Honorary Degree Books 2022

Jalal Barzanji

Jalal Barzanji is widely respected for his outstanding work as a writer and advocate for human rights and freedom of expression. As a journalist, writer, and executive director of art in the Ministry of Culture in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, he endured imprisonment and exile before fleeing to Canada with his family in 1998. An award-winning author of several poetry collections and books including his prison memoir, The Man in Blue Pyjamas, he has been an inspiring contributor to Edmonton’s writing and multicultural communities, including serving as the city’s first writer-in-exile in 2007. A respected volunteer, Barzanji established the Canadian Kurdish Friendship Association to assist newcomers to Edmonton, and works with the Edmonton Multicultural Brokers Cooperative as a mentor and advocate.

Facsimile edition of the manuscript for Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell. Facsimile edition of the manuscript for Nineteen Eighty-Four. Edited by Peter Davison. Preface by Daniel G. Siegel. Weston, MA: M & S Press, 1984.

Facsimile edition of the manuscript for Nineteen Eighty-Four

A facsimile edition of the only known surviving manuscript of any of George Orwell’s books: a preliminary draft version of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Actually published in 1984, this edition gives researchers access to high-quality images of the original manuscript (now housed at Brown University Library), along with an introduction and a transcript. As noted by Peter Davison in his introduction, “despite all the rewriting revealed by this facsimile, it is remarkable how closely what has survived adheres to the main sweep of the narrative of Nineteen Eighty-Four . . . suggesting that the story had been pretty fully formed in Orwell's mind by the time he sat down to write it.” Published in a limited edition of 330 copies, this is #36 of 55 deluxe copies that were bound in blue morocco with black onlays by the Grey Parrot bindery with the infamous “doublethink” slogans of the ruling party in Orwell’s dystopian society on the front cover: “War is Peace–Freedom is Slavery–Ignorance is Strength.”

The Honourable Russell Brown

Justice Russell Brown serves on the Supreme Court of Canada and is a leading jurist and scholar in the legal field. He is the author or co-author of more than 40 published law review articles, book chapters, and essays on tort law, property law, and civil justice. His distinguished career includes serving as a Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta and the Court of Appeal of Alberta, a Judge of the Court of Appeal for the Northwest Territories and a Judge of the Court of Appeal of Nunavut. Brown is a University of Alberta graduate and a former associate dean and professor in U of A's Faculty of Law. 

From Ink Lake edited by Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje (ed). From Ink Lake. Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1990.

From Ink Lake

A signed first edition of an acclaimed collection of short stories selected by Michael Ondaatje from the writings of Canada’s greatest storytellers, including Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Mordecai Richler, Matt Cohen, Dionne Brand, Alistair Macleod, Rohinton Mistry, Stephen Leacock, Mavis Gallant, and many others. From Ink Lake also includes work that is not traditionally included in collections of short fiction such as Grand Chief John P. Kelly's speech to the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment (1977), "We Are All in the Ojibway Circle." Full of traditional and nontraditional tales, diversity and surprise, these writings reveal the geographical, literary, cultural, and emotional range of the country.

Dr Brian Cox

Brian Cox is a professor at the University of Manchester who has worked on particle physics experiments at CERN and other prestigious research centres around the world. An internationally renowned science communicator, he has shared his passion for the universe through several acclaimed BBC documentaries, radio shows, newspaper articles, and public lectures. He has also written or co-written books on the topic that have sold more than a million copies worldwide. His work also earned him the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture as well as the Institute of Physics William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize.

A Set of Mimeographed Press Releases: Summaries of Discoveries Presented to the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, 17-19 November 1947

A Set of Mimeographed Press Releases: Summaries of Discoveries Presented to the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, 17-19 November 1947.

A Set of Mimeographed Press Releases: Summaries of Discoveries Presented to the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, 17-19 November 1947

This extraordinary set of twenty-two mimeographed press releases issued by the National Academy of Sciences in 1947 came from the library of Caltech engineer Theodore von Karman (1881–1963). The set offers preprint summaries of some of the big ideas in American science in the postwar period, and features discoveries by four Nobel laureates: Eugene Wigner's statement on “Relativistic wave equations,” Irving Langmuir on the “Growth of particles in smokes and clouds and the production of snow from super-cooled clouds,” Luis Alvarez et al. on the “Initial performance of a 32 MEV proton linear accelerator,” and Paul Debye (with Arthur M. Bueche) on “Viscosity, sedimentation and diffusion of polymers in solution.”

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The Honourable Eileen Gillese 

Judge Elileen Gillese of the Appeal Court of Ontario has made significant and compassionate contributions that have improved the quality of life for thousands of Canadians, including important rulings on the legalization of same-sex marriage within Canada, and trusts and pension law. From 2017 to 2019, she served as the commissioner for the Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System. An accomplished academic, she is a graduate of University of Alberta and of Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Women, a book of photography by Annie Leibovitz with an essay by Susan Sontag.

Annie Leibovitz. Women. Essay by Susan Sontag. New York: Random House, 1999.

Women

This stunning photography book features over 100 photographs of women from all walks of life, taken by celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz. The portraits encompass a wide variety of professions, from athletes and coal miners to Supreme Court justices and writers. In the introductory essay, Susan Sontag writes: “Each of these pictures must stand on its own. But the ensemble says, so this is what women are now—as different, as varied, as heroic, as forlorn, as conventional, as unconventional as this. … Whether well-known or obscure, each of the nearly one hundred and seventy women in this album will be looked at (especially by other women) as models: models of beauty, models of self-esteem, models of strength, models of transgressiveness, models of victimhood, models of false consciousness, models of successful aging ” (20). This first edition copy of Women is in fine condition, and it is signed by Leibovitz and Sontag. 

Lorne Gladu

The founding chief executive officer of the Rupertsland Institute Métis Centre of Excellence, Lorne Gladu has empowered Métis citizens in Alberta through education, training, and research supports, creating a ripple effect that will have a positive impact on the lives of Métis people for generations to come. Gladu’s perseverance and advocacy resulted in the establishment of the Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research at the University of Alberta, and the Rupertsland Centre for Teaching and Learning, designed to bring Métis foundational knowledge, resources, and professional development opportunities to Alberta teachers. His work in labour market development over the past 25 years led to post-secondary partnerships that helped establish 21 endowments and awards for Métis scholars to pursue higher levels of education across Alberta.

Star Light by Pat Bruderer

Pat Bruderer. Star Light. Birch bark biting artwork.    14.0 x 8.9 cm. 

Star Light

Métis artist Pat Bruderer used traditional Cree methods to create this artwork, which was made by biting shapes into thin pieces of birch bark to form the desired image.  Bruderer’s gallery bio explains why she is so passionate about birch bark biting: “She believes that it has many teachings; patience, respect, kindness, creativity, medicine, imagination and sharing. She believes they are like people, no two are the same and every one of them is special and beautiful in their own way. She strongly believes that aboriginal people should strive to maintain their traditional art forms” (Bearclaw Gallery website). This artwork is the first birch bark biting acquired by Bruce Peel Special Collections, and it represents a fascinating new format for researchers to study and appreciate. 

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Elder Elmer Ghostkeeper

Elmer Ghostkeeper has worked tirelessly over 50 years as a politician, community leader, business person, knowledge keeper, and scholar to promote the rights of Métis peoples in Canada and to build relationships across Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews. His many accomplishments include serving as president of the Alberta Federation of Métis Settlements Association, advocating for inclusion of Métis peoples among the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada in the Canadian Constitution. A holder of two U of A anthropology degrees, he has worked extensively as a consultant to shape national, international and local policy, research, and teaching conversations about how Indigenous knowledge systems and western scientific traditions might work together. 

Down to Earth by Nancy Desjarlais

Nancy Desjarlais. Down to Earth. Mixed media on canvas, 30.5 x 30.5 cm.

Down to Earth

Métis and Cree artist Nancy Desjarlais has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Alberta. According to her gallery bio, she views her artistic practice as a spiritual process of communing with nature: “Familiarity with modern art materials evolved into a series of textural paintings in which she incorporated and moulded sand and paint. Petroglyphic and myth-inspired forms emerged alongside contemplative, meditative symbols. Her images of the sky and stars reveal a cosmic-earth connection rich in spiritual energy. As well, her relationship with the earth runs deep in her work. ‘I want to go beyond separateness. We are part of the earth and the universe. There is so much more than can be revealed through our senses. This is what compels and intrigues me. Finding peace with my past, practicing daily gratitude, loving the earth, communicating a personal vision and travelling with a light heart are my main objectives right now, and art is my vehicle’” (Bearclaw Gallery website). 

Ingrid Kritsch

Ingrid Kritsch is an anthropologist whose work in support of the Gwich’in people has contributed significantly to the documentation, revitalization, and resilience of Gwich’in heritage in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon over the last three decades. An honorary member of the Gwich’in Nation, Kritsch worked alongside Elders and traditional land users on more than 120 research projects, building a rich archive of Gwich’in oral history and traditional knowledge for generations to come. A former University of Alberta graduate student, she was given the Wise Woman Award from the Status of Women Council of the NWT and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Gwindòo Nành’Kak Geenjit Gwich’in Ginjik: More Gwich’in Words About the Land edited by Tamara Lee

Tamara Lee (ed). Gwindòo Nành’Kak Geenjit Gwich’in Ginjik: More Gwich’in Words About the Land. Inuvik: Gwich’in Renewable Resource Board, 2001.

Gwindòo Nành’Kak Geenjit Gwich’in Ginjik

A sort of companion to Gwichya Gwich'in Googwandak: The History and Stories of the Gwichya Gwich'in, selected to celebrate Sarah Jerome’s honorary degree in 2019, this community-published book explores the living landscape that the Gwich’in people call home. It offers details about the life cycle, habitat, and characteristics of many different animals including the lynx, porcupine, eagle, and jack fish, and the roles of these animals in traditional Gwich’in ways of life.

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The Honourable Sheilah Louise Martin

Justice Sheilah Martin, of the Supreme Court of Canada, has had a career as an educator, lawyer, and judge that has been driven by a commitment to equal justice for all. Her work has addressed significant societal issues. As counsel for the Assembly of First Nations, she contributed to the approach that led to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. She served as a judge on the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and on the courts of appeal of Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and as deputy judge for the Supreme Court of Yukon. A University of Alberta graduate and former dean of law at the University of Calgary, Martin has also demonstrated her lifelong commitment to education through her work with a variety of organizations. 

Reconciliation, Transitional and Indigenous Justice edited by Krushil Watene and Eric Palmer

Krushil Watene and Eric Palmer (eds). Reconciliation, Transitional and Indigenous Justice. Routledge, 2020.

Reconciliation, Transitional and Indigenous Justice

A future rare book, this is an edited collection of reflections upon social justice that captures a moment in time, twenty years after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa developed a new paradigm for reconciliation in post-colonial societies and shortly after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded. Indigenous and non-Indigenous voices from several regions of the world are represented in this critical assessment of the prospects for political reconciliation, for transitional justice and for alternative, nascent conceptions of just politics. Contributors discuss the separate politics of Indigenous resurgence, linguistic justice, environmental justice, and the law.

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Rick Mercer

Rick Mercer is a comedian, television personality, political satirist, and author who has made indelible contributions to Canadian culture. A native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, he is best known for his work on the CBC Television programs This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Made in Canada, and Rick Mercer Report. He is the author of four books, all national bestsellers. Mercer has received nearly 30 Gemini Awards and Canadian Screen Awards for his work on television. His CBC Television special Talking to Americans remains the highest-rated Canadian comedy special ever, with 2.7 million viewers. He serves on the board of directors of Historica Canada, an organization dedicated to promoting Canadian history, identity, and citizenship, in part through the series of “Heritage Minute” vignettes. He is a recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime achievement and an officer of the Order of Canada.

The Iron Man and the Tin Woman by Stephen Leacock

Stephen Leacock. The Iron Man and the Tin Woman: A Book of Little Sketches of Today and Tomorrow. London: John Lane, 1929.

The Iron Man and the Tin Woman

Although best known for affectionately mocking small-town Canada (Sunshine Sketches) and for satirising Americans (Arcadian Adventures), Stephen Leacock is remembered for tackling a wide range of topics with disarming humour. This first British edition of a lesser-known Leacock title, complete with a rarely-seen publisher’s dust jacket, will be a valuable addition to the growing Leacock collection housed in Bruce Peel Special Collections. The Iron Man and the Tin Woman features futuristic reflections inspired by scientific developments in the 1920s, including “the invention of the Iron Man, the queer mechanical being recently fabricated” and “called a Robot” (2). Leacock reports that the robot has “a head like a stovepipe and a body like a Quebec heater. He is cased in nickel, jointed in steel, and one kick from his iron foot would scatter a whole football team. In other words, he has us all beaten at the start.” He speculates that “someone will now invent a Tin Woman” and “these are the two beings that are going to replace us individually in the world, to do our work and leave us to play” (2).

Garry Merkel

Garry Merkel is a member of the Tahltan Nation and a professional forester whose work has advanced land stewardship and community empowerment as well as culturally-relevant Indigenous education, governance, and economic independence. Over 40 years, he has been involved in many Indigenous initiatives, creating businesses, schools, land management arrangements, and working relationships with government. A University of Alberta graduate, Merkel chaired the Aboriginal Forestry Education and Training Review, leading to a collaborative national post-secondary approach to improving Indigenous resource management education in Canada.

Direction of the Road by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin. Direction of the Road. Foolscap Press, 2007.

Direction of the Road

This is one of a limited edition (150 copies) of a short story by Ursula K. Le Guin. The story is narrated by an oak tree who, over its long life, has observed human creatures travelling past on foot, later in buggies, and later still in automobiles, going faster and faster. The tree-narrator challenges readers’ perspectives as it reflects on its role in human life: among other things, working hard to keep up the illusion of growing larger as a human approaches and smaller as a human moves away. The story was printed by hand at Foolscap Press on white linen paper, sewn into a binding of green Umbrella paper, and presented in a portfolio box with an original woodcut illustration by Aaron Johnson accompanied by a cylindrical mirror which reflects the image in a way that challenges the viewer’s perspective by giving it movement.

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Sheila O'Kelly

Sheila O’Kelly is an advocate for the sport of triathlon, and her work over the past 20 years has firmly established Edmonton as a leading host in the event. Her skills and dedication as an organizer have resulted in several prestigious events in the city, including three International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Championships, seven World Cups, multiple national and continental championships, and development camps including a prestigious 2004 Olympic Solidarity camp. The World Triathlon organization led by O’Kelly also created significant legacies, including the establishment of the Edmonton Triathlon Academy.

The World Awheel, edited by Volney Streamer and illustrated by Eugene Grivaz

Volney Streamer (editor) and Eugene Grivaz (artist). The World Awheel. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1896. 

The World Awheel

A first edition of an extremely uncommon title, this is a celebration of the bicycle and its role as both a tool and a symbol of changing times in the later decades of the nineteenth century, a time in which young women began to loosen their corsets and modify their skirts in order to be able to participate in a wider range of physical activities. In The World Awheel, a selection of prose and poetry inspired by the cycling craze is highlighted with a series of twelve high-quality chromolithographic plates, reproductions of a series of watercolour paintings of cyclists of various nationalities portrayed in the Gibson Girl style. The images of these stylish cyclists remind us that the close relationship between fashion and propriety was one of the biggest barriers faced by women who wished to take up cycling in its earliest days. Bound in green half cloth and floral printed boards with gilt titles and decorations.

Michael Phair

Michael Phair is a community leader and former public servant who is committed to building a just society that is diverse and welcoming for all. He has served as an elected member of Edmonton City Council, as chair of the U of A Board of Governors and as a volunteer advocating for LGBTQ2S+ rights. His visionary support in numerous leadership and volunteer roles has helped to address local homelessness and poverty, conservation efforts, and neighbourhood revitalization. As an educator, Phair taught students ranging from kindergarten to post-secondary, including at the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta. The Michael Phair Junior High School in Edmonton was named in his honour, and he is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. 

Occupied by Colour by Barbara Hodgson and Claudia Cohen

Barbara Hodgson and Claudia Cohen. Occupied by Colour: Putting the Palette to Work. Vancouver: Heavenly Monkey Editions, 2012. 

Occupied by Colour

This beautiful artist’s book is a collection of essays that explore how colour plays a role in 17 different occupations, from botanical artists to optical physicists. The text is illustrated with colour charts, dye sample cards, hand-coloured illustrations, pigment samplers, and other embellishments using gouache paints, natural dyes, and watercolours. Barbara Hodgson designed the book, Rollin Milroy printed it letterpress in Vancouver, and Claudia Cohen bound each copy in her Seattle atelier. The book is housed in a bright red clamshell box, containing several items used in colour occupations: a hair-colour pamphlet, an equilateral prism, dye-test cards, and a silk ribbon of every colour of the rainbow. This copy is number 3 in an edition of 30. 

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Dr Molly Shoichet

Molly Shoichet is a leading Canadian researcher who has developed breakthrough approaches to treating cancer, stroke, blindness, and spinal cord injuries. Her pioneering work has resulted in more than 650 research papers and patents, and she has co-founded several companies. Actively engaged in translational research, she launched Research2Reality, a national social media campaign to educated the public about the importance of scientific research. She is the only person to be inducted into all three of Canada’s national academies of science, and was awarded the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal, Canada’s top prize in science and engineering.

Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women by Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell. Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women. London: J.M. Dent and Sons, 1914.

Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910) was a pioneer in the history of modern medicine and medical research who is known for being the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. This book is a collection of Blackwell’s letters and diary entries spanning 15 years, from 1844 to 1859, documenting her formative years as both an aspiring and a practicing physician. A diary entry from 1845 (otherwise undated) reflects her firm resolve to pursue medical studies: “I felt more determined than ever to become a physician, and thus place a strong barrier between me and all ordinary marriage. I must have something to engross my thoughts, some object in life which will fill this vacuum and prevent this sad wearing away of the heart.” This copy of the book is attractively bound in full maroon leather with gilt lettering and ornamentation on the front cover and spine.

Douglas Stollery

Doug Stollery is a lawyer, volunteer, and former University of Alberta chancellor who is committed to education, the community, and the development of people locally, nationally, and internationally. His pro bono work on the landmark Supreme Court of Canada case Vriend v Alberta led to the amendment of Alberta’s human rights legislation to include sexual orientation as a protected class. He serves as president of the Stollery Charitable Foundation, helping to build a philanthropic support system for people in need, and has served as president of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Bar Association and as a director of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, CARE Canada, and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Other contributions to post-secondary education include serving as chancellor of St Stephen’s College and on the board of Grant MacEwan College. A U of A Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, he has shared his legal expertise as a lecturer at the university. Stollery is a member of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Declaration of Human Rights by Lauren Emeritz

Lauren Emeritz. Declaration of Human Rights. Washington: Abstract Orange Press, 2020.

Declaration of Human Rights

Designed and printed by Lauren Emeritz, this signed and numbered artist’s book was created as an homage to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. It comprises 31 cardboard sheets that are printed in blue and orange inks with excerpts from all 30 Articles of the Declaration, from “All humans are free & equal” (01) to “No one may deny the rights of others” (30). The set of sheets is housed in a light blue paper chemise with the title printed letterpress in oversized capital letters. This copy is number 10 in an edition of 20 copies.

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Dr David H. Turpin

David Turpin, who served as the 13th president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta from 2015 to 2020, has distinguished himself as a researcher, teacher, and post-secondary leader. He earned a BSc in cell biology and a PhD in botany/oceanography from the University of British Columbia. Turpin began his career as an academic in the 1980s and held academic and leadership positions at Queen’s University and UBC. He was president of the University of Victoria for 13 years before becoming president of the U of A, where he led the university to the most successful years of research funding and philanthropic support in its history. He has also served as chair of the World University Service of Canada and is on the board of CARE Canada. Among his numerous awards and distinctions, he is a member of the Order of Canada and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. London: John Murray, 1861. 

On the Origin of Species

Representing a crowning accomplishment in scientific literature, early editions of Darwin’s seminal book on evolutionary biology are prized collectibles. This third edition copy was published two years after the first edition in a print run of 2000 copies. Notable additions to the third edition include the following sections: Additions and Corrections to the Second and Third Editions; An Historical Sketch on the Recent Progress of Opinion on the Origin of Species; and a Postscript. This copy is bound in the original publisher’s green cloth with gilt lettering and ornamentation on the spine. Its distinctive features include a previous owner’s signature, pencilled annotations on the flyleaf, a bookseller’s ticket, and a bookbinder’s ticket. 

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Dr Brian Wildcat

Brian Wildcat’s life work is shaped by the belief that First Nations schools have a critical role to play in improving Indigenous education. A University of Alberta graduate, Wildcat has been a school superintendent in Maskwacis for 25 years. His leadership and continuing commitment to quality Cree education was instrumental in the recent collaboration needed to build a single, unified school system from four small school authorities in Maskwacis. Hailed as a model for Indigenous education, Maskwacis Education Schools Commission, with Wildcat as superintendent, was launched in 2018 with the vision to foster competent, confident, and resilient Maskwacis Cree-speaking students. Wildcat is a member of Ermineskin Cree Nation and he lives in Maskwacis.

Guidance by Ronnie Simon

Ronnie Simon. Guidance. Acrylic on canvas, 35.5 x 45.8 cm.

Guidance

Self-taught Gwich'in artist Ronnie Simon grew up in Fort McPherson where he started painting at a young age. Portraying animals and birds in their natural habitat, this is an artist who is able to recreate the beauty and strength of the natural world on canvas and whose paintings reveal subtle moments in the lives of his wild subjects, such as the moment of guidance seen here. Simon’s work has been shown at the Great Northern Arts Festival and the Café Gallery in Inuvik and at Edmonton’s Bearclaw and 50th Street Galleries. Simon painted a traditional Gwich’in winter scene for display on a 30-foot satellite dish in Inuvik as part of a series that features several local Indigenous artists.