Public Humanities at WesternWestern Arts and Humanities

2016 Events

lubar talk

Lecture: "Seeing through the Skiascope"

Place: John Labatt Visual Arts Centre, Room 100
Date: Tuesday, 18 October 2016 5:30 pm

Join us afterwards for a catered reception at McIntosh Gallery!

Public Dialogue" "Engaging Our Communities: Museums, Galleries, and the Humanities" (featuring Steven Lubar, Michelle Hamilton, Brian Meehan, and Patrick Mahon)

Place: McIntosh Gallery
Date: Wednesday, 19 October 2016 5:30 pm

Steven Lubar is a professor in the departments of American Studies, History, and the History of Art and Architecture at Brown University. He teaches and advises in Brown’s public humanities program, which he directed from 2004-2014. Lubar was chair of the Division of the History of Technology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. He is the author of InfoCulture: the Smithsonian Book of Information Age Inventions (1993), co-author of Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian (2001), and co-editor of History from Things and Engines of Change: The American Industrial Revolution (1993). His exhibits at the Smithsonian include, “America on the Move,” “Smithsonian's America,” and “Engines of Change.” Exhibits at Brown include oversight of student exhibitions at the public humanities center, the Haffenreffer Museum, and the John Hay Library. His interests include the history of museums and memorials, material culture studies, nineteenth and twentieth century of history of technology, and digital humanities. He is currently a Guggenhaim Fellow and working on a book on museums and museum history.
Twitter: @Lubar 

Panel Biographies: 

Michelle Hamilton is a Public Historian whose research focuses on historical and contemporary issues surrounding museums and heritage, social memory and commemoration, the history of anthropology, cultural identity and issues of representation and repatriation, usually in regards to First Nations peoples in Canada. She is the director of the Public History Program at Western University.

Brian Meehan is Executive Director and Chief Curator of Museum London in London, Ontario. Prior to this posting in 2000 he was Director of the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery in Owen Sound, Ontario. Raised in Calgary, Alberta, Brian attended the Alberta College of Art before receiving Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He also attended Concordia University in Montreal where he did postgraduate work in Communication Studies. Brian has been Chair of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization, the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, and the Pillar Non-Profit Network.

Patrick Mahon is a Professor of Visual Arts, an artist, critical writer, and curator. Mahon’s artwork has been exhibited in Canada at Museum London, The Hamilton Art Gallery, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, and at The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; and internationally in recent exhibitions in China and France; and at numerous print biennales since the early 1990’s. Patrick’s collaborative project, Immersion Emergencies and Possible Worlds, resulted in a ten-artist group exhibition, The Source: Rethinking Water through Contemporary Art, presented at Rodman Hall, Brock University, Canada, in 2014. Other recent Canadian exhibitions include McMaster Museum of Art (2013); Wilfred Laurier University (2013); Gallery 1C03, University of Winnipeg (2014). Patrick was in residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, (New York); Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium); La Maison Patrimoniale Barthète, France; and in March 2015, at the Banff Centre. Patrick Mahon is represented by Katzman Contemporary, in Toronto.


Changing the Way We See Native America
An Evening With Matika Wilbur

matika wilbur eventWednesday, October 26 | 6 PM - 7:30 PM
International & Graduate Affairs Atrium

Matika Wilbur is an innovative photographer, animated storyteller, and passionate advocate for Native Americans. Her current work, Project 562, is her solution to historical inaccuracies, stereotypical representations and silenced Native American voices in mass media.

For more information, visit or email

We would like to thank our sponsors: Trillium Foundation, Applied Indigenous Scholarship at Western, International Indigenous Policy Journal, Public Humanities at Western, King’s Office of Campus Ministry, the Faculty of Information & Media Studies, Department of Visual Arts and the Society of Graduate Students. 


Have you or anyone you know experienced chronic or acute illness? How does the art of storytelling work to improve health care education and the experience of patient care? In what ways are doctors, patients and other health professionals storytellers? How can researchers, educators, students, and members of the greater public work together to produce compassionate approaches to patient-centred care? Stories of Health and Illness invites members of the public, both campus and community, to join us to experience the stories of people living with illness. Through stories shared by participants who have dealt with chronic or acute conditions, audience members will hear first-hand accounts of what is important to patients throughout their health care experience. Following each story, we will invite the audience to reflect on their experience of each narrative and engage in an open dialogue with our storytellers.

Supported by an interdisciplinary partnership between the Narrative Medicine Initiative (NMI) in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities (SASAH), The Public Humanities at Western (PHW),  the London Public Library, and the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), the aim of this medical humanities project is threefold:

1) to organize four public engagement events featuring reflective stories by patients experiencing chronic illness, with an opportunity afterwards for the audience to engage in an open dialogue with the presenters; 

2) to study the emotional and psychological impact of public storytelling on patient-storytellers, as well as the engagement of the public audience who witness these narratives of illness; 

3) to edit together video coverage of the engagement events and individual interviews with both patients and audience members to produce a curated video archive of Stories of Health on an open-access, online platform hosted by Western University. The digital platform will serve as an educational tool for training new practitioners in compassionate modes of patient care, as a source of primary material for researchers and scholars, and as a forum for broader citizen participation in the health system.

 Stories of Illness & Health on Facebook

 Stories of Illness & Health on Twitter

Western on Youtube Stories of Illness & Health on YouTube

View Pat Davis' story from the last session of Stories of Illness and Health (November 2013).