Truth in Society

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 1994

Prompt #16

A change of pace

You may have noticed posters around campus advertising the When Rights Collide conference to be held all day Thursday at the Wu Centre. On Thursday this class will meet at that conference. We've put a copy of the conference schedule on the back of this sheet, and are attaching a list of the afternoon discussion groups.

The reason for making this conference part of the Truth in Society section is that the issues it will be focused on -- particularly the conflict between what people believe about the rights of individuals and what they believe about the needs of society and the rights of groups of individuals -- seem very likely to be directly relevant to the issues we'll be talking about in considering what happened to Galileo, what happened in Salem and Jonestown and at the Scopes Trial and during the McCarthy era. Exactly what the connections are between the conference and those issues is up to you to decide -- and to write about.

So, we won't meet in EC 120 on Thursday; we'll meet at the Wu Centre (just across from Vanier Hall) -- and we won't actually meet as a group until the end of the day, after the concluding workshop reports and panel discussion.

What you should do during the day is listen and take notes, and think about any resonances or connections that occur to you between the issues being discussed and our interests in Truth in Society. (When you sign up for a 1:15-2:45 workshop, by the way, bear in mind that we want to have people in as many different workshops as we can, so offer all five choices.) After each talk or session, or maybe during it, inkshed. For Tuesday morning, bring one document, maybe a couple or three pages long, in which you write about what seemed to you to be the most important connections between this conference and our concerns. We'll take some time to read all the documents and discuss the connections.

You'll notice that the conference actually begins at 7:00 Wednesday night, with a talk by Alan Borovoy. We realize that it may be impossible for some members of the class to attend that session, and that's okay: but we're making it another of the "voluntary participation, but for credit" occasions like The Occupation of Heather Rose. As in all such cases, the credit for participation is conditional on a written reflection on the occasion being made available to other members of the class. This should be separate from your reflection on the conference as a whole, and should be written for people who didn't hear the talk (as opposed to your reflections on the Thursday events, where we're assuming everyone will be there).

During the day on Thursday we'll post a notice somewhere in the Wu Centre lobby about a closing meeting. The meeting might be back in EC 120, or it might be in the Wu Centre, if we can find a place.

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