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.

“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.

Jasjit Sangha: Motherhood, Embodiment and Adult Learning

The next recording from our Brown Bag series in Honour of Roxana Ng is Jasjit Sangha’s discussion of Motherhood, Embodiment and Adult Learning, recorded November 5th, 2013.

This presentation was more informal than the previous two events in the series, and created some interesting dialogue among attendees.

More information about upcoming events in the series here.

Putting Intersectionality to Work: Theory, Research, & Praxis

We’re slowly but surely uploading the recordings of the Brown Bag series in Honour of Roxana Ng. This is the second event in the series, back in Oct 2013: “Putting Intersectionality to Work: Theory, Research, & Praxis”, a panel facilitated by OISE professor Roland Coloma and featuring 5 OISE graduate students:

Panel Presentations:
Ken Huynh — Embodied and Hidden Discomforts: Power and Marginality in Intersectionality
Marissa Largo — Rendering Difference: Identities in Filipino Canadian Contemporary Art
David Pereira — Stretching Beyond Categories that Constitute the “At Risk” Youth Subject
Sophia Papastavrou — Decolonizing the Cypriot Woman
Fritz Pino — What Difference Does it Make: An Intersectionality Perspective in LGBT Aging Studies

You can listen to the previous event in the series here (a discussion of “Journey to Find Myself Again documentary”).

Roxana Ng

Last week at the CWSE we marked the one year anniversary of Roxana Ng’s passing, our former Centre Head. We drank tea and spoke quietly with those who joined us, and everyone felt that it’s hard to believe it’s been a year. 

We are currently in the process of compiling a complete bibliography of Roxana’s works, which we’ll make available online as soon as it’s ready. We will also continue to update her memorial page on the CWSE website

ImageThere is a photo album of pictures of Roxana on the CWSE’s facebook page. If you have photos of her that are not in that album and are willing to share them, please send them to 


Submissions Due: “Roxana Ng’s Thinking Against the Grain” RFR Special Edition

RFR Call for Papers

Roxana Ng’s Thinking Against The Grain: An RFR/DRF Special Commemorative Issue


“We must develop a critical awareness of the power dynamics operating in institutional relations, and of the fact that people participate in institutions as unequal subjects. We must take an antisexist/antiracist approach to understanding and acting upon institutional relations, rather than overlooking the embeddedness of gender, race, class, and other forms of inequality that shape our interactions… We must speak out against normalized courses of action that maintain existing inequality…We must also constantly interrogate our own taken-for- granted ways of acting, thinking, and being in the world…”

(Roxana Ng, “ ‘A Woman Out of Control’. Deconstructing Racism and Sexism in the University.” Canadian Journal of Education/Revue canadienne de l’éducation. 18 (3): 189- 205, 1993)

On January 12, 2013 Roxana Ng, one of Canada’s most innovative feminist scholars and activists passed away. This special commemorative issue of RFR/DRF seeks to honour Roxana’s contribution to critical feminist knowledge production in Canada and to present work that continues her lifelong goals of “understanding and eliminating oppression and inequality.”

We welcome the submission of research articles that are variously influenced by the kind of critical scholarship that Roxana Ng’s work exemplified. We are looking for manuscripts that engage with the serious work of “thinking against the grain” as Roxana would have put it. We seek contributions that look deeply at the contradictions engrained in social relations and that produce social categories of oppression. We are also looking for work that addresses examples of transformational practices that contest/negotiate neoliberal racialized patriarchal hegemony – in the classroom, in the university, at work and in all sites where our everyday lives are lived.

Possible areas of focus include:
• Organizing Immigrant Women’s Labour under Neoliberal Regimes
• Decolonizing Knowledge Practices in the Classroom and Communities
• Immigrant and Refugee Women and Questions of the Nation
• Transformative Methodologies and Pedagogies
• Anti-racist Feminist Practices
• Queer Knowledge Production and Transformative Praxis
• Indigenous Knowledge Practices
• Embodied Pedagogies
• Migrant Workers

Deadline for submissions is December 6, 2013. All submissions are peer reviewed.

For submission details and a copy of our Author Guidelines email

“Journey to Find Myself Again”

Brown Bag Seminar in Honour of Roxana Ng, October 16th, 2013, at the CWSE.

A discussion & screening of the documentary film Journey to Find Myself Again: Experiences of South Asian Immigrant Women in the Canadian Labour Market, with Srabani Maitra.

This is a recording of the discussion only; the documentary can be viewed online at

This event was the first in 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.

For more information about the series and the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education: