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Presenting the 2020-21 Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellows

November 30, 2020
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The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) is pleased to announce the scholars selected to the 2020-21 Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellowship in the Humanities Program. The program increases the visibility of the contributions of the humanities and arts to the university community. It also engages the wider community through publicly involved scholarship and creativity.

The 2020-21 Shadbolt Fellows are:

  • Otoniya Okot Bitek — an Acholi poet whose collected published poetry and essays provide revelatory new insights into, and narratives of, war and processes of reconciliation based on a deeply-rooted cultural understanding of the practices of storytelling.
  • Eden Robinson — a Haisla and Heiltsuk novelist who is currently working on the final stages of the last book in her Trickster trilogy.
  • Fabian Romero — an Indigenous community-based artist and filmmaker from Mexico who lives in Washington State. Romero brings a depth to their work formed from their own struggle as a Purepécha non-binary youth activist.
  • prOphecy sun — a Canadian emerging artist scholar who has an accomplished record of scholarship, research-creation, experimentation and teaching experience in the arts sector. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed book chapters on installation, sound art, film and domestic spaces.

The Shadbolt Fellows will engage with Metro Vancouver communities through exhibits, performances, artworks, workshops and events that realize FASS's values of advancing reconciliation; equity, diversity and inclusion; and collaboration.

Join us online at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 to meet the Shadbolt Fellows in a panel discussion moderated by Stephen Collis (Professor, SFU Department of English) and June Scudeler (Assistant Professor, SFU Indigenous Studies). This event is hosted with the support of SFU Public Square. Register on Eventbrite.

“The Shadbolt Fellows personify the power of the arts and humanities to celebrate life, confront obstacles and envisage a better world,” says Jane Pulkingham, Dean of FASS. “The Fellows will engage with the SFU and wider communities to help us imagine how the arts can make the world we live in better through creative and critical engagement with the major concerns of our times.”

Shadbolt Fellows Events

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2020-21 Shadbolt Fellows

Otoniya Okot Bitek is an Acholi poet. Her collected published poetry and essays provide revelatory new insights into, and narratives of, war and processes of reconciliation based on a deeply-rooted cultural understanding of the practices of storytelling. Otoniya has twice received the Canadian Council for the Arts Award and has been invited to national and international poetry festivals and events.

While at SFU, she proposes to amplify and provide spaces for conversations about belonging from the perspective of marginalized people who can relate as hyper-visible and invisible at the same time, including immigrants, refugees, racialized, differently abled, cis or not cis, and queer.

Otoniya plans to work on a collection of stories entitled “un/scripted: writing from these unceded lands”, which will build on her current work “Settled/Unsettled”, a collection of poems that grapple with marginality and belonging. She will also hold manuscript consults with students, emerging writers and others who may wish to discuss their creative writing on a one-on-one basis.

As part of the residency, Otoniya has begun a collaboration with Chantal Gibson from SFU’s School of Interactive Design and Technology. Some of this work is already up at the Belzberg Library as an exhibition titled “un/settled”, featuring the poetry of Otoniya and photography by Chantal.

Host: Department of English

Eden Robinson is a Haisla and Heiltsuk novelist who is currently working on the final stages of the last book in her Trickster trilogy. The spine of all three of these novels is the figure of Wee’git, the Trickster from Eden’s Haisla and Heiltsuk traditions.

While at SFU, Robinson will work on a novel set in current times that explores the dynamics of a band council in the midst of accepting a proposal for a liquefied natural gas pipeline and plant. She is also in the early stages of researching a lyric essay about salmon on the Pacific coast and a novel set after the big Cascadia earthquake that knocks half of Vancouver Island into the ocean.

The terrain and circumstances surrounding Robinson’s fiction, along with the road she walks with her community and its history, gives her much to offer during public lectures while at SFU. She plans to work within SFU and with community collaborators on panel discussions with other Indigenous authors, and other events.

Robinson received an Honorary Degree as a Doctor of Letters from the University of British Columbia in 2018. She also holds an MFA from UBC.

Host: Indigenous Studies

Fabian Romero is an Indigenous community-based artist and filmmaker from Mexico who lives in Washington State. Romero brings a depth to their work formed from their own struggle as a Purepécha non-binary youth activist. Their work is carried out at the juncture of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies and American Indian and Indigenous Studies.

While at SFU, Romero proposes to strengthen Indigenous LGBTQ and their diasporic Purepécha communities at large, building an Indigenous Purepécha Collaborative Praxis. They plan to work on ethnographic fiction stories and poetry around insurgent kinship structures in urban settings based on their observations and their interlocutor’s contributions. Throughout the residency, they also plan to share their current collaborative projects with artist collectives of which they are a part of. Romero will also be available for consults with students and emerging writers.

During their Shadbolt fellowship they are taking leave from their doctoral candidate studies in the Gender, Women & Sexuality Department at the University of Washington.

Host: Indigenous Studies

prOphecy sun is a Canadian emerging artist scholar who has an accomplished record of scholarship, research-creation, experimentation and teaching experience in the arts sector. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed book chapters on installation, sound art, film and domestic spaces. Her practice celebrates both conscious and unconscious moments and the vulnerable spaces of the in-between in which art, performance, and life overlap. Her recent research has focused on ecofeminist perspectives, co-composing with objects and matter, extraction and surveillance technologies, and site-specific engagements along the Columbia Basin region and beyond.

sun has received five BC Arts Council Scholarships, the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship, among others and has received multiple Graduate Fellowships from Simon Fraser University.

While at SFU, sun proposes to establish common ground between art making, performance, artist presentations and creative writing. She plans to work within SFU and with community collaborators on an artist talk, a sound workshop titled Compositions for the Fraser Lowlands and an album, live performance and immersive exhibition, and publications. Her artist residency will take place in the tidal flats and marshland of the Fraser River Basin, where she will shoot a series of video vignettes, soundscapes and interventions in the landscape.

Host: Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies