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Esther Birney Literary Arts Series

Esther Birney Literary Arts Series

Please make room on your calendar for this exciting literary series! Each session has a knowledgeable presenter and the topics are intriguing. You will be sure to enjoy this well curated series.

Convenor: Glenys Acland






Halpern Room

Date Title & Description
 Oct. 3 Presenter: Phillip Holden

Southeast Asian Writing in English: Professor Phillip Holden, a noted scholar of Singapore and Southeast Asian literature in English, has recently retired from the National University of Singapore. He will give a brief overview of this largely neglected aspect of Anglophone literature and then examine several themes including decolonization, postcolonial politics, gender, and sexuality.

Oct. 10  Presenter: Judge Nancy Morrison

In the Courtroom with Judge Nancy Morrison: Author of Benched: A Passion for Law Reform, Judge Morrison’s perspective is a unique one; that of a lawyer for 50 years, a judge for 24 years and a woman always, within the boy’s club. “The book provides insightful observations about cases and causes in which Nancy was involved or led the way. A fascinating read.” — Hon. Patrick LeSage, Former Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice 

Oct. 17  Presenter: Beryl Young

One Writer’s Life: Beryl Young is the author of several critically acclaimed books for children, including Charlie: A Home Child’s Life in Canada; Would Someone Please Answer the Parrot!; and most recently Miles to Go which is a powerful and poignant story of two young girls’ friendship, family, loss, and loyalty, set in 1940s Saskatchewan.

Oct. 31  

Presenter: David Webb

Nationalism Through the Life and Work of Dylan Thomas: David Webb is the past president of The Dylan Thomas Circle of Vancouver. His presentation is a low-key investigation of nationalism through the work and the life of Dylan Thomas, especially in the light of the ancient Welsh language tradition of the

nation organically and universally, as it were, manifesting ‘A Bard’.


Nov. 7

Presenter: Helen Wilkes & Olga Campbell

Everyone Can Say Yes to Life:The Aging of Aquarius: Igniting Passion and Purpose as an Elder is valuable not just for those who are retired or pondering it. Helen Wilkes’ book is about living well, and that makes it a valuable volume for people of any age. Olga Campbell is a visual artist and author living in Vancouver BC. She has written two books, Graffiti Alphabet (2009) and A whisper Across Time (2018)

Nov. 14

Presenter: Dr. Patricia Merivale

My Journey Through the City of Books:

From Highbrow Detection to Climate Fiction: This is Dr. Patricia Merivale’s second lecture on the metaphysical detective story which she began with a remarkable lecture on Poe and his followers last Autumn. Dr. Merivale taught English and Comparative English for almost 40 years at UBC and co-edited a volume on the metaphysical detective story. 

Nov. 21

Presenter: Dr. Mary Davison

Homer's Odyssey: from history to myth and back again: Beginning with a map of the Mediterranean, the talk will briefly review what archaeologists have discovered, then focus on the story itself, including the shifts in gender stereotyping between 1200 and 450 BC and the reasons why all the Homeric poems have been treated as textbooks ever since. Dr. Mary Davison has had a remarkable and varied academic career. She received an MA in Art History and a PHD in English from Stanford and is a Greek scholar.

Dec. 5

No Presenter - Showing of the film.

Revolution on Stage: Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera Part 1: The film Threepenny Opera (1928) was an immediate success with audiences in Germany and around the world. It was also a powerful attack against dramatic and aesthetic conventions that would permanently alter the course of theatre and cinema and would lay the foundation for Brecht’s status as one of the most significant art theorists of the twentieth century.

Dec. 12

Presenter: Florian Gassner

Revolution on Stage: Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera Part 2: Florian Gassner is a Fellow of the New Europe College, has taught at Mount Allison University and joined the University of Kassel as a guest professor in 2016/17. His areas of specialization include the cultural history of Central and Eastern Europe and the interplay between music, religion and literature.

Thursday, October 03, 2019, 10:30 AM until 11:45 AM
Halpern Room
3875 Point Grey Road
Vancouver, BC  V6R 1B3

(604) 228-1461
Registration is not Required