• Deans’ Lecture Series

Deans’ Lecture Series

Course Series

Research is continually reshaping the way we live and think.

In these free online lectures, you'll hear from distinguished members of the faculties at the University of Victoria. 


There is no need to register for these free online lectures. Pre-recorded talks will be added to this page. If you would like to be notified when new talks are available, please fill out the form to join our mailing list. 

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The series is presented in partnership with the Faculties of Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Graduate Studies, Human and Social Development, Humanities, Law, Science and Social Sciences; the Greater Victoria Public Library and the Division of Continuing Studies.

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Online lectures


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Engineering and
Computer Science
Fine Arts
Human and
Social Development
  • Depiction of Dracula by Bram Stoker 1897

    The 'gnaw' of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

    (or the art of de-trivializing horror)

    Dr. Brian Richmond

    By tackling head-on what he sees as our society’s tendency to trivialize horror, Dr. Richmond proposes that it is only by leading audiences on a genuine journey through the terror that we can accomplish the escape into the light and healing contained in what he sees as one of our most optimistic approaches to storytelling.

  • Diagram of Anger, Depression and Anxiety

    Mom Rage is Real: Why Parents Need Better Support

    Dr. Christine Ou

    In this talk, Dr. Ou explores the origins of ‘mom rage’ and considers mom rage as a manifestation of multi-faceted parental distress and describes family-, community-, and policy-oriented solutions to reduce parental anger and distress.

  • The Emergent Essay

    The Emergent Essay

    Danielle Geller

    Emergence is a phenomenon of observation and interpretation. In a complex system, emergent behaviour is the larger pattern or structure that arises from the interrelation of a system’s constituent parts: a flock of starlings, its murmuration. In this talk, emergence will be explored within the context of game design, the personal essay, and the mind.

  • Brief history of Chinese racism in Canada

    Collective Narrative Themes of Chinese Canadian Intergenerational Trauma

    Dr. Fred Chou

    Despite the significant historical traumas experienced by Chinese people in the 20th century (e.g., the Great Famine and Cultural Revolution), there has only been one other published study on the topic of intergenerational trauma and the Chinese diaspora. This presentation will discuss a research project that examined parent and offspring narratives of intergenerational trauma in Chinese Canadian families.

  • Mapping brain connectivity

    Background Connectivity: understanding brain functional organization

    Mikayla Holmes

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a very popular, non-invasive technique for measuring brain function. The human connectome project (HCP) is one of the first large-scale projects aimed at collecting and sharing MRI brain data. This talk will explore the different patterns of brain functional connectivity emerging from subjects at rest and contrast that to background connectivity obtained from performing a subject completing a motor-task.

  • Diet Culture

    The Insidious Harms of Diet Culture

    Dr. Sarah Nutter

    In her presentation, Dr. Nutter speaks to the cultural messages and beliefs about appearance, bodies, and health in our society that she aims to challenge in the research she conducts at UVic. After defining diet culture, Dr. Nutter uses the fictional stories of two women with eating disorders to describe how we come to learn and internalize the messages of diet culture. She also describes the consequences of internalizing these attitudes and beliefs, including body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, and weight stigma.

  • Illustration with the words "Coming soon"

    Protecting Older Adults' Privacy in the Smart Home

    Jessica Percy Campbell, PhD Candidate

    Increasingly, older adults (65+) are using smart home technology such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices for emergency contact, medication reminders, digital companions, home control, and more. This talk starts by explaining some of the privacy and security concerns with smart home devices and ends with exploring policy and design solutions that may better protect older adults' personal information.

  • Diagram of gold nanoparticles' interaction with DNA

    Gold Nanoparticles as a Magic Bullet to Treat Cancer

    Dr. Devika B. Chithrani

    By 2040, the number of new cancer cases per year is expected to rise to 29.5 million and the number of cancer-related deaths to 16.4 million. Approximately 50 percent of all cancer patients can benefit from radiotherapy however the current methods need improvement to further increase patient survival rates and reduce side effects. In this talk, Dr. Chithrani will discuss the importance of using gold nanoparticle-based novel strategies to overcome challenges imposed by the tumour and its microenvironment.

  • Amusing the king

    Amusing the King:

    Gender, Parody and Musical Theatre in Early 18th Century Spain

    Dr. Maria Virginia Acuña

    We will explore the world of Spanish baroque musical theatre through the lens of Acis y Galatea (Acis and Galatea), an operatic work performed for King Philip V of Spain in 1708. What makes this work interesting is that it reverses gender roles of the era, while also satirizing the archetype of the male lover so commonly found in dramatic works of the period. Also, as we shall see, it mocks operatic conventions of the baroque. Why and how does it do so?

  • Rethinking Resilience

    Dr. Simi Kang

    While environmental disaster impacts everyone in its path, it is often a region's most structurally vulnerable communities who bear the greatest burden in so-called "recovery."  This talk focuses on the Vietnamese and Cambodian American coast-dependent fishers in southeast Louisiana who have often been called "resilient" for surviving US war in Vietnam and now, compounding disaster at home. How does resilience compound the violence of environmental injustice, and what does it means for their future? 

  • Neural Computation in the Retina

    Dr. Gautam Awatramani

    Understanding how the brain computes information requires a deep understanding of how the inhibitory and excitatory neuronal types within specified circuits are connected, as well as a detailed description of their functional properties. Recent advances in molecular, neurochemical, and/or anatomical techniques have led to an explosion in the number of known excitatory and inhibitory neuronal types in any given region of the brain, and the endeavor to understand neural computations is a challenge.

  • Trumpet around the sun

    Trumpet Around the Sun:

    An Exploration of Music as a Global Connector that Builds Community and Dissolves Barriers

    Professor Merrie Klazek

    Music is at once a personal experience and a universal experience. In this talk, I will share the journey of my recent recording project which highlights my experience as a professional trumpet player in settings of music from around the globe, in collaboration with over 24 artists specializing in different styles.

  • Online Learning

    Are We There Yet?

    Making Space for Indigenous Knowledge in Online Learning

    Professor Lindsay DuPré

    Through evolving contexts of reconciliation and social justice movements, universities have become increasingly interested in developing Indigenous presence within their institutions. This lecture will explore some of the tensions related to making space for Indigenous knowledge and the need for more deliberate protocols surrounding teaching and engaging with Indigenous Knowledge in online learning.

  • Coming soon

    Better Justice:

    How Data Scientists and Legal Scholars Are Collaborating to Help Canadians Solve Their Everyday Legal Problems

    Kate Gower, LLM Candidate

    Canada has an "access to justice" problem. Almost half of us will experience a family or civil justice problem in the next three years, but research shows 45% of people will not resolve their problem. There is remarkable lack of data about how Canadians solve their legal problems. In order to improve access to justice, we need to know more: we need to know where and how to help.

  • Map of the United states with 4 colours

    The Mathematics Behind Map Colouring

    Dr. Natasha Morrison

    How many colours do you need to be able to colour a map in such a way that no two countries sharing a border receive the same colour? Finding the smallest number of colours that will work for any map is a question that eluded mathematicians for centuries. In this talk, Dr. Morrison will discuss the history of this problem, and the solution.

  • Coming soon

    Indigenous Laws on Indigenous Lands: Land Back as Climate Action

    Dr. Jeff Corntassel

    Broadly speaking, we can think of land back as the regeneration of Indigenous laws on Indigenous lands and waters. It is a call to liberate stolen lands and waters from current colonial encroachments and legal fictions. It’s no secret that Indigenous peoples protect and govern 80% of the world’s biodiversity, and given these close interrelationships, community health and the health of the lands and waters are closely related. Land back is a pathway to climate justice.

  • Art installation

    From a Ragged Edge, Possible Futures

    Professor​ Daniel Laskarin

    With memory as image and sculpture as the abstract body, time and physical experience may give form to uncertainty as a positive force. This talk will frame my practice in terms of memory, collapse, and art that offers imaginative prospects for a future not yet determined.

  • International Tax

    Is Global Tax Cooperation a Reality?

    Professor Geoffrey Loomer

    The last decade has seen heightened media attention on matters of offshore tax evasion, corporate tax avoidance, international tax competition, and international tax cooperation. What is the reality in 2021? This lecture will survey, from a Canadian and transnational perspective, legal developments in the last decade with respect to two globally important issues.

  • Law as a responsibility

    Law as a Responsibility:

    Centring Indigenous Peoples, Laws and Legal Orders in Your Learning and Practice

    Dr. Tracey Lindberg

    In this discussion, Professor Tracey Lindberg introduces viewers to the notion and practice of Indigenous law and legal orders. Looking specifically to the territory she is on (Lekwungen and Sannich territory), Lindberg provides examples of non-extractive process, protocols and substance of learning and centring the laws embedded and blooming in Indigenous territories.

  • "Laying Down a Sovereign":

    How the British Press Reported on Queen Victoria’s First Pregnancy

    Dr. Lisa Surridge, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Leighton

    It is a truism that the Victorians were prudish about pregnant bodies. Our lecture questions this assumption through a case study of Queen Victoria’s very public pregnancy with her first child. We track discussions of Victoria’s pregnancy from mere weeks after her marriage in February 1840 to Princess Victoria’s birth in November 1840.

  • Racism, Rights and Empire in the Dominion of Canada:

    The Case of the Komagata Maru

    Professor John McLaren, Dr. Pooja Parmar

    Through the lens of the Komagata Maru episode we examine the experience of law and justice of a British colonial population that had chosen to remove itself from its country of origin, India, closely controlled by the colonial government, to another British possession, Canada, that enjoyed extensive self-government and was organized as a federal state.

  • Image of art installment

    The Razor’s Edge:

    Gender Politics and Structural Violence in the Work of Bangladeshi Artist Tayeba Begum Lipi

    Dr. Melia Belli Bose

    For over a decade Lipi has created dozens of sculptures of feminine domestic objects—sewing machines, handbags, stilettos, bikinis, baby strollers, and a marriage bed—out of razorblades and safety pins to interrogate issues of gender inequality, agency, marginality, and structural violence that inform the quotidian realities of lower and middle-class women in her country.

  • What we say matters

    What We Say Matters: Getting to the Heart of Socio-Ecological Crises

    Meredith J. Lemon, PhD Candidate

    One of several taken-for-granted assumptions in Western schooling is the notion of human independence from and superiority over the physical environment. This lecture identifies where this and other problematic root metaphors exist in schooling and daily discourse. We'll end by looking at other frameworks that more accurately identify our relations with others and offer hope for a better future.

  •  Literacies in Education

    Literacies in Education: Past, Present and Possible Futures

    Dr. Deborah Begoray

    In this presentation, Dr. Begoray takes a chronological look at the place of literacies in the schools. Through the use of her own research with adolescents in the schools and in communities, and the work of other scholars, she reviews the use of literacies across a variety of subject areas, especially health, and finally considers how multiple literacies might contribute to all our possible futures.

  • "But I Live" – Three Child Survivor Stories of the Holocaust

    Dr. Charlotte Schallié

    Dr. Charlotte Schallié will present the first phase of a larger arts-based participatory research project in which three comics artists, and four Holocaust child survivors work in close partnership with one another, jointly producing original works of graphic art. Visual storytelling in graphic narratives is especially effective for life stories of child survivors as they recall their memories in a vivid associative context, which intuitively lends itself to visual representation. View teaser trailer. Image credit: Barbara Yelin 

  • Sound Studies: What Is It, Who Does It and Why Do We Care?

    Dr.​ Joseph Salem

    Sound studies emerged as a field about 20 years ago, but it remains in flux. In this presentation, Dr. Joseph Salem introduces what defines sound studies and showcases UVic faculty whose creative and research achievements overlap with the field, including some of his own on the band The National.

  • Global Methane: Environmental and Economic Considerations

    Dr. Michael Whiticar

    Dr. Whiticar's current research, GHGMap, focuses on remote sensing of climate-relevant gases (e.g., methane and carbon dioxide) on land and waters using optical micro-sensors on Autonomous Underwater and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

  • Coming soon

    "Walking a Path of Partnership and Friendship"

    Five Years Later – Continuing to place ourselves in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action

    Dr. Rebecca Johnson

    This presentation will provide an introduction to the TRC and its 94 Calls to Action, and will focus on steps that can be taken by ordinary citizens to develop practices of reconciliation that are informed, and grounded in practical and collaborative action.

  • Illustration of the Wurst Girl

    A Sinner’s Guide to Food and Sex in Time

    Being a Complete Description of the Stews, Cafés, Saloons, Dinner Tables, Restaurants and Breastaurants That Have Served the Alimentary and Amatory Appetites Throughout Time

    Dr. Rachel Hope Cleves

    This talk explores how good food and illicit sexuality became associated in the Anglo imagination, how that association changed over time, and how it fell apart following the countercultural revolution of the 1970s.

  • Image of Migrant Youth

    Forced Migrant Youth Reconstructing Their Identity, Belonging and Future

    Dr. Jessica Ball and Debra Torok, PhD Candidate

    Dr. Jessica Ball is a professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, and she leads the Youth Migration Project. Debra Torok is a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Victoria. View handout: The Youth Migration Project (PDF)

    Photo credit: Ball/Lamouchi/Tse, 2019

  • Photo of a lingcod

    The Fish Sound Project: Unraveling the Identity of Fish Sounds in British Columbia

    Xavier Mouy, PhD Candidate

    Some fish produce sounds to find mates, defend their territory, or keep cohesion within their group. These sounds can be used to detect the presence and potentially the number of fish in an environment. However, many fish sounds have not yet been associated to specific species, which limits the usefulness of this approach. The work presented here aims to address this knowledge gap in British Columbia.

  • Screenshot from the film Framing Agnes

    The Agnes Project

    Dr. Chase Joynt

    Inspired by the discovery of never-before-seen case files from transgender history, filmmaker and Assistant Professor Chase Joynt presents Framing Agnes, a film made in collaboration with University of Chicago sociologist Kristen Schilt, which blends sociological research, historical archives and contemporary performance.

  • Collage art piece

    From a Distance: Paris and the Transposition of Chineseness

    Dr. Angie Chau

    This talk on Chinese art and literature in 1920s to 1940s Paris highlights the work of four figures: artist Chang Yu, poet Li Jinfa, art critic Fu Lei, and writer Xu Xu. Drawing on the musical concept of transposition, Dr. Chau argues that Paris is a unique site of negotiation where Chinese writers and artists are motivated to emphasize recognizable markers of Chinese culture.

  • Map of groundwater

    Why is Groundwater Sustainability Important?

    And, Should the Pandemic Change What I "Do" as a Sustainability Scientist?

    Dr. Tom Gleeson

    Groundwater resources are the most reliable source of freshwater on the planet, so long as they are sustainably managed. Dr. Gleeson will reveal some secrets about this invisible water beneath our feet, and reflect on changes to research priorities and practices in response to the pandemic.

  • Photo of a bear looking into a dumpster

    Of Conflict and Co-existence: Understanding Human-Wildlife Relationships in a Complex World

    Lauren Eckert, PhD Candidate

    In British Columbia and beyond, conflict between humans and black bears is on the rise. In this talk, Lauren explains her research aimed at better understanding human-wildlife conflict in Coastal BC towards promoting co-existence.

  • Graph of COVID-19 cases in BC

    How to Use Mathematical Models to Study the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Dr. Junling Ma

    In this talk, we will review what mathematical models are, how they are constructed to study the spread of COVID-19 in the population, and what these models can tell us about the outbreak.

  • Illustration of a Vehicle Platoon

    A Distributed Control Strategy:

    Making Autonomous Surface Vehicle Platoons Safe and Fuel-efficient

    Henglai Wei, PhD Candidate

    Autonomous surface vehicles are essential for understanding and exploring the most mysterious region of our planet, the ocean. The platooning control of autonomous vehicles has also started to attract increasing attention in the intelligent transportation area, due to its potential to improve road capacity and efficiency.

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