The Equity Matters Seminar Series provides an opportunity for the University of Toronto Scarborough community to engage with prominent speakers on issues of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in academia. Seminars are open to faculty, librarians, staff, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Information about previous Equity Matters Seminars can be accessed here. Questions can be directed to Eileen Egan-Lee, Faculty Development Administrator.
Rehearsals for Living: In Conversation with Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
10:00 - 11:30 am - Seminar & Discussion
11:30 - 1:00 pm - Lunch
UTSC campus, Zoom option available
Description: When the world entered pandemic lockdown in spring 2020, Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson began writing each other letters—a gesture sparked by a desire for kinship and connection in a world shattering under the intersecting crises of pandemic, police killings, and climate catastrophe. These letters soon grew into a powerful exchange about where we go from here. By articulating to each other Black and Indigenous perspectives on our unprecedented here and now, and reiterating the long-disavowed histories of slavery and colonization that have brought us to this moment, Maynard and Simpson create something new: an urgent demand for a different way forward, and a poetic call to dream up other ways of ordering earthly life. Please join us for a reading from Rehearsals for Living by Maynard and Simpson and an engaging conversation about the book between the authors and Professor Karina Vernon.
Reading Group: As a follow up to the Equity Matters seminar, the Office of the Vice-Principal and Dean will be sponsoring a reading group that will provide participants with the opportunity to meet one of the authors, Robyn Maynard, and other readers. Participants will be expected to read the book in advance and prepare one or more lingering questions about the book to share with the group. This is an opportunity to think deeply about the book and engage in critical discussion on the book's themes with the author. Details to be announced.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics, story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity. Working for two decades as an independent scholar using Nishnaabeg intellectual practices, Leanne has lectured and taught extensively at universities across Canada and the United States and has over twenty years' experience with Indigenous land based education. She holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba and is member of Alderville First Nation. Leanne is the author of eight books, including A Short History of the Blockade and the novel Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies which was short listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction and the Dublin Literary Prize. This Accident of Being Lost was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Trillium Book Award. Her new project, a collaboration with Robyn Maynard, Rehearsals for Living is a National Best Seller and was short listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction. Leanne is also a musician. Her latest release Theory of Ice was named to the Polaris Prize short list, and she is the 2021 winner of the Prism Prize’s Willie Dunn Award.
Robyn Maynard is an Assistant Professor of Black Feminisms in Canada at the University of Toronto-Scarborough in the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies, with a graduate appointment in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the St. George Campus. She is the author of Policing Black Lives: State violence in Canada from slavery to the Present (Fernwood, 2017) and the co-author of Rehearsals for Living (Knopf/Haymarket, Abolitionist Papers 3, 2022). She has published writing in the Washington Post, World Policy Journal, the Toronto Star, TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Canadian Woman Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies Journal, Scholar & Feminist Journal, and a number of peer-reviewed book anthologies. Maynard’s research and teaching focus on transnational Black feminist thought and Black social movements, policing, borders and carceral studies, Black-Indigenous histories and praxis, Black Canadian studies, as well as abolitionist and anti-colonial methodologies.
Karina Vernon is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto Scarborough where she researches and teaches Canadian and Black Canadian literature. She is editor of The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology (WLUP 2020) and a companion volume, Critical Readings in the Black Prairie Archives, which is forthcoming. She is co-editor, with Winfried Siemerling (UWaterloo), of Call and Response-ability: Black Canadian Works of Art and the Politics of Relation (forthcoming, MQUP), which offers a Black Canadian theory of reception and relation.