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Graduate students open academic conference to public and media

April 24, 2014 - 10:58 AM

About 70 graduate students, including 35 presenters, from a variety of post-secondary institutions, will gather for this year’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Student (IGS) Conference May 2 and 3 at UBC’s Okanagan campus. For the first time, conference presentations and events are open to media and public. Registration is not required.

“The goal of this year's IGS Conference is to bring a broad range of graduate students from varying disciplines -- humanities to social sciences to experimental sciences -- into conversation on issues related to sustainability,” says Max Dickenson, secretary for the IGS Conference.

“The conference aims to foster interdisciplinary discussion about issues we often think of as immediately relevant when we think ‘sustainability,’ such as environmental activism and preservation, but also about the processes of sustaining ideas and sustaining thought, as well as the question of whether the concept of sustainability is ever deployed in damaging ways rather than positive ones,” says Dickenson.

The conference features two days of panel discussions and events. An expected highlight is Sarah De Leeuw's keynote presentation, Small, Intimate, and Loving: Re-scaling and Embodying Sustainability, on Friday, May 2, 9 to 10:30 a.m. in ARTS 103. De Leeuw is an associate professor with the Northern Medical Program at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Her research concerns small, intimate geographies and expressions of power in and through place. Specifically, she focuses on colonialism in British Columbia, child welfare and residential schools, and creative and artistic expressions as means of disrupting power imbalances.

The conference runs in collaboration with an art exhibition. Materiality combines art installations, creative writing, reading, and an informal discussion with students and faculty. The event is curated by UBC PhD candidate Jeannette Angel and takes place from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the FINA gallery in the foyer of the Creative and Critical Studies building.

The conference closes with Walking the Talk, a panel discussion featuring a conversation across disciplines between distinguished scholars conducting sustainability-related research. The presentation will be held Saturday, May 3, 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Students' Union Theatre (University Centre UNC 106). Moderated by David Kadish, a master of fine arts student with the Centre for Culture and Technology at UBC’s Okanagan campus, Walking the Talk features UBC faculty members Greg Garrard, Susan Murch, Jeannette Armstrong and John Wagner.

This is the first time the conference has included a full panel of faculty members speaking to the topics and concerns the graduate presenters addressed throughout the conference.

For more information on the IGS Conference, and to see a detailed schedule of events go to

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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