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

A Talk and Presentation


With: CFR Visiting Scholar Dr. Barbara Baird
Introduced by: Professor David Murray
Date: Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Time: 3:00-5:00 pm
Location: 280N York Lanes
Event Notes: Please RSVP to this event by emailing juliapyr@yorku.ca. Refreshments provided.
Event Summary:

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

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

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Trans/acting Culture, Writing, and Memory: Essays in Honour of Barbara Godard

Book Launch


Book Editors:

  • Eva C. Karpinski;
  • Jennifer Henderson;
  • Ian Sowton; and
  • Ray Ellenwood

Introduced by:

  • Dr. Eva C. Karpinski; Eva teaches feminist theory and autobiography in the School of Women’s Studies at York University;
  • Dr. Ray Ellenwood; Ray retired from York University in 2005 but is still actively researching and publishing;
  • Dr. Himani Bannerji; Himani teaches in the areas of anti-racist feminism, Marxist cultural theories, gender, colonialism and imperialism.

Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Time: 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: 280N York Lanes, Keele Campus, York University
Event Notes: Please RSVP to this event by emailing juliapyr@yorku.ca. Refreshments served.
Event Summary:

Trans/acting Culture, Writing, and Memory is a collection of essays written in honour of Barbara Godard, one of the most original and wide-ranging literary critics, theorists, teachers, translators, and public intellectuals Canada has ever produced.

The contributors, both established and emerging scholars, extend Godard’s work through engagements with her published texts in the spirit of creative interchange and inter-generational relay of ideas. Their essays resonate with Godard’s innovative scholarship, situated at the intersection of such fields as literary studies, cultural studies, translation studies, feminist theory, arts criticism, social activism, institutional analysis, and public memory.  In pursuit of unexpected linkages and connections, the essays venture beyond generic and disciplinary borders, zeroing in on Godard’s transdisciplinary practice which has been extremely influential in the way it framed questions and modelled interventions for the study of Canadian, Québécois, and Acadian literatures and cultures.

The contributors work with the materials ranging from Canadian government policies and documents to publications concerning white-supremacist organizations in Southern Ontario, online materials from a Toronto-based transgender arts festival, a photographic mural installation commemorating the Montreal Massacre, and the works of such writers and artists as Marie Clements, Nicole Brossard, France Daigle, Nancy Huston, Yvette Nolan, Gail Scott, Denise Desautels, Louise Warren, Rebecca Belmore, Vera Frenkel, Robert Lepage, and Janet Cardiff.

Copies of the book will be available for sale.

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"Invoking the Goddess"

Photography Exhibition Launch & Viewing


Work by: Dr. Malathi de Alwis and Sharni Jayawardena
Event Notes: Co-presented by Crossroads Community and Environmental Arts Workshop & the Centre for Feminist Research.

Photography Exhibition Launch, Introductory Talk & Reception:

Date: Monday, November 3, 2014
: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Crossroads Gallery at 281 HNES (Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies, Rm. 281)
Introductory Talk by: Dr. Malathi de Alwis

Photography Exhibition Viewing:

Dates: Tuesday, November 4, 2014 to Thursday, November 6, 2014
Times: See below
Locations: See below

Events Summary:

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

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

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

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

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

"Invoking the Goddess"

Panel Discussion ("The Creative Arts as Pedagogy")


Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: 140 HNES (Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies, Rm. 140)

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

Facilitated by:

  • Alison Crosby (York University)

Event Notes: Co-presented by Crossroads Community and Environmental Arts Workshop & the Centre for Feminist Research.
Event Summary:

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

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

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"Private Dancer" with Dr. Andil Gosine and Melissa Laveaux

A Performance and Talk


Work by: Andil Gosine and Melissa Laveaux
Date: Monday, November 24, 2014
Time: 2:30 pm to 4.30 pm
Location: Founders Assembly Hall, Keele Campus, York University
Event Note: RSVP to juliapyr@yorku.ca
Event Summary:

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

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

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

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Has September 11, 2001 Changed the World for Women?"

A Talk and Presentation by Dr. Bronwyn Winter


Introduced by: Dr. Haideh Moghissi
Date: Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Time: 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: 280N York Lanes, Keele Campus, York University
Event Note: Co-sponsored by the Centre for Feminist Research & the Department of Equity Studies. RSVP to juliapyr@yorku.ca by November 19, 2014.
Event Summary:

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

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For Your Information:

Dr. Bronwyn Winter will also be giving a lecture entitled "New Challenge for Human Rights? The Emergence of an LGBTI Human Rights Norm: Perspectives and Problems" at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.  Please see the following website address for more information about this event: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/cwse/Events_Activities/

Gendering International Student Mobility: An Indian Case Study

A Talk by Dr. Gunjan Sondhi


Moderated By: Dr. Alison Crosby
Date: Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Time: 12:30 – 2:00pm
Location: 280N York Lanes, York University
Event Note: Co-Sponsored by Migration Matters, Centre for Refugee Studies. RSVP to juliapyr@yorku.ca
Event Summary:

Using gendered geographies of power as a frame, this paper presents the experiences of Indian students across three space-time locations: before the students left India; while abroad in Toronto; and their return to New Delhi. The discussion, through the narratives of students and their parents (in India), uncovers the gendered power relations in and across geographic and social scales that shape the decision to go abroad, the experience while abroad and the experience of return ‘home’.

Gunjan Sondhi is a postdoctoral fellow at the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), working on a project entitled ‘International Student and Education Migrant Mobilities’, funded by Population Change and Lifecourse Knowledge Cluster and YCAR.  Gunjan received her PhD from the Sussex Centre for Migration Research (SCMR) at the University of Sussex, UK.  Her doctoral research examined the gendered experiences of Indian International students in Toronto.

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Violent Intimacies: Transgender Embodiment, Law, and the State in Contemporary Turkey

A Talk by Dr. Asli Zengin


Introduced By: Dr. Allyson Mitchell
Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Location: 519 Kaneff Tower,  Keele Campus, York University
Event Note: RSVP to juliapyr@yorku.ca
Event Summary:
In Turkey, there is little institutional room for ambiguous or ambivalent sex and gender. The state is active in producing and deploying medico-legal projects that constantly strive to disambiguate the ambiguously sexed and gendered bodies, and recruit them as unambiguous heteronormative national subjects. In her talk, Dr. Zengin will focus on how the dominant categories of sex and gender gain definition through the formation of violent intimacies and proximities between the Turkish state and transgender people.

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

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

Light refreshments served.

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