2016-2017 Events


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DigiQueer Cinema

Talk and screening with filmmaker Kami Chisholm

Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Time: 3-5pm
Location: 305 York Lanes
Event Note: RSVP to juliapyr@yorku.ca. Light refreshments provided. This talk counts towards GFWS seminar requirements.
Event Summary: In 1992, B. Ruby Rich coined the term “new queer cinema” to capture in part the breakout of a wave of queer independent feature films on the international film festival circuit. Many of these films subsequently also became financial successes, setting a precedent for the film industry to view queer cinema as potentially commercially viable. Today, LGBT characters abound in mainstream and independent film and television, and hundreds of LGBT themed film festivals have been established around the globe. But as LGBT representations and politics have gone increasingly mainstream and assimilationist in the US and Canada via movements such as marriage equality and inclusion in the military, so too has the programming at many of the LGBT themed festivals. This is especially true of the largest and most established LGBT festivals, which increasingly serve as gatekeepers to the queer circuit, leaving many filmmakers and audiences, especially queer and trans people of color, marginalized or shut out of representation even on alternative screens.

In this talk, filmmaker Kami Chisholm will discuss the economics and curatorial practices that have simultaneously led to the proliferation of the making of work alongside the rise of gatekeeping and other practices that privilege certain types of stories and technical proficiency over formal experimentation and overtly political content that challenges homonormativity and assimilation. Drawing from clips from her own films as well as from projects she has curated for the Toronto Queer Film Festival, Dr. Chisholm will discuss the aesthetics and politics of making, curating, and exhibiting new digiqueer cinema in the age of homonationalism.

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Co-Sponsored: Empowering Women and Girls in Mining Communities in Mozambique

Talk by Terezinha da Silva

Date: Monday, March 20, 2017
Time: 2:00pm – 4:30pm
Location: Kaneff Tower 519
Co-sponsors: The Harriet Tubman Institute, African Studies, Global Labour Research Centre, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Law and Society (LASO), The Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode (IFLS),Centre for Feminist Research.
Event Summary:

The last decade has seen a coal mining boom in northern Mozambique with the arrival of Riversdale, Rio Tinto, Vale and Jindal. The Mozambican government has welcomed these investments as the guarantee of economic growth, jobs and poverty alleviation. Brazil has given strong backing to its corporations in Africa, within an upbeat narrative of South-South solidarity. For the mining communities, it has been a story of unfulfilled promises. There have been forced resettlements of traditional farmers without prior consultation or respect for land rights. Vale has relocated them in a rural area with houses, schools and a health post but no land or means of livelihood. The influx of miners has exacerbated already scarce social and infrastructure in the region, overcrowding roads, schools and hospitals and creating social problems. While there have been many general studies of impacted communities, WLSA’s research project is the first study looking specifically at the impact on women and girls from a gender perspective. The study analyses, in context of resettlements, how women and men produce their responses as a result of mining actions. Terezinha da Silva will talk about the community workshops based on the research and the challenges of taking up these issues in communities with patriarchal traditions still deeply embedded.

Speaker’s Bio: Terezinha da Silva (Mozambique) is currently the national coordinator of WLSA Mozambique (Women and Law in Southern Africa), a regional NGO  working on women human’s rights. She is also the board member of different NGO’s working on themes related to community development, social studies, children, gender and women issues and ageing. Her other professional experiences are related to management and institutional development.  She worked for many years at the Ministry of Health and  Social Action.  She also has a wide range of experiences in teaching planning and management, including curriculum development of national courses. Her research experience include areas related to public policies, gender and development, integrity of the judiciary, unpaid care work, gender audit and ageing. She holds a Masters degree in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics.

Queer Ethnography?: Theory, Practice And Ethics

Graduate Student Workshop

Facilitated by: Drs. Dai Kojima & David K. Seitz
Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
626 Kaneff Tower, York University
Introduced by Dr. David AB Murray, Department of Anthropology
Event Notes: Please RSVP at juliapyr@yorku.ca to receive the readings. Light refreshments provided. This workshop counts towards GFWS seminar requirements.
Event Summary: This dialogue-based workshop will consider the implications and possibilities of adding “queer” to “ethnography”:

  • What do queer epistemology and sensibility do to ethnographic ways of documenting and representing others’ experiences and cultural practices?
  • How does such a methodological move change the ways in which we seek and understand the evidence of our theorizing?
  • What kinds of strategies does queer ethnography require? (Queer is, after all, about an insistence in finding pleasure and joy where they “should not” belong!)

We will discuss a few exemplary texts and case studies that will assist us in order to grapple with these questions and ethical challenges, followed by sharing our own field notes and experiences in order to consider practical implications and strategies as a group.

This workshop is open to everyone, but is best suited for MAs and PhDs at all stages of designing and conducting fieldwork or writing their theses.

Participants are encouraged to bring their research/field notes. Suggested readings and case studies will be provided.
Bios: Dr. Dai Kojima is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology and a Research Associate for CFR and YCAR at York University. His work appears in Anthropologica, Reconstruction and most recently, Topia (forthcoming in Fall 2017).

Dr. David K. Seitz is the Visiting Scholar in Sexuality Studies and the Centre for Feminist Research at York University. His writing appears in Society and Space and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
Co-Sponsored by: the Department of Anthropology.

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Gender Differences in Unpaid Work, Paid Work And Discretionary Time In Turkey


By: CFR Visiting Scholar Dr. Burca Kizilirmak
Introduced by: Dr. Meg Luxton, Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies
Discussion Chaired by: Dr. Leah Vosko, Gender and Work Database
Date: Monday, March 27, 2017
Time: 11.30-1.00pm
Location: 280A York Lanes
Event Notes:  RSVP to juliapyr@yorku.ca. Light refreshments provided. This talk counts towards GFWS seminar requirements.
Event Summary: Marked with low female labor market participation rates and strong patriarchal relations, Turkey ranks low in gender equality. In recent years, with more and more women entering the labor force, comes the question of ‘second shift’ and the problem of high total work load of women. How free are women in Turkey in using their time and what are the gender differences in temporal autonomy? These questions are addressed in this research by measuring and analyzing women’s and men’s ‘discretionary time’, that is the time left after the necessities of life (personal care, unpaid work, paid work) are met. This framework is also used to understand the effects of different policies on gender differences in discretionary time.
Bio: Dr. Burca Kizilirmak is a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research at York University, and a Professor of Economics at Ankara University in Turkey. Her research focuses on gender economics, time use, international trade and income inequality. She has done research on women in labor markets, intra-household distribution of work time and the effects of global trade patterns on women's employment.
Co-sponsored by: Gender and Work.

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CFR Trans Studies Conference Preliminary Meet and Greet


Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Time: 11am-1.30pm
Location: 626 Kaneff Tower, York University
Event Notes: If you have any questions, please contact the Conference Coordinator, Evan Vipond, at transgradconference@gmail.com.

Event Summary: The CFR will be holding a Meet ‘n Greet on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 from 11-1:30pm, featuring a talk by Dr. reese simpkins, who was a 2014-2015 Visiting Scholar at the CFR. The event will also include brief presentations of current graduate students’ research. Further, this will serve as an opportunity for those interested in joining the committee to meet one another and begin a conversation on what we envision for the conference.

If you would like to give a 10 min presentation on your work at the Meet and Greet, please send an email to transgradconference@gmail.com, by Friday, March 3, 2017, introducing yourself and include an abstract or brief description of what you wish to present on. We welcome a range of topics that connect to trans studies, including, but not limited to: whiteness and racism, sex work, prisoners and the prison-industrial-complex, imperialism, (settler) colonialism, nationalism, citizenship, rights and the law, crip theory, sexualities, political economy, and cultural production.

All those interested in the 2018 conference are encouraged to attend the Meet and Greet!

Please note, anyone interested may apply, but preference will be given to trans-identified students, particularly trans people of colour, Two Spirit persons, disabled trans persons, trans sex workers, trans feminine persons, non-binary people, and others who are underrepresented and marginalized within the trans community.*

*This is not an exhaustive list. If you are interested in participating, please reach out.

View Call for Participants Here



Deleuze and Guattari, Feminism and Queer Theory

An Introductory Workshop

Date: Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
Time: 12:30-2:30pm
626 Kaneff Tower, York University
Event Note: 
Facilitated by Dr. reese simpkins, 2014-15 Visiting Scholar, Centre for Feminist Research & Sexuality Studies. RSVP to: reese simpkins at reese.simpkins@gmail.com and Julia Pyryeskina at juliapyr@yorku.ca by February 28 with a brief explanation about your interest in the topic. Two suggested readings will be provided. Limited space available.
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.
Bio: 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-sponsored by: Sexuality Studies.

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Co-Sponsored: Migrant Exclusion - The Case of Domestic Workers


Date: March 3, 2017
Time: 2-4pm
Location: 305 Founders College, York University
Event Summary: Most migrant workers confront conditions of non-citizenship, discriminatory policies and exclusionary contexts of reception. This joint keynote will compare the experiences of Filipino and Indonesian domestic workers in the Middle East as they negotiate the conditions of their labour and migration. Dr. Parreñas and Dr. Silvey will discuss their ongoing collaboration that considers patterns of serial labour migration and migrant exclusion - including ineligibility for permanent residency, absence of labour market flexibility and denial of the right to family reunification - mediating the lives of temporary labour migrants in the region.

Speakers: Rhacel Salazar Parreñas (Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, University of Southern California and Fulbright Scholar, Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition (IGHC), McMaster University) has conducted extensive research on labour, gender, migration, and economic sociology. Her current work examines the intersections of human trafficking and labour migration. She has written five monographs, co-edited three anthologies, and published numerous peer reviewed articles. Her latest book is a revised edition of Servants of Globalization (Stanford University Press, 2015). At McMaster she is working on her next book which compares migrant domestic workers in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, highlighting the vulnerable status of domestic workers in unregulated workspaces.

Rachel Silvey (Associate Professor, Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto and Interim Richard Charles Lee Director of the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs) is perhaps best known for her research on women’s labour and geographies of gender, inequality and migration in Indonesia. She has published widely on critical development studies, migration and immigration politics, feminist geography and diaspora/transnational studies. Her current work examines Indonesian and Filipino domestic workers’ employment in Singapore and the UAE (US National Science Foundation), and she leads the project on migrant workers’ labour conditions for the SSHRC Partnership Project, “Gender, Migration and the Work of Care: Comparative Perspectives,” led by Professor Ito Peng.

Presented by the York Centre for Asian Research and the Centre for Feminist Research, York University.

All are welcome!

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Co-Sponsored: New Frontiers Graduate History Conference 2017

Dates: Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 February 2017
Event Summary: New Frontiers is Canada’s largest and longest-running graduate history conference. Over the years, hundreds of graduate students from Canada, the United States and Europe have presented their research on a range of issues ranging from the social influence of football to the coevolution of environment and culture, from the broader ramifications of movement itself to images of youth in popular culture. Once again this year, New Frontiers allows both national and international graduate students the opportunity to share their research with their peers on any geographic location and on a wide range of themes and topics including but not limited to:

  • History and Theory
  • Public Memory and Commemoration
  • Law, Politics, and Protest
  • Science, Medicine, Technology and Environment
  • Sovereignty and the State
  • Religion and Society
  • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Identity
  • Gender, Sexuality, and the Body
  • Empire and Nation
  • Popular Culture and Consumerism
  • Migration and Diaspora
  • Work, Class, and Community

View Conference Website Here

Contesting Neoliberalism, Relinquishing Respectability: “Working Families,” Wisconsin, and What’s Left


Date: Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Time: 1:00pm-2:30pm
Location: 626 Kaneff Tower
Event Note: Talk by Visiting Scholar, Sexuality Studies and the Centre for Feminist Research David K. Seitz. Introduced by Sexuality Studies Coordinator Dr. Allyson Mitchell.  RSVP to juliapyr@yorku.ca. Light refreshments provided. This event counts towards GFWS seminar requirements.
Event Summary: For a few short weeks in February 2011, global attention turned to Madison, Wisconsin, where over 100,000 people took to the streets to protest Governor Scott Walker's harshly anti-union austerity measures. On the heels of the Arab Spring and just before the dawn of the Occupy Movement, the Wisconsin protests inspired many progressive-Leftists as a refreshingly bold "no" to neoliberalism. Yet in the past six years, Walker has cruised to two statewide electoral victories, and in 2016, the longtime union stronghold state was key to the deindustrialized bloc that catapulted Donald Trump to the presidency.

What happened? Rather than retreading exhausted and unproductive debates about putative impasses between class politics and identity politics, this paper suggests that a careful, intersectional analysis of the cultural politics of neoliberalism in Wisconsin points to the limits of liberal and even progressive-Left investments in respectability politics, broadly conceived. In particular, I track the trope that suffused the imagery generated by Democratic Party and mainstream union activists and ordinary people: the “working Wisconsin family.”
Co-sponsored by: Sexuality Studies Program, York University.
Bio: David K. Seitz is a Visiting Scholar in Sexuality Studies and the Centre for Feminist Research at York University. He is a Lecturer in Sexual Diversity Studies, Women and Gender Studies and Human Geography at the University of Toronto. His writing appears in Society and Space and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

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Co-Sponsored: Transnational Filipinx Studies


Date: November 14, 2016
Time: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Founders 152, York University
Event Note: Co-Sponsored by the Centre for Feminist Research. Organized by Dr. Ethel Tungohan and the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). Link to event on Facebook here: View Facebook Event. Register for event here: View Event Registration. Link to Event on CFR Calendar here: View CFR Event. Event in YFile here: View YFile story
Event Summary:

During this workshop, which will be held at York University at Ross S802, we will:

1. Explore the similarities and differences in the immigration histories, life trajectories, and experiences of (un)settlement and (un)belonging of different groups of Filipino im/migrants in the United States and in Canada.

Undertaking these cross-national comparisons will enable us to come to a better understanding of the divergent effects on the Filipino diaspora of the Philippines’ labour migration policies and the United States’ and Canada’s labour recruitment strategies, and trace the impacts of imperialism and neoliberal globalization on the lives of migrants in different national settings.

2. Examine the range of community-engaged research projects across Canada.

We will assess the collaborative research projects undertaken by academics and community organizations on at-risk and marginalized Filipino youth in Vancouver (Kababayan Mentorship Program), second-generation Filipino youth across Canada (Filipinos Youth in Transition- Canada), current and former live-in caregivers across Canada (Gabriela Transition Experiences Survey), current and former caregivers based in Ontario who have left their children behind (Caregivers Journey), and Filipino seniors in the Greater Toronto Area (Filipino Elderly Well-Being Project). In doing so, we will explore answers to the question of how we can best foster collaborative research and advocacy partnerships between academics and community members.

Robyn Rodriguez will be our keynote speaker and will be speaking on, " Alternative Genealogies and Trajectories of 'Community Engaged Scholarship': A Critical Filipinix Studies Agenda."


  • Robyn Rodriguez (UC-Davis)
  • Allan Isaac (Rutgers University)
    Valerie Francisco (San Francisco State University)
  • Patrick Alcedo (York University)
  • Robert Diaz (University of Toronto)
  • John Paul Catungal (University of British Columbia)
  • Conely De Leon (York University)
  • Philip Kelly (York University)
  • Jennilee Austria (Filipino Youth in Transition Survey)
  • Petronila Cleto (Gabriela-Ontario)
  • Rupa Banerjee (Ryerson University)
  • Fritz Pino (University of Toronto)
  • Monica Batac (McGill University)
  • Marissa Largo (University of Toronto)
  • Maureen Mendoza (KAMP)
  • Zenee Maceda (UFCW)
  • Ysh Cabana (Anakbayan)
  • Kim Abis (Anakbayan)
  • Nicole Cajucom (Kapisanan)
  • York University Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
  • York Centre for Asian Research
  • Global Labour Research Centre
  • Centre for Feminist Research

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 Scholarship & Cultural Production

A Workshop on the Intersection of Academic Research and Documentary Film Practices & Closed Screening of kiskisiwin/remembering with Martha Stiegman & Jesse Thistle

Date: November 9, 2016
Time: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Location: 305 York Lanes, York University
Event Note: Light refreshments served. RSVP to juliapyr@yorku.ca. Limited space available – you must RSVP in order to attend this event. Brief pre-circulated readings will be provided to participants.
Event Summary:

This interdisciplinary workshop examines the interactions between documentary filmmaking and scholarly inquiry. Participants will scrutinize the ways in which scholarship and non-fiction film seek to represent knowledge and foster an understanding of stories being told within and beyond the academe. The workshop comprises brief pre-circulated readings and the screening of kiskisiwin/remembering by York scholars and filmmakers Martha Stiegman and Jesse Thistle. Workshop participants may elect to have their own projects, be they written or visual, incorporated in the discussion.

Film Synopsis: A young Métis historian takes down Canadian pioneer mythology, with a very personal account of the impacts that version of history has played in his life. In kiskisiwin/remembering, a jingle dress dancer, an 1850s blacksmith and a troop of defiant urban Indians assert Toronto as Indigenous territory and challenge Canadians to re-write their nation’s history.

Dr. Lilia Topouzova is a historian and a 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. Martha Stiegman is a documentary filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada. Indigenous struggles and settler solidarity have been the focus of Martha’s film work, and scholarship for more than a decade. She holds a joint doctorate in Communications Studies and Political Science from Concordia University examining Mi’kmaq Treaty and Inherent Rights.

Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree from Saskatchewan. He is a Trudeau-Vanier Scholar and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at York University. Jesse’s work centres on trauma and memory within populations of Métis and Cree in Northern Saskatchewan, and the Algonquin of Timiskaming, Ontario.

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Mom and Me

Film screening and discussion with Director Lena Macdonald


Date: October 25, 2016
Time: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Location: 626 Kaneff Tower, York University.
Introduced by: Dr. Lilia Topouzova, 2014-15 Visiting Scholar, Centre for Feminist Research
Event Note: Light refreshments served. RSVP to juliapyr@yorku.ca.
Event Summary:

“Mom and Me” (58 min) is a deeply personal feminist film which took 15 years to make. It follows the complicated relationship between director Lena Macdonald and her mother, who was once a filmmaker herself, but ended up homeless, crack-addicted and on the streets. For ten years Lena filmed in Toronto’s inner city and her story is complicated and honest. The film is about addiction, prostitution and despair but it is also a story about family, the power of hope and the tenacity of love. The film also raises pertinent questions on ethnographic research ethics.

Lena Macdonald is a Toronto based director, writer and producer. She has produced a diverse body of work from stage to broadcast, notably: The Greatest Team That Never Won and Stonethrower, both a part of TSN’s Engraved On A Nation, which won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary Series and a production of Hugh Garners Cabbagetown, which she co-directed with Michael Ondaatje and Paul Thompson.

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Co-Sponsored: Women and the Challenge of a Socialist Jewish Voice to the Canadian State

Book Launch for “A Future Without Hate or Need” by Ester Reiter, Senior Scholar in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, York University


Date: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Time:  4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Nexus Lounge, OISE, 252 Bloor St. West, 12th Floor
Event Note: Organized by the Department of Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto. Co-Sponsored by the Centre for Feminist Research and the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, York University. Light refreshments will be provided.
Event Summary:

A Future Without Hate or Need brings to life the rich and multi-layered lives of a dissident political community. Many of the women in this secular Jewish community were activists who attempted to weave together their ethnic particularity – their identity as Jews with their internationalist class politics. They created lives filled with song, dance, literature, culture, politics, and concern for working people all over the world in their commitment to a just world and lasting peace.

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CFR Meet N Greet and Graduate Caucus


Date: October 19, 2016
Time: 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: 305 Founders College, York University; 303 Founders College, York University.
Event Note: Please RSVP to Julia at juliapyr@yorku.ca by Monday, October 17. Link to event on CFR Calendar here: View CFR Event.
Event Summary:

You are invited to the CFR meet n greet on October 19!

The Centre for Feminist Research is delighted to invite you to our meet and greet on Wednesday, October 19, 1:30-3:00pm, in the Founders Senior Common Room (FC305). Come and meet members of our Executive, as well as our visiting scholars, graduate assistants, and associates, hear about upcoming events, projects and research cluster activities, and propose new projects. Graduate students are invited to stay for the Graduate Caucus meeting, 3-4:30pm in the Founders Brian Craig Room (FC 303).

Light refreshments will be provided. Everyone is welcome!

Women in Sudan: Negotiating Power on the Margins

Talk with Dr. Asha El-Karib


Date: October 5, 2016
Time: 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: 305 Founders College, York University
Introduced by: Rita Morbia, Executive Director, InterPares
Event Note: Light refreshments served. RSVP to juliapyr@yorku.ca. Co-Sponsored by Inter Pares, Centre for Refugee Studies and The Harriet Tubman Institute. Link to event on CFR Calendar here: View CFR Event.
Event Summary:

Join us for a conversation with Dr. Asha El-Karib about the current strategies and interventions of the Sudanese women’s movement to negotiate and advance their agenda for women’s rights, peace and democracy, in the context of a strong history of feminist activism in Sudan to combat gender oppression.

Dr. Asha El-Karib is a leading feminist activist, human rights defender, researcher and proud grandmother based in Khartoum, Sudan. She is currently the Senior Strategic Advisor for the Sudanese Organization for Research and Development (SORD).

Dr. El-Karib began her activist journey as a young woman engaged in the Sudanese Women’s Union. She has worked for the Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD) and was a founder of the Gender Centre for Research and Training. Dr. El-Karib is also the co-founder of a civil society initiative in Sudan which endeavours to bring democratic civil society actors together to work jointly on issues of democracy, peace building and good governance. She also works closely with women from Darfur and on the issues relating to women and peace processes.

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Book launch with authors Tatiana Fraser and Caia Hagel


Date: October 3, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Penguin Random House of Canada, 320 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3B6
Event Note: Free event. Co-sponsored by the Centre for Feminist Research and Penguin Random House Canada. Link to event on Facebook here: View Facebook Event. Register for event here: View Event Registration. Link to Event on CFR Calendar here: View CFR Event.
Event Summary:


A book launch & signing with panel discussion led by Girl Positive authors Tatiana Fraser & Caia Hagel on how, armed with smartphones and smarts, girls are using media as a tool for innovative change and transforming the cultural and political landscape.

Featured panelists: