Is Race a Fiction?

Posted in Anthropology, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Videos on 2013-12-23 11:59Z by Steven

Is Race a Fiction?

Ideas with Paul Kennedy
CBC Radio-Canada
2013-12-04

Paul Kennedy, Host

Blood ties you to family, country and race. Should it? Watch a live panel discussion with Lawrence Hill, Priscila Uppal, Hayden King and Karina Vernon moderated by Ideas host Paul Kennedy.

What happens to personal identity when race is removed as a marker of who you are? What happens when we use the term “culture” to replace the idea of race?” The panelists explore these questions and more.

Panelists:

  • Lawrence Hill: Blood: The Stuff of Life is Lawrence Hill’s ninth book. His earlier works include the novels Some Great Thing and, and the memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada.
  • Hayden King is an Anishinaabe writer, student, teacher, researcher at Ryerson University, McMaster University and Beausoleil First Nation.
  • Priscila Uppal is a poet, novelist, playwright and York University Professor in the Department of English.
  • Karina Vernon is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and co-founder and editor of Commodore Books, the first black literary press in western Canada.

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Blood: The Stuff of Life [Lecture]

Posted in Anthropology, Canada, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science on 2013-11-04 05:17Z by Steven

Blood: The Stuff of Life [Lecture]

The CBC Massey Lectures
CBC Radio-Canada
2013-11-04, 19:00Z (14:00 EST)

Blood is a bold and enduring determinant of identity, race, gender, citizenship and belonging. But should it be? In this visual narrative based on excerpts from the 2013 Massey Lectures, Lawrence Hill explores the scientific and social history of blood, and the ways that it unites and divides us today.

Is Race a Fiction? is a live video stream and chat with author Lawrence Hill, host Paul Kennedy and guests as they examine the ties between blood and culture, nation state and racial identity. This discussion is based Lawrence Hill’s new book Blood:The Stuff of Life where Hill touches on his personal history and the history of race within Canada and internationally.

Panel participants include:

  • Lawrence Hill: Blood: The Stuff of Life is Lawrence Hill’s ninth book. His earlier works include the novels Some Great Thing and, and the memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada.
  • Hayden King is an Anishinaabe writer, student, teacher, researcher at Ryerson University, McMaster University and Beausoleil First Nation.
  • Priscila Uppal is a poet, novelist, playwright and York University Professor in the Department of English.
  • Karina Vernon is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and co-founder and editor of Commodore Books, the first black literary press in western Canada.

For more information, click here.

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Author Hill speaks on race, place, and identity at ‘City of Words’ series

Posted in Articles, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology on 2012-02-07 03:08Z by Steven

Author Hill speaks on race, place, and identity at ‘City of Words’ series

University of Toronto, Scharborough
2012-02-06

Kurt Kleiner

Writer Lawrence Hill has always felt attachment to people, not places. Nevertheless, the place he grew up – Don Mills in the early 1960s – shaped him as a person and as a writer.
 
Hill is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of The Book of Negroes and many other works of fiction and non-fiction. He spoke at UTSC on Feb. 1 about the importance of a sense of place to a writer, about the surprise success of The Book of Negroes, and about the new novel he is just completing.
 
Hill, the son of a black father and a white mother, grew up in an all-white neighborhood. He had good friends, did well in school, played hockey, and usually faced no questions about his racial identity – until suddenly someone would fling a racial slur at him.
 
“I was so confused about who I was and how to perceive myself,” he says. “Nine days out of 10 I’d just be sailing along … It would come out of the blue. But that ambiguity was a great crucible in which to become a writer.”
 
The City of Words reading series is intended to give voice to writers who come from or write about Scarborough. More generally it examines the role of geography in shaping a writer, says Karina Vernon, professor of English at UTSC and lead organizer of the reading series. Not only is Don Mills right next door to Scarborough, but many of Hill’s experiences there are similar to those of people growing up in Scarborough now.
 
“Lawrence Hill is one of the most gifted authors in Canada today, and one of the foremost theorists of the black and mixed-race experience in Canada,” Vernon said as she introduced Hill…

Read the entire article here.

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The First Black Prairie Novel: Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance’s Autobiography and the Repression of Prairie Blackness

Posted in Articles, Canada, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2011-06-30 02:16Z by Steven

The First Black Prairie Novel: Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance’s Autobiography and the Repression of Prairie Blackness

Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue d’Ă©tudes canadiennes
Volume 45, Number 2 (Spring 2011)
pages 31-57
E-ISSN: 1911-0251; Print ISSN: 0021-9495
DOI: 10.1353/jcs.2011.0022

Karina Vernon, Assistant Professor of English
University of Toronto

This essay situates Chief Buffalo Child’s Long Lance: The Autobiography of a Blackfoot Indian Chief (1928) within the cultural context of its production, the anti-Black racial climate of the Canadian Prairies in the early part of the twentieth century, in order to analyze the textual repression of its author’s Blackness. Although the Autobiography has been discredited as a fraud because, as Donald B. Smith discovered, Long Lance was not in fact Blackfoot as the Autobiography claims, but “mixed blood” from North Carolina, this essay reclaims it as the first novel penned on the Prairies by a Black author, for it tells a true—more metaphorical and allegorical than factual—story about the desire on the part of displaced “new” world Blacks for Indigenous status and belonging. This essay examines the implications of claiming the Autobiography as the first Black prairie novel and explores how reading it as fiction rather than autobiography extends our understandings of “passing,” racial identification and transformation.

Cet article situe l’autobiographie Long Lance: The Autobiography of a Blackfoot Indian Chief (1928) du Chef Buffalo Child dans le contexte culturel de sa production—le climat racial anti-Noirs des Prairies canadiennes au dĂ©but du XXe siècle—afin d’analyser la rĂ©pression textuelle de son auteur noir. Donald B. Smith a par la suite considĂ©rĂ© cette autobiographie comme une imposture, ayant dĂ©couvert que Long Lance ne faisait pas partie de la confĂ©dĂ©ration des Pieds-Noirs, mais Ă©tait plutĂ´t un « sang-mĂŞlĂ© » de la Caroline du Nord. Cependant, l’auteur du prĂ©sent article considère cette autobiographie comme le premier roman Ă©crit dans les Prairies par un Noir puisqu’il raconte une histoire vraie—quoique plus mĂ©taphorique et allĂ©gorique que factuelle—du dĂ©sir des Noirs dĂ©placĂ©s du « Nouveau » Monde d’acquĂ©rir le statut d’indigène et d’appartenir Ă  leur monde. L’article examine les consĂ©quences de la classification de cette pseudo-autobiographie comme le premier roman des Prairies Ă©crit par un Noir et explore les manières dont sa lecture en tant qu’Ĺ“uvre de fiction plutĂ´t qu’autobiographie nous aide Ă  mieux comprendre le concept de « passage », d’identification et de transformation raciales.

Read or purchase the article here.

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