PUBlic Professor Series: At Home

We are very excited to make the PUBlic Professor Series available to everyone in the comfort of their own homes. We encourage everyone to have fun with this, prepare some appetizers, pour themselves a beverage of their choice and tune into PUBlic Professor Series: At Home.

Join us on Facebook at 7pm every Thursday!

PUBlic Professor Series: At Home provides us with an opportunity to either catch up with speakers from the past six years (2014-2020) or learn about our upcoming speakers (scheduled for 2020-21). We remain dedicated to the connection we have built with the community through the delivery of this series. We may be at home, but we can still stay connected through our shared love of lifelong learning.

This series of engaging conversations between the speaker and their selected "interviewer" (colleagues on campus and across Canada, as well as students and alumni) has been packaged as a "5 Questions with..." segment that will Premiere on Facebook every Thursday night at 7pm. The videos will be saved and posted to Facebook so anyone unable to watch the Premiere can view it at a more convenient time. All videos are also saved to our YouTube channel.
Join us each Thursday night to learn about our research and connect with people, like you, who share a love of lifelong learning.


Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 7pm – 5 Questions with Dr. Jennifer Copeland

Original Talk: Sitting, Standing and Stepping: The Health Implications of Our Daily Behaviour (Previously recorded in front of a live audience November 26, 2015)

Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7pm – 5 Questions with Dr. Ute Kothe

Original Talk: From the Beginnings of Life to Modern Medicine: Why RNA Matters (Previously recorded in front of a live audience September 21, 2017)

Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 7pm – 5 Questions with Dr. Kevin McGeough

Original Talk: 'I Met a Traveller From an Antique Land': The Archaeology of Progress, Decline, and Collapse (Previously recorded in front of a live audience September 22, 2016)

Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 7pm - 5 Questions on Canadians in the South African War, bodies in the 19th century, and citizens in wartime and pandemics with Dr. Amy Shaw

Original talk: 'A Devil-May-Care Sort of Swagger’: A Case for Remembering Canada in the Boer War (Previously recorded in front of a live audience November 22, 2018)

Amy Shaw is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Lethbridge. She is the author of Crisis of Conscience: Conscientious Objection in Canada during the First World War, and the co-editor of A Sisterhood of Suffering and Service: Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the First World War, and Making the Best of It: Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the Second World War. She is currently working on a monograph on Canadian responses to the War in South Africa and has written several articles on war and society and anti-war activity in Canada during that conflict and the two world wars.

Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on the interdisciplinary research on gender, migration, and post-disaster communities with Dr. Glenda Bonifacio

Glenda is scheduled to present during the 2020-21 season.

Date: September 24, 2020 7pm
Location: Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge

Communities and disasters: associative acts and total escape?

Communities respond to disasters, and perhaps disasters build communities. Disasters happen everywhere, and their meanings and perspectives vary. Could we then escape from disasters? What are the associative acts responsible for disasters? And, are these acts fully accounted for in our understanding of disasters? These questions persist to an "accidental' sociologist of disasters, even if I grew up in a country considered third-most vulnerable to natural hazards and coming from the most-at-risk region in the world. Using critical insights from research on migration and post-disaster communities, I open a dialogue of what it means to be a community at this time of possible 'extinction' and amidst a global crisis of humanism.

Glenda Bonifacio is a professor in the Department of Women & Gender Studies at the University of Lethbridge. She teaches varied subjects from the introductory and upper-level courses, in particular the Gender and Globalization series, Sex and Spiritualities series, research methods, activism and advocacy, and seminar on gender and disaster. Glenda is the author of Pinay on the prairies: Filipino Women and Transnational Identities published by UBC Press; editor of 4 internationally-published works on global youth migration (University of Bristol Press  2019), global currents in gender and feminism (Emerald Press 2018), gender and rural migration (Routledge 2014), feminism and migration (Springer 2012); co-editor of  4 books on women and religion (Policy Press 2018), Canadian perspectives on immigration in small cities (Springer 2017), migrant domestic works and family life (Palgrave Macmillan 2015), and gender, religion and migration (Lexington Books 2010). Glenda is the co-founder of ReadWorld Foundation with a major international project to help poor and remote communities affected by disasters rebuild library resources. In 2017, she also co-founded the collective SNAC+ (Support Network for Academics of Colour) in Lethbridge and works to promote racial justice and equity. Glenda was awarded as one of 100 Most Influential Filipino Women in the World in 2015.

Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on avian communication, vocal interactions, and animal behavior with Dr. David Logue

David is scheduled to present during the 2020-21 season.

Date: February 25, 2021 7pm
Location: Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge

Birds sing duets

In over 1000 species of bird, mated pairs sing “duets”. Avian duets range from simple overlapping songs to beautiful, intricate compositions that are so tightly coordinated they sound like the song of a single individual. Prior to the turn of the century, avian duetting was largely a scientific mystery. Since then, however, researchers have learned a great deal about why birds duet and how they do it (it’s a pun, get it?). In this talk, I will share examples of avian duets and discuss recent discoveries about this fascinating form of animal communication.

David Logue is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology. Growing up in the foothills of Northern California, David loved to search for frogs and snakes and dreamed of exploring tropical forests. As an undergraduate, he lucked into a chance to study tropical ecology in the jungles of Costa Rica. It was everything he had hoped it would be. Hooked on the tropics, David did his Ph.D. research at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He went broke doing research, moved into his mother’s basement, and searched for any job he could get, eventually landing a postdoctoral fellowship in Lethbridge. Shortly after his arrival, he met an artist named April Matisz.  April and David married and moved to Puerto Rico, where David had served as a professor of Biology for six memorable years.  In the end, David was offered a position at the U of L, and the growing family came home to Southern Alberta. These days, David teaches classes in animal behaviour, animal communication, and decision-making, mentors three wonderful graduate students, and studies how tropical birds communicate with songs.

Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on how research on Dickens can overlap with other fields in the humanities, especially Canadian history, translation and Jewish studies with Dr. Goldie Morgentaler

Original talk: How Dickens Invented Christmas and Why it Matters. (Previously recorded in front of a live audience November 24, 2016 - Note: audio issues)

Goldie Morgentaler is a professor of English at the University of Lethbridge where she teaches 19th-century British and American literature. She is the author of a book on Dickens called Dickens and Heredity, and of numerous articles on Dickens and Victorian literature. She is a past president of the Dickens Society and currently serves on the Dickens Quarterly Editorial Board. She is also the translator from Yiddish to English of much of Chava Rosenfarb’s work, including Rosenfarb’s epic Holocaust novel, The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto. Her translations have won several awards including a Canadian Jewish Book Award and the Modern Language Association’s Prize for Yiddish Studies for the translation of Rosenfarb’s short story collection, Survivors. She is also the editor of Rosenfarb’s poetry collection, Exile at Last. In 2019, she was awarded a Canadian Jewish Literary Prize for a collection of essays by Chava Rosenfarb entitled Confessions of a Yiddish Writer.

Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on a biophysicist’s perspective on virus research with Trushar Patel

Trushar is scheduled to present during the 2020-21 season.

Date: March 25, 2021 7pm
Location: Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge

How not to get viral: Understanding the communication between viruses and humans

Dr. Patel's goal is to obtain detailed insights into how viral nucleic acids interact with host proteins by employing interdisciplinary approaches. Information on the specific sites of host proteins that communicate with viral nucleic acids will ultimately allow the development of therapeutics that prevent host-viral communication. These interactions are essential for the survival and replication of the virus - stopping the interactions is thus of benefit for treating viral infection. Patel's research program is timely given recent global incidences of viral outbreaks and, in many cases, the lack of available treatment and the failure of currently available drugs designed to target viral components. In this PUBlic Professor Series talk, he will provide an overview of human-viral communications and discuss some of his recent work.

Trushar Patel is an emerging leader in the biophysical characterization of nucleic acids-protein and protein-protein complexes that are at the heart of viral infections. He was recruited to the University of Lethbridge in 2016 and subsequently was awarded the prestigious Canada Research Chair in 2017. In recognition of his early career success, he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020. Before joining the University of Lethbridge, he received distinguished Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship to work at the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research post-doctoral fellowship to work at the University of Manitoba (Canada). Despite being at the early stage of his career, Trushar has published >70 peer-reviewed publications and several Editorial articles. He is also one of the youngest editors of the European Biophysics Journal.

Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on the importance of oral history and lived experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic with Dr. Carly Adams

Original talk: "Hey, why don't we have a bonspiel?" Oral Histories, Sport, and (re)Imagining Community (Previously recorded in front of a live audience January 23, 2020)

Carly Adams is a Board of Governors Research Chair and Professor of Sport History in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Lethbridge. She is also a founding and active member of the Centre for Oral History and Tradition. Carly grew up in a lovely small town in Ontario on the shores of Lake Huron. She earned her PhD in 2007 from Western University in London, Ontario. As a social historian and an advocate for oral history, Carly explores community, resiliency and gender in her research, with a focus on sport, recreation, and leisure experiences. She is author of Queen's of the Ice, a book about the Preston Rivulettes women's hockey team from the 1930s, the editor of a textbook, Sport and Recreation in Canadian History and co-editor of Routledge Handbook of Sport History both forthcoming in 2020. In 2017, she teamed up with Dr. Darren Aoki at the University of Plymouth, UK and several community partners (including Galt Museum, the Nikka Yuko Japanese Canadian Garden and the Nikkei Cultural Society of Lethbridge and Area) to launch the Nikkei Memory Capture Project, a long-term community-based oral history project to spur the narration of the history of Japanese Canadians in the second half of the twentieth century. In the Spring of 2019, Carly and Darren were the recipients of a five-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant to continue this research. They are also working on a book project titled Nisei: Memories of Striving and Legacies of Resilience. Carly also serves on the Canada Sports Hall of Fame Honoured Members Selection Committee and she is the editor of Sport History Review.

Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on creativity, the quantum, and life in a dangerous universe with Dr. Kent Peacock

Original talk: Alberta in the Anthropocene (Previously recorded in front of a live audience February 16, 2017)

Kent is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lethbridge. He came to Lethbridge in 1996, having graduated from the University of Toronto with a PhD in Philosophy in 1991.  Much of his work is in the history and philosophy of science (with excursions into symbolic logic), but he has a strong interest in environmental issues and has published on sustainability, climate, and the Fermi Paradox.

Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on the value of reading and studying children’s literature, with Dr. Elizabeth Galway

Elizabeth is scheduled to present during the 2020-21 season.

Date: November 26, 2020 7pm
Location: Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge

What’s So Childish about Children’s Stories? Exploring the Complex World of Literature for Young Readers.

‘What is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversations?’” So begins Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece about a young girl’s fantastical adventures in a strange land. Young Alice clearly has her own opinion on what makes a book “useful,” and when Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, he ushered in a new era of writing for children, aiming to entertain his readers in a way that aligned with Alice’s criteria. Carroll transformed the genre, but his book is more than a compilation of pretty pictures and amusing conversations, and there is nothing simple about it, as is indicated by the fact that it is perhaps the most quoted book in English after the Bible. In the course of her adventures, Alice becomes involved in games of logic, explores the limits and possibilities of language, and muses on some of the most profound existential questions. Despite the obvious complexity and important cultural status of children’s books such as Carroll’s, until fairly recently one would have been hard-pressed to find an undergraduate course on children’s literature offered by any respectable university English Department. Conventional wisdom held that there was no place for such childish things in academia, and that there could be little merit in studying literature written for young readers.

Such views were in keeping with the notion that the primary markers of children and childhood were simplicity and innocence.  However, as research from such diverse disciplines as Neuroscience, History, Education, and Anthropology has shown, such views are woefully limited and inadequate. Children, childhood, and the cultures of young people are in fact highly multifaceted and diverse, and these are ever-shifting categories that change across time and vary between cultures. Once considered simplistic and unsophisticated entertainment for the young, children’s literature is in fact complex and deeply invested with the values of the adult societies that produce it. It does not just reflect societal values, it actively works to construct them, which includes playing a crucial role in how childhood and children themselves are understood.

This talk will go “down the rabbit hole” to explore some of the ways in which children’s texts engage with issues that are not just relevant to young people, but that are of key concern to the adults who influence all aspects of children’s literature, from writing, to illustrating, to publishing. Drawing on her research into themes of imperialism and nationalism in nineteenth-century British and Canadian children’s literature, as well as her research on material produced for young readers during the First World War, Galway will uncover some of the complexities within children’s literature and show that it is not time to “put away childish things” but to bring them back into the light and give them the second look they deserve.   

Elizabeth A. Galway is Associate Professor and former Chair of English at the University of Lethbridge. She is a co-founder of the Institute for Child and Youth Studies and has served as one of its Directors since 2018. Her research focuses on children’s literature from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and she is particularly interested in its role in shaping identity. She is the author of From Nursery Rhymes to Nationhood: Children’s Literature and the Construction of Canadian Identity (Routledge 2008) and is finishing a monograph on British, Canadian, and American children’s literature from the First World War. Her research has been supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and she is currently working on a co-authored, SSHRC-funded study of representations of the ancient Near East in children’s literature from the nineteenth century to the present.

Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on the interdisciplinary view of sociology held by Dr. Trevor Harrison and how this informs his research

Trevor is scheduled to present during the 2020-21 season.

Date: January 28, 2021 7pm
Location: Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge

The Promise and Peril of Populism

Recent years have seen a swath of political leaders, notably on the right, espousing populist claims to represent the people. Donald Trump is an obvious example, but there are others such as Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. Alberta’s own Jason Kenney likewise makes use of populist appeals. But what is populism? Why does it arise at some historical times and not others? Why does populism attract so many people? What is its promise, its perils, and its future? These are just some of the questions examined in this talk.

Trevor W. Harrison is a professor of sociology at the University of Lethbridge and Associate Director of the Prentice Institute for Economy and Population. He is also Director of Parkland Institute, an Alberta-wide research organization, located on the University of Alberta campus. Dr. Harrison is best known for his studies in political sociology, political economy, and public policy. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of nine books, numerous journal articles, chapters, and reports, and a frequent contributor to public media, including radio and television.

Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on our place in nature, and why the “two cultures” of art and science are really just one, with Dr Louise Barrett

Original talk: Supercharged Apes and Supersized Minds: How to Think Like an Animal (Previously recorded in front of a live audience September 26, 2019)

Louise Barrett is a professor of psychology and a Canada Research Chair in Cognition, Evolution and Behaviour. She works on the social behaviour of baboons, vervet monkeys and humans, and is interested in how body, brain and environment work together to generate intelligent behaviour. As part of the interdisciplinary research group, Lichen Lab, at the U of L, Louise is also interested in how we humans view other species and the world around us, from both artistic and scientific perspectives, and what this means for how we view our own place in the world. 

Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on the history of children and youth with Dr. Janay Nugent

Original talk: Converting a Nation: family, religion, and Calvinism in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Scotland (Previously recorded in front of a live audience January 26, 2017)

Dr. Janay Nugent is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Lethbridge and incoming Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science. She is co-editor with Dr. Elizabeth Ewan (University of Guelph) of Finding the Family in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland (Ashgate 2008) and Children and Youth in Premodern Scotland (Boydell and Brewer, 2015). Janay is also co-author with Laura Stewart (York University, England) "Union and Revolution: Scotland and Beyond, 1625-1745," which is forthcoming in December with Edinburgh University Press. She is currently writing a monograph tentatively titled "Through the Eyes of a Child: Early Modern Scotland. This monograph uses the child-centred perspective of child and youth studies to offer a fresh perspective on Scotland from 1560 to 1700. Chapters on religion, urban life, family life, health and wellness, and youth culture seek to enhance our understanding of larger historical processes such as religious reformation and the witch-hunts. Janay is a founding member of the University of Lethbridge's Institute for Child and Youth Studies, and she has earned the University of Lethbridge Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award, the Uleth Distinguished Teaching Award, and she is a past Board of Governor's Teaching Chair.

Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 7pm - 5 questions on perceptions of a common prairie rodent with Dr. Gail Michener

Gail is scheduled to present during the 2020-21 season.

Date: October 29, 2020 7pm

Love Them, Despise Them, Study Them: Perspectives on an iconic prairie animal.

Named in 1822 to honour arctic explorer and British Naval Officer Sir John Richardson, Richardson’s ground squirrels are expensive exotic pets for some, detested agricultural pests for others, and fascinating research subjects for a few.

Known as “gophers” in common parlance, Richardson’s ground squirrels are depicted in a variety of ways, often anthropomorphically.  Gainer the Gopher is the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ partially clothed mascot, and Torrington’s Gopher Hole Museum is entirely devoted to dioramas that use stuffed “gophers” as well-dressed avatars of townsfolk.  Yet, many wish to destroy Richardson’s ground squirrels, even holding competitions with prizes for those who submit the most tails.

Searching for a research subject when she came to Canada from Australia, Gail Michener was astounded to discover that, even within the scientific community, nobody could answer the most basic questions about this common prairie rodent  –  when do they mate? How long is pregnancy? How many litters can a female produce in a year? What is their lifespan? Do they form social bonds? A several-year doctoral project to answer those questions grew incrementally into a multi-decade research career that predominantly focusses on kinship, reproduction, and sexual differences in the behavioural ecology of Richardson’s ground squirrels.

Gail Michener’s goal in her PUBlic Professor Series presentation is to answer the questions you never thought to ask about Richardson’s ground squirrels.

Gail Michener obtained her B.Sc. at the University of Adelaide, Australia, and her Ph.D. at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan.  She has taught at universities in Africa and the USA, but most of her professional career has been at the University of Lethbridge, during which time she received research awards from the American Society of Mammalogists and the University of Lethbridge, as well as teaching awards from the Animal Behaviour Society and the University of Lethbridge.  She has served as President of the Animal Behaviour Society and of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

Now retired from her position as Professor of Biological Sciences and Board of Governors Research Chair, Gail continues to analyze data from a multi-decade longitudinal study of the behavioural ecology of Richardson’s ground squirrels, colloquially-  and incorrectly - known as “gophers”.  She has published more than 50 scholarly articles on life history, demographics, reproductive success, kinship, social and spatial relationships, growth and survival, and burrow architecture.