February 15, 2017: Paper Hearts II: Gender and Power in Turtle Island Literary/Canadian/US Literary Communities

Feb 6, 2017

Paper Hearts II: Gender and Power in Turtle Island Literary/Canadian/US Literary Communities
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
Treaty 7 Territory/CANADA

A simple lunch will be served
Open to students, faculty and the general public
Free of charge
RSVP if possible to TIAHouseYYC@gmail.com
Last-minute attendees welcome!
Watch this site for updates

12noon – 1:45pm
Introduction: Larissa Lai
Opening Prayer and Welcome: Elder Anita Eagle Bear
Panel Discussion: Helen Knott, Jessica Nicol, Julie Rak, Carmen Aguirre, Rain Prud’homme-Cranford

2:00pm – 3:00pm
Literary Reading: Rain Prud’homme-Cranford, Jessica Nicol, Helen Knott, Carmen Aguirre

Since TIA House’s first Paper Hearts event in February 2015, the struggle over gender and power relations in Turtle Island/Canadian/US literary communities, has become deeper and more complex, entangling writers and critics both inside and outside the academy, across a range of racialized and gendered formations, oriented in a wide variety of ways to the publishing industry. Concurrently, the spectre of the many Indigenous women who have been murdered or who have gone missing since the start of the colonial project, looms in ways that all of us, but especially those who inherit settler privilege, have a responsibility to address. Questions of embodiment and experience, the publishing industry, academic and non-academic hierarchies, and the ways we understand and commit to the democratic project are all profoundly at stake.

Panellists have been asked to respond to the questions:
What are the forms that gender/power relations take Turtle Island/Canadian/US literary communities now?
What are some of the principles that guide your own stance and practices in in relation to the problems?

Questions for the discussion:
Where do we differ?
How can we work in solidarity keeping both shared principles and irreconcilable differences in mind?


Carmen Aguirre is an award-winning Vancouver-based theatre artist and author who has written and co-written twenty-five plays. Her first memoir, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, won CBC Canada Reads 2012 and is a #1 national bestseller. Her second memoir, Mexican Hooker #1 and My Other Roles Since the Revolution, is a Globe and Mail bestseller and was chosen by CBC as one of the best books of 2016. Carmen has over eighty film, television, and stage acting credits, and has been teaching acting and writing for over two decades. She is a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop facilitator and a graduate of the prestigious acting program Studio 58. www.carmenaguirre.ca

Helen Knott is a Dane Zaa and Nehiyaw woman from Prophet River First Nations living in Fort St. John. Helen is a mother, writer/poet, social worker, activist and Masters in First Nations Studies Student. She focused most of her advocacy work and poetry highlighting violence against Indigenous women and Indigenous lands.

Jess Nicol is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. She studies Creative Writing and Fictocriticism and her work has been published previously in filling Station magazine and online at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Rain Prud’homme-Cranford (Goméz), Ph.D. is a“Fat-tastic IndigeNerd” who is a Louisiana méstiza of Louisiana Creole/Choctaw-Biloxi and Mvskogean descent paternally and of Alberta Métis and CelticAmerican ancestry maternally. She won the First Book Award in Poetry from Native Writers’ Circles of the Americas (2009), for Smoked Mullet Cornbread Crawdad Memory (MEP 2012). Her critical work intersects Indigenous, Métis /Mestizo, and African American transnational and transracial diasporas.

Julie Rak is a Professor and the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Julie’s areas of research are life writing, Canadian literature and popular culture. She is the co-author and the sponsor of the Open Counter-Letter about the Steven Galloway case at the University of British Columbia.

Organized by Larissa Lai and Tom Sewel.

Paper Hearts is organized through The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing with the support of the Department of English and the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary, and the Canada Research Chairs program.

Contact us:

Website and blog: www.tiahouse.ca
Twitter: @TIAHouseYYC
Facebook: facebook.com/TIAHouseYYC
Email: TIAHouseYYC@gmail.com


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