Sharing Breath: Embodied Learning and Decolonization

Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 9:00am

Discussions about Indigenizing the academy have abounded in Canada over the past few years. And yet, despite the numerous policies and reports that have been written, there is a lack of clarity around what pedagogical methods could help to decolonize our institutions. Sharing Breath: Embodied Learning and Decolonization edited by Sheila Batacharya and Yuk-Lin Renita Wong demonstrates how the academy cannot be decolonized while we still subscribe to the Western idea of mind over body. The book acknowledges and draws attention to the incommensurability between decolonization and aspects of social justice projects in education.

The contributors to this collection, including OCAD U’s Susan Ferguson, Director of the Writing and Learning Centre, argue that connecting the body, mind, and the spirit is integral to decolonization projects and to the reimagining of pedagogy. By providing a useful range of embodied ways of teaching, learning, and knowing for scholars to consider, this “field-building” book maps out an area for embodiment scholarship in education.

 

Venue & Address: 
University of Toronto OISE 252 Bloor St. W. Room 5-260
Cost: 
Free
poster for book launch

Dean Dori Tunstall profiled in Communication Arts magazine

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

In a column titled Respectful Design, Dr. Dori Tunstall, OCAD University’s Dean of the Faculty of Design, discusses her work in decolonizing the design curriculum at OCAD U. Dean Tunstall describes the positive reactions she receives at international presentations where she explains how the university is using Respectful Design. The full profile is available online.

 

 

 

OCAD University hires five new permanent Indigenous faculty

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudensaunee, the Anishinabek and the Huron-Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we stand and create.

(Toronto – June 20, 2018) OCAD University (OCAD U) is pleased to announce the hiring of five new tenured/tenure-track faculty members who self-identify as Indigenous Peoples of North America or Peoples of Turtle Island. Suzanne Morrissette will join OCAD U’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies; Peter Morin will join the Faculty of Art; and James MillerHoward Munroe and Melanie Printup Hope will join the Faculty of Design.

The hiring of these Indigenous faculty members is part of OCAD U’s commitment to decolonize, the first principle identified in the university’s Academic Plan 2017-2022: Transforming Student Experience. In addition to their teaching roles, research activities and service to the governance of the university, they will be key contributors to the ongoing development and decolonization of OCAD U’s undergraduate and graduate program curriculum, policies and initiatives. The hiring initiative is a special program under the Ontario Human Rights Code. 

OCAD University believes that Indigenous knowledges and cultures are of fundamental importance to the future of Canada, both to Indigenous individuals and communities, and to Canadian society. In the last decade, OCAD U created an Indigenous Visual Culture Program, one of the first of its kind to be established at an art and design university, and established an Aboriginal Education Council. Including national representation, the Council’s mandate is to recommend initiatives and share strategies that provide direction and guidance on the development of the program and supporting initiatives. 

“OCAD University understands that transforming education in response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada requires that we critically assess the settler social relations that underpin knowledge production and what constitutes knowledge within the university context and beyond,” said Dr. Gillian Siddall, Vice-President, Academic and Provost. “We are delighted to welcome these new members to the OCAD U community, who will help us create a more inclusive learning environment for Indigenous students. These are amazing scholars, artists, and designers, and they will make a tremendous contribution to the university.”

“OCAD University has been an agent of change for more than 140 years. Our commitment to decolonizing the curriculum is part of the evolution of education — both at our university and within the larger Canadian post-secondary education context,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “OCAD U was one of the first art and design institutions to launch a degree in Indigenous Visual Culture, which laid critical foundations from which to build. We very much look forward to working with these new faculty, and continue working in tandem with our Aboriginal Education Council, our Indigenous Student Association and all our faculty and staff to support the process to decolonize the institution and to recognize, acknowledge, implement and vitalize Indigenous visual culture.” 

Joining OCAD U’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies:

Suzanne Morrissette
Suzanne Morrissette is a Métis artist, curator, and writer from Winnipeg. She received a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art & Design in 2009 and an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University in 2011. In 2017, Morrissette completed her PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University, which took an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the historical lineage behind contemporary perceptions of Indigenous political knowledge in mainstream North American society, particularly those which characterize resistance to state powers as aggressive or anti-progress. Looking at artworks by contemporary Indigenous artists, this research examines ways in which creative practice provides a generative site through which to confront and challenge these perceptions. This research has received SSHRC CGS and Provost Dissertation Scholarship support from 2013 to 2017 and has been nominated for the dissertation prize and Governor General’s Gold Medal for 2018. 

Morrissette’s research-creation projects include such recent exhibitions as our land, together at Harbourfront Centre (2015), Surface & Symbol: works by Jean Marshall at the Ontario Crafts Council (2013) and Definitely Superior Art Gallery (2014), and Blueprints for a Long Walk: works by Lisa Myers at Urban Shaman Gallery (2013). Her forthcoming curated project On Being Illiberal extends her recent research to problematize public perception of resistance movements in North America.

Joining OCAD U’s Faculty of Art:

Peter Morin 
Peter Morin is a Tahltan Nation artist, curator, and writer. In his artistic practice and curatorial work, Morin’s practice-based research investigates the impact zones that occur when indigenous cultural-based practices and western settler colonialism collide. This work is shaped by Tahltan Nation epistemological production and often takes on the form of performance interventions. In addition to his object making and performance-based practice, Morin has curated exhibitions at the Museum of Anthropology, Western Front, Bill Reid Gallery, and Burnaby Art Gallery. In 2014, Peter was long-listed for the Sobey Art Prize. Morin holds a tenured appointment at Brandon University in the Visual and Aboriginal Arts Department.

Joining OCAD U’s Faculty of Design:

James Miller
James Miller is a proud Kānaka Maoli of Hawaiian and Japanese American descent. He is a Sylff Association Fellow whose research focuses on the role of Indigenous knowledge in the production of a culturally supportive built-environment. Miller completes his PhD in Sustainable Architecture at the University of Oregon this June and holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame. Miller has a diverse background in architectural practice, urbanism, and social entrepreneurship. He is currently working with municipal governments and non-profits in the Republic of the Marshall Islands to assist in creating culturally appropriate land use planning and climate adaptive building strategies through applied research. 

Miller’s research has been funded by the Sylff Association and the Julie and Rocky Dixon Graduate Student Innovation Award. Miller’s research has been published in the proceedings of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium 2017 Conference and received an ARCC King Medal in 2016. His paper “Colonial Legacy in the Marshall Islands: The Shaping of Everyday Cultural Patterns in America Town” will be presented at the 2018 International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments Conference. Previous research has been published in Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review Working Papers Series and the Proceedings of the International Association for the Study of People-Environment Studies.  Miller’s work has also been presented at the International Disaster Risk Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Miller is a core member of the Collaborative for Inclusive Urbanism, a Program Director for Living Islands non-profit, and a Project Manager with Studio-E Architecture in Eugene, Oregon.

Howard Munroe
Howard Munroe is Red River Métis from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is completing a contractually limited term appointment in OCAD U’s Industrial Design program. He holds a Master’s degree in Urban Aboriginal Education from York University, a Bachelor in Technological Education from Brock University, a Bachelor in Industrial Design from OCAD University (Distinction) and a 3-year advanced Diploma in Furniture Design from Sheridan College.  His academic research focuses on introducing Indigenous ways of knowing into current Industrial Design research pedagogies to help establish protocols that inform systems, sustainability and manufacturing processes. Using an urban Indigenous lens, he explores how Indigenous knowledge can foster productive relationships between Indigenous peoples and the design community by introducing research methodologies that are bounded by Indigenous guidelines and protocols. 

Howard has lectured to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada on Innovation, Indigenization and Appropriation and sits on the Indigenous advisory council to the Toronto District School board. His Industrial Design practice focuses on designing custom furniture, lighting and custom designed projects for the home and is a self-taught luthier. Prior to academia, Howard was well established in the performing arts as a lighting designer, technical director, project manager and set fabricator for many major theatrical, television, dance, display and film projects and continues to consult in these industries.

Melanie Printup Hope
Melanie Printup Hope is of Tuscarora and European descent and was raised on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in New York State. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She is an Associate Professor Emerita at The Sage Colleges, Albany and Troy, New York and has also taught at Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, in Banff, Alberta, Canada. She received a Rockefeller Foundation Intercultural Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship in 1996 and has received additional awards and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Fund. Her biography has been included in Who’s Who Among America’s TeachersWho’s Who of American Women and The World Who’s Who of Women.

About OCAD University
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca)is Canada’s university of the imagination. Founded in 1876, the university is dedicated to art, design and digital media education, practice and research, and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. 

Media inquiries:

Sarah Mulholland
Communications, OCAD University
416-977-6000 Ext. 1327
smulholland@ocadu.ca

Action Research & Knowledge Transfer Project: The Futures of Canadian Identities

This action research project had an explicit focus on co-creating and sharing generated knowledge and an experiential knowledge-transfer orientation, operating at multiple levels: Integrated team, buddy system between individual team members, workshops and active participation in design, analysis and conclusions. The experiential learning used a strategic foresight investigation of the futures of Canadian identities, which allowed the practice of various elements of the complexity toolkit.

FRAMING QUESTIONS:

1. How might we improve Canadian Heritage (PCH)'s capabilities to engage in the increasingly complex issues facing it?
2. How might PCH be better prepared for the possible evolutions of Canadian identities?

PROJECT OBJECTIVES:

1. Provide PCH with a sound methodological approach – action research – in relation to the ways in which knowledge-sharing, -generation and -transfer are achieved.
2. Provide guidance to develop internal capacity related to ways to:
       • Reframe the chosen problem through the development of multiple futures;
       • Identify key challenges, insights and intervention points through an assessment of implications across these multiple futures; and importantly,
       • Use new, participatory and collaborative problem-solving approaches to deploy such insights and to inform and influence systems change that can improve PCH agility and resilience in the face of inevitable challenges associated with the emergent future.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

To provide experiential learning of a number of complexity tools, a framework was needed that offered enough complexity to provide opportunities for using the various tools of the toolkit. Strategic Foresight offers such a wide framework.

The topic for the foresight investigation was selected such that it presented a topic directly related to the mandate of PCH, which enhances interest and incentive to pursue the topic itself rather than focusing on individual tools and their concepts.

The introduction of multiple futures and identities, was challenging enough to the established orthodoxy to reduce boredom and raise curiosity and engagement throughout the project.

The foresight investigation followed a modified 2x2 matrix method incorporating the participatory elements specific to the foresight practice at OCAD University.

In addition to the transfer of knowledge and capacity building, the project yielded 268 relevant signals of changes, a set of 14 trends, and an analysis of 12 underlying drivers. It also uncovered the top critical uncertain drivers for the PCH team and built 4 scenarios using the top two such uncertainties. Using the scenarios, a rich list of implications and a set of strategic perspectives were developed to assist the MTP process in articulating policies and strategies. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

One of the results from this project is that PCH hired 5 SFI students to look in more detail at process for embedding artists in policy development processes. This new project builds partially on the final report of this project. The PI of this project has been invited to be a member of the Steering Committee of the new project.
All artefacts of the foresight process as well as the final report are property of PCH, who can decide what to release publicly and when.

The following video was developed by PCH during the workshops conducted and was distributed to all workshop participants in English and French:

L’avenir des identités canadiennes (Français)
The Future of Canadian Identities (English)

Creator: 
Photo of Join Team at Workshop #1
Photo of Joint Team during break at Workshop #1
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 11:15am
Lab Member: 
Nabil Harfoush
Embed Video: 

Reading the Bruce Trail / Tracing Decolonization

Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 10:00am

READING THE BRUCE TRAIL

September 16th, 2017

Led by Amish Morrell

This seminar-in-the-forest will begin at the site of a 600 year-old Iroquois village that sits on the edge of the escarpment, where it overlooks the land of present-day Toronto. From there we will follow the shoreline of an ancient ocean and the ridges left behind by receding glaciers, passing by the barely discernible ruins of farms and industrial activity, travelling along streams and roads, and through schoolyards and backyards. As we walk, we will stop to read stories and songs from Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s book, This Accident of Being Lost, and share other readings, ideas and stories that help us to think about past, present and future occupations of this land.

There will be a bus leaving from OCAD University, at 100 McCaul St., at 10 am, returning by 5 pm. The walk will begin at Crawford Lake Conservation Area, at 3115 Conservation Road, in Milton. We will walk approximately 10 km, on well-trodden, relatively flat footpath through the forest and meadows, and along some quiet country roads. Bring water and snacks, pack a raincoat and be sure to wear appropriate footwear.

Leanne Betasamosake’s book, This Accident of Being Lost is available on the reserves shelf, in the OCAD U Library.

This walk is part of Tracing Decolonization: Mapping a Field of Radicality Across the Bruce Trail, a project by Public Studio (Elle Flanders & Tamira Sawatzky). During July and August of 2017 Flanders and Sawatzky are walking the 900 km-length of the Bruce Trail, from Tobermory to Niagara, with scientists, artists, activists, philosophers and others.

Space is limited, to reserve a spot send an email to: hibabdallah@gmail.com

 

Bruce Trail Poster

Whiteness without White Supremacy Roundtable

Friday, March 10, 2017 - 10:00am to 11:00am

To continue discussions on decolonizing design, Sessional Instructor Monica Bodirsky, Tenured Associate Professor Patricio Davila, and CLTA Assistant Professor Howard Munroe will participate in a roundtable discussion on identity, making, and being read as racially “white” when one’s identity is much more complex.

Monica will share stories and images about being part Roma. Patricio will explore the relationship between his work and identities as a white Latino. Howard Munroe will discuss the intersections of Metis identities, education, and his design practice.

 

 

Venue & Address: 
113 McCaul Street, Room 516
Whiteness Without White Supremacy

Decolonizing Conference

Thursday, November 3, 2016 - 5:15pm to Saturday, November 5, 2016 - 5:15pm

"Race, Anti-Racism and Indigeneity: Anti-Colonial Resurgence and Decolonial Resistance"

Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of CIARS and the 10th Anniversary of the "Decolonizing the Spirit" Conference

Join Assistant Professor Audrey Hudson in her workshop titled: "I Got Your Back: Building Black and Indigenous Relationships in the Academy". Co-Presenting with Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing.

For more information regarding the speakers and the program please visit the Decolonizing Conference website.

Venue & Address: 
University of Toronto / Ontatio Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON
Website: 
http://www.decolonizingconference.com/
Decolonizing Conference Poster with event info and headshots of Keynote speakers

Guangzhou Triennial: Farewell to Post Colonialism

Saturday, September 6, 2008 - 4:00am to Sunday, November 16, 2008 - 5:00am

Faculty of Art Instructor Lyn Carter
presents a new site specific installation for the Third Guangzhou Triennial in China.

The exhibition serves as a focus for a series of connected conferences around the theme ‘Farewell to Post Colonialism’ at the Tate Modern (London), the Hong Kong Arts Centre (Hong Kong) and Peking University (Beijing).

Curators:
Sarat Maharaj
, internationally renowned art and culture theorist, curator and author, Professor of Visual Art and Knowledge Systems at Lund University, Sweden, and Co-curator of Documenta 11, Kassel, 2002.

Chang Tsong-Zung, curator, co-founder of the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong, co-founder of the Hong Kong chapter of AICA, guest Professor of Visual Culture Institute, China Art Academy.

Gao Shiming, art historian, author and theorist, Deputy Director of the Advanced School of Art and Humanities, China Academy of Art.

Venue & Address: 
Guangzhou Museum of Art Guangzhou Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

Film Screening & Discussion

Battle of Algiers
Thursday, December 13, 2007 - 11:00pm

Slingshot invites all students to attend a film screening of BATTLE OF ALGIERS (1966, directed by Gino Pontecorvo). Discussion to follow.

Screening: 6 pm

Discussion: 8:30 pm

Slingshot is a student-run group which exists to promote progressive anti-colonial politics and culture within the OCAD and Toronto communities.

Venue & Address: 
Auditorium Room 190100 McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario
Email: 
pd03hc@student.ocad.ca
Cost: 
Free

Susan Ferguson at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Monday, June 2, 2014 - 4:00pm

Susan Ferguson, Manager of OCAD University’s Writing & Learning Centre and Centre for Innovation in Art & Design Education presented her paper “Embodied Writing and Decolonizing Knowledge Production” at the annual conference of the Canadian Sociological Association last week. The conference is part of the larger Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, held at Brock University.

Ferguson’s presentation was part of a roundtable session featuring contributors to an edited collection entitled Embodiment, Pedagogy and Decolonization: Critical and Material Considerations. The intention of the book is to consider how embodiment and embodied learning are taken up in pedagogical and decolonization theories and practices.

Abstract: “Embodied Writing and Decolonizing Knowledge Production”
This paper explores the possibilities of embodied writing for social research and its implications for decolonizing knowledge production about and of the body. While there has been considerable interest in issues of subjectivity and embodiment in social research, much scholarly writing about the body, health and subjectivity maintains the normative orders of Western academic knowledge production through its reliance upon dominant understandings of embodiment and writing practices that (re)produce disembodied relations to text. Drawing on my research regarding the social production of bodily pain, I will describe how I brought together feminist autobiography, phenomenologically-informed interpretive sociology and mindfulness meditation to develop an understanding of embodied writing practice and consider how it can support a project of decolonizing knowledge production.