Faculty of Arts and Humanities

News in 2013

New Major in Italian Language and Culture

Western News, January 17, 2013
Celebrating the launch of a new Italian major, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures brought a world-famous Italian theatre Commedia dell-Arte performance to Conron Hall, January 15th. Prior to the event, world-renowned performer Mace Perlman, hosted workshops with students, teaching them the art of Italian theatre performance.

Family footwear find shows new side to Roman military

Adela Talbot, Western News, January 17, 2013
By looking at someone’s shoes, you can tell a lot about the person wearing them. That old adage certainly rings true when looking at children’s shoes from ancient Rome. Just ask Elizabeth Greene, a Classics professor, who, at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America this month, presented research showing children of Roman military families wore footwear that reflected their social status. Read more

Spin cycle - Armstrong, doping and the lies he told

By Samantha Brennan (Philosophy) for Western News, January 24, 2013
As a philosopher whose main area of research is ethics, and as a cyclist, I’m saddened, angered and intellectually puzzled by Lance Armstrong’s behaviour and recent confession. Like many, I’ve followed his career closely. It’s a compelling saga, triathlete turned Tour de France champion seven times over, with a life-threatening battle with cancer along the way. In the past, I believed Armstrong when he said he was clean, when time after time he denied accusations of doping, and when he said he was the victim of...Read More

Culture Jamming helps shake off the chill

By Susan Knabe (Women's Studies) for Western News, January 31, 2013
Feminist culture jamming employs techniques which catch people off guard, unsettle established ideas and erode patriarchal culture by mounting a challenge from within its institutions. The witty, often irreverent, reworkings of patriarchal culture embodied by feminist culture jamming engage audiences to help dispel the tired stereotypes of humourless ‘feminist killjoys,’ channel genuine critique and anger, and engender understanding and insight. Read More

Why Harry Potter matters to the humanities

By Bryce Traister (English & Writing Studies) as appeared in The Gazette
Students greeted the news that Western’s Department of English and Writing Studies will be offering a half-course on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels next year with anticipation and derision. One student tweeted that on hearing the news, she upgraded graduation plans from a four to a five-year degree. Another announced that the barbarians were at the gates in the form of this obvious bird course. Lost in the excitement was a discussion of why, at this time, the English and writing department had decided to introduce this course. There are several reasons. Read More

Student behind the story speaks out

By Adela Talbot, Western News, February 14, 2013
Within days, Kierston Drier’s letter went viral. The note she wrote and taped in a University College restroom stall – a gesture of compassion to young women who, by way of graffiti, shared their innermost struggles – was everywhere, with thousands of likes, shares and comments on Facebook, The Huffington Post, the National Post, making even the cover of Yahoo! News, among other outlets. Read More

Time has come for Potter exploration in the classroom

By Adela Talbot, Western News, February 14, 2013
Gabrielle Ceraldi is sure it is a perfect fit for today’s generation of Western students. A Western English professor, she is excited to teach The Many Faces of Harry Potter, a semester-long course that will look at all seven books of the series, alongside thematically related short works of fiction, like George Orwell’s 1984. Read More

Writer in residence to give creative writing voice

By Adela Talbot, Western News, February 14, 2013
The Western literary community added two new members this week, both expected to bring a world of insight across campus. The Department of English and Writing Studies, together with the University Students’ Council (USC), named fourth-year English student Alexandra Carillo-Hayley as Western’s first Student Writer in Residence, starting this term. “This is a pilot project, an experiment. As far as I know, this is a unique program – no one else has a Student Writer in Residence,” said Manina Jones, the department vice chair. Read More

Young poet wants to unite all disciplines through writing

By Ben Forrest, London Free Press, February 22, 2013
It was through personal loss Alex Carrillo-Hayley gained an appreciation of how important writing would become to her life. The fourth-year Western University student recently became the school’s inaugural student writer-in-residence, in what is likely the only program of its kind in North America. It was through a poem she crafted at age 12, after the death of her grandfather, Arthur Edwin Hayley, that she realized how words could transform. “I wrote a poem about his life, which I was later asked to read at his eulogy, and it really helped me cope with the loss of him,” said Carrillo-Hayley, 21. Read More

Lambier: Offering up a 'Blueprint' for community engagement

By Joshua Lambier, for Western News, February 28, 2013
What roles do community engagement and public scholarship play at Western as it renews its Strategic Plan? During a time of change and crisis in higher education, what does it mean for an international research university to reimagine its civic commitment, and to explore new spaces of engagement at the student, faculty and institutional levels? How do we cultivate a student experience that fosters global thinking, while also promoting programs and partnerships that feature community-based learning and research that are mutually beneficial to Western and its publics? Read More

Course weds literature, marriage in global context

By Adela Talbot, Western News, March 7, 2013
Taiwo Osinubi is taking his students on an unconventional tour around the world, but no luggage is necessary – only books and the subject of marriage. Among the newest faculty addition to the Department of English and Writing Studies, Osinubi is teaching Global Literatures, a new course meant to cover topics formerly addressed in Postcolonial Literature classes. Read More

Gender class makes curriculum cut; work remains

By Adela Talbot, for Western News, March 7, 2013
What started as a conversation in a Western residence eight years ago will be an elective course in high schools across the province come this fall. The Miss G Project for Equity in Education, a grassroots organization started by Western students in 2005, had, as its original mandate, the goal of bringing a Gender Studies course to the Ontario secondary school curriculum. With that newly designed course on the agenda this fall, the group’s members are celebrating the victory, while noting there’s work still to be done. Read More

Innovation is Human(ist)

By Douglas Keddy, Canada's London Guest Blogger, March 12, 2013
We often think of innovation as being the domain of the widget, the whozit and the whatnot. Of robots, lasers and cures. (And, don’t get me wrong: robots can be ridiculously cool.) Read More

Art project lets water discussion flow

By Paul Mayne, Western News, March 21, 2013
If a picture paints a thousand words, Patrick Mahon hopes his ongoing project speaks volumes when it comes to the subject of water and its cultural and environmental importance. Canadians know water as a seemingly ubiquitous resource and an increasingly desirable international commodity. Mahon’s project, Immersion Emergencies, uses the visual arts to offer opportunities for visual and socio-cultural engagement on the topic. Read More

New Minor in Medieval Studies

By Craig Glover, London Free Press, March 27, 2013
The private collections room at Western’s Weldon Library was abuzz Tuesday, and even the librarians were in on the noise. What was the fuss all about? An extensive 15th-century religious manuscript from the pre-French Revolution city of Lille that belonged to a man by the name of Canon Grandel, who very likely used the book for his private devotions, Western University music history professor Jim Grier said. Read More

New course expands Holocaust into literature

By Adela Talbot, Western News, April 4, 2013
Teaching the Holocaust doesn’t boil down to a history lecture alone. A literature class is a necessary supplement to the subject, according to Alain Goldschläger, director of the Holocaust Research Institute at Western. Read More

Alumnus brings a little 'humour' to the novel

By Adela Talbot, Western News, April 4, 2013
It’s not your typical tale of time travel. Ill Humour, a recent novel by Western alumnus Philip Glennie, PhD’11, has what he calls an “eye-catching premise.” And he’s right. Read More

Allure of new class hopefully irresistible to some

By Adela Talbot, Western News, April 4, 2013
Christine Roulston hopes teaching sex, seduction and romance – as manifested in French novels – will teach students a little more about French history and culture. It’s an appealing avenue, she will admit, noting it was intentional to draw more students to the Department of French Studies where she will, come next Winter Term, teach a new half-course in English, Sex and Seduction in the French Novel. Read More

Strong women: a story of pantyhose and pinups

By Mila Petkovic, Metro London, May 2, 2013
Going through her grandmother’s scrapbook last year, Paddy Jane made an incredible discovery. Her grandmother, Paddy Browne, had not only been an actress, but also a radio host, pinup model and cabaret host. Read More

McDayter: MOOCing about with education

By Mark McDayter for Western News, May 9, 2013
The MOOC – or, on the off chance you have been hiding in an attic for the last year or so, the ‘massively open online course’ – is, we have been reliably informed, capable of great feats of pedagogical prowess. It is a transformative application of technology to teaching, a tremendous boon for universities, and a godsend for our hard-pressed students. Read More

Student's internal illness inspired external beauty

By Paul Mayne, Western News, May 9, 2013
Gina Duque gave the ‘brush off’ to a number of local artists at a recent London fundraiser. Oh, no, it’s not what you think. The 23-year-old Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) student lacks the animosity and hostility to do so. Read More

Students connect through Potter clubs and classes

By Josh Dehaas, Maclean's On Campus Blog, May 13, 2013
Two summers ago when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 arrived at the cinema in Ancaster, Ont., Stephanie Kesler took the day off work and lined up for 12 hours to make sure she got a good seat. Afterward, Kesler, now 23, says she felt “a little bit sad.” Growing up she had eagerly anticipated each of J.K. Rowling’s books and films. “That was my whole childhood.” Read More