16th Annual J.B. McLachlan Memorial Lecture Focuses on a More Just Globalization

Terry Gibbs, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Cape Breton University, will explore the human rights and environmental consequences of Canadian mining operations in Latin America during the 16th Annual J.B. McLachlan Memorial Lecture. The lecture will take place on Friday, November 7, 2014, from 12 – 1 p.m., in the Sydney Credit Union Boardroom (CE-265) in the Student, Culture and Heritage Centre. Cape Breton University campus.

In Global Citizenship in the 21st Century: The Case of Canada and Mining in Latin America, Gibbs will explore the ways in which Cape Bretoners and Canadians in general are tied to communities in Latin America through complex webs of production and consumption. She uses the case of mining to shed light on the need for new values of global citizenship as a prerequisite for a more just globalization.

"McLachlan's example provides an opportunity to think about what it means to be a global citizen," says Gibbs. "While political systems are nationally rooted, the economy that we all function in is globalized. Our decisions as producers and consumers affect the lives and livelihoods of people in far flung territories. In our interdependent world, issues of human rights and environment reach well beyond national boundaries. The role of Canadian mining companies in Latin America helps us to understand that idea."

Terry Gibbs teaches international politics with a focus on North-South relations. Her interest in international politics grew out of years of activism and engagement with social movements in Latin America and Canada. Her teaching and research interests include human rights, social movements, critical globalization studies and democratic socialism. She is currently researching values for 21st century citizenship by examining social movements in the north and south.

“Terry is an exceptional thinker and scholar, and we are thrilled to have her give this year’s J.B. McLachlan lecture,” says Dr. Andy Parnaby, Associate Professor of History and event organizer. “Her presentation will place the industrial history of Cape Breton and the island’s contemporary dilemmas in a global context – something both the CBU and broader Cape Breton community will find fascinating.” The annual lecture is sponsored jointly by CBU’s Department of History and Culture and the J.B. McLachlan Commemorative Society.

The J.B. McLachlan Memorial Lecture is named after one of Cape Breton’s and Canada’s finest labour leaders and human rights advocates, Jim McLachlan. McLachlan arrived in Cape Breton from Scotland in 1902 to work in the coal industry. In 1909 he was elected Secretary-Treasurer of District 26, United Mineworkers of America and was later blacklisted for his politics. An exceptional organizer and a dedicated radical, he continued his role as a powerful and critical voice in Cape Breton and Canada until he died in 1937.

“For the past 16 years, the Department of History and Culture has brought provocative scholars to CBU to honour the life and legacy of J.B. McLachlan,” says Dr. Parnaby. “It’s a chance to reflect on the island’s past with McLachlan as our guide, but also an opportunity to think politically about the present and future.”

For more information contact Dr. Andy Parnaby, Department of History and Culture, at andy_parnaby@cbu.ca.