BSCA Conference May 24 - 26, 2013
The conference, “Where are you from? Reclaiming the Black presence in Canada,” takes place at Brock University in St. Catharines, from Friday, May 24 to Sunday, May 26.
The Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, will deliver the conference’s keynote address on the value of advancing Black Studies in Canada and its importance for intercultural dialogue and understanding. Her talk takes place Friday, May 24 in Market Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
The multi-disciplinary BCSA conference has attracted more than 60 international academic researchers, educational practitioners and scholar-artists who will present their work on a broad range of topics in the field of Black Canadian Studies. The event is also expected to draw more than 400 guests and conference participants to Niagara.
The event is important for promoting research and sharing knowledge about the diversity and complexity of the Black Canadian experience. The conference will contribute to the dialogue about the affirmative evolution of African Canadians in Canada and the challenges they and Canada face.
“African Canadians have, for centuries, contributed significantly to the enrichment of the Canadian experience and the development of Canada,” says Brock sociology professor Tamari Kitossa, BCSA secretary and conference organizer.
“The African Canadian presence is treated ambivalently, moving from reluctant recognition to erasure from the national memory,” he says. “More often than not, African Canadians are framed as ‘newcomers’ or worse, seen as a ‘social problem.’
“This conference has implications to clarify these kinds of public misconceptions and more positively affect public policy in Canada.”
Some of the wide-ranging topics that will be covered at the conference include Africentric schooling, Black/Indigenous relationships, the re-emergence of ‘black face’ minstrelsy, queering Black Canadian studies, Black masculinity and hyper-sexualization, gender and Black women’s empowerment, as well as other issues in areas like religion, health, youth, criminal justice, spoken word and hip-hop.
Congratulations Shirin Montazer!
Shirin Montazer received her BA, MA and Ph.D in Sociology from the University of Toronto. Her dissertation has won the Best Dissertation Award from the Mental Health section of the American Sociological Association for 2012-2013. She is a researcher in the area of Mental Health and Immigration with a particular focus on the relationship between country of origin, length of residence and/or generation, and the mental health outcome of immigrants and children of immigrants to Canada. Although her work focuses on the effect of immigration and mental health, she is also interested in other areas of research such as work, gender, and marriage as well as the effect of more contextual stressors on mental health outcomes. For example, she is currently collaborating on a paper that examines the effect of the September 11 attacks on a number of social and health outcomes in the United States.
Resarcher Renewed as Canada Research Chair
In her five years as Canada Research Chair in Social Justice, Janet Conway has focused on why and how people organize to bring about change, and how they use the knowledge from these activities to form emancipatory politics.
For the past decade, Conway researched the dynamics of the World Social Forum, an annual event that started in 2001 as an alternative to the Davos World Economic Forum. The World Social Forum enables people and groups to exchange ideas, experience, and strategies to come up with alternatives to dominant economic and political systems.
Hot off the press is the paperback version of her hardcover book, “Edges of Social Justice: The World Social Forum and its ‘others,’” which will be released in March at 2013 World Social Forum in Tunisia. She has also done research on the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Her Canada Research Chair renewal will enable Conway to analyze the use of digital and social media in developments of global anti-austerity and pro-democracy social movements such as the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street.