Where to get a free education in Vancouver

581125_10151263830296759_1732833805_nWhile Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia are two of the city’s best-known schools, there’s a little-known place of learning that’s been attracting scholars, academics and people who are interested in challenging their minds. Every Monday since February, the Or Gallery has been host to The Free School, a free lecture and discussion series organized by two PhD students.

Dan Adleman and Am Johal started the pilot project, which is also called the Vancouver Institute for Social Research, as a way to provide the city with a critical theory school where anyone can sit in and listen to academics speak on a variety of issues. So far, seminars have included topics like Introduction to Jacques Lacan and Kant’s Conflict of the Faculties

When the organizers approached professors from both UBC and SFU, everyone jumped at the chance to take part. And so far, every event has reached capacity.

Although the pair had offers from universities who wanted to be associated with the series, Adleman and Johal felt it was important to find a space that was between SFU and UBC, which was easy to access.

“It was important to us that we create a gathering basin that was centrally located for a lot of people who aren’t necessarily academics,” says Adleman.

So far, they’ve managed to attract a “rare cross section of Vancouver”.

Not unlike a university class, the series has assigned readings that participants are encouraged to take in before the lecture. They can be found on the event’s website and Facebook page.

There are two lectures left in this series, before it picks up again in the fall. On Monday, March 25th Thomas Kemple will be discussing “History of Sexuality”.

On April 1st, Randy Lee Cutler will lead the lecture” Crystal Worlds – Between a Virtual and a Hard Place”.

Or Gallery is located at 555 Hamilton St.

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