Humanities and Public Life Conference 2022: Crisis, conflict and resolution

The Dawson College Humanities & Public Life conference is an annual conference that introduces CEGEP students to the ambiance, culture, and discovery of academic conferences.  We aim to provide a bridge between great ideas, new research, and exciting debates, as well as showcasing how the questions we tackle in the Humanities are relevant to concrete, real-world situations. We invite presentations from all disciplines.

This year, the conference will take place from September 19-23, 2022, and the theme will be Crisis, Conflict and Resolution. How can the Humanities help us to understand and navigate the various challenges the world is facing?

Some of the themes we would like to explore are: the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, current controversies in academia, identity, growing economic inequality, the political divide & authoritarian populism, and the climate crisis. These are just a few suggestions; you should feel free to suggest other topics.

To make it relevant for our budding conference goers, presentations should reference one or more of the 3 categories of Humanities courses: Knowledge, World Views and Ethics. Consistent with our theme, here are some examples of potential presentation topics:

How have knowledge claims played a role in the current climate of political polarization? How have those who believe in conspiracy theories come to their conclusions? What role could critical thinking play in the preservation of liberal democracy? How does a profession like journalism utilize critical thinking in a world increasingly dismissive of facts?

How have world views (religious and secular) been used to legitimize past and present conflicts? What are some world views about how conflicts could have been avoided or resolved? What worldviews have inspired the rise of social justice movements? Which worldviews are at play in the debates around cancel culture and free speech? For a lawyer or activist, which worldviews are at play in the evolving debate around secularism and religious freedom in Quebec?

What are some of the ethical issues around food security in times of geopolitical conflict? What ethical issues do public health officials and doctors face with vaccine distribution?  What are the ethical issues surrounding cybersecurity and hacking? How does the banking industry approach the ethical issues around cryptocurrency?

These are just a few ideas. We encourage you to craft your own topic based on your expertise and interest. We also encourage presentations from those who can connect the theme with their workplace or other real-world situation.

Format: Presentations should be around 35-45 minutes long. They will be followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions. Solo presentations are welcome; we will also consider panels if they are relevant to the conference themes. The talks should be accessible and engaging for a general audience consisting largely of CEGEP students who have only recently graduated from high school. If you have any doubts about the level of your presentation, please let us know.

If you are interested in presenting, please send a 150-word presentation summary and title, along with a very short bio, to organizers Daniel Goldsmith and Sean Elliott at: by May 31, 2022.

Last Modified: May 18, 2022