George Story Distinguished Lecture Series

The George Story Distinguished Lecture Series brings a highly regarded scholar to Memorial University every year for a guest lecture.

Dr. George Story was one of Newfoundland’s most distinguished scholars and teachers. To commemorate and honour his contribution to research and scholarship, Memorial University has endowed an annual George H. Story Distinguished Lecture Series.

Scholars invited to Memorial as George Story lecturers are academics who have notably enriched the humanities and social sciences through impactful contributions to their field(s) of study.


2023 Guest Lecturer:
Dr. Barbara Barbosa Neves

November 2, 2023 | Room 1043, Arts and Administration Building, St. John's Campus | 7pm
Or online: Online link to be posted on November 2, 2023

This year’s guest lecturer is Dr. Barbara Barbosa Neves, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology at Monash University, Australia. She is an award-winning sociologist of technology and ageing, as well as an internationally recognised expert on loneliness, social isolation, and digital inequalities among older people.

Her work has been featured in media outlets in Australia, North America, Europe, Latin America & Asia. She has contributed to ABC, CBC, SBS, Channel 7, The Guardian, TVO, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, TVO, RTP, among others. She has penned over 10 op-eds, including for the ABC and The Conversation – for example: I spent five years speaking with people in nursing homes. This is what I learnt about loneliness and 'I tell everyone I love being on my own, but I hate it’: what older Australians want you to know about loneliness.

Her expertise has been acknowledged via prestigious prizes, appointments to key committees (e.g., elected board member of the International Sociological Association – ISA/RC06 – since 2010), visiting positions (UK, Norway, Belgium), and speaking invitations. She has delivered over 32 invited keynotes and 73 talks across five continents.

In her lecture, Dr. Barbosa Neves merges findings from her studies on various technologies - communication apps, virtual reality and artificial intelligence - to provide critical sociological perspectives on how we can better understand and respond to loneliness in later life.

"Research shows that regardless of gender, race and ethnicity, education and even genetics, loneliness increases the risk of dementia by a staggering 40%. The effects of loneliness have serious socioeconomic implications for our communities, making our societies less healthy and inclusive." - Dr. Barbara Barbosa Neves


Faculty and students are welcome to nominate a guest lecturer, so long as they follow the guidelines below. Any costs associated with the Lectureship are covered by the George H. Story Endowment Fund. The Lecturer will be hosted by one or more departments. In person or virtual events are welcomed as deemed appropriate.

Nominations should include:

  • The nominee’s CV
  • An email from the nominee expressing a willingness to be nominated
  • A statement justifying the selection of the nominee. It will include a tentative title for the major lecture, a brief statement of its significance, and an indication of its appeal to members of the university and wider community (maximum 500 words)
  • A detailed budget, following the GS Budget Template (not exceeding $5,000)
  • Approval by the relevant department head(s)

Nominations should be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences by March 1, 2022. They should be submitted by email (

  • The Planning and Research Standing Committee of Faculty Council will adjudicate nominations.
  • The adjudication will consider the following factors:
    • The scope and depth of the nominee’s standing as an academic whose impactful contributions have enriched the humanities and social sciences. The assessment will draw on your nomination latter and the scholar's CV.
    • The significance of the planned public lecture and its appeal to members of the University and the wider community.
    • The extent to which the nominee will contribute to the academic mission of the Faculty.
    • The budget, to ensure it meets the Endowment Fund Terms of Reference.

Previous Lectures

Fall 2022
  • Dr. Kristina Fagan Bidwell, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Storytelling and Professor in the Department of English at the University of Saskatchewan.
Fall 2019
  • Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega, Assistant Professor in the Public Adminsintration Division of the Centre for Economic Teaching and Research (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, CIDE) in Mexico.


Fall 2018
  • Dr. David A. Wilson, Professor of History and Celtic Studies at the University of Toronto. Sponsored by the Department of English and the Department of History.
Winter 2016
  • Dr. James P. Carly, Professor of the History of the Book, University of Kent at Canterbury. Sponsored by Department of English.
Fall 2013
  • Dr. Joan Hall, University of Wisconsin, Madison and Chief Editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE). Sponsored by Department of Linguistics.
Winter 2013
  • Dr. Stuart Elden, Durham University. Sponsored by Department of Philosophy.
Fall 2011
  • Dr. Rebecca Johnson, University of Victoria. Sponsored by Department of Gender Studies

Dr. George Story

Dr. George Story(1927-1994) was one of Newfoundland’s most distinguished scholars and teachers, whose scholarship ranged from Erasmus and Lancelot Andrewes, through Christmas mummering in Newfoundland, to the lexicography that resulted in the Dictionary of Newfoundland English. To commemorate and honour Dr. Story’s contribution to research and scholarship, Memorial University endowed an annual George H. Story Distinguished Lecture Series, which reflect the range and variety of Dr. Story’s intellectual interests.