Visting Lectureship in Human Rights
2013 Visiting Lectureship in Human Rights
The University of Alberta is proud to present award-winning author, poet, and lesbian and gay rights activist Lesléa Newman.
Join us for an original and creative presentation, walking through more than two decades of Newman’s writing and dedicated activism.
“It Takes A Village To Raise An Activist” with Lesléa Newman
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science 1-430
Sixty-five years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was crafted, sexual minorities are still fighting for full equality in the West. The high-profile struggle to overturn laws and change deeply ingrained values is most often on display in the courtrooms and legislatures. But some of the most enduring work takes place in our children’s libraries and classrooms.
Newman first gained prominence as the author of Heather Has Two Mommies, the first published children's book to portray a loving family with two lesbian parents. Her ground-breaking story overcame publishing troubles, as well as a difficult public reception, to find a cherished place on the bookshelves of a generation. Her pioneering work has continued with several more children’s books on lesbian and gay families, including the delightful board books Mommy, Mama, and Me, and Daddy, Papa, and Me.
An ambitious writer, Newman’s works for adults encompass short story, essay and poetry. She covers broad territory, from Jewish-American identity, to eating disorders; from lesbian romance to the experience of loss. Her award-winning short story, A Letter To Harvey Milk has been made into a film and adapted for the stage. Her latest book October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard is a poem cycle commemorating Matthew Shepard's impact in the years since his tragic murder.
Newman studied poetics with Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute (now Naropa University), and has taught at Clark University and the University of Southern Maine. Currently she is a faculty member of Spalding University's brief-residency MFA in Writing program where she teaches writing for children and young adults.
A wide selection of Newman’s books, which will be available for sale at the lecture (cash or cheque only).
Disability services, including ASL interpretation, are available by request. Please contact Trevor at 780-492-8021 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for requests is March 20.
The University of Alberta Visiting Lectureship in Human Rights is envisioned as one of the preeminent annual events held at the University. Individuals or organizations that have made an outstanding contribution in the field of human rights and human rights protection are invited to deliver a major public lecture in Edmonton. They also participate in other significant events at the University of Alberta, the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta during their visit. The first Lectureship, held in the fall of 1998, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
The University of Alberta Visiting Lectureship in Human Rights aims to:
- Offer the people of the Province of Alberta a significant and educational way of annually celebrating the commitments we undertook as signatories of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights.
- Support and nurture Albertans' continuing interest and illustrious involvement with human rights at home and abroad.
- Demonstrate the University of Alberta's commitment to helping students and Albertans understand complex human rights issues. This is especially important as the University and its graduates pursue economic, social and political alliances with peoples around the world. In creating these linkages, it is important that we are aware of and sensitive to situations involving the exploitation of others.
- Serve as an annual reminder to the people of Alberta of the need to protect human rights within our own province.
- Continue the University of Alberta's tradition of providing a safe environment to discuss controversial and difficult subjects and by doing so, provide students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to learn, question and participate in events shaping the world in which we live.
The University of Alberta invites you to submit nominations for individuals or organizations who would make outstanding lecturers. We gratefully acknowledge the hard work of the donors and volunteers who help make the Lectureship a success. For those with a continuing interest in human rights, a list of external funding and internship opportunities is available, as well as a DVD collection of previous lectures.