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SPU Talks

In celebration of rector Louis Patrick Leroux’s installation, we invite you to join us for a series of conversations that delve into the pressing issues and questions that impact our society.

On April 17 and 18, we will be hosting a series of conversations featuring local and international speakers from a variety of fields of expertise.

Please see below for the full program and click on each session for registration details and more information.

Wednesday, April 17

Guigues Hall, 223 Main St

Reconciliation in Partnership with First Nations | 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.


Reconciliation in
Partnership with First Nations

What concrete gestures and collaborations are needed to bring about reconciliation between First Nations and colonizing peoples?

Speaker Biographies

Senator Michèle Audette
Michèle Taïna Audette is Innu and Québécoise. She was born in Wabush, Labrador, and grew up between Schefferville, Mani-Utenam and Montreal. She studied visual arts at the Université du Québec (UQAM), followed by art education at Concordia University, before receiving an honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal several years later, in August 2018, for her political and social commitment to defending the rights of Indigenous women. Among other roles, she was president of Quebec Native Women (QNW) and Native Women of Canada (NWAC), as well as commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls (NIMMAG). Since the fall of 2019, she has held the position of Senior Advisor on Reconciliation and Indigenous Education at Université Laval, and more recently, she was appointed as an Independent Senator in the Canadian Senate.
Moderated by: Dr. Aurélie Lacassagne
Aurélie Lacassagne has a doctorate in political science. She has been Dean of the Faculties of Human Sciences and Philosophy at Saint Paul University since 2022. Her research focuses on Franco-Ontarian culture and identity, Francophone immigration, international relations and Indigenous issues. Her most recent book deals with a collaborative theatrical project between non-Indigenous and Indigenous artists, Mémoires éclatées, mémoires conciliées and Essai sur le Wild West Show by Gabriel Dumont (Prise de parole, 2021). With Darryl Leroux, she also translated his book Ascendance détournée: Quand les Blancs revendiquent une identité autochtone (Prise de parole, 2022).
*This event will take place primarily in French. A bilingual Q&A session will follow.

Sacred art and sacred spaces | 10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.


Sacred art and sacred spaces

What do sacred art and sacred spaces teach us?

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Anna Maria Moubayed
Anna-Maria Moubayed holds a PhD in Art History and Art Conservation from Queen’s University. She has published extensively on medieval art and architecture, digital humanities (DH), art and architecture history. She is currently working on a book entitled: “All About Eve and Other Stories,” devoted to the body of Eve in Romanesque sculpture (forthcoming 2024).
Focusing on representations of Eve in medieval art and thought, her postdoctoral research was funded twice by the Fonds de recherche du Québec, Société et Culture, and her doctoral research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Alfred and Isabel Bader Research Fellowship in Art. She has taught undergraduate-level university courses (philosophy, art history, and classical archaeology), led multidisciplinary research seminars in English and French in North America and Europe – including on the sacred, – and is guest editing a special issue for the journal Religions on “Sacred Space and Religious Art.”

Rev. Graham Singh
Graham Singh is Rector of St Jax Montréal, a new bilingual church plant into a closed historic parish within the Anglican Diocese of Montreal.   Ordained Priest within the Diocese of London (UK) and apprenticed at Holy Trinity Brompton (home of Alpha) Graham became part of a team that has seen the re-planting of some 45 historic city-centre church buildings.  Graham is also Founder of the Trinity Centres Foundation, a new secular charity whose vision is to see heritage church buildings transformed into community hubs.  He is the former Executive Director of Church Planting Canada.   Graham holds degrees or certificates from the University of Western Ontario (Huron College), the London School of Economics, St Mellitus College, Cambridge University, Asbury Theological Seminary and the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Graham is married to Céline and they have three small children.

Moderated by: Dr. Michel Andraos
Michel Andraos, a native of Lebanon, is the dean of the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University in Ottawa. His main areas of teaching and research include intercultural theology, theologies of inter-religious dialogue and religious pluralism, and religion and culture. The focus of his current research and writing is on the churches and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and dialogue with Indigenous spiritualities and resurgences. Other areas of research and teaching include the Christian communities in the Levant during the colonial period, the colonization of Palestine, and Peace in the Middle East. He is the coordinator of the Centre on the Churches, Truth, and Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples at the Faculty of Theology of Saint Paul University.
*This event will take place in French and English. A bilingual Q&A session will follow.

Lunch Box Talk – Hope University | 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.


Lunch Box Talk – Hope University

How do we build Hope University?

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Jessica Riddell
Dr. Jessica Riddell is a Full Professor of Early Modern Literature in the English Department at Bishop’s University (Quebec, Canada). She holds the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence at Bishop’s University.  An award-winning educator and scholar, she has published on Shakespeare, institutional culture change, inter-institutional collaborations, experiential learning, and inclusive high impact practices. Her newest book, Hope Circuits: Rewiring Universities and other Systems for Human Flourishing (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2024) offers a powerful critique of the fragmentation, weakening of purpose, and instrumental practices of higher education and an expansive call for the reinvention of universities and the renewal of their public mission. She is one of Canada’s most prolific public scholars on the role universities play in a civil, just society and regularly convenes conversations about how education shapes creative democracy. Jessica Riddell serves on several boards, including the Board of Directors for the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the Research Advisory Board for Future Skills Centre, and has served on the 3M National Fellows Council and as VP Canada for International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.  
Hosted by: Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux
Louis Patrick Leroux is the Rector of Saint Paul University in Ottawa. His research interests include Quebec theater, contemporary circus, social and engaged art, and research-creation. He was elected to the College of the Royal Society of Canada. Recent works include La culture québécoise au temps de la pandémie. Reaction, adaptation, normalization, resistance and hybridization, co-edited with Hervé Guay and Sandria Bouliane (PUM, in press 2024); Contemporary Circus with Katie Lavers and Jon Burtt (Routledge, 2019; Chinese translation, 2021; new revised and expanded edition, 2024); Cirque Global: Québec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries, co-edited with Charles Batson (McGill-Queen’s, 2016); Le jeu des positions. Discours du théâtre québécois co-edited with Hervé Guay (Nota Bene, 2014) and, in preparation, Le cirque social: son rôle, ses pratiques, pédagogies et aspirations with Jacinthe Rivard and Mathilde Perahia.
*This event will take place primarily in English. A bilingual Q&A session will follow.

Caring Professions | 1:00 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.

Caring professions

How and who do we train for care? What do we mean by care?

Speaker Biographies

Dr. José Pereira
Professor, Faculty of Medicine and Institute for Culture and Society, University of Navarra, Spain, and Professor, Division of Palliative Care, McMaster University, Canada. Professor José Pereira is a palliative care physician. He has a PhD in Medical Education. He was born in South Africa, where he also did his early medical training and worked some years. In 1992 he moved to Canada and first worked as a family physician in rural Manitoba. In 1995/6, he completed a clinical research fellowship in Palliative Care in Edmonton. Except for three years in Switzerland, his career has mainly been in Canada where he helped develop several palliative care clinical, education and research programs in Calgary and Ottawa, and nationally. His biggest contribution has been the founding of Pallium Canada in 2000, which builds primary palliative care capacity across different professions and care settings. Over 60 000-health care professionals across Canada have been trained. He has numerous publications. He moved to Spain in 2023, but continues to collaborate with colleagues across Canada and internationally.  
Dr. Fiona Robinson
Fiona Robinson is Professor of Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Her research focuses on critical, feminist, and normative theory in global politics, with a special focus on feminist care ethics. She is the author Globalizing Care: Ethics, Feminist Theory and International Relations (Westview Press, 1999), The Ethics of Care: A Feminist Approach to Human Security (Temple University Press, 2011), and co-editor of Feminist Ethics and Social Politics: Towards a New Global Political Economy of Care (UBC Press, 2011) and Decentering Epistemology and Challenging Privilege: Critical Care Ethics Perspectives (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming). Her work has been published in journals such as Journal of International Political Theory, Journal of Global Ethics and International Feminist Journal of Politics. In 2014, she was the recipient of the inaugural J. Ann Tickner Book Prize for scholarship on gender and feminist International Relations.
Dr. Cati Coe
Cati Coe is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Migration and Care at Carleton University. She has studied care in the context of transnational families, focused on both long-distance parenting as well as care of older adults, with a particular focus on West African migrants. Her most recent books are The New American Servitude: Political Belonging among African Immigrant Home Care Workers (2019) and Changes in Care: Aging, Migration, and Social Class in West Africa (2021).
 Dr. Lorraine Ste-Marie
Lorraine is adjunct professor with the School of Leadership, Ecology and Equity in the Faculty of Human Sciences. Prior to her retirement in July 2022, she served as Associate Professor, as well as in a number of leadership roles in which she contributed to the design and delivery of a number of academic and professional development programs. She continues to collaborate with colleagues on a number of teaching, research and writing projects. As a practical theologian, her research and teaching bring together resources from a number of disciplines in both human sciences and theology for cultivating transformative learning environments and developing transformative leadership capacity. 
 Dr. Bianca Briciu
Bianca Briciu is Assistant Professor at the School of Leadership, Ecology and Equity, Saint Paul University. Her work focuses on integral leadership development through emotional and spiritual intelligence, mindfulness, compassion and systems thinking. She published articles on transformative learning, spirituality, emotions and leadership development. She is author of the book The Revolutionary Art of Love: From Romantic Love to Global Compassion (Academica Press, 2021).
Moderated by: Dr. Sophie Cloutier
Professor at the School of Ethics, Social Justice and Public Service and co-director of the Research Centre in Public Ethics and Governance
*This event will take place in French and English. A bilingual Q&A session will follow.

Bioethics and the Ethics of AI | 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Bioethics and the Ethics of AI

What ethical frameworks for the quick evolution of artificial intelligence and biotechnology?

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Isabel Pedersen
Isabel Pedersen est professeur d’études en communication à Ontario Tech University. Elle est la directrice fondatrice du Digital Life Institute, un réseau international de recherche multidisciplinaire qui étudie les implications sociales des technologies numériques émergentes, où elle dirige également le groupe AI and Social Implications (https://www.digitallife.org/). Elle étudie les défis culturels, éthiques et politiques posés par le changement technologique. Parmi les ouvrages qu’elle a récemment cosignés, citons Augmentation technologies and artificial intelligence in technical and professional communication : Designing ethical futures (Routledge, 2023), Writing Futures : Collaborative, Algorithmic, Autonomous (Springer, 2021), et Embodied Computing : Wearables, Implantables, Embeddables, Ingestibles (MIT Press, 2020). Elle a été titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada sur la vie numérique, les médias et la culture de 2012 à 2022 à la Ontario Tech University. Mme Pedersen a occupé plusieurs postes prestigieux, dont la Chaire de recherche du Canada sur la vie numérique, les médias et la culture (2012-2022).
Dr. Jonathan Durand Folco
Jonathan Durand Folco is an associate professor at the Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation at Saint Paul University, Ottawa. His research focuses on participatory democracy, municipal politics, the commons, ecological transition, contemporary capitalism and the social impacts of artificial intelligence. He is the author of numerous books, including À nous la ville! Traité de municipalisme (Écosociété, 2017), Manuel pour changer le monde (Lux, 2020), Réinventer la démocratie : de la participation à l’intelligence collective (PUO, 2023), Le capital algorithmique : accumulation, pouvoir et résistance à l’ère de l’intelligence artificielle (Écosociété, 2023).
Dr. Raywat Deonandan
Raywat Deonandan is an author, Epidemiologist and Associate Professor with the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa, as well as a Senior Fellow with Massey College at the University of Toronto. A recipient of the national book award of the nation of Guyana, Deonandan is a former Chief Scientist with the federal government, where he focused on the ethics of assisted reproduction technologies. While best known for his ubiquitous public commentary on infectious disease epidemiology during the COVID-19 pandemic, Deonandan currently holds a Research Chair in University Teaching, specializing in the use of Artificial Intelligence in post-secondary education.
 Moderated by: Dr. Julie Paquette
Julie Paquette is an associate professor at the Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation at Saint Paul University in Ottawa. With a doctorate in political thought, she specializes in the fields of ethics, art and politics. Her research is divided into three areas: new forms of fascism, the state of exception and scandal studies. In the past, she has published several articles on the notion of algorithmic mediation and virtual personal assistants.
*This event will take place in French and English. A bilingual Q&A session will follow.

Thursday, April 18

Socially Engaged Art | 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


Socially Engaged Art

Venue : LabO, University of Ottawa, 60 Waller St

How can socially engaged art and stories heal us?

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Pablo Gershanik
Actor, director and theatre pedagogue, Pablo Gershanik graduated from the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq as well as a Master’s Degree in Dramatherapy at the Université de Paris. He has been an actor with Cirque Éloize, Compagnie Philippe Genty and Compagnia Finzi Pasca. He is professor of the Bachelor of Performing Arts at the National University of San Martin (Argentina) and Director of the Diploma in Performance and Interpretation with Masks. Creator of the Intimate Model Laboratory, he is an artist with the Cent Quatre and the Cité International des Arts (Paris).
Karine Lavoie
Karine Lavoie has over 20 years’ experience in social circus, as a trainer in various countries around the world, as a training consultant for Cirque du Soleil, as a lecturer and now as Executive Director of Cirque Hors Piste.  She has built up solid expertise in psychosocial intervention, having worked for over 10 years with people living on the streets or in precarious situations. In addition to her experience in psychosocial intervention, Karine has worked as a circus artist at various events and festivals. Having traveled extensively around the world, she now devotes herself entirely to the development of social circus in Montreal and Canada, with the firm conviction that circus is a vehicle for social transformation in communities.
Dr. Sylvain Schryburt
A historian of Quebec theater, specialist in festival networks and the links between theater and ecology, Sylvain Schryburt headed the University of Ottawa’s Theater Department from 2016 to 2022, where he accompanied the construction of a performance hall – the LabO – and the establishment of the first francophone professional actor training program outside of Quebec. Over the years, he has worked as a theater critic (Revue Jeu), magazine editor (L’Annuaire théâtral) and exhibition curator (Échos – André Brassard, BANQ and CNA). He is currently involved in an inter-university research group – La Littérature québécoise contemporaine à l’épreuve de l’histoire (SSHRC) – where he is responsible for the sections on dramaturgy. His most recent work focuses on the links between theater and the anthropocene.
Moderated by : Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux
Louis Patrick Leroux est le Recteur de l’Université Saint-Paul à Ottawa. Ses recherches portent sur le théâtre québécois, le cirque contemporain, l’art social et engagé et la recherche-création. Il été élu au Collège de la Société royale du Canada. Ouvrages récents : La culture québécoise au temps de la pandémie. Réaction, adaptation, normalisation, résistance et hybridation, codirigé avec Hervé Guay et Sandria Bouliane (PUM, sous presse 2024); Contemporary Circus avec Katie Lavers et Jon Burtt (Routledge, 2019; traduction chinoise, 2021; nouvelle édition revue et augmentée, 2024); Cirque Global: Québec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries, codirigé avec Charles Batson (McGill-Queen’s, 2016); Le jeu des positions. Discours du théâtre québécois codirigé avec Hervé Guay (Nota Bene, 2014) et, en préparation, Le cirque social : son rôle, ses pratiques, pédagogies et aspirations avec Jacinthe Rivard et Mathilde Perahia.
*This event will take place primarily in French. A bilingual Q&A session will follow.
Accountability in the Church | 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Accountability in the Church

Venue : Amphitheatre (Guigues Hall, 223 Main St)

Abuse, a phenomenon with many faces. How can we tackle the issue? Ideas and possibilities from a canon law and safeguarding perspective.

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Marièle Wulf
Mariéle Wulf studied education (MA), philosophy (PhD), and theology (PhD/post-PhD in moral theology/theological epistemology). She worked in the formation of adults (diocese of Paderborn/D and St. Gallen/CH), as doctoral assistant in fundamental theology (Fribourg/CH), and as professor of Moral theology (Tilburg/NL). Wulf largely published on anthropology. Her accompaniment of persons traumatized in relationships is reflected in Psychotrauma. When the I shatters. As Director of the Centre for Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Adults (Ottawa/CA, since 2023), her research focusses on (structural) vulnerability, and on sexual, psychological, ideological, and spiritual abuse, including institutional aspects and narcissistic abuse (Narzissten – eine Funktionsanalyse; upcoming).
Dr. Marie-Rose Tannous
Marie-Rose Tannous studied at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. She holds a doctorate in theology, with a concentration in Christian Ethics. She also holds a Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychotherapy, with a focus on couples and families. She is a part-time professor at the same university, teaching in the faculties of Canon Law, Human Sciences and Theology. As a registered psychotherapist with the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario, she maintains her own private practice. In addition to couples and families, as a trauma-informed psychotherapist, she accompanies people dealing with the consequences of various types of trauma, including sexual abuse trauma.
Dr. Jesu Pudumai Doss Maria James
Jesu Pudumai Doss Maria James is a Salesian of Don Bosco (SDB) priest from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. He holds Post-graduate degrees in English, Education, Civil Law, Human Rights, Canon Law e Oriental Canon Law, and has a Doctorate in Canon Law. He was a Full Professor (Prof. from 2002), & Dean / HOD, Faculty of Canon Law, Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, Italy. He has collaborated with various Dicasteries of Roman Curia and has been a Visiting Professor in various European Universities. He has published many books (about 20 edited books & 3 books) and research articles on Canon Law, Civil Law (especially Child rights) and Education. At present, he is a Full Professor in the Faculty of Canon Law, St Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. He also collaborates with the Centre for Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons and the Centre for Canonical Services at SPU.
Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher
Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher is the Archbishop of Gatineau, Québec, and has served in this role since 2011. Ordained to the priesthood for the diocese of Timmins on July 2, 1982, he has served in various pastoral roles, including as Bishop of Sault-Ste-Marie and Alexandria-Cornwall. He holds degrees in Musical Arts, Education, Theology and completed a civil Licentiate in Canon law with the University of Strasbourg, France, in 1992. From 2013 to 2015, he presided over the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop Durocher is involved in interfaith dialogue and serves on various committees, including the Pontifical Council for Culture.
Moderated by: Dr. Michael Nobel
Born in Paderborn, Germany, on 29 February 1976. University studies: Theology in Mainz, (2002); Canon Law in Münster (2004), Doctoral thesis in Paderborn (2007); since 2010 Defender of the Bond, Regional Tribunal Ottawa; since 2018 Judge, Tribunal Memphis, TN; since 2020 Judge, Eastern Antilles Interdiocesan Tribunal, Port of Spain, Trinidad; since 2012 Military Chaplain, Canadian Armed Forces; since 2007 professor, Faculty of Canon Law, Saint Paul University, Ottawa. Currently Secretary of the Faculty of Canon Law.
*This event will take place in French and English. A bilingual Q&A session will follow.

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