(March 4, 1999, Gazette)
Memorial will be a very busy place over the next two weeks. There are at least four lectures by visiting scholars during the month of March with the launch of two new lecture series and the continuation of two others.
Literacy lecture series starts
A new lecture series to promote literacy in the province will start next month at Memorial, thanks to a donation from the province's lieutenant-governor. The gift of $1,200 annually for five years from Dr. A. M. House will provide funding to attract a leading speaker and support the lecture event.
The inaugural Dr. A. M. House Lecture on Literacy will be given Tuesday, March 9, at 8 p.m. by Dr. Barry Sanders, professor of English and the History of Ideas at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. The lecture, Entitled Catching a Second Breath: A Way of Understanding Literacy, will take place in Room E-1020 in the Education (G. A. Hickman) Building, located on Memorial's St. John's campus.
The lieutenant-governor has made a public commitment to supporting remedies for illiteracy during his term in office.
"Perhaps this is due to my upbringing in an outport where I had a special perspective from which to view the impact of little or no formal education upon people of average or even superior intelligence," he said in an address to the Rotary Club of St. John's on Jan. 7. "For the most part, illiteracy condemns its victims to live at the lower end of the social scale and in an existence often below the so-called poverty line."
Dr. House said that far too few people recognize how very serious illiteracy is and what misery it causes. Across Canada, about 22 per cent of all persons aged 16 and over fall within the lowest level of literacy, and in Newfoundland it is considerably higher. Dr. House said he was particularly shocked to learn that over half of the 60,000 seniors in the province are at level 1 on the literacy scale, a point at which people are scarcely able to read or write.
The five-year series will feature an annual lecture in the area of literacy. The dean of education at Memorial, Dr. Terry Piper, is organizing the series.
The lecture is open to the public and there is no admission charge.
George M. Story lectures launched
The George M. Story Lecture Series in Humanities will be launched Wednesday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m. with a public talk on encyclopedia editing. The talk takes place in the Engineering Lecture Theatre (Room 2006) off the main lobby in the Engineering (S. J. Carew) Building on the north side of the St. John's campus.
Prof. David Crystal, editor of the Cambridge family of general encyclopedias and author of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, will deliver the first lecture of the George M. Story Series, which commemorates one of the most distinguished and admired faculty members in Memorial University's history.
Prof. Crystal's talk, Start at the Top and Write Small, looks at the principles, practices, problems and privations of encyclopedia editing. Most people own or use encyclopedias, but how do you set about evaluating and comparing them? Prof. Crystal will reflect on his experiences, offer some guidelines, and explain why the task is not straightforward and why things can sometimes go wrong.
The late Dr. Story was a long-time Henrietta Harvey professor and a senior member of the English Department. He was the first university orator at Memorial and one of the editors of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English.
The Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecturer series continues on Wednesday, March 10, 1999, with a public lecture titled The Privatization of World Fish Resources. The lecture is being given by Dr. Rögnvaldur Hannesson of the Centre for Fisheries Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, located in Bergen, Norway.
Dr. Hannesson is a professor of fisheries economics at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Bergen, Norway. He was born and raised in Iceland and attended university in Lund, Sweden, where he completed his Ph.D. Degree. He spent one year at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, studying fisheries economics and fisheries management.
Dr. Hannesson visited Memorial University in the Fall of 1994 while on sabbatical leave.
Dr. Hannesson's lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room EN-1054, located in the Engineering Building on Memorial's St. John's campus. There will be a reception held in the main foyer of the Engineering Building following the lecture.
Robert Holland, D.Phil., is the speaker for the 1999 David Alexander Lecture.
He is deputy director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.
His lecture is titled Ending the Empire: The British Way of Decolonization 1947-1970. It will provide some of the larger historical context of Newfoundland's entry into the Canadian Confederation. It is timed to intersect with events being held by the Newfoundland Historical Society on March 19-20.
The lecture is scheduled for Thursday, March 18, at 8 p.m. in the engineering theatre (EN-2006). A reception will follow.
The lecture is held in memory of David Alexander, a distinguished scholar and member of Memorial's Department of History. Past lecturers include Eric Kierans, David Suzuki and Ed Broadbent.