The Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics at Trent University

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Course on Punishment in Canadian Society

Students who enjoyed discussing what little we covered on this in Moral Issues should be considering enrolling in this course!  It's not cross-listed in Philosophy but there is some philosophical content, in addition to valuable social and political information that you asked and that I could not give you:

CAST 4952Y: Punishment in Canadian Society
2012-13 FW

Course Description:

Punishment in Canadian Society will be an interdisciplinary examination of punishment under the law. It would be best suited as a senior level offering. The course will discuss multiple dimensions of punishment, but the key focus will be placed on incarceration. The course will be divided into three primary sections. These are the philosophy of punishment, the history of punishment, and contemporary socio-legal dimensions of punishment.

The class is intended to introduce students to the key philosophical debates surrounding the justifications for punishment in Western societies. The course will also introduce students to the key academic investigations of punishment that have uncovered particular dynamics of power and inequality in the practice of criminal justice. These will include discussions of gender (including discussions of masculinity), working class representation amongst prison populations, issues of race, and geo-political differences between national justice policies (comparing the UK, United States, and Canada). 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

MASS defense today!

The Sustainability Studies Graduate Program is pleased to announce the following M.A. thesis defense:

Emily McCullogh, "The Value of Personal Relationships in Relation to the Success of Aid Programs: Experiences of Aid Workers in Post-Earthquake Haiti"

Thursday, August 16, 2012
10:00 a.m.
Blackburn Hall Room 126, Trent University
All are welcome; seating is limited.

Supervisor: Professor Kathryn Norlock
Committee: Professor Ray Dart
External Examiner: Professor Walter Perchal (York University)
Chair: Professor Asaf Zohar


            This thesis addresses the branch of sustainability that is concerned with the care provided to human beings in disaster situations and the success of programs designed to address their needs. First, it argues that the individual experiences of aid workers in this context are valuable and should be considered when evaluating the effectiveness of post-disaster aid work. There is growing recognition of the importance of the quality of care in these environments and one approach to expanding our knowledge in this area is to seriously consider the individual experiences of aid workers that have had direct contact and interaction with aid recipients in post-disaster environments. Second it argues that communication and collaboration with the community are measures that contribute to the success of programs in that context. The participants in this study articulate the importance of personal relationships with aid recipients in the success of program design and implementation. Relationships that are positive and supportive enable a higher degree of communication and collaboration with the community, which results in higher success rates as well as an increase in the probability that the program will be successful without the support of aid workers. Overall quality of care is a category of concern.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Teaching this fall: Kant's ethics

My fourth-year course looks, to my eyes, perfect. (Sorry, students, I'm not teaching another course this term, as I chair the Philosophy department instead.) 

Students may notice that what I consider perfect, they consider a crushing workload suitable to graduate school.  To which I can only say, Yes, that sounds about right!  Trust me, you'll learn a lot if you try to do it all.  You may not get an A, but that's hardly the point.  And I didn't put the A out of reach; it's just that you have to read some of the most difficult philosophical works, and write about them with consistent excellence, to get it.  Let me know if I can help with that.