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Life in the University series highlights 'Why Higher Education Still Matters’

Life in the University series highlights 'Why Higher Education Still Matters’

In recognition of Canada 150, York University’s Faculty of Education presented the “Life in the University: Past, Present and Future” series to examine the role of higher education.

The series aims to recognize challenges, past and present, faced by people inside and outside of the University, including the status of identity studies, debates over purposes of higher education, and changing work conditions.

The series is generously supported by the Canada 150 @ York Fund.

Life in the University series poster

The first event in the series, “Reading in the University: A Collegial Conversation about professor Les Back’s Academic Diary”, took place March 28 and featured a discussion between faculty colleagues from across campus about teaching (and their other) experiences at York University. Les Back from Goldsmiths, University of London facilitated a conversation in relation to his book, Academic Diary: Why Higher Education Still Matters.

On March 29, Back delivered a public lecture about the importance of higher education in today’s world titled “Thriving in the University: Why Higher Education Still Matters.” Then, inspired by Back’s book, York University’s Lorna Erwin (sociology), Don Dippo (education), and Vidya Shah (education) each shared an academic diary entry and their perspective on life in the University today.

The third and final event in the series is a day-long symposium, “Thinking in the University,” on Oct. 27. The event will bring together faculty and students to discuss the status of identity in university studies and will feature Roderick Ferguson (University of Minnesota) and Robin Weigman (Duke University).

“York is a busy place, and we rarely have opportunities to get together to talk about changes within the university that affect teaching, learning, research and other important aspects of our work lives,” said Associate Dean Research and Community Sue Winton. "We hope this series will facilitate these important conversations.”

Dr. Les BackAbout Dr. Les Back
Back is a professor in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. His main areas of academic interest include the sociology of racism and ethnicity, popular culture and music, urban life, community, class, social theory and sociological methods. Back has written for the Guardian, Times Higher Educational Supplement, Open democracy, and Eurozine as well as published music writing for magazines and liner notes for CDs.

Canada 150 @ York University
For the past 58 years, York University and Canada have shared a rich history. York’s faculty, programs and students have helped shape the University to become Canada's third largest and leading university.

On July 1, 2017, Canada will recognize the 150th anniversary of Confederation. To mark this celebration, York University will host a number of initiatives and events that will explore Canada’s past and look to its future, while highlighting York University and Canada 150 themes relating to the environment, diversity and inclusivity, Indigenous people, and youth.

More information about each of the events in the series is available on the Faculty of Education web site.