Guest blog by Jeff Tennant, Academic Convenor of Congress 2020 and Associate Professor, Department of French Studies, Western University
The Congress theme this year is incredibly timely as Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast navigate thorny issues from the Wet'suwet'en land dispute to the global coronavirus outbreak, not to mention a highly divisive presidential campaign currently underway south of the border that will greatly affect us all no matter the outcome.
For nearly 90 years, Congress has united more than 70 scholarly organizations under a common banner. It’s an opportunity for academics, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to share findings, refine ideas and build partnerships that focus on Canada’s future.
At Western, we place special emphasis on connecting with the broader community – bridging divides not only between academic disciplines but also between the institution and society beyond the university’s gates. To this end, we will be hosting a Festival of Public Scholarship featuring events open to Congress delegates and the general public. Programming is being finalized; but think outdoor and indoor displays, performances and readings at various locations on campus and throughout the city.
In addition to the Festival, Western’s awesome organizing team of faculty, staff, students and volunteers has planned an extraordinary week of speakers, panels, events and exhibits for the 8,000+ delegates expected to assemble in London, Ontario, from May 30 to June 5.
The City of London has it all. Located on the banks of the Deshkan Ziibi (also known as the Thames River), London boasts a beautiful, walkable downtown close to the waterfront, a vibrant culinary scene and scores of activities that showcase art, culture and music.
In the 15 years since Western last hosted Congress, we have continued to evolve and grow. We can’t wait for you to come and experience Western again. And for newcomers to the Forest City, I promise that you won’t be disappointed.
Academic Convenor, Congress 2020
Associate Professor, Department of French Studies, Western University