Tuesday, February 6, 2018
“Communication” and “contention” are the main, if accidental, themes of the 2018 Providence Public Lecture Series.
“We don’t intentionally try to have a distinct, overall theme to the Public Lecture Series each year,” says Dr. Dennis Hiebert, Professor of Sociology and head of the public education committee at Providence University College. “Sometimes one sort of emerges on its own.”
Between February 3 and March 15 Providence professors will address audiences in Winnipeg, Steinbach and Otterburne, applying their academic expertise to topics that are of both public interest and contemporary relevance. Dr. Randall Holm will seek to look “beyond” the pro-life versus pro-choice debate; Dr. Nicholas Greco will examine U2’s “mediated brand;” Dr. Elfrieda Lepp-Kaether will explore language learning through “expressive arts;” Dr. Patrick Franklin will present a theological rethink of evolution; Dr. Hiebert, himself, will look at the actualization of humanness through language.
“Putting them together,” explains Dr. Hiebert, “we could say that the series is about communicating about contentious issues—something public education is obliged to do.”
Dr. Hiebert also points out that public education is part of the Providence mission. Tuition-paying students may attend university or seminary in pursuit of a degree, but individuals who have a particular interest and are seeking better understanding are also part of the Providence constituency, and the Public Lecture Series is one way in which they can be served. Additionally, professors have a responsibility to tackle important issues and disseminate their research publicly.
“Public education events like this series are an important way to increase general understanding of the world, the issues and the human condition we share, with the intent of contributing to human flourishing,” he says.
All lectures are free to attend and will take place Saturdays in Winnipeg (McNally Robinson Bookstore—travel alcove), Tuesdays in Steinbach (Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre—Studio B) and Thursdays at the Otterburne Campus (Howison Room). No registration is required, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions after each presentation.