2013 Vanier College Humanities Symposium

The Vanier College Humanities Department, along with the Humanities Symposium Committee, owes an inestimable amount of gratitude to many people throughout the college. A symposium such as this, with so many outstanding participants, could hardly have been conceived and actualized without the cooperation and assistance of faculty, administrators, and staff. This year’s symposium was an enormous success, by almost every conceivable standard, and it helped raise the intellectual profile of Vanier College throughout the city of Montreal, as well as the regions of southern Quebec and Ontario. Many of the symposium participants applauded the outstanding company of thinkers they found themselves within. As one eminent scholar and participant exclaimed in an email, “Bravo!”

As symposium coordinator, I am deeply indebted to an indefatigable committee of people who worked numerous hours to help bring this year’s symposium to fruition. Alphabetically, they are: Brian Aboud, Martha Bernstein, Timothy Budde, Stephen Byron, Sheila Das, Nathan Loewen, and Lili Petrovic. Two faculty members must also be acknowledged, one for guiding me through a myriad of organizational details (Sevak Manjikian) and the other for helping bring the acclaimed author Rawi Hage to the symposium (Leila Bdeir). Appreciation also goes out to our Faculty Dean (FSGS) Eric Lozowy, and his office for his continued support of the Humanities Symposium.

The committee and I appreciate, beyond measure, the work of the Vanier College Students Association who supported bringing Professors Stanley Fish, Charles Taylor, and Mark Kingwell to Vanier. Our students have demonstrated that, as a Student Association among others in this city, province, and country, they must be recognized among the very best. Our appreciation goes out to all Vanier College students for taking part in the week-long event. Your questions and comments were challenging, provocative and insightful, bringing enthusiasm, vitality and optimism to the life of the Humanities Symposium.

With respect to securing the participation of Professor Stanley Fish, who came to Vanier College from Florida International University, we are grateful to the members of the Vanier College Foundation, the Director General, Gilbert Héroux, and the Academic Dean, Martine Gauthier. Your support came at a time when it was urgently needed, and it was essential to our success.

As always, the Vanier College Teachers Association can be counted on to support teachers and departments throughout the college. To this end, we thank the VCTA and the Association Council for supporting the presentation of Professor Charles Taylor. What a great afternoon this was. Thank-you VCTA!

Naturally, alongside monetary assistances, there is an infinite array of mechanical details that must be taken into consideration, to take germinating ideas and turn them into a working reality. Here, we are grateful to Danielle (Dany) Brown who gave up valuable space, in both the Auditorium and the Carrefour when the symposium coincided with the beginning of Black History Month. Thank-you Dany and best wishes for another Black History Month success!

We’d also like to extend our gratitude to Bev Chandler and the Vanier Communications office for “getting the word out” and making swift and necessary changes to promotional materials and schedules on the Vanier website. This department was an invaluable asset to the symposium committee, in these and many other areas.

Also to be thanked is Mike Demole and his staff in the print shop, who could be called upon at any and all “last moments” to have materials altered and/or produced. A symposium such as this needs the printed word, in a variety of ways, and it is clear that our print shop staff can be counted on.

Thanks also goes to Joan Fee Taylor (Micropublishing and Hypermedia), for enduring the ever-changing requests of the symposium coordinator, and to Justin Deguire and David Scott whose work in the Auditorium is always professional, tireless, and immensely cooperative.

Sincerely, Jeff Sims, Humanities Department

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