Hey nerds. We know that January is cold and you don’t want to leave your house. We have two good reasons though to fight the urge to hibernate, knowledge and beer. Escape the cold by joining Adam, Wade (your Edmonton Nerd Bosses), and our fantastic line-up of presenters at the Haven Social Club for more stimulating presentations and scintillating drink.

When: January 17, 2013 (doors @ 7:30p, show @ 8)
Where: Haven Social Club – 15120 Stony Plain Road
Cost: $10 + service charge (includes a free drink!)
Buy a ticket!

#1 – Scholarly Gym Rat
Lianne McTavish

Why would a 43-year-old full professor lift weights, lose 25 pounds, slather herself in orange tanning dye, and prance around in a crystal-encrusted bikini? To undertake embodied research as a competitive bodybuilder, of course. After pumping iron seriously for three years, I forged my seemingly separate identities as: 1) an academic specializing in seventeenth-century French visual culture, the history of the body, and critical museum theory, and 2) a fitness enthusiast able to bench press her own body weight. I entered a contest in the category called ‘Figure,’ which favours muscular physiques with wide, capped shoulders, broad upper backs, and well defined legs, but requires a softer appearance than traditional forms of bodybuilding. My scholarly research project allowed me to experiment with different methods of knowledge production, and I will describe them along with my research results.

Bio: Lianne McTavish (PhD, University of Rochester, 1996) is Professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, where she offers courses in early modern visual culture and critical museum theory. In addition to numerous articles, chapters, and exhibition catalogues, she has published two books, Childbirth and the Display of Authority in Early Modern France (Ashgate, 2005), and Defining the Modern Museum (University of Toronto Press, 2012). Lianne is currently completing another manuscript, inspired by her recent participation in a bodybuilding competition. For fun, she blogs at feministfiguregirl.com, cooks exotic meals, teaches spin classes, travels as much as possible, watches Coronation Street, and grunts while lifting heavy things at the gym.

#2 – Extreme Lutherie – Haiti 2012
Catherine Robertson

Wanting to further her skills in repair and restoration, Catherine moved to England for 3 years to attend the world renown Newark School of Violin Making where she specialized in restoration work. Upon completion of college, she traveled to Haiti with Luthieres sans Frontieres UK on a volunteer mission to assist in training local people in maintaining and repairing instruments in the thriving music programs there. She will be speaking to you about her rad trip to Haiti.

Bio: Catherine is a violin maker, player, repairer and lover. Upon landing an 18yr old violin nerd’s dream job at Alfie Myhre’s music shop, she has since been working in violin and guitar shops  doing repair work around Edmonton for 10 years. From working in banjo-friendly Alfie’s to shredder-heaven Axe Music, instrument setup, repair and restoration has become her life.  Not without A few deviations here and there – fiddling in a touring country band and fixing the score clock at Rexall Place.

#3 – Hands on Mars
Chris Herd

For centuries the planet Mars has been a source of inspiration and trepidation, its influence reflected in art, culture and science. Even as the space age has grounded Mars as a harsh, inhospitable place, its exploration today remains driven by the search for life.  Mars exploration has revealed that Martians have been visiting Earth for thousands of years as chunks of the Red Planet have fallen to Earth as meteorites. What do these meteorites tell us about Mars? Does holding one make you more aggressive?  Together we’ll explore Mars through its visiting meteorites, and learn what role they have to play in understanding if life exists elsewhere.

Bio: Chris is an associate professor in geology at the University of Alberta. His training in meteorite research comes from a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, postdoctoral research at the NASA Johnson Space Center, and a sabbatical at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Chris curates the University of Alberta meteorite collection, the largest University-based collection in Canada, and which includes some fine Martian specimens.  When not professoring, Chris enjoys a good martini, hiking with his wife and kids, playing basketball, and reading science fiction.