FEBRUARY 10, 2012
Knowing Their Place? Identity and Space in Children’s Literature
Led by Terri Doughty, English Department, VIU, and Dr. Dawn Thompson, Chair, English Department, VIU.
Melissa Bachynski, graduate student, UWO;
Donna Flett, Aboriginal teacher, John Barsby Community School;
Janet Grafton, graduate student, UNBC;
Sheila Grieve, Co-Chair, Early Childhood Education, VIU.
Traditionally in the West, children were expected to “know their place,” but what does this mean in a contemporary, globalized world? How does children’s literature help explain how identity is derived from a sense of place? This presentation brings together several speakers who participated in a post-graduate conference on The Child and the Book at VIU in May 2009, and who then contributed to a collection of essays edited by Terri Doughty and Dawn Thompson that explore indigeneity and place, analyze the relation between the child and the natural world, and study the role of fantastic spaces in the child’s construction of self. In children’s literature, the physical places and psychological spaces inhabited by children and young adults help shape the identity of both characters and readers.
MARCH 9, 2012
The Power of Theatre in Indigenous Communities
In the building of nations, the suppression of Indigenous cultural traditions by colonial powers was the practical and legislative means by which Indigenous peoples were subjected to enforced enculturation. In his famous text, Theatre of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire describes colonial settlers as invaders who penetrate the cultural context of another group, ignoring potential and curbing expression, in order to impose their own view of the world upon them. In Canada, an acute suppression of sacred performance took place with the 1884 Potlatch Ban amendment to The Indian Act of 1876, which wasn’t dropped from the legislative books until 1951. This presentation will offer information on the suppressive acts of arts-domination in Canada and discuss Indigenous cultural theatrical expression in contemporary times.