Monthly Archives: October 2015

Sara Ross

New Article on Social Capital by Peter J. Carrington

University of Waterloo logo

Peter J. Carrington, Professor at the University of Waterloo Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, has published a new article entitled “Personal support networks, social capital, and risk of relapse among individuals treated for substance use issues” in the journal International Journal of Drug Policy. According to the study’s conclusions:

Post-treatment relapse was found to be negatively associated with the socioeconomic status and occupational heterogeneity of ego’s support network, reciprocity in the ties between ego and network members, and a support network in which the members are relatively loosely connected with one another (i.e., ego possesses “brokerage social capital”). These findings suggest the incorporation into therapeutic programming of interventions that address those aspects of clients’ personal support networks.

You can read more about the study at the article’s url here.

Sara Ross

Liberal Party of Canada – campaign promises for the arts

To Prince Edward Island by Alex Colville

To Prince Edward Island by Alex Colville, one of Canada’s greatest paintings

During the most recent Federal Election, the Liberal Party of Canada made several promises regarding the treatment of the arts. These promises, according to the CBC, included renewed and increased funding to the CBC itself, newly reinstated international cultural exchange programs, new National Film Board funding, and new funding for Young Canada Works. The total of new government arts funding was reported to be $380 million.  On October 15th, Canadian Art published an article that took previous Liberal governments to task on the issue of arts funding, but still stated that this would be reversing a general trend in the Federal Government away from spending on the arts, and that it would mark a change in how arts funding is legislated in Canada. It remains to be seen, but it appears as if the way in which the Canadian Parliament approaches arts issues in the coming years could be something worth watching.

Sara Ross

Osgoode Hall Law School Launches FILM – A New Visual Advocacy Initiative

Video Camera image from WikiMedia

After a $100,000 endowment from Kathryn Podrebarac of Podrebarac Barristers Professional Corporation, Osgoode Hall Law School has founded the Fund for Innovation in Law and Media (with the rather clever acronym “FILM”), with the intention of supporting experiential education programs regarding visual advocacy. An excerpt from the announcement reads as follows:

Initial projects under FILM will include the Gladue Documentary Project (integrating short documentary videos as a supplemental aspect of Gladue Reports in the sentencing process for Indigenous offenders in the criminal justice system). Award-winning filmmaker Lisa Jackson, (who was named one of 10 to Watch by Playback Magazine in 2012), is receiving a fellowship from FILM/Osgoode to develop the Gladue Documentary Project.
FILM will also enable the development of the Justice Video Information Project, which features supervised, student-produced videos on legal issues for public audiences, to be developed in partnership with other non-governmental organizations and justice sector providers.

You can read more about the new program in the following full announcement here.

Sara Ross

Upcoming Law.Arts.Culture talk: “Undocumented Stories” by Kathryn Abrams

Undocumented Stories poster

Professor Kathryn Abrams of Berkeley University will be giving a lecture entitled “Undocumented Stories”, based on her current research into the legal consciousness of undocumented immigrants in the State of Arizona. This research “analyzes the ways that narrative, tactical innovation, and emotion management have enabled undocumented immigrants to emerge as effective legal claims-makers under highly adverse political circumstances.” The event will take place on November 4, 2015 between 12:30 and 2:00pm at Osgoode Hall Law School in Room 2027.

To reserve your spot visit the event’s website at and enter the Event Code: ABRAMS


Sara Ross

Association of Critical Heritage Studies Third Biennial Conference in Montreal

ACHS 2016 image

The Association of Critical Heritage Studies, headquartered at the University of Gothamberg in Sweden, is holding its Third Biennial Conference in Montreal, Quebec. The conference is being co-hosted by the Canada Research Chair in Urban Heritage of UQAM’s School of Management, Concordia University, and the Center for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. This is the conference’s third announcement of the call for papers, and thus far over 75 sessions, round tables, and research-creation installations, have been accepted for the conference. The theme of this year’s event is “What Does Heritage Change?” If you wish to submit your own proposal for the conference, to be held between June 6th and June 10th, 2016, the programming committee requires you to fill out an online form that includes a 300 word professional biography and 600 word abstract. Your submission will be peer-reviewed.

You can learn more about the conference and how to submit at the Association’s website:

Or at the conference’s homepage here:

Sara Ross

Magna Carta: Law, Liberty and Legacy

The Magna Carta - Wikimedia Creative Commons file

For the first time in its history the Magna Carta is on display in Toronto, Canada for the exhibition Magna Carta: Law, Liberty and Legacy. Along with Plato’s Republic and Tynwald on the Isle of Man, the Magna Carta is one of the most important icons of the history of democracy, and the document from which our own method of government takes some of its deepest roots. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many who might never make it to the usual home of the document’s four existing charters at the British Library, Lincoln Cathedral, and Salisbury Cathedral, all in the United Kingdom.

The tour stop in Toronto has been ongoing since October 4, 2015 and will continue until November 7, 2015, at the Fort York National Historic Site. More on the event and how you can purchase tickets can be found here on the Fort York website. In addition, the Blue Barracks of Fort York are taking the name of “Runnymede Pub” every Wednesday through Friday of the exhibition, featuring live talks on the Magna Carta and a cash bar. More information on the Runnymede Pub events, as well as other Magna Carta talks, can be found here.

Sara Ross

University of New Brunswick to hold its first Peace and Friendship Treaty Days

UNB Peace and Friendship Treaty Days logo

Logo created by Natalie Sappier

The University of New Brunswick’s will hold its very first Peace and Friendship Treaty Days this Autumn from October 28th to the 30th, hosted by the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre. According to the event:

We will celebrate the peace and friendship treaties signed by the British Crown and the Wabanaki peoples of the Maritimes between 1725 and 1799 and how the peace and friendship treaties continue to define the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples today. We hope that Peace and Friendship Treaty Days will encourage all of us to build towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Along with public lectures on the evenings of October 28th and 29th and displays of Indigenous arts, crafts, and cultures and the Wabanaki and English understandings of the peace and friendship treaties, the centerpiece of Peace and Friendship Treaty Days, 2015 is a symposium, “Towards Reconciliation: Fulfilling the Promise of the Peace and Friendship Treaties” on October 29 and 30, at the Wu Conference Centre on UNB’s Fredericton campus …

You can find out about the agenda of Peace and Friendship Treaty Days, 2015, register for the symposium, learn about the people who will be speaking at Peace and Friendship Treaty Days, connect to a map of the UNB Fredericton campus so you can see where the Peace and Friendship Treaty Days events will be, connect to the Delta Hotel Fredericton to book a room for your stay at Peace and Friendship Treaty Days.

You can read more about the event on the University of New Brunswick website here.

Sara Ross

Vancouver Island Performance of HERE: A Captive Odyssey

Here - A Captive Odyssey poster

Canada’s only inmate-run theatre company, The William Head on Stage company, which is run out of the William Head Institution prison, recently debuted its new play HERE: A Captive Odyssey, written and produced entirely by inmates of the institution. The play runs from October 9, 2015 to November 7, 2015 at the prison, which is about a half hour from Victoria, BC. An abstract of the play goes as follows:

A serpent of transformation takes aim at an inmate serving time at William Head Prison. He is pulled out of his time and finds himself conversing with people were there long before him.  He must embark on a journey of self-discovery to find his way back to the present. Inspired by the book Quarantined by Peter Johnson and true stories of William Head Peninsula, this new work will inspire, delight and engage audiences. One part whimsy. One part sci-fi.

The play is directed by BC artist Kate Rubin. According to CBC’s review of the play, it stars 19 inmates and was written by 20 inmates, and additionally features four female actors from Victoria and an outside stage crew. It is one of the only prison-based theatre companies in the world that allows the public to enter the prison in order to view the show. The review wrote further that the play “tells the story of two inmates, serving the final years of their sentences, who find a device that allows them to time travel and explore the history of the prison — from its beginnings as a First Nations village and Scottish sheep farmer homestead, to its history as a provincial and then federal prison.” Tickets and additional information can be found here.

Sara Ross

News Piece of Interest: Smithsonian article on the Robert Mapplethorpe obscenity trial, in Advance of Cincinnati Retrospectives

Mapplethorpe work at the Gene Frankel Theatre - Wikipedia commons

(Photograph of Robert Mapplethorpe sculptures at the Gene Frankel Theater in NYC)

On October 2, 2015 Smithsonian Magazine published an excellent retrospective article entitled “When Art Fought the Law and the Art Won”, in which author Alex Palmer discusses the Mapplethorpe obscenity trial in the context of modern art law. An excerpt of the article reads:

Twenty-five years ago, art was put on trial in a highly publicized and political showdown. The Mapplethorpe obscenity trial—the first time a museum was taken to court on criminal charges related to works on display—became one of the most heated battlefronts in the era’s culture wars. Taking place over two weeks in the fall of 1990, the resulting attention challenged perceptions of art, public funding, and what constituted “obscenity.” A quarter century on, the trial’s impact can still be felt, and is being recognized in Cincinnati, the city where it all took place, with a series of events and exhibits.
You can read more at the article’s home here.
Sara Ross

Call for Papers: international conference on “Intersections in International Cultural Heritage Law”

georgetown logo

Georgetown University Faculty of Law will be hosting a conference on the international cultural heritage law, in the context of a “recent spate of threats to cultural heritage, including in Syria, Iraq, Nepal, and Yemen,” that “has led to increased focus on the scope of international law governing cultural heritage protection.” The deadline for submissions is October 30, 2015, and you can send your 400-word abstract to More information about the conference topic and other details can be found here on the American Society for International Law website.

Additionally, if selected, you will be required to submit your paper to the conference by March 1, 2016, with a target length of about 7,500 to 10,000 words. A potential publication of the papers presented at the conference will be sought by its organizers.