Simon Fraser University Vancity Office of Community Engagement

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Glen Coulthard: Fanonian Antinomies

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-09-25
Abstract: 

Building on the theoretical interventions provided in "Red Skin, White Masks," Glen Coulthard's presentation will interrogate the reception and application of psychiatrist-turned-anti-colonial-revolutionary Frantz Fanon's theoretical work in Canadian political thought and activism from the 1960s to the present. Fanon's theoretical influence in the United States has been well noted. The profound mark that Fanon in particular and Third Worldism in general left on post-war US anti-colonial radicalism led cultural theorist Stuart Hall to declare Wretched of the Earth nothing less than "The Bible of Decolonization." Interestingly, however, Fanon's influence is perhaps even more pronounced in Canada.

For example, Quebecois sovereigntists in the 1960s often borrowed the language of Fanonian anti-colonialism in their own struggles for national recognition, while largely ignoring both Fanon's insights into the problem of recognition in colonial contexts and Quebec's own problematic status as a settler-society complicit in the attempted genocide and dispossession of Indigenous peoples in the province.

Fanon's work was also used by high-level federalists like Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau to critique Quebecois nationalism and by multiculturalists like Charles Taylor to chart a conciliatory path between both the claims of Quebec and Canada's concerns about national unity. And, of course, truer to form, Fanon was also an inspiration to both Black nationalists and "Fourth World" Indigenous nations in our respective struggles against displacement and dispossession by the provincial and federal governments. In reconstructing this historical narrative Coulthard aims to re-situate Indigenous decolonization within the global anti-colonial imaginary that once radically informed our struggles for land, freedom and dignity.

SPEAKER BIO

Glen Coulthard is Yellowknives Dene and an associate professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Caribbean Philosophical Association's Frantz Fanon Award for Outstanding Book, the Canadian Political Science Association's CB Macpherson Award for Best Book in Political Theory, published in English or French, in 2014/2015, and the Rik Davidson Studies in Political Economy Award for Best Book in 2016.

Document type: 
Video

A Flea the Size of Paris: The Fatras

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-10-03
Abstract: 

The fatras is a form of medieval French verse dedicated to the impossible. A form of unsense verse that turns the animate world inside-out and takes apart the structures that wish to rule it. Its crass humour, often obscene, is directed at church and state, at bogus morality and the madness of war. All of the wildness of the fatras happens within a paradoxically rule-bound form, as if to mock the fraudulent elegance of the court and its love poetry. A fatras begins with a couplet, often lifted from a serious poem in high style. The first line of the couplet is then restated and “followed” by a 9-line sequence of non-sequiturs, dream-like shifts of scale and person, scatological or blasphemous jokes and slapstick routines, concluded by the repetition of the couplet’s second line. The ideational content is generated through puns, homonyms and rhyme. Only a few dozen fatras have survived, mostly written by the court poet Watriquet de Couvin, and performed together with a certain Raimondin. The nature of their collaboration is unknown — the poems may have been composed in advance or improvised in performance. It is not known whether or not they were accompanied by music. They have never before been translated into English.

In this event, Donato Mancini and Ted Byrne presented and read their translations of the fatras. Danielle LaFrance and Jacqueline Turner responded to the original fatras, after which all of the poets read some of their own poetry, either new fatras, or poetry that responds to the fatras.

Document type: 
Audio

Matt Hern: Sports, Creativity and the Radical Imagination

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-11-06
Abstract: 

Often derided as a subaltern opiate, sports need to be understood as containing huge social and cultural power. Matt Hern argues for a vastly expanded definition of creativity that includes sports for sure, but also all kinds of everyday and common activities. Radical social change relies on our imaginations, and we need to be nurturing every kind of creative activity, especially material collisions, as we make and remake the world around us.

Document type: 
Video

An Afternoon with Mimi Pond

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-11-08
Abstract: 

Co-presented by SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement in partnership with Broken Pencil.

Mimi Pond, the cartoonist behind the New York Times bestseller Over Easy (Drawn & Quarterly, 2014) discusses her new graphic novel in terms of the era in which it is set - the tumultuous world of the 1970's.  Most people under the age of 35 imagine the '70s to have been nothing but one big non-stop, cocaine-fueled, glittering disco party. Pond thinks of it more as a dark moral swamp she was left to navigate on her own. Some choices made in those days often led to frightening consequences. On the other hand, that very lack of moral judgement meant that one was freer to make one's own decisions without societal pressure to conform, vastly different from today's climate of the internet's harsh snap judgements.

Document type: 
Video

Barnett Rubin: What will Happen to Afghanistan After the NATO Forces Leave?

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-11-19
Abstract: 

Co-presented by SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement, Indian Summer Festival and SFU's School for International Studies. 

Canada played a leading role in the NATO deployment in southern Afghanistan for over ten years. With the end of that operation in December 2014, what will become of that country, in which Canada and its NATO allies have invested so much? New York University scholar Barnett R. Rubin, who has worked on Afghanistan for both the United Nations and the United States government, presents his analysis, based on decades of first-hand experience. Moderated by Charlie Smith, editor of the Georgia Straight.

Document type: 
Video

Why Surrey is the Future of BC with Bob Williams

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-10-04
Abstract: 

Historically, Surrey has been talked about derisively and condescendingly as a suburb on the margins with questionable urban planning decisions. Visionary SFU honorary doctorate recipient Bob Williams weighs in on why the growth and maturity of Surrey represents a game-changing disruption to how we view the Metro Vancouver region in the future. He argues that the centre of gravity in the region is already shifting to the south of the Fraser.

Bob Williams is an urban planner and former provincial MLA and cabinet minister. His leadership, inspiration and action over the past 60 years have helped to improve and transform B.C.'s rural and urban communities, and the lives of its citizens.

Williams is president and chair of the Jim Green Foundation. He is an experienced civic leader and is currently on the management committee for 312 Main, Vancouver's Social and Economic Innovation Centre. Formerly, Bob worked as a Vancouver city councillor, and a provincial cabinet minister with Premier Dave Barrett. Bob's past career also included being a long time director of Vancity Credit Union, owning the Railway Club Bar, advising the Four Corners Bank, and establishing Robson Square and the modern Whistler Blackcomb. Williams is the recipient of a 2017 honorary degree from SFU — Doctor of Laws, honoris causa  — conferred by the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Environment.

Document type: 
Video

Shaping Vancouver 2016: Our Neighbourhoods - What’s So Special About ‘The Drive’?

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-05-18
Abstract: 

Commercial Drive is perhaps the most vibrant, textured, and diverse street in Vancouver—outstanding for its unique sense of place and experience.

As the city continues to grow eastward, the pressure to develop this area is mounting and becoming a reality. The changes on the table will introduce new typologies, such as towers, that will radically change the fabric of the street. Heritage Vancouver Society would like to explore how to address the need for additional density and transit within a framework that respects the character of the Drive and its remaining heritage assets.

As a way to engage the Drive, this discussion will:

- Review the history of the street.

- Explore what we can consider its heritage assets.

- Ponder the intangible heritage of the area that should be considered when development is being proposed.

- Challenge the notion of prescriptive zoning as a means to preserve a heritage area.

Alongside the question of preservation comes the question of character. Should we be satisfied with saving a few important Heritage assets while the character of an area is abandoned to the forces of development? The panel will discuss how much of the character of an area we can or should surrender to development, what character can be considered important and worth preserving, and whether that character is tied to traditional heritage forms.

Change is coming to “The Drive” and tonight’s panelists will be addressing how and what can be done to avoid destroying what is important about the street. A general discussion with the audience follows.

Document type: 
Audio

Shaping Vancouver 2016: Our Neighbourhoods - What Do I Want From My Street?

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-06-16
Abstract: 

In this panel, speakers discuss the impact of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) along some of our prominent North South arterial streets – Cambie, Main, Fraser, and the communities along them.

Increasingly, we see the character and street level retail disrupted by the creation of high-density mixed-use areas close to public transport. Although this kind of development increases the housing supply, questions around diversity, density distribution, community assets, and neighbourhood quality remain. It is a model that appears to preserve low-density single-family neighbourhoods by introducing Metrotown like developments.

Is this the best way for Vancouver to address the development imperatives it is facing and if the preservation of low-density single family areas justify the creation of high density nodes?

The panel will explore what factors make a street work, including how accessible it is for various modes of transportation, how it allows for a variety of activities, how pedestrian oriented it is, whether it provides comfortable gathering spaces, and how it contributes to a distinct image of its neighbourhoods as a means to assess the impact of the TOD development being proposed for Vancouver. A general discussion with the audience follows at the end.

Document type: 
Audio

Creating A New Way Forward: Reflections On TRC’S Final Report and Recommendations

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015-06-02
Abstract: 

The Vancouver Coordinating Committee for TRC Closing Events welcomed seven panelists, including TRC Honorary Witnesses and both Indigenous and non-Indigenous community leaders, to reflect on the closing of the TRC and the possibilities moving forward.

Document type: 
Video

The Wrath of God: Reza Aslan on Faith, Islam and the Media

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015-07-16
Abstract: 

Apart from being an exceptionally intelligent writer, religious scholar Reza Aslan is quickly gaining a reputation for being one of the most patient men on television.

More than once, he has painstakingly explained to TV hosts that their less-than-sophisticated stands on Islam may be founded on flimsy and dangerous assumptions. He gained international recognition for his Fox News interview that went viral, and more recently, Aslan’s nuanced response to Bill Maher’s rant.

Aslan returned to Vancouver to unpack the arguments around religion and violence. Touching on a range of topics from identity to ISIS, Aslan argued that no religion exists in a vacuum. Every faith is rooted in the soil in which it is planted.

“Using two or three examples to justify a generalization. That’s actually the definition of bigotry.” – Reza Aslan (response to Bill Maher)

Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. He is the founder of AslanMedia, a social media network for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world, and co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of BoomGen Studios, the premier entertainment brand for creative content from and about the Greater Middle East. Aslan’s first book is the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into seventeen languages, and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War, as well as editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, Contentions, and Complexities. Born in Iran, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife (author and entrepreneur Jessica Jackley). When Aslan is not working on his own writing, he serves as a writing consultant in television on the upcoming show, DIG, with Tim Kring and Gideon Raff.

Document type: 
Video