On Shifts and Movement, April 29, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011


Ethical Movement and Paralysis
Karen Dewart McKewen, Communication Studies

Through this WIDEN presentation, I will attempt to briefly outline, and open up a conversation about, the ethical substance and significance of metamodernism. This emerging cultural theory describes the current Western ethos as continually in movement “between a typically modern commitment and a markedly postmodern detachment.” To initiate our discussion, and to bring metamodernism more firmly into the realm of ethics and politics, I will draw from specific examples in contemporary popular culture (NBC’s “Community,” the fiction of David Foster Wallace, and others) that illustrate how our communal sense of ethical responsibility is defined by complex narrative movements between commitment and paralysis.

Learn. Shift. Advocate. A transformative pedagogical experience
Julie Rochefort, Health Sciences

Epidemic. Crisis. Burden. These are words frequently used to describe the burgeoning body weight of Canadian children and youth. This fear- and panic-based discourse can lead to extreme weight loss practices as well as guilt and shame among children, youth, and their caregivers. Drawing upon weight bias and size discrimination research, I argue that an urgent shift is needed; a shift away from promoting weight loss to promoting health and body acceptance. As one example of how such a radical shift is possible, I will share how I changed my own personal and professional views towards fatness such that my academic work has given way to a national advocacy campaign.

Gentrification and the Urban Planner: Planning for Upscale Neighbourhood Change in Toronto
Anthony Greenberg, Urban and Regional Development

The process of gentrification has been one of the most hotly debated topics in academia, as well as a topic of interest by popular media and social critics alike. Little has been written, however, from the point of view of the urban planner, the profession that regulates policy regarding built form and land use. This presentation firmly situates the planner in the gentrification discussion by analyzing three planning interventions in Toronto’s Downtown West. The purpose is to provide a clearer understanding of the planner’s role and abilities when planning for neighbourhoods facing upscale change. In addition to the case studies, this presentation will provide a general overview of the historical gentrification literature, highlighting what aspects the planner ought to be most concerned about. The presentation concludes by providing a summary of the inventory of the tools used by the planner in these cases, as well as challenges, problems, and opportunities raised by these cases.


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