Harold Entwhistle (Education, Emeritus), a veteran, wrote a full-page essay in The Gazette on Remembrance Day that took a penetrating look at war poetry and how we use it. While he admits that it might be too much to expect public ceremonies to use the caustic, often cynical work of some of the First World War poets, he is critical of those poems we do use, calling them mawkish, patronizing, or dated. “So long as we continue to ask our youth to go to war, it is difficult to provide an education for peace that suggests only that war is so tragic and wasteful as to be unthinkable.”

Guy Lachapelle (Political Science) published a vigorous attack on the Bouchard-Taylor “reasonable accommodation” hearings in Le Devoir. “Enough, this is enough!” was the title. The kind of collective therapy represented by the hearings is useless and is damaging Quebec’s international reputation, he wrote. Moreover, for Premier Jean Charest to involve himself as he did, with a written statement via the media, was irresponsible politicking.

Congratulations to Richard Kerr (Cinema), who was installed as an international fellow of the DeSantis Center for Motion Picture Industry Studies at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Nov. 3. The director of the DeSantis Centre is alumnus Bruce Mallen. A number of Canadian figures in the movie world were present, including Ronald I. Cohen, chair of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, and Arthur Hiller director and past president of the Directors Guild of America .

Raymond Le Van Mao and John Capobianco, senior members of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, have been awarded major grants. Le Van Mao’s grant is from the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export for research on the conversion of biomass to ethyl levulinate, a compound used as an additive to improve the working properties of gasoline and diesel. Capobianco received a grant from Authentix, in Dallas, Texas, to support his research on the synthesis and characterization of lanthanide-doped nanoparticles. For this grant, the upconverting of nanoparticles will be used to assess the authenticity of drugs, banknotes and artworks.

Ingrid Bachmann (Studio Arts) was interviewed by CBC’s Cinq à Six about her fascinating work with fibres. She takes old videotape and weaves it into new materials.

Magnifying glass

Jean-Philippe Warren (Sociology/Anthropology) has published an essay called Ils voulaient changer le monde (VLB publishers) about those of his generation who gave up many years of their personal lives and career prospects to be Marxist-Leninists. He was interviewed by La Presse about the deep embarrassment some of these people feel about their involvement in what is now seen as a foolish waste of time. Was it wrong to have tried to improve society and wipe out inequality? he wondered.

Karin Doerr (Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics, Simone de Beauvoir Institute) gave a paper, “Victimhood in a Perpetrator Nation: The Case of Germany,” at the second biennial conference of the Canadian Initiative in Law, Culture & the Humanities in Ottawa at Carleton University in October.


Concordia University