Brock Talks to touch on community-themed topics

The popular Brock Talks series is back this fall with a range of topics, including shining a light on the resilience of women in ancient Greece, unpacking comics journalism and exploring the effects of brain injury through artistic expression.

The public lectures, which have been running since 2012 and are open to the community, are presented by Brock’s Faculty of Humanities in partnership with the St. Catharines Public Library (SCPL).

The 2023-24 series begins Monday, Sept. 18 with “What is Comics Journalism?” presented by Robert Alexander, Associate Professor of English at Brock, President of the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies and 2022 Faculty of Humanities Award recipient for Excellence in Teaching.

By exploring the evolution of comics journalism, Alexander will explain the emerging genre and dive into how artistic and journalistic expression merge to tell stories from a different perspective than conventional news media.

On Monday, Oct. 23, the series will step back in time with “Women and Community in Classical Athens” presented by Professor of Ancient History Allison Glazebrook, 2023 recipient of the Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

An expert in the social and cultural history of ancient Greece with a focus on women and gender, Glazebrook will explore how the role of status affected female networks beyond the household and male-dominated areas of society in classical Athens.

In November, Brock Talks will take to the stage with Professor of Dramatic Arts (DART) Mike Griffin presenting “Staging the Internal Injury — Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Through Physical Theatre and Mask” on Wednesday, Nov. 22.

Griffin, the 2023 Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient, will address the pre-production research and development of his new play The Mysterious Mind of Molly McGillicuddy.

The play explores brain injury and related mental health issues through the styles of full-mask and physical theatre and will premiere as DART’s 2024 winter mainstage production at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre.

Elizabeth Vlossak, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of History, collaborates with Sam Walker, Programming and Outreach Librarian at the SCPL, to organize the series.

Vlossak said this season’s talks are connected through the theme of community, with some speakers focusing on specific groups and peoples they have studied while others will reflect on how their research or creative practice has been informed by their community engagement.

“The Brock Talks are a wonderful opportunity for the Faculty of Humanities to connect with the public and start conversations,” Vlossak said. “We are grateful to the St. Catharines Public Library for continuing to provide this space for us to share our research, teaching and creative activity downtown with the Niagara community.”

Walker said she is always intrigued by the lectures and discussions featured in the series, eager to learn more about what topics Brock researchers are digging into.

“I’m so glad to be heading into our 11th year of partnership between Brock and SCPL in providing Brock Talks to the community,” she said. “It’s a great way to bring academia closer to people and to encourage them to explore fascinating topics with experts right at hand.”

All Brock Talks events are held at the St. Catharines Public Library at 54 Church St. in downtown St. Catharines. These events are free but pre-registration is encouraged through ExperienceBU.

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