2015-16 Speaker Series: Aaron Shantz – Why do we strike?: Notes from the U of T Picket Line

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Public Sociology at Western (PS@W) would like to invite you to attend our second 2015-2016 Speaker Series talk. Our featured speaker is: Aaron Shantz, PhD student, Sociology, University of Toronto.

Friday, November 13, 2015
1:00 – 2:00 pm SSC 5220

Refreshments 12:30 pm SSC Lounge (5240)

Why do we strike?: Notes from the U of T Picket Line

Come join us in a discussion about the recent U of T strike with Aaron Shantz, a rank-and-file member of CUPE 3902. Aaron, a former member of PS@W, will be here to share his experience on the front lines as a picket captain and student organizer during the strike. What was it like to be on strike? What impact did the strike have on the University of Toronto student body? What tactics worked better than others? What was the reaction of the undergraduates, faculty and the administration? And where do things stand now that the strike is over? These are some of the questions that will be discussed from an insider’s perspective of the U of T strike.

Aaron Shantz, MA
PhD Student, University of Toronto

Aaron Shantz is currently a PhD student in the Department of Sociology ‎at the University of Toronto. He is also a 2012 graduate of the Western Sociology BA program. Aaron was an active member of the University of Toronto T.A. Strike in 2015 playing the role of Picket captain and working on several committees.

For more info: info@publicsociologywestern.ca

All Welcome!

2014-15 Speaker Series: Randy Stoecker – From First Contact to Full Impact: Community-Based Research in Motion

UPDATED EVENT – NEW DATE AND TIME
Thursday, October 15, 2015

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Public Sociology at Western (PS@W) would like to invite you to attend its first 2015-2016 Speaker Series talk (postponed from last year due to illness). Our featured speaker is: Randy Stoecker, Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin.

Thursday, October 15, 2015
1:30 – 2:30 pm SSC 5220

Refreshments 10:00 pm SSC Lounge

From First Contact to Full Impact: Community-Based Research in Motion

Community-based research is about much more than research methods. In its fullest form it is in fact about the integration of research and social action. This talk will explore that integration, including: how researchers and community organizations find each other and negotiate their relationship; how to build a core group to oversee the research; how to connect research to action and design an action-supporting research project; how to organize the research implementation; and how to close the relationship. Along the way, Dr. Stoecker will present examples of impact: $2 million for neighborhood-based development organizations; the elimination of a slumlord from two neighborhoods, the development of water conservation policy in a suburban village; the improvement of funding strategy for a coalition of progressive organizations; the promise of a community center for a neglected neighborhood.

Photo courtesy of Randy Stoecker

Photo courtesy of Randy Stoecker

Randy Stoecker, PhD
Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin

Dr. Stoecker specializes in the areas of community organizing and development, community-based research, service learning, and community information technology. He works on collaborating with neighbourhoods in cities across the U.S., Canada, and Australia to develop community based research projects that encourage positive social change and economic development as well as to educate on ways to incorporate community engaged learning as a pedagogy in university curriculum. Dr. Stoecker also holds a joint appointment in the University of Wisconsin Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. Dr. Stoecker has written, edited or co-written five books and a number of articles and book chapters on the subjects of ‘community’ and ‘participatory research’. His most recent books include Research Methods for Community Change: A Project-Based Approach (2013) and The Unheard Voices: Community Organizations and Service Learning (2009) (edited with Elizabeth A. Tryon and Amy Hilgendorf).

For more info: info@publicsociologywestern.ca

All Welcome!

Special Event: Tom Murphy – Notes on the Art of Dying: Sociological, Political, and Personal Perspectives

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Public Sociology at Western (PS@W) would like to invite you to a special event featuring, the Department of Sociology at Western’s own Tom Murphy.

Friday, April 17, 2015
1:00pm UC (University College) 142

Reception to follow (TBA)

Notes on the Art of Dying:
Sociological, Political, and Personal Perspectives

In a culture in which the denial of death expresses itself in many distorted forms (anti-aging fetishism, celebrity worship, and unfettered consumerism), those who transition to the status of “dying” find themselves in an uncomfortable social location. We necessarily process the act of death through ritualistic responses of coming together, but the dying period before death is much less recognized.  In this talk, I will focus on those who are cognitively aware of their own imminent death either because they have received a terminal diagnosis, or have had a rapid decline in health such that they and others around them recognize that death is near. Interestingly, sociology has little to say on the act of dying, and it is one of my purposes to propose a general framework for bridging this gap. I will be drawing on multiple sources, but notably literary critic Susan Sontag, and radical journalist, Christopher Hitchens. But I will also be drawing upon my own experience as one who has been given a very limited time to live.

I also intend to address political issues involved in dying (such as assisted dying) and I also wish to share my personal perspectives on the art of dying including making the case that it can be a time of deep personal satisfaction, good humour, and profound joy.

Photo courtesy of Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy
Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Western Ontario

For more info: info@publicsociologywestern.ca

All Welcome!

2014-15 Speaker Series: James Shelley – Knowledge Glut: Academic and intellectual thought in a data saturated society

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Public Sociology at Western (PS@W) would like to invite you to attend its second 2014-2015 Speaker Series talk. Our featured speaker is: James Shelley, Independent Researcher & Author.

Friday, March 6, 2015
1:00 – 2:00 pm SSC 5220

Refreshments 12:30 pm SSC Lounge

Knowledge Glut: Academic and intellectual thought in a data saturated society

How will programs of knowledge creation fare in a world of information overload? How can knowledge be effectively disseminated broadly when the public’s attention is a premium? How will “brick and mortar” institutions of higher learning evolve in a “Googlefied” world? This seminar hypothesizes that questions of this nature will only grow in importance as the abundance and accessibility of information continues to increase exponentially. As such, the potential relevance of intellectual thinking in the future warrants critical analysis.

JamesShelly

Photo courtesy of James Shelley

James Shelley
Independent Researcher & Author

James Shelley is an author, researcher, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Caesura Letters, an internationally distributed periodical that blends research from the sciences and humanities into a “daily devotional” of thought experiments and mental exercises.

For more info: info@publicsociologywestern.ca

All Welcome!

 

 

2014-15 Speaker Series: Alan Sears – Tuition Increases and the Assault on the Public University

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Public Sociology at Western (PS@W) would like to invite you to attend its first 2014-2015 Speaker Series. Our featured speaker is: Professor Alan D. Sears, Professor of Sociology, Ryerson University.

Thursday, January 22, 2015
1:00 – 2:00 pm SSC 5220

Refreshments 12:30 pm SSC 5230

Tuition Increases and the Assault on the Public University

Tuition increases are but one dimension of an assault on post-secondary education as a public service. Increased tuition fees not only burden students with overwhelming debts upon graduation, but also transform the relationship between students and the university. Education becomes a product for purchase. Students are then encouraged to regard their education as an investment leading to workplace readiness alone, rather than all-round human growth.

Quebec students showed through their 2012 strike that it is possible to defeat tuition increases, and resist this assault on the public university. This requires that we move beyond defending the university as it has been against the threat of neo-liberal restructuring. Rather, the fight against tuition increases should be linked to a transformative agenda for the public university, based on democracy, access, quality and decolonization. This talk will examine tuition fee increases in relation to the fight for the public university.

Courtesy of Ryerson University.

Courtesy of Ryerson University.

Alan D. Sears, PhD
Professor of Sociology, Ryerson University

Dr. Sears specializes in the areas of social movements, work, education and sexuality. He has written or co-written three books and a number of articles and chapters focussing on social change, inequality and ways of knowing. He is also a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly and participates in Stop the Cuts and many other movements. His academic research is connected to his activist engagements in movements for social justice. He is currently working on a book on democracy in the age of neo-liberalism with James Cairns and another on rebuilding radical activism in the age of austerity. His activist writing is published in the New Socialist webzine, the Bullet, Briarpatch and other places.

For more info: info@publicsociologywestern.ca

All Welcome!