The Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecture Series

The Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecture Series brings highly-regarded scholars to Memorial University. Established as part of the Henrietta Harvey Endowment Fund in 1964, the series has provided our faculty, students and public with tremendous insight and the opportunity to share knowledge.

Mrs. Henrietta Harvey (1878-1964) left a significant gift to Memorial University. Her bequest funds continue to enrich our community. Each year, this fund allows Memorial to bring in three or four distinguished lecturers not only to speak to the larger community about issues of interest and importance, but also to spend time in discussion with faculty, students and staff.

Nominations are now being invited for virtual visits in March 2021. 

The Henrietta Harvey lectureship is normally scheduled to take place in February. For the current academic year, the schedule has been adjusted to reflect the unforeseen circumstances resulting from the ongoing impact of Covid-19. It is anticipated that the regular schedule of nomination process and lectureships will resume for academic year 2021-2022.

Nominations should be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences by Friday, February 5, 2021. They should be submitted by email. For further details, please see this PDF.

Past Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecturers

Winter 2020

This year's Henrietta Harvey Public Lecture was Writing Ocean Histories with Dr. Helen Rozwadowski, Professor of History and Maritime Studies at the University of Connecticut and author of the 2018 book Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans.

A poster for the upcoming Henrietta Harvey Public Lecture with Dr. Helen Rozwadowski

The lecture was held on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 7 p.m. at the Emera Innovation Exchange at 100 Signal Road in St. John's. This event was co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology, the Department of Classics, the Department of History and the Maritime Studies Research Unit at Memorial University.

Winter 2019

Dr. Kim TallBear, Sponsored by the Department of Gender Studies, March 7, 2019

Fall 2017

Dr. Robert Orsi, Sponsored by Department of Religious Studies, October 5, 7 p.m.

Fall 2015

Dr. Riley E Dunlap, Oklahoma State University, Sponsored by Department of Sociology, October 1, 2015

Winter 2015

Dr. Gavin Bridge, Durham University. Sponsored by Department of Geography - January 15, 2015

Fall 2014

Dr. Jeff Malpas, University of Tasmania. Sponsored by Department of Philosophy - September 29, 2014

Fall 2013

Dr. Henry Glassie, Indiana University. Sponsored by Department of Folklore - October 3, 2013

Winter 2013

Dr. Frederick Newmeyer, University of Washington. Sponsored by Department of Linguistics - February 26, 2013

Fall 2012

Dr. Sandra Whitworth, York University. Sponsored by Departments of Political Science and Gender Studies - October 3, 2012

Fall 2011

  • Dr. Lutgarde Vandeput,Director of the British Institute, Ankara, Turkey. Sponsored by the Department of Classics - October 5, 2011
  • Dr. Maryanne Kowaleski, Fordham University. Sponsored by Department of History - October 20, 2011

Fall 2010

  • Dr. Nigel Waters, George Mason University. Sponsored by Department of Geography - September 29, 2010

Fall 2009

  • Dr. Bonnie McCay, Rutgers University. Sponsored by Department of Gender Studies and Department of Sociology.
  • Dr. Marek Zvelebil, University of Sheffield. Sponsored by Department of Archaeology and Department of Anthropology.

Fall 2008

  • Dr. Gianfranco Pasquino, University of Bologna and Johns Hopkins University. Sponsored by Department of Political Science
  • Dr. Mathieu Marion, Université du Quebec à Montréal.Sponsored by Department of Philosophy

Who was Henrietta Harvey?

Mrs. Henrietta Harvey was a generous benefactress of Memorial University. Born in Nova Scotia in 1878, she first visited St. John's in 1905, accompanied by her mother. The following year she married John Harvey, a St. John's businessman and an important figure in the advancement of education and the fight against tuberculosis in Newfoundland. Mrs. Harvey was widowed in 1920.

When Mrs. Harvey died in 1964, she left a significant bequest to Memorial University. Among the properties were two letters from Rudyard Kipling (she and the Kiplings were warm friends). Memorial University presented these to the University of Dalhousie library, which already had an extensive Kipling collection.

The generous fund which Mrs. Harvey left to the university has been used, in accordance with her wishes, for the general enrichment of University activities in ways which would not otherwise be possible. It was decided that the benefaction would used be for the endowment of Chairs, to cover the costs of special visiting professors, and for the organization of special conferences and lectures.

While her funds were not used for buildings, Memorial's leadership felt it would be fitting to commemorat e her gift in a tangible way. In 1970, at a special ceremony honouring Harvey, Memorial University Library was officially named the Henrietta Harvey Library. This library was replaced by a new one named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, which opened in 1982. Today, the Mathematics Building on our campus bears Mrs. Harvey's name.


Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000