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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
September 28, 2016
Canadian Excellence

2014 Edna Staebler Writer-in-Residence, Colleen Murphy

English & Film Studies

Arts in Action Day

In collaboration with the Council for the Intellectual and Cultural Development of the Arts (CICDA), the Department of English and Film Studies hosted an “Arts in Action” day on Thursday, March 6, 2014 in the Concourse at Laurier. The goal was to assert the value and importance of the arts, not only in education, but also in our lives and in society more generally. The idea for the event grew out of the need to address the growing pressure students in the arts face from their parents, peers, and the media to make educational choices directed towards success in the job market—namely, through STEM subjects. The event included panels of faculty from across the university and alumni working in a varietyof fields, all of whom spoke to the relevance and demand for the skills arts students bring to all sectors of the labour market. The event provided students with an opportunity to learn more about departments and programs in the Faculty of Arts, to explore the many resources available (e.g. Career Services and the Writing Centre) and to get to know the exciting array of student clubs on campus.

Hay Days and Moments with Murphy

Laurier hosts celebrated author Elizabeth Hay and award-winning playwright Colleen Murphy in academic season rife with literature-in-action.This term the Laurier Reads program, coordinated by Dr. Tanis MacDonald, welcomed Elizabeth Hay, author of Late Nights on Air, into the intellectual life of students, faculty,staff, and alumni. The group gathered three times over February and March to discuss Hay’s novel in anticipation of her on-campus presence in late March. During her time at Laurier, Hay guided a creative writing workshop and presented a public lecture and Q&A session featuring readings from her latest novel, Alone in the Classroom. She also participated in both a panel discussion (on Northern themes in science and literature) and a public dialogue (on the historical, political, genre-specific, and psychological issues emergent from literary lives) with Governor-General-Award winning playwright Colleen Murphy. Murphy, the 2014 Edna Staebler Writer-in-Residence, had her own busy schedule this term; the author of ten plays, including The Goodbye Bird and Armstrong’s War, she has been splitting her time during this three-month residency between personal work and community programming, including student consults, public readings, and lectures. All events with both authors were well-attended, a testament to the lively state of literature at Laurier.