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CFR > Events


Upcoming Events

Scholarship & Cultural Production [A Workshop on Academic Research  and Documentary Film Practices]

Date: Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Time: 12-2pm

Location: 519 Kaneff Tower, Keele Campus, York University

Event Note: RSVP to Julia Pyryeskina at and Lilia Topouzova at by November 30, 2015

Event Summary: 

This interdisciplinary workshop examines the interactions between documentary filmmaking and scholarly inquiry. Participants will scrutinize the ways in which scholarship and film seek to foster an understanding of current political events and historical processes. The workshop comprises brief pre-circulated readings and the screening of selected film sections during our meeting.

Dr. Lilia Topouzova is a historian and an award-winning documentary filmmaker, whose interdisciplinary practice addresses the representation of trauma and forms of remembrances across different historical and contemporary settings. She is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS) at Concordia University. Dr. Topouzova is currently in pre-production of her third film, “Anaanaga: My Mother,” supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Art Council. Workshop participants may elect to have their own projects, be they written or visual, incorporated in the discussion. You may email your project description with your RSVP, or bring it up in the workshop.

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Bottomhood is Powerful [Talk and Video Screening]

Introduced By: Dr. Dai Kojima

Date: Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Time: 2-4pm

Location: 626 Kaneff Tower, Keele Campus, York University

Event Note: RSVP to by November 10th, 2015

Event Summary: 

Introduced by  Dr. Dai Kojima, Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar, CFR

The presentation examines the ways that anal erotics and bottom positioning refract the meanings of race, gender, sexuality, and nationality in Asian/American visual culture.    Dr Hoang argues that “bottomhood” simultaneously enables and constrains Asian American men in moving-image media. Conceived as a sexual position, a social alliance, and an aesthetic form, bottomhood affirms a politics that embraces risk, receptivity, and vulnerability. Gay male video pornography and sex cruising websites constitute case studies. The talk will be supplemented by a short video screening.

Nguyen Tan Hoang  is a videomaker and academic. His videos, including K.I.P, PIRATED!, and Forever Bottom!, have been screened at MoMA, The Getty Center, and The Pompidou Center, and numerous film and media festivals. Hoang’s writings have appeared in Porn Studies, Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, Resolutions 3: Global Networks of Video, and Porn Archives. His book   A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation   was recently published by Duke University Press in the Perverse Modernities series. He is Associate Professor of English & Film Studies at Bryn Mawr College.

This event is co-sponsored by Sexuality Studies program at York University and York Centre for Asian Research.

*This event will count towards seminar requirement for the GFWS program*

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Deleuze and Guattari, Feminism, and Queer Theory [Workshop by reese simpkins]

Date: Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Time: 12-2pm

Location: 626 Kaneff Tower, Keele Campus, York University

Event Note: reese simpkins at and Julia Pyryeskina at by October 28 with a brief explanation about your interest in the topic. Two suggested readings will be provided.

Event Summary: 

Ever wanted to name drop Deleuze and Guattari? Or even incorporate their work into your own? Well, now you can!

In this introductory workshop, we will discuss the basics of Deleuzo-Guattarian theory in an accessible manner, and assess their potential for feminism and queer theory. We will focus on Deleuze and Guattari’s work A Thousand Plateaus, including their discussion of rhizome and becoming. We will also cover topics of embodiment and affect, as well as the political implications of Deleuzo-Guattarian based frameworks.

Already familiar with Deleuze and Guattari?

This workshop is a great chance to come and discuss your ideas, as participants at all levels of familiarity are welcome to have their writing incorporated into the discussion.

reese simpkins received his PhD in Political Science from York University in 2012. His work uses a Deleuzo-Guattarian framework to explore the intra-relation of matter, space, and time within the context of trans*politics.

Co-sponsoredby: Sexuality Studies, York University.

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Working Memory: Women and Work in World War II [Book Launch]

Date: Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Time: 2:30-4:30pm

Location: 305 Founders College, Keele Campus, York University

Event Note: RSVP to by November 3rd, 2015

Event Summary:

Working Memory: Women and Work in World War II speaks to the work women did during the war: the labour of survival, resistance, and collaboration, and the labour of recording, representing, and memorializing these wartime experiences. The contributors follow their subjects’ tracks and deepen our understanding of the experiences from the imprints left behind. These efforts are a part of the making of history, and when the process is as personal as many of our contributors’ research has been, it is also the working of memory. The implication here is that memory is intimate, and that the layering of narrative fragments that recovery involves brings us in touching distance to ourselves.

These are not the stories of the brave little woman at home; they are stories of the woman who calculated the main chance and took up with the Nazi soldier, or who eagerly dropped the apron at the door and picked up a paintbrush, or who brazenly bargained for her life and her mother’s with the most feared of tyrants. These are stories of courage and sometimes of compromise— not the courage of bravado and hype and big guns, but rather the courage of hard choices and sacrifices that make sense of the life given, even when that life seems only madness. Working Memory brings scholarly attention to the roles of women in World War II that have been hidden, masked, undervalued, or forgotten.

Co-sponsored by: Department of Humanities, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies.

*Please note that this event counts towards seminar requirements for the Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies program*

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Recent Events

The Black Social Economy: Banker Ladies and Money Pools in the Americas [A Talk by Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein]

Introduced By: Dr. Alison Crosby

Date: Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Time: 2:30pm-4pm

Location: 626 Kaneff, York University

Event Summary: 

Millions of Black people in the Americas participate in informal banks (or ROSCAs) – money pools managed by women known as “banker ladies”. In her talk, Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein will explain that the banker ladies organize money pools as a form of contestation against the commercialized banking systems, and explore the deliberate nature of the banker ladies’ work in the social economy, and the ways in which women are building socially conscious money systems.

Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein  is an Assistant Professor of Business and Society in the Department of Social Science, and is a CFR Research Associate, as well as an executive member at the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diaspora at York University. Dr. Hossein’s research interest is squarely in the social economy, where she writes on community economic development in urban communities and examines issues of exclusion in business. She has conducted extensive field work in Africa, as well as in the African diaspora in Canada and the Caribbean. She holds a PhD in Political Science and Gender and Women Studies from the University of Toronto, an MPA from Cornell University, an LL.B from the University of Kent at Canterbury and BA from Saint Mary’s University (Halifax). Previously, she was a U.S Fulbright Fellow at the Caribbean Policy and Research Institute and at the University of West Indies-Mona, Jamaica.  Her first book,  Politicized Microfinance: Power, Politics and Violence in the BlackAmericas  is under review with the University of Toronto Press.

This event is co-sponsored by The Harriet Tubman Institute.

*Please note that this event counts towards seminar requirement for the Gender, Feminist, and Women’s*

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Women In/On The Street: From SlutWalks to #StreetHarassment [A Talk by Elisabeth Mercer]

Introduced By: Dr. Sheila Cavanagh

Date: Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Time: 2pm-4pm

Location: 626 Kaneff, York University

Event Summary: 

This presentation offers a critical discourse analysis of the comments and controversies raised by the SlutWalk and the online denunciation of street harassment, in the mainstream media and within the feminist movement. It examines the current issues and tensions surrounding the street as a means of protest as well as an apparatus of sexual control of women’s bodies, at the intersection of new media and social networks.

Elisabeth Mercier is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Université du Québec à Montréal and York University. Her research interests include the cultural and political aspects of gender and sexuality, at the intersection of other axes of social differentiation (class, age, ethnicity).
She’s a collaborator to the Testimonial Cultures project, an action research group working on the use of testimonials as a social and cultural intervention strategy for sexual and gender minorities, sex workers, and people living with HIV/AIDS. Her work has been published in Commposite, Féminétudes, and Heteropolis.

Light refreshments provided.

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Engendering Transnational Voices Studies in Family, Work, and Identity [Book Launch]

Date: Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Time: 3:30pm-4:30pm

Location: Harry Crowe Room, Room 109 Atkinson, York University

Event Summary: 

Conversations with the editors (Guida Man and Rina Cohen) and contributors (Tania Das Gupta, Carl James, Ann Kim, and Leanne Taylor) followed by refreshments and book signing 

 For more information, please contact Julia Pyryeskina

Engendering Transnational Voices examines the transnational practices and identities of immigrant women, youth, and children in an era of global migration and neoliberalism, and addresses such topics as family relations, gender and work, schooling, remittances, cultural identities, caring for children and the elderly, inter- and multi-generational relationships, activism, and refugee determination.

In both theoretical and empirical essays , the contributors explore expressions of power, resistance, agency, and accommodation in relation to the changing concepts of home, family, and citizenship. Specifically, the essays critically analyze transnational experiences, discourses, cultural identities, and social spaces of women, youth, and children who come from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; are either first- or second-generation transmigrants; are considered legal or undocumented; and who enter their adopted country as trafficked workers, domestic workers, skilled professionals, or students.

Guida Man is an associate professor and a member of the Graduate Program in Sociology at York University. She is also a research associate at the York Centre for Feminist Research and the York Centre for Asian Research. Her research intersects im/migration and transnationalisms, families, and women and work in the context of global economic restructuring.

Rina Cohen is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and a member of the Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies at York University. Her areas of interest include diaspora engagement, transnationalisms, immigrant women, the sociology of families, cultural identities, and qualitative research methods.

*Sponsored by York Centre for Feminist Research; York Centre for Asian Research; Centre for Refugee Studies, York University; Centre for Women’s Studies in Education, OISE; and WLU Press | | toll-free 1-866-836-5551 |

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Journey to Find Myself Again [Film Screening]

Producers: Dr Srabani Maitra and Dr. Tania Das Gupta

Date: Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Time: 2:30pm-3:30pm

Location: Harry Crowe Room, Room 109 Atkinson, York University

Event Summary:

Film screening and Q&A with producers Dr Srabani Maitra and Dr. Tania Das Gupta

 For more information, please contact Julia Pyryeskina

Journey to Find Myself Again” is a short documentary film that presents the employment trajectories of three highly educated immigrant women from South Asia.

Looking at the Canadian labour market from their perspective(s) and through a race/gender/class lens, the documentary aims to present how the complex interplay of racial and gendered processes affect immigrant women’s employment trajectories and produce complex relations of domination and subordination.

Dr. Tania Das Gupta is a Professor at the Department of Equity Studies at York University.

Dr. Srabani Maitra received her PhD in Adult Education and Community Development from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She teaches in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Waterloo.

*Sponsored by York Centre for Feminist Research, Department of Equity Studies, York University*

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Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights: Is Canada a Safe Haven? [Asylum Report Launch]

Date: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Time: 9am-12pm

Location: The 519, Ballroom, 2nd Floor – 519 Church St

Event Summary:

Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights is proud to announce the launch of our new report on issues facing LGBT asylum seekers. The report examines the experiences of LGBT refugee claimants and refugees living in the Greater Toronto Area, and the experiences of community service providers who work with them. It offers 37 recommendations for developing policies and improving services. The report will be presented by a panel of members of the Envisioning research team, LGBT refugees and representatives of Envisioning’s community partners.

The question of whether Canada offers a safe haven to refugees is a very timely one. Our report focuses on LGBT asylum seekers; however, it locates their experiences in the context of recent significant immigration and refugee policy changes in Canada.The research is based on focus groups that took place in 2012-2014. Focus groups with 92 asylum seekers were organized by Envisioning’s community partners and four other focus groups were held with service providers.

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Archive, Freedom, History, and the Radical Imagination [Graduate Workshop with Dr. Anthony Bogues]

Introduced By: Dr. Enakshi Dua

Date: Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Time: 1:00-2:30

Location: 626 Kaneff Tower,  Keele Campus, York University

Event Note: RSVP to by August 31st, 2015

Event Summary:

Dr. Anthony Bogues is an ASA Messer Professor of Humanities and Critical Theory, Professor of African and African Diaspora Art and affiliated Professor of Political Science at Brown University, where he is currently the inaugural Director of the Centre for the Study of Slavery and Justice. His scholarly work includes: Empire of Liberty: Power of, Desire, and Freedom; The George Lamming Reader: The Aesthetics of Decolonization; After Man Towards the Human: Critical Essays on Sylvia Wynter; Black Heretics, Black Prophets: Radical Political Intellectuals, and From Revolution in the Tropics to Imagined Landscapes: The Art of Edoudard Duval Carrie.

This is an opportunity for graduate students to discuss Professor Bogue’s work in a workshop setting. An assigned reading will be distributed prior to the workshop. Limited space available.

Co-sponsored by the Graduate Program in Political Science, Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies, CERLAC, Faculty of Environmental Studies, and the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, York University.

Light refreshments served.

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Theorizing Anti-Racism: Linkages in Marxism and Critical Race Theories with co-editors Abigail B. Bakan and Enakshi Dua, and contributors Sedef Arat-Koç, Himani Bannerji, and Anthony Bogues [Book Launch]

Date: Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Time: 2:00-4:00pm

Location: Nexus Lounge, 12th Floor, OISE 252 Bloor St West (at St. George subway station)

Event Summary:

Panel discussion followed by refreshments and book signing
Join us to celebrate the launch of the edited volume, Theorizing Anti-Racism
Panel discussion with Abigail B. Bakan and Enakshi Dua (editors), and
Sedef Arat-Koç, Himani Bannerji and Anthony Bogues (contributors)
From University of Toronto Press:

“Over the last few decades, critical theory which examines issues of race and racism has flourished. However, most of this work falls on one side or the other of a theoretical divide between theory inspired by Marxist approaches to race and racism and that inspired by postcolonial and critical race theory. Driven by the need to move beyond the divide, the contributors to Theorizing Anti-Racism present insightful essays that engage these two intellectual traditions with a focus on clarification and points of convergence. The essays in Theorizing Anti-Racism examine topics which range from reconsiderations of anti-racism in the work of Marx and Foucault to examinations of the relationships among race, class, and the state that integrate both Marxist and critical race theory. Drawing on the most constructive elements of Marxism and postcolonial and critical race theory, this collection constitutes an important contribution to the advancement of anti-racist theory.”

Sponsored by: Department of Social Justice Education (SJE), OISE, University of Toronto; Centre for Feminist Research (CFR), York University; and UofT Press.

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Violent Intimacies: Transgender Embodiment, Law, and the State in Contemporary Turkey [A Talk by Dr. Asli Zengin]

Introduced By: Dr. Allyson Mitchell

Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Location: 519 Kaneff Tower,  Keele Campus, York University

Event Note: RSVP to

Event Summary:

In Turkey, there is little institutional room for ambiguous or ambivalent sex and gender. The state is active in producing and deploying medico-legal projects that constantly strive to disambiguate the ambiguously sexed and gendered bodies, and recruit them as unambiguous heteronormative national subjects. In her talk, Dr. Zengin will focus on how the dominant categories of sex and gender gain definition through the formation of violent intimacies and proximities between the Turkish state and transgender people.

Dr. Zengin’s research interests include the body, gender, sexuality, queer theory, anthropology of law, medical anthropology, the state, violence, and contemporary   issue in the Middle East with a special focus on Turkey.

This event is co-sponsored by The Centre for Feminist Research and Sexuality Studies at York University.

Light refreshments served.

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‘Has September 11, 2001 Changed the World for Women?’ [A Talk and Presentation by Dr. Bronwyn Winter]

Introduced by: Dr. Haideh Moghissi

Date: Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Time: 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Location: 280N York Lanes, Keele Campus, York University

Event Note: RSVP to by November 19, 2014

Event Summary:

Dr. Winter will engage us in a presentation about various questions which form the basis of her forthcoming book that addresses critical questions about our post-9/11 world. Questions such as the following will be considered: Which ‘world’ did 9/11 change? How do we define ‘the world’ anyway? What about the women in this shaken ‘world’? These and other questions helped Dr. Winter to consider the effects of 9/11 politics at sites that are not always included in post-9/11 analyses; that is, sites that are not the US, Afghanistan, Iraq or Israel/Palestine.

This event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Feminist Research and the Department of Equity Studies at York University.

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The Centre for Feminist Research Presents “Private Dancer” [A Performance and Talk]

Work by: Andil Gosine and Melissa Laveaux

Date: Monday, November 24, 2014

Time: 2:30 pm to 4.30 pm

Location: Founders Assembly Hall

Event Note: RSVP to

Event Summary:

Andil Gosine and Melissa Laveaux share their collaborative practice and exploration of creolité in this prose and music performance and talk hosted by the Centre for Feminist Research. Haitian-Canadian, Paris-based singer-songwriter Laveaux will perform music from her debut and sophomore albums that draw on queer and feminist themes, as well as from her work with Gosine considers intimate legacies of historical experiences of traumatic migration of Caribbean peoples—and which references Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer.”

Andil Gosine is Associate Professor of Sociology at York University, and an artist.  His latest video work “BATHWATER A Sur Rodney (Sur) Story” recently premiered at the New York Mix Festival, and his forthcoming publications include “Rescue and Real Love: Same Sex Desire in International Development,” published as a 10-year reflection on his work in the area, by the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex).

Melissa Laveaux is an acclaimed Haitian-Canadian singer-song writer who lives in Paris, France, where she is signed to the label No Format. Her first two albums, Camphor and Copper and Dying Is A Wild Night combine folk, indie pop and her signature percussive finger-style blues guitar for a style that is both sophisticated and sweet.  Her most recent hits include “Triggers,” “Generous Bones” and “Postman.”  She is currently at work on her third album for No Format.

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Crossroads Community and Environmental Art Workshop & the Centre for Feminist Research present: Invoking the Goddess [Panel Discussion (“The Creative Arts as Pedagogy”)]

Date, Time & Location:

Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014:

  • 140 HNES (Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies, Rm. 140)
  • 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm


  • Malathi de Alwis, Shahrzad Mojab (OISE/University of Toronto);
  • Honor Ford-Smith (York University);
  • Rachel Gorman (York University); and
  • Nayani Thiyagarajah (York University)

Facilitated by:

  • Alison Crosby (York University)

Event Summary:
The panel The Creative Arts as Pedagogy: A Transnational Feminist Dialogue will bring together Malathi de Alwis, Shahrzad Mojab (OISE/U of T), Honor Ford-Smith (York), Rachel Gorman (York) and Nayani Thiyagarajah (York), to engage in a conversation facilitated by Alison Crosby (York) on how they draw on the creative arts to think through their research, politics and the everyday.  Panelists will engage with a variety of questions, including “How can the arts create transnational feminist conversations that teach the irreconcilable, the unsettling, the intersecting and parallel lived experiences across and within nations, states, histories and politics?”

This event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Refugee Studies, the York Centre for Asian Research, the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LA&PS), and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (VPRI).

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Crossroads Community and Environmental Art Workshop & the Centre for Feminist Research present: Invoking the Goddess [Photography Exhibition Launch & Viewing]

Work by: Dr. Malathi de Alwis and Sharni Jayawardena

Photography Exhibition Launch & Introductory Talk by Dr. Malathi de Alwis:

Monday, Nov 3, 2014:

  • 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Exhibition launch, introductory talk & reception
  • Crossroads Gallery, 281 HNES (Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies, Rm. 281)

Photography Exhibition Viewing:

Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014 to Thursday, November 6, 2014 (see times below)

Event Summary:

The Invoking the Goddess exhibit combines the photographs of award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer Sharni Jayawardena, and explanatory texts by sociocultural anthropologist Dr. Malathi de Alwis.  The exhibit focuses on the goddess Kannaki-Pattini, an inspiring example of Hindu-Buddhist syncretism in Sri Lanka.   In a context where Sri Lanka is slowly emerging from three decades of civil war and attempting to stitch together a social fabric tragically torn apart by ethno-nationalisms, it is timely to reflect on such a shared history of beliefs and traditions.  For more information, please refer to the website:

On November 3rd, from 3:00-5:00 pm, Dr. de Alwis will give an introductory talk at the exhibition opening, which will be followed by a reception.

The exhibition will then be open to the York community and the general public as follows:

  • Tuesday Nov. 4th, 11:00 am-7:00 pm (de Alwis will be available at the exhibit from 5:00-7:00pm);
  • Wednesday Nov. 5th, 11:00 am-3:00 pm (de Alwis will be available 11:30-2:30 pm); and
  • Thursday Nov. 6th, 11:00 am-5:00 pm.

These events are co-sponsored by the Centre for Refugee Studies, the York Centre for Asian Research, the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LA&PS), and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (VPRI).

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Trans/acting Culture,Writing, and Memory: Essays in Honour of Barbara Godard [Book Launch]

Book Editors:

Eva C. Karpinski, Jennifer Henderson, Ian Sowton, and Ray Ellenwood

Date, Time & Location:

Tuesday, October 21: 3:00 – 5:00 pm, 280N York Lanes

Refreshments served. Please RSVP to this event by emailing

Trans/acting Culture, Writing, and Memory is a collection of essays written in honour of Barbara Godard, one of the most original and wide-ranging literary critics, theorists, teachers, translators, and public intellectuals Canada has ever produced. The contributors, both established and emerging scholars, extend Godard’s work through engagements with her published texts in the spirit of creative interchange and intergenerational relay of ideas. Their essays resonate with Godard’s innovative scholarship, situated at the intersection of such fields as literary studies, cultural studies, translation studies, feminist theory, arts criticism, social activism, institutional analysis, and public memory. In pursuit of unexpected linkages and connections, the essays venture beyond generic and disciplinary borders, zeroing in on Godard’s transdisciplinary practice which has been extremely influential in the way it framed questions and modelled interventions for the study of Canadian, Québécois, and Acadian literatures and cultures. The authors work with the materials ranging from Canadian government policies and documents to publications concerning white-supremacist organizations in Southern Ontario, online materials from a Toronto-based transgender arts festival, a photographic mural installation commemorating the Montreal Massacre, and the works of such writers and artists as Marie Clements, Nicole Brossard, France Daigle, Nancy Huston, Yvette Nolan, Gail Scott, Denise Desautels, Louise Warren, Rebecca Belmore, Vera Frenkel, Robert Lepage, and Janet Cardiff.

Introduced by:

Dr Eva C. Karpinski teaches feminist theory and autobiography in the School of Women’s Studies at York University.

Dr Ray Ellenwood retired from York University in 2005 but is still actively researching and publishing.

Dr Himani Bannerji teaches in the areas of anti-racist feminism, Marxist cultural theories, gender, colonialism and imperialism.

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“Endangering Life: The Raced Politics of Gender in an Australian Case of the Criminalization of Exposure to HIV” [A Talk and Presentation by Visiting Scholar, Dr. Barbara Baird]

Introduced by Professor David Murray

Wednesday, October 8, 2014: 3:00-5:00 pm, 280N York Lanes

Please RSVP to this event by emailing

Refreshments provided.

This paper tells a story of the criminalisation of exposure to HIV in recent times in Australia. It concerns John Chan, an Australian citizen of Sudanese background living in Adelaide, South Australia. Mr Chan came to Australia as a refugee in 1999. In 2004 he was diagnosed with HIV and, after first coming to the attention of the South Australian Health Department authorities, in 2009 he was arrested on a charge of ‘Endangering Life’ for having unprotected (consensual) sex with three women and thus exposing them to the virus. In mid 2011 he was sentenced to five and a half years in gaol. The paper uses John Chan’s story as a case study through which to analyse some aspects of contemporary gender relations in Australia. Its focus is on the position of white women in a cultural and political environment characterised by both conservative and neo-liberal discourses of gender and sexuality.

Barbara Baird is an Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at Flinders University in South Australia. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research at York. Her research focuses on histories and cultural politics of sexuality and reproduction in contemporary Australia, with particular attention to their shaping by discourses of race and national identity. She is particularly interested in the politics of abortion and is currently embarking on a cultural history of the provision of abortion services in Australia since 1990. She is also part of a collaborative project to historicise sexual citizenship in Australia. Her work is widely published in journals of history and gender and sexuality studies.

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