The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series - November 17, 2018

Please join us for The York Circle Lecture and Lunch on Saturday, November 17 from 9am to 1pm. Please note the location change below.

Hear from four of York's leading faculty members on a wide range of interesting topics that speak to some of the key themes that define York University.

The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series is held four times a year and is open to our community of alumni and friends.

Complimentary coffee, light snacks and lunch will be provided.

Saturday, November 17, 2018 | 9am-1pm

9am - 9:45am: Registration, Coffee and Light Snacks

9:45am: Opening Remarks

Location: Convention Centre - 2nd Floor, Second (New) Student Centre - Keele Campus, York University





Event Schedule

First Session (10am-11am)

Session 1A - Dayna Nadine Scott
Colonial and Indigenous Laws Colliding in the Ring of Fire (SESSION AT CAPACITY)

Session 1A, Convention Centre A2 – Colonial and Indigenous Laws Colliding in the Ring of Fire

The Ring of Fire is a massive deposit of minerals, most significantly chromite, in the far north of Ontario, in the traditional territories of several small and remote Ojibew and Ojicree communities. Canadian courts have developed doctrines of consultation and accommodation to guide decision-makers as to when extraction can be 'authorized' on these lands; international law as express in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) offers the "free, prior and informed consent" or FPIC standard; and Indigenous peoples themselves have long-standing and still-operating legal and political orders that contain complex understandings of when 'consent' has been achieved. All of this law is colliding in the Ring of Fire, sometimes touted as "Ontario's 'oil sands', with a pressing urgency as new roads and infrastructure is being approved over the opposition of some affected communities. What does 'reconciliation' demand in this context?

Speaker: Dayna Nadine Scott - Professor & York Research Chair in Environmental Law & Justice in the Green Economy, Osgoode Hall Law School

Professor Dayna Nadine Scott was appointed as York Research Chair in Environmental Law & Justice in the Green Economy in 2018. She is cross-appointed with York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, with a teaching focus on environmental law and justice, risk regulation and international environmental governance. Professor Scott is a co-director of Osgoode’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic and a co-coordinator of the joint MES/JD program.

Professor Scott joined Osgoode’s faculty in 2006 after completing a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at McGill’s Faculty of Law and a Hauser Global Research Fellowship at NYU. Professor Scott’s research interests focus on contestation over extraction, the distribution of pollution burdens affecting marginalized communities and vulnerable populations, and the justice dimensions of the transition to a greener economy.

Professor Scott is the Primary Investigator on the current SSHRC-funded project, “Consent & Contract: Authorizing Extraction in Ontario’s Ring of Fire” with colleagues Andrée Boisselle, Deborah McGregor and Estair Van Wagner.  She was also part of the SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, “Reconciling Sovereignties: New Techniques for ‘Authorizing’ Extraction on Indigenous Territories” led by Professor Shiri Pasternak, in partnership with the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET) and MiningWatch Canada.

Past projects included SSHRC-funded research in partnership with environmental justice activists from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, near Sarnia`s Chemical Valley, that applied a critical, feminist perspective to the examination of law’s treatment of the risks of long-term, low-dose exposures to pollutants, and another SSHRC-funded project with Professor Gus Van Harten (“Investigating Regulatory Chill”) that examined the contemporary constraints on regulation to protect the environment, with a focus on investor rights in the resource extraction context.

Professor Scott’s publications cover topics from environmental justice activism and experiential knowledge, to contested resource extraction, to the challenges posed for law and environmental health by the emerging endocrine disruption thesis. She is interested in questions of environmental regulation and governance from an interdisciplinary perspective, especially work that interrogates the interaction between local and global modes of governing and ways of knowing.

Professor Scott is the editor of Our Chemical Selves: Gender, Toxics and Environmental Health (UBC Press, 2015) and the past Director of the National Network on Environments and Women`s Health. Among other awards, Professor Scott has been a recipient of Fulbright and SSHRC Fellowships, and the Law Commission of Canada’s “Audacity of Imagination” Prize.

Professor Scott gave expert testimony to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in June 2016 as part of their review of the Canadian Environmental Protection ActReforming the Canadian Environmental Protection Act: The assessment and regulation of toxic substances should be equitable, precautionary, and evidence-based. Brief to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, 3 June 2016.

Recent publications explore the dynamics of “sacrifice zones” in the context of the emerging green energy economy; the tactics of activists resisting tar sands extraction in Peace River Alberta (“‘We are the Monitors Now’: Experiential Knowledge, Transcorporeality and Environmental Justice” (2015) in Social & Legal Studies), and the Idle No More movement (“Comment: The Forces that Conspire to Keep Us ‘Idle’”, in the Canadian Journal of Law & Society).

Research Interests: Environmental Law & Justice, Gender and Environmental Health, Toxic Substances Regulation, Pollution, and Feminist Theory of the Body.

Session 1B - Michael Connor
Can We Run Away From Cancer? The Roles of Diet and Exercise (SESSION AT CAPACITY)

Session 1B, Convention Centre B2/C2 Can We Run Away From Cancer? The Roles of Diet and Exercise

Obesity rates are rising everywhere in the world, with the number of Canadians classified as overweight and obese approaching 60%. Obesity is a readily modifiable risk factor for many diseases, including cancer. We have known about this relationship for more than 50 years, but are only beginning to unravel why this association exists. Obesity develops from an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and the consumption of poor “quality” calorie-rich diet.  In this lecture, Professor Connor will shed some light on how fat promotes cancer development and remains a hurdle to successful cancer interventions and how diet and exercise represents an avenue to improve things.

Speaker: Michael Connor – Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health

Michael Connor completed his graduate training as a molecular exercise physiologist in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science at York University. After a major decision to switch research areas into the cancer realm, Professor Connor began a post-doctoral fellowship at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre funded by a post-doctoral fellowship from the U.S. Department of Defence. Upon being hired by the School of Kinesiology & Health Science in 2004 he decided to combine all areas of his research training examining how obesity contributes to cancer and how diet and exercise can play an important role in cancer prevention/therapy.



Break: 11-11:20am

Second Session (11:20am-12:20pm)

Session 2A - Jen Gilbert
Beyond Bullying, Toward Belonging: Stories of LGBTQ Sexuality and Gender in Schools (SESSION AT CAPACITY)

Session 2A, Convention Centre A2 Beyond Bullying, Toward Belonging: Stories of LGBTQ Sexuality and Gender in Schools

The Beyond Bullying Project is a multimedia storytelling project that collects stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) sexuality and gender in schools. We know that often LGBTQ issues are controversial in schools and that LGBTQ students are at risk of being teased and harassed, but we also want to know, what can LGBTQ sexuality and gender mean beyond the focus on bullying? What other, more ordinary, stories circulate through schools? In 2014-5, we constructed a private, storytelling booth in three high schools, and then, for two weeks, invited students, teachers, and staff to enter the booth and tell a story about LGBTQ sexuality and gender. Our pitch to would-be storytellers was open-ended—tell a story about yourself, a friend, your family, political and social events, anything; the story does not even need to be true. In this talk, I’ll share some videos from the booth and talk about how students and teachers understood LGBTQ sexuality and gender as important in their families, communities and school.

Speaker: Jen Gilbert – Associate Professor, Faculty of Education

Jen Gilbert is an Associate Professor of Education. Her research focuses on LGBTQ issues in schools and controversies surrounding sex education. Dr. Gilbert is the author of Sexuality in School: The Limits of Education, winner of the 2014 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association (Curriculum). She is the recipient of several SSHRC grants to study debates about sex education policy and practice in Canada and the U.S. Her current project compares how the idea of sexual consent is being incorporated into sexual health education in Ontario and California.

Session 2B – Obiora C. Okafor
Did 9/11 Change Everything for Refugee Law? Insights from a Canada-US Comparison (SESSION AT CAPACITY)

Session 2B, Convention Centre B2/C2 – Did 9/11 Change Everything for Refugee Law? Insights from a Canada-US Comparison

The 9/11 attacks on the US triggered more pronounced security anxieties and heightened security vigils in both Canada and the US. This led many in both countries (experts and lay persons alike) to conclude that the 9/11 attacks “changed everything” about refugee law in these jurisdictions. A few disputed this conclusion. Yet, until now, there has been no relatively comprehensive and granular scholarly analysis over the long arc of time of what changes exactly were made (or not made) to refugee rights in each of these countries after, and/or because of 9/11? Were any such changes made at all? If so, how precisely does each such change compare to the pre-9/11 situation of refugee rights in the given country? And how does the situation in Canada (a country that was not attacked directly on 9/11) compare to that in the US (the country that was hit directly by those attacks)? From the point of view of the protection of refugee rights, was it worse in one country than in the other, or were the situations in both jurisdictions more or less similar? What “logics” drove the changes or lack thereof in each of the two countries? And what logical inferences may be drawn from the answers to these questions regarding the cogency, coherence and integrity of the national self-images of each of the two countries?

Speaker: Obiora C. Okafor - Professor & York Research Chair in International and Transnational Legal Studies, Osgoode Hall Law School

Professor Obiora C. Okafor is the York Research Chair in International and Transnational Legal Studies (Senior Tier) and a tenured Full Professor of Law at the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Toronto, Canada. He is the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity and a former Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. The General Editor of the international journal, the Transnational Human Rights Review, and editorial board member of a number of other academic journals around the world, he has held the Gani Fawehinmi Distinguished Chair in Human Rights Law at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and served as a Visiting Professor at a number of universities and institutes around the world. He was conferred the Award of Academic Excellence of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers in 2010 and the Gold Medal for Exceptional Research and Major Contributions to Jurisprudence of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2013.


Complimentary lunch: 12:20-1pm
Event ends: 1pm

Register by using the button below; we'll send you a reminder closer to the event date.


Event Location

This edition of The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series will take place on York University’s Keele campus in the Convention Centre - 2nd Floor, Second (New) Student Centre, York University.  For directions to Keele campus by car or public transit, visit and click on the appropriate heading.  If you plan to drive, you will be required to pay for parking.  Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The closest public parking lots are:

  • Arboretum parking garage #80 on the map ($7.00 Flat Rate). Pull a ticket from the machine upon entry and pay at the pay station when leaving. Machine accepts cash, coins and credit cards.
  • Atkinson Lot ‘Pay and Display’ parking lot #83 on the map below ($7.00 Flat Rate) has limited accessible spots available. You are required to purchase a ticket from the ‘Pay and Display’ machine in the lot and place it on the driver’s side of the dash. Machine accepts coins and credit cards only.