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May 28, 1998

Names in the News

Compiled by Barbara Black

Concordia faculty, staff and alumni/æ pop up
in the media more often than you might think!

This month's issue of La recherche includes a 66-page supplement about research in Quebec. Thanks to Director of Research Services Erica Besso and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Claude Bédard, it included information about Concordia research and new programs, including the Fine Arts/Computer Science digital animation unit, research in genetics by Biology's Marcus Lawrence and Susan Mikkelsen, and Engineering's collaboration with CAE Electronics.

Guy Lachapelle (Political Science) was quoted in an article picked up by the Canadian Press and reprinted widely. He said that new Quebec Liberal leader Jean Charest will have to move to the political centre if he wants to be accepted by Quebecers, and could be stuck squarely on the fence, like predecessor Robert Bourassa. In an equally visible article, however, Daniel Salée (SCPA) said that in terms of image, Charest is "Bouchard's equal, if not better. That's the advantage of youth."

A two-page feature in Western Report, B.C. Report and Alberta Report magazines about "transhumanists" quoted Arthur Kroker (Political Science). The Report says that the hope of transcending this mortal coil with the help of technology is gradually entering the mainstream. Kroker's gloomy view was that Western culture is not ascending to techno-utopia but descending "towards the brilliant illumination of final burnout."

Apparently, some advertisers are thriftily turning to post-it notes on your morning newspaper as an alternative to expensive inserts, reports Marketing magazine. Stephanie Whittaker quoted Enn Raudsepp (Journalism) as saying that it doesn't bother him, and might help newspapers survive the money crunch.

Cultural affairs minister Lise Beaudoin said in an interview in The Toronto Star via Canadian Press that Quebec has a lot of catching-up to do in its public library services because two generations ago, the Catholic Church discouraged the free flow of ideas. Maïr Verthuy (Études françaises) said that present-day Quebecers have had more exposure to television than to books. "Quebec went straight from a non-reading society to a visual society," she said.

Frank Chalk (History) was quoted in an article that appeared in the U.S. and Canada, and has attracted interest in South Africa. It was about a little-known atrocity early in this century in what is now Namibia, in which about 60,000 Herero people, three-quarters of the population, were killed by the ruling Germans. The killings gave rise to a book about eugenics that was approvingly read by Adolf Hitler. Chalk, vice-president of the international Association of Genocide Scholars, said that the line from the Herero massacre to the Nazis should be better known.

Christopher Brodie (ITTS) and Music student Carmelino Sacco formed a company with the help of Tom O'Connell (Entrepreneurial Studies) to help blind people access the Internet, and called it All Our Friends Everywhere. An article and photo appeared in the West Island supplement of The Gazette. Their URL is

Michael Kenneally, who teaches Irish literature in the English Department, was widely interviewed on Canadian television in early April about the peace agreement in Northern Ireland. He called it exciting, and hoped that "sanity will prevail," as it did.

Stanley Ryerson, the eminent left-wing intellectual who died last month at 87, was memorialized in Canada's major newspapers, including The Toronto Star. Ryerson began teaching history at Sir George Williams University in Montreal in 1934, and two years later became secretary of the Communist Party of Quebec. A friend of Norman Bethune and others, he was beaten up by thugs in Quebec City; the police raided his house and burned hundreds of his books. An early sympathizer with Canada's native people, he wrote several books and one play. He lived in Toronto for many years, but in 1969, began teaching at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where a memorial service was held on April 24.

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