Upcoming Events

2020 Spring Program

Elliott Tepper – Power in America: Election 2020 – Thursday, April 23, 2020

Time: Thursday April 23, 2020 at 7:00pm

Location: Ottawa Public Library Main Branch, 120 Metcalfe St

The United States is currently engaged in the great ritual of deciding who will hold power in America. This presentation will discuss the dynamics of the American electoral process as well as the personalities, factors, and issues that will determine the outcome of Election 2020.

Dr. Tepper is a political scientist with a PhD from Duke University.  He is a veteran professor of comparative politics and international relations at Carleton University and a favorite speaker in Carleton’s Learning in Retirement program which notes that “…he regularly provides media commentary at home and abroad on a wide range of topics, providing context and deep background to the news stories of the day.” Dr. Tepper’s long career in academia and his keen observation of public policy gives him a unique perspective on topics of current interest.

Dr. Tepper provides analysis and policy advice to national and international organizations. He has published widely, headed national professional organizations, received many research awards, and serves on the boards of directors of a variety of professional and voluntary associations. His expertise has been recognized in his appointments as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), Senior Research Fellow at NPSIA’s Centre for Security and Defence Studies, Research Fellow at the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, Research Advisory Board member of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute,  and as an Adjunct Research Professor at both Royal Roads University and Carleton University.

Offered in partnership with the Ottawa Society for the Arts and Sciences (OSFAS).

Josh Beer – Antigone: A Woman’s Defiance – From Sophocles’ Tragedy (440 BC) to Sophie Deraspe’s Canadian Film (2019) – Thursday May 21, 2020

 Time: Thursday May 21, 2020 at 7:00pm

Location: Ottawa Public Library Main Branch, 120 Metcalfe St

Sophie Deraspe’s film version of Antigone, set in Montreal, which won the Tiff (Toronto International Film Festival) award for the best Canadian movie, is only the most recent of possibly more than 1000 adaptations since Sophocles’ tragedy was first performed in ancient Athens in about 440 BC. No tragedy in the western tradition, not even those of Shakespeare, has had more influence on political, philosophical, moral and feminist thought. Nor has this influence been confined to the ‘western’ tradition but this story of a woman’s defiance has been adapted as a means of protest against colonial oppression and male authority in versions from Africa to Haiti, from Egypt to Japan, from Ireland to Argentina. It has inspired philosophers as different as Wilhelm Hegel and Soren Kierkegaard, composers as far removed as Felix Mendelssohn and Mikis Theodorakis,   both woman writers like Virginia Woolf and feminist thinkers like Judith Butler, dramatists like Bertolt Brecht and Jean Anouilh, psychoanalysts like Jacques Lacan and dancers like Margo Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, not to mention politicians like Nelson Mandela, to name but a few. Sophocles’ tragedy was even influential through German idealistic thought on the movement towards German unification in the 19th century. Josh Beer’s talk will attempt to make some sense of this phenomenon, and he will point out what is original in Sophie Deraspe’s recent film version.

Josh Beer is an adjunct professor at Carleton University, after having taught there for 50 years. On his retirement, he founded and is currently a co-chair of OSFAS. His book Sophocles and the Tragedy of Athenian Democracy was published in 2004 and his most recent published work is “Tradition and Ambiguity: Deceit and Heroic Action in Sophocles’ Electra” 2020. From 2002-2014 he directed annually students of the College of Humanities in dramatic readings of Greek tragedy which were highly praised, not least by His Excellency Eleftherios Anghelopoulos, the Greek Ambassador to Canada 2010-2014.