Fall 2019 Colloquium Seminars

Tuesday talks  are 1:00 - 2:30 pm 
Academic Quadrangle Building, AQ 5067
Ellen Gee Common Room
SFU Burnaby Campus

Free and open to all. Brown bag lunch.

Zhipeng (Zed) Gao, Ph.D. SSHRC postdoctoral fellow, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University 

Based on his dissertation, Zed will present China's historical project of creating a "new socialist human", a utopian figure that nonetheless bore imprints of Cold War struggle and economic burden. By focusing on three interlaced case studies - the evolution of dialectical materialist philosophy, the repudiation of psychological science, and the radicalization of education, Zed discusses the transnational and local conditions in which the new human project was carried out. 

Zhipeng (Zed) Gao was born and raised in China before earning his master and Ph.D. degrees in psychology at York University, Toronto. During his two-year postdoctoral tenure at SFU, he will research on how Chinese immigrants in Canada negotiate their hybrid identity and sociocultural beliefs amid the recent Canada-China tension.

Allyship in the Time of Death: Black Feminism, Black Male Aggrievement, and the Politics of Division and Liberation.

October 15, 2019

Freeden Blume Oeur, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Tufts University

Black Feminism has been variously described as thriving, dying, and on the defensive. With some Black feminists themselves skeptical of its future, critics of all stripes and political affiliations have swarmed to attack its legitimacy, and particularly intersectionality, the field’s most important contribution. Perhaps the strangest of these strange bedfellows is a “New Black Masculinities” (NBM) an emergent field of study that intentionally rejects Black feminism. This talk draws on a chapter in the forthcoming volume Black Feminist Sociology (coauthored with Saida Grundy of Boston University). I demonstrate how NBM promotes "Black male aggrievement," a conservative gender politics anchored in an explicitly anti-racist agenda, and that claims injury at the hands of Black women. Black male aggrievement feeds off a post-feminist neoliberal agenda and serves the zero sum politics of the neoliberal academy. I next show how a regressive neoliberal social justice ideology has infiltrated K-12 U.S. education and initiatives aimed at young Black men, with similar programs targeted to at-risk youth in Canadian schools. I end with a call for an allyship of Black feminism and NMB that promotes a praxis of caring and reparations for all Black youth.

Freeden Blume Oeur is Associate Professor of sociology and education at Tufts University. He also serves as senior co-chair for the Boston Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality. His research examines the interplay of gender and masculinity, feminist theory, and Black politics. Blume Oeur is the author of the award-winning book Black Boys Apart: Racial Uplift and Respectability in All-Male Public Schools (2018) and co-editor of Unmasking Masculinities: Men and Society (2017). His new book project, The Sociological Dream, compares the Cold War intellectual itineraries of W. E. B. Du Bois and C. Wright Mills in order to reassess the politics, the promise, and the propaganda of contemporary sociology.

Medicine and Morality: Crises in the History of a Profession

November 19, 2019

Helen Kang

Medical professionals are expected to act in the interest of patients, the public, and the pursuit of medical knowledge. Their disinterested pursuit offers them credibility and authority. Helen Kang examines three moments in the history of the medical profession in Canada, spanning more than 150 years, when doctors’ moral and scientific authority was questioned. Kang shows that, in these moments of crisis, the profession was compelled to re-examine its priorities, strategize in order to regain credibility, and redefine what it means to be a good doctor in the context of the profession's social, political, historical, and economic struggles with the state, the media, and even the public.

Dr. Helen Kang is a consultant in healthcare, specializing in research analysis and developing new care systems and practice standards. Her book, Medicine and Morality: Crises in the history of a profession (UBC Press, 2019) examines the tension between doctors' professional interest and their moral imperative to act on behalf of patients and the public. Helen completed her PhD in Sociology at Simon Fraser University in 2013.