In some versions of the story, Sisyphus actually pushes the boulder all the way up the hill…
October 29th, 2009

blog-25

In some versions of the story, Sisyphus actually pushes the boulder all the way up the hill.

Let me explain.

(more…)

There’s an old bad joke: how many feminists does it take to change a light bulb? …
October 22nd, 2009

blog-244

There’s an old bad joke: how many feminists does it take to change a light bulb? The answer is: that’s not funny.

Ha, hilarious, right? Actually, the answer should be: one, because that’s all it takes. It’s interesting how easily a group or movement gets branded as irrelevant through some falsehood that it lacks a sense of humour. The F word has been under a lot of scrutiny over the last several decades, and men and women have been debating its meaning and merits just as surely as hemlines have risen and fallen. I am thinking of the F word a lot this week, because I am embroiled in the 20th anniversary of the St John’s International Women’s Film Festival (www.womensfilmfestival.com), an event a few of us began a couple of decades ago without ever daring to think it would evolve into a big budget spectacle. But it has, and we are proud of it.

(more…)

A clever gimmick or a sign of the times?…
October 15th, 2009

blog-23

A clever gimmick or a sign of the times? These days universities are doing whatever it takes to attract students to their campuses. Take Regina, please: Regina is boasting about being the first university in Canada to guarantee career success upon graduation. Strings are attached. According to the UR web site, “Each [undergraduate] student who actively participates in the UR Guarantee program will be required to take part in mandatory as well as elective opportunities supplied by the university. These electives ensure students maintain a level of academic success, are engaged on campus, and participate in service or leadership programs such as volunteer work or a mentorship program. Students will also be required to work with the University’s Career Centre where they will receive one-on-one career counseling, and attend sessions on resumé building and interview preparation.”

(more…)

Is your research relevant? …
October 8th, 2009

blog-22

Is your research relevant? Relevant used to be a big word when I was an undergraduate in the late ‘sixties, early ‘seventies. Using the term relevance immediately registered a kind of political statement. Viet Nam was raging with war and it was a time of strident student protest. Many of us felt we needed to make a strong connection between the esoteric research we were doing and the knowledge we were acquiring in our courses and programs and the reality of life on the streets or on the bloody battlefield. There seemed to be such a disconnect between us and real people, or between us and social problems. We started to feel guilty. Locally, we were also dealing with the War Measures Act in Quebec and the separatist movement in Quebec. The streets were loud and noisy with marches and people chanting comforting slogans. Long before filmmaker Michael Moore and his cinematic rants against capitalism, we were challenging what we quaintly called the status quo.

(more…)

Is collaboration a natural act? Eddy Campbell, who used to be our guy…
October 1st, 2009

blog-21

Is collaboration a natural act? Eddy Campbell, who used to be our guy, but who is now the top dog at UNB in Fredericton, is calling for Atlantic Canada to get its act together, with emphasis on together. Specifically, Campbell is advocating a kind of joint international recruitment initiative. Why should we be working alone in each of our four provinces when we can be pitching the advantages of a shared maritime-based suite of options?
(more…)