2011-2012 Events

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2011-2012 Events

A book launch for Bettina Bradbury’s book Wife to Widow

September 28, 2011,   1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 2183 Vari Hall

This monumental study of two generations of women who married either before or after the Patriote rebellions of 1837-38 explores the meaning of the transition from wife to widowhood in early nineteenth-century Montreal. Bettina Bradbury weaves together the individual biographies of twenty women, against the backdrop of collective genealogies of over 500, to offer new insights into the law, politics, demography, religion, and domestic life of the time. She shows how women from all walks of life interacted with and shaped Montreal’s culture, customs, and institutions, even as they laboured under the shifting conditions of patriarchy. Immensely readable, Wife to Widow provides a rare window into the significance of marriage and widowhood during key historical moments in the history of Montreal and Quebec.

Bettina Bradbury is an award-winning historian who teaches History and Women's Studies at York University.

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Sexuality and Queer Politics: The Indian Experience

October 7, 2011,   1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

A panel discussion with Gautam Bhan, Naisargi Dave and Nancy Nicol.  On July 2nd, 2009, the Delhi High Court read down Sec 377, India's anti-sodomy law, in what was hailed as a historic decision that was, as a reputed public intellectual put it, "about all of us."

Gautam Bhan will reflect upon the understandings of sexuality as politics, and a queer politics in particular, that developed within the queer movement in India through the late 1990s and 2000s. Bhan is a queer rights activist and writer based in Delhi. He is the author of Because I Have a Voice: Queer Politics in India, and a member of Voices against Sec 377, a coalition of a dozen organizations that was one of the petitioners in the legal case.

Naisargi N. Dave will speak about early fault lines in the struggle against Sec 377, as well as queer theorizations of the relationship between law and society. She will examine queer activists’ debates on two legal reform measures: a judicial effort to amend S.377; and a primarily legislative effort to make sexual assault laws gender neutral. Dave is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Her work concerns emergent forms of politics and relationality in urban India.

Nancy Nicol will discuss “Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights,” an international research project that looks at resistance to laws introduced by British colonial rule criminalizing same-sex acts. Starting with Sec 377, these laws spread throughout the British Empire. Nicol is the Principal Investigator of the project, Associate Professor of Visual Arts at York University and a documentary filmmaker. Part of the project will be Nicol’s documentary on the struggle against Sec 377.

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Waiting for Mentors: Black Women Attorneys Negotiate Gendered Racism to Create Careers

October 26, 2011,   2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

A lecture from visiting scholar Elizabeth Higginbotham. This talk will explore the meaning of race, gender and class in legal workplaces that impact the professional socialization of Black American women attorneys. Higginbotham examines the careers of Black women attorneys who graduated from American law schools between 1974 and 1990 to identify the nature of barriers in their workplaces and the impact on their careers.

Elizabeth Higginbotham is currently a Professor in the Department of Sociology with appointments in Women’s Studies and Black American Studies at the University of Delaware. She was one of the founders of the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis, where she was located between 1983 and 1998. Her scholarship has been in the areas of race, class and gender with attention to issue of education and employment. Higginbotham is the author of Too Much to Ask: Black Women in the Era of Integration (University of North Carolina Press, 2001); co-editor of Women and Work: Exploring Race, Ethnicity, and Class (Sage Publications, 1997) and Race and Ethnicity in Society: The Changing Landscape, third edition (Wadsworth, 2012) with Margaret L. Andersen. Her articles appear in Gender & Society, Women's Studies Quarterly, SIGNS, and many edited collections.

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“The Arrivals Creation Process: Recovering the Lost Body” with Diane Roberts, a VIVA! Workshop

October 30, 2011,   2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Diane Roberts is a Caribbean Canadian theatre artist working from an AfriCentric perspective, which has informed the development of The Personal Legacy Project and The Arrivals Project in the past five years. She is currently artistic director of urban ink productions, that develops and produces aboriginal and diverse cultural works of theatre, writing and film, integrating artistic disciplines, and bringing together different cultural and artistic perspectives and inter-racial experiences. Her chapter in the VIVA! book, “The Lost Body: Recovering Memory – A Personal Legacy” reflects on the process she has developed to help actors explore their ancestral histories, through both archival and embodied research.

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A book launch for Ali Kazimi’s Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru

November 1, 2011,   12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Ali Kazimi (York)is a documentary filmmaker whose research interests include race, migration, indigineity, history and memory, with a particular interest in South Asia and Canada.

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A workshop with Shari Graydon of Informed Opinions

December 5, 2011, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Shari Graydon is an award-winning author, journalist and communications consultant with over 20 years of experience  on both sides of the media microphone.

Informed Opinions

CFR Meet & Greet

January 19, 2012,   2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

CFR Faculty and Graduate Student Associates (and those interestde in becoming members) at York are invited to come out and enjoy some socializing with their feminist peers and scholars.

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Gender Imbalance and Social Development in China: Consequences and Policies

January 26, 2012,   2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The International Development Studies seminar series hosts Dr. Li Shuzhuo, professor and director of the Institute for population and development studies at Xi'an Jiaotong University in Xi'an, China.

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Cross-Dressing for Empire: Embodying White Masculinity Through Performance in San Francisco’s Bohemian Club, 1870s-1920s

January 30, 2012,   4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

A lecture by Susan Stryker. This talk examines the role of cross-dressing theatrical performances in the construction of white masculinity at San Francisco’s ultra-elite, exclusively male Bohemian Club in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I argue that, far from being frivolous diversions, these performances played an integral role in shaping club members’ conceptualization of their role in the administration of the U.S. Pacific Empire.

Susan Stryker is Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies, and Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, at the University of Arizona. She earned her Ph.D. in United States History at U.C. Berkeley in 1992, held a post-doctoral fellowship in Sexuality Studies at Stanford University, and has been a visiting faculty member at Harvard University, U.C.-Santa Cruz, Simon Fraser University, and Macquarie University.  She has written widely on queer and transgender topics, and co-edited the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology The Transgender Studies Reader. Her Emmy Award-winning film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, documents an episode of transgender collective resistance to police oppression in 1966. She is currently researching cross-dressing theatricals in San Francisco’s all-male Bohemian Club, and working on a new film about 1950s transsexual celebrity Christine Jorgensen, and continuing to promote the development of transgender studies.

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VPRI Social Sciences and Humanities Research Day

February 1, 2012,   10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Come to Vari Hall and see what CFR and our Associates have been up to for the past year. CFR research, publications and events will be highlighted.

Precocious Jouissance: Roland Barthes, Amatory Maladjustment, and Emotion

February 8, 2012,   2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

A lecture by Jane Gallop. In this lecture Jane Gallop returns to one of her theoretical touchstones, The Pleasure of the Text, in order to frame Roland Barthes as a queer theorist avant la lettre. In 1973 Barthes outlines and advocates an anti-normative, anti-institutional erotics that celebrates the reader’s perversity. Gallop connects her reading of Barthes’ celebration of perversity, now over 30 years old, to contemporary discussions of queer temporality. While it is well known that Barthes understands readerly pleasure according to the model of sexual perversion, Gallop shows how Barthes surprisingly advocates a kind of sexual dysfunction.  While both perversion and dysfunction are part of the pathologization of difference in sexuality, it seems easier and less radical to celebrate perversion – which has a transgressive cultural and theoretical history – than to expand the affirmation of sexual otherness beyond perversion to dysfunction. Gallop explores these linkages between texts, bodies, failure, and bliss, with her characteristic attentiveness to close reading and intellectual bravado.

Jane Gallop is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee, where she has taught since 1990. Before that, she was Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Humanities at Rice University, where she founded the Women's Studies program. At the beginning of her career, she taught in the French Department at Miami University in Ohio (she earned a PhD in French Literature in 1976).  She is the author of nine books, and nearly a hundred articles. While the topics vary, her writing can be understood as the consistent application of a close reading method to theoretical texts.  She has been teaching this close reading of theory to her students for the past 35 years. Her most recent book is The Deaths of the Author: Reading and Writing in Time, published by Duke University Press in 2011.

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Thinking Women and Health Care Reform: A Seminar and Book Launch

February 14, 2012,   12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Thinking Women and Health Care Reform in Canada starts with the understanding that health care is a women’s issue. Written by members of Women and Health Care Reform, a national working group housed within the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health, the collection points to the importance of including gender in health sector decision-making. The book looks at such issues as obesity, maternity care, mental health of health care workers, and private health insurance through a gendered lens.

Alison Jenkins Jayman, a doctoral candidate in Sociology, Morgan Seeley, a doctoral candidate in Women’s Studies, and Pat Armstrong, professor in Sociology and Women’s Studies, are three of the authors in a recently published book edited by Women and Health Care Reform, a group that has been working for more than a dozen years on identifying why health care reform is an issue for women, what the issues are and for which women.

Three short presentations will be followed by a light lunch and a chance to mingle.

Pat Armstrong: Framing Health Care as a Woman’s Issue and an Issue for Specific Women
Alison Jenkins Jayman: Women and Private Health Insurance
Morgan Seeley: Women and Long-term Residential Care

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Sisterhood Revisited: Local, Transcontinental and Global Feminist Struggles

March 8, 2012,   4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  Founders Senior Common Room (Founders 305)

A lecture by Jacinta Muteshi. Women’s movements and women’s rights advocates have a long history of engagement and organizing as local and transnational groups. This activism is informed by both the interconnectedness and the diversity of their visions, experiences and struggles. This keynote will focus on the immense complexities and contradictions for democracy and feminist politics within institutions of governance.  Governance has become a key arena of feminist contestationary activity, because it controls and limits feminist visions, while simultaneously carving out spaces for selected local, transcontinental and global feminist organizing and politics in the struggle for women’s inclusion in democratic governance.  Furthermore, in a world deeply defined by the agendas of powerful transnational and global entities that pose sophisticated challenges to feminist visions, making sense of the perceptions and practices of universality and specificity among women has underscored the need for theoretical clarity and an understanding of the possibilities inherent in feminist alliances.

Jacinta Muteshi works as a scholar, advisor and consultant in the field of women rights and gender equality with over 20 years working in diverse international, regional and national fora. She was educated at the State University of New York, McGill University and University of Toronto where she obtained her Ph.D.  She currently lives in Nigeria.

This event is co-sponsored by The Jean Augustine Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment, Founders College and the Centre for Feminist Research.

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From Bleeding Hearts to Critical Thinking: Exploring the Issue of Human Trafficking

March 19, 2012,  11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Vari Hall Rotunda

March 20, 2012,  9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.  Founders Senior Common Room (Founders 305)

Stories about human trafficking, particularly ‘sex trafficking’ abound in the media. Yet what do we make of such stories and what can we do to address the issue?

This year two courses in Development Studies and Women’s Studies   - SOSC3455 “Global Human Trafficking” and WMS6211/DVST5124 “The Global Sex Trade” - taught by Professor Kamala Kempadoo of the Department of Social Science, gave undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to study such questions in depth. Some of the results of the student study and research will be presented at a conference at York University on March 19-20, 2012. The aim of the conference is to animate critical thinking amongst the wider York U. community about human trafficking narratives and to exchange ideas about strategies for change. The conference underlines the importance of theorizing everyday social problems in order to effectively tackle such issues both politically and academically, while emphasizing the need for informed research on migration and forced labour practices.

During the conference the work of students in the two courses will be showcased as examples of how one can engage with the issue of trafficking in meaningful and critical ways. A main focus is the analysis of media representations of human trafficking, including examinations of how race, nationality, sexuality and gender are taken up in films, TV documentaries and video clips.  To publicize and kick-off the one-day conference, some of the undergraduate student research will be staged or presented in Vari Hall on Monday March 19. On Tuesday March 20, undergraduate presentations will continue, followed by paper presentations by graduate students. To complement the student analyses, internationally renowned sex worker rights’ activist and filmmaker Carol Leigh will present several of her short documentaries that explore the perceived nexus between sex work and trafficking. The conference will wrap up with the launch of the second edition of the book edited by Professor Kempadoo, Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered: New Perspectives on Migration, Sex Work and Human Rights, which includes a new overview of studies on human trafficking and a reflection by policy-makers, researchers and activists on what has been accomplished since the first edition of the book. The event is being co-organized with the Centre for Feminist Research.

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Creative Methodologies as a Resource for Mayan Women’s Protagonism

March 20, 2012,  12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 208A York Lanes (Above the bookstore)

A talk by Alison Crosby, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. Mayan women’s struggles for their own protagonism within histories of colonization and imperialist intervention in Guatemala highlight the complexities of racialized gendered power. Resistance always exists, even though it may be continuously invisibilized, including through Western feminists’ production of knowledge about the victimized Other. This talk analyzes the transformative potential of the use of creative methodologies, including the arts, embodied practices, and the Mayan cosmovision, in feminist participatory action research processes with Mayan women survivors of violence in Guatemala over the past two decades, and the roles played by various intermediaries.

This research is a collaborative endeavour with Prof. M. Brinton Lykes from Boston College, and forms part of a transnational research project on psychosocial approaches to trauma headed by Prof. Brandon Hamber, director of the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland.  Presented by: The Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), and the Centre for Feminist Research (CFR). Chair: Barbara Crow, LA&PS, Associate Dean, Research.

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Celebrating "Knowledge Reconsidered: Feminism and the Academy" & "York Women's Studies History to 2011"

March 23, 2012,  2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Founders Senior Common Room (Founders 305)

One project is a book launch, a collection of essays edited by Profs Meg Luxton and Mary Jane Mossman based on the lecture series in 2009, "Knowledge Reconsidered: Feminism and the Academy." This is a project that was cosponsored by the Centre for Feminist Research. The second project, also funded by U50 in 2009, is the launch of the five-foot plaque "York Women's Studies History to 2011," a project directed by Prof Rusty Shteir.

Emerging from the lecture series “Feminist Knowledge Reconsidered: Feminism and the Academy,” held at York University in 2009, Reconsidering Knowledge examines current ideas about feminism in relation to knowledge, education and society, and the future potential for feminist research and teaching in the university context. Connecting early stories of women who defied their exclusion from knowledge creation to contemporary challenges for feminism in universities, this collection assesses how feminist knowledge has influenced domi- nant thinking and transformed teaching and learning. It also focuses on the challenges for feminism as corporatization redefines the role of universities in a global world. The essays reflect on both historical and contemporary themes from a diversity of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, but are united in their exploration of how feminism’s continuing contribution to knowledge remains significant, even fundamental, to the transformation of knowledge in the academy and in our world.

The launch will be a relatively informal reception hosted by the Directors of the Centre for Feminist Research (Prof Enakshi Dua) and Osgoode's Institute for Feminist Legal Studies (Sonia Lawrence) who will make brief welcome comments. There will be two short presentations, one by Rusty Shteir about her Women's Studies history project, and the other (jointly) by Meg Luxton and Mary Jane Mossman about the lecture series and the book project.

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Stories of the city: Reading urban change through lgbtq oral histories

April 17, 2012,  11:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. 626 York Research Tower

A lecture by Tiffany Muller Myrdahl

In this talk, Tiffany Muller Myrdahl will present a portion of her ongoing research, The Lives of (Sexual) Others: Social difference and urban change in Lethbridge, Alberta. This project places oral histories, municipal social policies, and participatory planning practices in conversation to analyse urban change and lgbtq spatialities and subjectivities (in transition). She employs oral histories to analyse how lgbtq people negotiate their everyday geographies in a context of rapid urban change, and understand how social difference is lived, perceived, and produced in a growing city.

Tiffany Muller Myrdahl is a feminist geographer (PhD University of Minnesota, 2008) and an assistant professor in the Department of Women & Gender Studies at the University of Lethbridge. Her research interests are concentrated in three overlapping areas: geographies of difference; place and the politics of identity; and geographies of urban change and uneven urban development. She is a visiting scholar with CFR, January - June 2012.

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Devising Methods to Regularize and Developing Research/Writing Skills for Graduate Students

April 26 & 27, 2012

In this session, students will be provided a forum for working out problems of conceptualization and structure, the use of evidence, the development of each paper (individually) and also in relation to each other, techniques for effective writing, drafting and revising, and preparing the final document for publication. We will also practice techniques for presenting a chapter and publishing the articles; Faculty will be given a chance to reflect on the method to regularize this workshop and turn it into a multi-program project for professionalization. Prepared and led by Anna Aganthangelou (Political Science), Christina Sharpe (Tufts University), Alison Crosby (Women’s Studies), Jody Berland (Communication Studies), Tracy Arnt (University of Toronto Press), and Karen Murray (Political Science).

Women and Science: Why So Few?

May 1, 2012,  12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. 636 York Research Tower

A lecture by Neelam Kumar. Neelam Kumar is a scientist with the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), in New Delhi, India. Her work concerns the psychology of science, and gender and science. She published the edited book Women and Science in India (Oxford University Press, 2009) and another volume, Gender and Science: Studies across Cultures, is being published by Cambridge University Press, India. She is a visiting scholar at CFR from January 2012-May 2012.

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Fighting Hate Speech in the E.U.

May 10, 2012,  12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 305 York Lanes

The European Union Centre of Excellence and the Centre for Feminist Research at York University are pleased to be co-presenting a lecture by Dr. Uladzislau Belavusau, an Assistant Professor of Law with Amsterdam's Vrije Universiteit, with expertise in EU law, human rights, comparative constitutional law, and critical theory. This lecture will explore the latest developments on the controversial issue of hate speech in European law, both on the level of the Council of Europe and most recently in EU non-discrimination law.

Dr. Belavusau holds a Ph.D. from the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) and an LL.M. from the Collège d’Europe (Bruges, Belgium). He was a visiting scholar at both the University of California at Berkeley (USA) and Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (Heidelberg, Germany).

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Toronto launch for Ali Kazimi’s book Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru

May 29, 2012

This Is Not A Reading Series (TINARS www.tinars.ca) will be hosting a book launch for Ali Kazimi’s Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru at the Gladstone Hotel on May 29th. As the name implies, This Is Not A Reading Series is a literature series that veers away from readings and instead focuses on bringing books to life through music, interviews, films, storytelling, improv, artwork – just about any form of art that will create engagement with an audience. At the launch for Undesirables Ali Kazimiwill be presenting a slideshow on the Komagata Maru then Audrey Macklin will interview him to discuss the subject matter of the book and his film, "Continuous Journey," in depth. The evening will also include an audience Q&A as well as a book signing session.

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Brown Canada Showcase: "Sharing Our Stories: Creating New Legacies"

June 27, 2012, 5:30-9:00 p.m., Grace Church, 41 Britain Street

The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) presents the Brown Canada Showcase, "Sharing Our Stories: Creating New Legacies."  Brown Canada is a community led history project documenting, creating and sharing South Asian histories in Canada.  This informatvie and entertaining Showcase features:
- The premiere of the original play, Oh Canada, Oh Komagata Maru!
- A screening of the Brown Canada DVD
- The "Our Stories, Our Histories" South Asian History Exhibit
- An interactive discussion about Racialized and Indigenous histories
- A free resource booklet on South Asian histories in Canada

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August 29, 2012, 7:00 p.m., OnlyOneGallery, 88 Harbord St.

This event has grown from an on-going project Andil Gosine has been working on over the last couple of years (and which initially grew out of a fashion-art collection made while Gosine completed a fellowship at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology in 2010-11).  The first of four "art happenings" to be held over the next year, it will showcase the talents of Haitian-Canadian Paris-based feminist singer-songwriter Melissa Laveaux, and aims to "process" and think through some of the "intimate inheritances" of migration and displacement.  While the project looks at the story of Indo-Caribbean migration in particular, the project is a more universal examination of the how social ruptures frame/shape/inform personal experiences. Co-­Sponsors: Caribbean Studies, University of Toronto; Department of Sociology, York University; and the Centre for Feminist Research, York University.

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