Department of Political Studies

Department of Political Studies
Department of Political Studies

The John Meisel Lecture Series in Contemporary Political Controversies 

Established in 2017, The John Meisel Lecture Series celebrates Professor Emeritus John Meisel, one of Canada’s leading and influential political scientists, by providing a forum for addressing controversial major political issues facing scholars, policy-makers, and the public. Each year, the Department of Political Studies invites a mid-career scholar to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario to deliver a major public lecture that addresses a timely political controversy, followed by a “town hall” style interactive discussion that is open to both the Queen’s and Kingston community.

In 2017, Debra Thompson delivered the inaugural lecture on the topic of “Controversies in the Making: Trump, Race, and Time,” and offered a compelling analysis of the role that race and the politics of time played in US President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign strategy.

In 2018, Hayden King delivered the second annual lecture on the topic of "Canada's Oldest Controversy: The Pretense of Reconciliation," in which he argued that attempts at reconciliation are part of an enduring cycle within the traditional Indigenous-state relationship and should be viewed neither as a contemporary phenomenon nor as a challenge to the status quo. 

2019 Lecture: Excluded and Enraged: On Gender, Anger, and Violence

The John Meisel Lecture Series in Contemporary Political Controversies Third Annual Lecture

Excluded and Enraged: On Gender, Anger, and Violence

Alana Cattapan

Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo

Thursday, November 21, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Grant Hall
43 University Avenue

About the Lecture: Feminist scholars and commentators have long been interested in the gendered and racialized nature of rage, interrogating the utility of anger for marginalized groups as an incitement to mobilize for change. At the same time, gendered anger is bound up with gendered violence, and is integral to our understandings of mass acts of violence against women. In this lecture, nearly thirty-years after the Montreal Massacre, Dr. Alana Cattapan interrogates how gendered forms of anger can inform our understanding of historic and contemporary acts of violence against women, and what it means for anger as a tool for social justice.

About the Speaker: Dr. Alana Cattapan is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. A longtime feminist researcher and activist, she studies gendered inclusion in policy making, identifying links between the state, reproductive politics, and the commercialization of the body. She is also a Board Member of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, and in the organizing group of Rise Up! A Digital Archive of Feminist Activism. Prior to joining the University of Waterloo, Dr. Cattapan was a faculty member at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan, and a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow at Novel Tech Ethics in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. She is the co-editor of Surrogacy in Canada (Irwin Law, 2018).

2018 Lecture: Canada's Oldest Controversy: The Pretense of Reconciliation

The John Meisel Lecture Series in Contemporary Political Controversies Second Annual Lecture

Canada's Oldest Controversy: The Pretense of Reconciliation

Hayden King

Director, Yellowhead Institute, Ryerson University

Thursday, November 1, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Biosciences Complex Atrium
116 Barrie Street

About the Lecture: Once a generation or so, Canadians reflect deeply on their relationship with Indigenous peoples. This reflection often emerges from conflict, even violence, and culminates in an inquiry, new policy, or sometimes legislative and constitutional change. Our generation's version of this transit includes the Idle No More movement, the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, dramatic court decisions, and finally, predictably, intervention by a federal government. Justin Trudeau ran on an election platform of a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples and near the end of his first mandate announced the development of a Rights, Recognition and Implementation Framework. Since then, a suite of legislation and policy has been rapidly deployed. It includes revised negotiation mandates for land claims and self-government, fiscal relations, two new ministries of Indian Affairs, and dozens of tables, working groups, MOUs, and related government initiatives. Yet, despite the remarkable pace of change in this latest era of reconciliation, it is largely designed to maintain the current articulations of the state-Indigenous relationship. Dr. King considers the trends in this stubborn politics of settler colonialism as well as Indigenous alternatives.

About the Speaker: Hayden King is Anishinaabe from Beausoleil First Nation on Gchi’mnissing in Huronia, Ontario. The Executive Director of Yellowhead Institute and Advisor to the Dean of Arts on Indigenous Education at Ryerson University, Dr. King is also an adjunct professor (research) at Carleton University and senior fellow at Massey College as well as the co-founder of the Ogimaa Mikana Project. Previously he has served as senior advisor to the Ontario Government, Chair of the First Nations Technical Institute's Public Administration program and scholar-in-residence at the Conference Board of Canada. Dr. King's analysis on the Indigenous-state relationship is published widely.

Read it Here:

"Canada’s Oldest Controversy: The Pretense of Reconciliation" Booklet Version (PDF, 566KB)

Listen Here:

Full Event Recording (Introductory Remarks, Lecture, Q&A):

Lecture Recording: "Canada's Oldest Controversy: The Pretense of Reconciliation" by Hayden King

Audio Only:

Audio with Slides:

Q&A Recording: Q&A with Hayden King

2017 Lecture: Controversies in the Making: Trump, Race, and Time

The John Meisel Lecture Series in Contemporary Political Controversies Inaugural Lecture

Controversies in the Making: Trump, Race, and Time

Debra Thompson

Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon

Thursday, November 23, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Agnes Etherington Art Centre
36 University Avenue

About the Speaker: Dr. Debra Thompson is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon, specializing in race and ethnic politics. A political scientist with strong interdisciplinary orientations, Thompson’s teaching and research interests focus on the relationships among race, the state, and public policy in comparative context. Before coming to the University of Oregon, Dr. Thompson taught at Northwestern University and Ohio University, and held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University in 2010-2011. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Schematic State: Race, Transnationalism, and the Politics of the Census (Cambridge University Press, 2016). 

Read it Here:

See it Here:

Event Slides

"Controversies in the Making: Trump, Race, and Time" Slideshow (PDF, 9MB)

Listen Here:

Full Event Recording (Introductory Remarks, Lecture, Q&A):

Lecture Recording: "Controversies in the Making: Trump, Race, and Time" by Debra Thompson

Q&A Recording: Q&A with Debra Thompson, moderated by Lisa de Wilde