The Guelph Lecture—On Being Canadian continues to broaden the scope and number of voices that promote and foster public dialogue on, and greater understanding of, ideas and issues of concern to Canadians. Each year the Guelph Lecture brings together a cast of some the most innovative, imaginative, and inspiring thinkers and performers who engage audience members with an array of ideas not just for Canadians, but for all. The November 13, 2015 event featured literary guest Lee Maracle and lecturer Jaron Lanier.
A member of the Stó:lō Nation in British Columbia, Lee Maracle is a celebrated author, poet, educator, storyteller and performing artist. She is one of the country’s most prolific writers, and was first published in the early 1970s. Among her novels are Ravensong, Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel and Daughters Are Forever.
Presenting the keynote lecture, Jaron Lanier speaks about the social impact of technology, the philosophy of consciousness and information, and Internet politics. A pioneer in virtual reality (a term he coined), he has been at the forefront of technological innovation from its infancy to the present.
Lee Maracle reads from her latest poetry, written during her time as the 2015 Eastern Comma Writer-in-Residence, a program of Musagetes and rare Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge, Ontario.
Lee Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed literary works including Sojourner’s and Sundogs [collected work of novel and short stories]; Celia’s Song [her latest novel]; Ravensong [novel], Bobbi Lee [autobiographical novel]; Daughters Are Forever, [novel]; Will’s Garden [young adult novel]; Bent Box [poetry]; and I Am Woman [creative non-fiction]. Maracle is the co-editor of a number of anthologies including the award winning publication, My Home As I Remember. She is also co-editor and contributor of Telling It: Women and Language across Culture [conference proceedings]. Maracle is published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide.
Maracle was born in North Vancouver and is a member of the Sto: Loh nation. The mother of four and grandmother of seven. Maracle is currently an instructor at the University of Toronto. She is also the Traditional Teacher for First Nations House and instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and the S.A.G.E. [Support for Aboriginal Graduate Education] as well as the Banff Centre for the Arts as a writing instructor. In 2009, Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University. Maracle recently received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work promoting writing among Aboriginal Youth. Maracle received the 2014 Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington. A new collection of her work will be released in late-2015, titled Memory Serves and other Words [creative non-fiction].
Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, artist and author who writes on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the impact of technology, the philosophy of consciousness and information, internet politics and the future of humanism. Lanier’s most recent book is Who Owns the Future? A pioneer in virtual reality, Lanier founded VPL Research and led teams creating VR applications for medicine, design and numerous other fields. Lanier is also a musician and artist.