News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB launches high-impact speaker series by examining New Brunswick s past

Author: Communications

Posted on Feb 16, 2011

Category: UNB Fredericton , Events , myUNB , UNB Saint John

An exciting new speaker series presented by the faculty of arts at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton kicks off this week with a lecture that will challenge beliefs about the region’s first peoples.

Susan Blair, a UNB anthropology professor and director of graduate studies, will give the lecture, Rewriting New Brunswick’s Past, on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. at Government House, 51 Woodstock Rd.

"Archaeological stories about New Brunswick have tended to be a reflection of how we think about the region now, and how we think about its recent past,” Dr. Blair said. “These views are biased by how we are taught to think about culture, time and space, and are not based on evidence. I am fascinated by this discrepancy, and will explore some of ways we can challenge these views."

The Ideas that Matter speaker series is designed to engage people in topics that are meaningful to New Brunswickers. It features some of UNB’s leading researchers in discussions about issues and challenges that live at the heart of the province’s social values, cultural perceptions and political motivations.

All of the Ideas that Matter lectures are free and open to the public thanks to the support of New Brunswick businesses and the UNB Associated Alumni. A complete schedule is available at .

Ideas that MatterPatrons for Ideas that Matter include: Atlantic Hydrogen Inc., AutismPro, BioAtlantech, BMO Bank of Montreal, Bulletproof Solutions Inc., C-Therm Technologies, Fabinex Heritage Restoration, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Fredericton International Airport Authority, Goose Lane Editions, Innovatia Inc., King Construction Ltd., Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette, LearnSphere, Mais Reynolds Financial Group, NB Power, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, Populus Global Solutions, Remsoft, Stantec, Stewart McKelvey, Sunny Corner Enterprises Inc., The Daily Gleaner, and Valley Graphics. The series presenting sponsor is the UNB Associated Alumni.

The speaker series is being held in conjunction with the university’s 225th anniversary celebrations. In addition, UNB is co-hosting the 2011 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences with St. Thomas University from May 28 to June 4. This prestigious event is one of the largest academic gatherings in Canada. Congress 2011 and the Ideas that Matter series will together shine a spotlight on the social sciences and humanities, highlighting their impact on the world.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Gavin
Communications officer
University of New Brunswick

About Dr. Blair:

Susan Blair started working in archaeology in New Brunswick in the late 1980s. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from McMaster University in 1991. During her degree, she began a working relationship with the New Brunswick Provincial Archaeological Services Unit. She conducted research on the pre-contact archaeology of the Grand Manan Archipelago, completing her master’s degree at UNB in 1997.

Following that project, Dr. Blair undertook the direction of the Jemseg Crossing archaeology project, the largest archaeological mitigation project ever conducted in eastern Canada. The project contributed significantly to her doctoral research at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Blair has co-authored a volume on the archaeology of the Atlantic region, and published several volumes on the pre-contact archaeology of New Brunswick.

With the completion of her doctorate in 2004, Dr. Blair began a long-term collaboration with Metepenagiag Heritage Park to explore the archaeological heritage of Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation. She is currently engaged in a range of research projects that focus on pre-contact technology, including copper working, and stone tool, pottery and textile manufacturing. She is also engaged in exploring the processes involved in community-driven research and indigenous archaeology.