Robert and Patricia Duncanson Lecture Series

Conron Hall

Robert and Patricia Duncanson Lecture Series

Thanks to a gift from Tim K. Duncanson in 2018, this series supports an annual lecture in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities offered through the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities (SASAH). While the lecture will be open to the University community, it will also be a key component of the SASAH Speakers’ Series, which is an important part of the program’s curriculum. This lecture is named in honour of Robert Duncanson and Marjorie Patricia Duncanson.

Each year, the Faculty of Arts & Humanities will invite a scholar or artist to give a lecture at the University on a topic related to the SASAH program’s dedication to Learning with Humanity. The Lecture will stimulate both thought and discussion with regard to the importance of humanities scholarship, and related engagement, to a meaningful search for ways to exert a positive influence on complex contemporary and future problems and challenges.

2021 - 22 - David Usher, musician, author, founder of artificial intelligence creative studio, Reimagine AI


This year, on March 10,2022, join us for a special virtual event, featuring Juno-Award winning creativity expert, David Usher as he shares “The Power of Human Creativity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.”

Drawing from his unique experiences --- as the lead singer of Moist; a multi-platinum, four-time Juno-award winning musician; a bestselling author, and as the founder of the artificial intelligence creative studio Reimagine AI --- David Usher reveals why now, more than ever, creativity and innovation are the only way forward.
Using live music, video, improvisation, technology, and humour, David Usher shows audiences why creativity is absolutely the superpower we need for this transformative new world, and how to cultivate it. The ability to understand and access a creative mindset will be what distinguishes both individuals and companies from everyone else. 

2020 - 21 - Dr. Jillian Horton, author, musician, general internist, Director of the Alan Klass Health Humanities Program at the Max Rady College of Medicine in Winnipeg

Jillian HortonWe welcomed Dr. Jillian Horton (Faculty of Arts & Humanities alumna, English, BA '96, MA '97) on March 4, 2021 to a virtual event as our 3rd Annual Robert and Patricia Duncanson Lecturer. In partnership with The Schulich Medical School, Words Festival, SASAH and the Department of English and Writing Studies at Western, we present this talk during The Grand Rounds.

Dr. Horton discussed her new book We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing.  Dr. Horton is an award-winning medical educator, writer, musician and podcaster.  After graduating from English at Western, she completed a residency and a fellowship in internal medicine at the University of Toronto and has held posts as an associate dean and associate head of internal medicine. As a teacher of mindfulness, she is sought after by doctors at all stages of their careers.

2019 - 20 - Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

Naomi OreskesOn November 14, 2019, we welcomed Naomi Oreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University as the 2nd Annual Robert and Patricia Duncanson Lecturer.

Naomi is an internationally renowned geologist, science historian, and author of both scholarly and popular books and articles on the history of earth and environmental science, including The Rejection of Continental Drift, Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth, and in recent decades has been a leading voice on the issue of anthropogenic climate change.


2018 - 19 - Matthew Teitelbaum, Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Matthew TeitelbaumThe inaugural Robert and Patricia Duncanson Lecture took place on March 4, 2019 featuring Matthew Teitelbaum, Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Matthew Teitelbaum is an international leader in the world of art museums and galleries. His lecture addressed the subject of the future of museums in the twenty-first century with reference to his experiences leading art institutions in the United States and Canada.