Thank You

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.

GSA Quality Money logo

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.

 

Sincerely,

Shuyin Yu (she/her)

Senior Co-Chair (2018-2020)

You are cordially invited to the 2020 Free Exchange Conference

On behalf of the Free Exchange Graduate Conference Committee, I would like to cordially invite you to the 2020 Free Exchange Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference.
Our topic this year is Space, Place, and Abyss and will be held from February 28 – March 1 in the Rosemont Room in Hotel Alma (recently rebranded as International House).
This year, we will be partnering with CDWP for An Evening with Lee Maracle, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Gwen Benaway on Friday, and three masterclasses with the authors on Saturday.
RSVP your ticket for the Friday night event “An Evening with Lee Maracle, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Gwen Benaway” (which we will have instead of a keynote this year): https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/an-evening-with-lee-maracle-leanne-betasamosake-simpson-and-gwen-benaway-tickets-90027024253

Contact Caitlyn Spenser (at their CDWP email at cdwp@ucalgary.ca with the subject line “February 29 master classes”) to register for your spot in these masterclasses.

As per tradition, the Conference covers the Friday reception dinner, and the Saturday and Sunday breakfasts and lunches. The Pub Nights and Socials are dutch-treat (though some share-platters may be provided).
We will also hosting a raffle during the conference (with all proceeds going to Unist’ot’en Camp), and we will also have a (chap)book table if you wish to purchase the creative works of our writers. We encourage everyone to bring along cash
Follow us on social media (twitter and instagram) @UofCFreeEx and on Facebook at Free Exchange Conference. Use the hashtag #FreeEx2020 on any posts and/or updates.

We hope to see you at this year’s Free Exchange Conference. 

Cheers,
Shuyin Yu (she/her)

Senior Co-Chair, Free Exchange Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference

Tathagata Som (he/him)
Junior Co-Chair, Free Exchange Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference

 

On behalf of:
Free-Exchange Graduate Conference | https://uofcfreeexchange.wordpress.com/
Department of English | SS 1123 | 527 Campus Place N.W.

University of Calgary | 2500 University Dr NW | Calgary, AB. Canada

E:  freeex@ucalgary.ca / FreeExUofC@gmail.com

The University of Calgary is situated on the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations).  The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.  The University of Calgary is situated on land adjacent to where the Bow River meets the Elbow River, and that the traditional Blackfoot name of this place is “Moh’kins’tsis”, which we now call the City of Calgary.

In Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People of British Columbia

Like many people, the Free Exchange Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference Committee has been closely following the events currently unfolding in British Columbia.

We cannot remain silent while the Wet’suwet’en peoples are utilizing, occupying, and protecting traditional unceded territories. We cannot discuss the topic of Space, Place, and Abyss in academic isolation while colonial powers are threatening indigenous land. Thus, we stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People of British Columbia and openly condemn the federal and provincial governments, RCMP, and Coastal GasLink/TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) for openly violating Wet’suwet’en, Canadian, and international law.

We encourage everyone to sign the “Statement of Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People of British Columbia” that has been signed and circulated by academics across Canada (and internationally). First circulated last year, it is being recirculated in response to the incidents of the past few weeks. The Statement is incredibly informative and still open for signatories: https://e4a-net.org/2020/02/11/over-1000-professors-and-scholars-from-across-canada-and-around-the-world-sign-statement-of-solidarity-with-the-wetsuweten-people-of-british-columbia/.

We also encourage everyone to visit the Camp Unist’ot’en website http://unistoten.camp/ and the Supporter Tool Kit http://unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit2020/ and to donate if possible. Over the next few days, we will be bringing you updates on what the Free Exchange Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference plans on doing to help raise money and support.

An Evening with Lee Maracle, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Gwen Benaway

Early this year, Free Exchange mentioned how excited we are to partner with the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program (CDWP) for their annual Distinguished Visiting Writers event.

It is with great excitement to announce that we will be attending An Evening with Lee Maracle, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Gwen Benaway in lieu of a Keynote this year.

Get your tickets below!

Join the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program for a very special Distinguished Visiting Writer event. This year, we’re featuring not one but three incredible literary stars in one night.

An Evening with Lee Maracle, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Gwen Benaway will feature a mixture of short readings and conversation, moderated by Joshua Whitehead. The event will be followed by a Q&A and book-signing, with books available for purchase at the event.

Like all of our events, this year’s Distinguished Visiting Writer event is free and open to all, but you must RSVP to attend.

Friday, February 28, 2020
MacEwan Hall (2500 University Dr NW)
7–9 p.m.
Doors at 6:30 p.m.

RSVP NOW!


Lee Maracle
Born in North Vancouver, LEE MARACLE is a member of the Sto:lo nation. She is the author of a number of award winning and critically acclaimed literary works: She is co-editor of a number of anthologies including My Home as I Remember. Maracle has published in some of the most prestigious anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide. She is Traditional Teacher for First Nations House at the University of Toronto and teaches in the Indigenous Studies program. She holds an honorary doctor of letters from St. Thomas University, and is a Senior Fellow of Massey College. A recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal and the Order of Canada, Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at four universities. She holds three teaching awards and seven writing awards, including the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and is a finalist for the prestigious Neustadt award, often referred to as the American Nobel.

 

Leanne Betasamosake SimpsonLEANNE BETASAMOSAKE SIMPSON is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Working for over a decade as an independent scholar using Nishnaabeg intellectual practices, Leanne has lectured and taught extensively at universities across Canada and has twenty years’ experience with Indigenous land based education. Leanne’s books include Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back, The Gift Is in the Making, Lighting the Eighth Fire (editor), This Is An Honour Song (editor with Kiera Ladner) and The Winter We Danced (Kino-nda-niimi editorial collective). Her latest book, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance, was awarded Best Subsequent Book by the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. Leanne was named the inaugural RBC Charles Taylor Emerging writer by Thomas King in 2014 and in 2017/18 she was a finalist in the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Trillium Book Award. She has published extensive fiction and poetry in both book and magazine form. Leanne is also a musician combining poetry, storytelling, song writing and performance in collaboration with musicians to create unique spoken songs and soundscapes. She was awarded the inaugural Outstanding Indigenous Artist at the Peterborough Arts Awards in 2018. Leanne is Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg and a member of Alderville First Nation.

 

Gwen Benaway

GWEN BENAWAY is a trans girl of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She has published three collections of poetry, Ceremonies for the DeadPassage, and Holy Wild, and was the editor for an anthology of fantasy short stories, Maiden Mother and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes. Her writing has been critically acclaimed and widely published in Canada, and in 2019 Holy Wild won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry in English. She was a finalist for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ writers from the Writer’s Trust of Canada, the Lambda Literary Award for Trans Poetry, and the National Magazine Awards and Digital Publishing Awards for her personal essay, A Body Like A Home. Her fourth collection of poetry, day/break, is forthcoming from Book*hug in April 2020. She lives in Toronto, Ontario and is a Ph.D student at the University of Toronto in the Women and Gender Studies Institute.

New Co-Chair

We are disappointed to announce that John MacPhereson, our junior co-chair, has to step away from the leadership position and will not be continuing with us next year.

We are, however, excited to announce Tathagata Som has joined us during this difficult transition time as or new junior co-chair and will be helping us continue Free Exchange next year.

The show must and will go on!

We look forward to welcoming everyone to our conference in February!

New Year, New Decade, New CFP Deadline!

Happy New Year!

Now that we’re in a new year and a new decade, why not try try something new and apply to be a part of this year’s Free Exchange Conference?

The Free Exchange Committee has extended our deadline to January 15, 2020 which means you have two more weeks to get in a proposal for our CFP.

This year, our topic is Space, Place, Abyss, and we are looking for critical and creative proposals that explore this topic through literature, media, pedagogy, pop culture, history, science, and other disciplines. Presentations of 15-20 minutes may range from more conventional critical papers to more creative works of prose, poetry, film, etc.

For academic papers please submit a 250-300 word abstract, and a 100 word biography.
For creative projects, please submit a 100-200 word artist’s statement as well as a sample of your proposed project, a 100 word biography, and a list of publications, if applicable.
If you are interested in doing a hybrid critical-creative project, please note it on the submission.
(Please note: for panel proposals, all three of the panel members must submit a proposal that adheres to the above guidelines, and the Free-Exchange Committee retains the right to accept any panel proposal in full or in part.)

Consult our full CFP here.

All submissions are to be sent in an electronic e-mail attachment (.doc, .docx, or .pdf files) to freeexuofc@gmail.com and are due no later than January 15, 2020.

Call-for-Papers

EXTENDED CFP Deadline: January 15, 2020.

The University of Calgary, English Department Graduate Association’s Free-Exchange Committee cordially invites you to join Free Exchange, our annual interdisciplinary graduate conference.

We are incredibly excited to announce we will be partnering with the Calgary Distinguished Writers’ Program and offering tickets to the Distinguished Visiting Writers event on February 28 and spots in the concurrent masterclasses on February 29 as part of our programming. We are expecting truly amazing writers, and this an event that is not to be missed!

This year, our topic is Space, Place, and Abyss.
Our complete call-for-papers can be accessed here.

We are interested in proposals that engage with, but are not limited to,

  • Physical, metaphorical, embodied ways to explore the concepts of Space, Place, and/or Abyss.
  • Critical and creative approaches to the connection between language and literature in regards to space, place, and/or abyss.
  • Radical potentialities of Space, Place, and/or Abyss:
    • The abyss as a space of othering and a space of potential
    • BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of colour) understandings and experiences of space and place (i.e. the racialization of space, black geographies, etc.)
    • Queering space and/or Trans approaches to place
    • Ecocritical, geocritical, relational, and more-than-human engagement with the abyss
  • Space as a place to fill or to inhabit or to experience:
    • Outer space, inner spaces
    • Public space, private spaces
    • Physical spaces, virtual spaces (the spatial vs. the virtual)
    • Expansion of Space; Erasure of Place
    • Affect theories and
  • Abyss as the Place that is not and the Space where we don’t go:
    • In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche suggests that “if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee” (146)
    • Philosophical and ontological understanding of space, place, and abyss

Free Exchange is hosted in the spirit of interdisciplinarity and we welcome proposals that explore this topic through literature, media, pedagogy, pop culture, history, science, and other disciplines. Presentations of 15-20 minutes may range from more conventional critical papers to more creative works of prose, poetry, film, etc.

For academic papers please submit a 250-300 word abstract, and a 100 word biography.
For creative projects, please submit a 100-200 word artist’s statement as well as a sample of your proposed project, a 100 word biography, and a list of publications, if applicable.
If you are interested in doing a hybrid critical-creative project, please note it on the submission.
(Please note: for panel proposals, all three of the panel members must submit a proposal that adheres to the above guidelines, and the Free-Exchange Committee retains the right to accept any panel proposal in full or in part.)

All submissions are to be sent in an electronic e-mail attachment (.doc, .docx, or .pdf files) to freeexuofc@gmail.com and are due no later than January 15, 2020.

For more information: Please visit our website [https://uofcfreeexchange.wordpress.com/] and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @uofcfreeex and Facebook @UofCFreeExchange. Follow the Calgary Distinguished Writers’ Program on twitter @CDWP_UCalgary.

The Free Exchange Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference is generously funded by the University of Calgary Graduate Students Union Quality Money Fund, the University of Calgary Department of English, and the University of Calgary Department of English Graduate Program. 

The University of Calgary is situated on the territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda Nation (Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations). The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

The Blackfoot name for the land adjacent to where the Bow River meets the Elbow River is “Mohkinstsis”, colonially known as “Calgary”, and is home to Métis, Inuit, and First Nations peoples, as well as Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island.