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Will cyber-terrorism or North Korea be the biggest threats to our security? How will a culturally diverse society hold together, and what impact will the digital age have on future learning? Can mindfulness, poetry or religion be our secret weapons to cope with it all?
These are among themes in a thought-provoking series of free public talks by leading lecturers, researchers and writers from Massey University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, aimed at helping us get to grips with captivating and unsettling developments at home and abroad.
Thursday 22 February 2018 | Associate Professor Grant Duncan, Dr Damien Rogers
We begin 2018 with a new government, and a new political cycle. It’s timely to analyse our political leaders’ State of the Nation speeches, looking for the underlying issues that they do – and do not – address. New Zealand’s domestic social and economic situation and its trade and security relations with the wider world will be under the spotlight in a talk by politics and policy experts Associate Professor Grant Duncan and Dr Damien Rogers.
Thursday 5 April 2018 | Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, Dr Rand Hazou, Dr Trudie Cain
You and me. Us and them. With New Zealand’s increasingly diverse population and a recent surge in migrants from over 100 countries, how well do we know and relate to one another in Aotearoa 2018? Are our core institutions adjusting to superdiversity? What about our local and national policies? What are the challenges ahead, and what is needed to ensure social cohesion – and not division – in our culturally rich, complex society? Well-known demographer Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley and colleagues, Dr Rand Hazou and Dr Trudie Cain, will explore these issues.
For much of New Zealand’s commemorative history of the Great War, the land battles of Gallipoli and Passchendaele have dominated our imagination. But New Zealanders were also pioneers in the new field of military aviation. Flying the open cockpit wood-and-wire biplanes of WWI, New Zealanders undertook reconnaissance sorties and bombing raids, photographed enemy entrenchments, defended England from German airships, and battled enemy fighters. Drawing on extensive archival material from Australasia and Britain, historian Dr Adam Claasen explores the fascinating and untold endeavours of New Zealand’s first military airmen.
Thursday 31 May 2018 | Associate Professor Bryan Walpert, Dr Jack Ross, Dr Jo Emeney
Can Poetry Save the Earth? A Field Guide to Nature Poems is the title of poet and critic John Felstiner's 2009 exploration of how the human and natural worlds connect. Can writing and reading poetry change both? It’s a question that resonates with one of the most pressing issues of our time – the impact of climate change. Poets and editors Associate Professor Bryan Walpert, Dr Jack Ross and Dr Jo Emeney, from Massey’s creative writing programme, discuss how imagination and thinking about nature can be opened up through poetry and will read from their own work.
Thursday 28 June 2018 | Dr Rhys Ball, Dr Damien Rogers
From combatting cyber terrorism to uncovering data theft – these days it is generally accepted that national security agencies are necessary for the preservation and protection of democratic institutions and the safety of the public. International relations and security experts Dr Rhys Ball and Dr Damien Rogers explore the opportunities and challenges confronting those responsible for managing New Zealand’s intelligence and surveillance efforts in today’s evolving security landscape.
Thursday 26 July 2018 | Dr Marc Lanteigne
Nerve-wracking incidents last year, when the world feared a nuclear catastrophe sparked by North Korea's missile tests and warhead detonation, as well as impulsive rhetoric between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, have caused much global concern. Is China prepared to step up and play a critical role in reducing regional tensions and brokering a lasting peace? Asian politics and security specialist Dr Marc Lanteigne shares insights on the complex historical relationships and political currents that will determine North Korea’s next moves.
Thursday 30 August 2018 | Dr Anastasia Bakogianni, Dr David Rafferty
As the turbulent 21st century unfolds, we can look to the ancient Greeks and Romans when facing the challenges of living together as a democracy. As pioneers in participatory government they continue to speak to us about one of our world’s most contentious issues: how to accommodate migrants and other outsiders in existing communities. Dr Anastasia Bakogianni and Dr David Rafferty will reveal how ancient practices can be a source of inspiration, as well as offering cautionary examples. Either way, ancient texts can provide us with an alternative perspective which can help us more clearly view our own problems.
Thursday 27 September 2018 | Dr Heather Kempton
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware and attentive in the present moment, while adopting an open and non-judgmental attitude to experiences that occur. The practice, derived from Buddhist teachings more than 2,500 years old, have been adapted for secular application including coaching, performance, writing, leadership, education and military contexts. Clinically, mindfulness can help address health issues such as depression and pain. With its surging popularity, Dr Heather Kempton discusses mindfulness in terms of original teachings, that is, to free oneself from suffering by profoundly appreciating that everything is impermanent and subject to change. We are often reminded that we live in changing times – but the times have always been changing, and mindfulness can help see us through.
Thursday 25 October 2018 | Dr Lucila Carvalho
In richly networked societies, we are able to work, shop, access large amounts of information and interact with others, through simple touches to personal mobile devices. The rise of innovative technologies and the Internet have created new opportunities, not only for work and leisure, but also for education. A new culture of learning has emerged, challenging educators to rethink learning and pedagogical practices in the digital age. Dr Lucila Carvalho will explore how learning in the 21st century is a more open, connected and participatory activity, where learners are no longer seen just as passive consumers of information, but also as creators.
Thursday 29 November 2018 | Professor Peter Lineham
The decline of religious, and in particular Christian, institutions in New Zealand has led some to suggest that religions are in mortal decline. Renowned historian Professor Peter Lineham will challenge this interpretation, suggesting that religiosity is changing fast. He will discuss new trends in the way our society experiences, practises and shares religious and spiritual aspects of life, and point to different scenarios for religious groups in the next 30 years.
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Last updated on Tuesday 23 January 2018
Time: 6.30pm to approx. 8pm
Date: Thursdays 22 February, 5 April, 26 April, 31 May, 28 June, 26 July, 30 August, 27 September, 25 October and 29 November 2018.
Location: Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatre Building (SNW300), Massey University Auckland campus.
Nibbles, juice, tea and coffee provided.
Find out more about Massey University College of Humanities and Social Sciences.