Antagonism and Intimidation in Academia Speaker Series

Institutions of higher learning are environments where new ideas, insights, and discoveries are cultivated. Here is where unexplored territory provides the space for curiosity to grow, for rigorous enquiry to nurture understanding, for innovation to reach new heights. It’s where professors and students conduct extensive research in the constant pursuit of knowledge, truth, and justice. Unfortunately, it’s also where targeted attacks occur by those who feel threatened by this important work and the impact it has on society.

Why is this happening and what can we do about it? The University of Waterloo aims to answer these questions in a new speaker series entitled “Antagonism and Intimidation in Academia” (Fall 2023 – Winter 2024) that will conclude with an international conference. These events are organized jointly by the Faculty of Arts and the Office of Research.

The speaker series (October 2023 – March 2024) involve talks by members of the University of Waterloo academic community on the broad subject of antagonistic and intimidating responses to academic research and pedagogy. Scholars in many fields have experienced such responses to their work. These include the targeting of social justice scholarship that comprises discrimination based on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and religion, as well as the targeting of science, evolution, and technology research, health, drug, and vaccine research, and environment, sustainability, and climate change research. These responses take many forms. They may aim, for example, to silence the individual researcher through cyberbullying, disruption of public presentations, personal threats, and other kinds of acts.

Join us as we discuss these important topics by registering below for upcoming events.

Upcoming Event

Coming soon!

Past Events

Inside Humanities Theatre

Antagonistic Responses to Health Research in the Academy


We invite you to attend the third panel discussion of this series entitled, Antagonistic Responses to Health Research in the Academy. We will explore several important topics such as the experiences of being a vaccine researcher and health care professional during a pandemic; the challenges of conducting research on highly politicized issues in the face of political and social backlash; how communities of relational support are useful for countering hate and isolation during times of tension and misunderstanding; the neutrality of health research in policy; the interplay between evidence and decision-making; and mitigating antagonism and aggression in health care research. There will be time for audience members to engage in a question-and-answer period following the panel presentations. A reception will follow. 

Event Details

Date: 27 February 2024

Time: 3:00 to 4:25pm; Reception 4:30-5:10pm

Location: Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall, Room 159

Details: In-person and online event

Lead Organizer & Chair: Suzan Ilcan, Special Advisor on Interdisciplinary Research (Professor & University Research Chair, Sociology and Legal Studies)  

Moderator: Dr. Sherry Dupuis, Professor & University Research Chair, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Faculty of Health  

Panel Participants

Dr. Geoff Bardwell is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health Sciences in the Faculty of Health. His research focuses on unregulated drug use and related public health interventions. He has conducted studies in community health centres, housing environments, inner-city drug scenes, and Indigenous communities.   

Dr. Lisbeth Berbaryis anAssociate Professor in Leisure Studies in the Faculty of Health. Her work engages liberatory theory practices, creative analytic practices, qualitative/post-qualitative inquiry, and progressive politics to interrogate how health happens within community relations, social research, and academic institutions.   

Dr. Kimberly Lopez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies in the Faculty of Health. She is interested in critically examining structures that (re)produce oppressions affecting experiences of long-term care homes, helping work, migration and settlement, and labourer well-being.  

Dr. Nancy Waite is Professor and Associate Director Clinical Education in the School of Pharmacy in the Faculty of Science. Her research focuses on increasing the uptake of vaccines using community pharmacies as immunization hubs and improving vaccine confidence through policy and practice change.

  

Enterprise Theatre

Antagonistic Responses to Science and Technology in the Academy

We invite you to attend the second panel discussion of the series, “Antagonistic Responses to Science and Technology in the Academy.” Panel presentations will explore several important topics such as opposition to science and technology solutions for sustainable agriculture; what it means to be a public-facing healthcare expert during the pandemic; the anxieties and antagonisms surrounding automated artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, including generative AI; and challenging encounters characterizing the relations inside and outside the science classroom, and ways of promoting inclusivity. There will be time for audience members to engage in a question-and-answer period following the panel presentations. A reception will follow.

Event Details

Date: 29 November 2023

Time: 3:00-4:15pm; Reception 4:20-5:00pm

Location: Enterprise Theatre, EC5, Room 1111, 305 Phillip St., Waterloo

Event Details: In-person and online

Lead Organizer and Chair: Suzan Ilcan, Special Advisor on Interdisciplinary Research (Professor & University Research Chair, Sociology and Legal Studies)

Moderator: Kirsten Müller, Professor and Chair, Biology

Panel Participants

Dr. Trevor C. Charles is Professor of Biology, Founder of the company Metagenom Bio, Executive Director of the LiftOff Black Entrepreneurship Program, and Director of Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research.

Dr. Lai-Tze Fan is a Canada Research Chair in Technology and Social Change, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies. She leads the Unseen-AI Lab.

Dr. Kelly Grindrod is an Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy. Dr. Grindrod was a public-facing expert on COVID vaccination and treatment during the pandemic.

Dr. Maura R. Grossman is a Research Professor in the School of Computer Science and the School of Public Health Sciences, an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, and an affiliate faculty member at the Vector Institute of Artificial Intelligence.

Quantum Nano Centre

Antagonistic Responses Based on Gender and Race in the Academy

We will explore several important topics such as responding to silence arising from gendered harassment and workplace threats of violence; unpacking the public silencing of expertise when Black women engage in anti-racist work; countering the view that teaching about structural inequalities and social injustices is “ideological,” rather than empirically-based; and emphasizing the merits of inclusivity in the classroom and creating learning environments of respect even where differences prevail. There will be time for audience members to engage in a question-and-answer period following the panel presentations.

Event Details

Date: 24 October 2023

Time: 3:00-4:15pm

Location: Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC) – 0101

Event Details: In-person and online

Lead Organizer and Chair: Suzan Ilcan, Special Advisor on Interdisciplinary Research (Professor & University Research Chair, Sociology and Legal Studies)

Moderator: Seçil Dağtaş, Associate Professor, Anthropology

Panel Participants

Dr. Carla Fehr, Associate Professor & Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy, Philosophy

Dr. Laura Mae Lindo, Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Dr. Logan MacDonald,Assistant Professor & Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Art, Fine Arts

Dr. Rashmee Singh, Associate Professor, Sociology and Legal Studies