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Lakehead lecture series to explore storytelling

Beginning Jan. 25, popular Third Age Learning Lakehead series will focus on 'how stories shape our lives'
Lakehead University's Orillia campus is shown.

Stories are central to human communication. We use stories to help us imagine, to better understand one another, and to solve problems and create solutions.

Storytelling is more than just entertainment. But how do our narratives — the stories we tell and are told — shape our lives, our community, our country?

Beginning Jan. 25, Third Age Learning Lakehead (TALL) will host Stories and Society, a five-part lecture series that will seek to answer this question. From exploring space through the lens of science fiction, to the role of alternative forms of storytelling in the changing world of media, these five talks will examine how stories shape our lives.

The series will open with Dr. Kim Fedderson, the founding dean of Lakehead University’s Orillia campus and a professor emeritus in Lakehead University’s department of English. He will address how narratives are constructed, and how we can step outside the stories that shape us so that we can tell which ones we should remember, and which ones we should forget.

On Feb. 1, professor Armand Garnet Ruffo from Queen’s University will showcase his knowledge and research surrounding Indigenous storytelling. His research and writing intersects with his Ojibwe culture. In his teaching he emphasizes the importance of bridging elements from both scholarly work and creative work.

Acclaimed science fiction author and biologist Julie Czerneda will explore the future of space through the lens of science fiction on Feb. 8. She will discuss how, at its core, science fiction is a thought experiment told as a story.

On Feb. 15, Liz Beatty will examine the role of alternative forms of storytelling, such as podcasting, in the changing world of media. She is an award-winning feature writer, broadcaster, podcast journalist, and former writer for National Geographic and The Walrus.

The series will close on Feb. 22 with a talk by Dr. Gary Pluim, an assistant professor in the faculty of education at Lakehead Orillia. He will discuss narratives of education and youth across former colonies and will speak to the impacts of geopolitics and regionalism on youth education.

Join Third Age Learning Lakehead on Wednesday mornings to listen, share, and learn about stories and their place in our world. This speaker series will be delivered in a hybrid format, allowing you to connect virtually or attend in person at the St. Paul’s Centre in Orillia.

More information, including how to register, can be found at