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(October 19, 2000, Gazette)

Tune in, turn on

Dr. Geoff Rayner-CanhamDr. Geoff Rayner-Canham with Tina Turner on the background screen.

By Pamela Gill

Dr. Geoff Rayner-Canham’s recent presentation Women and Rock had nothing whatsoever to do with geology, although some might expect that sort of thing from an environmental science professor.

Rather, the short talk focused on women’s roles in the development of rock and roll. Dr Rayner-Canham traced the influence of women on rock and roll from the rough-and-tumble blues of Big Momma Thornton (who is responsible for such hits as Hound Dog and Ball and Chain) to the raunchiness of Grace Slick, and onto the rapping sounds of Salt-N-Peppa. And just why would a chemistry professor be giving a lecture on one of the more garish music genres?

Thanks to the reinstatement of the Lunchtime Lecture Series, faculty and staff are able to share their “extracurricular” interests with their colleagues and students.

“I doubt many of my students ever consider that a professor might enjoy listening to Tina Turner,” said Dr. Rayner-Canham, adding that not all university professors live their lives to a soundtrack by Bach or Beethoven. “The lecture series is a great way to broaden the one-dimensional attitudes many have about the people who work at a university.”

Those who attend the series, which takes place every Wednesday from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m., are encouraged to bring their lunches and relax during the informal presentations, said Dr. Daniel Stewart, who spearheaded the initiative.

“We want people to learn more about each other and create a greater feeling of community at Grenfell College,” he said, adding that so far, the lectures have been extremely well attended.

Future topics to be presented include Stone Age Minds in Modern Skulls, The Dictionary of National Biography, A Visit to Haida Gwaii, How to Be a Good Media Source, Reflections on Aeschylus’s Oresteia and Designing Usable Web Pages.

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