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Dr. Davis is an award-winning anthropologist, ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker. He was named by the National Geographic Society as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, and described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” His research has inspired numerous documentary films as well as three episodes of the television series, The X-Files. He is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contributions to anthropology and conservation, the 2011 Explorers Medal, the highest award of the Explorers Club, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, the 2013 Ness Medal for geography education from the Royal Geographical Society, and the 2015 Centennial Medal of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. In 2009 he delivered the CBC Massey Lectures. His book Into the Silence, received the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, the top award for literary nonfiction in the English language.
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This interview follows the accomplishments of Punjabi writer Ajeet Cour by bringing to light personal anecdotes. In addressing her literary career, political upheaval, and her upbringing, Ajeet Cour expresses her thoughts on the future of Punjabi as a language.
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Ms. Porter is among Canada’s most respected book publishers (founder of Key Porter Books in 1982) and novelist covering a broad range of topics and published internationally in several languages. Her latest work is her memoir In Other Words: How I Fell in Love with Canada One Book at a Time. Her book The Ghosts of Europe won the 2010 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, while Kasztner’s Train: The True Story of Rezso Kasztner, Unknown Hero of the Holocaust, was awarded the 2007 Nereus Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Award and the Jewish Book Award for Non-Fiction. She is also the author of Buying a Better World: George Soros and Billionaire Philanthropy. She holds honorary degrees from Ryerson University, St. Mary’s University, and the Law Society of Upper Canada.
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What were the social conditions in which people in the nineteenth century died? This talk will reconstruct the final weeks of dying people drawing on personal statements produced by the terminally ill patients, and on reports by their relatives and nurses. The research depicts both dying at home and in denominational hospitals at that time. Ideas of “dying well” can be found both in Protestant “reports from the last hours” and in the letters that deaconesses wrote to their superiors at the Motherhouse and in which they described the dying process of their patients. The paper will show how the patients and their families understood “dying well” and contrast this with the perspective of those people caring for the patients. In addition to the deaconesses, doctors and pastors who appeared at the deathbed of people from the lower classes, there were religiously inspired carers for the poor who tended to the patients’ body and soul. From the sources we can recreate the reactions of those “besieged with care”. I argue that it is possible to gain an insight into the daily life of dying people even though it was often only reported on by the relatives, nurses and almoners. While these sources transport the Protestant ideas of dying, they also point to the ruptures between the culture of dying within the bourgeoisie and the lower classes. I will address the following questions: Who was present at the death bed and what role did the individual agents adopt? How did the relatives deal with the patients’ suffering, how did the nurses handle their pain and other torturous conditions? How were nurses prepared for dealing with dying patients during their training? The presentation will be restricted to the Protestant environment because this area provides the most comprehensive source situation for the 19th century.
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