Current Lectures

Spring 2022

Resurgence: Decolonizing the City


January 20: Decolonizing the City with the White Elephant in the Room

Jasmindra Jawanda, Urban Planning Consultant

Note: The January 20 City Talks lecture was held via Zoom.

February 17: Shoreline Knowledges: Practices for Unsettling the City

Sarah Hunt/Tłaliłila'ogwa, Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria

Note: The February 17 City Talks lecture was a hybrid event held in-person at the Legacy Gallery and live-streamed via Zoom.

March 31: Healing the City

Jay Pitter, Award-Winning Placemaker, Urban Planning Lecturer, and Author

Note: The March 31 City Talks lecture has been cancelled.


Fall 2021

Emergence: Victoria Surfaces from the Pandemic


September 29: Panel–Surfacing Toward Justice: Can Victoria be a Better City after COVID?

Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria

Jean McRae, CEO, Inter-Cultural Association of Victoria

Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, Executive Director, Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society

October 21: Epidemic Histories and Pandemic Futures

Mitchell Hammond, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Victoria


The histories of infectious diseases and modern cities have always been intertwined. Not only do cities foster the spread of disease, narrative accounts of urban crises in locales such as London, Paris, and New York have framed our understanding of how diseases affect societies in general. While the ongoing coronavirus crisis underscores the importance of cities, its widespread impact also poses a challenge for responses that are rooted in local environments and relationships. Global travel, technologies that collapse physical distance, and new forms of urbanization will shift the relationship of disease and cities in a new ‘pandemic era.’

Mitchell Hammond is an assistant professor in the History Department at UVic. His work has included archival research concerning medicine in German cities during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and also studies in the history of epidemics from the early modern era to the present. His book, Epidemics and the Modern World, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2020. His current project with the working title ‘Medicine in the Modern World’ is also under contract at the University of Toronto.

November 16: Victorian Global Citizens: Solidarity in (and out of) a Pandemic

Anita Ho, Associate Professor, Centre for Applied Ethics, University of British Columbia


After a slow start to the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, more than 75% of Canadians have now received at least 1 vaccine dose, compared to just over 3% of people in low-income countries.  As various wealthy nations start planning for booster doses, how should we think about ongoing disparities that will likely have intergenerational impact? The pandemic has highlighted how we are globally connected but unequally affected by virtue of our policies and practices. Should local and national governments focus on their own populations in their pandemic response, even if that means others will be left behind by design? Using different examples, this session will look at how taking solidarity seriously may be the only way to interrupt the disparity pathway and get all of us out of the pandemic.

Anita Ho is a bioethicist and health services researcher with a unique combined academic training and experience in philosophy, clinical/organizational ethics, public health, and business. She is a bioethics faculty member at both UBC and the University of California, San Francisco, and the Regional Director of Ethics for Providence (Northern California).  An international scholar and author of more than 70 publications, Anita is particularly interested in systemic and social justice issues arising in health care, domestically and internationally.  Her COVID-related research has been focusing on global disparity in resource allocation, the role of trust in pandemic communication, and the ethical dimensions of digital public health surveillance. Broadening on the theme of digital health monitoring, Anita is currently completing a book manuscript on the ethics of using artificial intelligence in health monitoring, to be published by Oxford University Press.