Articles by author: Brock University

  • Feminism and Classics VI conference hosted at Brock in May 2012

    The Department of Classics is pleased to host the sixth Feminism and Classics conference in May 2012, the first time this international conference will be held in Canada. The Call for Papers is now closed. The conference website will be launched in late January; in the meantime, please direct any questions to


    Feminism and Classics VI: Crossing Borders, Crossing Lines

    Brock University,
    St Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    May 24-27, 2012

    Ancient Mediterranean society was crisscrossed by multiple boundaries and borders. Firm boundaries between male and female, slave and free, gods and mortals (to name just a few) defined social identities and relationships, even as these lines were regularly crossed in religious ritual, social practices and artistic imagination. In current scholarship, Feminism is now Feminisms, encouraging multiple, and even transgressive, approaches to the study of women, gender, and sexuality in the ancient world. But has Feminism itself become a boundary, dividing fields of study or generations of scholars? Or is it a threshold, encouraging crossings between literary, historical and archaeological evidence? What new approaches are scholars using to push the boundaries of the evidence and the limits of our knowledge of the ancient world?

    This conference will focus on boundaries, liminality, and transgression. What kinds of crossings did ancient people experience and what control did they have over such crossings? How did borders and border crossings differ in relation to gender, ethnicity, age, or legal status? If the masculine and feminine were clearly demarcated categories of being, how do we interpret homosexual, transvestite and gender-labile aspects of the ancient world? What points of contrast and connection exist between different types of gendered space (literal or metaphorical) and do they change when geographic or national boundaries are crossed?

    We invite submissions for abstracts of papers and workshops that explore these and related themes, and encourage proposals from a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives. Abstracts of 300 words can be submitted electronically (starting January 31, 2011) to the conference website: Deadline for receipt of abstracts is June 30, 2011.

    For inquiries, please contact

    The Department of Classics at Brock University is pleased to host Feminism and Classics VI. Brock University is the only Canadian University to be located in a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve. It is within an hour’s drive of Toronto, Ontario and Buffalo, NY, and thus easily accessible and close to major attractions, shopping and airports. The Niagara region is framed by Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and the Niagara River, and is in the heart of Ontario’s vineyard country, and visitors can enjoy the culinary and wine trail. More information about Brock University and its location can be found at


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    COMMOTION will give 23 Niagara students an opportunity to perform two new plays that they’ve created over a 12 week drama enrichment program at their high schools and present it at the Sullivan Mahoney Courthouse Theatre from December 9-11, 2010. Thanks to support from TALK Niagara (Teams of Adults Listening to Kids) and Bonnie Prentice, students from 8 high schools all over Niagara will see these plays created by students from Eastdale Secondary School and Laura Secord Secondary School. Free performances at the Old Courthouse are Thursday, December 9th at 10 am and 12:30pm, Friday, December 10th at 10am and 12:30 pm, and Saturday, December 11th at 7pm. For ticket information call Carousel Players at 905-682-8326 X26.

    The play On the Line by Laura Secord Secondary School students tackles the influence of technology and media on young people, bullying and family relations. Students from Eastdale Secondary School have created the play Squawk: Flippin’ the Bird which explores the use and abuse of authority, decision-making and issues of identity. Both plays open up new doors for discussion with teens on what happens on the internet, the social pressures they face, and they encourage students to share stories with their peers about their own experiences. Roxolana Chwaluk, Caitlin English, Brandon Pachan and Trevor Rotenberg, facilitators trained through Brock University’s Drama Department have been working with the students an estimated 240 hours at their schools since September 2010.

    “The characters, scenes and stories from the plays evolved from improvised scenes created by the students and developed through a play building process called RSVP. In Commotion, we start exploring resource materials, like umbrellas or ironing boards, and allow the stories, issues and insights to emerge from this work” said COMMOTION leader Pablo Felices Luna, Artistic Director at Carousel Players. “The COMMOTION program is led by Professor Gyllian Raby with designers Michael Greves, Joe Lapinski and Doug Ledingham. We thank drama teachers Tracey Garratt from Eastdale Secondary School and Tracy Thorpe from Laura Secord Secondary School for welcoming us into their schools, for actively fostering creativity in their students and for their passionate commitment to drama at their school.”

    This is the second year of the three year COMMOTION project and involves Carousel Players, Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and TALK Niagara (Teams of Adults Listening to Kids). Last year 35 students from E.L. Crossley Secondary School and St. Catharines Collegiate participated in the program. COMMOTION is made possible by SSHRC: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and approval from the District School Board of Niagara to work with participating high school students on the project.  


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  • Internationally renowned drama-in-education educator visits Niagara

    The Department of Dramatic Arts, Brock University will host Dr. Jonothan Neelands, a world leader in Drama in Education on Monday, Nov. 1, 2010.

    Neelands will provide an invitational workshop to local Niagara Catholic District School Board (NCDSB) and the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) secondary teachers between 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., held at Denis Morris Secondary School, 40 Glen Morris Dr., St. Catharines.

    Later that day, between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., he will give an open two-hour workshop at Brock University held at the Schmon Tower Room ST103. This is a free workshop with a few openings remaining. Interested registrants can contact Joe Norris directly.

    Neelands will conclude his visit to the Niagara region with a one-hour workshop with a Drama in Education class for the Department of Dramatic Arts.

    Joe Norris states, “This is a remarkable opportunity for all those wishing to teach/learn through experiential and role play models of instruction that incorporate multiple intelligences and the use of the imagination.”

    Dr. Jonothan Neelands is a National Teaching Fellow, Chair of Drama and Theatre Education and Director of Teaching and Learning at the University of Warwick. He is an experienced trainer and workshop leader with a national and international reputation for delivering high quality professional training and development opportunities. He is an associate of the CAPITAL Centre for creativity and performance in teaching and learning, which is a joint initiative between the University of Warwick and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

    Neelands plans to return to Brock University next summer to teach a six-day course for the Department of Dramatic Arts about learning through process drama.

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  • Inaugural lecture of the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Transnational Studies: The Messengers

    A lecture by Dr. Russell M. Lawson

    The Messengers were Protestant missionaries to indigenous peoples of the Great Lakes regions during the late 1700s/early 1800s. I focus on the beliefs,experiences, characteristics, motivations and fundamental
    assumptions of the Messengers. My working question is: What do the experiences of the Messengers tell us about the interaction/confrontation of cultures over time?

    Reception to follow lecture.

    Generously supported by Art and Val Fleming and Brock Alumni through the Annual Fund.


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  • New PhD programme in Interdisciplinary Humanities

    The Ontario Council for Graduate Studies has given approval for the Ph.D. programme in Interdisciplinary Humanities to commence and admit students in September 2011.

    Brock’s University’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Doctoral Program provides students with a focused context in which to engage with topics integral to the contested notions of knowledge, values and creativity as reflected in the specific fields of Critique and Social Transformation, Culture and Aesthetics,Digital Humanities and Ways of Knowing.

    The program is committed to providing a rigourous interdisciplinary environment that nurtures scholarly and creative activity. Such endeavours aim to investigate the past as well influence the ways in which reflection and creation contribute to the further unfolding of society in the future.

    Students pursuing Brock University’s Interdisciplinary Doctoral Humanities Program will have the opportunity to collaborate across disciplines and to associate with wider communities of inquiry. Upon completion of the program, individuals will be prepared for continued research and teaching, or for professions requiring abilities in disciplined study, critical discernment, and robust application of creative insight.

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  • New Dean of Humanities ready for the challenge

    Every employee is excited about a new job. But Douglas Kneale has inherited a more active portfolio than most.

    Starting work at Brock on July 1, Kneale is the new Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, a job guaranteed to be anything but boring.

    He will oversee the Faculty moving in to the new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts campus, hailed as a pivotal development for downtown St. Catharines. He will be Dean when Brock hosts the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in 2014, an event large enough to generate more than $10 million in economic spin-off for the Niagara region. He has a seat on the board for nGen, a Brock-partnered new media business incubator, and is involved in the planning of the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812.

    Read the full story at The Brock News

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  • Students explore Viking culture in Iceland

    It’s a course fit for a learned Viking — five weeks of classroom work, plus two weeks treading scenic, historic areas of Iceland.

    As part of a new Medieval and Renaissance Studies course, known as MARS 3F50, 19 students headed to Iceland in June to pore over historic texts, visit burial grounds and examine historic sites they’d learned about the month before. It was the inaugural journey of a course the department hopes to offer every two years, said Andrew McDonald, professor of History.

    Read the full story at The Brock News

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  • As Hale takes her leave, Brock announces the new Dean of Humanities

    Brock University’s next Dean of Humanities will be Douglas Kneale, an accomplished scholar from the University of Western Ontario who takes up his new duties on July 1.

    Kneale has taught in UWO’s Department of English for 25 years, including five years as Chair of the department.

    Kneale’s was one of two decanal appointments made today by Brock. It was also announced that Fiona Blaikie will become the new Dean of Education on Aug. 1.

    In Humanities, Kneale will replace outgoing Dean Rosemary Hale, who is completing a second consecutive five-year term as Dean of the faculty. Hale, who retains a tenured position within the faculty, will commence a well-earned administrative leave this summer.

    Kneale is an award-winning teacher whose research stretches from Wordsworth and Milton to psychoanalysis and the history of rhetoric. Kneale has published books on English Romanticism and contributed peer-reviewed essays to top-ranked journals and volumes around the world.

    Kneale expressed excitement about coming to Brock at a time of growth and change at the University.

    “I am thrilled to be joining Brock as its next Dean of Humanities,” he said. “I believe that we are entering a very creative period in Brock’s history, and I look forward to working with students, faculty, and staff at Brock and with our many partners in the Niagara community to help us reach our enormous combined potential.”

    Besides academic credentials, Kneale also brings considerable administrative experience, having sat on numerous committees at Western, not least of which were the Appointments, Promotion & Tenure Committee and the Budget and Development Committee.

    Before joining the faculty at Western in 1985, Kneale (BA, UWO 1978; MA, UWO 1979; PhD, University of Toronto 1983) taught at Yale University (Fall 1984), Bishop’s (1983-84) and at U of T (1979-82).

    The announcement was made by Murray Knuttila, Brock’s Vice President, Academic. He welcomed the new dean and also acknowledged the contributions of Hale, who tirelessly pushed for the creation of the new Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts campus in downtown St Catharines.

    “There are some big shoes to fill,” said Knuttila. “We all know, and will sorely miss, Rosemary Hale’s indomitable passion, creativity and commitment to her Faculty and to the University.

    “But in preparing for our next chapter, I am very enthused about Dr. Kneale’s arrival. And he is likewise excited about the future of the University and particularly the Faculty of Humanities, as it undertakes such major initiatives as hosting the 2014 Social Sciences and Humanities Conference, and building the new Walker campus downtown.”

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  • Bonnett speaks to House of Commons committee on literacy’s digital future

    The irony was not lost on John Bonnett.

    He nearly missed his chance to speak to a House of Commons standing committee on digital literacy because of a technological glitch.

    The associate professor of History and Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities was invited to Ottawa April 27 to speak to a House of Commons Standing Committee focused on emerging and digital media. While he had met the deadline to submit his remarks and PowerPoint in time to be translated into French, when the committee sat down that day to listen, the translated PowerPoint was not available, for reasons unknown.

    “However, when I told them that the majority of my slides were images only, with very little text, I was allowed to proceed.”

    Read the whole story at The Brock News

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  • Ontario government announces $26.2 million for Brock’s downtown fine arts complex

    Brock University’s planned fine arts campus in downtown St. Catharines is now clear to proceed, after the Government of Ontario today announced $26.2 million in funding for the major project.

    St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley announced the funding this morning at a public event held beside the abandoned textile factory that will be transformed into the new home of Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. The province will provide the funding over four years.

    The funding is a major breakthrough for both the University and the community. The new Marilyn I. Walker School will provide state-of-the-art facilities for more than 500 full-time students and faculty, freeing up much needed space for other programs at Brock’s main campus in south St. Catharines.

    But the downtown fine arts campus is also being built in partnership with the City of St Catharines, which will build a civic Niagara Centre for the Arts on the other half of the downtown site. With the provincial funding now secured, Brock will fund-raise approximately $20 million to pay for its part of the Walker campus.

    “This is an incredible day for Brock,” said University President Jack Lightstone, “a day we have been working toward for a long time, with unceasing commitment and help from Jim Bradley. This is much more than wonderful news for a university that desperately needs more space. This investment in post-secondary education by the Government of Ontario will help change the lives of thousands of students whose knowledge and careers will be greatly enhanced by vastly improved educational facilities.”

    Bradley said the investment is part of the McGuinty government’s Open Ontario plan to generate opportunities for jobs and economic growth.

    “The new five-year Open Ontario plan is about creating jobs and growth,” said Bradley. “Our investment in Brock University will help support St. Catharines’ vibrant arts community, attract more people downtown, and generate economic development for the entire Niagara region.”

    Rosemary Hale, Dean of Humanities at Brock, said the new downtown Walker campus will mean a dedicated theatre, rehearsal, teaching and research studios for students.

    “Talent needs purpose-built space in order to flourish,” she said, “and now our talent will have it.”

    “The Centre for the Arts built in conjunction with a new location for the Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will be the cornerstone of a downtown revitalization of our core,” said St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan. “By building on the growing cultural sector this project will attract new business and investments diversifying our local economy and building future prosperity.”

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