GWS News and Events
November 17, 2023
Film screening and Q&A: “The Floating Man”
A new film directed by an award-winning Canadian writer and artist will be screened on the Brandon University campus this month, providing audiences with a timely and provocative look at gender identity.
Director Michael V. Smith will be in attendance, and will also take part in an audience Q&A.
His film, “The Floating Man,” blends DIY documentary, road trip, performance art, and videopoem into an intimate self-portrait that examines a lifetime of untrue stories about his body.
As anti-trans and drag queen rhetoric in a new wave of rightwing gender wars rage across the globe, the film unpacks his journey as a radical drag performer and genderqueer. It is a timely film about gender fluidity and the power of art to transform a life.
The screening is part of the BU Gender and Women’s Studies speaker series, which has brought a succession of popular speakers to campus events to stand up for queer perspectives. Earlier this year, BU welcomed Professor Melissa Adler, from the University of Western Ontario, and Dr. Robert Mizzi, the Canada Research Chair in Queer, Community and Diversity Education and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, as well as a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame and the Royal Society of Canada. Both spoke about the importance of including queer content in school libraries, and their events drew large and approving audiences.
This latest event is again being hosted and supported by BU’s Gender and Women’s Studies program, by the John E. Robbins Library, by the BU Faculty Association, BU Human Resources, the BU Office of the Provost, the BU President’s Office, and Brandon University itself. Funding also comes from the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund.
The screening takes place at BU’s Evans Theatre on Thursday evening. All are welcome to attend, although viewers are advised that the film contains some mild nudity.
As anti-trans and drag queen rhetoric in a new wave of rightwing gender wars rage across the globe, Michael V. Smith’s intimate documentary unpacks his journey as a radical drag performer and genderqueer.
Inspired by Agnès Varda, “The Floating Man” is a unique blend of DIY documentary, road trip, performance art, and videopoem. In this intimate self-portrait by a self-described sissy, “The Floating Man” sources Smith’s provocative art practice, to examine a lifetime of untrue stories about his body.
A featured project includes Smith on a road trip on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, searching for famed Canadian singer Joni Mitchell… while dressed as Peanut the Clown.
A contemporary thread sees Smith’s body ‘erased,’ dressed in a black body suit, in an attempt to eliminate all gender signals, asking us, How do we read a body? What does a particular shape tell us about the world? How much do we not realize we assume, often wrongly, about a person we see on the street? How might we assume less?
“The Floating Man” is a timely film about gender fluidity and the power of art to transform a life.
Poetry reading: ‘Queers Like Me’
Confessional and immersive, Smith’s latest collection is a broad tapestry that explores growing up queer and working class, then growing into an urban queer life.
In these poems, we are immersed in the world of a young Smith as he shares the awkward dinners, the funerals, and the uncertainty of navigating fraught dynamics, bringing us into these most intimate moments of family life while outrunning deep grief. Smith moves from first home to first queer experiences: teenage crushes, video cameras, post-club hookups, fears and terrors, closeted lovers, and daydreams of confronting your childhood bully.
‘Queers Like Me’ is an enveloping book—a meditation on family complexity and a celebration of personal insight.
The reading is supported by Gender and Women’s Studies, with the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund, and the English, Drama, and Creative Writing Literary Exchange.
Light refreshments will be provided.
October 13, 2023
Dr. Robert Mizzi: “Queer Flourishing: Why 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusion in School Libraries Matters”
A second speaker is coming to Brandon University to talk about the importance of including queer content in school libraries.
Dr. Robert Mizzi is the Canada Research Chair in Queer, Community and Diversity Education and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, as well as a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame and the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Mizzi’s talk, “Queer Flourishing: Why 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusion in School Libraries Matters,” will be held on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 4:30 p.m. in the Gathering Space — an open area at the front of the John E. Robbins Library at BU. All are welcome to attend.
This will be the second talk at BU this fall to support queer content in libraries, following an earlier presentation by Professor Melissa Adler, from the University of Western Ontario.
The event is hosted and supported by BU’s Gender and Women’s Studies program, by the John E. Robbins Library, by the BU Faculty Association, BU Human Resources, the BU Office of the Provost, the BU President’s Office, and Brandon University itself. Funding also comes from the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund.
October 11, 2023
Brandon University will welcome a speaker to defend the presence of queer and trans content in schools and public libraries.
Professor Melissa Adler, from the University of Western Ontario, will be at BU Thursday evening. Her talk, entitled “My Queer Manitoba, in Books” will be held in the Gathering Space of the John E. Robbins Library at BU, starting at 7 p.m. All are invited to listen, learn, and demonstrate their support for welcoming people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions.
“We are inviting people in with an opportunity to listen carefully and thoughtfully. If they have a genuine question, let it be asked, and that’s an opportunity to do what we do best: inspire,” said BU professor Dr. Jonathan Allan, a Canada Research Chair and BU professor in English, Drama, and Creative Writing who is also a member of BU’s Gender and Women’s Studies program. “We invite people to the discussion hoping to change minds and hearts about libraries, if necessary, or at least give them a chance to pause and reflect. And for those in the room who already know all of this, I hope they feel reinvigorated and reconvicted of the need to defend libraries, to celebrate the virtues and pleasures of reading.”
Professor Adler will talk from the perspective of a queer single mom, scholar, and former librarian on the necessity of 2SLGBTQIA+ books and their readers and why they belong in school and public libraries.
“My talk is based on a love for queer connections and perverse reading practices,” Adler said, using perverse in a way to emphasize how queer people must often forcefully insert themselves into heteronormative society, including by deliberately acting in a way that’s contrary to what others expect. “I’ll bring this set of ideas to the talk, and I’ll describe how I found Manitoba by reading this way.”
The event is hosted and supported by BU’s Gender and Women’s Studies program, by the John E. Robbins Library, by the BU Faculty Association, BU Human Resources, the BU Office of the Provost, the BU President’s Office, and Brandon University itself. Funding also comes from the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund
“We are presenting this talk in part because it provides an interesting, engaging, and essential perspective for helping understand the full richness of our world,” said BU President Dr. David Docherty. “The empathy of being able to consider peoples’ experiences other than our own is one piece of the magic that makes us human; programs like Gender and Women’s Studies are critical to helping us all open our minds up to that fullness of humanity.”
Docherty said that it was especially important to support queer perspectives now, against a rising tide of intolerance that has been aimed at queer and trans people, especially in schools.
“We know that programs like Gender and Women’s Studies can be a lightning rod for controversy coming from people who do not understand — and often aren’t even trying to understand. But creating shared understanding is precisely what universities do,” Docherty said. “We stood up strongly for inclusive education with our ‘Don’t’ campaign earlier this summer, and we continue our resolve to ensure education is welcoming for everyone. I’m very much looking forward to Professor Adler’s talk.”
March 3, 2023
Applications open for Gender and Women’s Studies Community Grants
The Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) program at Brandon University (BU) is accepting proposals for grants that will support community-based programs that aim to reduce discrimination and oppression.
Supported by the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund, the grants foster links between non-profit community organizations and GWS. Projects could include those with the goal of reducing discrimination related to gender, race, class, sexuality, disability and neurodivergence. Examples of eligible initiatives include workshops, research, short-term programming or other special projects.
“The connections we make with the community are very important for Gender and Women’s Studies and our students,” said Dr. Lisa Robson, GWS Program Co-ordinator at BU. “Through the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund we are able to support important projects in the Brandon area. Many special projects have been funded by GWS throughout the years.”
Projects eligible for the grants will take place between May 1 and September 5, 2023, and two types of grants are available: Two Program Grants, of up to $2,000 each, and two Work-Study Grants, worth up to $4,000 each.
The program grants can be used for supplies, food, guest speakers or other necessities for workshops, research projects, short-term programs or other projects. The Work-Study Grants allow for $2,500 to be allocated to support the employment of a Gender and Women’s Studies student with the organization, with another $1,500 available for other program costs.
“Our Gender and Women’s Studies students are very committed to social justice in the community,” Robson said. “Our program will help pair students with organizations so that the students can engage in learning outside the classroom and bring skills and enthusiasm to the organization over the summer months.”
To download a grant application form, please visit BrandonU.ca/gender-women-studies/files/2023/03/GWS_Community_Grant_2022-23.docx. The deadline for applications is April 3, 2023.
BU Gender and Women’s Studies invites you to study with other students enrolled in GWS courses. FREE PIZZA!
Where: BUSU Student Lounge (beside the mingling area, across from the campus bookstore)
When: Monday, February 13th, 2023
November 28th, 2022
BU Gender and Women’s Studies invites you to study with other students enrolled in GWS courses.
Where: BUSU Student Lounge (Beside the mingling area, across from the campus bookstore.
When: Monday, November 28th, 2022
November 24th, 2022
BU Gender and Women’s Studies, along with the BU Office of the president invite you to join us for a judgement-free evening to discuss questions relating to responsible masculinity! Beer, sausage, and pretzels available!
Where: BU Library Gathering Space
When: Thursday, November 24
4:30pm to 6pm.
Brandon University, in partnership with The Women’s Resource Centre and the YWCA bring you the Take Back the Night March.
Where: Princess Park, ending at Brandon University.
When: October 20, 2022
Hot chocolate and treats to follow.
October 6, 2022
The Department of Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies Presents Dr. Serena Petrella in Conversation with Authors of Defining Sexual Misconduct.
Where: Clark Hall Room 001
When: October 13th
5pm – 7pm
Book signing and reception to follow.
March 3, 2021
Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund in Gender and Women’s Studies
CALL FOR COMMUNITY GRANT PROPOSALS
The Gender & Women’s Studies (G&WS) program at Brandon University invites proposals for projects that foster links between community-based organizations and our program. This community grant aims to help non-profit community organizations to prepare project proposals for workshops, research projects, short-term programming, or special projects.
Projects that aim to reduce any form of intersectional oppression will be considered, including discrimination related to age, sexuality, race, gender identity, ability and poverty.
The placement of a Gender & Women’s Studies student in an organization will offer assistance to the organization, and aids in the student’s professional development and social justice learning outside of the classroom.
- GWS will give out a maximum of two grants of $5,000 each
- $2,500 should be used for a stipend to pay a GWS student to work in the organization during the summer term, and $2,500 can be used for expenses organizations may need for a special project, event, or programming (e.g., supplies, food, honoraria for guest speakers, etc.).
- Deadline for receipt of project applications: April 1, 2021
- Grants are eligible for projects starting May 1, 2021 and ending September 6, 2021.
A simple report describing your project and its results, as well as an itemized budget report listing all expenses incurred, will be required following the project’s completion.
Please use the form below as an outline for your proposal and send it by email to Dr. Serena Petrella, Coordinator, Gender and Women’s Studies at PetrellaS@BrandonU.ca.
January 12, 2021
Gender and Women’s Studies
COVID-19 Rapid Relief Student Grant
Rapid relief funding for students in need
Applications due: CLOSED
The Gender and Women’s Studies program at Brandon University is offering a one-time grant of $500 for students, to support student learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The social impacts of the pandemic are hitting marginalized communities the hardest: women, marginalized genders and sexualities, racialized and Indigenous people, working class folks, and people with disabilities of all kinds (including neuro-diverse). We recognize the acute need resulting from the interconnecting (and intersectional) impacts of vulnerability to coronavirus and public health policies. As a program, we aim to support students who are struggling financially in this moment so they can continue their studies at Brandon University and, hopefully, relieve some stress.
This grant is offered to:
• Majors and Minors in GWS;
• Any student that is taking at least 2 GWS courses in the academic year of 20-21;
• Any student who identifies as belonging to an equity-deserving group, including 2SLGBTQIA+, Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, Inuit), Black/person of colour, women, differently abled, and other underrepresented groups.
You may apply for this grant to pay for anything that will support you while you are a student at Brandon University. For example: groceries, rent, car payments, childcare, supplies (computer, printer, notebooks, etc.), WIFI payments, etc…
This grant is now CLOSED.
If you have questions about eligible spending, please email: Katie Gross at GrossK@BrandonU.CA
January 31, 2020
The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (UK) will host a book launch event for Dr. Ariane Hanemaayer
Dr. Ariane Hanemaayer will be discussing her new book, The Impossible Clinic: A Critical Sociology of Evidence-Based Medicine (UBC Press). Ariane Hanemaayer is a visiting fellow at CRASSH and assistant professor of sociology at Brandon University. Dr. Eftihia Mihelakis (Brandon University) will lead the dialogue with the author from 5pm to 5.30pm, followed by a wine reception with copies of the book available to buy.
January 14 and 15, 2020
The Gender & Women’s Studies Program receives invited guest speaker, Dr. Chris Haywood, for two public talks.
Dr. Haywood is a Reader in Critical Masculinity Studies at Newcastle University (UK). His most recent book, Men, Masculinity and Contemporary Dating, was published in 2018. His first public talk is taking place during the free slot, 12:40-1:30 pm in CH212 on Tuesday, January 14. All are welcome.
His second public talk will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 6 p.m., in the Gathering Space of the John E. Robbins Library. A wine-and-cheese reception will follow the talk. All are welcome.
**Brandon University is committed to being an accessible institution. To ensure that any event is available to all who are interested in attending, please advise us in advance of any accessibility considerations. Accessibility contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, December 6th @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Mingling Area, Knowles-Douglas Building
Brandon University (BU) will host a vigil on Friday, Dec. 6 in the Mingling Area of the Knowles-Douglas Students’ Union Centre to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
Guest speakers will include Stanley Knowles Distinguished Visiting Professor Kiran Nazish, Dr. Eftihia Mihelakis of BU’s Languages department, and Indigenous and international student representatives.
Following the ceremony, at 1:40 p.m., there will be a free screening of Polytechnique at the Evans Theatre. Polytechnique tells the story of the 1989 murder of 14 women at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal as recalled by two students who witnessed the shootings.
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is held on December 6 each year in commemoration of the tragedy that took place at l’École Polytechnique 30 years ago, honouring all who have experienced gender-based violence. It is also an occasion to look ahead, to speak out, and to take action to prevent gender-based violence in the future.
The Dec. 6 vigil at BU is a collaborative effort between the following groups and organizations:
- Brandon University Gender & Women’s Study Program
- Brandon University Student Services
- Brandon Women’s Resource Centre
- Brandon’s YWCA Women’s Shelter
- Brandon University Aboriginal Students’ Collective
- Brandon University Women’s Collective
- Brandon University Status of Women Review Committee
November 25 and 26, 2019
Larissai Lai joins us for two public talks
Reading Monday, Nov 25, 9:30-10:30 Library Gathering Space
Workshop Tuesday, Nov 26, 12:40-1:30 Clark Hall 104
Lai is the author of Salt Fish Girl, The Tiger Flu; recipient of an Astraea Award, and finalist for seven more; and Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing.
Free admission to both events. Space at the workshop is limited, so RSVP for the workshop by emailing Deanna Smid at email@example.com.
November 20, 2019
Brandon University professor, Dr. Corinne Mason, testifies in human rights case
A Brandon University professor gave expert witness testimony in front of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, which led to a ruling that the Manitoba government begin allowing gender-neutral designations on birth certificates.
Dr. Corinne Mason, an Associate Professor in Gender and Women’s Studies and in Sociology, testified as an expert on gender studies, queer identity, 2SLGBTQIA experiences, and intersectionality.
The case focused on the discrimination faced when the complainant, referred to as “T.A.” attempted to change their designated sex on their Manitoba birth certificate but were denied. Earlier this month, the human rights adjudicator ordered the government to begin permitting gender-neutral designations. The government was also ordered to pay $50,000 in damages to T.A.
Mason said the case showed the real-world importance of academic inquiry into complex issues like sex designation, gender expression and gender identity.
“Gender studies is super relevant and applicable in the world and more people should know that,” she said. “I am thrilled by the outcome of this case, which recognizes that a person must be able to ensure their identity is reflected on their government identification. This is a win for non-binary, intersex, and trans communities who have survived binary gender documentation for too long in Manitoba.”
Dr. Eftihia Mihelakis, the coordinator of BU’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program, said that the testimony was precisely the type of public impact that academic research can often make.
“Everyone wants to see a world that is fair and just for all,” she said. “This case is direct proof that our institutions can evolve to better serve their people when scholars in gender studies such as Dr. Mason participate in advancing social justice and the public good in and out of the classroom setting.”
November 19, 2019
BU beard expert, Dr. Christopher Schneider, will wag chin on growth of whisker culture
Brandon University resident beard expert will be giving a free public talk about the growth of online beard culture. It’s part of BU’s Movember, which is bringing attention to men’s health and wellness, as well as the related research being done at BU around men’s issues and masculinity.
Dr. Christopher Schneider is a BU sociology professor who boasts an impressive beard of his own. What he found when he turned his sociological insights toward the beard-growing communities on social media has led to a published academic paper that was covered in news media like the CBC and the National Post.
One of his surprising findings was the supportive and encouraging culture that grew up around beard-growing on YouTube, a site sometimes notorious for toxic comments.
“My talk will focus on beard culture on social media with attention to the role of YouTube in disseminating information — including growing advice, grooming techniques and style,” Dr. Schneider said. “I’ll begin with a brief overview of history of beards following by a discussion of beard culture online.”
He says it was the internet that paved much of the way for amateur beardsmen to turn into so-called professional beardsmen. In the 2000s, Jack Passion established himself as a beard celebrity and parlayed his fame to market beard products online; he is sometimes credited as the first “professional beardsman.”
Although your genetics are generally acknowledged as the primary driver of beard growth, there is no shortage of information and advice on the internet that promotes the myth or idea that beard products cause growth, as described in Dr. Schneider’s published research paper. Nevertheless, this myth benefits beard entrepreneurs and their companies. Dr. Schneider found during his research that in the early 1970s just one brand of moustache wax was available on the market. He points out that there are now dozens of waxes, oils, and balms — an entire beard product grooming industry sold online. The talk will end with a few conclusions regarding the particular role that social media sites now play in facilitating contemporary beard culture.
Everyone is welcome to attend the short talk, which will take place in the BU library’s main floor Gathering Space on Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 5–7 p.m. The talk will include time for a question-and-answer session as well as informal discussion. Wine and cheese refreshments will be provided.
November 7, 2019
Kiran Nazish talk: “On the Frontline. Women Soldiers, Fighters, Mothers, and Daughters”
CHO 212, 10-11 am
Kiran Nazish will be giving a talk to a Brandon University class, and it is being opened up to the public.
Nazish, an award-winning journalist who has travelled the world to report on major conflicts is BU’s Stanley Knowles Distinguished Visiting Professor. Along with research into immigrant and Indigenous experiences in the western Manitoba region, she is presenting on her experiences through public lectures like this one.
On Thursday morning, she will talk for about an hour in Dr. Eftihia Mihelakis’ class, “Making Sense of Gender” in CHO 212, from 10-11 am, and the title of her talk is “On the Frontline. Women Soldiers, Fighters, Mothers, and Daughters.”
All members of the public are invited.
November 1, 2019
Brandon University Fine Art Students Association (BUFASA) is hosting the 2nd Annual Wheat Queen Ball
Glen P. Sutherland Gallery of Art, 2021 Victoria Ave., 9pm-2am.
October 2, 2019
Public lecture by Sara Ahmed ‘Closing the Door: Complaint as Diversity Work’
Wednesday, October 2nd @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
West End Cultural Centre, 586 Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg R3B 1Z8, Canada
Live streamed at YouTube.com/watch?v=ui5kdJPSBt4.
Sara Ahmed is a feminist writer, independent scholar, and Killjoy who works at the intersection of feminist, queer and race studies. Her research is concerned with how bodies and worlds take shape; and how power is secured and challenged in everyday life worlds as well as institutional cultures. Until the end of 2016, Ahmed was a Professor of Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London having been previously based in Women’s Studies at Lancaster University. She resigned from my post at Goldsmiths in protest at the failure to deal with the problem of sexual harassment. Ahmed is the author of many notable books including Living a Feminist Life(2017), Willful Subjects (2014), and On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life(2012). Her most recent writing can be found on her blog: feministkilljoys.com.
This lecture, ‘Closing the Door: Complaint as Diversity Work,’ draws on interviews conducted with staff and students who have made complaints within universities that relate to unfair, unjust or unequal working conditions and to abuses of power such as sexual and racial harassment. It approaches complaint as a form of diversity work: the work some have to do in order to be accommodated. Making a complaint requires becoming an institutional mechanic: you have to work out how to get a complaint through a system. It is because of the difficulty of getting through that complaints often end up being about the system. The lecture explores the significance of how complaints happen ‘behind closed doors,’ and shows how doors are often closed even when they appear to be opened.
The event is presented by the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund held jointly by the Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg, Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Manitoba, and Gender and Women’s Studies at Brandon University, and the Institute for Humanities at the University of Manitoba and Centre for Research in Cultural Studies at the University of Winnipeg.
June 14, 2019
Dr. Corinne Mason wins Outstanding Scholarship Prize
March 8, 2019
Dr. Thomas Abrams
3:40 p.m. Clark Hall room 104
February 7, 2019
Two guests speakers will present on February 7th between 1:40 and 4:30 p.m.
Michelle Klyne and Dr. Marie-Andrée Bergeron