Sabbatical Talks by Dr. Bill Leeming and Dr. Selmin Kara

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 3:00pm

Please join the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies for two Sabbatical Talks: “Extending the Meaning of “Genetic” in Medicine in Canada and Mexico to include ‘Related to Chromosomes and Genes’” by Dr. Bill Leeming and "Cinematic Life in the Anthropocene" by Dr. Selmin Kara.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

205 Richmond St. W., Room 320


Dr. Bill Leeming

Extending the Meaning of “Genetic” in Medicine in Canada and Mexico to include “Related to Chromosomes and Genes”

My talk describes work completed during my sabbatical in 2016-17, including collaborative work with Dr. Ana Barahona of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. I begin the talk by exploring how medico-scientific reporting of chromosomal anomalies using karyotype cytogenetics permitted scientists in a wide range of fields to manipulate and extend the meaning of “genetic” in medicine from “heredity” to include “related to chromosomes and genes.” I then go on to show how the adoption of cytogenetics in Canada and Mexico unfolded against strikingly different backgrounds in clinical research and health care delivery.

Dr. Selmin Kara

Cinematic Life in the Anthropocene

This talk presents an overview of one of the book chapters I completed during my Sabbatical. In recent big-budget science-fiction films such as Ridley Scott’s The Martian (2015) and Danny Boyle’s Sunshine (2007), the search for restoring or expanding sustainable life (which are necessitated by the climatic events that threaten human survival) require characters to interact with and maintain various forms of manmade closed ecosystems in outerspace. These ecosystems (ranging from small-scale life support systems comprising of a few species of edible and oxygen producing plants within the larger enclosures of space ships to grand-scale generation ship habitats that simulate entire biomes) initially establish a vision of life as a machinic-systemic artefact, which can be isolated and engineered through technological means. Alex Garland’s Annihilation (2018) also engages with the trope of closed ecologies in the making (this time located on Earth and colonized by nonhuman forces) yet moves toward weird realism as an aesthetic proper to depicting the ultimate strangeness and unknowability of life under the extant conditions of climate change. In exploring the scientific and weird cinematic realisms in these films, my talk tracks the ways in which the 21st century film has responded to the question of life in the Anthropocene, locating it on a spectrum that shifts from extreme certainty towards extreme uncertainty.

Venue & Address: 
205 Richmond St. W., Room 320
Image 1: A close up of a scientist seated at a desk and looking up from his work. Image 2: Still from Annihilation (2018)

Sounds for the Post-Apocalyptic Man

Saturday, October 18, 2008 - 4:00am to Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 5:00am

Pari Nadimi Gallery in Toronto is pleased to present a solo exhibition by OCAD Faculty of Art Instructor Joe Hambleton, born 1982 in Windsor and based in Toronto, Canada.

Sounds for the Post-Apocalyptic Man (2008) is an installation that attempts to capture the social commentary and personal reflection that takes place within science fiction. Hambleton references the Cyber Punk genre of Science Fiction, creating his vision of a futuristic Dystopia that reflects the conflict and misinterpretation of his childhood while growing up in the suburbs of Windsor. Through the juxtapostion of a series of videos and illustrations, he imagines how a series of cultural references from early 90’s television might be reinterpreted in a post-apocalyptic future and could affect the rebuilding of society. These cultural references have been chosen to represent key points in his childhood mentality, each consecutively mapping out the imagination and misconception of the time.

Sounds for the Post-Apocalyptic Man is Hambleton’s second work in a series of installations that attempts to question what autobiographical work can be. It’s his attempt to create a narrative about himself that’s more relatable and interpretable to a larger audience, while allowing him to see the long-term influence of pop-culture on his life.
Hambleton has been showing his work internationally, recently screening his previous video series, Walking Through, in Beijing (2008), Abu Dhabi (2006), Prato (2006), and Nottingham (2006).

Venue & Address: 
Pari Nadimi Gallery 254 Niagara Gallery, Toronto, Ontario


David Cronenberg. Photo courtesy TIFF.

OCAD U faculty and students have contributed to The Cronenberg Project, a large, multi-platform exhibition and celebration of filmmaker David Cronenberg’s work produced by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The project, which encompasses a wide array of screenings, gallery shows and digital experiences, kicked off September 5 as part of the festival with the opening ofDavid Cronenberg: Transformation, a visual art exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA). 

The Cronenberg Project is the most ambitious exhibition to date to explore the work of the iconic Canadian filmmaker, and is the first major original, international touring exhibition curated and launched by TIFF. The digital components, including Body/Mind/Change and David Cronenberg: Virtual Exhibition will also be accessible around the world starting this fall.

OCAD U partnered with TIFF’s Higher Learning Digital Resource Hub, York University and Sheridan College to create David Cronenberg: Virtual Exhibition, an in-depth online academic resource companion to the touring show. Caroline Langill, OCAD U’s Associate Dean, Faculty of Art, contributed an illustrated essay about Cronenberg’s objects and props, and several OCAD U students were involved in developing interactive maps. The virtual exhibition, which will be launching this fall, also features rare behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Cronenberg’s collaborators.

Natalie Waldburger, Assistant Professor, Drawing & Painting worked with the TIFF team to bring resources from the TIFF collection of Cronenberg props to the classroom during the winter term, using high res 3D scans. Students had access and permission to use these scans in their work, and Waldberger later submitted their work to TIFF for consideration in David Cronenberg: Virtual Exhibition. A selecion of OCAD U student images, together with Waldburger's detailed lesson plan will be available in the Virtual Exhibition's Teacher Resource Centre.

For David Cronenberg: Transformation (September 5 to December 29 atMOCCA) OCAD U’s Nomadic Resident for 2013, Candice Breitz contributed "Treatment," a trio of redubbed key scenes from Cronenberg’s film The Brood. The work features Breitz, her therapist and her parents in an exploration of relationship disintegration and parental anxiety. David Cronenberg: Transformation also features work by Marcel Dzama, Jeremy Shaw, Laurel Woodcock, Jamie Shovlin and James Coupe. The artists examine shared inspirations in the Cronenberg style—biological horror, the human psyche and the merging of humans and media.

“As the international community turns its attention to Toronto for the Festival, we are thrilled to share a piece of our legacy with David Cronenberg, one of the world’s greatest living filmmakers and someone who represents Canadian cinema at its very best,” said Piers Handling, CEO and Director, TIFF as he announced the details of the project on September 5.

Learn more

The Cronenberg Project will also feature:

-David Cronenberg: Evolution: A comprehensive film exhibition and eBook

-From Within: The Films of David Cronenberg and Psychoplasmic Panic! Cronenberg and the Rise of Body film retrospectives and talks at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

-David Cronenberg: Through the Eye exhibition at MOCCA

-Body/Mind/Change transmedia experience

For complete details and schedule information visit