Speaker Series

Each year the Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies organizes a series of discussions with renowned speakers, inviting them to share their ideas and knowledge with the community on UBC's beautiful Okanagan campus.

Previous Speakers


Tourism on the Frontline: Politics, Power, and Play

with Raoul Bianchi, East London University

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

About the talk:
Dr. Raoul Bianchi is an expert on the political economy and politics of international tourism with particular emphasis on Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. Currently, he is working on a critical analysis of tourism and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and the political economy of post-crisis tourism in Southern Europe.




Balance of Power: Research & Change

with Renee Sieber, McGill University, Michelle Daveluy, Université Laval, Brigitte Le Normand & Mike Evans, UBC Okanagan

Thursday, March 15, 2018

About the talk:

Exploring the theme of power in research and the academy. An examination of its current and future importance. The term ‘power’ can be interpreted broadly and embedded within the specific areas of interest of the individual presenters. It could address structural inequalities, gender and the #metoo movement, empowerment, or community engaged research. It could explore the tensions of doing research internationally, or working with vulnerable groups.



500 Years: Life in Resistance

CCGS Speaker Series: Film Presentation with special guestIrma Alica Velasquez Nimatuj

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

About the talk:
From a historic genocide trial and the organized defense of the land to the overthrow of a corrupt President, 500 Years tells a sweeping story of resistance in Guatemala’s recent history through the actions and perspectives of the majority indigenous Mayan population, who now stand poised to reimagine their society. Official Selection of 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The first trial in the Americas to judge the genocide of Indigenous people polarizes a nation and has the potential to re-write history. 500 Years documents the 2013 genocide trial of former Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt, and its aftermath. Rios Montt stood trial for the killing of 1,700 Maya Ixil people from 1982-1983 – the first trial in the history of the Americas for the genocide of indigenous people. When Rios Montt is found guilty, a higher Guatemalan court vacates the verdict – and 500 Years follows the diverse responses among various members of Guatemalan society. Director: Pamela Yates. Skylight Pictures. 2017. 1 hour, 48 minutes.



Activism and Social Change in Postwar Guatemala


Thursday, March 22, 2018

About the talk:
This lecture provides context for the admirable struggle of a group of 15 Maya-Q’eqchi women from Sepur Zarco, Izabal, Guatemala. The case reflects the struggles, but also the obstacles which Indigenous women face when demanding justice and confronting members of the State’s security apparatus. Dr. Nimatuj will address the trial, in which she had the opportunity to contribute as both a researcher and expert witness. Drawing on this experience, she seeks to pose some questions regarding how the social sciences may contribute and serve as an instrument of justice in postwar countries




Life, Death, and Survival in Ancient Siberia

with Dr. Angela Lieverse, University of Saskatchewan

March 15, 2017

About the talk:
Angela Lieverse is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at University of Saskatchewan. She is a bioarchaeologist who studies the skeletal and dental remains of ancient hunter-gatherers in order to understand past activity, mobility, health, and disease. This talk will focus on work in the Lake Baikal region of Siberia, including some unique and remarkable cases in which individual causes of death or survival have been reconstructed from ancient human remains. These cases provide glimpses into everyday experiences — and sometimes brief but intimate moments — of lives lived thousands of years ago in Siberia.



The Last and First Place: How New Guinea Matters

with Professor John Barker, UBC Vancouver

February 20, 2017

About the talk:
A common complaint heard throughout rural Papua New Guinea is “This is the last place”: a phrase that conveys abandonment, resentment, and powerlessness. Ironically, it is precisely the “lastness” of New Guinea that empowers the region in the Western imagination. This is especially so when New Guinea is simultaneously imagined as a “first place” whose diverse cultures embody an essential truth about humankind. In this talk, I review a number of popular and scholarly representations of New Guinea, ranging from Christian creationists to Jared Diamond to more recent debates about the “ontological turn” to illustrate a common pattern in how New Guinea is made to matter.