Tag Archives: International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day Lecture March 9: Leanne Simpson “Islands of Decolonial Love”

Happy International Women’s Day! This event comes highly recommended from the IFLS book club, who had the chance to read and listen to Leanne’s lovely stories and songs last week (you can listen free here).

International Women’s Day Lecture
“Islands of Decolonial Love: Exploring Love on Occupied Land” Leanne Simpson

March 9 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
OISE Auditorium, Ground Floor, Accessible Space
252 Bloor Street West (St. George and Bloor)


Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is “a gifted writer who brings passion and commitment to her storytelling and who has demonstrated an uncommon ability to manage an impressive range of genres from traditional storytelling to critical analysis, from poetry to the spoken word, from literary and social activism.” In 2014, Leanne was named the inaugural RBC Charles Taylor Emerging writer by Thomas King, and she was also nominated for a National Magazine Award for her short story “Treaties” published in Geist 90. In 2012, she won Briarpatch Magazine’s Writing From the Margins prize for short fiction. Leanne is the author of three books; Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back, The Gift Is in the Making and Islands of Decolonial Love, and the editor of Lighting the Eighth Fire, This Is An Honour Song (with Kiera Ladner) and The Winter We Danced: Voice from the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement (Kino-nda-niimi collective). Leanne holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba and has lectured at universities across Canada. She is of Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg ancestry and a member of Alderville First Nation.

This event is open to the public. ASL will be provided.

Sponsors:  Women & Gender Studies Institute; WGSSU; Principal’s Initiative Fund, New College; Adult Education and Community Development Program; Indigenous Education Network; Transformative Learning Centre.

A few IFLS book club members will be meeting up for a casual drink after the event. If you’d like to join, send me an email at danaphillips@osgoode.yorku.ca.   

Happy IWD! Kapur (yesterday) on slutwalks and chaddis, Mossman and Luxton launch (soon) Reconsidering Knowledge

Osgoode Genest and IFLS visitor Ratna Kapur spoke on IWD-eve (obviously this should be a real thing, right? )from her forthcoming paper Pink Chaddis and SlutWalk Couture: The Postcolonial Politics of Feminism Lite.  A great talk which wrapped critical approaches with a touch of real optimism.  The piece links campaigns which developed out of the remarks made by police (both official and unofficial police of female behaviour, in fact) in India (Kapur provides this example: People are turning out to be more fashionable …..all these things they provoke; provoke these types of things [rape] which are not in the control of the police. …When you are taking food which gives you good josh (urges), you tend to be more naughty”.  Within minutes of these words being uttered by the Director General of Police (DGP) of Andhra Pradesh, a state in southeastern India, in late 2011, they were posted on youtube and provoked an avalanche of protest.”  (citations removed) and in Toronto – actually at Osgoode (see our post here and for more on the Pink Chaddi’s campaign, see here or here).

Kapur asks

Do the SlutWalk marches and Pink Chaddi campaigns represent the coming of age of feminism? Or do they signal feminism’s final demise?

and she encourages us to consider the possibility that:

These are not revolutionary moments, but hold within them powerful critiques of dominant feminist positions and operate as space clearing mechanisms for other analytical possibilities to emerge.

Kapur argues in this work that, in the Indian context:

The limitations of an exclusive focus on gender, victimisation, and a universalised Indian women’s identity gradually began to undermine the feminist movement.

These critiques expose deep fissures within the feminist ranks and the moralistic and essentialist understandings of gender which underpin a victim-centred analysis. There is no question that women have struggled as victims to subvert power – yet that power has not emanated from a single source – men. In the context of India, resistance to the colonial encounter was central to the experience of subordination for women on the Asian subcontinent. This history cannot be understood simply in terms of the history of gender subordination or sexual violence perpetrated by men against women. It was also about the broader economic and political subordination and expropriation of another nation’s labour, resources, land, raw materials and market, and the exclusion of the native – both men and women – from sovereignty and legal entitlements.

In this context, the Pink Chaddis campaign, and the Slutwalks can be seen as

…. techniques of critique, not only of dominant attitudes towards women’s sexuality, but also of some segments of the feminist movement’s complicity  in reinforcing a sexually-sanitised understanding of female subjectivity. These campaigns mark, at one and the same time, the demise of a politics based on dominance feminism and the reincarnation of a politics of productive critique.

The full paper is coming in April from Feminist Legal Studies.   See here for more about Feminist Legal Studies and the CFP around the paper).

 The next IFLS event that we’d love to see you at will be the CFR/IFLS book launch of RECONSIDERING KNOWLEDGE, a project that was edited by Meg Luxton and Mary Jane Mossman.  The event will be held on Friday March 23, at 2pm.  Here’s a pdf flyer for circulation.

Reconsidering Knowledge: Feminism and the Academy (Fernwood 2012)

March 23, 2012, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.  FSCR (Founders 305)

How has feminist thinking shaped what we know? Emerging from the lecture series “Feminist Knowledge Reconsidered: Feminism and the Academy,” held at York University in 2009, Reconsidering Knowledge examines current ideas about feminism in relation to knowledge, education and society, and the future potential for feminist research and teaching in the university context. Connecting early stories of women who defied their exclusion from knowledge creation to contemporary challenges for feminism in universities, this collection assesses how feminist knowledge has influenced dominant thinking and transformed teaching and learning. It also focuses on the challenges for feminism as corporatization redefines the role of universities in a global world. The essays reflect on both historical and contemporary themes from a diversity of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, but are united in their exploration of how feminism’s continuing contribution to knowledge remains significant, even fundamental, to the transformation of knowledge in the academy and in our world.


Introduction (Mary Jane Mossman and Meg Luxton) • Part One: Feminism and the Academy: Revealing the “Other” • Feminism and the Academy: Transforming Knowledge? (Meg Luxton) • Cartographies of Knowledge and Power: Transnational Feminism as Radical Praxis (M. Jacqui Alexander & Chandra Talpade Mohanty) • Sexual Diversity in Cosmopolitan Perspective (Elisabeth Young-Bruehl) • Part Two: Feminism and the Academy: (Re)Engaging the “Knowledge Revolution” • Universities Upside Down: The Impact of the New Knowledge Economy (Margaret Thornton) • The University on-the-Ground: Reflections on the Canadian Experience (Janice Newson) • Part Three: Feminism and the Academy: Remembering History/ Recalling Resistance • Bluestockings and Goddesses: Writing Feminist Cultural History (Ann Shteir) • Feminism, Ecological Thinking and the Legacy of Rachel Carson (Lorraine Code) •


Joined with the book launch is the launch of the “Timeline of York Women’s Studies History to 2011” project, directed by Rusty Shteir (who is also a contributor to the book).

Why Celebrate IWD? We have ideas.

I was speaking to a prominent feminist activist last week and I asked on behalf of some students whether she’d like to come and speak to a panel International Women’s Day – next Tuesday!
Her response?

There’s f[. ] all to celebrate

Well, yes. Good point, good reason. But.  Could we do something with that?  Strategically, critically?
In honour of International Women’s Day, students at Osgoode Hall (our International Legal Partnership in partnership with the Institute of Feminist Legal Studies (IFLS) and Women’s Caucus) are presenting a week of events on the theme: 

Ending Impunity for Sexual and Gender Based Violence: a Week of Advocacy and Awareness

I’ve mentioned some of the events already.  Got to http://bit.ly/endingsgbv to see the complete list.

Yesterday we invited members of the Osgoode community, staff, students and faculty, to think about and express their reasons for celebrating.

Check out what they “said” in the pics and slide show below.  Click on pics for full size version. Ditto slide show.

If you need to download your own photo to show your mom (or your kid) what you wrote, try this flickr link.



Head to Toe: Joanna Birenbaum for International Women's Day @ Bata Shoe Museum

Rabbit shoeIn acknowledgement of International Women’s Day, a global day commemorating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future join Joanna Birenbaum, Director of Litigation, Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, as she offers an illustrated talk. The practice of wearing the niqab in Canada has recently received significant public attention and Birenbaum will talk about Canadian law’s response to women who wear the niqab, and whether women’s equality can be advanced by legislating how women dress.