Recent Events

Terror Capitalism and State-Directed Gender Violence Toward Turkic Muslims

Join us on Nov 25 for a talk by Darren Byler addressing the Chinese state's implementation of 're-education' in Xinjiang, and how these modes of social engineering have produced forms of gendered violence and disintegration of Indigenous social systems. More info / RSVP -


MUSTANG JUSTICE and the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies proudly present

Film Screening and Q & A with Arshad Khan

June 7, 2019
9:00 am - 11:30 am
SFU Surrey Campus
SUR 2600 Westminster Savings Theatre

ABU is a journey to the centre of a fragmented family while they grapple with religion, sexuality, colonialism and migration.  Through a tapestry of narratives composed of family footage, observation ad classic Bollywood films, gay-identifying Pakistani-Muslim filmmaker Arshad Khan takes viewers through the tense relationships between family and fate, conservation and liberalisim and modertnity and familiarity.

International Workshop on Gender, Diversity & Inclusiveness

June 1st 2019 Saturday
8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Simon Fraser University
Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver
Ancestral & Unceded Territory of the Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Nations

Please email your full name and affiliation to GSWS Manager Roberta at
and mention ‘International Workshop Registration’ in the subject line

Sponsored by
SFU Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Dean Office | David Lam Center
Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies | Institute for the Humanities
Labour Studies Program | School of International Studies | Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Jointly Organized by
Habiba Zaman
Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, SFU, Canada
Shi Guoqing
Professor & Director of Research Center for Gender & Development, and National
Research Center for Resettlement, Hohai University, Nanjing, China
Xiujie Zhu
Associate Professor & Vice-Chair, Research Center for Gender & Development
Hohai University, Nanjing, China

Videos from the workshop here

Photos from the International Workshop on Gender, Diversity & Inclusiveness

From left to right:

Leena Hasan, Shoak Alhussami, Veronica Sudesh, Tiffany Muller Myrdahl, Rebecca Yoshizawa, Habiba Zaman, Guldana Salimjan, Reema Faris, Sanzida Habib

History of Women’s Writing and Publishing
in Canada and Britain

Café Minerva

Please join Café Minerva for an evening on the History of Women’s Writing and Publishing in Canada and Britain.

Michelle Levy (Associate Professor of English, Simon Fraser University) is Project Director of The Women’s Print History Project 1750-1836 (WPHP), a bibliographical database of women's contributions to print for one of the most convulsive periods in the history of women’s writing and print.

Carole Gerson (Professor of English, Simon Fraser University) is Project Director and Karyn Huenemann is Project Manager of The Database of Canada's Early Women Writers (DoCEWW), a biographical and bibliographical database of 4800 female authors who published in English prior to 1950.

Tuesday 30 April 2019

SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre Campus)
515 West Hastings Street
Room 2270

7-9 pm

Free and open to the public

No reservations necessary

Sponsored by Café Minerva, the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, and the Department of English (Simon Fraser University)


You are invited to the inaugural international conference 
Unthinking Sex, Imagining Asexuality: Intersectional and Interdisciplinary Perspectives,”

which will be held April 26-27th, 2019 at SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (580 West Hastings Street) in Vancouver, located on unceded Coast Salish Territory, the traditional territories of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. All the day events and panels will take place in 420 Strategy Room. The Asexual Art Show, taking place on the first evening (April 26th at 7:30 to 9:30 pm) will be held in Salon 20, in the basement of the Morris J. Wosk Centre. The Asexual Book Celebration, taking place on the second evening (April 27th at 7:30 to 9:30 pm), will be hosted by Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium located at 1238 Davie Street. All events are free and vegan food will be provided. All events are wheelchair accessible. For the full program, visit our website: and FB event page . To register, please visit our eventbrite page: . Please note that for the week of April 1st-April 8th, registration will be prioritized for ace/aro community members (i.e., anyone who identifies as ace and/or aro) and for conference presenters. Following the first week registration will be open and free for all.


Canadian South Asian Youths Conference:
Identity, Gender, Sexuality, Employment, and Activism

Date: April 6, 2019 Saturday
Venue: SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver
Time: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Dr. Habiba Zaman, Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, SFU
Dr. Sanzida Habib, Research Associate, Center for India and South Asia Research, UBC

The need for the proposed conference grew out of the many issues and challenges identified by a group of young speakers at the Canada 150 Conference on Migration of Bengalis held in September 2017 realized by the same organizers. The experience of growing up by the Canadian South Asian Youths, like those in many other immigrant communities in Canada, reveals a constant struggle within the family and beyond. The mixed experiences of life, personal identities, sexuality, intergenerational and intercultural conflicts over family values, honor/shame, and work place encounters require many social and cultural adjustments. The Conference is expected to explore the identity formation/negotiations, the role of gender/family/community, sexuality, dilemmas and intergenerational conflicts, job market experiences and un/der/employment, the interface between immigrants and the wider community, and the role of social and community activism as Canadians.

An abstract of 250 words with email address and a short paragraph of biographic information should be submitted to Professor Habiba Zaman (email address: as an attachment by December 15, 2018. The complete written paper should be submitted after the conference by April 30, 2019 to be considered for publication. Accepted papers will be published in the digitized version of the Conference Proceedings to be available online at the SFU Library.

For further details and enquiries, please contact Professor Habiba Zaman (
No registration fee is required for presenting or attending the conference.

To attend the conference, one must register by February 28, 2019.

For registration, please send an email to GSWS Manager Roberta Neilson ( with your
full name, affiliation and email address, and write Canadian South Asian Youths Conference in the
subject line.

Videos from the Canadian South Asian Youths Conference

The Metro Vancouver Premiere of the multiple international award-winning local indie doc, My Name Was January, will be held at SFU Surrey.

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Doors Open at 6 pm 
Screening and Panel Discussion of My Name Was January
Metro Vancouver Premiere
SFU Surrey
Westminster Savings Lecture Theatre - Room 2600
250-13450 102 Avenue
Surrey, BC
200 person capacity

Free. Reception to follow

This special event is sponsored by the SFU Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies as part of the Margaret Lowe Benston Lecture Series in Social Justice. Lara Campbell, Professor and Department Chair, states “that the movie embodies the deepest principles of social justice and that the department is honoured to support and honour the lives of trans women.” 

Tickets are free to the public via the following link:  

Confirmed panelists Include:

·         Alex Sangha – Producer and Cast Member

·         Elina Gress – Director

·         Lenee Son - Director

·         Velvet Steele – Cast Member

·        Natasha Adsit – Cast Member

The panel will be facilitated by Jennifer Marchbank who is a Professor in the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Department at SFU.


When a trans sister, January Marie Lapuz, is brutally murdered in her own home in New Westminster, BC, a community reacts and her friends and other trans women of colour come to share and voice their issues, concerns, and challenges. January was seen as a bright light in the lives of many. This is the story of January, a friend, a daughter, a person. This film will not only bring justice to January, but to all the women who have lost their lives. January had a beautiful soul, and now part of her soul rests in each and every one of us.

Panelist Bios

Elina Gress

Elina is a freelance multimedia journalist, primarily photojournalist, with a Bachelor’s of Journalism from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. With a keen eye and mind full of creativity, she strives tell stories that can encourage change and enlighten those around us. Through the power of visual, and auditory documentary, Elina is devoted to telling people’s stories with utmost transparency, by simply allowing herself not to be the storyteller, but a source for those who have a story to tell. A story that can change a life.

Lenee Son

Lenée is a Khmer Krom settler who grew up in Surrey on unceded Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo, and Kwikwetlem territories. She has a Bachelors of Journalism and minor in Sociology from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Her work as a freelance multimedia journalist has appeared in publications such as, Multimedia Photojournale, The Volcano, Westcoast Food, and Inside Vancouver. When she’s not working on multimedia projects, Lenee is committed to anti-poverty community organizing in Surrey and Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.   

Alex Sangha

Alex is the Founder of Sher Vancouver.  He is active in the community and cultural affairs.  Alex has worked as a social worker, instructor, clinician, youth counsellor, and team leader.  He has an MSc in Public Administration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and a Master of Social Work from Dalhousie University.  Alex is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada for social work advocacy in the South Asian LGBTQ community.

Velvet Steele

Velvet is widely known for her appearance on the wildly popular documentary series KINK. As a woman, she defines herself as a woman with a trans medical history. She is an advocate for transsexual rights, an activist for transgender rights, and a sensitivity facilitator with the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Police Department. She was a fetish service provider and educates folks on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the world of sex toys and adult therapeutical aids. She created the first Fetish Night in Vancouver which ran for 10 years. It’s her life as a fetishist and visual artist that led her to activism on sex, sexuality, and sexual health and healing.


Natasha Adsit

Natasha is a beautiful woman now in her forties. She is a north-west coast native who has grown up in the cities. She first started transitioning at 16 years of age. Being rejected by her family has meant she grew up on the streets. As an adult, she is finding herself and gaining a sense of peace and stability. Natasha is currently married and was most recently living in  Edmonton, Alberta.OFFICIAL TRAILER


Transgender Kids Are Not New:
History as a Tool for Justice

Julian Gill-Peterson

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
6:00 - 8:00 pm

Room 7000
Simon Fraser University
515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC

Free and Open to everyone

Abstract: The idea that transgender kids are an unprecedented, new generation is a major obstacle in their struggle for gender self-determination. Anti-trans forces continue to question the authenticity of trans kids by casting them as somehow ‘trendy’, or byproducts of contemporary medicine. This talk rejects the politics of newness and explores some of the many histories of transgender kids that have been buried or ignored by it, using the difficult archive of their medicalization, and their remarkable resilience, to critique today’s medical model and rethink what justice might look like for gender non-conforming children.

Bio: Julian Gill-Peterson is Assistant Professor of English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. They are author of Histories of the Transgender Child (2018). Julian is currently at work on a book project entitled Gender Underground: A History of Trans DIY.

Proudly sponsored by Gender Vectors of the Greater Vancouver Area and the SFU Departments of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; and History.

Pathways to a Women-friendly Surrey

What’s it like to be a woman running for public office in Surrey?

What supports are there, and what obstacles must she overcome?

We will be discussing these questions at a forum to be held April 28th at SFU’s Surrey Centre campus. A panel of women who have been candidates and elected members of Council and School Board will share their personal stories. They will talk about both opportunities and barriers. Together, we will come up with ideas to get more women involved in political and civic life in Surrey.

Please join us!

Saturday, April 28
2:00 – 4:30 pm
SFU Surrey Centre campus, Room 5360.

Refreshments will be served

This event is free, but you must register in order to attend. To register, please email

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies proudly presents:

6 Years in Gay Conversion Therapy

Author Peter Gajdics reads from his book,

The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir

Thursday, March 29
7:00 pm

Simon Fraser University
515 West Hastings Street
Room: 1600

Free and open to everyone


The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir is the true story of Canadian author Peter Gajdics’ six years in a form of “gay conversion therapy” in Victoria, B.C. Spanning decades and continents, the book details Gajdics’ recovery from the therapy after suing his former psychiatrist for medical malpractice, and touches on the universal themes of generational trauma, childhood sexual abuse, powerlessness in the face of adversity, self-acceptance, identity, and the recognition that we have within each of us a core essence that cannot be killed, or “changed.”

Peter Gajdics is an award-winning writer of essays, memoir and poetry. He is a recipient of a writers grant from Canada Council for the Arts, a fellowship from The Summer Literary Seminars, and an alumnus of Lambda Literary Foundation’s Writers’ Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir is his first book.

The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir, nominee for the Publishing Triangle Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction


Press Release

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies is proud to co-sponsor:


A talk by Asato Ikeda

5-7 pm, Wednesday, March 27, 2018
Room 7000 (7/F, Lohn Policy Room)
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street


How do we—and can we at all— talk about sex, gender, and sexuality of early modern Japan without imposing contemporary North American values and preconceptions? This question was central to the process of organizing the exhibition A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto in 2016. The exhibition focuses on visual representations of male youths, called wakashu in Japanese, who were the object of sexual desire for both women and adult men in Edo-era Japan.

Presented in the form of an exhibition, the project necessitated engaging the past with the present and the general public with scholarship. In this presentation, Dr. Ikeda explains the process of this engagement and discuss the dialogues the team at the ROM and she had with Toronto’s LGBTQ+ community.

The talk is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Registration recommended.

GSWS at SFU invites you to

Should I go to Grad School?

Feminist and Critical Perspectives

Organized by Ruth Wynn Woodward Fellow Ela Przybylo

March 28, 2018, 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Room AQ 5119 SFU (Burnaby Campus)



DANIELLE COOPER (Senior Researcher, Ithaka S+R)
Are You Sure You Want To Go To Grad School?

KJ CERANKOWSKI (Oberlin College)
Why You Should Go To Grad School, If You Choose To Go

(New Jersey City University and DePauw University)
Five Year Study on Hiring Trends in Gender, Women’s, and Feminist Studies

Worksheet: Should I go to Grad School?: The Pros and Cons



Workshop Package: SSHRC guidelines, SSHRC proposals from Bahrami, Boulay, and Nathan Flaig,
reference letter how-to, list of useful readings, handout on hiring trends (by Musial and Holmes),
forthcoming article by Kristina Gupta on “The Structural Vulnerability of Doctoral Students,” article by Melissa Autumn White, Carly Thomsen, and Stina Soderling “Critical Mass, Precarious Value?”

GSWS Majors and Minors +
GSWS grad students welcome.

The space is wheelchair accessible.

Please RSVP to

SFU is located on unceded Coast Salish Territory; the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Kwikwetlem First Nations.

Please join the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies for an author and donor appreciation night. Join current and former faculty members Coleman Nye, Jennifer Marchbank and Claire Robson, Ela Przybylo, and Mary Lynn Stewart (and perhaps a few special guests!) as they celebrate the launch of their latest books. We often don't take the time to celebrate and share our achievements, and so we hope that this evening will allow us to do that, and to spend some time with each other.

We will also celebrate the legacy of two very special community partners. Our long-time supporter Carla Poppen passed away this past May, and her generosity has led to a generous scholarship in her name for our undergraduate students.

We also welcome Patsy George, who will speak about the important legacy of her friend and our former Woodward Chair Rosemary Brown, in whose name we offer two annual Rosemary Brown Undergraduate Scholarships in Social Justice.

There will be appetizers, a cash bar, and plenty of time to socialize and celebrate with each other.
Details are on the poster, and please circulate freely.

Friday, March 23, 2018
7:30 pm
SFU Harbour Centre, room 1430, 515 West Hastings Street

If you can, please RSVP our Department Manager Roberta Neilson at (for purposes of catering)

Quirk-e (the queer imaging & riting collective for elders) and YfAC (Youth for A Change) and the SFU GSWS Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women¹s Studies are proud to announce

Basically Queer Book Launch

Basically Queer: An intergenerational introduction to LGBTQA2S+ lives edited by Claire Robson, Kelsey Blair, and Jen Marchbank.

Two Dates!

Friday, February 2, 2018
6.30 pm
Venables Hall
1739 Venables Street

Come listen to a few short readings by the youth and elder authors, buy your copy, enjoy a snack, and listen to tunes from the amazing Uku-loonies!

Introduction by Shirley R. Steinberg

Shirley R. Steinberg is a Research Professor of Critical Youth Studies at the University of Calgary. She is the author and editor of many books in critical pedagogy, urban and youth culture, and cultural studies. Originally a social/improvisational theatre creator, she has facilitate happenings and flashmobs globally. A regular contributor to CBC Radio One, CTV, The Toronto Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette, and Canadian Press, she is an internationally known speaker and teacher. She is also the founding editor of "Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education", "The International Journal of Youth Studies", and the Managing Editor of "The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy". The co-founder of The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy, she is the co-organizer of International Institute of Critical Pedagogy and Transformative Leadership, she is committed to a global community of transformative educators and community workers engaged in radical love, social justice, and the situating of power within social and cultural contexts, specifically involving youth.

Monday, February 26, 2018
7:00 ­ 8:30 pm
Simon Fraser University
Surrey Campus
250-13450 102nd Avenue
Surrey, BC V3T 0A3
Room 5240

Free admission and refreshments. Books available for purchase.

Introduction by Dr. Lara Campbell

Dr. Lara Campbell is a Professor and the Department Chair of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University.   She teaches courses in Canadian women’s history, the history of social protest, the history of the 1960s, feminist theory, and an introduction to gender studies. She is the co-organizer of Vancouver’s Café Minerva, a free gender and women’s history group which holds events in Vancouver.  Her current research is on the history of the Vietnam war and the transnational and gendered politics of the draft resistance and antiwar movements in North America. She is also co-editing an edited collection on the emotional history of second wave feminism in Canada with Catherine Gidney and Michael Dawson. She was awarded the Dean’s Medal for Excellence in Academic research, teaching, and service (Simon Fraser University, 2015); the National Capital Committee on the Scholarship, Preservation and Dissemination of Women’s History, Marion Dewar Prize, 2011 [Outstanding scholar based on record of research, teaching and administrative work]; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Cormack Teaching Award, 2010-11; and two Honourable Mentions for Respectable Citizens: Gender, Family, and Unemployment in Ontario’s Great Depression (UTP, 2009): the  Sir John A. MacDonald Prize in Canadian History, Canadian Historical Association, 2010 and the Canadian Women’s Studies Association, 2011 (for Respectable Citizens).

Labor Regimes of Indenture – A Global Overview of Migrant Domestic Work

January 16, 2018

Tues, Jan 23rd, 3:00 pm in Blusson Hall, Room 10011

The Department of Sociology & Anthropology has partnered with the David Lam Centre for International Communication and the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, SFU, to host a talk by

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California

Across the globe, migrant domestic workers are unfree workers whose legal residency is contingent on their continued employment as a live-in worker with a designated sponsor. This talk examines the politics of their indenture. Providing a macro and micro perspective, it begins with a global overview of the incorporation of migrant domestic workers as indentured workers in key host countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, explains the cultural logic that undergirds their indenture, and then describes the conditions of domestic work in the ‘worst destination’ of the United Arab Emirates, where absconding is illegal and quitting one’s job requires a sponsor’s permission. This talk interrogates various theoretical frameworks for thinking about contemporary unfreedoms – slavery, human trafficking and structural violence – and proposes the alternative concept of “indentured mobility,” which recognizes the personal gains made by migrants in the face of servitude. The concept of indentured mobility foregrounds the agency of migrants, acknowledging how they choose the unfreedom of servitude as a better option over the unfreedom of their poverty in the Philippines.  



The talk is in Habiba Zaman's GSWS 314 Race, Class, and Gender class.  There is limited seating in the classroom so please register via the link below.

Poster design by Sanzida Habib.

GSWS 312-4 Immigrants, Women and Transnational Migration Undergraduate Conference 2017
Sponsored by FASS Canada Associate Dean Dr. Catherine Murray's Office

Photos by Somayeh Bahrami.

Café Minerva

HANNA and ME:  Passing on the Flame

Free Public Lecture

Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 7–10 pm
Segal Graduate School of Business, SFU
Room 1200, 500 Granville Street

Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington’s lecture will trace the lives of her grandparents Hanna and Francis Sheehy Skeffington, who were feminists, nationalists, pacifists, socialists in early 20th century Ireland.

Hanna was jailed several times for suffrage activities, Francis for his pacifist speeches against recruitment during WWI.

Francis was murdered by a British firing-squad during the Easter Rising in 1916, and Hanna embarked on a journey round the USA with their 7-year-old son, Owen to tell the truth about what happened to her husband and about British militarism in Ireland.

Micheline Sheehy-Skeffington’s public lecture in Vancouver will describe Hanna’s 1918 USA
tour and how Hanna reintegrated into Irish political life on her return to Ireland.

The lecture is free and open to the public. As seating is limited, please reserve your seat at

Co-sponsored by:
Simon Fraser University’s Departments of Sociology and Anthropology; History; Gender, Sexuality
and Women’s Studies; Academic Women; the Centre for Policy, Culture and Communities; the Irish Women’s Network (Vancouver), and the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography.

Café Minerva


Seminar:  Dr. Micheline Sheehy-Skeffington, on current struggles for gender equity and institutional and legal responses

Thursday, November 9, 2017, 2–5 pm
AQ 5067, Ellen Gee Room, SFU Burnaby

Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington is a plant ecologist recently retired from the National
University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG).

She took a gender discrimination case against NUI Galway to the national Equality Tribunal.
Making headlines in a landmark decision, the Tribunal ruled in her favour in November
2014, pointing to multiple failures in the promotion procedure that echo barriers faced
by female academics elsewhere. 

Micheline donated her compensation money to help five other female lecturers in challenging their promotion decisions, and to support broader national and international movements for social justice.

Please join us for this unique opportunity to share talk and strategy about gender equity in
Irish and Canadian universities.

Co-sponsored by: Simon Fraser University’s Departments of Sociology and Anthropology; History; Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; Academic Women; the Centre for Policy, Culture and Communities; the Irish Women’s Network (Vancouver), and the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography.

For more information about Café Minerva please visit:

The Ruth Wynn Woodward Program and the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at SFU* invites you to:

Asexual Countercultures
Exploring Ace Communities and Intimacies

November 2, 2017
6:30 - 8:30 pm

Simon Fraser University Vancouver (Harbour Centre)
Room 2945
515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC

Co-organized by Ruth Wynn Woodward Fellow Ela Przybylo and Justine Munich

Centering asexual and activist perspectives, the speakers and audience will explore the online and offline cultural production surrounding the asexuality movement, community, and asexual identities.  This will be an interactive event that will begin with three 20 minute talks which will be followed by an asexuality zine-making workshop.

Justine Munich and Angie Byron - Zucchinis and Eggplants:  What the Asexual Movement Can Bring to Relationship Dialogues

Cole Brown  - The History of the Asexual Community

Ela Przybylo, Adam Kopczynski, and Sage Strobel Building an Asexual Archive:  Pedagogical and Research Strategies

Asexy Zines Workshop:  Heather Prost
Zines constitute a fun, low-fi, queer, feminist, countercultural form of expression that has been central to the asexual movement.  In this workshop we invite everyone present to take part in making page-spreads that will be compiled and shared with participants electronically post-worship in the form of an "Asexy Zine."  This will also be an opportunity to come together in groups to discuss what we've learned.

Tea and coffee provided.
All are welcome.
The space is wheelchair accessible.

*SFU Harbour Centre is on unceded Coast Salish Territory; the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and the Rosemary Brown Award for Women Committee invite you to attend the Fourth Annual Rosemary Brown Memorial Conference

Gender, Sexuality, and Disability Justice

September 23, 2017

8:30 am  – 12:30 pm

Asia Pacific Hall, room 100
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Simon Fraser University
580 West Hastings Street

ASL interpretation will be provided.

Rosemary Brown Award Recipient and Keynote Speaker
Dr. Dana Brynelson, Former Provincial Advisor for the Infant Development Program of BC

Text of Dr. Brynelsen's keynote speech:
From Institution to Community: Stories of Transformation in the World of Development Disability


Rena Cohen, Realweels Theatre
Elisabeth Walker-Young, former four-time Paralympian
Coleman Nye, SFU Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
Laura Johnston, Community Legal Assistance Society
Delphine Labbe, SFU Gerontology

Presentation of the Annual Rosemary Brown Award for Women and the Rosemary Brown Undergraduate Scholarship in Social Justice.

The Rosemary Brown Award for Women Committee includes representatives from the United Nations Association in Canada, BC Federation of Labour, Congress of Black Women Foundation, BC Association of Social Workers, Society for Children and Youth of BC, and University Women's Club of Vancouver.

The organizers gratefully acknowledge for their generous support of this conference:  Centre for Dialogue, SFU.

Photos courtesy of Courtney Szto.


18 September 2017 (Monday)

4:00 - 5:30pm

SFU Harbour Centre Room 1410

There are many differences between research presented in dissertation form and as a scholarly book. As scholars, we are trained to research and write within a field of specialists.  Taking a thesis and making it work as a book requires changes in form, style, content, and presumed audience.  Subsequent books, which usually begin from scratch, require different kinds of decisions than revising a thesis, yet those choices are rarely addressed.  This talk will explore those problems and discuss how to think about writing first and subsequent scholarly books at a time of change in the academy and in publishing.

Ken Wissoker is the Editorial Director of Duke University Press, acquiring books in anthropology, cultural studies, and social theory; globalization and post-colonial studies; Asian, African, and American studies; music, film and television; race, gender and sexuality; science studies; and other areas in the humanities, social sciences, media, and the arts.  He joined the Press as an Acquisitions Editor in 1991; became Editor-in-Chief in 1997; and was named Editorial Director in 2005. In addition to his duties at the Press, he serves as Director of Intellectual Publics at The Graduate Center, CUNY in New York City.

He has published almost a thousand books which have won over 100 prizes.  Among the authors whose books he has published are Stuart Hall, Donna Haraway, Achille Mbembe, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Jack Halberstam, Charles Taylor, José David Saldivar, Lisa Lowe, Lauren Berlant, Brian Massumi, Arjun Appadurai, Sara Ahmed, Chandra Mohanty, and Cherríe Moraga.  He has written on publishing for The Chronicle of Higher Education and in Cinema Journal, and writes a column for the Japanese cultural studies journal “5.”  He speaks regularly on publishing at universities in the US and around the world.

Canada 150 Conference on Migration of Bengalis

September 16 , 2017 Saturday at SFU Harbour Centre
September 17, 2017 Sunday at UBC Institute of Asian Research

Time: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

A two-day conference to examine and document the history, settlement patterns and contributions of Bengalis to Canada, and BC in particular

Funded by:
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada | Faculty of Arts and
Social Sciences (FASS) Dean Office, SFU | Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s
Studies (GSWS), SFU | Centre for India and South Asia Research (CISAR), UBC | Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation | David Lam Centre, SFU |Institute for the Humanities, SFU
Departments of History, and Sociology and Anthropology, SFU | School of
International Studies, SFU | An anonymous donor

Dr. Habiba Zaman, Professor, SFU GSWS
Dr. Sanzida Habib, Research Associate, UBC CISAR

Keynote Speakers:
Dr. Tania Das Gupta and Dr. C. Emdad Haque

Paper presentations by speakers from both academia and the community at sessions on
Migration and Settlement of Bengalis: History, Demography, Religion, and Health
Issues | Gender, Culture, Family, and Work: Stories of Migration | Multiculturalism, Bengali
Organizations, and Social Justice Issues | Canadian Bengali Youths: Identity, Social,
Cultural, and Family Life | Concurrent Roundtable Discussion with community members
on topics of Migration, Settlement Experience and Community Service;
Multiculturalism, Diversity, Activism, and Social Justice

We acknowledge that the conference is taking place on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

When East meets West: Learning from a Migrant Conference in Canada

Moumita Chakraborty

Videos of the Canada 150 Conference on Migration of Bengalis - click the link below to watch

Margaret Lowe Benston Lecture Series for 
Social Justice presents:

A performance of Bharata Natyam with a special segment on Nobel-laureate Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore


Arno Kamolika

September 15, Friday
7 pm to 9 pm

Venue:  SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC
Room: Theatre HC 1900

Nearest sky train station: Waterfront

Admission: Free (first come, first service)
Door Open: 6:30 pm

Supported by Vancouver Tagore Society

Arno began her early training in Indian classical dance (Bharata Natyam and Manipuri) from Chhayanaut, the premier cultural organization in Bangladesh, at the age of six. She completed her diploma in Dance in 2002, at the top of the graduating class. After moving to Vancouver in 2009, Arno, a graduate in Architecture, has continued her advanced training in Bharata Natyam under Jai Govinda, the artistic director of Mandala Arts and Culture in Vancouver. Arno’s rich repertoires of performances have taken her across the globe at various festivals in USA, Germany, India and Bangladesh. She has received the “Distinguished Dancer Award 2012” from Writers International Network, Vancouver for her contribution to the community as a dancer.

Syeda Nayab Bukhari PhD Defence;
Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Dissertation Title:              
Mapping the Terrain: South Asians and Ethnic Media in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia                                    

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Simon Fraser University, WAC Bennet Library, LIB 2020
2:00 pm                                     

Dr. Jennifer Marchbank, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Dr. Habiba Zaman, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
Dr. Sunera Thobani, Department of Asian Studies, Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, University of British Columbia
Dr. Brian Burtch, School of Criminology

SFU Examiner:                    
Dr. Özlem Sensoy, Faculty of Education                                   

External Examiner:            
Rukhsana Ahmed, Department of Communication, University of Ottawa


Using antiracist and feminist theories and critical media approaches, this qualitative study analyzes the role (including associated contributions, challenges, and opportunities) South Asian ethnic media plays in the lived experiences of South Asian immigrants in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. In 2013, South Asian communities constituted 11% of the total population of Metro Vancouver (Statistics Canada 2013). Currently, several newspapers, magazines, television (TV) shows, and 24/7 radio stations serving audiences in Metro Vancouver are produced and/or broadcasted in various South Asian languages, including Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu. This dissertation deals with South Asian ethnic media and its potential to create space for dialogue among immigrant communities, including opportunities for these communities to understand and debate their rights and responsibilities in their host country. Current ethnic media-making (including various formats, technologies, approaches, languages, and socio-political-religious orientations) was also explored and analyzed.

The findings of this study suggest that ethnic media has the potential to create space for dialogue among immigrant communities, particularly in Canada. The majority of the participants expressed their dissatisfaction with the portrayal of South Asian communities and their cultures in the mainstream media, criticizing the lack of representation and negative stereotyping of their communities. This dissertation reveals that ethnic media is emerging as a socio-culturally and politically significant space for its audiences. Ethnic media sources are providing information and knowledge about immigration, settlement, integration, and everyday life challenges in simplified ways. South Asian ethnic radio seems to be the most popular, accessible and efficient medium, meeting the information, news, and entertainment needs of its audiences. Educated, skilled, and multilingual ethnic media practitioners use their platform to bridge the gap between the mainstream media, policymakers, and society vis-à-vis immigrant communities. This study reveals that ethnic media play a significant role in the lived experiences of South Asian immigrant communities in Metro Vancouver by opening space and opportunity for communication and social inclusion.

GSWS at Surrey Pride

Congratulations to Dr. Jen Marchbank for being awarded the 2017 Surrey Pride Award!

Photos of Dr. Jen Marchbank and GSWS students at the history exhibit at Surrey Pride, June 25, 2017.

Please join the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies as we celebrate the convocation of our undergraduate and graduate students!

We will be holding an informal tea and cookies reception in the GSWS lounge (AQ 5102) on Wednesday, June 7th from 11:30 to 12:30 in the afternoon.

GSWS Graduate Student Colloquium

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University invites you to join us for a Spring Colloquium featuring presentations from our current graduate students! Our department is home to a dedicated cohort of graduate students who work on wide array of interdisciplinary feminist research. Students will present their work on topics such as disability studies, LGBT2SQ history, critical race practices and migrant justice, social movement activism, and witchcraft.

Where? SFU Harbour Centre, 555 West Hasting Street, Room 1415.
Harbour Centre is an accessible building in close proximity to the Waterfront skytrain station. In this lecture-style room there is space for mobility devices by the door and beside the lecturn.

When? Tuesday, May 23rd, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Speakers: [Full details TBA]

Barbara Bates
Charis Lippett
Brenna Grey
Brooklyn Fowler
Soheyla Tabai
Nathalie Lozano Neira
Jamie Noulty
Reema Faris

If you have any questions about this event, please contact or

Facebook event:

Jamie Swift on "The Vimy Trap"

Thursday, May 11, 2017

7:00 - 8:00 pm

SFU Vancouver
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Room 7000 (Earl & Jennie Lohn Policy Room, 7th floor)

Come out to hear Jamie Swift speak about "The Vimy Trap: or, How We Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Great War." "The Vimy Trap" has been shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize.

The story of the bloody 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge is, according to many of today’s tellings, a heroic founding moment for Canada. This noble, birth-of-a-nation narrative is regularly applied to the Great War in general. Yet this mythical tale is rather new. “Vimyism”— today’s official story of glorious, martial patriotism—contrasts sharply with the complex ways in which veterans, artists, clerics, and even politicians who had supported the war interpreted its meaning over the decades.

Was the Great War a futile imperial debacle? A proud, nation-building milestone? Contending Great War memories have helped to shape how later wars were imagined. The Vimy Trap provides a powerful probe of commemoration cultures. This subtle, fast-paced work of public history—combining scholarly insight with sharp-eyed journalism, and based on primary sources and school textbooks, battlefield visits and war art—explains both how and why peace and war remain contested terrain in ever-changing landscapes of Canadian memory.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the Department of History, Vancouer Island Peace and Disarmament Network, PeaceQuest, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, People’s Co-op Bookstore.

In celebration of the International Women’s Day, SFU Departments of Hellenic Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies proudly present:

Nelofer Pazira

An Afternoon on Gender and Professional Development

Wednesday 8 March, 2017

12:30 – 2:00 pm
(light refreshments will be served)
SFU-Burnaby (AQ 5119)

RSVP to by March 3. 2017
Free everyone welcome

Nelofer Pazira is an award-winning Afghan-Canadian director, actress, journalist and author. She grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she lived through ten years of Soviet occupation before escaping with her family to Pakistan, before immigrating to Canada. In 1996 she returned to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in search of a childhood friend. That journey became the basis for the critically-acclaimed film Kandahar, in which she starred.

She has since directed, produced, or starred in a number of other documentaries. Her memoir, A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan was named winner of the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize. She also founded the Dyana Afghan Women’s fund, which provides education and skills training for women in Afghanistan.  She has also written and contributed to the Independent, CBC, the Toronto Star, amongst other publications.

Please note:  Catherine Boura was originally scheduled to speak, but unfortunately can no longer attend.  Our apologies for any inconvenience.

The Vancouver Writers Fest in partnership with the SFU Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and Arsenal Pulp Press present:

Sarah Schulman in conversation with Douglas Todd

  • Thursday, January 19, 2017
  • 7:30pm
  • CBC Studio 700 - 700 Hamilton Street
  • Free, open to all

Elder Abuse in the LGBTQA Community

Monday, November 14 from 3:00-5:30pm

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews
604 713 1800

Please register at the Roundhouse

Although LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) individuals are at much greater risk for elder abuse than their heterosexual counterparts, little is said or known about this issue as it affects the queer community. Join us for a screening and discussion of three short digital videos and a series of posters and fact sheets made in an intergenerational arts project funded by the BC Council to Reduce Elder Abuse. These are the first materials on the topic made in Canada and over the past year, they have been shown in all five health regions of British Columbia.

The panel includes:

·         Professor Emerita Gloria Gutman from Simon Fraser University’s Department of Gerontology (an acknowledged world expert on elder abuse),

·         Professor Jen Marchbank and Dr. Claire Robson (from Simon Fraser University’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Department)

·         and the youth and elder artists who worked on the project, drawn from Quirk-e (the Queer Imaging & Riting Kollective for Elders ) and Youth for a Change – a group of youth activists based in Surrey.

This presentation and discussion will be of interest to those who wish to know more about the intersection of social justice, activism, and the arts, those working with seniors, health care professionals, and interested members of the general public. Our panel discussion will respond to questions about the process of art making, the videos and posters produced, the issue of elder abuse, and the ways in which it can and has impacted the LGBTQ community.    

All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

Dr. Sandrine Sanos, Department of History at Texas A & M, Corpus Christi

Research Colloquium

Thursday, October 13th, 11:30-13:00 (Burnaby Campus, AQ 6229)
"The Horror of History: Violence, Exile, and Gender in Cold War France, 1954-1967"

Public Lecture

Friday, October 14th, 19:00 (Harbour Centre, Segal Rooms-1400)
"The Philosopher's Body: Simone de Beauvoir and the Sex of Violence"

Dr. Sandrine Sanos
is an Associate Professor of History at Texas A & M University, Corpus Christi. She is a historian whose scholarship explores the intersections of gender and sexuality, the relationship between aesthetics and politics, and the question of violence, genocide, and displacement in twentieth-century France and its empire. Dr. Sanos has published several articles dealing with these issues, as well as two monographs: "The Aesthetics of Hate: Far-Right Intellectuals, Antisemitism, and Gender in 1930s France" (Stanford University Press, 2012), and her most recent book, "Simone de Beauvoir: Creating a Feminist Existence in the World" (Oxford University Press, 2016). Marking the 30th anniversary of feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir’s death in 1986, Dr. Sanos’s visit will take place in October 2016 to coincide with the celebration of Women’s History Month in Canada. Dr. Sanos’s visit is sponsored by SFU FASS, as well as the Departments of History, GSWS, French, and the World Literature Program. Her public lecture will be co-sponsored by the Department of History at UBC.

Genocide:  The politics of denial, forgetting and the work of memory

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD)

Genocide:  The politics of denial, forgetting and the work of memory

Conference: October 7-9: SFU Harbour Centre 515 W Hastings St Vancouver
Films: October 15-16: SFU Goldcorp Centre For the Arts, 149 W Hastings St. Vancouver

RSVP to:

“to remember is the secret of redemption”
(Jewish traditional commandment quoted, Alex Boraine in Hushed Voices, ed. Heribert Adam, 2011)

Genocide, the most serious crime recognized by humanity today, was established in international law with the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide by the United Nations on December 9, 1948. It was the culmination of the life-long campaign of Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin, who created the term in 1944, that began when as a law student Lemkin became aware of the mass killings, expropriations, expulsions, rapes, and death marches of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (present dayTurkey) in 1915 for which there was yet no name. With the end of WW II, the memory of the Nazi policy of extermination of Jews, which later named “the Holocaust” became a reference for genocide, made it possible for the nations of the world to accept what Lemkin had been proposing.

But the adoption of the Convention has not prevented genocides. Rather, genocides have continued and continue to be denied both by the perpetrators and nations anxious about their own vulnerability to the charge and defensive about any infringement of national sovereignty. The only result so far has been the establishment the International Criminal Court, which has not been able to achieve much, offering only selective justice that makes it vulnerable to criticism.

Yet the victims of genocide live with the effects of the trauma they have experienced in a world that continues to manifest the symptoms of these unresolved traumas. And the absence of recognition, memory, penalty, and resolution perpetuates injustice and enables further genocides.
This conference will focus on a few genocides that have an immediate bearing on Canada and the
diasporas in Canada, particularly the South Asian diaspora. Its goal is to inform, revive memory, compel recognition, and mobilize support for organizations that are engaged in the struggle against genocide. Its ultimate goal is to seek justice for the past, advocate action against the current, and prevent future genocide. It is presented as a part of the emancipatory effort of those who have been denied justice and claim it on the ground of human rights within the critical awareness that the discourse of human rights and genocide has been appropriated by imperialism and deployed in the service of domination.

The plan of the conference

• October 7, 7.00 pm, Room 1900: Keynote address: Doudou Diene; moderator: Samir Gandesha
• October 8, 10.00 am - 5.00 pm, Room 1700 : Conference
    • Plenary #1: 10.15 am - 11.00 am: Settler colonial genocide in Canada: Maryanne Ignace;             Eldon Yellowhorn; moderator: Sunera Thobani
    • Plenary #2: 11.00 am - 11.45 am: Armenian genocide: David Barsamian in dialogue with Alan
    Whitehorn; moderator: Zahid Makhdoom
    • Plenary #3: 12.00 pm - 1.00 pm: Palestinian genocide: Hanna Kawas in dialogue with Sid             Shniad

• Lunch: 1.00 pm - 1.30 pm
• Panel #1: 1: 30 pm - 2.30 pm:The nation state and genocide: Habiba Zaman, ”1971 Genocide in
Bangladesh”; Indira Prahst, “1984 Sikh Genocide in India”; Premrajah Chelliah, “2009 Genocide of
Tamils in Sri Lanka”; moderator: Anis Rahman
• Panel # 2.30 pm - 3.30 pm: Colonialism, capitalism and genocide: Julian Ichim,”British Genocide
in Ireleand”; Daniel Mendoza, “Genocide in Mexico”; Beth Dollaga, “Ethnocide of the indigenous
peoples in the Philippines”; moderator: Aiyans Ormond
• Concluding plenary: 3.30 pm - 4.30 pm: Human rights, genocide and the West: Adam Jones;
moderator: Harinder Mahil
• October 9, 10.00 am - 1.00 pm, Room 2200: Roundtable: “Remembering for Action: the unfinished
work of memory”; moderator: Jerry Zaslove. (This event is not open to the public)
• October 15, 10.00 am - 5.00 pm: Rm 4955, 149 W Hasting St, Vancouver: Film Screening
• The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer; on Indonesia)
• Enemies of the People (Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath; on Cambodia)
• October 16, 10.00 am - 5.00 pm: Rm 4955, 149 W Hastings St. Vancouver: Dialogue on Gujarat:
Dionne Bunsha and Sunera Thobani (10.00 am -; Film screening: The Final Solution
( Rakesh Sharma, on Gujarat). (Room to be confirmed)

Organized by South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) in partnership with the Institute for the Humanities, Simon Fraser University and with the support of Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences SFU and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (GSWS) SFU (Margaret Lowe Benston Lecture Series). Cosponsored by Radical Desi Collective, Committee of Progressive Pakistani Canadians (CPPC), Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR), Canada Palestine Association (CPA), International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS) Canada, Seriously Free Speech Committee, Canada Palestine Network, South Asian Film Education Society (SAFES), Amnesty Richmond Group 92, Independent Jewish Voices, Department of Sociology Langara College, School for International Studies SFU, and Department of History SFU.

Dr. Chinmoy Banerjee, President, SANSAD
Telephone: (604) 421-6752, Email:
Office: 906-608 Belmont Street, New Westminster, B C. V3M 0G8
Anis Rahman, Secretary, SANSAD
Cell phone: 778-389-2491, Email:

Margaret Lowe Benston Endowment Lecture Series proudly presents:

Doudou Diene:

Deconstructing Genocide: the Urgency of the Intellectual Front Against Genocide

Friday, October 7, 2016
7:00 pm

Simon Fraser University Vancouver
515 West Hastings Street
Room 1900

Event is free amd open to the public

RSVP to:

Born in Senegal in 1941, Doudou Diene was the UN Rapporteur on the contemporary forms of racism, racist discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance from 2002 to 2008.

He is a prizewinner in philosophy from Senegal’s Concours General, has a degree in law from the University of Caen (France) and a doctorate in public law from the University of Paris. He also has a Diploma in political science from the Institut d’Etudes Politique, Paris and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of West Indies (Barbados).

Doudou Diene was the Deputy Representative of Senegal to UNESCO, 1972-1977, in which capacity he was also Vice-President and Secretary of the African Group and the Group of 77. He joined the Secretariat of the UNESCO in 1977 and served in many capacities, including Director of Division of Inter-Cultural Projects. He is the author of numerous publications on inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue. He has served as the Vice-President of International Council of Social Sciences and Philosophy and is the  Chair of International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

Part of the Genocide:  The politics of denial, forgetting and the work of memory Conference

The Rosemary Brown Annual Memorial Conference

Dialogue on Campus Sexual Assault:
Support, Prevention, Education

Sponsored by:

SFU Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the Rosemary Brown Award for Women Committee1

September 10, 2016
8:30 am - 1:00 pm

Simon Fraser University
Harbour Centre, Room 1700
Vancouver, BC

Free, no reservation required

1The Rosemary Brown Award for Women Committee includes representatives from the
United Nations Association in Canada, BC Federation of Labour, Congress of Black Women Foundation, BC Association of Social Workers, Society for Children and Youth BC, and University Women’s Club, Vancouver.

The organizers gratefully acknowledge the following for their generous financial support of this conference: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, SFU, Office of the Vice-President, Academic, and Provost, SFU, the SFU Faculty Association, and the Faculty of Education, SFU.

New Westminster Record article regarding the Rosemary Brown Award and Dawn Black.

Former New West MP and MLA Dawn Black receives award


Join Dr. Liz Millward as she discusses her new book:

Making A Scene: Lesbians and Community Across Canada, 1964-1984

Tuesday September 6, 2016
7:00 – 9:00 pm

SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre) Room 1415
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

Free and open to the public.

Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

Dr. Millward is an assistant professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Manitoba and is considered a leading scholar on place-making and sexuality. She will be discussing her new book, Making A Scene: Lesbians and Community Across Canada, 1964-1984 (UBC Press, 2015). Making a Scene documents the lesbian movement that developed in Canada between 1964 and 1984. It chronicles the spaces lesbians created across rural and urban Canada, from physical locations,  such as lesbian and gay centres, drop-ins at women's centres, communal houses, bookstores, bars, cafés, and private members' clubs, to the ephemeral sites women travelled to in order to meet each other, such as conferences, workshops, festivals, and Dykes in the Streets marches.

Event co-sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Department of History, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and the Institute for Performance Studies.

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies is proud to co-sponsor:

Don't Let Them Know -
Love, Sexuality and the
South Asian Family

Thursday July 14, 6pm @ SFU's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Seeking 25-40, Well-Placed, Animal-Loving, Vegetarian GROOM for my SON (36, 5’11’’) who works with an NGO. Caste no bar (Though IYER preferred), said the ad in Mumbai’s Mid Day newspaper.

Padma Iyer’s personal ad, looking for a spouse for her child, was no different from thousands of others that appear in Indian newspapers every day. The only difference was that her son, Harrish, is gay. What the ad did (despite expressing a preference for a particular caste) was to normalize the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the public imagination, by bringing it closer home to that most normal of South Asian experiences – that of a mother searching for happiness for her child through an arranged marriage.

Being LGBTQ+ and South Asian means dealing with a complex tangle of the personal and the political, one that manifests itself in diasporic communities living in countries like Canada, where same sex marriage has been legal for a decade. Despite some momentous legal milestones, many South Asians still feel unable to come out to their parents and families. Do we need to cultivate and see more representations of South Asian LGBTQ+ people across art forms and in the media? What positive stories exist that offer hope on a little talked about subject? What work needs to be done with communities and families? And how can broader society support this process?

To explore these questions in life and art are three fine writers from Canada, India and the USA – Kolkata based Sandip Roy, whose novel Don’t Let Him Know was recently published to worldwide acclaim, Minal Hajratwala from San Francisco, whose A Brief Guide to Gender in India for Granta went viral on the web and Vivek Shraya, a three-time Lamda Award nominated artist from Toronto. Hosting the dialogue is Romi Chandra Herbert, Co-Executive Director of PeerNet.

This event is part of Indian Summer Festival 2016.

Public Discussion on the Proposed Comfort Women Peace Statue

Public Discussion on the Proposed Comfort Women Peace Statue
5-7pm, Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Room 2245 (McCarthy Tetrault Lecture Room)
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

The event is open to the public but registration is required.
Please register at:

Organized by the Institute For Transpacific Cultural Research (ITCR)
Co-sponsored by the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Department of English, and the J.S. Woodsworth Chair in the Humanities

As discussions around the proposed commemoration of the Korean comfort women are an opportunity to explore the relations between struggles for justice for women in Asia and in Metro Vancouver and beyond, we hope to expand our current network of individuals interested in finding this statue a permanent home. We see the vital importance of including a broad cross-section of interested and affected women’s organizations and communities, and hope that you will consider joining us for these community consultations.   

The evening will feature three keynote speakers, Jane Shin (MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed), Heather Evans (Women’s Human Rights Education Institute), and Satoko Norimatsu (Editor, The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus), who will speak to the current situation regarding the proposed placement of the statue and the political, legal, and ethical dimensions of this issue from their various perspectives. This will be followed by an open discussion to explore what options might be available and how the process of finding a suitable permanent location for the statue might proceed. Dr. Helen Leung (Assoc. Prof. of SFU Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies & Co-director of ITCR ) will chair the session. We also hope to screen a trailer for the new film The Apology that will launch in the fall.

For further information about the event, please contact Christine Kim at <>.

Mary McAuliffe - Public Lecture, April 7 (Vancouver campus, HC), & Seminar, April 8 (Burnaby campus)

Co-sponsored by FASS, Deans Speaker Series, Irish Embassy, SFU Departments of Sociology/Anthropology, History, and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, Irish Women's Network of BC, Cafe Minerva

FREE: Both events free and open to the public, but registration required.  


Realists and Idealists: Women of the Easter Rising, 1916

Public Lecture by Dr Mary McAuliffe

April 7th, 7:00 - 10:00 pm

SFU Harbour Centre
Segal Rooms, Vancouver Campus, Harbour Centre

Simon Fraser University
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC  

For registration and catering purposes, please sign up via this link for April 7 event

Reception following.


Radical Politics, Radical Choices, Radical Lives: the Women of 1916

Seminar by Dr Mary McAuliffe

Friday, April 8, 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Diamond Alumni Centre, Fraser Thompson Room
Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC

For registration and catering purposes, please sign up via this link for April 8th event

Dr. Mary McAuliffe is a Lecturer in Women’s Studies at University College Dublin. She is a specialist in women’s radicalism in early twentieth-century Ireland and has published her work widely in four books, seven edited/co-edited books, and numerous scholarly journals. She was also co-producer/historical consultant/script-writer for the documentary Cumann na mBan 100 (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) and a key contributor to Dublin’s artistic and legacy project titled 1916: Richmond Barracks. On the eve of her visit to Vancouver, she and co-author Liz Gillis will launch a new book with Four Courts entitled Realists and Idealists: 77 Women of the Easter Rising.


Co-sponsored by FASS, Deans Speaker Series, Irish Embassy, SFU Departments of Sociology/Anthropology, History, and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, Irish Women's Network of BC, Cafe Minerva

FREE: Both events free and open to the public, but registration required.  

or visit the following webpage

Please join the GSWS department to hear about the research of our two wonderful visiting scholars in GSWS.

Kiera Anderson, "(Don't you) forget about me: Lifting up the voices of rape survivors in social movements."

Luna K.C., "Changing Gender Roles: Women, Livelihoods and Post Conflict Security in Nepal".

Date:  Wednesday, 6 April 2016
Location: AQ 6106 (Burnaby campus)
Time: 2:30-4:00 pm

Coffee, tea, and cookies will be provided. We hope to see you all there!

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the SFU Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, the Margaret Lowe Benston Endowment and GSWS present:

Lisa Helps, A Time to Lead: City-Making in the 21st Century

Drawing on her work as Mayor of Victoria as well as leadership and happiness science literature, Mayor Helps will outline how the qualities and traits traditionally gendered female are the key elements for leadership, innovation and city making in the 21st century.

Monday, March 7th, 2016
7 pm
SFU-Vancouver (Harbour Centre)
515 West Hastings Street
Rooms 1400-1430

Free and open to the public.
RSVP required at
Reception to follow

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the
SFU Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies,
Margaret Lowe Benston Endowment and GSWS present:

Becki Ross & Jamie Lee Hamilton

Never Forgotten:
Memorializing Sex Workers Expelled from Vancouver’s West End

Join Becki Ross and Jamie Lee Hamilton for a joint presentation exploring the mass expulsion of sex workers from Vancouver’s West End in 1984. The West End Sex Workers Memorial will be introduced as one part of broader feminist, queer, trans and anti-colonial campaigns for truth and reconciliation.

Thursday 25 February, 2016
7 pm (coffee, tea, and dessert reception to follow)
SFU-Vancouver (Rooms: 1420-1430)
515 West Hastings Street

Free but please reserve at:

Jamie Lee Hamilton founded Grandma's House, a safe house for on-street sex workers in 1998, has been instrumental in drawing attention to the missing and murdered women of the Downtown Eastside, and received the XtraWest “Community Hero” award. She has twice been elected as Ms. Gay Vancouver and currently serves as special advisor to Mary Clare Zak, Director of Social Policy at the City of Vancouver. 

Becki Ross is employed at the University of British Columbia in Sociology and the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice. Her book, Burlesque West: Showgirls, Sex, and Sin in Postwar Vancouver, won the Clio Prize from the Canadian Historical Association. Becki is an activist in queer, feminist, anti-racist, trans & sex workers’ movements for social justice

This talk is part of the Margaret Benston Endowed Lecture Series in Social Justice. Dr. Maggie Benston (1937-1991) was a charter SFU faculty member, feminist and labour activist, and founding member of SFU Women’s Studies Department.

Please join the SFU Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Department this semester as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary! We are planning a number of free public events in January, February, March, and April in conjunction with the Margaret Lowe Benston Endowed Lecture Series.

Our first event will be held on Friday, 15 January, 2016 at 7:00 pm at SFU-Vancouver (Harbour Centre: rooms 1400-1410), and it is co-sponsored with the Department of History. 

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Joan Sangster (Professor of Gender and Women's Studies, Trent University) will be presenting "Rediscovering Radical Histories: 'Second Wave' Feminists and the Popularization of Canadian History."

Also, please save the date for evening of Monday, 7 March, 2016, when Mayor of Victoria, Lisa Helps, will be giving a Maggie Benston lecture. Details will follow later this month.

Graduate school in GSWS

Are you an undergraduate student interested in learning about graduate programs in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies (GSWS)?  

Come to an informal GSWS Grad School Application Q and A on Wednesday 25 November from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m
Location: AQ 5119

    * Q & A with the Department Chair, Graduate Program Chair & Graduate Assistant (Lara Campbell, Jen Marchbank, and Kat Hunter)
    * Different program options, especially at the MA level
    * General expectations in graduate programs
    * overview of the application process and deadlines
    * Sources of funding

Free and open to everyone!

Come hear three queer poets launch two trans books into the world!

Book Launch and Readings:
Lucas Crawford, Ali Blythe, Alex Leslie

Little Sister's Book & Art Emporium (1238 Davie Street)

7:30 PM sharp, Wednesday, 28 October

No Cover  |  Books for Purchase

Wheelchair Accessible

Event page:

Please join Dr. Mike Ward, Visiting Scholar, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies:

From Labouring to Learning: Working-Class Masculinities and De-Industrialization

Thursday, 22 October, 2015 7:30 - 9:00 pm

SFU-­‐Vancouver (Harbour Centre)

Room 2205
515 West Hastings Street

Free; limited seating (Books available for purchase)

Sponsored by the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

October is Women's History Month


Just a reminder that October is women's history month. Please join the Herstory Cafe for a special event at the City of Vancouver Archives.

Dr. Sharon M. Fortney will be speaking on "Collecting with Purpose: Maisie Hurley and the Convergence of Activism and Native Art Appreciation in Vancouver."

When: Thursday 8 October, 2015, 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: City of Vancouver Archives, 1150 Chestnut Street (Vanier Park)

Free admission; drop-in and limited seating

For more information on the talk, visit

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies and the Alexander S. Onassis University Seminar Program, in collaboration with the School of Criminology and the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women Studies present:

Women and Extreme Political Parties and Movements in Postwar Greece

Dr. Gerassimos Karabelias
Thursday, October 1, 2015
2:00 pm
SFU Burnaby, Halpern Centre, Room 126

This event is free, but seating is limited. To reserve your seat, please RSVP

The women-gender issue, although introduced into the country as a factor of "progress" and "democratization", has met several serious obstacles, especially coming from the cultural views and practices of state agencies such as the military.

Dr. Gerassimos Karabelias is an Associate Professor in the department of sociology at the Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences in Athens, Greece, specializing in military sociology and civil-military relations in Greece, Turkey, and Southeastern European states.


The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the
Rosemary Brown Award Committee invite you to attend

Confronting Gender Violence

Second Annual Rosemary Brown Memorial Conference

Saturday, September 19, 2015
8:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Room 1700, Labatt Hall
SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC

Free, no reservation required.

Women do more than live in a violent society.  Violence against us is used to sustain and maintain the societies in which we live. Regardless of race, class, cultural or religious membership, we are part of the violent structures and processes which nourish and ensure their continuance.

Rosemary Brown, 1991

We understand today that gender violence has harmful, and often devastating, effects on women and men, children and adolescents, LGBT people and gender nonconforming folk. But Rosemary Brown’s insight into the root cause holds true: gender violence serves to maintain structural gender inequalities, often at the intersection of race, class, and other systems of difference.

Join us for a discussion about why gender violence persists and how we might create meaningful change through social action.


Ariana Barer and Irene Tsepnopoulos-Elhaimer, Women Against Violence Against Women
Daphne Bramham, Journalist, Vancouver Sun
Claire Robson, Queer Imaging & Riting Kollective for Elders
Margaret Jackson, FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children & SFU Centre for Education, Law and Society, Department of Education
Leah Horlick, SFU Women’s Centre

Special Performance by Youth for A Change, Surrey

Presentation of the Annual Rosemary Brown Award for Women

Introduction of winner of Rosemary Brown Undergraduate Scholarship in Social Justice

The Rosemary Brown Award Committee includes representatives from the United Nations  Association in Canada, BC Federation of Labour, Congress of Black Women Foundation, BC Association of Social Workers, Society for Children and Youth of BC, and University Women of Vancouver.

Herstory Cafe


Charles Hou, with Cynthia Hou: "Canadian Political Cartoonists View the Struggle for Women’s Rights" 
An illustrated talk on the history of women’s issues ca. 1880 to 2015"

Thursday June 18, 2015
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre Campus, downtown Vancouver
515 West Hastings St., Room 1600
Admission is free, open to the public, seating is limited, and drop-in only.

Over the years, the Charles and Cynthia Hou have co-authored several books, including three collections of historical political cartoons. (Great Canadian Political Cartoons 1820 to 1914, 1915 to 1945, and 1946 to 1982). Charles will speak on June 18th about how cartoonists in the last 150 years have portrayed Canadian women’s issues and women's struggle for equal rights.

Biography: Charles Hou taught in Burnaby, BC, for 34 years and received the first annual Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History. From 1994 to 2013 he worked with a group of teachers to produce a national history contest for secondary school students, and continues to supplement the Begbie Contest Society website with Canadian primary source materials for educational use. Charles says that “as a teacher I was often frustrated by the omission of controversial topics from history books for high school students. In an attempt to fill this gap, and make Canadian history in general more interesting to my students, I turned to political cartoons and found a wealth of material on social history as well as on traditional political, economic and constitutional topics.”

Cynthia Hou is the editor & co-author of the Great Canadian Political Cartoons book series, which can be found at the SFU’s archives. She is also a reviewer and reviser of the Judge Begbie Contest questions.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Time: 2:30pm

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies congratulates all GSWS graduands on the completion of their degrees.

All the best in your future endeavours and please keep in touch.

queers + spaces

Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Meeting
Vancouver, BC | Unceded Coast Salish Territories
June 2-5, 2015

An event series organized by the Simon Fraser University Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Simon Fraser University Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts & Sciences; the Canadian Association of Geographers Organizing Committee; 221A Artist-Run Centre.

Free public event!
There Goes the Gayborhood? 
Author Meets Critics with Amin Ghaziani
Panel & reception (cash bar)

Tuesday, June 2, 5:30-7:30 PM, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Amin Ghaziani, University of British Columbia | Dara Parker, QMUNITY
Holly Sovdi, City of Vancouver | Tiffany Muller Myrdahl, Simon Fraser University

Free public event!
Queer Times, Queer Spaces and Transgender Lives: Ten Years Later Lecture & reception with Jack Halberstam
Friday, June 5, 7:00-8:30 PM
221A Artist-Run Centre, 221 E Georgia St  (

Conference panel
A Decade of Influence: Revisiting Halberstam’s In a Queer Time and Place
Friday, June 5, 3:30-5:00 PM
SFU Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 370 HSBC Executive Meeting Room
Chair: Tiffany Muller Myrdahl
Julie Podmore, John Abbott College & Concordia University | Natalie Oswin, McGill University J P Catungal, University of British Columbia | William McKeithen, University of Washington

CWILA* Presents: Lucas Crawford (Critic-in-Residence 2015) and Shannon Webb-Campbell (Critic-in-Residence 2014) Reading and in Conversation

Join us for a reading and conversation featuring our past and present Critics-in-Residence, Shannon Webb-Campbell and Lucas Crawford.

Facebook event:

Friday May 22nd, 7pm
SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1415
515 West Hastings St, Vancouver BC

Free and Open to the Public | Refreshments will be served

*CWILA is a national organization called Canadian Women in the Literary Arts. It seeks equality for women, transgender, and genderqueer authors, reviewers, and readers in Canada.

Lucas is CWILA’s Critic-in-Residence for 2015 and Shannon was our 2014 Critic-in-Residence. This position was created by CWILA in response to a proven gender gap in Canada’s reviewing culture – to encourage more women and transgender writers to review books and engage in public critical conversations about writing in Canada. The event will showcase the incredible poetic talent of these two writers and also engage in a discussion about barriers to equity in Canadian literary culture.

Sponsored by:  SFU Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, SFU Department of English, UBC The Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice

Please join the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and Between the Lines Press for the launch of Worth Fighting For: Canada's Tradition of War Resistance from 1812 to the War on Terror.

Edited by Lara Campbell (SFU), Michael Dawson (St. Thomas University) and Catherine Gidney (St. Thomas University), this collection highlights the long tradition of resistance to war in Canada. Contents include articles on antiwar teaching curriculum, cadet training, religious pacifism, conscientious objection, Vietnam draft resistance support networks, cold war peace activism, the Voice of Women, and Iraq military deserters in Canada. Here is a link to the table of contents:

Date: Thursday 14 May, 2015
Time: 3:30-5 pm
Location: SFU-Vancouver, Harbour Centre (Room 1600) (515 West Hastings Street)
Copies of the book will be available for sale after the event.

Everyone welcome

PhD Thesis Defence

Huai Bao

Monday, May 11, 2015
12:00 noon
HC 1525; SFU Vancouver

Title:  Sexual Artifice Through Transgression:The Revival of Cross-Gender Performance in Jingju

Click to read abstract

Dr. Willeen Keough, Chair of Defence, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
Dr. Helen Leung, Senior Supervisor, Associate Professor, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
Dr. Peter Dickinson
, Supervisor, Professor, Department of English
Dr. Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak
, Supervisor, Professor, Department Theatre and Dance, University of Hawaii
Dr. Shuyu Kong
, Internal Examiner, Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Asia Canada Program
Dr. Kate Swatek
, External Examiner, Professor, Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia

Veronica Strong-Boag

A Suffragist Trajectory from Rural Poverty to CCF MLA and Activist: The Case of B.C.'s Laura Marshall Jamieson (1882-1964)

Tuesday April 28th, 7-9 p.m.
SFU-Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Room 2270
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC

With the support of:
UBC-Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality,and Social Justice; Department of History; Educational Studies; Indigenous Pedagogies Network
SFU- Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies; Department of History
UBC Press

Kink Talks Back to Fifty Shades of Grey

The BDSM Community Responds to Kinksploitation Media

Straight Talk, Kinky People

Thursday, April 9, 2015
6:00 - 9:00 pm
Simon Fraser University
Harbour Centre, Room 1600


Candid interviews and audience Q&A with the artists, activists, scholars, educators, and event organizers of the BDSM Community.

Featured Guests:

Liam Helmer - Rope Performance Artist, BDSM Consultant to Fifty Shades of Grey

Reive Doig - Sex Positive Activist, BDSM Consultant to the L-Word, Smallviille, Publisher of Erotic Vancouver

Philip T. - DMC (Dungeon Monitor Co-Ordinator) on the Vancouver Dungeon Monitor Team

Aysha D. - Sex Positive Activist, Major in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, and title holder of the Miss Rascal's Pageant 2014

Lily Rahman - Sex Positive Activist for the Trans, Polyamourous and Kink Communities, born in Bangladesh

Peter Tupper - Journalist and Historian, author of The Curious Kinky Person's Gudie to Fifty Shades of Grey and A History of Consenusal Sadomasochism

Arinn Dembo - Sex Positive Activist and BDSM Educator, Director-at-Large of Metro Vancouver Kink

Sponsored by the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Transgender Hirstory in the Making:
Screening and Talk with Chris Vargas

Thursday, March 12, 2015
7:00 pm

SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema
149 West Hastings Street

Part of the Margaret Lowe Benston Endowment Lecture Series

Free and open to the public.
Reservation recommended at:

Chris E. Vargas is a video maker & interdisciplinary artist. From 2008-2013, he made, in collaboration with Greg Youmans, the web-based trans/cisgender sitcom Falling In Love...with Chris and Greg. With Eric Stanley, he co-directed the movie Homotopia (2006) and its sequel Criminal Queers (2014). He is the founder of MOTHA–Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art, a project that takes the form of temporary autonomous events, all of which signal the existence of a legitimate and legitimizing arts & history institution. As a whole, his work is both comic and committed, utopian and topical, and intimately engaged with the histories, herstories, and hirstories of queer politics and visual culture.

Wheelchair Accessible
ASL Interpretation Provided

Artist (image): Craig Calderwood

Bottomhood Is Powerful

Event: Public Lecture & Video Screening

Date: Friday, March 6, 2015


Reception: 4:30 pm
Lecture: 5 pm


Harbour Centre Room 7000 (7th Floor)

Title: Bottomhood Is Powerful

Description: The presentation examines the ways that anal erotics and bottom positioning refract the meanings of race, gender, sexuality, and nationality in Asian/American visual culture. I argue that "bottomhood" simultaneously enables and constrains Asian American men in moving-image media. Conceived as a sexual position, a social alliance, and an aesthetic form, bottomhood affirms a politics that embraces risk, receptivity, and vulnerability.  

Speaker Bio:

Nguyen Tan Hoang is a filmmaker and academic who writes about queer cinema, experimental video, and Asian American visual culture. His videos have screened at MoMA in New York, The Getty in Los Angeles, and The Pompidou Center in Paris. His book, A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Representation, was published in 2014 by Duke University Press. He is Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at Bryn Mawr College.

Co-sponsored by:

Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Institute For Performance Studies


Helen Leung:

Funded by:

Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

This event is free and open to the public.

"Race, Riots, and Empire:  Local and Global Challenges to White Supremacy"

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies is proud to co-sponsor:

“Voices of Diversity: Performing Traditional Songs in the Global Age?"

Virginie Magnat, Associate Professor, Joint Appointment in Creative and Critical Studies Interdisciplinary Performance Program Coordinator, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus

Bio and Abstract

Tuesday, February 24th
1:00 -  2:30 pm

Burnaby Campus, Simon Fraser University
Academic Quadrangle Bldg (AQ) 5067 (Ellen Gee Common Room)
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC

light refreshments served


Traditional songs have been recognized by UNESCO as a powerful expression of human creativity belonging to our shared “intangible cultural heritage.? Singing is a vital component of traditional music since it ensures the continuity of endangered languages rooted in ancestral cultural knowledge whose resilience crucially depends on oral modes of transmission. My new research project investigates how reclaiming marginalized cultural and linguistic practices through the performance of traditional songs might challenge exclusionary constructions of national identity, and promote cultural diversity, social inclusivity, and transnational solidarity.

I am conducting embodied research on my own tradition of Occitania, a culturally heterogeneous imagined community that extends from Marseille to Toulouse and into bordering regions of Spain and Italy. The Occitan language was spoken in France until the second half of the twentieth century, yet it has been nearly eradicated by the politics of cultural assimilation implemented by the state through the systematic imposition of French as the official national language. In the 1960s, Occitan activists adopted the phrase “internal colonialism? from the American Civil Rights Movement to describe this oppressive form of state-regulated centralism. Today, the resilience of regional cultural and linguistic practices manifests itself most significantly in the on-going transmission of traditional songs in Occitan.

Supporting expressions of cultural diversity is now becoming increasingly urgent to counteract the steady ascendancy of the National Front, whose fascist discourse is dangerously destabilizing mainstream French politics and contributing to the rise of extreme right-wing movements throughout Europe. I hence foreground the intercultural dimension of Mediterranean vocal music practices, shaped by the vibrant convergence of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian worldviews, and highlight the radical political lineage of the Occitan music revival by tracing it to a 1970s social movement promoting cultural, linguistic, and bio-regional diversity in Occitania. Described by cultural historian Herman Lebovics as a form of postcolonial regionalism, this influential movement foreshadows twenty-first century social and environmentalist movements advocating political action through cultural activism. My long-term goal for this project is to elicit a wider debate on cultural diversity, national identity, and global citizenship among North American and European communities of scholars, artists, cultural practitioners and activists.


Dr. Virginie Magnat is an Assiociate Professor in Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia. She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of California where she also was a Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow in Anthropology. Magnat’s monograph Grotowski, Women, and Contemporary Performance: Meetings with Remarkable Women (Routledge 2014) received the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Ann Saddlemyer Book Award Honorable Mention. Magnat’s book and companion documentary film series featured on the Routledge Performance Archive ( constitute the first investigation of the artistic journeys and current artistic practices of women who collaborated with influential theatre innovator Jerzy Grotowski. Magnat’s four years of embodied research and multi-sited fieldwork were supported by two SSHRC grants, and she discusses her interdisciplinary methodology in book chapters and articles published in North American and international scholarly journals in the fields of theatre and performance studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology, sociology, qualitative inquiry, and literary criticism, in English, French, Polish, Italian, and Spanish.

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies is proud to co-sponsor:

Queer History in Vancouver Edit-a-thon: 2015-01-12


Date: Monday, January 12, 2015 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Burnaby, Bennett Library, Research Commons, Seminar Rm 701
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Campus

Cost: Free

  • Are you interested in queer history in Vancouver?
  • Do you know about LGBTQ* historical movements, individuals, and events that need to be shared?
  • Would you like to learn more about ways to use Wikipedia to preserve and share queer histories in Vancouver?

Then this workshop is for you! Beyond Pride, Commercial Drive and Davie Street, Vancouver and the surrounding Lower Mainland has a long and rich history of LGBTQ* politics, culture, activism, and community building. However, many of these histories still have not been shared or preserved!

Using the skills we learn through the morning 'how to' workshop, this Edit-a-Thon is an opportunity to share our community stories that don’t make it into mainstream news or history books! Wikipedia is an open-source forum allowing for democratic forms of sharing and documenting historical knowledge.

Please come prepared with your own examples of community histories and stories to share (with any applicable documentation).

This event is free of charge. Attendance at the first workhop from 10am- 12pm is not required but is highly recommended, particularly if you have no experience editing on Wikipedia.

Lunch will be provided from 12-1 pm. You are welcome to bring your own if needed, or if you have severe allergies.

Bring your own laptop. There will be some laptops available for individuals who don't bring their own.

To register:


Sex with Neighbours: Canada and Canadians in the "U.S." Homophile Press

January 8th, 2015
11:30 am - 12:30
AQ 6229
SFU Burnaby campus


Historian Marc Stein presents new work from a SSHRC-funded project that examines the history of U.S. perspectives on Canadian sexual politics. This paper focuses on representations of Canada and content generated by Canadians in U.S. gay and lesbian periodicals from the 1950s and 1960s. In particular, the paper explores the question of whether U.S. homophile magazines—and the many Canadians who contributed to them--presented Canada as more sexually conservative or more sexually liberal than the United States in the pre-Trudeau era.

Marc Stein is a historian of sexuality, a political activist, and an award-winning teacher, writer, editor, and scholar. After sixteen years of teaching at York University, he was appointed the Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Professor of History at San Francisco State University in 2014. The author of City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972 (University of Chicago Press, 2000), Sexual Injustice: Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe (University of North Carolina Press, 2010), and Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement(Routledge, 2012), he also served as the editor-in-chief of the three-volumeEncyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America(Scribners, 2003). Stein is the former editor of Gay Community News in Boston, the former chair of the American Historical Association’s Committee on LGBT History, and the current chair of the Organization of American Historians’ Committee on the Status of LGBTQ Historians and Histories.

Sponsored by the Departments of History, English, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies.


The Labour Studies Program and the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies are proud to present:

Reproductive Labour in/of
Science and Medicine

Rebecca Scott Yoshizawa,
PhD (Sociology, Queen’s University)

Thursday, October 23

AQ 6106

2:30 - 4:00 pm.

Free and everyone welcome

In labour studies, reproductive labour is typically defined as the activities involved in taking care of others on a daily basis in households. Reproductive labour, including cooking, cleaning, and socializing children, is typically unpaid as well as gendered and racialized, being performed disproportionately by women and minorities. However, in emerging research in labour studies, scholars are also increasingly paying attention to new forms of reproductive labour performed by women in conjunction with biomedicine and biological sciences. In developed countries everywhere birth rates are declining, impacting economies in profound ways and leading to shifts in public policy on labour markets, retirement, and immigration. At the same time and in the interest of mitigating these shifts, the advancement of reproductive technologies and new medical interventions into pregnancy and labour have commercialized, managed, and modernized reproduction. Women's and fetal bodies are not only the sites of these interventions; increasingly, they are the sources of their 'raw materials,' which include stem cells, embryos, and other tissues of pregnancy such as placentas. The meaning of women's labour, including their reproductive and economic labours, is thereby redefined. This lecture explores women's labour in the context of reproductive sciences and medicine. Discussing results from two empirical research studies in placentology, or the science of placentas, the lecture explores how women are simultaneously marginalized, empowered, and interpellated into the projects of reproductive science and medicine. It also explores fundamental questions about how different academic disciplines study and theorize reproduction in a world in which science is increasingly defining and managing it. It is argued that transdisciplinary approaches to studying reproductive labour, which pursue novel methodologies and theories that are integrative of different knowledges, can help to democratize science and medicine while also advancing the health and wellbeing of women, children, families, and communities.

Phillipine Women Centre of BC is hosting a LGBTQ workshop at Simon Fraser University Vancouver (Harbour Centre) on October 24 & 25, 2014.

Click here for more details

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies is proud to be one of the co-sponsors.

FAT MATTERS is proud to welcome our first Fat Visiting Artist, Megan Morman of Lethbridge, AB! Click here for full info, but here's the 'skinny':

1. ARTIST'S TALK with fat queer artist Megan Morman

4 PM sharp to 5:20 PM, SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1325
Tuesday, October 14

(collaborative art-making workshop led by Visiting Artist)

6 PM sharp to 9 PM, SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1500
Wednesday, October 15

*We will be making fat feminist art together out of thousands of fusible plastic beads, and then installing them!

***Spaces limited: REGISTER at


1 PM, cafe at 1059 Alberni Street
Saturday, October 18

Email for the reading and to get on the listserv.



The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the Rosemary Brown Award Committee invite you to attend

Inequality and Rights:  A Feminist Perspective

Inaugural Annual Rosemary Brown Memorial Conference

Saturday, September 13, 2014
8:30 AM to 1:00 PM

Room 1700, Labatt Hall
SFU Harbour Centre

Free, but reservation required:

Rosemary Brown campaigned tirelessly in her lifetime for the rights of marginalized groups.  A distinguished social worker and the first Black woman to be elected to a Canadian legislature, she was also a respected feminist and academic, teaching at SFU as the Ruth Wynn Woodward Chair in Women's Studies.  She served as the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and on many Boards that were committed to equality principles.  She was awarded the Order of BC and became an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Commander of the Order of Distinction of Jamaica. This conference will honour her legacy by bringing together academics and members of the broader community to talk about issues of diversity, persistent inequality, and social justice.


Elsie Dean, Women Elders in Action WE*ACT Society
Shaunee Gaffney, Queer Youth Activist
Margot Young
, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia
Habiba Zaman, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Simon Fraser University
Marcy Cohen, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Carol Martin, Victim Services Worker, Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
Cecily Nicholson, No One is Illegal and Social Housing Alliance of BC
Saylesh Wesley, PhD Candidate, SFU, and Chilliwack Field Centre Coordinator, NITEP, UBC

The Rosemary Brown Award Committee includes representatives from the BC Human Rights Coalition, United Nations Association in Canada, BC Federation of Labour, Congress of Black Women Foundation, BC Association of Social Workers, Society for Children and Youth of BC, and University Women of Vancouver.




Please note:  Alexa McDonough is unable to attend this event.  Apologies for any inconvience.

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies & The Department of History co-present

Equality Deferred:  Human Rights in British Columbia History with Dr. Dominque Clement

Thursday, September 11, 2014
7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Reception & Book signing to follow

SFU Vancouver
Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street
Segal Centre Rooms (1400-1410)

Free, reservation required:

Has human rights transformed Canada? Are we more equal today? Dr. Clément explores the historical origins of human rights law, politics and activism and focuses on British Columbia and sex discrimination. The province was at the forefront of the women’s movement and a veritable laboratory in human rights legal innovations, and yet nowhere else was human rights law more contested.

Funded by Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (SFU): Co-presented by
Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and Department of History (SFU); Herstory Cafe

Herstory Cafe


















The Woman Who Shot Bill Miner: Photographer Mary Spencer (1857 – 1938)

Thursday June 12th, 2014
7:00pm – 8:30pm

An illustrated talk by Sherril Foster, author of “A Steady Lens: The True Story of Pioneer Photographer Mary Spencer.” Caitlin Press, 2013. Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library Special Collections, 7th floor. Book signing & sale. Free admission, drop-in only and seating is limited.

*This event includes a display of orignal Mary Spencer photographs, a collection of historical printed material and artifacts, like this set of leg irons used on Bill Miner, on loan from the Museum of Vancouver’s collection

For more information please visit:

Creative City Singapore & the Illiberal Pragmatics of Sexuality

Audrey Yue
Associate Professor in Cultural Studies
University of Melbourne

April 11, 2014

7:00 pm

SFU Harbour Centre
Room 1420
515 West Hastings Street

Recent anti-gay persecutions in Russia and Uganda have turned the world’s attention to the plight of LGBTs living in countries where homosexuality continues to be illegal. Singapore is amongst these remaining few countries that retains its draconian anti-sodomy laws. However, Singapore is also celebrated globally as one of the new exciting cities of gay Asia. In this lecture, Professor Yue examines this paradoxical phenomenon, where homosexuality remains criminalized yet is at the same time promoted through a cultural liberalization brought about by the country’s transition to a creative economy. Surveying examples in film, theatre, nighttime economy and new media, she introduces new queer spaces and practices that are produced in and through a milieu she calls “the illiberal pragmatics of sexuality.” Key to this paradox and central to the city’s creative futures is the question of sustainability. How can creative industries better harness resource and build local capacity in such a small city and in a way that is sustainable? How can LGBT communities continue to carve out queer spaces of survival in a country that persists to actively prosecute homosexuality? Professor Yue demonstrates the ‘just’ sustainability paradigm through a case study of the biggest online gay Asian portal, Fridae. By examining Fridae as a social enterprise, she shows how the creativity of its dual business/social empowerment model can provide a template for individuals and communities to make claims to cultural rights in countries where there are as yet no sexual rights.

Funded by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Co-presented by:

Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Graduate Program in Urban Studies

Screening of
My Big Fat Diet

7 PM - Monday, March 3
SFU Harbour Centre, Room 7000
(Earl and Jennie Lohn Policy Room, 7th Floor)

This CBC documentary follows the Namgis First Nation on a town-wide diet.
Come hear from one of the filmmakers as well as experts in First Nations film and fat studies.

Commentators include:
Dr. Jay Wortman, Filmmaker
Dr. Charles Menzies, Anthropology, UBC
Dr. Carmen Ellison, Early Childhood
Development Mapping, University of Alberta)

Screening of
The Machinist

1 PM - Thursday, March 13
SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1600
(Canfor Policy Room)

Come see Christian Bale perform a unique version of masculine “disordered” eating.

Discussion led by
Dr. Janis Ledwell-Hunt,
Vancouver Island University

“Re-mapping Anorexia:
Trans-ordered Eating and Affect”

Public Lecture by Dr. Janis Ledwell-Hunt,
Vancouver Island University

3:30 PM - Thursday, March 13
SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1600
(Canfor Policy Room)

Screening of
Fat, Bald, Short Man

7 PM - Wednesday, April 2
SFU Harbour Centre, Room 7000
(Earl and Jennie Lohn Policy Room, 7th Floor)

Come see this brand new animated feature that is tearing up film festivals
right now!

Commentary by
Sarah Sparks, PhD Candidate, SFU
Dr. Lucas Crawford, Ruth Wynn Woodward
Lecturer, SFU

For accessibility info, contact

Want to join a Fat Studies reading group?


A Talk by

Lisa Z. Sigel
DePaul University

Thursday, March 27
2:30-4:00 pm
SFU, AQ 6106

Handmade and Homemade: 
Alternative Sources for American Sexual History

A Talk Proudly Sponsored by SFU’s Departments of English, History, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Lisa Z. Sigel is an associate professor in the Department of History at DePaul University in Chicago. Her most recent book, Making Modern Love: Sexual Narratives and Identities in Interwar Britain, was published by Temple University Press in 2012. It explores the relationship between popular culture and identity construction. She has previously published on the history of pornography (Governing Pleasures: Pornography and Social Change in England, 1815-1914 and International Exposure: Perspectives on Modern European Pornography, 1800-2000) as well as the history of censorship. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Social History and Porn Studies, a Routledge publication.

Nestled in a small cardboard box is a handmade figure constructed from white, fuzzy pipe-cleaners. When a string is pulled through the back of the box, the figure appears to masturbate its red-tipped penis. A poem, set into the box’s lid, names him “Jerkie Boy” and suggests that he is a “self driving chap” who “greases his pole and provokes his own sap.”“Jerkie Boy” is one of thousands of hand-made pornographic objects including pamphlets, altered currency, prison art, and altered photographs that this talk considers. Because scholars of contemporary pornography have focused largely on the mass-produced materials, they have made claims about porn-ography as plasticized and commodified as a result. Placing handmade and homemade pornography within the broader corpus of materials radically changes how pornography should be conceptualized.

As this paper will demonstrate, handmade and homemade pornography is neither commodified nor formulaic. Instead, DIY pornography, partially insulated from the market and the state, provides an unmediated view of personal sexual desire, complete with all its contradictions, variances, infelicities, and questionable tastes. This paper suggests that DIY materials worked as a form of communication that ran outside and alongside commercial sex culture. Thus, homemade and handmade materials allowed for a radical vernacular and embrace of the self set against social, commercial, and state controls.

For further information contact Dr. Colette Colligan, Department of English,

THE BRIDGE GENERATION: A Queer Elders’ Chronicle from No Rights to Civil Rights


March 21st, 2014
6:30 – 9:00 pm
Free admission and refreshments.

Britannia Services Centre
Canucks Family Education Centre
1655 William Street
Vancouver, BC

(Room located on the second floor above Eastside Family Place on Grandview Park)

604-718-5837. Wheelchair accessible.

Edited by host artists Claire Robson and Kelsey Blair, with introductions by Dr. Elise Chenier, Department of History at SFU. Published in collaboration with Simon Fraser University’s Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies.


The Quirk-e collective announces the launch of its anthology of short prose and graphic memoirs chronicling the journey from no rights to civil rights in this, their sixth anthology. The members of Quirk-e describe themselves as a “discordant and unruly choir, insisting, despite the odds, on showing the height, depth and breadth of their experiences.” Once defined as sick outlaws, imprisoned in jails and mental institutions, strapped down and ‘cured’ with electric shocks, they’ve lived a Canadian journey from no rights, to civil rights, and now their stories need to be heard.


“From what seems very simply stated work, deceptively light in theme, you will confront writers who have evolved and matured into taking even deeper risks to tell the secrets and truths often denied or buried by our families and society. Every brave voice deserves a hearing” Canadian novelist, Wayson Choy.

"The Bridge Generation: A Queer Elders’ Chronicle from No Rights to Civil Rights by Quirk-e is much more than just a book. It is itself a piece of community history. Not only does it document a generation’s courage, resistance, and quirkiness, it enacts those very qualities in the process of its own making. The stories collected in the book were incubated through a series of writing workshops for queer elders that ultimately transformed into a collective process of art-making and community-building. The book includes short essays that contextualize the historical eras that shaped the stories: from the 1940s-1950s when homosexuality was still classified as a mental disease all the way to the 2000s when same-sex marriage became legal in Canada. The histories, however, serve only as settings to the real stars of the show: the stories. Crafted with care and skill, these stories sparkle like little gems on the readers’ palm - precious, fragile, each utterly unique. A lot of them teach us about fear: of an AIDS test result, of workplace hostility, of a homophobic killer still at large. Yet, they also show us that sufferings are tempered by tenderness: the frisson of experiencing one’s first same-sex dance, the joy of being a child’s “chosen” Grammas, the comfort of a new-found daughter’s unquestioned acceptance. The Bridge Generation is moving, resilient, and profoundly sincere. It will be a most rewarding read by anyone who cares about queer history, social activism, and the creativity of everyday life."  Dr. Helen Hok-Sze Leung

Photos from the book launch.

Listen here:

Those of you who were unable to attend Professor Shirley Randell's presentation about Rwanda after the genocide can listen to her talk here will be pleased to note courtesy of our campus radio station CJSF 90.1 FM (Original broadcast was on Wednesday, February 3, 2014.)

Professor Shirley Kaye Randell

Rwanda after Genocide: Gender in Politics, Education and Leadership

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
11:30 am
AQ 3149
Free and open to the public

Rwandan women have given their nation new status as a world leader in gender equality, having achieved a 64 per cent majority in Parliament. Women in Parliament have taken leadership in promoting laws that protect women against gender-based violence and  have participated with men in rebuilding and unifying the country following the trauma of horrific sexual violence and killing during the 1994 genocide. Women have reached this level of political power for many reasons, including the current government’s political will and women parliamentarians’ conscious decision to emphasize pre- colonial traditions of leadership as an alternative to prevailing patriarchal notions of women’s capacity. Women’s visibility in national government has not immediately translated into empowerment in the home, in agriculture, in the office or in social life. Formal education is central to providing girls and women the tools to analyze and dismantle remaining obstacles to gender equality in the professional, social and private spheres, building on their political achievement.

Professor Shirley Randell AO, PhD was educated at Perth Modern School and the Universities of Papua New Guinea, Canberra, New England and London. As a leading expert in public sector and institutional reform, gender mainstreaming and human rights in developing countries, Prof. Randell has provided specialist technical assistance to governments in the Asia Pacific Region and in Africa over the last 18 years. She is the author of numerous journal articles and books and is a renowned international speaker. Prof Randell was one of Australia’s 100 Inaugural Women of Influence in 2012 and one of the International Alliance for Women’s 100 World of Difference Awardees in 2013. She is the 2013 Distinguished Alumna of the University of New England Armidale and Patron of the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women and Sunshine Foundation Australia.