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Welcome Back Arts Gryphons!

As we enter the third full week of classes, I think I’m ready to pause, catch my breath, and wish you a warm “Welcome back!” It’s been a very busy start of term. Each September I sort of wonder whether September just feels busy in comparison with August’s leisurely pace. But no, it’s just that busy. I’m just now catching my breath and getting back to my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

What’s keeping us busy in the Dean’s office?

We’re about to launch our strategic plan! During the last academic year and into the summer we had lots of meetings and open houses and focus groups that helped us think about who we are, where we are going, and what we want our future to look like. Thanks to the Potential Group for facilitating these conversations. I’ll be talking lots about our plan in the months ahead but for now I just want to share this line I particularly like about one the things we do in the College: “We teach people to tell powerful stories that allow us to bring together different perspectives, make sense of ambiguity, and create new ways of knowing and being in the world.”

We’re organizing “Meet the New Researcher” events for new Guelph College of Arts faculty: Professors Paul Barrett (School of English and Theatre Studies), Kristie MacDonald (School of Fine Art and Music), Alena Barysevich (School of Languages and Literatures) Kim Martin (History) and Gus Skorburg (Philosophy.)

We’re meeting up with all the new graduate students across the College but I’d like to give a special welcome to the students in the new MA and PhD programs in Critical Studies in Improvisation. I went to a dinner at the IICSI House the other night to meet the first class of graduate students and I was pretty impressed with all that creativity in one place.

So you might think things would slow down in October. But you would be wrong!

There’s Gryphons Read coming up next month. I’m looking forward to an informal meet and greet with this year’s Gryphons Read author, Eden Robinson. Her book, Son of a Trickster, is this year’s pick for the Gryphons Read program, the University of Guelph’s common reading project. That’s on Tuesday, October 1st, 10:00AM-11:30AM in the Scholars’ Studio, Library.

While it’s not just a College of Arts, it does involve us. The QuofG
(the Queer University of Guelph Faculty and Staff Network) is hosting its first Research Celebration in the McLaughlin Library. At this event, University of Guelph faculty, graduate students, and staff will be displaying their current research for our community and our colleagues to see, engage with, and celebrate. That’s Wednesday, October 2nd, 2-6 pm in the Scholars Studio. Stop by and see my poster! (Okay not just my poster but I will have some of my own research on display.)

The Canadian Society of Women in Philosophy annual conference is being held at Guelph this year. The theme is “Feminism and Food.” It’s October 25-27th with keynotes on the Friday and the Saturday night. Registration is free for University of Guelph students.

Oh, in the midst of all the September busy-ness, I got a new Gryphons shirt.

Selfie of Dean Samantha Brennan
Dean Samantha Brennan takes selfies. This is one them.