Jim Ellis at the 2019 Annual Community Forum

Annual Community Forum

The 43rd Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH) Annual Community Forum on May 10, 2024 welcomed guest speakers and a presentation by an artist to explore the topic of Conspiracy Thinking. The presentations ranged from theories that are fantastic, such as the Flat Earth and UFOs, to those that attack our democracy and legal system. Find out more about most recent forum on Conspiracy Thinking (2024) here

Each year the CIH at the University of Calgary identifies a theme of interest to Calgarians and invites three distinguished researchers to offer their perspectives on it. Our most recent events were on The Insect Apocalypse (2023), The Final Frontier: Mythologies of Outer Space (2022), The End of Expertise (2021) and The Cultural Politics of DNA (2019). Prior to these, we concluded a series on the Environmental Humanities, exploring environmental concerns from a humanities perspective:

The Annual Community Forum was established "to bring together scholars and community participants for the discussion of problems important to society." The first seminar was on "Calgary's Growth: Bane or Boon?" (1981). In later years, the seminar would continue to address topical issues, often well ahead of their time: "Evolution of Multiculturalism" (1988); "Dilemmas of Reconciliation" (1999); "Speed Limits, Stop Lights, and Driver Training for the Information Highway" (1996).

Be sure not to miss out. Sign up for the CIH Newsletter and you will receive upcoming announcements about all of the CIH's public programming, including our next Forum.

Lecture theatre during inaugural LGBTQ2S+ lecture series

Stay connected

Be the first to receive our newsletters, events, and programming information

Thank you for your submission.

Explore recent community forums


Conspiracy Thinking

Learn more


The Insect Apocalypse

Learn more


The Final Frontier: Mythologies of Outer Space

Learn more


The End of Expertise

Learn more

Past forums

  • Calgary’s Growth: Bane or Boon? (1981)
  • Ethical Issues in the Allocation of Health Care Resources * (1982)
  • The Use and Abuse of language * (1983)
  • Quality of Life vs Economic Growth: Can Less Mean More? (1984)
  • The Role of the Modern Union (1985)
  • The Future of Work (1986)
  • The Administration of Criminal Justice: Aspirations and Reality * (1987)
  • Evolution of Multiculturalism * (1988)
  • Privacy * (1989)
  • Civil Disobedience * (1990)
  • Health Care for the Elderly * (1991)
  • Arts the Soul of the Community * (1992)
  • Education in an Uncertain Age * (1993)
  • Family Structures and Social Change * (1994)
  • Violence Against Women * 1995
  • Speed Limits, Stop Lights & Driver Training for the Information Highway * (1996)
  • Alberta in 2010 * (1997)
  • Navigating the Information Rich Society * (1998)
  • Dilemmas of Reconciliation * (1999)
  • Designing Humans: Planning the Perfect Gene Pool ** (2000)
  • Private Lives, Public Knowledge? ** (2001)
  • Protest and Power ** (2002)
  • Changing Philosophies of Work and Leisure - The Canadian Dream ** (2003)
  • What does it mean to be Green? ** (2004)
  • What is the Canadian Military? Rethinking it from the Ground Up ** (2005)
  • The Canadian Judicial System. The Role of Canadian Judges as Makers or Interpreters of the Law ** (2006)
  • Identity on Line. Views of the Community and Self ** (2007)
  • Homelessness. Private and Public Responses ** (2008)
  • Why People Apologize: Public Apologies and Their Consequences ** (2009)
  • Great Expectations: Citizens’ Expectations and Entitlements ** (2010)
  • Untangling Complexity ** (2011)
  • The Question of Optimism ** (2012)
  • Do It Yourself Health. Self-Care Health (2013)
  • Why are we all talking about food? (2014)
  • Humanities for the Environment: Creativity not Catastrophe in a World of Change (2015)
  • Calgary: City of Animals (2016)***
  • Water in the West: Rights of/to Water (2017)***
  • Living with Plants (2018)***
  • The Cultural Politics of DNA (2019)
  • The End of Expertise (2021)
  • The Final Frontier: Mythologies of Outer Space (2022)
  • The Insect Apocalypse (2023)
  • Conspiracy Thinking (2024)

* Published Proceedings
** Broadcast on CBC, Ideas
*** Edited Anthologies

There's more to learn and do! Explore more events and community