Announcing the Mississauga Library System Speakers’ Series

We would like to extend an invitation to join the Mississauga Library System and ActiveHistory.ca as we feature a series of engaging history lectures. This is building on last year’s successful History Matters series with the Toronto Public Library and aims to continue and build an ongoing tradition of professional involvement with the broader community.

All talks will be held at the Mississauga Central Library, Classroom 3 on the second floor from 7:30-9 PM on the second Thursday in March, April, and May. The Central Library is located at 301 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W in Mississauga, near the Square One shopping centre and the Civic Centre. Importantly, it’s near the Square One GO Terminal and the Mississauga Transit central terminal.

Below the cut, talk descriptions and abstracts follow.

Thursday, March 10th
“A Brief History of Canadian Utopias:  Is There a Canadian Utopian Tradition?”
With Professor Colin M. Coates.

Since the arrival of European settlers, various ethnic, religious and political groups have attempted to establish self-consciously utopian communities in different parts of the country.  This talk examines some examples of these utopian communities as well as some of the literary expressions of utopian literature related to Canada.  It assesses the range and coherence of utopian thought in Canada from the 17th century to the late 20th century.

Thursday, April 14th
“From a Pastoral Wetland to an Industrial Wasteland, and Back Again? An Environmental History of the Lower Lea River Valley, the Site of the 2012 London Olympics.” [part of the pan-Canadian NiCHE Speakers’ Series]
With Dr. Jim Clifford.

The Lower Lea Valley, currently undergoing a massive redevelopment project in perpetration for the next Summer Olympics, underwent a number of equally remarkable transformations as London’s heavy industry migrated to the city’s eastern periphery in the second half of the nineteenth century.  In this talk, Jim Clifford will explore some of the findings of his recently defended PhD dissertation on the environmental problems created by half a century of urban-industrial development and discuss some of the challenges this posed for redevelopment.

Thursday, May 12th
“Understanding Slavery Past and Present”
With Karlee Sapoznik, Co-Founder of the Alliance Against Modern Slavery.

Interest in contemporary slavery and human trafficking have increased dramatically over the last two decades. Ms. Karlee Sapoznik has expertise in slavery in all of its forms. Her research integrates the study of historical and contemporary slavery. Although slavery is now illegal around the world it is still widely practiced. Experts place the number of living modern slaves at 27 million, twice as many as the number of Africans enslaved during the four centuries of the transatlantic slave trade.  As Sapoznik argues, if we can better understand both the successes and the failures of past abolitionist movements, we may better understand this paradox.  We might hope to change it.

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