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2016 Spring Institute: The Secular, the Religious, and the Public

In partnership with the Departments of Political Science and Religion and Culture, CLASS will be delivering a spring institute from May 25th-June 7th. The Institute is entitled "The Secular, the Religious and the Public: Winnipeg’s Inter-civilizational Spaces" and will be taught by Dr. Ray Silvius. The Institute will feature numerous guest lecturers, including the 3rd Axworthy Lecturer, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Registration details and a list of speakers can be found via the panels below.

Here is a description of the Institute:  

In his (in)infamous Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington envisioned a global order in which civilizations, as territorially-fixed, ‘techtonic’ entities, were foredoomed to geopolitical competition, enmity, and mutual irreconcilability. Much conventional geopolitical practice and popular commentary proceeds on this assumption.

However, civilizations scarcely encounter one another in abstract spaces or all at once. In this course, we complicate the idea of a civilization, and ask how civilizations are mutually-constituting entities across international, national, and local spaces.

We consider how groups have interacted to fashion cross-cutting ‘secular’, ‘religious’, and ‘public’ spaces in Winnipeg and environs in the past and continue to do so in the present. We consider how Winnipeg functions as a portal to, and receiver of, ‘global’ civilizations, with all of their religious, linguistic, racial, ethnic, class and gender connotations, and how such civilizations are transformed in their being here.

Through readings, excursions, and ‘local’ examples past and present, we will investigate how the building of civic spaces in Winnipeg makes for complicated, contested and collaborative processes amongst what some may view as geographically irreconcilable peoples.