Strife and conflict can be all-consuming, and the world’s artists have the knack of showing us that even though our moment is new for us, we aren’t alone across generations.

Today in The Conversation Canada, Mark Libin of the University of Manitoba writes about the inspirational verse adopted by president-elect Joe Biden in the United States. Libin traces how Biden has a long affection for quoting Irish poet Seamus Heaney’s verse adaptation The Cure at Troy, Heaney’s version of Philoctetes by Sophocles. Philoctetes suffers a festering wound caused by a snakebite.

Even while we read Heaney’s astonishingly relevant words, “Stop just licking your wounds … Start seeing things,” Libin notes the verse is not about placing blame, but is an invitation to consider alternative perspectives on intractable problems.

He writes that Biden drew on the verse during the electoral campaign to suggest the possibility “to change one’s mind, to change directions, to forgive and reconcile as aspects of the fundamental changeability of human nature.”

Also today:


Susannah Schmidt

Education + Arts Editor

President-elect Joe Biden waves as he departs St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church, Nov. 15, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

When ‘hope and history rhyme’: Joe Biden quotes an Irish poet to inspire healing in America

Mark Libin, University of Manitoba

In the drama of envisioning a future for the United States, Joe Biden and Donald Trump both invoked stories about snakes to suggest different views about self-interest and the common good.

Would you drink beer made from wastewater?

We brewed beer from recycled wastewater – and it tasted great

Leland Jackson, University of Calgary

To continue to sustain or grow populations — and economies — more is going to have to be done with the same amount of water, or even less.

Developmental language disorder may be missed as it often doesn’t appear foremost as a language impairment. (Shutterstock)

If your child has reading, school or social struggles, it may be DLD: Developmental language disorder

Elin Thordardottir, McGill University; James Law, Newcastle University; Susan Roulstone, University of the West of England

Developmental language disorder affects more than seven per cent of children, yet is not well known. If your child struggles in school, social interactions or reading, the underlying issue may be DLD.

Exploring the unique capacities of online events, instead of trying to replicate in-person conventions, will yield the best results. (Shutterstock)

How to plan successful e-conferences during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Caleb Wellum, University of Alberta; Anne Pasek, Trent University; Emily Roehl, Texas State University

Academics and others concerned with benefitting from peer professional collaboration can use COVID-19 disruptions as an opportunity to improve conferences through smart design.

La Conversation Canada

La nouvelle vice-présidente des États-Unis, Kamala Harris, illustre un leadership fait autant de collaboration que d’affirmation de soi, de compassion que d’autodétermination. Shutterstock

Le mythe du leadership féminin

Louise Champoux-Paillé, Concordia University; Anne-Marie Croteau, Concordia University; Steven H. Appelbaum, Concordia University

Le leadership fondé sur le commandement et le contrôle se complète par l’ajout d’autres qualités, comme l’empathie, la compassion, la communication et la collaboration.

Business + Economy


Science + Technology

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