Category Archives: Other Events

events of potential interest to our members

The Creative Arts as Pedagogy: A transnational feminist dialogue

Crossroads Community and Environmental Art Workshop & the Centre for Feminist Research present:  

The Creative Arts as Pedagogy:  A transnational feminist dialogue 

Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014 at Yorku 3:00 – 5:00 pm         140 HNES (Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies, Rm. 140)

This panel will bring together Malathi de Alwis (University of Colombo/Open University Colombo), Shahrzad Mojab (OISE/U of T), Honor Ford-Smith (York), Rachel Gorman (York) and Nayani Thiyagarajah (York), to engage in a conversation facilitated by Alison Crosby (York) on how they draw on the creative arts to think through their research, politics and the everyday.  Panelists will engage with a variety of questions, including “How can the arts create transnational feminist conversations that teach the irreconcilable, the unsettling, the intersecting and parallel lived experiences across and within nations, states, histories and politics?”


These events are co-sponsored by the Centre for Refugee Studies, the York Centre for Asian Research, the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LA&PS), and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (VPRI).

York's Centre for Feminist Research presents Barbara Baird on Race, Gender, HIV and Australian Criminal law

Centre for Feminist Research presents

Visiting Scholar Dr. Barbara Baird (Flinders)

“Endangering Life: The Raced Politics of Gender in an Australian Case of the Criminalization of Exposure to HIV” 

introduced by Professor David Murray

Wednesday, October 8, 3-5pm, 280N York Lanes

Please RSVP to this event by emailing

Refreshments provided.

This paper tells a story of the criminalisation of exposure to HIV in recent times in Australia. It concerns John Chan, an Australian citizen of Sudanese background living in Adelaide, South Australia. Mr Chan came to Australia as a refugee in 1999. In 2004 he was diagnosed with HIV and, after first coming to the attention of the South Australian Health Department authorities, in 2009 he was arrested on a charge of ‘Endangering Life’ for having unprotected (consensual) sex with three women and thus exposing them to the virus. In mid 2011 he was sentenced to five and a half years in gaol. The paper uses John Chan’s story as a case study through which to analyse some aspects of contemporary gender relations in Australia. Its focus is on the position of white women in a cultural and political environment characterised by both conservative and neo-liberal discourses of gender and sexuality.

Barbara Baird is an Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at Flinders University in South Australia. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research at York. Her research focuses on histories and cultural politics of sexuality and reproduction in contemporary Australia, with particular attention to their shaping by discourses of race and national identity. She is particularly interested in the politics of abortion and is currently embarking on a cultural history of the provision of abortion services in Australia since 1990. She is also part of a collaborative project to historicise sexual citizenship in Australia. Her work is widely published in journals of history and gender and sexuality studies.

via CFR.

Socio-Legal Studies Speaker Series Fall 2014 at Yorku

h/t Amanda Glasbeek


Monday, September 22, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm
IKB 2027(Osgoode Hall Faculty Common Room)
Dr. Sarah Keenan, SOAS, University of London
(Book Launch, co-sponsored with the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode)
“Subversive Property: Law and the Production of Spaces of Belonging


Monday, September 29, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm, Ross South 701

Dr. Ian Green, School of Public Policy and Administration
“The Supreme Court’s Rights Revolution: Section 7 of the Charter and Aboriginal Rights”


Monday, October 27, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm, Ross South 701

Dr. Richard Weisman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Social Science

“Reflections on the Role of Remorse in Law and Directions for Future Research”


Monday, November 10, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm, Ross South 701

Dr. Susan Dimock, School of Public Policy and Administration

“Intoxication in Canadian Criminal Law”
Monday, November 17, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm, Ross South 701

 Dr. Miriam Smith, Law and Society, Department of Social Science

“Explaining the Failure to Act: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the U.S., 1994-2014″

Deadline: Call for Papers October 15, 2014

The Asper Centre has posted this great CFP:

Call for Papers October 15, 2014

The Interplay between Sections 7 and 15 of the Charter

Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, St. George Campus – February 27, 2015


The David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights invites papers for its upcoming conference examining in detail the interplay between sections 7 and 15 of the Charter.


The Centre invites papers that stimulate and develop an ongoing exploration of the relationship between sections 7 and 15. Issues that can be addressed include:


• Is equality a principle of fundamental justice under section 7?

• How have the courts treated the two separate grounds for challenging government action?

• Are their strategic advantages to pleading both grounds or only one?

• How can different cases challenging the same law proceed differently based on the ground pleaded (e.g. Bedford and Downtown Eastside Sex Workers)?

• How does the relationship between the sections play out in circumstances such as mandatory minimum sentencing, challenges to the NCR provisions, human smuggling legislation?


Other conference topics may include issues such the role of individual choice in respect of both equality and liberty rights; harm or dignity as central themes; socio-economic rights or the rights of the poor; and arbitrariness as an element of the analysis under each section.


The papers will be utilized as the central themes on various panels across the one day conference and selected conference papers will be considered for publication as part of a special issue of the National Journal of Constitutional Law. Authors of papers chosen for presentation will be notified by November 1, 2014. Final (for the conference) papers are due by February 6, 2015.


The David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights is a centre within the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law devoted to advocacy, research and education in the areas of constitutional rights in Canada. For more information about the Centre go to


For those interested in participating, please send an abstract (max: 250 words) of your intended paper with a 1-2 paragraph biography to: Cheryl Milne at


Deadline for Submissions: October 15, 2014


Feminisms, Structural Violence and Transitional Justice: A one-day conference (CFP: Sept 1, Conference Oct 31)

York University Doctoral students Jessica Chandra and Emily Rosser are planning a very interesting looking one day conference.  Details below, pdf here.  Please circulate widely.

Call for Papers:
Feminisms, Structural Violence and Transitional Justice: A one-day conference

October 31, 2014
Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security; Graduate Fellowship Program
Osgoode Hall, York University, Toronto ON

Deadline for abstract submissions: September 1, 2014

Submit to:

Transitional justice is a field that brings together academic and practitioner approaches to post-conflict, peace-building and post-authoritarian settings considered to be ‘transitioning’ towards democracy. This field includes the study of truth commissions, international criminal justice, human rights movements, post-authoritarian democratization and reparations (Teitel, 2000; Hayner, 2002; De Greiff 2006). Consolidated in the decade after the cold war, this field has often treated liberal democracy as a default goal of transitional processes (Miller 2008, Arthur 2009). In particular, mainstream approaches across multiple sites emphasize rebuilding a war-torn state into a liberal one with a focus on development, building democratic institutions and liberalizing the economy for foreign investment (Richmond 2010; Stokke & Uyangoda 2012).
Since the early 1990s, there have been significant developments around sexual violence and women’s rights in international legal and rights-based frameworks. Key legal developments included more explicit recognition for harms through the prosecution of rape as genocide in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), securing the legal status of rape as a stand-alone crime against humanity in the International Criminal Court (ICC) charter, and ensuring gender visibility in a range of other processes such as truth commissions and reparations programs. Critical feminist interventions on peace-building in transitional settings advanced a parallel agenda within the UN Security Council, beginning with S.C.Res.1325 in 2000 (Brouwer 2005; Pankhurst et al 2008; McGlynn & Munro 2010).
Despite the increased visibility of gender and sexual violence, advocates and researchers have identified a marked disconnect between symbolic progress at the international level and the more disappointing material realities of survivors on the ground (Human Rights Watch 2004; Nowrojee 2005; Theidon & Laplante 2007; Duggan, Guillerot & Paz 2008; medica mondiale 2009; Buss 2010). Liberal human rights based approaches favored in transitional justice processes have often over-determined women as one-dimensional and apolitical victims in need of rescue, without accounting for women’s key social roles in conflict and post-conflict (Grewal 1999; Kapur 2002; Engle 2005; Zarkov 2007; Hesford 2011). Critics argue that such approaches contribute to the sidelining of survivors, women activists and transformative feminist politics (Ross 2003; Driver 2004; Theidon 2007; Al-kassim 2008; Meertens & Zambrano 2010). This situation calls for more complicated critique of the intersection of gender discrimination and violence with various other forms of structural violence, including colonialism and neoliberal capitalism, and a feminist engagement with redistributive politics that seeks not to replace but to extend beyond the brief post-conflict reparations agenda (Seuffert 2005; Smith, 2005, 2006; Ní Aoláin and Rooney 2007; Rubio-Marín et al 2009). What are the limitations and possibilities? This conference aims to facilitate such a dialogue across feminisms, disciplines, histories and theory-practice divides.


Key questions:

 How has the legacy of liberal legalism shaped or circumscribed feminist possibility in transitional justice?
 What strategies of accounting for gender violence can avoid reproducing narratives of hyper-victimization?
 How have processes such as truth commissions supported or resisted feminist analyses of structural violence or feminist counter-histories of struggle?
 How can anti-racist and anti-colonial feminist critiques of neoliberal “rule of law” agendas better intervene in this field?
 How can feminists and others working in the margins of this field engage in more productive dialogue and ultimately, social change?
Other possible themes include (but are not limited to):
 The difficult balance between institutionalizing hard-won gains around sexual violence and moving towards a more holistic agenda for women’s rights
 Indigenous and other feminist engagements with imperialism, colonialism, land theft and genocide
 Practitioner experience, strategies and struggles that rarely make it into the literature
 Feminist agendas of redistribution in transitional contexts
 The meanings and consequences of raced, classed, gendered divisions of labour in transitional justice work (eg. lawyer/non-lawyer; victim-witness/analyst)
 Different logics of gender in historical memory, legal or social justice work
 Assessing the utility of continuum models of gender violence in transition and long term impunity
 Critical approaches to militarized or other masculinities

Submission details

We invite:
 250-word abstracts for 15-minute individual presentations (research papers, critical reflections on experience, or artistic production related to conference themes)
 300-word descriptions of panels (3-4 presenters), followed by individual paper abstracts
 Detailed proposals for 45-60 minute round-table discussions on a theme: Why the theme? Who participates? How will the discussion be structured?


Who should apply? Practitioners, academics, graduate students, independent researchers, activists.
How and when to submit?  Submit by email in .doc or .pdf format to: by September 1, 2014. Please include your name and a short biographical statement (150 words) with your submission. All applicants will be notified if their submission has been accepted by September 1, 2014.

Other useful details:

Negotiations are underway for the publication of selected papers. We hope to have (limited) travel funds available for activists and those from remote or Global South locations. At this stage we cannot guarantee any funding, but aim to support your participation and welcome your inquiries.
Looking to volunteer? Contribute your skills and enthusiasm and participate in making this event a success! Contact us—undergraduate and graduate students are welcome. Most volunteer tasks will be concentrated in September and October 2014 on Keele Campus, York University, Toronto.


Works Cited

Al-kassim, Dina. 2008. “Archiving Resistance: Women’s Testimony at the Threshold of the State.” Cultural Dynamics 202:
Arthur, Paige. 2009. “How ‘Transitions’ Reshaped Human Rights: A Conceptual History of Transitional Justice.” Human
Rights Quarterly 31: 321-367.
de Brouwer, Anne Marie. 2005. Supranational Criminal Prosecution of sexual violence: The ICC and the Practice of the
ICTY and the ICTR. Antwerp: Intersentia
de Greiff, Pablo (Ed.). 2006. The Handbook of Reparations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Driver, Dorothy. 2005. “Truth, Reconciliation, Gender: the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Black
Women’s Intellectual History.” Australian Feminist Studies 2047: 219-229.
Duggan, Colleen, Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey, and Julie Guillerot. 2008. “Reparations for sexual and reproductive violence:
Prospects for achieving gender justice in Guatemala and Peru.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 22:
Engle, Karen. 2005. “Feminism and its DisContents: Criminalizing Wartime Rape in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” American
Journal of International Law 994: 778-816.
Grewal, Inderpal. 1999. “Women’s Rights as Human Rights: Feminist Practices, Global Feminism, and Human Rights
Regimes in Transnationality.” Citizenship Studies 3(3): 339-354.
Hayner, Priscilla. 2002. Unspeakable Truths: Facing the Challenge of Truth Commissions. New York: Routledge.
Hesford, Wendy. 2011. Spectacular Rhetorics: Human rights visions, recognitions, feminisms. Durham and London: Duke
University Press.
Human Rights Watch. 2004. Struggling to Survive: Barriers to Justice for Rape Victims in Rwanda. New York, Human
Rights Watch.
Kapur, Ratna. 2002. “The Tragedy of Victimization Rhetoric: Resurrecting the ‘Native’ Subject in International/Post-
Colonial Feminist Legal Politics.” Harvard Human Rights Journal 151.
Laplante, Lisa, and Kimberly Theidon. 2007. “Truth with consequences: Justice and reparations in Post-truth commission
Peru.” Human Rights Quarterly 29: 228-250.
McGlynn, Claire and Vanessa E. Munro (Eds.) 2010. Rethinking Rape law: International and Comparative Perspectives.
New York: Routledge.
Meertens, Donny and Margarita Zambrano. 2010. “Citizenship deferred: the politics of victimhood, land restitution and
gender justice in the Colombian Post? Conflict.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 4: 189-206.
medica mondiale/Mischkowski, Gabriela & Gorana Mlinarevic. 2009. “And that it does not happen to anyone anywhere in
the world…” The Trouble with Rape Trials – Views of Witnesses, Prosecutors and Judges on Prosecuting Sexualized Violence during the War in the former Yugoslavia. Cologne: medica mondiale.

Miller, Zinaida. 2008. “Effects of Invisibility: In Search of the ‘Economic’ in Transitional Justice.” International Journal of
Transitional Justice 2: 266-291.
Ní Aoláin, Fionnuala & Eilish Rooney. 2007. “Underenforcement and Intersectionality: Gendered Aspects of Transition for
Women” International Journal of Transitional Justice 1(3): 338-354.
Nowrojee, Binaifer. 2005. “ ‘Your Justice is Too Slow’: Will the ICTR Fail Rwanda’s Rape Victims?” Gender Equality:
Striving for Justice in an Unequal World. Occasional Paper 10. Geneva, UNRISD.
Pankhurst, Donna (Ed.) 2008. Gendered Peace: Women’s Struggle for Post-War Justice and Reconciliation. New York:
Richmond, Oliver (ed). 2010. Palgrave Advances in Peacebuilding: Critical Developments and Approaches. New York: Palgrave.
Ross, Fiona. 2003. Bearing Witness: Women and the Truth Commission in South Africa. London, Pluto Press.
Rubio-Marín, Ruth (Ed.). 2009. The Gender of Reparations: Unsettling Sexual Hierarchies While Redressing Human Rights
Violations. Cambridge: International Center for Transitional Justice and Cambridge University Press.
Seuffert, Nan. 2005. “Nation as partnership: Law, ‘Race,’ and Gender in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Treaty Settlements.” Law
and Society Review 393.
Smith, Andrea. 2006. “Boarding School Abuses, Human Rights and Reparations.” Journal of Religion & Abuse 82: 5-21.
—. 2005. Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide. Boston, South End Press.
Stokke, Kristian & Jayadeva Uyangoda (ed). 2012. Liberal Peace in Question: Politics of State and Market Reform in Sri
Lanka. London: Anthem Press.
Teitel, Ruti. 2000. Transitional Justice. New York, Oxford University Press.
Theidon, Kimberly. 2007. “Gender in Transition: Common Sense, Women and War.” Journal of Human Rights 6: 453-478.
Zarkov, Dubravka. 2007. The Body of War: Media, Ethnicity and Gender in the Break-up of Yugoslavia. London: Duke
University Press.