Star Trek: Discovery is a Darker Star Trek for our Times, but is That a Good Thing?

Friends of the UMIH will know that our TV, film and culture critic is a hopeless Star Trek nerd.  We love him for it.  He has been buzzing about the office for the past week in anticipation of the new series, Star Trek: Discovery.  It is set 10 years before the original 1966 series, and it … Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery is a Darker Star Trek for our Times, but is That a Good Thing?

Advertisements

Thinking Like Stone Mountain, Or, the Importance of Conversation and Thoreau’s Three Chairs

Last Thursday was a good day at the Institute for the Humanities, one filled with the sort of excited intellectual energy that tends to accompany the beginning of a new academic year. The day was full of conversation. In the morning the UMIH Director and I discussed a variety of practical matters, as we normally … Continue reading Thinking Like Stone Mountain, Or, the Importance of Conversation and Thoreau’s Three Chairs

Trump vs. Native Americans: Exploring a Vendetta

Trump’s decision to directly intervene on behalf of oil companies to allow the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines to move ahead with construction showed a blatant disregard for the rights of Indigenous people. It also wasn’t a surprise. In fact, Trump’s long history of hostility towards Native Americans has been well documented since the … Continue reading Trump vs. Native Americans: Exploring a Vendetta

Witch-hunting: A Growing 21st-century Human Rights Problem

Ever since the antics in the 1950s of the junior Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, the Euro-American world has come to use the term “witch-hunt” as a synonym for pointless persecution. This dismissive view is deeply entrenched, and has unfortunately led many in the developed West to see witch-hunting as little more than a historical … Continue reading Witch-hunting: A Growing 21st-century Human Rights Problem

The Crucial Conversation Academics are not Having, but Should Be

According to a recent study by The Conference Board of Canada, the number of PhDs granted by Canadian universities increased by 68% between 2002 and 2011, while the number of students enrolled in PhD programs increased by 73% over the same period.  Yet only 18.6% of employed PhDs in Canada become full-time professors on the … Continue reading The Crucial Conversation Academics are not Having, but Should Be

Ad-free CBC/Radio-Canada

Recently, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada president/CEO Hubert Lacroix introduced a bold proposal to banish advertising from the CBC in return for a bump in the Corporation’s funding allocation. The proposal came, ostensibly, in response, to Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch’s call to further defund the Corporation and ultimately to end its eighty-year run as Canada’s public … Continue reading Ad-free CBC/Radio-Canada

Why we Should Build on our Recent Picket Line Experience

Nothing is all bad. As difficult and upsetting as it was, and it was plenty of both, the recent dispute at the U of M served to focus our collective attention and kick-start a genuinely inclusive and on-going discussion about the nature, character, and core missions of this public university. And that, I think, is … Continue reading Why we Should Build on our Recent Picket Line Experience

Where is our Star Trek Future? Or, Some Thoughts on the Ideas of Human Connection, Cooperation, and Hope

Well, I started this piece a couple of days ago with the US election in mind, but I did not then imagine the result we now confront.   I originally intended it to be a more playful thought piece timed to commemorate our collective sense of bemused relief, all while pointing to another ceiling shattered. Instead, … Continue reading Where is our Star Trek Future? Or, Some Thoughts on the Ideas of Human Connection, Cooperation, and Hope

What “Crisis”? The Humanities are Booming

Friends of UMIH will be keenly aware of the “iron law" of journalism that demands all mention of the “humanities” be made only in relation to their “crisis” and “decline”.[1]  They will also undoubtedly be aware of the growing and impressive body of literature outlining the value of the humanities, as well as why the … Continue reading What “Crisis”? The Humanities are Booming