Award-winning journalist speaks at VIU April 5

April 4, 2012 - 6:45am

Curtis Gillespie, novelist, journalist, and three-time National Magazine Award winner, and now co-editor of Canada’s newest cultural magazine, Eighteen Bridges, is the guest speaker at Vancouver Island University Liberal Studies department's year-end spring conference.

Gillespie will deliver the keynote address (which is open to the public) on Thursday, April 5 at 10:30 am at the Nanaimo campus in the lecture theatre of Building 355.

"The Liberal Studies Student Conference gives third- and fourth-year Liberal Studies students a chance, at the end of the year, to present one of their papers in a conference setting that is open to the public," says VIU Liberal Studies Chair Mark Blackell.

"The papers are mainly from students taking either a course on the Middle Ages and Renaissance or from a course on the 20th century and so students will be looking at a range of texts and ideas. Liberal Studies explores the religious, philosophical, political, artistic, and scientific thought of mostly European tradition and our students are examining many different stories from that tradition.

"We invite the public to come and support our students as they present their ideas."

According to Blackell, Gillespie's new national magazine, Eighteen Bridges, values the timeless narrative flair of The New Yorker, the journalistic rigour of Harpers, the literary excellence of Granta and weaves these elements together with a distinctive Canadian sensibility.

Eighteen Bridges is concerned with people, politics, culture, and ideas, its articles substantial, in-depth, and grounded in the narrative tradition.

“We like long-form narrative journalism and we feel there aren’t enough high-profile outlets in Canada running the kind of stories we want to showcase – long, meaty, thoughtful, investigative," says Gillespie. "You could say that stories themselves are our mandate, as opposed to any particular topic.”

Gillespie has written three books, The Progress of an Object in Motion, Someone Like That, and Playing Through, and his journalism is widely published. He has won numerous awards for his fiction and non-fiction, including the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and three National Magazine Awards. His latest novel is Crown Shyness.

For a full conference schedule outlining student presentations, go to

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