91̽ Speakers Series

Location Description:
Lecture Theatre, (PL 107), Ashnola Building

A lineup of experts and authorities will offer presentations touching on a range of topics like Robbie Burns in Princeton, discovering Ea-nasir from ancient Ur, to the joys of electric bikes. See full presentation details below. 

Talks will be held in the Lecture Theatre (PL 107) of the Ashnola Building.  Admission is by donation, with proceeds going to support students in need.

91̽ Speakers Series

Winter 2024 Speakers Series schedule


The world-wide popularity of Robbie Burns is attested to by the sale of his poetry, CDs of his songs and by the holding of yearly Burns Suppers on the traditional night of 25 January. This presentation addresses that popularity by looking at the history of Burns Suppers held from the turn on the last century to the Second World War in Princeton and its satellite communities.

An illustrated history of the 2,500-year search for where birds fit in the natural world. The starting point is with the Greeks' "scala naturæ", on to Linnæus' attempts to understand God's plan for the world. Darwin has to enter any discussion of evolutionary trends. Less well known are the palæontologists in the last 50 years who have shown the close link between dinosaurs and birds, ending with the startling new fossils from China and Mongolia and the sophisticated methods they have used. If that sounds a bit daunting the science is interspersed with photos showing modern birds as the spectacular and fascinating dinosaur-descendants which they are.

There are many ideas and views about the economy and even more misconceptions about it, some perpetuated by economists themselves. This presentation explores a few of these misconceptions and provides some examples of how the field is changing to address this (albeit at a snail's pace).

Lozelle is a professor in Economics at 91̽ and Chair of the Economics Department. She has worked at various institutions in the private and public sector throughout her career as economist and economic researcher. Originally from South Africa, Lozelle has found paradise in the Okanagan, where she can combine her passion of teaching Economics with world class rock climbing (with not so much world class climbing ability to match).

Ben will talk about BC Beverage Technology Access Centre, which is housed at the Penticton campus of 91̽, and its  capabilities, smoke taint testing and remediation chemistry as well as the current state of the beverage industry and its changing trends.

Join 91̽ creative writing and acting students for an evening of original poetry, short stories, and scenes. Some of the pieces featured in this event will be from Spicy Fried Rice, an anthology of student poetry and prose, which will be available for sale following the showcase. This event will be hosted by 91̽ English professor Jeremy Beaulne.

NASA gave Stanford University $1 billion to conduct a spaceborne experimental test of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Was it money well spent?

Scott Overland is a passionate advocate for sustainable transportation and knowledgeable in the field of electric bikes(e-bikes) With a background deeply rooted in environmental sustainability, Scott’s goal is to promote ecofriendly alternatives in the realm of personal transportation.  

Born and raised in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, Scott developed a strong connection to the outdoors.  Adopting a three pillars approach; life, love and happiness.  Scott’s favorite activities include biking, skiing and backcountry expeditions.  He spends a great deal of time on his bike each season, often with his wife Paula and children.

As a seasoned e-bike enthusiast, Scott brings a wealth of knowledge and firsthand experience to his role as an advocate and educator. He firmly believes in the transformative power of electric bikes as a sustainable mode of transportation, an extension of health and wellbeing and that e-bikes are just plain fun.

Scott's journey in the e-bike world has included thorough research, hands-on experience, and collaboration with his local shop, Bike Barn.  Join Scott as he Inspires the Okanagan community to embrace a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future through the exciting world of E-Biking.

Scott will be joined by his daughter Jessica Overland.  Jessica is a part of the Bike Barn sales team where she will have a variety of current E-Bikes for you to see.

Research shows it can take up to 15 years to settle in Canada. SOICS works to provide services and advocacy to build welcoming, inclusive, and equitable communities. Cherry will share her lived experience of the impact that passively doing nothing can have on our most vulnerable populations. Anti-racism work does not happen in isolation or without intention. This session is an invitation to explore what it means to move from “I’m not racist” to actively anti-racist.

Cherry Fernandez is the executive director of South Okanagan Immigrant & Community Services. Her talk will bring personal experiences and professional knowledge together to help illustrate the experiences of racism in our community.


One of the difficulties of teaching the past is rehumanizing the inhabitants, especially when the primary sources of archaeological data are inherently dusty and decayed: old bones, broken pottery, rotting scrolls, and the discarded garbage of a society. Popular archaeology in reaction is often populated by controversies, aliens, and secret knowledge and societies with actual archaeology largely ignored and misunderstood. Instead, I am going to talk about a case of reviving a human from archaeological material, not by professionals but by the citizens of the Internet. Around 2015, parts of the Internet adopted Ea-ṣi, a copper merchant from ancient Ur and turned the complaints about his merchandise into a series of memes, celebrating in many cases, his scam. In this talk we will cover the history of Ea-ṣi, how he was found and then remade, the power of memes and how to make archaeology relevant to the public. 

Dr. Flannery Surette earned her PhD in Anthropology from Western University where she explored the connection between technological traditions and identity formation on the north coast of Peru through the lens of textile production, material and symbolic analysis. Since 2018, she has been teaching anthropology at 91̽, covering topics that include cultural and biological anthropology, archaeology, the lives of women, art, the environment and many others. She specializes in the archaeology of northern Peru and has been working on projects related to museology, experimental archaeology and a collaboration documenting the Palestinian textile industry of the city of al-Majdal.

Indigenous people around the world have used story as a primary means of connecting to local land and ecosystems. We Canadian Settlers, for various reasons, have no land stories, and that is a critical gap in this time of climate and other ecological crises.  In this participatory talk, writer and ecologist Don Gayton wrestles with the thorny issue of land stories in this urbanized and computerized age.