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Vandana Shiva Axworthy Lecture

This lecture took place on Thursday, May 25th.

Vandana Shiva PosterThe Axworthy Distinguished Lecture Series on Social Justice and the Public Good was established in 2015 to honour Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President of the University of Winnipeg from 2004-14. In recognition of Dr. Axworthy’s commitment to the public good, to social justice, and to accessibility, the series invites front-ranking researchers, social commentators and political leaders to the University of Winnipeg to deliver free lectures on social justice issues involving gender, religion and secularism, language, ethnicity and race, ecology, and economy.

The first lecture in the series was delivered by distinguished public intellectual Dr. Cornel West in May 2015. The second lecture was given by renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall in September 2015. The third lecture, in May 2016, was delivered by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. The latest speaker in the series was Edward Snowden, who spoke to three universities via a live webcast on May 9, 2017. 

The Axworthy Lectures coincide with Institutes delivered by the Centre for the Liberal Arts and Secular Society (CLASS)—a network of University of Winnipeg faculty members and students engaged in interdisciplinary research concerning secularism and secularization from perspectives across the liberal arts. The Spring 2017 Institute, entitled "The University and the Public Good", will by taught by Dr. W. Rory Dickson and features numerous public lectures.

Biography: Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmental activist and anti-globalization author. She trained as a physicist at the University of Punjab, and earned her Ph.D from the University of Western Ontario. Her work centers on issues of bioethics, biodiversity, intellectual property rights, and genetic engineering. She founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology in 1982, which led to the creation of Navdanya in 1991, a national movement for the protection of biological resources, especially native seeds. Shiva’s work often celebrates the wisdom of traditional knowledge, such as Vedic medicine and farming practices, and she has criticized the practice of corporate seed patenting. She works to improve the situation of women in India, and is commonly referred to as an ecofeminist.