Titley presents University Scholars lecture

Dr. Brian Titley presents the second of three lectures in the 2010 University Scholars Public Presentations series Tuesday, Mar. 16.

Dr. Claudia Malacrida, Dr. Brian Titley and Lisa Doolittle are the featured speakers in this year's edition of the University Scholars Public Presentations. Covering topics from the treatment of people with intellectual disabilities to the attempted reformation of female public sinners by the Catholic Church to an examination of the role that dancing and spectacle helped define the identity of the Blackfoot people of southern Alberta, the three University of Lethbridge professors cover a wide range of topics.

On Tuesday, Titley presents Penance, Prayers, and a Happy Death: Convents and Moral Rehabilitation of 'Wayward' Women. The lecture is open to everyone and takes place at 4 p.m. in AH100. Admission is free.

– Penance, Prayers, and a Happy Death: Convents and Moral Rehabilitation of 'Wayward' Women, Mar. 16

Late in the Middle Ages the Catholic Church established convents to reform female 'public sinners' who were mainly, though not exclusively, prostitutes. The institutions, known as refuges or asylums, were usually named after Mary Magdalen.

In this presentation, Titley (education) provides a general history of Magdalen asylums as representations of the Catholic Church's assumed authority in sexual morality. He examines types of discipline in the institutions; the role of surveillance and isolation in preventing sinful relapses; and the practices of self-mortification that could lead to semi-religious status for the penitents and ultimately a happy death. He also looks at the transformation in North America of the asylums into private reformatories for 'incorrigible' adolescent girls.

The Board of Governors established the University Scholars Program in 2007 to recognize the excellence of faculty members in the areas of research, scholarship and creative performance. Each University Scholar must give a public lecture or performance as part of the University Scholars Series at the University of Lethbridge during the two-year term of their designation as a University Scholar.

The presentations will highlight the ongoing research interests of U of L faculty and how they contribute to their course teachings.