Noted social activist Sherene Razack speaks at UBC Okanagan

One of the most influential and respected Canadian thinkers on race and gender issues in the law, Sherene Razack will appear at UBC Okanagan on Oct. 22 to present her talk Violence Against First Nations: An Ongoing Colonialism.

“In this presentation, I explore the nature of the contemporary encounter between First Nations bodies and settler society, as it is revealed in the routine contact between First Nations men who live on the streets, and police and medical professionals,” says Razack. “I suggest that in these routines we see evidence of an ongoing colonialism where systems are in place to regularly evict First Nations bodies from civilized space.”

A well-known author and social activist, Razack is a professor of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Her courses include: Race, Space and Citizenship; Race and Knowledge Production; and Racial Violence and the Law. Her most recent book is entitled Casting Out: The Eviction of Muslims From Western Law and Politics (University of Toronto Press, 2008).

“Her whole body of work is relevant to many of the social issues we are currently dealing with in the Kelowna and UBC Okanagan campus communities,” says David Jefferess, Assistant Professor with the Department of Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan, who helped to organize Razack’s visit. “She is a really engaging speaker and one of the most influential thinkers in Cultural Studies in Canada.”

Daniel Keyes, Chair of Cultural Studies, agrees. “Her work is incredibly fascinating,” Keyes says. “It’s both theoretical and pragmatic. Dr. Razack has transformed the way we think of society, culture, race and power. It is very inspiring what she has done.”

The Oct. 22 lecture is free to the public and will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Student Services Centre Lecture Theatre SSC 026. It is presented by the Cultural Studies program with support from the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies and the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences’ Community, Culture and Global Studies, and Economics, History, Philosophy, Political Sciences and Sociology units.

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