Speakers & Topics

Gary Libben

Department Chair – Applied Linguistics

Presentation: Your Language: It Says a Lot About What is in and on Your Mind

In many ways, language is a double-edged sword: It creates bonds among people, but it can also be a means of aggression. Linguistic aggression is very powerful because of the way that language is processed in the human mind. I will discuss how applied linguistics can help us to understand how we are affected by verbal threat and verbal aggression.

John McNamara & Hannah Dyer


Presentation: Issues and Opportunities in Child and Youth Studies

In this session, students will hear from John McNamara and Hannah Dyer, the professors for the first year class in Child and Youth Studies. John and Hannah will talk about some important issues facing children and youth in our communities as well as some of the exciting opportunities and experiences students will have when studying children and youth at Brock University.

Derek Foster

associate professor – Communication, Popular Culture & FILM

Presentation: I Don’t Think That Memes What You Think it Memes: An Introduction to Hot Topics in Media and Communication Studies

The title of the current textbook used in the first year communication course is “Media and Society.” This talk will demonstrate how “media are society,” emphasizing topical subject matter and key concepts in the field of media and communication studies. Viral media content and material “ripped from the headlines” will be analyzed along with a slight detour to analyze mediated communication in some atypical venues (Starbucks, anyone?).

Cornelius Christian

ASSISTANT professor – economics

Presentation: Mass Shootings, Gun Laws and Economics

Mass shootings appear to be endemic to the United States, a country with relaxed firearms regulations. Switzerland, which also has high gun ownership, has hardly any mass shootings. What explains this discrepancy? We shall use tools from economics to probe this question.

Phillip Mackintosh


Presentation: Animal City: Houses, Streets, and Wildlife

Cities are filled with wild animals. Why? What do they think cities are? Why do we think some wild animals are pests? The session will explore how animals live in cities, how they make cities work for them, and why we forget that, to wildlife, the city is just “nature.”

Diane Leon & Paul Hamilton

Undergraduate Advisor/ seminar coordinator & department chair and ASSOCIATE professor – POLITICAL SCIENCE

Presentation: What is Political Science?

The session will blend a description of the discipline and Political Science course offerings with some central questions. Career and co-op options will also be discussed.

Andrew Dane


Presentation: The Evolution of Bullying

Research suggests that some adolescents benefit from bullying, as they are popular, powerful and have more boyfriends or girlfriends than other students. I will discuss these findings from an evolutionary perspective, and explain how this information may help us to develop more effective programs for reducing bullying and peer victimization.

Various Speakers


Presentation: Committing Sociology

What does it mean to “commit Sociology,” as former Prime Minister Stephen Harper once disparagingly put it? And why should students commit themselves to a degree in this discipline? This session provides students with a broad overview of Sociology as an academic field and a way of thinking, with a particular focus on the sub-field of Critical Criminology. Students currently in the program will offer up some useful reflections on their own experiences to date at Brock. Finally, the session will round off with a discussion of some exciting new initiatives in our department and of some viable career prospects for those who commit to pursuing a sociology degree.

Robyn Bourgeois


Presentation: Gender and Serial Killers

In addition to a mini lecture examining gender and serial killers, the presentation will introduce students to the field of Women’s and Gender Studies and our program here at Brock. Robyn will be joined by Kristina Petrusic, Women’s and Gender Studies major and program ambassador.