CWSE at International Women’s Day 2015

CWSE joined the International Women’s Day Rally, March and Fair on Saturday, March 7th in solidarity with the World March of Women with more than 5,000 people from various community groups, organizations and movements.

Many thanks to the organizers, to everyone who joined the march and dropped by at the fair!




IWD Fair at Ryerson Student Centre

The Renaissance Woman: Celebrating the Life and Leadership of Dr. Maya Angelou

                                      On 27th November, scholars, artists, poets, community groups, leaders, researchers, activists, students, entrepreneurs and many others celebrated the life and leadership of Dr. Maya Angelou with the Canadian Academy for Diversity Leadership at the CWSE.

Thanks to Dr. Marilyn Patricia Johncilla for organizing and hosting such a wonderful event.

Here are some photos from the celebration.

DrMarilyn Patricia Johncilla, opening the event!

Dr. Marilyn Patricia Johncilla, opening the event

Mary Wright, CWSE Associate Artist, reading her poem.

Mary Wright, CWSE Associate Artist, reading her poem

Inspirations Studio, a social enterprise project of  Sistering

Inspirations Studio, a social enterprise project of Sistering

Keynote Speaker: Nneka MacGregor

Keynote Speaker: Nneka MacGregor

Murphy Browne delivering her presentation

Murphy Browne delivering her presentation

Maya Angelou's painting by Tray Arts

Maya Angelou’s painting by Tray Arts

Annie Kashamura Zawadi, I Can Testify

Annie Kashamura Zawadi, I Can Testify


Motherhood in Patriarchy: Abolishing the Matrilinear Order

Mariam Irene Tazi Preve, the author of “Motherhood in Patriarchy” (2013) gave a very interesting presentation on October 28 at the CWSE.

Her work, “Motherhood in Patriarchy” pioneers the argument that the western understanding of motherhood is a patriarchal one, based on a long historical tradition of subjection and institutionalization.

She reflected on the development of motherhood and neoliberal principles that leave mothers without choices: combining living in dignity, making a living and caring for their children does not make a “free women” but results in an exhausted generation fallen into the modern “motherhood trap”.

Here are some pictures of the talk and the thought provoking discussion that followed.


IMG_0554  IMG_0558

Changing Laws & Unchanging Statistics: Rape & Rape Laws in India with Reflections from Canada

We now have a video recording of the 17th Annual Dame Nita Barrow Lecture (July 22, 2014).  Poonam Kathuria, the founder and director of Society for Women’s Action and Training Initiatives in India was our Dame Nita Barrow Visitor this year.  Paulette Senior, the Chief Executive Officer at YWCA Canada also joined the conversation.


Soma Chatterjee: Borders are no Longer at the Border

From our Seminar Series Roxana Ng. February 4, 2014. Soma Chatterjee on:

“Borders are no longer at the Border”: Professional Immigrants’ Labour Market Integration & Exclusionary Nationalism

In this presentation Soma Chatterjee discusses the Canadian state’s contradictory practices of welcoming immigrant labour as crucial for its prosperity and simultaneous construction of that very labour as skill deficient. Soma argues that this simultaneous welcoming and expulsion of immigrant labour ensures a form of ideological bordering through which Canada continues to procure exploitable labour, and at the same time, constructs itself as a nation with ‘naturally’ superior standards.

Roxana Ng Seminar Series: “Embodied Writing and Decolonizing Knowledge Production”

We recently completed our year-long seminar series in honour of Roxana Ng, who was the CWSE’s Head from 2009-2013. She passed away January 2013.

This has been one of the most successful series in recent memory at the CWSE, with presentations on subjects ranging from breast cancer, decolonizing yoga, intersectionalities, and mothering. Thank you to everyone who participated in this series!

Above is the recording of Susan Ferguson’s event in the series on February 25th: “Embodied Writing and Decolonizing Knowledge Production: The Social Production of Pain in Lata Mani’s Interleaves

Susan explores the possibilities of embodied writing for social research and its implications for decolonizing knowledge production about and of the body, bringing together disability studies, feminist autobiography, phenomenologically-informated interpretive sociology. Through a close reading of Lata Mani’s memoir of pain and disability, Interleaves, Susan explores the potential for transnational health knowledge to shape embodied knowledge production that treats the experience of pain as a social activity.

Thank you especially to Lata Mani, for allowing the use of the clip in the recording.

Embodied Approaches to Immigrant Labour

We’re a little behind, but here’s the recording of our January 27th event with Adam Perry in our ongoing series in honour of Roxana Ng, on “Image Theatre: Embodied Approaches to Immigrant Labour”.

In this presentation Adam Perry discusses the use of an embodied approach to qualitative research with migrant farm workers. He explores how he engaged with the practice of “Image Theatre” to facilitate counter-discursive stories shaped by workers’ invitation to play in the space between aesthetic representation and social reality. Expect to move around a bit during this presentation.

This event was part of a year-long series of lunch time events in honour of CWSE Head Roxana Ng, who passed away in January 2013. Roxana was a prolific and dedicated feminist whose work focused on globalization, migration, and labour relations; immigrant women and Canadian institutions; Institutional Ethnography; anti-racism; Qi Gong and alternative holistic health and healing; embodied learning; and critical feminist pedagogy.

More information about the series.

We have only one more event in this series, taking place April 3rd at the CWSE. Come check it out.

“The ‘Comfort Women’ & Contemporary Forms of Sexual Violence Against Women”

Next week our own Angela Lytle, director of the Women’s Human Rights Education Institute will be speaking in Vancouver at UBC on the former “comfort women”. Check it out if you can!

The week after that we’ll be hosting the final event in our Brown Bag Series in Honour of Roxana Ng. April 3, with Krista Maxwell & Bonnie McElhinny, on “Racial Hierarchies, Imperial Circuits and Health Care in Canada: Indigenous and Immigrant Nurses in Historic Indigenous Communities”.


Congratulations to everyone who participated in this series. We’ve had amazing turnouts, and really great speakers and discussions. This series emphasized the truly broad scope and far-reaching impact of Roxana’s work.