Dr. Timothy Lewis
The Navigator

In December 1911, Roald Amundsen became the first human to stand at the South Pole.  As the Pole was the last significant landmass to be subject to human investigation, Amundsen’s accomplishment, in many ways, marked the end of the heroic age of exploration.

100 years later, Professor Jay Ruzesky, a descendant of Amundsen, travelled to Antarctica to honour his ancestor’s achievement. Upon his return, Ruzesky documented his journey in a memoir entitled: In Antarctica: An Amundsen Pilgrimage.

On Friday, October 18, Professor Ruzesky, a member of VIU’s Departments of English and Creative Writing and Journalism, will speak about his experiences in Antarctica as he presents, “Amundsen Then and Now: The End of the Age of Heroic Exploration.” Ruzesky’s illustrated presentation will be the second session in the Fall 2013 VIU Arts and Humanities Colloquium Series. Admission is free and will be held at the Malaspina Theatre between 10 and 11:30 am. Refreshments are available before the lecture, and a time for discussion and questions will follow the talk.

As the title of his recently published memoir suggests, Ruzesky perceives his voyage to Antarctica as a “kind of pilgrimage,” a salute to the accomplishments of his ancestor Roald Amundsen. But he was also intrigued by how “the very idea of exploration has changed in the century since Amundsen stood at the South Pole.”  As Ruzesky notes, “with satellites, computers, etc.­—travel to remote parts of the world is a very different thing than it once was, and yet the extreme geography of a place like Antarctica isolates it, to some degree, from time and human innovations.” Ruzesky will use the Colloquium forum to share his thoughts on how Antarctic exploration, and Antarctica as a continent, has changed over the past century.

The Arts and Humanities Colloquium Series highlights the impressive research being done by VIU faculty. The lectures are open to both students and the general public, and are free of admission. The series continues on Friday, November 22, when Dr. Gordon Hak, from the Department of History, will reflect on the question: “BC’s 1983 Solidarity Movement 30 Years on: Something for the Left to Celebrate or Best Forgotten?”

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