In just two short months an anticipated 10,000 attendees will arrive at our beautiful Vancouver campus for Congress 2019.
Congress takes place June 1 to 7, and I can’t tell you how excited I am for this event – not only because it will be my first Congress experience – but also because it’s more than just a conference. It’s a chance to bring together groups across a broad spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to connect and share world-changing ideas that have direct importance for Canada and the lives of Canadians.
It’s a chance to engage with the Arts and Education through programming that focuses on topics as diverse as sustainability, Indigeneity and reconciliation, global mobility, culture and citizenship – topics that will shape the humanities and social sciences of tomorrow.
And it’s our chance to show the world the amazing people, places and scholarly activity here at UBC. As you know, UBC is renowned for its research excellence – and the Social Sciences and Humanities play a significant role. Our scholars lead in the creation and advancement of knowledge and understanding; they form cross-disciplinary partnerships, and engage in knowledge exchange, applying their research locally and globally. Through Congress, our goal is to create room for productive conversations among scholars, educators, students, artists and the public. Everyone is welcome.
This year’s Congress will feature more than 2,000 events – 270 of these events will be free and open to the public, and 92 events have a UBC connection, showcasing the work of our faculty and students. Whether you’re a student, staff member or part of our Faculty, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Take, for example, the Big Thinking series, which will feature artists and leading thinkers who will address three core questions: Who speaks for whom? Who listens? And who benefits?
The Career Corner will offer professional development workshops for graduate students and established faculty members, while the Congress Expo will feature more than 50 exhibitors, book launches, book signing, career presentations and networking receptions.
Particularly unique to this year’s Congress is the Pedagogy Hub, which was designed by UBC Arts Faculty members. The Pedagogy Hub is a physical and intellectual space for Circles of Conversation around teaching and learning, inviting cross-over discussions among associations and disciplines. Regardless of your Faculty, the interdisciplinary Pedagogy Hub is where you can participate in panels and interdisciplinary events related to the complexity of teaching. This includes conversations about innovations in teaching, educational technology, language learning and changing classroom climates.
I am also looking forward to visiting the Social Zone – a place where we can all unwind with some tasty food and a libation. You can even sample this year’s Congress beer – the “Dialager” (in honour of the conference theme “Circles of Conversation”) – created especially for Congress 2019 by Howe Sound Brewing.
I hope you will join me and take part in this landmark event – whether you attend any of the numerous sessions on campus or fill one of the 900+ available volunteer positions. Volunteers will not only be able to engage with renowned academics from across the globe, but they will also gain access to more than 60 world-class events including public keynotes, the Big Thinking series and special UBC programming.
Congress 2019 promises to be a dynamic week of conversation, learning, networking, professional development and, most importantly, fun. Please visit www.congress2019.ca to learn how you can participate. See you in June!
Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor