It’s hard to believe we’re at the end of another Free Exchange.
#FreeEx2020 Space, Place, and Abyss has been a truly remarkable experience with incredible discussions and thoughtful conversations. We had the privilege of hosting graduate students from all over Canada and the United States, and we were truly grateful to be joined by the students potentially joining our graduate program in the upcoming year.
I want to extend a special thanks to:
The space and place upon which we rest, Moh’kins’tsis, for none of this could exist without the land and water upon which we stand.
The peoples of Treaty 7: the Blackfoot Confederacy (the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations).
The generous support of the University of Calgary Department of English and the English Graduate Program. The kind support of the University of Calgary Department of English faculty who donated books for the raffle and their time for the conference. I want to thank the many members of faculty who showed up to support the graduate community, in particular Dr. Aruna Srivastava who stayed until the bitter end. I also want to thank Mimi Daniel, Karen Preddy, and Brigitte Clarke, whose labour and time and effort keep everything (during the conference, and more generally in the department) running.
The Free Exchange Committee and volunteers (Trynne, Amy, Ben, Hebe, Kirsten, Mahmoud, Min), whose support before and during the conference keep it running smoothly; as well as the members of the English Department Graduate Association (EDGA), whose support is integral to the conference. I also want to thank the support of the EDGA president (Leah van Dyk) whose presence and support was greatly appreciated.
The Calgary Distinguished Writers’ Program, whose generous support allowed for us to have a truly spectacular keynote and masterclasses opportunities. I want to thank Lee Maracle, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Gwen Benaway for all of their time and work and wisdom. I want to thank Caitlyn Spencer in particular; they are a miracle worker and adapted to the CDWP and Free Ex partnership with incredible grace. Their kindness, support, work, and time have been invaluable to this year’s conference.
The University of Calgary Graduate Students’ Association Quality Money Fund, allowing us to have a truly free exchange of ideas. And the support staff at Aramark Catering and the University of Calgary Event Services and Accommodations.
I am incredibly thankful to everyone who came and helped to make Free Exchange 2020 as successful as it was. I am constantly in awe of the supportive and vibrant community that I am a part of. I am passing on the baton into the capable hands of Tathagata Som.
It has been a great pleasure to serve as co-chair, and I wish nothing but the best for the future of Free Exchange.
Shuyin Yu (she/her)
Senior Co-Chair (2018-2020)