Denisa Kraus
The Navigator

At the unveiling of the iPad 2, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs stated “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough— it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing . . .” 

With that successful “marriage” in mind, on Friday, March 28, at 10am, the VIU Arts and Humanities Colloquium Series celebrates its fifth anniversary with a special event at the Malaspina Theatre entitled “Fascinating Technologies: Future Directions in the Arts & Humanities.” In a series of six short presentations, faculty and students from the Art and Design, English, History, and Media Studies departments will reflect on the integration of new technologies within their disciplines. The event will conclude with a time for questions and discussion, followed by a catered reception in the theatre lobby. Adding to the mood of celebration, the VIU Jazz Trio (Andrew Cullen, bass; Jesse Marshall, guitar; and Chris Petterson, tenor sax) will be playing in the lobby before and after the presentations.

Many do not associate the worlds of visual art, poetry, literary theory, languages, books, and history with computers, software, and electronic technology, but the digital revolution has already had a major impact on the way that we understand and produce art, literature and history. Some in the arts and humanities have embraced these developments, while others have been more skeptical. The “Fascinating Technologies” presentations will illustrate the diversity, importance, and intellectually stimulating aspects of this work.

Digital Media Technology expert Robin Davies once presented video likenesses of himself to an audience, and one viewer/listener asked “Is Robin’s doppel more present than Robin in person?” His talk will probe this intriguing question and relate it to the implications of the creation and exhibition of video in the classroom.

Artist Rick Conroy will then explore the complexity of visual experience and suggest why we all must acquire visual literacy education in the 21st century.

Dr. Dawn Thompson and Kathleen Reed, along with some fourth-year students, will consider how technology is changing the nature of research in English.

Focusing on two First World War texts—Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, and John McCrae’s In Flanders Field—Dr. Richard Lane and Deanna MacGillivray will illustrate how hardware and software are being used to analyze texts and why these technologies are altering interpretations of literary works.

Maria Bassett and Darcie Smith, in their presentation, will showcase how a 1923 novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery and a 1966 collection of poetry by John Newlove can be expanded as a digital document, allowing for a unique type of close reading.

In his work, Dr. Patrick Dunae brings together information from census records, old maps, and many other historical sources to build geographical information systems that allow for novel visual and spatial representations of the past. He will share how he uses this technology to reconsider race, working-class housing, and the sex trade in Nanaimo and Victoria in the 1890s.

The Arts and Humanities Colloquium Series highlights the impressive research being done by VIU faculty through the presentation of admission-free public lectures open to students and the general public. The series continues in the fall with presentations scheduled for September 19, October 17, and November 28.

For more information on the VIU Arts and Humanities Colloquium Series, contact Dr. Timothy Lewis at (250) 753-3245, local 2114, or Timothy.Lewis(at)viu.ca.