Fall Lecture Series

September 20 to October 18, 2023
10am to 12pm

Understanding the 21st Century

How do we begin to understand the 21st century? Our world is a very complex and confusing place where change is happening at an ever faster pace. The speakers will cover a range of topics providing insights into this century’s problems and possibilities.

When: Wednesdays – September 20, 27, October 4, 11, 18

All live lectures are at 10 am at The WESTDALE THEATRE

Download details of Westdale Parking Information

Cost: $55.00 for all 5 lectures
(including lecture, Q&A and post lecture recording available for 2 weeks)

(Recorded lectures are password protected, available for anytime access up to 2 weeks after the live lectures. Paid registrants will receive an email after each lecture with access details and the required password.)

Registration for In-Person is now Closed.

All live lectures are at 10AM at the Westdale Theatre

We look forward to seeing you September 20th at 10AM.

Bring a Friend for Free to any one of the 5 Fall lectures.

This is a great opportunity for you to have a friend come along and introduce them to the unique HTAL experience.

Each paid registrant is entitled to bring one friend to any One of the 5 Lectures.

We will register your friend as a “walk in” registrant when you arrive at The Westdale Theatre, for that day. Nothing extra for you to do when you register online for yourself.

Special Announcement About Westdale Parking

The HTAL Board is pleased to inform subscribers of an arrangement that it has made with Hamilton Parking Authority (“HPA”) regarding parking on neighbourhood streets near The Westdale Theatre. As a general rule those streets have a one hour time limit for parking. The HPA will pause proactive enforcement, subject to certain conditions. This arrangement applies ONLY to the HTAL Autumn Lecture Series, which lectures will be on five consecutive Wednesday mornings, namely September 20, 27, October 4, 11 and 18, 2023.

  1. By-Law Officers will pause proactive enforcement of the one hour parking time until 12 noon on those five dates. For example, if a subscriber parks her car at 9:30 am., goes to the Theatre for the lecture and does not move her car until 11:45 am., an Officer will NOT issue a ticket.
  2. The Officers’ pause on proactive enforcement does NOT apply to other general parking prohibitions. For example, if an HTAL subscriber parks his car too close to a fire hydrant, too close to an intersection or so close to a homeowner’s driveway that she has difficulty exiting or entering her driveway then an Officer will issue a ticket for those infractions.
  3. Please note that in the event that a homeowner makes a complaint to an Officer that an HTAL subscriber’s car has been parked for more than one hour on a street the Officer may issue a ticket despite the arrangement described in # 1 above. However, HTAL hopes that Officers will exercise their discretion NOT to issue a ticket in this situation.

The HTAL Board thanks the HPA and Mary Louise Pigott, Constituency Assistant in Councillor Maureen Wilson’s Ward One Office,  for their assistance and cooperation in implementing this arrangement.

Dr. Dawn Bowdish

Dr. Dawn Bowdish

September 20th, 2023 – 10AM

Schizophrenia, ADHD and Dyslexia have one surprising thing in common – they are all more common in people born in the Fall. Birth month plays a surprising role in IQ and susceptibility to disease.

In this lecture we take a winding journey through the early to mid- 20th century to uncover the role of weather, brain development, infections, and vaccinations. Along the way we’ll meet some strong characters – women doing science in a man’s world, defenders of bad statistics and advocates of slightly off-putting human experiments.

In the end, we’ll have a better understanding of why it still remains more perilous to be born in the Fall.

Dr. Dawn Bowdish is a Professor at McMaster University, the Executive Director of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, and a Canada Research Chair in Aging & Immunity.

Dr. Bowdish investigates the changes in the aging immune system that make older adults vulnerable to pneumonia and how the microbes that naturally live on us keep dangerous pathogens at bay. Her research team aims to discover novel treatments to protect older adults from infection by improving their immune systems and harnessing the power of the microbes that live on and in us (“the microbiome”) and to understand why the aging immune system does not respond as well to vaccinations for pneumonia and COVID-19.

She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Lung Health Foundation and advocates to increase research funding for lung health.

Rick Monture

Rick Monture

September 27th, 2023 – 10AM

This presentation will take up the stories of four members of the Six Nations community to tell the 100-year journey from residential school attendee to McMaster graduate ’37, and finally to McMaster professor of Indigenous Studies.

First established in 1828 as a school to educate Six Nations children in Brantford in 1828, the Mohawk Institute closed its doors on June 27, 1970. It was one of the oldest and longest running Residential Schools in Canada. In 1972, the Woodland Cultural Centre was established inside the former Mohawk Institute and remains a center for Iroquoian language revitalization.

This year the Department of Indigenous Studies will hold its first classes at McMaster, boasting a faculty of ten Indigenous professors.

Rick Monture is a member of the Mohawk nation, Turtle clan, from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. He completed elementary school at Six Nations and attended Caledonia High School.

In 1991 he received a combined honors BA in history and English and completed his MA in English in 1996. In June 2010, Rick completed his PhD dissertation, Teionkwakhashion Tsi Niionkwariho:ten (“We Share Our Matters”): A Literary History of Six Nations of the Grand River, which explores how the Grand River Haudenosaunee have consistently drawn upon cultural traditions in letters, poetry, fiction and film as a means to assert and maintain their sovereignty.

In September 2010, he was cross appointed assistant professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies and Indigenous Studies. Rick’s areas of academic interest include Haudenosaunee history, literature of First Nations, Métis and Inuit, popular culture, and the epistemology of Indigenous language and culture.

Dr. Myriam Nafte

Dr. Myriam Nafte

October 4th, 2023 – 10AM

The complex world of crime scene investigation is explored through a dynamic and engaging two-part lecture. In the first half, Dr. Nafte takes you through the fast-evolving field of police forensics with an overview of the protocols governing death scenes, expert witnesses, and the processing of physical evidence.

In the second half of the lecture, we examine the highly specialized area of identifying human remains. Determining a biological profile, the manner versus cause of death and the challenges of facial reconstructions are all brought to life through real life images and case studies.

Due to the nature of the physical evidence recovered, it has been Dr. Nafte’s experience to work alongside law enforcement, scientists, and homicide investigators as part of a collaborative team. Along with the important procedures involved with such collaborative efforts, she will discuss some of the most challenging cases of her career.

Please note: Some of the images are graphic and reflect past casework. The sole purpose of using these images is for teaching only.

As a forensic anthropologist, Dr. Myriam Nafte is an active advisor and consultant for criminal casework across North America. She received a Specialized Honors BA in Medical Anthropology from York University, a BEd degree in Science from Brock University, and completed an MA and PhD in Physical Anthropology [Skeletal Biology] at McMaster University.

Currently, Nafte is an instructor at McMaster University where she teaches upper-level courses in Death and Dying, Global Health, Infectious Disease, and Narratives of Health and Illness. Nafte is the author of numerous articles and books including Flesh and Bone: An Introduction to Forensic Anthropology; Crime and Measurement: Methods in Forensic Investigation; The Skin of Murder Victims [Editor], and the forthcoming anthology Trophies and Talismans: The Traffic of Human Remains.

Dr. Jim Willwerth

Dr. Jim Willwerth

October 11th, 2023 – 10AM

The entire agriculture sector will be impacted in one way or another by climate change. Climate change will likely lead to changes in seasonal weather, more erratic weather patterns and increases in extreme weather events.

The grape and wine industry plays a tremendous role for the economy of both Ontario and the rest of Canada, especially with respect to agriculture and agritourism. As a result of climate change, there will be new challenges that the industry will face but some opportunities will arise as well. This lecture will discuss how a changing climate may impact grape production and the potential implications on Niagara’s wine industry.

There will be a focus on the use of cutting-edge research and innovation to mitigate the effects of climate change and help sustainable production of world class wines as we move into a new world of weather.

Dr. Jim Willwerth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and a Researcher in the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University.

The major component of his research program is focused on grapevine cold hardiness physiology. This includes research to maximize cold hardiness in V. vinifera and to further understand cold hardiness physiology and plant responses to environmental conditions during dormancy. He has an extensive research program on evaluating different grapevine material and how genotypes can impact cold hardiness, vine performance, and wine quality. He has over a decade of experience with effective technology transfer to the grape grower community.

He is currently Past Chair of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture – Eastern Section and sits on several Ontario grape and wine industry committees including the VQA-O Standard Committee.

Stephen Heathorn

Stephen Heathorn

October 18th, 2023 – 10AM

Three years on from the UK’s formal departure from the EU and there is still uncertainty about the full impact of the Brexit decision, due largely to the subsequent crises brought about by the Covid pandemic and the situation in Ukraine.

This talk will consider the rise and fall of Boris Johnston as Prime Minister, what he and his successors (Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak) have accomplished on the Brexit file, and what we can ascertain about future hurdles still to be faced.

Stephen Heathorn is Professor of British History at McMaster University. He has published five books and over 120 academic articles and reviews on (mostly) 20th Century Britain.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2012.