Landsensing: Body, Territory Relation
Wednesday, May 24, 4:15-5:30 PM
Warren Cariou was born and raised in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, in a family of mixed Métis and European ancestry. He has published works of fiction and memoir as well as critical writing about Indigenous storytelling, literature and environmental philosophy. He co-directed two films about Aboriginal communities in western Canada’s tar sands region and has written numerous articles, stories and poems about Indigeneity and petroleum. In his photography project, “Petrography,” he uses tar sands bitumen to create images of the industrial process of tar sands mining. He has also worked with several of Canada’s most celebrated Indigenous storytellers to promote cultural sovereignty through the performance of traditional narratives. He is co-editor of Manitowapow: Indigenous Writings from the Land of Water and he has edited award-winning fiction books by several Indigenous writers, including Lisa Bird Wilson and David Robertson. He is also General Editor of the First Voices, First Texts series of critical editions at the University of Manitoba Press. He holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of Manitoba, where he directs the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture. We thank him for his permission to use one of his Petrography photographs in the conference poster.
Blackness Rejected: The Canadian Federal Government and the 1911 Order-in-Council Banning Black Migration to Canada
Friday, May 26, 4:30-5:45 PM
Afua Cooper is a scholar, novelist, historian, poet, and social and cultural commentator whose expertise in and contributions to the arts, history, and education were recognized in 2015 with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Award from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. Dr. Cooper’s expertise includes African Canadian culture, Black women’s history, gender, slavery, abolition, and freedom, Black literatures, and education. Her co-authored publication We’re Rooted Here and they Can’t Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women’s History won the Joseph Brant prize for the best history book. Her ground-breaking book on Canadian slavery, The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Slavery in Canada and the Burning of Old Montreal was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction. Her curated exhibitions include The Underground Railroad, Next Stop Freedom, Enslaved Africans in Upper Canada and The Transatlantic Slave Trade. She served as the coordinator and chief knowledge officer of the Ontario Initiative to Commemorate the Bicentenary of the British Slave Trade Abolition (2007). Through her outstanding work and practice as a poet, she helped to centre dub poetry in Canada and beyond, and cofounded the Dub Poets Collective. She has published five books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Copper Woman and Other Poems. Her work in the creative arts has been recognized with the Premier of Ontario Award for Excellence in the Arts, a Governor General’s Award nomination, and internationally with the Beacon of Freedom Award recently awarded for her book My Name is Phillis Wheatley. Since 2011 she holds the James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University, Halifax.
Listing Waters: Towards a Poetic Theory of Indigenous and (Un)Settled Solidarities
Saturday, May 27, 9:30-10:45 AM
Dina Al-Kassim is a critical theorist who works on political subjectivation, sexuality and aesthetics in transnational modernist and contemporary cultures, including the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the United States. She is the author of On Pain of Speech: Fantasies of the First Order and the Literary Rant, which examines parrhesia and the politics of address in the practice of literary ranting. Her publications have appeared in Grey Room, International Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Public Culture, Cultural Dynamics, and the volume Islamicate Sexualities. Her current project, entitled Exposures: Biopolitics and New Precarity under Globalization, asks why and how exposure has come to be a condition of contemporary truth through selective soundings in literature and politics from Lebanon, South Africa, and the United States. Formerly a professor of Comparative Literature and Critical Theory at UC Irvine, Dr. Al-Kassim now teaches in the Department of English and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at The University of British Columbia, where she is also an Associate at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Dr. Al-Kassim has been a Mellon Postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, a Senior Seminar Fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute, and a Sawyer Seminar, Residency Fellow at the UCHRI.