Cultural Studies Speaker
Each year the Cultural Studies Program organizes a series of events with nationally and internationally recognized scholars and cultural practitioners. By offering public talks, seminars with students and faculty members, and community engagement activities, the annual Cultural Studies speakers contribute to facilitating interdisciplinary conversation on various cultural issues.
2019 Cultural Studies Speaker
R. Cassandra Lord is an Assistant Professor of Sexuality Studies in the Department of Historical Studies, Women and Gender Studies Program at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) campus with a graduate appointment in the Women and Gender Studies Institute (St. George campus).
Dr. Lord’s current book manuscript “Performing Queer Diasporas: Friendships, Proximities and Intimacies in Pride Parades” examines the public performance of “Pelau MasQUEERade,” a Caribbean queer diasporic group that participates in the annual Toronto Pride Parade. The group insists on new ways to belong by reaching out transnationally to the Caribbean and other diasporic sites as a way to envision how kinship, forged out of queer diasporic practices of affiliation, can be used as a model to build community.
Dr. Cassandra Lord will spend a week on campus from March 4 to 8 working with students, faculty and offering free public events.
Sensations of Moving on ‘de Road’: Performing Queer Diasporic Desire in Pelau MasQUEERade
Monday, March 4, 2019
2:00-3:30pm, UNC Ballroom (UNC 200)
This talk draws on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with participants of Pelau MasQUEERade, a Caribbean queer diasporic group of colour that participates in annual Toronto Pride Parade. The group draws on the history and tradition associated with Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) Carnival, and at the same time utilizes a queer practice that rearranges traditional understandings of T&T Carnival. In this talk I demonstrate how the group’s performance uses Caribbean vernacular of ‘de road’ to translate into embodied ways of knowing. I argue that ‘de road’ is a pathway where connective histories and experiences are shared and expressed in the stories of Pelau MasQUEERade’s participants. I further discuss how desire and pleasure are revealed through performative act of ‘wining,’ a rhythmic expression which enables masqueeraders to express moments of joy and freedom to transform and claim the parade route as a Caribbean queer diasporic performative space.
Co-sponsored by the UBCSUO Pride Resource Centre, UBCO Equity and Inclusion Office, Community, Cultural, and Global Studies, History and Sociology, and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
We Have Always Been Here: Pelau MasQUEERade Disturbing Pride Toronto’s History, “Starting a Conversation” Brown Bag Research Talk
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
12:30-1:30pm, ART 368
This talk addresses the uneasy tensions and overlaps between race, sexuality, and citizenship, by focusing on the moments when queer diasporic people of colour slip ‘in’ and ‘out’ of Pride Toronto—the organization that hosts the annual Toronto LGBTT Pride Parade. Drawing on Pride Toronto’s 30th anniversary promotional material and five-year strategic plan, I apply a queer diaspora reading practice to problematize how white gays and lesbians are made central to queer history in Canada. The paper introduces Pelau MasQUEERade, a Caribbean queer diasporic group that participates in Pride parade, to reveal how queer diasporic people of colour disrupt and rework Pride Toronto’s de-racialized narrative in multiple and contradictory ways.
Co-sponsored by the Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER)
2017 – Min Sook Lee
Min Sook Lee is an Assistant Professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University where she teaches Art and Social Change. Her research and teaching focuses on the intersections of labour, border politics, migration, art, and social change. Min Sook is also an award-winning Canadian filmmaker with a diverse and prolific portfolio of multimedia work.
Her filmography includes the Gemini nominated El Contrato (2005); Hogtown (2005); Tiger Spirit (2008); Badge of Pride (2010); The Real Inglorious Bastards (2012); and Migrant Dreams (2016)
2016 – Wanda Nanibush
Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator, and community organizer living in her territory of Chimnising. Nanibush was guest curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario and toured, The Fifth World, which opened in January 2016 at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. The island life allows her to finish upcoming projects: a film called A Love Letter to My People, a documentary on Gerald Vizenor, and a book called Violence No More (with ARP Press), an anthology of Indigenous curatorial writing.
2015 – Harsha Walia
Harsha Walia is a South Asian author and activist, currently residing in Vancouver, on unceded Coast Salish territories. Harsha is a cofounder of the migrant justice group No One Is Illegal and the progressive South Asian network Radical Desis. She works at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center. She is also an organizer in the Annual Women’s Memorial March Committee, Defenders of the Land Network and South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy.
2014 – David Chariandy
David Chariandy, PhD, who teaches in the English department at Simon Fraser University, co-founded Commodore Books, the first Black Canadian literary press in Western Canada. His debut novel, Soucouyant (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007), was nominated for 10 literary prizes and awards, including being shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; it was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Award.
2013 -Helen Haig-Brown
Helen Haig-Brown (Tsilhoqot’in) is an award-winning director, director of photography and teacher, whose documentaries focus on experiences from within her own family and explore issues of land and language that are of significance to many First Nations people. Her first fictional work, The Cave, was an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and of Berlinale 2010. In 2009, The Cave was named one of Canada’s Top Ten Short Films by the Toronto International Film Festival.