Shared in solidarity with everyone demanding #climateaction for a better future.
[delivered via GoFossilFree.org — send a letter to your MP too]
Dear Mr. Diotte,
I’m a constituent here in your riding. I appreciate that the House of Commons has held an emergency debate prompted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sobering report on limiting global warming to 1.5ºC.
That emergency debate was a great first step, but now we need emergency action. That’s why I’m delivering this letter today urging you to read the the IPCC report and pledge to take action.
Read the report here: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/.
After reading it, I urge you to propose, champion and support legislation to update Canada’s climate policies and bring them in line with the urgency called for in the IPCC report before the next federal election.
Right now, Canada has a climate plan that falls far short of what the science says we urgently need. We need to strengthen our international climate commitments, stop fossil fuel expansion that scientists keep telling us our climate can’t handle, and build a 100% renewable energy economy that respects Indigenous rights, and works for every single person in Canada. Our children’s future depends on immediate actions like these.
My contact information is below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Mark A. McCutcheon
This week (Feb. 25 – Mar. 1) is #FairDealingWeek, a time to celebrate this vital statutory right’s affordances for expressive freedoms and the public good, and to dispel the misinformation that copyright maximalists spread about its supposed harms. Despite repeated, clear, and consistent Supreme Court rulings, big publishers and their intermediaries continue to treat the lawful exercise of fair dealing — by users, educators, and, yes, creators too — as if it’s debatable, dubious, or diabolical.
Among the many online resources and testimonials being shared this week — see https://fair-dealing.ca/ for an aggregated collection — Meera Nair, NAIT’s copyright officer and a vocal advocate for fairer copyright, has shared a blog post that brings home the importance of fair dealing.
“Fair Dealing matters. Individual writers, musicians and artists should not need to be well-versed in the intricacies of copyright law, to benefit by exceptions to copyright defined in the law.”
And if you wish to add your voices to those telling the federal government’s copyright review committee to preserve and extend fair dealing in copyright law, you might consider signing the Fair Copyright petition organized by the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
Lastly: I’ve linked to its abstract above, but let me reiterate here that essential reading for understanding how fair dealing benefits creators is Eli MacLaren’s 2017 article on poets’ incomes and fair dealing.
Last summer, the annual WorldCon (World Science Fiction Convention) included a panel, based on my & Bob Barnetson’s research on representations of unions in science fiction, that featured some of the authors I and co-author Bob Barnetson had discussed, namely Eric Flint and Cory Doctorow. (Wish I’d been there!)
Since then, that panel’s organizer, Olav Rokne, has hosted a still-continuing conversation on this topic via his Twitter account; see the thread (and Rokne’s excellent blog post):
(BTW, if you want a copy of Barnetson’s and my article, “Resistance is futile: on the under-representation of unions in science fiction,” e-mail me a request or see this link for details.)
In related news, I’m finally watching the enthralling TV series The Expanse, based on the eponymous novels by James S.A. Corey, which I think I’ll have to read too, since unions feature so prominently in this story — and, refreshingly, are depicted in a nuanced and more positive than negative light. (They’re about more than strikes, here; they enact an ethos of community, democracy, and the greater good.)
[full track list at bottom]
Amidst frost and desolation, amidst the everlasting ices of the north — that is, in Edmonton, Alberta — Athabasca University, Canada’s open university, will host a multi-disciplinary, multimedia symposium on Frankenstein, as part of the worldwide Frankenreads event happening on Hallowe’en 2018.
Where? The Matrix Hotel, Edmonton.
When? 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Oct. 31, 2018.
Please RSVP here to attend in-person online via live stream. (If you can attend in person, we encourage you to attend in costume 🙂
Schedule of proceedings:
10:00-10:25 – Arrivals & coffee set to a multimedia prelude, Canadian Frankensteins, mixed by Dr Mark A. McCutcheon (AU Frankenreads organizer, Professor of Literary Studies, & author of The Medium Is the Monster)
10:25 – Welcoming remarks by Dr McCutcheon
10:30-10:45 – – Dr Paul Kellogg (Chair of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies & Associate Professor of Integrated Studies): “The social construction of ‘monsters’ — from Frankenstein to Donald Trump”
10:45-11:00 – Dr Jolene Armstrong (President of the Athabasca U Faculty Association & Associate Professor of English): “‘It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn’: Negotiating liminality in the Netflix series The Frankenstein Chronicles”
11:15-11:30 – Dr Mark A. McCutcheon: “Mary Shelley, Marshall McLuhan, and the discourse of technology”
11:30-12:00 – Question & Answer period
12:00 – 1:00 – Postlude: a Frankenreads Halloween DJ mix, which might sound a bit like the demo mix linked at top.
The full track list of that mix is as follows:
* If you know why this song’s on the playlist, then you’ve done some homework.
I’m delighted to have a chapter in Giulia Gasperi’s and Joseph Pivato’s new book, Comparative Literature For The New Century, which has just been published by McGill-Queens University Press.
It’s a delight, too, have written that chapter as a Festschrift piece* honouring Pivato’s discipline-building career.
And—in the process—it’s both a delight and a privilege to be able to bring to this writing a payment of tribute—by way of opening epigraphs—to other important mentors in that critical institution called the #university:
* What’s a Festschrift? A peculiarly academical genre.
[In my post-#congreSSH post about this year’s ACCUTE dance party, I’d said I’d be following up with a post reflecting further on that event. Voilà: further thoughts, related to other current concerns, in the form of a DJ mix. What can I say? I have a phonographic memory.]
It’s been a good week for writing: Carousel Magazine has accepted one of my poems for publication; Riddled With Arrows, one of my stories; and I just got my copy of the latest issue of Quills — Canada’s erotic poetry annual — to which I’ve contributed a piece … thus advancing my moonlighting endeavours in writing the sort of ostensibly literary filth that should be wrapped in brown paper and kept on a higher shelf.