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Compromised Brides: examining the links between Neoliberalism in India and cross-region marriages

with Reena Kukreja, Film Studies, Queen’s University

Monday, April 7th, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm 626 Kaneff Tower, York University

Bride deficit in North India from mid 1990s has led bachelors ‘source’ wives from economically marginalised provinces of India. Current scholarship in India views these non-customary ‘cross-region’ marriages as a epiphenomenon of changes in marriage practices leading to national ‘assimilation’ and caste ‘integration’. This talk will instead frame these marriages within contemporary material economy in India, in particular, the adoption of neoliberal reforms from early 1990s onwards that have created the enabling push and pull factors for these alliances. ‘Accumulation by dispossession’ under current capitalist expansion in India that includes land grabs and expropriation of agricultural land has led to large scale evictions, dispossession and displacement of rural families. Unsurprisingly, majority of cross-region brides hail from regions that have witnessed large-scale dispossession.  On the other hand, in North India, the accumulative process that involves land deals and real estate speculation has led to the emergence of land-rich caste groups of Jats and Yadavs as rural elites. These very asset-rich ‘new’ elite caste groups have, both, high rates of female deficit and high percentage of ‘sourced’ cross-region brides. The talk will argue that predatory market growth in India has led to hyper-commodification of the female body; increased their vulnerability to new forms of gender-based violence; and compromised them into ‘voluntarily’ entering into long distance non-customary marriages with North Indian men.

About the Speaker:
Reena Kukreja divides time between filmmaking and research in India and Canada. As an independent documentary film-maker, she has been making films over the last 25 years on women’s issues and child labor, amongst others. Her documentaries, over 50, have been used as tools for grassroots activism and have been also screened extensively in film festivals around the world.

Apart from filmmaking, Reena is also teaches in the Departments of Film and Media Studies at Queen’s University and in the Centre for Conflict and Peace, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Currently she is also pursuing a PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. Her present research examines the link between cross-region marriages, neoliberal capitalism and new forms of gender subordination in India.

The event is free. Refreshments will be provided.

To register, please RSVP to

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Trans Toronto: Reflections on the Practice of Oral History

Co-Sponsored by the Department of Psychology and the Centre for Feminist Research

Darryl B. Hill

Friday, March 28th, 10 am, BSB 163, York University

Traditional oral history is a method that records life stories, told by the storyteller in their own words. More modern oral historians often use theory and perspective to interpret the life stories, framed by cultural and historical context, and sensitive to the needs of narrators, often taking precautions to avoid misrepresentation and exploitation. It is difficult to authentically represent the complexity of a person’s life, but oral history promises to capture complexity and paradoxes in life, providing psychologically valuable and interesting data, especially for those who are oppressed or marginalized in society. Feminist oral histories, for instance, collect stories on gender with an eye toward those who are disadvantaged by gender. This paper reflects on the potentials and problems of feminist oral history practice in a study with Toronto’s trans community called Trans Toronto: An Oral History (Hill, 2012). The focus will be on themes related to: problems in the truth and authenticity of life stories, researcher appropriation and representation of other people’s stories, how to deal with memory and storytelling problems, and the role of new technologies in oral history. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of positions and solutions for the challenges posed by the practice of modern oral history.

Dr. Hill is a Canadian-American Associate Professor in Psychology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York where he teaches and researches the psychology of sex and gender and the history and philosophy of psychology.

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Centre for Refugee Studies & Centre for Feminist Research  invite you to join us on

THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  519 Kaneff Tower, York University

Alison Crosby, Associate Professor, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, York University
Malathi de Alwis, Independent Scholar, Open University, Colombo, Sri Lanka


‘The Inhabitance of Loss: A Transnational Feminist Dialogue on Memorialization’

Ena Dua, Director, Centre for Feminist Research;
Associate Professor, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, York University

In this talk, de Alwis and Crosby discuss the beginnings of a new collaborative research project that uses a transnational feminist lens to examine memorialization practices in Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Both countries have endured decades of armed conflict that have had and will continue to have devastating effects on generations. How these wars are remembered and memorialized—through such devices as memorials, monuments, tombstones, archives, photographs, murals and art installations—are sites of constant contestation and anxiety. Memorialization practices are embedded in postwar relationships between and among individuals, communities and the state that are fraught and fractured, and laced with grief and anger about the lived experiences of violence and loss, victory and defeat. The talk will explore how memorialization practices present an opportunity for survivors to (re)inhabit loss, and to mobilize grief to create new forms of political community within and across national borders.

This event is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

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HIV and AIDS Knowledge and Stigma in Guyana

Professor Prem Misir’s International Book Tour 2014
York University in collaboration with Sexuality Studies Program and Centre for Feminist Research

Tuesday, March 25, 2:30 – 4:30 pm
Founders College, Room 305, York Keele Campus, Toronto


About the book:
This cross-sectional study used a purposive sample of 379 high school students from fifteen urban and rural high schools in Guyana and assessed their HIV and AIDS knowledge and stigma-related attitudes, and the relationships among gender, age, religion, and race/ethnicity and HIV and AIDS knowledge. Most of the high school students displayed an overall moderate level of HIV and AIDS knowledge. The students understood the modes of HIV transmission; they recognized the symptoms of HIV and AIDS; nearly half of them believed that a blood donor was at risk of contracting HIV; and about one-fifth of the students embraced myths and misconceptions surrounding HIV and AIDS.
There was no statistically significant difference in the knowledge scores of male and  female students. Knowledge scores, nevertheless, differed significantly between the 13 to 15 and 16 to 18 age groups, and among the religious and ethnic groups.
Stigma-related attitude scores did not differ significantly for gender and age, but differed significantly for religion and ethnicity among students. The study showed fissures in HIV/AIDS knowledge and substantial stigma-related attitudes. Limited understanding of the myths and misconceptions of HIV and AIDS demands a new focus on how HIV is not transmitted through moving beyond conventional

About the author:
Professor Prem Misir is the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, and Professor in Public Health at the University of Central Lancashire in England. In addition, he is with the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Guyana, teaching Research Methodology and Biostatistics. He was also Visiting Professor at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, and Anton de Kom University of Suriname.
Professor Prem Misir is the holder of the Ph.D (University of Hull, England); MPH (University of Manchester, England); M.Phil (University of Surrey, England); and B.S.Sc. (Honours) (Queen’s University of Belfast, United Kingdom); FRSPH and Postdoctoral program in Public Health (Columbia University, New York).

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Noel Sturgeon,

Dean, Faculty of Environmental Studies

cordially invites you to the

Koerner Speaker Series in Neotropical Conservation

featuring Judy Baca in association with the York University Community Art Practice

Join us for an evening discussion on

Excavating Land and Memory Through Public Art with

Judy Baca,

world renowned moralist

Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 6-8 p.m.

Robert McEwan Auditorium

Schulich School of Business

York University, 4700 Keele Street

RSVP by March 4, 2014


Reception to follow the lecture

You can rsvp to or visit

If you are not already familiar with the work of Judy Baca, I excerpt this excellent summary of her approach:

“Baca is at the top of a distinguished list of artist creators.  What sets her apart from many other artists is an inspired ability to teach and a creative pursuit of relevancy in developing educational and community based art methodologies. Through a lifetime of achievement, Baca has stood for art in service of equity for all people.  She is a lesson for us on the integration of one’s ethics with creative expression, never compromising and never flagging in her devotion to a practice that is committed to public education for all and to pedagogical process for its participants.”

“Baca is a world-renowned painter and muralist, community arts pioneer, scholar and educator who has been teaching art in the UC system for over 28 years (15 years at UCLA Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o Studies). She was the founder of the first City of Los Angeles Mural Program in 1974, which evolved into a community arts organization known as the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) which was has been creating sites of public memory since 1976. She continues to serve as its artistic director and focuses her creative energy in the UCLA/SPARC Cesar Chavez Digital Mural Lab, employing digital technology to co-create collaborative mural designs.”

For more information on Baca, see and

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You are invited to the ACE Seminar Series event.

Everyone welcome.

Health, Disablement, Environmental Racism and State Violence 

Date: March 11th
Time:  2:30-4:00pm
Location: Room 140,  Health, Nursing, Environmental Studies Building (HNES)
This venue is wheelchair accessible.
Accessible and gender neutral washrooms are located on the same floor.
ASL interpretation will be provided.

Participants: Kim Abis, Rachel Gorman, Nadia Kanani  and Krysta Williams
Opening prayer by Laureen Blu Waters
Chair: Jin Haritaworn (FES)
Organizers: Nadia Kanani and Accessibility, Community and Equity (ACE)

Disability is rarely treated as an important issue in environmental studies. Yet, resource extraction and other forms of environmental violence are clearly disabling. They must further be understood in conjunction with settler colonialism and imperialism, and the regimes of exploitation and dispossession that have arisen in their architectures. This seminar places into conversation key themes including health, disability, disablement, environmental racism, state violence and reproductive justice.

Kim Abis is a member of the Revolutionary Student Movement. Kim will discuss disaster imperialism, climate injustice, disablement and anti-imperialist/anti-capitalist responses in the context of Philippines.

Rachel Gorman is an Assistant Professor in the Critical Disability Studies program at York. Rachel will discuss mental health campaigns, climates of distress, and paramilitary terror.

Krysta Williams is the Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator at the Native Youth Sexual Health Network. Krysta will discuss the Native Youth Sexual Health Network’s organizing around Line 9, environmental violence, and reproductive justice.

Nadia Kanani is a student in the graduate program in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, and community organizer. Nadia will introduce the panel conversation and will discuss state violence, histories of migrant labour and disablement.

Sponsored by: CUPE 3903 and the  York University Accessibility Fund.

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International Women’s Day Ceremonies with MP Olivia Chow

Please join the CFR and the York community at the York University International Women’s Day Ceremonies tomorrow. MP Olivia Chow will be in attendance for the celebration.

The celebration will take place Thursday, March 6, from 12:30 to 2:30pm in the Senate Chambers, 940N Ross Building, Keele campus. Refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The event is co-sponsored by Osgoode Hall Law School, the Centre for Refugee Studies, the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode, the School of Public Policy & Administration, McLaughlin College, the Centre for Human   Rights, the Department of Political Science, York Centre for Public Policy & Law and the York Centre for Feminist Research.

To RSVP, contact Lorraine Myrie at 416-736-2100 ext. 33825 or

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The U.S. Studies Program invites you to:

“Perverted Justice: (Homo)Sexuality and Female Juvenile Delinquency in U.S. Popular Culture, 1920-1940″

Anastasia Jones
6 March 2014
Vari Hall 2183

Anastasia Jones is a Toronto-based historian who earned her B.A. at Concordia in 2006 and her Ph.D. at Yale in 2013. In 2009, she designed a web exhibition on lesbian pulp fiction for the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale. In 2010 she was a recipient of the John Money Fellowship for Scholars of Sexology at the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Indiana. Her 2013 dissertation is titled “‘She’s Like That’: Female Same-Sex Intimacy and the Growth of Modern Sexual Categories in the U.S., 1920-1940.” She is currently working with the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Berkshire Conference on Women’s History.

This event is cosponsored by the Centre for Feminist Research; the Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies; the Graduate Program in History; the History Department (LAPS); and the School of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.


Centre for Feminist Research Public Lecture Series

trans* politics, trans* materialities: producing space/time
reese simpkins

Tuesday, March 4 2:30 Public Lecture Vari Hall 3006

What is the relationship between trans*, politics, and the material? How do trans* embodiments produce time and space? How does trans* produce new frameworks for politics?
Situating the argument in the context of the shift from trans to trans‐/trans*, simpkins theorizes trans* outside the normative boundaries of subjectivity and identity/identification. He argues that trans* both produces and is a product of creative evolution, where individually embodied, biological processes of self‐organization at the cellular level are linked directly to self‐organizing processes at the socio‐political level. Here, trans* politics take place not in terms of identities/identification or subjectivity, but in terms of a fundamental politics of materiality that generates both space and time.

About reese simpkins

reese simpkins is a Visiting Scholar at the CFR and in the Sexuality Studies Program. His PhD is in Political Science (York University 2012) and his book, trans* matters, trans* assemblages: becoming and politics, based on his dissertation is forthcoming. His current research project is “trans* selforganizing (autopoiesis): material embodiment and the production of space/time.”

Please send your RSVP to Vivian Lee, CFR Coordinator, at
The event is free.

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Women in the Niqab Speak: A Study of the Niqab in Canada

Friday, 28 February 2014 | 2 to 4pm | Executive Dining Room, Schulich School of Business, York University

This study from the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, is the first study to give voice to Muslim women in Canada who wear the niqab. Conducted by Dr. Lynda Clarke and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the results are based on 129 responses to a survey, focus groups and personal interviews with women who wear the niqab.


Alia Hogben, Executive Director of Canadian Council of Muslim Women
Dr. Lynda Clarke, Associate Professor of Religion and Islam, Concordia University


Hulya Arik, PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography, York University
Roshan A. Jahangeer, PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science, York University

All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

This event is hosted by the York Centre for Asian Research and the Centre for Feminist Research. For more information:

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As part of its on-going Equity Seminar Series, the Faculty of Environmental Studies and  Accessibility, Community and Equity@York  proudly present:

Troubling Territories:  Poetics, politics and the queerness of place

A lecture & dialogue on racialized geographies, visual and performance art, and activism


Professor Katherine McKittrick

Gender Studies, Queen’s University

who will present a talk titled

 On Recursive Racial Codes and the Poetics of Black Science 


TUESDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2014   12:45p – 2:30p

Health, Nursing, Environmental Studies Building (HNES)  Room 140

York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario

*** ASL interpretation will be provided ***

*** The venue is wheelchair accessible. ***

Professor McKittrick’s talk will be followed by responses from   Farrah Miranda (Migrant Justice activist, artist and MES candidate) and  Camille Turner , Performance Artist and Adjunct faculty, New College, University of Toronto.

This event is presented with the generous support of the Centre for Feminist Research,  Graduate Program in Gender Feminist and Women’s Studies,  the City Institute at York University, and the Departments of Geography and Sociology.

Katherine McKittrick is Associate Professor in Gender Studies at Queen. She researches and teaches in the areas of black studies, anti-colonial studies, cultural geographies and gender studies. Her research is interdisciplinary and attends to the links between epistemological narrative, social justice, and creative texts. Her forthcoming monograph,  Dear Science, supported in part by a SSHRC Insight Grant, will look at the promise of science in black poetry, music, and visual art. Part of her ongoing research program is on the writings of  Sylvia Wynter. She is also editor at  Antipode.

Paul Bailey, MES Candidate,
Honor Ford-Smith, FES,
Darren Patrick, PhD candidate, FES <



Disputing Gender: Evolutionary Psychologists and their Feminist Critics in Public Controversies on Gender Inequalities 

Wednesday, February 12, 1:00-3:00pm

Kaneff Tower 626

Nora Ruck, Visiting Scholar from the Sigmund Freud Private University Vienna

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Psychology


Biological theories of gender differences have gained momentum in both the sciences and public discourse over the last two decades. Evolutionary psychology, in particular, has been so ubiquitously applied to every controversial and hot topic that it stirs debates in the cocktail circuit and academic halls alike. Ruck will analyze some of the major controversies that have revolved around evolutionary psychological gender theories in U.S. media, focusing on the main opposition between evolutionary psychologists and feminists and its media portrayal. She will reconstruct the discursive frameworks guiding these debates and contextualize them within transformations of the social order.

About Nora Ruck:
Nora Ruck is a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research, the History and Theory of Psychology Program, and the Institute for Science and Technology Studies at York University as EC Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellow. She is a psychologist specializing in the feminist critique of science.  

Please send your RSVP to Vivian Lee, CFR Coordinator, at

The event is free. Refreshment will be provided.


Save the Date! The next CFR Public Lecture is scheduled for:

 Tuesday, March 4, 2:30-4:30pm with CFR and Sexuality Studies Visiting Scholar reese simpkins

Please stay tuned for more details.

We look forward to seeing you at our first of the public lecture series next Monday. Please send your RSVP to Vivian Lee, CFR Coordinator, at

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Seminar Series- Che Gossett, Rio Rodriguez and Syrus Marcus Ware- Queering Urban Justice, York University, January 21, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm.

Seminar Series- Che Gossett, Rio Rodriguez and Syrus Marcus Ware- Queering Urban Justice, York University, January 21, 2014

2.30-4pm, York, Faculty of Environmental Studies, HNES 140

The Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) annual Equity Seminar Series is launched this time with a panel on race, sexuality and the city. Queer of colour and other intersectional approaches are often missing from dominant accounts of the city, yet they are essential in understanding who pays for and who benefits from urban development. The speakers are activist scholars who have been part of struggles against gentrification, police violence, racism, disablism, classism and transphobia in the criminal justice system, and queer and trans of colour community building in cities like Toronto, Berlin and Philadelphia.

Che Gossett is a black gender queer and femme fabulous writer and activist. They are a contributor to Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (eds. Nat Smith and Eric Stanley) and The Transgender Studies Reader v. II (eds. Aren Azuira and Susan Stryker). This past summer they had the honor of being part of a phenomenal delegation of archivists and librarians to Palestine. They are currently working on a biography of queer Japanese American AIDS activist, Kiyoshi Kuromiya.

Río Rodríguez is a Toronto-based Latin@ queer educator who believes in the power of art and culture to empower our queer, trans and POC communities. Río is a border-crosser, hails from the Dominican Republic, and has been doing radical community-based education on everything from the prison-industrial complex, free post-secondary education to queer empowerment for over 10 years. Río has recently developed engaging curriculum for OUTWords, an award-winning 6 month long arts and leadership program for LGBTQ2SIA spectrum young people. This curriculum empowers young queer people with the tools to go far beyond simple “tolerance”, and begin to understand the cultural and historical roots of homophobia and transphobia, practice self-care and self-love, and create meaningful art and expression for social change. Today, Río is a UofT Student, is hosting radical queer history tours of Toronto’s Church-Wellesley village, and is also busy exploring the possibilities and limitations of queer liberation through community based urban education.

Syrus Marcus Ware is a black, disabled and queer visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. He is a prison abolitionist. Syrus worked for a few years at PASAN, and while there helped to write Responding to the Epidemic Recommendations for a Canadian Hepatitis C Strategy. He is a former member of Friends of MOVE Toronto, and is one of the organizers of Toronto’s Prisoners’ Justice Day events. Syrus is a member of the Gay/Bi Trans Men’s HIV Prevention Working Group for the Ontario AIDS Bureau and one of the creators of “Primed: A Back Pocket Guide for Trans Guys and the Guys Who Dig ‘Em”, the first sexual health resource for trans MSMs in North America. Syrus’ chapter in Who’s Your Daddy?: And Other Writings on Queer Parenting (Sumach Press, 2008) entitled, “Going Boldly Where Few Men Have Gone Before: One Trans Man’s Experience of Fertility Clinics” and his co-authored chapter, “How Disability Studies Stays White and What Kind of White it Stays” are part of curricula at several colleges and universities. He is currently co-editing a book chapter (with Zack Marshall) about disability, Deaf culture and trans identities in the forthcoming Trans Bodies, Trans Selves (2013).

Chair: Jin Haritaworn
Co-organizers: Ronak Ghorbani and ACE (Accessibility, Community and Equity at FES). ACE is a student-led space that was launched in 2011 to build discussion, awareness, and action around issues of equity, diversity and social and environmental justice at FES and beyond. 
Co-sponsor: OPIRG York 

The venue is wheelchair accessible. Sadly we weren’t successful in raising funds for ASL interpretation for this event but we are hopeful for the rest of the series.

View Event Poster Queering Urban Justice


LGBT Rights in India: The Naz Foundation case in the Indian courts, Panel presentation, Monday, January 27, 12:30 – 2:30 pm

LGBT Rights in India:

The Naz Foundation case in the Indian courts

Panel presentation

Monday, January 27, 12:30 – 2:30 pm

Osgoode Hall Law School (Ignat Kaneff Building), York University

 Room 1001, 1st floor. Wheelchair accessible.


On December 10, 2013, the Indian Supreme Court upheld a colonial-era criminal law, Section 377 of the Penal Code, which serves to criminalize homosexuality.
The Supreme Court overturned the historic “Naz” decision of the Delhi High Court, which had struck down Section 377 in 2009. That far-reaching judgment had upheld LGBT equality under the constitution. It was hailed in India as a landmark in equality litigation, and celebrated by activists in other countries as a model for constitutional challenges.


Andrew Pinto will provide a summary of the Supreme Court 2013 Kaushal v Naz ruling. He will compare the constitutional arguments in Kaushal v Naz with those of the 2009 Delhi High Court ruling Naz Foundation v Union of India and others. Andrew Pinto is a partner at Pinto Wray James LLP.

 Vivek Divan will speak about the ‘back story’ of the Naz case – its origins, the context within which it was filed, the strategies considered, parallel processes, and community mobilization. He will discuss the implications of this history and the judgments of 2009 and 2013. This will include an overview of critiques and debates that were generated within LGBT activism in India on the Naz petition, the opposition that formed against it, and how this led to a strengthened social movement against Section 377. Vivek Divan is Policy Specialist at the United Nations Development Programme’s HIV, Health and Development Group.

Nancy Nicol will speak about the background of the Naz Foundation case against s 377 and show excerpts from her documentary in progress, “No Easy Road to Freedom,” which examines the history of the LGBT movement in relation to the 377 challenge.  Nancy Nicol is an Associate Professor in Visual Arts at York University and the Principal Investigator of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights.

Vijaya Chikermane will address the significant ramifications of the 2009 Delhi High Court decision for the South Asian diaspora community in Toronto and responses to the ruling. In 2013, the Indian Supreme Court’s conflicting decision also evoked a strong response from the diaspora in which ASAAP was at the forefront. She will consider implications for diaspora activism on issues pertaining to home countries. Special attention is placed on how racialization impacts and influences our responses. Vijaya Chikermane is Executive Director of ASAAP: Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention.

Sponsored by: Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights; Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; Osgoode OUTLaws; South Asian Law Students Association

 For more information, Website:; Email:

Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights is a 5-year international research and documentary film project working to advance social justice and equality for LGBT people. Envisioning is a partnership of mutual learning bringing together 31 LGBT organizations based in Africa, India, the Caribbean and Canada to research and document criminalization, resistance and flight from persecution. Envisioning is housed at the Centre for Feminist Research, York University and supported by a Community University Research Alliance Grant, SSHRC.

Panelist Bios:

Andrew Pinto is a partner at Pinto Wray James LLP, practicing in the areas of civil litigation, employment and labour, administrative and human rights law.   He has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada, before all levels of court in Ontario and before numerous administrative tribunals. Andrew has been active in representing LGBT clients throughout his career including in Vriend (SCC decision), Jane Doe (Ont. C.A. – assisted reproduction) and Smitherman (Ont. S.C., same-sex prom date).  He is a former Board Director for the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP). Andrew has taught Administrative Law as an Adjunct Professor at the U of T Faculty of Law.  In 2011-12, Andrew was appointed by the Attorney General of Ontario to review changes made to the Ontario human rights system and author a major report. Andrew is a Governor of the Law Commission of Ontario and a member of the Osgoode South Asia Advisory council. Andrew’s parents were born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. 

Vivek Divan is Policy Specialist on Key Populations & Access to Justice at UNDP’s HIV Practice in New York. His work focuses on providing advisory and technical support on the intersections of law and human rights in the context of key populations affected by HIV. He is a lawyer from Bombay and has worked extensively on issues of LGBT people, law and human rights in India and globally. As Coordinator of Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit in India (2000-2007) he oversaw and was involved in the legal aid, advocacy, research, capacity-building and legal literacy work of the Unit. In that time he was part of the team that drafted legislation on HIV/AIDS for India and strategized campaigns and lobbying on law and human rights related to sex work and treatment access. He was centrally involved in the public interest litigation related to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, including legal research and strategy and leading extensive community mobilization around the case. He served on the Secretariat for the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and as a member of its Technical Advisory Group from 2010-12.

Nancy Nicol is a documentary filmmaker and the Principal Investigator of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights, which researches and documents LGBT rights and social movement histories. Nicol teaches video art, documentary and art and activism at York University. Her films include the documentary series From Criminality to Equality, on the history of lesbian and gay rights organizing in Canada.  Nancy is currently working on a documentary shot in India that examines queer organizing and the legal challenge to s. 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the first of the British colonial laws that criminalized ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature.’ The film’s working title is No Easy Road to Freedom, and expected completion is spring 2014.   Nancy is also working on a documentary on the contemporary movement for LGBT rights in Botswana, and on a number of participatory video projects with Envisioning partners in Africa and the Caribbean.

Vijaya Chikermane has been an avid collaborator in the fields of HIV/AIDS, sexual health and gender equity in Toronto and internationally for over ten years. She is Executive Director at the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP), is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre and also a Board member at Springtide Resources. Vijaya studied Political Science at the University of Waterloo and completed her MSc in Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Vijaya is involved in a number of health and equity related projects in Toronto through her participation with Community Based-Research, project advisory committees and networks. After spending the first 15 years of her life between India and Dubai, Vijaya migrated to Canada with a deep and personal investment in social equity and its intersections with race, class, gender, violence and ability.

View Event Poster: LGBT Rights in India poster



“An Analysis of Trafficking in Persons in Guyana: Unravelling the Issues”, January 20, 2014, 1:00-3:00pm.

“An Analysis of Trafficking in Persons in Guyana: Unravelling the Issues”

Monday, January 20, 2014, 1:00-3:00pm

Kaneff Tower 857

Audrey Enid Benn, Visiting Scholar from the University of Guyana


The precious gold metal has historically attracted a range of mining activities to Guyana’s interior, including multinational corporations as well as local businesses and individuals. But this rush has also given rise to a problem that was by and large ignored by most persons – human trafficking mainly for sex work. Many women and children are smuggled into Guyana’s interior unnoticed mainly for sexual servitude.

Using Guyana as a case study, this talk will identify the social and legal issues that hinder an accurate assessment and response to the problem. It will also focus on the basic features of human trafficking in Guyana, offer critical policy-based responses and suggest appropriate methods for limiting the problem and assisting victims.

About Audrey Enid Benn:

Benn is currently the visiting scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research and head of the Women’s Studies Unit, University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus.   For over two decades Audrey has been championing the causes of women and girls, and has been working tirelessly developing educational and empowerment programmes for disadvantaged communities.

Please send your RSVP to Vivian Lee, CFR Coordinator, at

The event is free. Refreshments will be provided.

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Graduate Student Round Table Conversation “Refugees, IDPS and Citizenship Rights: The Perils of Humanitarianism in the African Great Lakes Region”, November 28, 2013

We are delighted to invite you to a Graduate Student Round Table Conversation “Refugees, IDPS and Citizenship Rights: The Perils of Humanitarianism in the African Great Lakes Region” on Thursday, November 28, 2013 with Dr. Patricia Daley from Oxford University, UK.

Many of you may be familiar with her work and this is an opportunity specifically for graduate students to engage with Dr. Patricia in a small-group setting. Please see the attached poster for details.

Lunch will be provided. Space is very limited and is offered on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please RSVP to if you will attend.

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Art Gallery of York University, November 21st 2013, 12:30-2:00pm.

OHRNI (hosted with The Centre for Feminist Research), Art Gallery of York University, November 21 at 12:30-2 pm 

The Centre for Feminist Research and Art Gallery of York University are pleased to host “Ohrni,” the concluding Preview of Andil Gosine’s WARDROBES, an art object and performance series that explore the intimate legacies of indentureship.  For “Ohrni,” he will be joined by GAIUTRA BAHADUR author of the acclaimed new book “Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture” in a dialogue on labour, sex and home.  The event will also feature presentations of a new video and object from WARDROBES.

“Ohnri” will take place on November 21 at 12:30-2 pm in the Art Gallery of York University.  Attendance is strictly limited to 25 attendees, who must give advance confirming participation: A reception will follow.

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JOIN THE FIGHT FOR MIGRANT WORKER JUSTICE! October 23rd, 2013, 12:45pm-2:15pm.


Panel with artists/activists about fightback campaigns  Wednesday October 23, 2013 at 12:45PM – 2:15 PM

 Venue: Crossroads Gallery, FES Building, York University. 


Chris Ramsaroop, Justicia for Migrant Workers 

Farrah Miranda, No One Is Illegal 

Min Sook Lee, Migrant Dreams

Sponsored by the Community Arts Program (CAP), the Centre for Feminist Research and the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC)

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Zombies, Gender and World-Ecology: Ana Lydia Vega’s and Mayra Montero’s Feminist Eco-Gothic Narratives, Thursday October 17th, 12:30-2:30

The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) presents:

A talk by visiting scholar Kerstin Oloff: “ Zombies, Gender and World-Ecology:  Ana Lydia Vega’s and Mayra Montero’s Feminist Eco-Gothic Narratives”

Thurs. Oct. 17, 12:30-2:30, Kaneff Tower (formerly York Research Tower) 626

Registering the impact of the ecological revolutions through which the capitalist world-system unfolded, the figure of the zombie sits at the fault lines of racial, class, gender and environmental violence. The classic zombie figure toiling on the plantation fields thus may be read as a cultural response to capitalism’s development through the ruthless exploitation and commoditisation of labor and nature. Further, the figure of the white female zombie, a staple of the imperial imagination, registers on the level of what one might term the work’s ecological unconscious the imbrications of nature-society relations. In their more recent texts from the last decade of the twentieth century, Ana Lydia Vega and Mayra Montero employ the female zombie figure to reflect on various forms of structural, environmental and symbolic violence and to formulate a critique of the imperial gothic. Their texts may thus be read to speak to, and perhaps help to bring together, eco-feminist and world-ecological strands of thought.

Kerstin Oloff is an Assistant Professor at Durham University. She is the co-editor of Perspectives on the Other America (Rodopi, 2009), and has published articles and interviews in edited collections and journals such as Green Letters, Revista Hispánica Moderna, LARR, and La Habana elegante.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics (DLLL), the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program (LACS), and the Centre for Feminist Research (CFR).

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Book launch for David Murray’s book Flaming Souls: Homosexuality, Homophobia, and Social Change in Barbados
September 6, 2012, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.,  Latinada Restaurant,  1671 Bloor St. West

While there has been increased attention to issues of sexuality in the Caribbean over the past decade, there continue to be very few in-depth ethnographic studies of sexual minorities in this region. A timely addition to the literature, Flaming Souls explores public discourses focusing on homosexuality and the everyday lives of gay men and ‘queens’ in contemporary Barbados.
David A.B. Murray’s dynamic study features interviews with government and health agency officials, HIV/AIDS activists, and residents of the country’s capital, Bridgetown. Using these and records from local libraries and archives, Murray unravels the complex historical, social, political, and economic forces through which same-sex desire, identity, and prejudice are produced and valued in this Caribbean nation-state. Illustrating the influence of both Euro-American and regional gender and sexual politics on sexual diversity in Barbados, Flaming Souls makes an important contribution to queer studies and the anthropology of sexualities.

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Dynamic Resistances: Complicating, Screwing and Perpetuating Structures in our World
September 14-15, 2012

A Graduate Student Conference presented by York University’s Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies.

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A screening of Sathima’s Windsong
September 20, 2012, Nat Taylor Cinema, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Sathima’s Windsong is about the life and times of South African jazz singer Sathima Bea Benjamin whose musical creations were often in the shadow of her husband, jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim. The film is shot primarily in New York, Cape Town but opens with short of the Island of St Helena, birthplace of Sathima’s grandmother. It returns to the ocean to signal travel, ‘routes’ and jazz as metaphors for her life-history. In her apartment of the Chelsea Hotel Apartment, Sathima’s home for more than thirty years, she patches together her journeys from apartheid South Africa, and its ‘patterns of brokenness’, to Europe, and a chance meeting and a recording with Duke Ellington in Paris in 1963, to the highs and lows of making a life for herself and family in New York. The narrative of her journeys is interwoven with her music and the reflections of folks in South Africa and New York who know her work thus making this film both a celebration of Sathima’s music as well as a reflection on the historical context that helped shape it. The film takes its title from Sathima’s haunting composition, “Windsong,” which, like this film, is itself is a reflection upon displacement, exile, belonging and longing. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Daniel Yon, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and the Department of Anthropology and former Director of the Graduate Programme in Social Anthropology at York University; Richard Fung, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University; Liam Rodrigues, Alternative Educator and independent scholar; D. Alissa Trotz, Associate Professor, Caribbean Studies at New College and Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto.

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Plastic Visibility, Visible Plasticity: On the Sexualization of Girlhood, a lecture by Catherine Driscoll
October 17, 2012, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., Vanier College Senior Common Room

The emergence of modern girlhood can be mapped onto changing ideas about sex. These changes are certainly always relative to new distinctions demarcating sexual difference and gender roles, but the modern idea of girlhood is not only a set of ideas about how one becomes a woman. And, as with girlhood’s legislative, pedagogical and psychological formations, girlhood as a popular cultural formation is very often centered on sex. This talk explores some fraught current public debates about the idea of girl sexuality and its developmental periodization.

Catherine Driscoll is Associate Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Girls (Columbia UP 2002), Modernist Cultural Studies (UP Florida 2010), Teen Film: A Critical Introduction (Berg 2011), and The Australian Country Girl: Image, History, Experience (Ashgate 2012) as well as numerous essays in journals and collections. Her research interests include modernity and modernism, cultural theory, popular culture, girls studies and youth culture, ethnography, and rural cultural studies.

Co-sponsored by Children’s Studies Program, Department of Humanities; Vanier College and CFR.

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CFR Meet and Greet & Council Meeting
October 18 2012, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., 626 York Research Tower

New and returning CFR Associates are invited to come mix and mingle with each other and learn what CFR has planned for 2012-2013. Following the Meet & Greet, the Annual Council Meeting will be held for CFR Associates.

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A book launch for Bonita Lawrence’s book Fractured Homeland: Federal Recognition and Algonquin Identity in Ontario
October 24, 2012, 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m., Aboriginal Student Centre, 246 York Lanes

In 1992, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, the only federally recognized Algonquin reserve in Ontario, launched a comprehensive land claim. The claim drew attention to the reality that two-thirds of Algonquins in Canada have never been recognized as Indian, and have therefore had to struggle to reassert jurisdiction over their traditional lands. Fractured Homeland is Bonita Lawrence’s stirring account of the Algonquins’ twenty-year struggle for identity and nationhood despite the imposition of a provincial boundary that divided them across two provinces, and the Indian Act, which denied federal recognition to two-thirds of Algonquins. Drawing on interviews with Algonquins across the Ottawa River watershed, Lawrence voices the concerns of federally unrecognized Algonquins in Ontario, whose ancestors survived land theft and the denial of their rights as Algonquins, and whose family histories are reflected in the land. The land claim enabled many Algonquins to openly speak about their identities for the first time; however, it also heightened divisions as those who launched the claim failed to develop a more inclusive vision of Algonquinness. This path-breaking exploration of how a comprehensive claims process can fracture the search for nationhood among First Nations also reveals how federally unrecognized Algonquin managed to hold onto a distinct sense of identity, despite centuries of disruption by settlers and the state.

Bonita Lawrence (Mi’kmaw), Equity Studies, York University.

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Phone Clones: Authenticity Work in the Transnational Service Economy, a lecture by Carla Freeman
October 25, 2012, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Peace Lounge, 7th Floor, OISE 252 Bloor St. West

Graduate Seminar with Carla Freeman
October 26, 2012, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., 626 York Research Tower

From th Emory University website: Carla Freeman is Winship Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies and is associated faculty in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Emory University. Freeman earned her AB in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College in 1984 and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Temple University in 1993. Her publications include High Tech and High Heels in the Global Economy: Women, Work, and Pink Collar Identities in the Caribbean (Duke University Press, 2000), Global Middle Classes: Ethnographic Particularities, Theoretical Convergences (SAR Press, edited with Rachel Heiman and Mark Liechty), and articles on gender, globalization, labor, and identity in the Caribbean, in such journals as American Ethnologist, Signs: Journal of Women, Culture and Society, Feminist Studies, Critique of Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology. Her new book Enterprising Selves: Respectability, Gender and the Making of a Neoliberal Middle Class in the Caribbean is forthcoming from Duke University Press. Her new research focuses on Indian IT professionals in new circuits of transnational labor. Her general areas of research are: culture and political economy of globalization and development; feminist anthropology; transnational migration; the Caribbean region.

Space is limited for the Graduate Seminar, so please RSVP to

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Developments in Collective Workplace Bargaining and Gender Equality: Evidence from the Bargaining Table, a lecture by Sue Williamson
October 30, 2012, 2:30 p.m. Ross S701

“Equality bargaining” involves collectively bargaining for claims which progress equality in the workplace, including gender equality. Equality bargaining theories focus on identifying and explaining factors which aid or prevent bargaining for claims to advance gender equality in the workplace. There is scope to build on these empirically based theories to offer a broader theory of equality bargaining. This paper goes some way towards achieving this, drawing on six case studies of collective bargaining which examine how parties bargained for a range of family provisions, predominantly paid parental leave. The case studies show that there are different types of equality bargaining, which form a continuum ranging from “narrow”, where only one or a few gender equality items are negotiated, to “transformational”, which seeks to achieve substantive equality for a range of equal opportunity target groups, including women. While most of the case study union negotiators engaged in a narrow form of equality bargaining, there is emerging evidence that some unions are showing the way on how to move further along this continuum, to successfully negotiate family provisions and other equality measures for employees.

Sue Williamson was awarded her PhD from the University of Sydney (Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies) in 2011. Sue’s thesis examined five case studies of collective enterprise bargaining, across both private and public sectors. Sue examined the extent to which unions engaged in ‘equality bargaining’ , that is, negotiating for improved gender equality provisions for employees for inclusion in
collective enterprise agreements. This outcomes of this research have been published in Australian journals, and Sue is currently working on an international collaborative anthology on equality bargaining. Sue has also researched and published on industrial relations policy developments in Australia over the last few years and their impact on women. Sue has also worked on women and industrial relations policy
issues for government departments for the last decade, including contributing to the development of Australia?s paid parental leave scheme.

A collaboration of: Centre for Research on Work & Society (CRWS), Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy,  Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Gender & Work, Work & Labour Studies Program, LAPS. Co-sponsors: Centre for Feminist Research, Department of Social Science, LAPS School of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies.

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Rum and Roti Lime
November 10, 2012, 6:00 p.m., the Monarch Festival Hub, 12 Clinton St.

Reel Asian is excited to include a preview of Andil Gosine’s Wardrobes art-fashion project in support of the North American premiere of Richard Fung’s Dal Puri Diaspora. In his film, director Fung introduces Canadian audiences to Gosine’s work, and filmgoers will get the chance to travel deeper into the art-fashion project at a special “Lime” (Trini slang for a “hangout”) event after Dal Puri’s North American premiere at Reel Asian. A special $30 film-and-event package ticket gets you admission to both the Dal Puri Diaspora screening (4:30 PM at the Royal, 608 College St) as well as the Rum and Roti Lime (6:00 PM at the Monarch Festival Hub, 12 Clinton St), the post-screening art experience. Attendees enter to a carefully curated selection of Trinidadian calypso, soca and chutney music, and pick up their free rum-based welcome cocktail at the bar (non-alcoholic alternative available). After watching a film about roti, you’ve got to have one – and event co-producers Lettie Gariba and Adam Barnes will be serving up yours (vegetarian available upon request) from a customized “Roti Shop” created with industrial designer-artist Kara Springer. This “Roti Shop” will also showcase two items from Gosine’s collection, the “Cutlass” brooch and “Rum and Roti” – a bag Gosine designed with Skinny Vinny of Brooklyn that appears in the film! This will be the premiere exhibition of the bag in Canada, and the first time its limited run of 25 will be on sale.
Gosine describes Wardrobes as an exploration of how migration impacts experiences of intimacy. “It’s a longer story of desire,” he says, “a story about living in between the feeling that no where is home, and everywhere might be home.” Richard Fung’s search for roti, he adds, “is about his living in this space.” Wardrobes began life as a series of art objects Gosine created and premiered at the New York Institute of Fashion, and later developed into a series of art performances and a play that elaborate each object’s story. Rum and Roti is the second of four art happenings to take place in Toronto over 2012-13. Tickets to the screening are available separately; however, admission to the Lime event is ONLY available as part of this bundled package. This film-and-event package is sold exclusively in advance and online – no tickets will be sold thru TO Tix, at the door, or via the festival’s future-day sales desk. Limited quantities – act soon to avoid disappointment.

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Racism in Academia seminar
November 21, 2012, 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., YRT 519

This seminar will offer a forum for discussing racism in the academy. Speakers will address the challenges of identifying and naming multiple forms and experiences of racism among differently located individuals and groups in university settings. Speakers will draw on personal experience and scholarship to engage the audience in a process designed to include consideration of how variously racialized actors and academic institutions contribute to the normalization of racism and racialization. Co-sponsored by CFR, YCEC, CRW, CERIS and others.

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Students response to seminar:

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Social Inequality in Eugenics and New Reproductive Technologies (IVF) – Beyond the question of continuity, a lecture by CFR Visiting Scholar Sevasti Trubeta
November 21, 2012, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., YRT 830

The socio-historical conditions that helped the emergence and flourishing of eugenics have changed to such a degree that equating eugenics and new genetic technologies might be a simplification which (a) masks the historical character of social phenomena and (b) impedes tracing both the dynamics and boundaries of each one. On the one hand, eugenics flourished within in a type of society in which welfare state and institutions were creating; it drew arguments from the necessity to buttress these institutions and based its proposals and practices on the supposed priority of the “common well” against individual rights. On the other hand, new genetic technologies operate in a type of society in which individualism gains more and more significance in shaping social relations, welfare state is weakening whereas commercialization of social and health services is increasing. In terms of social inequality, if eugenics provided suggestions for treating social stratification in terms of managing biological capital and consolidating state authority, now, the question of social inequity expends the limits of an individual society and raises questions related to a global order.

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Graduate Student seminar with Sevasti Trubeta
November 21, 2012, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., YRT 830

Space is limited for the Graduate Seminar, so please RSVP to

Dr. Sevasti Trubeta is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of the Aegean in Greece. Her research interests include issues of Humanitarianism, biopolitics, eugenics, Roma, Refugees, with a regional focus on South Eastern Europe.

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Intersections of Identity, presented by the South Asian Women’s Action Collective
November 22, 2012,  6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Bendale Library (1515 Danforth Road, Scarborough)

In commemoration of the United Nations’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Nov. 25th), CASSA will be hosting a forum to discuss the impacts of violence against South Asian women here in Scarborough. We aim to bring together women of all ages in the Scarborough region to come together and discuss effective ways of mobilizing this very important issue while maintain an anti-racist, anti-islamaphobic , anti-oppressive framework. For more information please contact or call (416) 932-1359 x 18.

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North American speaking tour and book launch with Selma James

A Conversation with Selma James (Brown bag lunch session)
November 26, 2012, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., Peace Lounge, OISE/University of Toronto, 7th Floor, 252 Bloor Street West

Sex, Race and Class: The New Terms of Unity
November 26, 2012,  7:00 p.m. George Ignatieff Theatre, Trinity College (15 Devonshire Place)

Graduate Student seminar for York University Graduate Students
November 27, 2012, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., YRT 956

Selma James is an anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist campaigner and author. Raised in a movement household, she joined CLR James’s Johnson-Forest Tendency at age 15, and from 1958 to 1962 she worked with him in the movement for Caribbean federation and independence.  In 1972, she founded the International Wages for Housework Campaign, and in 2000 she helped launch the Global Women’s Strike which she coordinates.  She coined the word “unwaged” to describe most of the caring work women do, and it has since entered the English language to describe all the work without wages of women, children and men, in the home, on the land, in the community.

In 1975 she became the first spokeswoman of the English Collective of Prostitutes.  She is a founding member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (2008).  She has addressed the power relations within the working class movement, and organizing across sectors despite divisions of sex, race, age, etc., South and North. She spoke to packed audiences at Occupy in London, England, as well as Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia, and SF.

SPONSORED BY: Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto; Centre for Feminist Research, York University; Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, York University; CUPE 3902, University of Toronto; Equity Studies, New College, University of Toronto; Caribbean Studies, New College, University of Toronto; Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, OISE/University of Toronto; CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University. For more information, contact:;

Space is limited for the Graduate Seminar, so please RSVP to

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Critical Perspectives on Canadian Anti-Trafficking Policy, a conference
November 30-December 2, 2012,  Ryerson University

“Critical Perspectives on Canadian Anti-Trafficking Policy” is intended as a site for engaged dialogue on the contemporary legal ordering of sexual and migrant labour. The workshop offers a unique opportunity
for academics, sex workers, migrant labourers, and front line service providers to advance critical and strategic dialogue and research about the realities of human trafficking in Canada.

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Unbearable Blackness, a lecture by Jared Sexton
December 5, 2012,  2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., YRT 519
the lecture will be followed by a reception at 4:00 p.m.

The heading of this talk addresses itself broadly to the psychic life of black freedom struggle in the political culture and cultural politics of the post-emancipation United States. The myriad figures of racial blackness at work across the spectrum of practical-theoretical activity – from claims to emergent mixed race identities to calls for progressive multiracial coalition to “pro-life” pronouncements of the Christian Right – raise questions about the material-symbolic persistence of modern slavery in and as the discourse of terror in the contemporary milieu. This persistence is obscure in a profound sense and its obscurity is inflected by but not accounted for in the recent ascendance of neoliberalism and its attendant pieties of racial justice under capital. It involves, rather, a more fundamental misrecognition of the political ontology enabling modern slavery, requiring of us at once a more thorough analysis of structural conditions and a deeper historical sense commensurate with the longue durée.

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Graduate Student seminar with Jared Sexton
December 10, 2012,  1:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m., YRT 626

Space is limited for the Graduate Seminar, so please RSVP to

Professor Jared Sexton is visiting York this fall as a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturing Chair. He comes to us from the University of California, Irvine, where he is Associate Professor and Director of the Program in African American Studies and teaches in the Department of Film and Media Studies and the Ph.D. programs in Visual Studies and Culture and Theory. He also holds affiliations at UCI with the Critical Theory Institute and the Center for Law, Culture and Society. Professor Sexton’s research examines the political culture and cultural politics of the post-civil rights era United States, focusing on matters of race and sexuality, policing and prisons, multiracial coalition, and contemporary film. While in residence at York, Professor Sexton is teaching an undergraduate course on black feminist thought for the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and continues work on the manuscript for his next book, The Shadow of a Color Line: Racial Politics beyond Coalition.


Launch for Feminist Dialogues, a special issue of Canadian Woman Studies
December 13, 2012,  2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Founders Senior Common Room

Edited by Susan Braedley, Jacinthe Michaud and Leah Vosko. Canadian Woman Studies is a feminist quarterly which was founded with the goal of making current writing and research on a wide variety of feminist topics accessible to the largest possible community of  women. Susan Braedley is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, Carleton University; Jacinthe Michaud is an Associate Professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, York University; Leah Vosko is a Professor of Political Science and Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Gender & Work, York University.

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Nursing Labour Process and the Demand for Temporary Foreign Nurses in Normth America
February 5, 2013, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Ross S701

As a part of the Dispatches from the Global Labour Movement Winter 2013 Speaker Series, Salimah Valiani will speak on “Nursing Labour Process and the Demand for Temporary Foreign Nurses in North America” on Tuesday February 5, 2013 at 2:30-4:30 pm in Ross S701. Salimah Valinai is an economist and policy analyst. She is also a part of the Ontario Nurses’ Association. This event is a collaboration of: Centre for Reseach on Work and Society, Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy, Work & Labour Studies Program, LAPS, Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Gender & Work. The co-sponsers are Centre for Feminist Research, Department of Social Science, LAPS, Department of Sociology, LAPS and York Inisitute for Health Research.

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Launch for Eva Karpinski’s book, Borrowed Tongues: Life Writing, Migration and Translation
February 14, 2013, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Founders Senior Common Room

Borrowed Tongues is the first consistent attempt to apply the theoretical framework of translation studies in the analysis of self representation in life writing by women in transnational, diasporic, and immigrant communities. It focuses on linguistic and philosophical dimensions of translation, showing how the dominant language serves to articulate and reinforce social, cultural, political, and gender hierarchies. Drawing on feminist, poststructuralist, and postcolonial scholarship, this study examines Canadian and American examples of traditional autobiography, autoethnography, and experimental narrative.

As a prolific and contradictory site of linguistic performance and cultural production, such texts challenge dominant assumptions about identity, difference, and agency. Using the writing of authors such as Marlene NourbeSe Philip, Jamaica Kincaid, Laura Goodman Salverson, and Akemi Kikumura, and focusing on discourses through which subject positions and identities are produced, the study argues that different concepts of language and translation correspond with particular constructions of subjectivity and attitudes to otherness. A nuanced analysis of intersectional differences reveals gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, and diaspora as unstable categories of representation.

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New Frontiers Graduate History conference
February 21 – 23, 2013
This year represented the 17th annual New Frontiers Graduate History conference. The conference is designed to provide a forum for graduate students to present their work in a cordial environment and to gain professional experience in conference presentation. We encouraged papers from a wide range of national, regional, thematic, and methodological backgrounds spanningHistory and Theory; Public Memory and Commemoration; Law, Politics, Protest and the State; Science, Medicine, Technology and Society; Religion; Race, Ethnicity, and Identity; Gender, Sexuality, and the Body; Empire and Nation; Popular Culture and Consumerism; Environment and Society; Migration and Diaspora; Work, Class, and Community.
Queering Heterosexism in the Social Form of Legal and State Formation: National Security and Homonationalism
February 25, 2013, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Ross S701
Part of the The Socio-Legal Studies 2012-2013 Speaker Series. This presentation critically analyzes the heteosexist social form of legal and state formation in the ‘Canadian’ context through brief examinations of the national security campaigns against queers, the 1969 criminal law reform, the same-sex marriage debates, and the current generation of an orientalist homonationalism against queer palestine solidarity activists. Arguing that we need to move beyond formal legal equality and rights which lead to integration within existing legal and state formation we need to challenge the very social form of law and state formation itself — including its heterosexist character — to open up more transformative possibilities. The class and racialized basis for the generation of both settler based and orientalist forms of homonationalism will also be explicated.
Gary Kinsman is the author of The Regulation of Desire: Homo and Hetero Sexualities, co-author (with Patrizia Gentile) of The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation, and editor of Whose National Security? and of Sociology for Changing the World. He is currently working on a new book project called The Making of the Neo-Liberal Queer. He is a long-time queer liberation, anti-poverty and anticapitalist activist. He is a member of the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (S-CAP), and is one of the ‘S-CAP 11,’ arrested for converting his local MPP’s office into an emergency homeless shelter as part of an anti-poverty protest. He teaches sociology at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, on the historic territories of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek nation.
Generous Support provided by the Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies, Centre for Feminist Research and Social Science.
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The Contemporary Urgencies of Audre Lorde’s Legacy

March 7 – 21, 2013

Community Arts Practice, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, in association with Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto, invite you to The Contemporary Urgencies of Audre Lorde’s Legacy, a series of events, including:

Medicines for Survival: Indigenous Knowledge and the Sacred: a lecture by M. Jacqui Alexander
March 7, 2013,  6:00 p.m.   HNES 140, FES, York University

Litanies for our Survival: Visual and Performative Conversations with Audre Lorde and inaugural exhibition in new Community Arts Practice Space
March 7, 2013,  7:30 p.m.   HNES 283, and throughout the building, FES, York University

Film screening, Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992 (directed by Dagmar Schultz)
March 15, 2013, 6:30 p.m., William Doo Auditorium, University of Toronto, 45 Willcocks Street

Followed by panel discussion with Dagmar Schultz, Marion Kraft, Gloria Wekker, M. Jacqui Alexander, Carol Allain, Farrah Khan, Susan Blight

What’s (Homo)Sexuality got to do with it? Lecture by Gloria Wekker, with responses from Anna Agathangelou and Jin Haritaworn, chaired by Ena Dua
March 19, 2013, 1:00 p..m.,  HNES 140, FES, York University

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“After the 9-5 in Audre’s Livingroom”
March 21, 2013, 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Whippersnapper Gallery, 594b Dundas St. West

An intimate, collaborative poetry marathon recite &r espond multidisciplinary hangout! Presented by backforward collective.

CHECK OUT:  and FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: #audrelordeslegacy2013

YORK UNIVERSITY SPONSORS: Community Arts Practice, Office of the Dean; ACE and the Seminar Series in Equity and Diversity at FES; Faculty of Health; Centre for Feminist Research at York University and Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SPONSORS: Women and Gender Studies; Principal’s Initiatives Fund at New College; Equity Studies; Caribbean Studies; Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education, OISE; Centre for the Study of the United States; Sexual Diversity Studies; Anti-Racism and Diversity; Status of Women; Cinema Studies; Canadian Studies

CONTACT: Anique Jordan, or Honor Ford-Smith,


Women’s Quests for Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: Contestations, Complexities, Contradiction
April 5 & 6, 2013, York Research Tower

What has come to be known as the “Arab Spring” is a remarkable turning point in the modern history of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Whatever the outcome of this regional, political earthquake, there is no turning back to the past in the countries that rose for democracy and social justice. However, there are plenty of signs of hard challenges ahead for women in MENA. In particular, the role of Islamists in the movement for democracy and social justice raises the vital question: what is on the immediate horizon for women and rights activists? This two-day conference will be a forum for scholars and activists in the field to analyze the potential of the Arab Spring for women.

Questions? Please contact

View the Conference Webpage for more details

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The Ghadar Movement: A Living History
April 12 – 13, 2013,  York University

On the centenary of the Ghadar Movement, a conference is being called at York University in Toronto to honour and remember its history, and its contemporary relevance to the revolutionary struggle of people of the Indian subcontinent. The conference is being organized in collaboration with the Ghadar Centenary Committee Toronto. It is sponsored by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, South Asian Studies programme, Department of Political Science, York Centre for Asian Research and CUPE 3903, all at York University.

Keynote Speakers:
Maia Ramnath is a visiting scholar at New York University and is author of Haj to Utopia (2011) and Decolonizing Anarchism (2012)
Friday, 12 April 2013 | 6pm to 8pm | Founders Assembly Hall | Founders College | York University 

Harsha Walia is a grassroots activist, Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Vancouver Unceded Coast Salish Territories and author of Undoing Border Imperialism (2013)
Saturday, 13 April 2013 | 4 to 5pm | Harry Crowe Room (Room 109, Atkinson Building) | York University

Film Screening:
Rex vs. Singh, a film by Ali Kazimi, John Greyson, Richard Fung
Friday, 12 April 2013 | 4pm to 5pm | Harry Crowe Room (Room 109, Atkinson Building) | York University

Theatrical Performance:
Santaap by Ghadar Centenary Committee Toronto
(Written by: Gursharn Singh and Directed by: Hira Randhawa)

The conference programme is available here: Programme

For more information, please email: or visit


Sex Talk @ York II
May 1, 2013 TEL 0010

Sex Talk @ York presents a collection of interdisciplinary faculty scholarship; from LGBTQ narratives of resistance, to queer and transgender cultural production, to psychoanalytic theory, to transnational and postcolonial studies and beyond. This conference demonstrates the growing significance of sexuality studies in Canada and across a variety of geo-political spaces and in relation to identities, power and difference(s).

10:15 – 11:45
Panel One: Homonationalisms: Citizenship, Social Media and ‘White’ Anxieties;

1:15 – 2:45
Panel Two: Sexual Representations: Narratives, Pedagogies and Politics;

3:00 – 4:30
Panel Three: Queer Bio-political Theorizing: Transgendering Diagnostics, LGBTQ Activism and Legal Discourses

                                     Complimentary breakfast begins at 9:30am.

Sponsored by LA&PS Research Events and Outreach Fund, the Associate Vice- President Research of LA&PS, the Centre for Feminist Research, and the Sexuality Studies Program , History Department, The Law and Society Program and the Film Studies Department at York University.

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An International Conference on the Reality and the Prospects of Gender Equality after “The Arab Spring”
May 30-31, 2013, Oujda, Morocco

Event sponsored by the Master’s Program on Gender, Society and Human Development and the Research Group “Identity and Difference”, at the Faculty of Letters, Mohammed I University, Oujda, in collaboration with the Centre for Feminist Research, York University and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Syracuse University.

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