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Celebrating 30 years of the annual Hopper Lecture

On October 19, 2023, the University of Guelph and IDRC will mark a special milestone as international development practitioners and thinkers gather for the 30th annual Hopper Lecture.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson leans against a blue wooden wall.
Nadya Kwandibens
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson gives the 30th anniversary Hopper Lecture at the University of Guelph.

The Hopper Lecture was founded in honour of IDRC’s first president, David Hopper. Hopper received his first-ever academic appointment at the University of Guelph in 1957 as Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics. The Hopper Lecture was created through an endowment from IDRC to the University of Guelph in 1993, providing an opportunity to address some of the most pressing issues in international development each year through a free public event.   

On September 21, 1993, Vandana Shiva addressed guests at the University of Guelph for the first annual Hopper Lecture with a presentation on understanding threats to biological and cultural diversity. Since then, renowned scholars from Canada and around the world have been invited to the University of Guelph and an additional Canadian university each year to share their work and inspire discussion on world-leading international development research.  

This year, guests will join Leanne Betasamosake Simpson for Theories of Water: Using Michi Saagiig Nishnaabe consciousness to dismantle the present moment. This reflection on what it means to listen to and believe in water takes inspiration from the works of Anishinaabekwe artist Rebecca Belmore and Canadian poet Dionne Brand. The hybrid lecture aims to challenge the systems of colonialism that have contributed to the world’s current climate and humanitarian crises. Betasamosake Simpson will deliver the second Hopper lecture at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, in January 2024. 

For 30 years, the annual Hopper Lecture has recognized a special piece of IDRC’s history while creating new partnerships and possibilities for the future of international development. The event has now grown to offer hybrid participation, allowing for an even wider audience and impact.   

Learn more about the Hopper Lecture and register today for Theories of Water.