All regular Lectures are at the Marine Institute at Ridge Road.

Hampton Hall is through the main front door at the Marine Institute and to the left. All lectures start at 8 pm. Free parking is available in front and to the west of the building.

Lectures are held on the last Thursday of the months of September, October, November, January, February, March and April. Please contact the office for symposia venues.

Please check the NEXT SYMPOSIUM page on this site for symposia information.




Jan 26
Fathoming the Depths for the First Trans-Atlantic Cables.

Abstract: In the 1850s when the first transatlantic telegraph cable was envisioned very little was known about the deep ocean and its seabed.  However, hydrographic information was considered essential to determine the practicality of the project. This presentation will discuss the hydrographic surveys completed for the transatlantic cable project, the hydrographers who did them, how the survey's data contributed to the project’s success and a scientific controversy related to the surveys.

Click player below to hear the lecture. Audio only available.


Charles H. Stirling  
Feb 23

- Observing the Outports, the  foundation of our understanding of Newfoundland society in an era of   modernization.

In Dr Webb’s lecture he will draw upon his recent book “Observing the Outports: Describing Newfoundland Society and Culture.” Parallel to the cultural revival that occurred in the 25 years after confederation, there was a Newfoundland Studies Movement at the university. Anthropologists, folklorists, historians and others developed active research in an effort to document Newfoundland culture. At a time when Resettlement was reshaping the outports, groups of scholars strove to understand cultural change.


Jeff Webb  
Mar 30

“The impossible dream".

A lecture about how and why the Janeway Hospital, St. John’s  was opened in 1966. The opening of a Child Health Centre in the Old Pepperrell Hospital in 1966 against enormous opposition from the medical community was a remarkable story.

Click player below to hear the lecture. Audio only available.


Rick Cooper
Apr 27


“On  Gerry Squires.”


Stan Dragland is originally from Alberta and now lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He is Professor Emeritus, Department of English, Western University. He has taught creative writing at the Banff Centre and at Los Parronales, Chile. He was founder of Brick magazine and Brick Books, and is still active with the latter. Between 1994 and 1997, he was poetry editor for McClelland & Stewart. Peckertracks (1979) was shortlisted for the Books in Canada First Novel Award; Floating Voice: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Literature of Treaty 9 (1994) won the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian literary criticism: 12 Bars (2002) was co-winner of the bp Nichol Chapbook Award; Apocrypha: Further Journeys (2003) won the Newfoundland and Labrador Rogers Cable Award for non-fiction; Stormy Weather: Foursomes (2005) was shortlisted for the E.J. Pratt Poetry Award. SD has also published Journeys Through Bookland and other Passages (1984) and The Bees of the Invisible: Essays in Contemporary English Canadian Writing (1991). 2008 saw the publication of The Drowned Lands, a novel. Deep Too, a prose oddity, appeared in 2013. The Bricoleur and His Sentences was published in 2014, Strangers & Others: Newfoundland Essays (shortlisted for the BMO Winterset Award) in 2015, Strangers & Others 2: The Great Eastern in 2016.



I was invited to discuss my research for the long essay in Gerald Squires, the book timed to appear alongside Squires’ 2017 retrospective, and my lecture makes that subject its armature. It goes into the many sources now available—not only the pictures and sculptures, the criticism and interviews, but also the wealth of archival material preserved by Gail Squires and held in Holyrood. Especially important are Squires’ own eloquent writings, many of them never published, some of them chosen to grace the lecture. I explore the painter’s passionate grasp of archetypal impulses—heaven and hell contending in his personal cosmology—and try to suggest how such tensions are embodied in his pictures. An important sub-theme is Squires’ deep-seated ecological consciousness, more relevant and valuable than ever in the context of accelerating threats to the biosphere. Lecture and illustrations will present a Squires well-known and well-loved, but also with dimensions that are not common knowledge. The viewer/listener may also expect to see and hear about some surprising images that came to light only when access to the Squires archive became available after his death.  

Click player below to hear the lecture. Audio only available.


Stan Dragland