Creole Métisse of French Canada, Me: Symposium in Honour of Sharron Proulx-Turner

Creole Métisse of French Canada, Me:                                                              Symposium in Honour of Sharron Proulx-Turner

Co-Chairs: Aruna Srivastava, Rain Prud’homme-Cranford and Larissa Lai  Organizers: Mikka Jacobsen, Rebecca Geleyn and Larissa Lai

November 23 – 24, 2018

The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing, SS1059, University of Calgary

This symposium honours the work of métisse writer and elder Sharron Proulx-Turner, who passed away last year. Her last book Creole Métisse of French Canada, Me was posthumously released this year by Kegedonce Press. The first publication on the TIA House webzine was, in fact, work Sharron gave us. In her last days, as we sat with her to visit, celebrate her life, hang out and reconnect, especially in those moments when we couldn’t hide our sadness, she promised to haunt us. And indeed, she does. So rather than say Sharron was a storyteller, let us say she is and will always be a storyteller, mentor, friend, aunty, mother, Nokomis, lover, poet, and singer who carries the immense powers of love, healing, story, and community-building in the face of sexual abuse, colonialism, and trauma. This symposium takes up the three themes addressed in the title of her book: creolization/métissage/intersectionality, Métis Nationhood (Red River), and the self. We can understand small métis broadly as the French word for “mixed.” The first panel addresses mixings and intersectionalities. We open to the door to address and honour understandings of mixing and crossing, certainly in sense of “mixed-race” and intersectionality broadly, but also combinations, concatenations, collaborations, and elaborations in their widest sense, through and beyond the complications of the racial. In the second panel we address embodiments, experience, history, culture, and politics as they attach to Métis Nationhood, and specifically Métis cultures and knowledges as connected to the Red River Settlement in what is now known as the province of Manitoba. Certainly, the Red River Resistance is important. This panel is also interested in contemporary Red River stories, communities, diasporas, apocrypha, and more. Finally, through the “Me” of the book’s title, this symposium addresses the body of Sharron Proulx-Turner’s work and life, particularly but not exclusively its autobiographical and biotextual aspects.

Program:

(Preliminary, and subject to change. All events at TIA House unless otherwise specified.)

November 23 Friday

5:30pm: Opening Prayer: Anita Eaglebear

Elder Helpers: Joshua Whitehead and Devonn Drossel

6:00pm: Dinner/Reception

7:00pm: Book Launch:

Readings From Creole Métisse of French Canada, Me

Weyman Chan, Sable Sweetgrass, Fritz Bitz, Barb Horsefall, Alicia Clifford, Liz Howard, Graham Scott Angus, Rain Prud’homme–Cranford, Aruna Srivastava

November 24 Saturday

10am: Intersectionalities

Moderator: Mikka Jacobsen

Jade Mah-Vierling, Sharanpal Ruprai, Joshua Whitehead

Noon: Lunch provided

1:30pm: Métis Nationhood and the Red River

Moderator: Rebecca Geleyn

Yvonne Poitras Pratt, Rain Prud’homme-Cranford, Vicki Bouvier (tbc)

3:30pm: Coffee Break and Book Table

4:00pm: Sharron Proulx-Turner Biotext Roundtable

Moderator: Larissa Lai

Aruna Srivastava, Sharanpal Ruprai, Weyman Chan, Sable Sweetgrass

7:00pm: Feast

Catered at Larissa’s

Dina Al-Kassim & Erin Soros: October 15th & 16th

Two exciting talks coming up at TIA House!

Dina Al-Kassim, Monday, October 15, 1-3pm 

Baring It All? The Limits of Naked Protest

The sovereign’s obscenity knows no bounds, but what understanding might we glean from his mirror image in postfeminist performance and resistance?

Departing from Proudhon’s anti-feminist treatise on the dangers of expanded suffrage and representative democracy when granted to women, the term “pornocracy” might be remobilized to describe the nexus of hypersexual publicity and wanton defiance of democratic forms – Strauss-Kahn, Putin, Berlusconi, Trump, Kavanaugh – enabled by the privatization of public goods today. In this light the claims of postfeminism to sovereign choice and public exposure, as exemplified by the protest-for-hire group Femen, emerge as so many stations in the restricted economy of “commandment” examined by Achilles Mbembe as an “aesthetics of vulgarity” in the postcolony where obscenity greases the wheels of local logics and value’s circuits. Giorgio Agamben’s genealogy of the emergence of identity-without-the-person offers a persuasive account of the desire to be recognized that drives the circuit of celebrity. Yet this account fails to register commandment’s passions, its aesthetics of vulgarity. If postfeminist nudity reflects the pornocrat’s obscenity, both insist upon sovereign subjectivity as the condition of the only life worth living. What are the stakes of the body in these circuits of vulgarity? How is the avant-garde gesture commanded in today’s pornocratic state?

Erin Soros, Tuesday, October 16, 1-3pm

“Eyes, Birds, Walnuts, Pennies”: Trauma and Testimony

The phone rings, and no one speaks. All you hear is someone breathing.

It happens again, and again—then there are the e-mails, the innuendoes just skirting the explicit.

Or the phone rings and this time he says what he will do.    

There are gifts too, left on the doorstep, at the workplace, in the hardware store around the corner. 

Housewarming, he says. 

A hybrid creative-critical performance, “Eyes, Birds, Walnuts, Pennies” attends to the psychological effects of criminal harassment—otherwise known as stalking—and the vertiginous extremes of language that can occur in response and in resistance to the threat of sexual violence, an assault that does and does not take place, a dreaded future that can at any moment arrive.

Dina Al-Kassim researches political subjectivation, sexuality, and aesthetics in global avant-gardes, transnational modernist and contemporary postcolonial cultures. She is the author of On Pain of Speech: Fantasies of the First Order and the Literary Rant (University of California Press, 2010). Her publications have appeared in Camera AustriaTransStudies Quarterly, Grey Room, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, International Journal of Middle East StudiesPublic Culture, and Cultural Dynamics. She is jointly appointed in the Department of English and The Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (CA). 

Erin Soros has published fiction and nonfiction in international journals and her stories have been produced for the CBC and BBC as winners of the CBC Literary Award and the Commonwealth Award for the Short Story. Her articles weaving psychoanalysis, philosophy and narrative have appeared in differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, The Journal of Intercultural Studies, The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, and The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, with new work in Literatures of Madness and in Women and the Psychosocial Construction of Madness. She has been a visiting writer at four universities, most recently Cambridge, and has just finished a position as an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto. 

 The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing                                               Social Sciences Tower 1059, University of Calgary                                                       2500 University Drive NW

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