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Leading authors, poets, journalists and activists define new ways of approaching the next 150 at Canada’s largest ever Congress at Ryerson this week

TORONTO, Daily, Tuesday May 30 to Thursday June 1, 2017 – Leading scholars and public figures will address critical issues facing Canadians at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, taking place from May 27 to June 2 at Ryerson University with a record-breaking 9,100 attendees. Speakers will present forward-looking research and thinking to stimulate ongoing discussions within the public and broader academic community, underscoring the valuable contributions of the humanities and social sciences to a free and democratic society.

Speakers include Indigenous authors Maria Campbell and Tracey Lindberg and award-winning journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Desmond Cole, among others. All events are presented with simultaneous interpretation between English and French. The public and media are welcome to attend any event in the lineup, free of charge:

Present and Powerful Indigenous Women
Tracey Lindberg, Maatalii Okalik, and Maria Campbell
May 30 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
Hear the voices of three path breaking Indigenous women from different generations as they explore wide-ranging issues and challenges for women’s roles in shaping the future of their communities and of Canada: Métis playwright, Elder in Residence at Athabasca University and author of Halfbreed Maria Campbell; Tracey Lindberg, Cree author of the novel Birdie and Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa; and President of the National Inuit Youth Council Maatalii Okalik.

Media in the Age of Terror
Mohamed Fahmy
May 31 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
Mohamed Fahmy was Al Jazeera English Bureau Chief in Cairo in 2013 when he was falsely accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and imprisoned in the Scorpion maximum security prison for over 430 days. Join this award winning Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist as he discusses how press freedoms and ethics remain threatened, and the role NGOs, academics, and human rights advocates can and must play.
Black Joy: Resistance, Revolution, & Radical Love
Aja Monet and Desmond Cole
June 1 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
Black is deeper than a color or identity politic. It is a conceptual approach and perspective on engaging with the world. We live in the nuance beyond binary definitions. How do we expand our narratives versus simply sharing them? Join award-winning performance poet and human rights advocate Aja Monet for a performance and conversation with freelance columnist and activist Desmond Cole.

The Big Thinking series lineup at Congress 2017 is sponsored by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Universities Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


About Big Thinking
Hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Big Thinking lecture series brings together high-profile speakers who present forward-thinking research, bringing to light the valuable contribution of the humanities and social sciences to a free and democratic society. Big Thinking at Congress is sponsored by Universities Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 86th year, Congress brings together over 70 academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2017 is hosted by Ryerson University. For more information, visit www.congress2017.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Nicola Katz    5/29/2017


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