The James E. Curtis Memorial Lecture sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies is delivered annually by a distinguished Canadian scholar in honour of the life and work of Professor James Curtis. Professor Curtis spent his entire career at the University of Waterloo from 1970 until his untimely death on May 27th, 2005.
He was among Canada’s most distinguished sociologists, contributing to the founding of an indigenous Canadian sociology and publishing groundbreaking research in a broad range of areas including social inequality, political sociology, comparative sociology and the sociology of sport.
Among his many lifetime honours, Professor Curtis was recipient of the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association’s Outstanding Contributions to Canadian Sociology award in 2000, and named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2004.
Although imposing as a scholar, James was a humble and self-effacing person who served as a friend and mentor to a host of students and colleagues throughout his career.