Humber’s President’s Lecture Series (PLS) chronicles the minds, work and ideas of doctors, lawyers, and those who have spent their lives dedicated to a particular field. Six times a year, students are invited to listen and engage with guest speakers who are well versed in a variety of topics.
Dr. Ausma Zehanat Khan, a novelist, and lawyer for International Human Rights spoke over the phone about how her literature on intercultural issues brought her to be part of the PLS.
“My lecture is about the books I write,” Khan explains. “I write those books about my life experiences, growing up as a member of a visible minority, living first in Canada and in the last 15 years living in the United States.”
When asked about what she looks forward to about the lecture, Khan says it’s the discussion aspect.
“I’m actually really looking forward to question and answers, it’s just the part of my lecture that I always enjoy the most, discussion sharing the perspective of faculty. Getting my own viewpoints challenged and critiqued and learning from others that’s the part I enjoy the most.”
According to the Chair of the President’s Lecture Series Ian Gerrie, PLS was created by a faculty member in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Program long ago. As for deciding which speakers to book, Gerrie says, “we will meet with the committee few times a year and we’ll discuss possible speakers and we always look for people who are engaging with topics that we think are intellectually stimulating and relevant and would generate discussion and debate.”
The lectures take place at both the North and Lakeshore campuses. For crowds larger than 170 people, the Lakeshore auditorium is used instead of the North campus.
Attendance varies based on the level of interest and what the lecture is about, says Gerrie.
According to the website, speakers must fit a criteria which includes being “high profile, intellectually accessible, and must not be a sitting or campaigning politician.”
The President’s Lecture series for this year will conclude with Taylor Owens, an Associate Professor and the Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications at McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy on March 14th. Owens’ lecture is called Why is Everyone Mad at Tech? He was not available for comment at press time.