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Alan Ramón Ward

repatriated Canadian after a decade abroad

Alan Ramón Ward has returned to UBC as Visiting Scholar in African Studies, after a decade abroad. Most recently he was Research Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has published widely in philosophy, the literatures of Southern Africa, Canada and the Caribbean, on the politics and psychology of social upheaval, and the history of revolution in South America.
Keith Wood via Getty Images

Don't Pretend The Pipeline Debate Is Only About Energy

It sometimes sounds as though pipeline proponents are the true environmentalists among us. Commentary in favour of the pipelines has followed suit with generous explanations of our current needs and the realities of energy consumption. They ask: are opponents of the pipelines in denial about our current reliance on fossil fuels? And if these bleeding hearts do admit that we do need fossil fuels to power our country, are they comfortable importing Saudi oil forever? I believe that such questions willfully miss the point.
05/02/2016 10:17 EDT

Trudeau Must Make The Hard Decision To Reject The Pipelines

If the pipelines are not approved, Alberta will suffer a huge fall, perhaps a kind of collapse. The Canadian economy will take a hit. But it will also turn us away from the unsustainable direction fostered by the last government. New, cleaner industries more befitting an educated, technologically advanced Canada will continue to be developed and in time produce economic growth. They won't make us rich right now, or in this election cycle, but it is a certainty that the alternative energy sector is not going away; in fact, it is a certainty that it will take over.
04/25/2016 05:01 EDT

Why Zack Snyder Needs To Find The Humanity In Superman

You'd think it would be a relatively simple matter to successfully translate Superman to the big screen. You'd think Superman, a guy with limitless power, would excite us like he did forty years ago. In the late seventies, it was enough to see a man withstanding a bullet or flying into space. But his abilities have now receded into something too obvious and too simple to stand on their own. This is the way that the superhero genre has itself been transcended by the shifting standards of Hollywood drama.
02/12/2016 04:29 EST
Richard Lautens via Getty Images

Canada's Welcoming Of Refugees Is A Simple Act Of Charity

Due to the heated political atmosphere from which the initial promise emerged, with Trudeau's Liberals keen to position themselves in stark contrast to Harper's Conservatives, I feel that the massive attention this has garnered from both sides -- both of acclaim and censure -- has been greatly exaggerated. With all the rhetoric from proponents and opponents, we forget that this is a simple act of charity.
12/21/2015 10:48 EST
Chesnot via Getty Images

Trudeau's Decision To Stop Bombing ISIS Isn't Political

The new light in which his decision is inevitably being seen after the despicable acts in Paris makes it important to revisit the issue, which is bigger than the press sometimes lets on. Because Trudeau's decision is not a political one. On the contrary, it is cultural. His decision to stop bombing speaks to what can only be seen as a fulfillment of national identity. Even before Paris, it seemed that nothing in the world could divide Canadians as definitively as their opinion of whether Canada should be dropping bombs in the Middle East.
12/03/2015 01:32 EST

Who Wins Out In The Ideological War Over Venezuela?

Earlier this month, Francisco Flores and Efrain Campos Flores, nephews of Venezuela's first family, were arrested for trying to transport 800 kilos of cocaine through Haiti. Is it possible to move beyond ideological affiliations to target the greater problem of drugs smuggling?
12/02/2015 06:29 EST