Sociology expert to discuss the walls we do not see in front of us
What: History and Sociology Speaker Series
Who: Professor Lisa-Jo K. van den Scott, department of sociology, Memorial University of Newfoundland
When: Thursday, February 6 starting at 6:45 p.m.
Where: Okanagan Regional Library, 1380 Ellis Street, Kelowna
Walls are everywhere. Although hardly noticed, they define who is legitimate and who is not. Whether someone is inside or outside the walls of a home, office, prison, public building or a border wall, it affects their identity and its legitimacy.
For her case study, Professor Lisa-Jo K. van den Scott worked with Inuit while living in Arviat, Nunavut. Her research explores how the walls that people take for granted can be turned into objects—unveiling hidden power relations, expressions of identity and the way these dividers can either maintain the landscape of lives, or interrupt them.
That was definitely the case, she says, when colonizers brought changes to housing in Arviat.
“The Inuit peoples had worked to perpetually enact and fortify their unique way of viewing the world, yet being ‘walled-in’ had a profound effect on the transmission of knowledge,” she says, pointing to walls that inhibited traditional disciplining of children and changed the transmission of skilled knowledge in gendered ways.
“The walls have greatly impacted these people—and the situation isn’t unique to Arviat,” she says. “I hope my talk will open the audience’s eyes to an interesting aspect of society’s many barriers.”
The community is invited to join van den Scott at this special sociology presentation. This event takes place February 6 at the downtown Kelowna branch of the Okanagan Regional Library and is free and open to the public. Registration is required at meaningofwalls.eventbrite.com
UBC Okanagan’s History and Sociology department, in partnership with the Okanagan Regional Library, brings leading thinkers from around the world to the Okanagan to discuss some of the big issues of today, tomorrow and the past.