UBC’s largest-ever conference opens with Kelowna event May 29

UBC Okanagan will be an important part of the action as the largest conference in UBC's history gets underway next week. A panel dialogue planned for UBC Okanagan next Thursday, May 29, will be the first event of the 2008 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, a national celebration of intellectual life in Canada.

Organized annually by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, which represents 50,000 researchers, Congress 2008 at UBC is expected to attract 10,000 delegates through the more than 70 participating scholarly associations from May 31 to June 8.

"Congress 2008 is not only the largest conference ever for UBC, it's also the major academic event of UBC’s Centennial year," notes Richard Cavell, Academic Convenor for Congress 2008 and Professor of English at UBC.

The conference, which has taken six years to plan, will see an average of 120 sessions taking place concurrently on any given day as scholars and post-graduate students explore pressing social and cultural concerns through workshops, panels and presentations.

"The humanities and social sciences make an enormous contribution to Canada and the world," said Federation president Noreen Golfman. "Research in these disciplines informs policy-makers on the critical issues of the day, from climate change to terrorism; from an aging population to the economy. Congress is where cutting-edge research is presented, explored and debated."

The panel discussion at UBC Okanagan will look at the role of culture in the global knowledge economy. Speakers will include fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, UBC Okanagan Deputy Vice Chancellor Doug Owram and six UBC Okanagan professors, including Canada Research Chairs Michael Evans and Lawrence Berg, and Jeannette Armstrong, Michael Woodworth, Kenneth Carlaw and Carl Hodge.

Although the event at UBC Okanagan is open only to conference delegates, dialogue proceedings will be streamcast to the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC's Point Grey campus and then archived on the Congress website: www.fedcan.ca/congress2008.

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