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Beyond the Walls

Beyond the Walls is a virtual public lecture series organized by the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities in collaboration with Oshawa Public Libraries. Engage with others through live, interactive discussions on local and global topics, guided by a short expert talk. 

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Photos representing each program


Biodiversity and Us: The Emerging Extinction Event of the 2020s

We know we are in the midst of a public health crisis. But we are also in the painful grip of another crisis: global biodiversity loss is one of the signature phenomena of the Anthropocene, an era when humankind’s impact on natural systems has become determinative. How do we know that biodiversity is in crisis, and how could this be related to COVID-19 and future pandemics? As a co-chair of a ground-breaking Assessment conducted for an intergovernmental organization involving over 70 authors from over 30 countries, Peter Stoett will discuss recent assessment and workshop conclusions and some potential solutions to this severe threat to humanity and the natural environment.

Watch the trailer for the program here.

Missed the program on January 18? Watch it here!

Speaker Bio

Dr. Peter Stoett has been Dean of Social Science and Humanities at Ontario Tech University since 2017. Previously, he was the Director of the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre at Concordia University. He works with the United Nations on several fronts and is presently co-chairing a global assessment conducted by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.


All Water is Sacred: Indigenous Creation Story

Traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) is a unique understanding about the relationship of living beings (human and non-human) with one another and with the environment. TEK represents the utilization of Indigenous practices that can be applied to institutional and leadership at all levels for the protection and stewardship of the natural world. Elder Dorothy Taylor will be sharing her traditional knowledge in a story as it relates and applies to Water.

Monday / February 1 / 7-8 pm
Register Here

Speaker Bio

Dorothy Taylor is a Mississauga Ojibwe Elder from Curve Lake First Nation. She is known for her work and traditional teachings about the sacredness of water. She is asked to share traditional knowledge and ceremony within her community and various organizations throughout Peterborough and surrounding area. She is a hand drummer and singer. Elder Dorothy Taylor is the founder of the Sacred Water Circle, inspired by traditional Indigenous teachings and leading with hope and spiritual courage, the Sacred Water Circle sees a restored relationship between human communities and water. She is a member of the Ontario Tech University, Indigenous Traditional Advisory Council. She has served as a volunteer on the Petroglyph Advisory Council of Curve Lake for 12 years. Currently, Dorothy is the Co-Chair of the local United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation sponsored through the Kawartha World Issues Centre.  She lives in Curve Lake with her husband Mark and two sons.


Defining the Constitutional Limits to Governing Badly

In 2018, the Ontario legislature passed the Better Local Government Act, reducing the number of electoral wards in the City of Toronto. The change came halfway through the municipal election campaign, leaving voters confused and candidates scrambling to adjust.  Although the election ultimately went ahead in compliance with the new legislation, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the law’s constitutionality in March 2021. If the Court struck down the Better Local Government Act, would this be a vindication of Canada’s constitutional order or evidence of its decline?

Monday / February 22 / 7-8 pm

Speaker Bio

Thomas McMorrow is an Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Undergraduate Program Director of Liberal Studies in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Ontario Tech University. He has held visiting positions at the École Normale Supérieur in Lyon, France, and the University of Trento Faculty of Law in Italy. He appeared as a witness to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs as well as a consultant on the federal ministerial roundtable meeting on medical assistance in dying.




Previous Topics

  • Hollywood Magic and Military PR: View it here
  • Why Everybody Can't Get Stoned: View it here
  • Advertising in the Age of Industrialization: View it here
  • The Latest Buzzwords: Indigenization, Reconciliation, Decolonization: View it here
  • Gardening with Crime Prevention in Mind: View it here
  • The COVID-19 Long Term Care Crisis: View it here
  • Supervised Consumption Facilities, Safer Supply, and Decriminalization:
    What Can We Learn from Abroad?: View it here
  • Hallmark Movies and the Canadian Film Industry: View it here


Thu, 01/01/2037 - 19:01
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