université du Québec à Montréal). She holds a PhD in French Linguistics from the University of Toronto. She has been the director of the Language programme at Glendon College, York University, and the Director of the Language Teacher Training programme at l’UQAM. She has taught at all levels, from elementary school to Graduate School.

Her more than a dozen textbooks for the teaching of French as a Second Language have been used in many school boards across Canada. She has also published numerous articles in scholarly journals. For more than twenty years, she has been invited as keynote speaker in language teaching conferences in almost every province of Canada. In 1976, she was awarded a “Citation for Outstanding Contribution to University Teaching”, by OCUF (Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.

Max’s first profession was accounting. In 1984 he was inducted as a Life Member of the Certified General Accountants Association, a title he holds to this day. His second career, as a political scientist, was launched at Laurentian University in Sudbury. He is now a retired Professor of Political Science from Laval University, Quebec City where he was, for a while, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Specialized in Political Philosophy and Canadian Politics, his major research focus was the relation between nationalism and liberalism both in theory and in the concrete case of Quebec within Canada.

One of his articles, The case against Quebec Nationalism, was awarded the “Rufus Z. Smith” prize for the best article published in the American Review of Canadian Studies. Another one of his articles “Le‘dés’accord du Lac Meech et la construction de l’imaginaire symbolique des Québécois”, examining the mythology surrounding the Meech Lake Accord, came to the attention of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and triggered a lasting friendship. His many papers, presented in Canada and abroad, are written in English and French.

From 1995 to 2000, Max and Monique were publishers and editors of Cité libre, the magazine founded in 1950 by Pierre Trudeau and other intellectuals, and were at the helm of Cité libre during the 1995 referendum. It was then the only Quebec magazine in French fighting for Canadian unity. This privileged position allowed them to acquire a firsthand knowledge of the workings of separatism and nationalism in Quebec society.

After they retired, Max and Monique embarked on the fascinating project of writing Trudeau, Son of Quebec, Father of Canada, an intellectual biography of Pierre Trudeau, largely based on his unpublished private papers. Volume 1, Trudeau, Les années de jeunesse, (or Young Trudeau, in English,) was published in 2006, and won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing. Volume 2, Trudeau, La formation d’un homme d’État, (or in English, Trudeau Transformed,) was published in 2011, and was finalist for the same award. After a lengthy delay due to circumstances, they are still intent on writing volume 3, which will deal with Trudeau’s fight for federalism which has led to the end of separatism in Quebec.

Nov
5
Tue
2019
SENIOR COLLEGE BOOK CLUB, November 5 – Fellows and External Fellows only @ Senior College Centre, Room 412A
Nov 5 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

SENIOR COLLEGE BOOK CLUB

The club sessions are open to all Fellows & External Fellows of Senior College on a first-come, first served basis until the maximum number of participants is reached.

Nov 5: Miriam Toews, A Complicated Kindness
(Chairs: Linda Hutcheon & Magdalene Redekop)

Winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, this work was judged by the jury to be “an unforgettable coming-of-age story — melancholic and hopeful, as beautifully complicated as life itself.”

You may have read it the year (2006) that it won the CBC Canada Reads contest, but it is worth a second reading. Should you wish any background reading on the social context of the novel, we would suggest you look at:

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/mennonites

The Book Club Committee invites fellows to propose books for inclusion in the program series. We intend to offer works — fiction and non-fiction — that command our attention or address themes of public importance. Contact David Milne at dmilne70@gmail.com to Propose a Book

Nov
6
Wed
2019
SC Talks: “Martian Meteorites and Mars 2020 Mission”, Kimberly Tait, November 6, 2019 @ The Faculty Club
Nov 6 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

All presentations will be held on Wednesday from 10:00am-12:00pm at the Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street. Programs are free for Fellows of Senior College, but RSVP is required. Members of Senior College who are not Fellows and visitors are asked to donate $10.00 to help defray costs. The Senior College Lunch (12:00pm) may be reserved for a reasonable fee with RSVP for the program. Registration

Contact and Chair: Bibhu Mohanty

The Talk: “Martian Meteorites and Mars 2020 Mission”, Kimberly Tai”

Nov
12
Tue
2019
Senior College Excursion Subcommittee: Treasures of the Fisher Library, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 10:30-12 noon @ Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
Nov 12 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 10:30-12 noon

Excursion to view and learn about the treasures housed in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library of the University of Toronto.  Conducted by Pearce (P.J.) Carefoote, director of the Fisher Library.  He spoke at Senior College in January of last year about how medieval manuscripts came to Toronto.

PLAN FOR THE EVENT

Meet in the lobby of the Fisher Library, just inside the second-floor entrance. Address: 120 St George Street, on the southwest corner of St. George and Hoskin.

About the Library

View from the upper level

 

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library houses the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections including books, manuscripts and other materials, and the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services (UTARMS), which holds the official records of the University. https://fisher.library.utoronto.ca/about-us

About the presenter:
Dr. Pearce J. Carefoote is Head of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.  He holds a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (in Church History) from the Catholic University of Louvain, and is the author of Forbidden Fruit: Banned, Censored, and Challenged Literature from Dante to Harry Potter, with an introduction by Alberto Manguel (Toronto: Lester, Mason & Begg, 2007).  He was also curator of five exhibitions at the Fisher including “Great and Manifold: A Celebration of the Bible in English” and “The Flickering of the Flame: The Book and the Reformation”. In addition to his work at the library he is also an Anglican priest of the Diocese of Toronto.

Time: 10:30am-12pm

Lunch after the event: Lunch following the presentation:  Gallery Grill, Hart House (optional).

Cost:The event is free. Registrants are responsible for their own lunch that day.

Registration: Limited to 15 Fellows, so please register as soon as possible.

 

Nov
13
Wed
2019
SC Talks: “Building Toronto: The City’s Architectural Past and Future”, Alex Bozikovic (Globe and Mail), November 13, 2019 @ The Faculty Club
Nov 13 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

All presentations will be held on Wednesday from 10:00am-12:00pm at the Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street. Programs are free for Fellows of Senior College, but RSVP is required. Members of Senior College who are not Fellows and visitors are asked to donate $10.00 to help defray costs. The Senior College Lunch (12:00pm) may be reserved for a reasonable fee with RSVP for the program. Registration

Contact and Chair: Marty Klein

The Talk: “Building Toronto: The City’s Architectural Past and Future”

Nov
20
Wed
2019
SC Talks: “How Memories Are Formed”, Sheena Josselyn, November 20, 2019 @ The Faculty Club
Nov 20 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

All presentations will be held on Wednesday from 10:00am-12:00pm at the Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street. Programs are free for Fellows of Senior College, but RSVP is required. Members of Senior College who are not Fellows and visitors are asked to donate $10.00 to help defray costs. The Senior College Lunch (12:00pm) may be reserved for a reasonable fee with RSVP for the program. Registration

Contact and Chair: Harold Atwood and John Yeomans; Chair: John Yeomans

The Talk: “ How Memories Are Formed

Nov
27
Wed
2019
SC Talks: “The Visual Arts in the Anthropocene”, Mark Cheetham, November 27, 2019 @ The Faculty Club
Nov 27 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

All presentations will be held on Wednesday from 10:00am-12:00pm at the Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street. Programs are free for Fellows of Senior College, but RSVP is required. Members of Senior College who are not Fellows and visitors are asked to donate $10.00 to help defray costs. The Senior College Lunch (12:00pm) may be reserved for a reasonable fee with RSVP for the program. Registration

Contact and Chair: Linda Hutcheon

The Talk: “ The Visual Arts in the Anthropocene

Jan
7
Tue
2020
SENIOR COLLEGE BOOK CLUB, January 7 – Fellows and External Fellows only @ Senior College Centre, Room 412A
Jan 7 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

SENIOR COLLEGE BOOK CLUB

The club sessions are open to all Fellows & External Fellows of Senior College on a first-come, first served basis until the maximum number of participants is reached.

Jan 7: Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century
(Chair: Peter Russell)

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman salutes French economist Thomas Piketty as “arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality.” Marshaling data from twenty countries, Piketty shows the stark distributional question at the heart of capitalist societies.

Registration will open closer to the date.

The Book Club Committee invites fellows to propose books for inclusion in the program series. We intend to offer works — fiction and non-fiction — that command our attention or address themes of public importance. Contact David Milne at dmilne70@gmail.com to Propose a Book.

The current line up can be found at this link https://seniorcollege.utoronto.ca/wp-admin/post.php?post=4540&action=edit&classic-editor .