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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).

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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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.

Copies of the book will be available for sale.

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Visiting Scholar Dr. Barbara Baird’s talk

“Endangering Life: The Raced Politics of Gender in an Australian Case of the Criminalization of Exposure to HIV”

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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