Media releases

  • International philosophers coming to Brock

    MEDIA ADVISORY: R00202 – 21 September 2016

    There will be some deep thinking coming to Niagara this week.

    From Thursday through Saturday, a prestigious international conference taking place at Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will draw up to 60 of the world’s leading philosophers to downtown St. Catharines.

    The 41st edition of the annual Merleau-Ponty Circle, considered one of the most significant gatherings in Continental European thought, is being hosted by Brock’s Department of Philosophy. The conference director is associate professor Rajiv Kaushik, whose research on conference namesake Maurice Merleau-Ponty includes the 2011 book Art and Institution: Aesthetics in the Late Works of Merleau-Ponty and the 2013 book Art, Language and Figure in Merleau-Ponty: Excursions in Hyper-Dialectic.

    Brock had presented a proposal to host the annual conference when the 2014 event was held in Geneva. This week, scholars from as far away as China and Australia will be in Niagara for the 2016 Merleau-Ponty Circle.

    The conference theme this year is “Merleau-Ponty: Doing Philosophy from the Outside,” and seeks to open up the meaning of philosophy to other disciplines. The theme is a play on a series of 1948 radio lectures given by Merleau-Ponty titled “Man Seen from the Outside.” Merleau-Ponty was deeply engaged with a variety of fields apart from philosophy, and the conference aims to continue this approach to philosophy by encouraging connections between philosophy and other academic disciplines.

    The conference is scheduled in a way that allows all participants to attend all presentations. This, says Kaushik, gives scholars “the rare opportunity to engage in a deep and sustained way with the research of other presenters, who are generally internationally well-regarded scholars.”

    This year’s keynote speakers include:
    Rudolf Bernet, from the University of Leuven, Belgium, who has published hundreds of articles in psychoanalysis and phenomenology, and authored a number of widely-acclaimed books.

    Veronique Foti, a Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Penn State University. She is a leading researcher in Merleau-Ponty scholarship and works in the areas of European, Continental and Ancient philosophies, as well as philosophy of art and literary theory.

    Edward S. Casey, from Stony Brook University in New York, was the president of the American Philosophical Association (Easter Division) 2009-2010 and works in the areas of phenomenology, aesthetics, philosophy of space and time, ethic, perception and psychoanalytic theory. His research investigates place and space, including landscape paintings and maps.
    The entire conference takes place at the Marilyn I. Walker School for Fine and Performing Arts and First Ontario Performing Arts Centre.

    More information can be found on the conference website.

    The public is welcome to view the conference art work in the MIWSFPA Visual Art Gallery during regular gallery hours.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases

  • As downtown renewal continues, Brock forum lets residents weigh in on future steps

    MEDIA ADVISORY: R00201 – 20 September 2016

    Residents in downtown St. Catharines are pleased with downtown revitalization efforts, but would like to see more open spaces and places to sit, relax and stroll, according to research by Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO).

    “They want to see places where people are comfortable and engaged in pleasurable, low-cost or free leisure activities,”said Brock geography Professor Michael Ripmeester, who surveyed 300 residents as part of the NCO’s research paper released this summer, Downtown revitalization in St. Catharines: Building the public space.

    Downtown renewal will be the topic of a public forum led by a panel featuring Ripmeester, St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik and Brock Faculty of Education Interim Dean David Siegel. The meeting takes place Monday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 207 of the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Complex at Brock.

    The NCO is a research unit at Brock that produces policy briefs and activities that address a wide range of issues on current and emerging trends at the regional, provincial and national levels.

    Topics covered in past research briefs include: the presence and impacts of poverty in Niagara; representation on municipal councils in Ontario; and barriers to post-secondary education.
    Monday’s discussion will mark the first event for the NCO under the leadership of Brock Political Science associate professor Charles Conteh, who was recently named the observatory’s director.

    “My goal is to create platforms of conversation that we can translate into research questions and then provide evidence to inform action and policy,” Conteh said. “We’re developing a discipline of paying very careful attention to what our community is saying: to understand, feel the pulse of where they are, and then leverage the expertise to respond to them.”

    The panel discussion is open to the media and the general public. There’s no cost to attend.

    More information on the NCO policy brief can be found in The Brock News.

    Niagara Community Observatory Panel Discussion
    What: Presentation and panel discussion on the topic: Downtown revitalization in St. Catharines: Building the public space
    Who: Mike Ripmeester, Professor of Geography, Brock University; Walter Sendzik, Mayor, City of St. Catharines; David Siegel, Interim Dean, Faculty of Education, Brock University
    When: Monday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. – noon
    Where: Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Complex, Room 207, Brock University.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases