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.


2022 Guest Lecturer:
Dr. Kristina Fagan Bidwell

November 25, 2022 | Signal Hill Campus | 7pm
Or online at:

This year’s guest lecturer is Dr. Kristina Fagan Bidwell. She is a member of NunatuKavut, which represents the Southern Inuit community in Labrador. Dr. Bidwell grew up in Newfoundland, studied English at Memorial, and has been a scholar of Indigenous literatures based at the University of Saskatchewan for over twenty years, most recently as Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Storytelling. She is currently a visiting researcher at Memorial.

Dr. Bidwell will be speaking on the potential pitfalls and benefits of literary collaboration with and between Indigenous people. For this lecture, she will focus on literary collaborations in Newfoundland and Labrador. Indigenous-led collaborations are particularly needed because the reading and study of Indigenous literatures in and from this province is still under-developed relative to other regions of Canada. She argues that this under-development is rooted in the lack of formal recognition of Indigenous people in Newfoundland and Labrador at Confederation, which led to the public erasure of Indigenous voices.

In NL’s unique context, she believes that Indigenous-led literary collaborations have potential to play a transformative role. Her lecture will reflect on the ways in which dominant narratives of Indigenous diminishment motivated historical collaborations with Indigenous people in Newfoundland and Labrador, as seen for example in attempts to record and translate the words of Shanawdithit (Beothuk) and Abraham Ulrikab (Inuit). She will also discuss recent examples of Indigenous-led literary collaborations, such as that between Penashue and Yeoman on the memoir, Nitinikiau Innusi: I Keep the Land Alive, and between Mi’kmaq co-authors Chief Mi'sel Joe and Sheila O'Neill on the novel, My Indian, both of which powerfully assert Indigenous presence. 

She will conclude by looking towards the future and to the ways in which Indigenous-led collaborations can allow the leveraging of existing strengths and resources in the province to amplify Indigenous literary voices, thus challenging the historic erasure of Indigenous people from the provincial narrative. Literary collaborations also allow the telling of Indigenous stories in ways that can reach across political barriers and conflicts, restoring and building relationships between Indigenous peoples.

"Literary collaborations with Indigenous people – and, crucially, between Indigenous people – offer ways to challenge our historical erasure, restore our relations, and transform communities in Newfoundland and Labrador for the better." 


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 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.