Brown Bag Lecture Series

Brown Bag Lecture Series - Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice

Since October 2006, the Brown Bag is a luncheon seminar series held on designated Fridays during the regular sessions from 12:00 pm - 12:55 pm in the Mauro Centre Boardroom, 252 St. Paul's College.

The lectures are approximately 35 minutes in length, followed by a discussion period. The lectures are free to attend and open to students, staff, faculty and members of the public. Don't forget to bring your bagged lunch!


Friday February 8, 2019 | 12:10 pm
Universal Basic Income: What Justice Demands and the Planet Requires
A Brown Bag Lecture with Dr. James Mulvale, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work; College Assembly Member, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba

Brown Bag Lecture: Dr. James MulvaleInterest in universal basic income (UBI) as a fundamental new approach in social and economic policy has greatly increased over the last few years. Dr. Mulvale’s presentation will outline the UBI model – an unconditional and regular cash transfer from the state to every individual in an amount that ensures a modest but dignified material standard of living.

Dr. Mulvale will explore moral and ethical arguments for UBI, including ones focussed on the elimination of poverty, the lowering of economic inequality, and the attainment of social justice in local, national and global contexts. Finally, the presentation will map out the ecological argument for UBI as a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for the transition to a steady state economy and degrowth, in which meeting human needs and preserving Mother Earth take precedence over the accumulation of wealth.

This lecture is being presented in partnership with the Jesuit Centre for Catholic Studies and their Lecture Series: Formations and Re-Formations in Catholic Thought.

February 8 | 12:00 | Hanley Hall, 220 St. Paul’s College

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Friday March 8, 2019 | 12:00 pm
Conflicted Walls: Untangling Transitional Justice and Traumatic Memories at Bosnia’s Srebrenica Memorial
A Brown Bag Lecture with Dr. Laura Beth Cohen, Director, Kupferberg Holocaust Center, Queensborough Community College, CUNY

Brown Bag Lecture: Dr. Laura Beth CohenInternational and local actors have different conceptions of remembrance initiatives that are expected to simultaneously address broad outcomes as well as incorporate grassroots processes. The conversation tends to jump straight from enacting justice into discussions about truth-telling, reconciliation, and repair. Yet, how stakeholders of atrocity site memorials negotiate politics, history, and memories directly impacts what these sites communicate.

In the case of the Srebrenica genocide memorial, Dr. Cohen argues that segregating discussions about transitional justice’s efficacy and the ongoing memory wars about the genocide direct attention away from the problematic practices they foster at the site. Isolating conflicts about how fraught justice and traumatic memories play out across the Memorial’s walls and property also reveal why it remains a site of both reparation and contestation decades later.

This lecture is being presented in partnership with the Peace and Conflict Studies Graduate Programs and the Department of Sociology and Criminology, University of Manitoba.

March 8 | 12:00 | Mauro Centre Boardroom, 252 St. Paul’s College

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Friday January 25, 2019 | 12:00 pm
Cold Genocide and Religious Freedom: Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners in the People’s Republic of China
A Brown Bag Lecture with Dr. Maria Cheung, Associate Professor, PhD Program Coordinator, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba

Brown Bag Lecture: Dr. Maria Cheung Cold genocide is a slow and sophisticated process of annihilation against a victim group. The defining features of a cold genocide are multi-dimensional destruction, subtlety and normalization. The confluence of these three factors allow a genocide to sustain for prolonged periods of time, gradually achieving its objective of thorough annihilation under a cultivated atmosphere of inattention, ignorance and apathy.

In her lecture, Dr. Cheung will present the research and evidence supporting the assertion of state sponsored persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

January 25 | 12:00 | Mauro Centre Boardroom, 252 St. Paul’s College

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2018 Mauro Centre Brown Bag Lecture Series


Friday September 14, 2018 | 12:00 pm
Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons: A Major Disruptor for International Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament Law
A Brown Bag Lecture with Dr. Jonathan Black-Branch, Dean of Law and Marcel A. Desautels Chair in Private Enterprise and the Law of the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba

This lecture is produced in collaboration with | Rotary District 5550 and World Peace Partners

Brown Bag Lecture: Dr. Jonathan Black-BranchThe 2017 Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons marks an important milestone in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament law. It highlights growing support for decisive action against nuclear destruction, firmly asserting that nuclear weapons actually threatens global security and does not to protect it; contrary to what was traditionally argued under deterrence theory. Nevertheless, despite unprecedented support to ban nuclear weapons, the Treaty itself lacks international consensus. Some States adamantly oppose the Treaty, refusing to endorse its coming into legal force and question its legitimacy on a global front and seek to undermine its credibility as an arms-control Treaty.

Despite these apparent draw-backs, Professor Black-Branch argues that the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons represents a significant paradigm shift in the international community. It is a game-changer, disrupting conventional thinking on nuclear security and the manner by which politicians, diplomats and international lawyers alike approach non-proliferation, disarmament and the regulation of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in a changing global community.

September 14 | 12:00 | Mauro Centre Boardroom, 252 St. Paul’s College
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Tuesday September 18, 2018 | 12:00 pm
Identity Matters: Strategies for Reconciliation and Sustainable Peace
A Brown Bag Lecture with Dr. Celia Cook-Huffman, Assistant Provost; Director, Non-Profit Leadership MA; Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College (Pennsylvania)

Brown Bag Lecture: Dr. Celia Cook-HuffmanWhen we think about social conflicts, understanding the role of identities is critical to both analysis and intervention design. The ways we theorize and conceptualize identity have significant implications for understanding how communities mobilize for social change and work for social justice.

Dr. Cook-Huffman will present research examining the critical role social identities play as the psychological constructs that render collective action possible. This research is important for rethinking strategies of peacebuilding that seek to foster reconciliation and contribute to sustainable peace by creating greater justice and equity. This research suggests that practitioners need to carefully assess the specific qualities and attributes of salient identities, if the goal is to challenge structural inequality, build majority group support for change, and sustain minority group solidarity for collective social change efforts.

September 18 | 12:00 | Mauro Centre Boardroom, 252 St. Paul’s College
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Friday September 28, 2018 | 12:00 pm
Our Human Capacity for Language: Insights from Signed Languages
A Brown Bag Lecture with Dr. Charlotte Enns, Director, Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace & Justice at St. Paul's College; Professor, Faculty of Education

Brown Bag Lecture: Dr. Charlotte EnnsIn her work and research experiences, Dr. Enns has met many highly intelligent deaf children who struggle in school and do not read and write well. Seeing this as an injustice, and as an educator, Dr. Enns views this as a personal responsibility to work towards a solution.

The solution, she believes, lies in early language acquisition, and this language does not need to be spoken – signed languages are equally capable of establishing the necessary foundation for later learning. By truly valuing human diversity we can build on deaf children’s visual strengths and ensure that they begin life with early, accessible, and meaningful language so that they, too, can reach their full potential.

September 28 | 12:00 | Mauro Centre Boardroom, 252 St. Paul’s College
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Friday October 5, 2018 | 12:00 pm
Visa-pression! The Challenge of Re-union for International Students’ Families in the lens of Judith Herman’s “Trauma and Recovery”
A Brown Bag Lecture with Dr. Peter Karari, Peace and Conflict Studies (University of Manitoba, 2015)

Brown Bag Lecture: Dr. Peter KarariWhen international graduate students leave their home countries, they often leave behind their spouses and children in pursuit of scholarship and advancement. When those families of established graduate students try to visit or come to live with their spouses, they can be denied these opportunities. The denial of visas to families of international students constitutes a form of oppression that does not serve the interests of students, families, scholarship, or Canada.

One could go so far as to describe it as a nameless crime that reminds us of Raphael Lemkin’s struggle with ‘a crime without a name’ in Power’s “A Problem from Hell” (2003, p. 30). Effective interventionism in the visa problem for the international students’ and their families’ requires an understanding of the background context and a new language to advance the discussion.

This lecture considers the conditions occasioned by the denial of visas and continued separation and as a starting place for informed interventionism in the pursuit of justice for international students and their families.

October 5 | 12:00 | Mauro Centre Boardroom, 252 St. Paul’s College
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Friday October 12, 2018 | 12:00 pm
The Rohingya Exodus: Protracted Conflict, Refuge, and Global-Local Peacebuilding Avenues
A Brown Bag Lecture with Dr. Kawser Ahmed, Peace and Conflict Studies (University of Manitoba, 2017) and Helal Mohiuddin, PhD, Conflict and Resilience Research Institute, Canada

Brown Bag Lecture: Dr. Kawser Ahmed and Dr. Helal MohiuddinSince August 2017, Myanmar security forces’ clearance operations in the Rakhaine State of Myanmar have resulted in the mass exodus of ethnic Rohingyas to neighbouring Bangladesh. Although the systematic persecution of the Rohingyas began in the 1970s by banning citizenship and denying civic and human rights, the worst crackdown, which international observers as well as the UN termed a textbook ethnic cleansing, resumed from August 2017 in retaliation to an alleged Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) attack of a Myanmar paramilitary station. Currently nearly one million Rohingyas are living in camps in southern Bangladesh. In light of this, the presentation will address the following research questions:

  • Who are the Rohingyas? What are the main issues related to their identity and why did they end up stateless?
  • What are the impacts of the mass displacement of the Rohingyas in general and women and children in particular?
  • What are the regional and global security ramifications of the displacement?
  • What are the roles of international communities as well as government and non-government organizations in managing the conflict?

October 12 | 12:00 | Mauro Centre Boardroom, 252 St. Paul’s College
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Friday November 2, 2018 | 12:00 pm
Zimbabwe 2018 Elections: Another Look into the Functions of Elections
A Brown Bag Lecture: Dr. Eliakim SibandaBrown Bag Lecture with Dr. Eliakim Sibanda, Chair, Peace and Conflict Studies Joint Masters Program (UM and UW); Professor, History, University of Winnipeg

Elections transfer power of voters’ collective basic prerogative of self-rule to their representatives in leadership positions. Thus, rather than all citizens running governance affairs themselves, especially in a democracy, they conduct it through their representatives. Ideally, the representatives remain answerable to the majority, and serve the collective interests expressed through their election. In a sense, elections embrace the notions of democratic expression and self-governance and are fundamental to democracy. Over time though, the relationship between the electorate and its representatives has become contested, and this raises troubling questions about the role of elections in a democracy.

The central question it raises is: Do elections today still mean that voters get to choose representatives who serve their collective interests and remain accountable to them as bearers of their power of attorney? In this presentation I attempt to address this question by interrogating the recently held elections in Zimbabwe.

November 2 | 12:00 | Mauro Centre Boardroom, 252 St. Paul’s College
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Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at St. Paul's College 

For more information about these and future Brown Bag lectures, please contact the Mauro Centre at or 204-474-7273.