Young people to examine what migration means for Canada at King’s summer humanities program

Young people to examine what migration means for Canada at King’s summer humanities program

The third annual session of Humanities for Young People (HYP), happening at the University of King’s College this July, will focus on migration and feature acclaimed Book of Negroes author Lawrence Hill as one of its guest speakers.

According to a United Nations 2017 report on displacement, 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. Canada prides itself on multiculturalism, having relatively open borders and being a country of immigrants; HYP 2018 will examine what role Canadians can play in this global crisis.

HYP is a live-in summer program that gives students a taste of university life. “It encourages their interests in literature, philosophy, history, politics and art,” explains Dr. Laura Penny, HYP Co-Director. “This year, students will grapple with: What does it mean to leave home—and to belong? How can we help newcomers preserve aspects of their cultures of origin? What do we do when these cultural claims clash? How does one become ‘Canadian’?”

Participants will read texts ranging from ancient tragedy to contemporary Canadian philosophy, and literature about migration and multiculturalism. They will also participate in workshops with local experts on topics ranging from Canada’s immigration and refugee laws, to the challenges of resettlement, to immigrant food cultures.

Author Lawrence Hill.

“The young people who come to King’s for HYP never fail to impress us with their curiosity, imagination and desire for social change,” says King’s President and Vice-Chancellor, William Lahey. “HYP encourages them to think creatively and collaboratively, to engage with perspectives other than their own and to apply these perspectives to a pressing political problem.”

HYP 2018 culminates in a public symposium on migration at Halifax’s Central Library on July 14, featuring Canadian author Lawrence Hill. He will discuss his latest novel, The Illegal, which won Canada Reads 2016. Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders will also be there to discuss his latest book, Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians are Not Enough.

Columnist Douglas Saunders.

“We’re delighted HYP is continuing its partnership with the Halifax Central Library, which has hosted all our public symposia,” says Dr. Penny. “We’re also excited about our new partnership with Pier 21, Canada’s Immigration Museum.” HYP 2018 participants will tour the archives of this historically significant point of entry and hear an artist’s talk in conjunction with the exhibition Refuge Canada, which documents refugees’ journeys to Canada.

HYP gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Province of Nova Scotia’s Office of Immigration. HYP runs from July 7 to 15, 2018. Students aged 15 to 17 can apply online by June 1, 2018 at hyp.ukings.ca, with a brief statement of their interest in migration and a letter of recommendation from an adult who knows them well. The $925 fee includes all accommodation, meals, materials, lectures and excursions. A limited number of bursaries are available to refugee and immigrant students, as well as to students with financial need.

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