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Director of Canadian Studies to lecture on Nunavut

By Janet Harron | Feb. 8, 2008

Distinguished scholar Dr. Annis May Timpson will visit Memorial University next week to deliver a public lecture titled The Territory of Somewhat Requited Dreams: Creating an Ethnically-sensitive State in Nunavut.

In this lecture Dr. Timpson will consider the complexities of embedding Inuit values, culture and language in the operation of Nunavut’s new public government. The lecture raises important questions about the development of new forms of Inuit governance in Canada that have particular resonance in Newfoundland and Labrador with the creation of Nunatsiavut.

Trained in political science and social policy, Dr. Timpson is a graduate of Bristol, Oxford and Toronto universities.  Her research background includes prize-winning work on women and public policy in Canada and comparative work on public attitudes to civil and political liberties in Canada and the UK. 

Dr. Timpson has observed the development of Nunavut since its creation in 1999, focusing her research on the design of the new government, its intergovernmental relations and the development of cultural political initiatives.  She is particularly interested in the interface between Inuit culture and public government.

This will be Dr. Timpson’s third visit to Newfoundland – and the first time she will arrive by plane.  As an energetic young graduate student in 1980, she cycled to St. John’s from Toronto. “I will never forget either the icebergs at Port aux Basques or the warm welcome I received from the many communities I passed through,” commented Dr. Timpson.  She drove to the island from the mainland in 2003 when she was introduced to the pleasure of Newfoundland folk music and visit several significant cultural sites.

Currently the director of the Centre of Canadian Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Dr. Timpson has lived in Scotland since 2004.  She finds it a fascinating place to live, “not least because Scotland is going through its own Quiet Revolution in the context of devolved government.” 

Having established good connections with a number of colleagues via programs at the Harlow campus, she hopes there may be future connections between the University of Edinburgh and Memorial in this regard.

Dr. Timpson’s public lecture will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Science Building Lecture Theatre, room SN-2109.  For further information please contact the political science department on 737-8179 or email