What is on the horizon for feminism? How has a heightened awareness of LGBT2Q+ experiences shifted our understanding about the nature of gender? Does the men’s rights movement reflect coherent concerns about masculine identity? What have been the ongoing consequences of movements like #metoo? This is a conversation about the future of gender in Canada. (Recorded live at Curious Public at Central Library on Monday, April 9, 2018.)

The Panelists

Greta Bauer is Professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Western University and an Affiliate Member of Women’s Studies & Feminist Research.

Michael Kehler is Research Professor in Masculinities’ Studies in Education at the University of Calgary, Werklund School of Education.

Nicole Nussbaum is a lawyer based in London, Ontario. She has a particular focus on, and extensive experience with, law and policy issues related to gender identity and gender expression.

AnnaLise Trudell is Manager of Education, Training & Research at Anova (formerly Women’s Community House & Sexual Assault Centre London).

Curious Public goes on the road to visit the Middlesex-London Health Unit to talk with Christopher Mackie (Medical Officer of Health) and Ana Ning (Associate Professor in Sociology) about psychoactive substances in our community.

In this episode we ask…

  • Are we in collective denial about the health impacts of alcohol?
  • Why are we removing tobacco displays from convenience stores and putting alcohol into grocery stores?
  • Will legalizing cannabis be a net gain or a net loss for society?
  • What are public health officials thinking about as they prepare for the legalization of cannabis?
  • Users, doctors, big pharma — who is to ‘blame’ for opioid crisis?
  • And much more…

(This conversation is the second installment of Alcohol to Opioids — an occasional series about drug use and society. You can also listen to the first discussion with Tara Bruno and Robert Solomon for more background.)

Guests

Christopher Mackie (@Healthmac) is the Medical Officer of Health for Middlesex-London and is the Chief Executive Officer of the Middlesex-London Health Unit. He previously served as the Associate Medical Officer Health for the City of Hamilton for four years. Dr. Mackie has published peer-reviewed papers and abstracts on a number of public health related issues, including vaccination policy, emergency planning, environmental health and child and youth mental health.

Ana Ning is an Associate Professor in Sociology at King’s University College. Her research includes addiction treatment and harm reduction interventions, as well as the integration of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) in mainstream healthcare. She also studies traditional Chinese medicine and issues of evidence-based medicine model.

A year ago this February, an experiment began: a weekly podcast recorded live at the public library. The idea, in a nutshell, was to “tell some of the critical stories that mainline media cannot afford to tell” and to “constructively address divisive issues instead of pouring gasoline on them.”

I can’t believe it has been a whole year already. Although the series took a brief hiatus during the summer, we still logged over 40 conversations with 70 guests. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed their time and mental energy to this project: it simply would not have happened without you.

Articulating the purpose of the series continued to crystallize as the project evolved. These words, written in reflection at the half-way point of the year, feel as relevant as they did in the Fall:

I want to live in a community where youth and elders gather to discuss the ideas and issues of the day. I imagine rustic ‘city gates’ or the middle of a bustling ‘town square’: places enshrined in common thought as the epicentres of public discourse. Yes, nostalgic as it may be, I want to live in a community that has an identifiable public sphere: a community where the question, ‘Where can I go to discuss ideas with other people?’ has a clear and definable answer. I want to know where people who only seem to share differences go to break bread together.

What’s next? Well, with the support the London Public Library, we’re going to recalibrate the project slightly. For the Spring, the series will adopt a new monthly schedule. As of March 2018, Curious Public at Central Library will record live on the first Monday of the month (unless its a holiday, in which case it moves to the second Monday). Due to some other exciting developments in life, my capacity for organizing and running weekly live events is dwindling, but my hope is that these monthly events will continue to be touch points for continuing the ‘real time’ dimension of these conversations in a public space.

Upcoming events…

What is the Future of Gender in Canadian Society? — Monday, April 9, 2018, 7:00 pm, Central Library

What are some next steps towards ‘Reconciliation’ for individual Canadians? — Monday, May 7, 2018, 7:00 pm, at Central Library

In the mean time, please continue to stay tuned to the Curious Public podcast on iTunes (or wherever you retrieve your podcasts). I am quite excited for some very interesting conversations on the horizon. While the ‘live events’ are changing in frequency, my hope is to continue the podcast on a weekly or near-weekly schedule.

Thanks again for listening. Thanks to London Public Library for their endless support and encouragement of the program. And, of course, huge gratitude to everyone who has participated thus far. May the public curiosity, learning, and discussion continue!

For a second year, London Public Library invites the community to a massive, virtual ‘city-wide bookclub’ by proposing a book to read and discuss together. This year the title is Brother by David Chariandy. As many of us have discovered, this little book punches far above its weight class in size. It is concise, paced, and courageous. Set in housing complex in Scarborough in the summer of 1991, Brother weaves together a story about identity, family, and masculinity. Questions about the experience of immigration, criminiality, racism, poverty, precarious employment, and housing fill in the margins. In a very short and accessible read, Chariandy weaves together a story that is worthy of everyone’s attention.

In this discussion, four community leaders join Curious Public at Central Library to share their experiences and reactions to reading Brother.

The Panel

Melanie-Anne Atkins is the Wellness Coordinator at the Wellness Education Centre at Western University.

Kristen Caschera (@librariankris) is a Librarian at London Public Library. She is a program coordinator for the One Book One London initiative.

Marcel Marcellin (@MarcellinMarcelis the Director of Organizational Strategy at the City of London. He previously served as a Sergeant for the London Police for over 20 years.

Anaise Muzima (@anashakyss) is a Master of Laws graduate from Western University and is currently a settlement worker at Collège Boréal.

 

 

Our book club finished reading Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth just about the time that Marvel’s Blank Panther hit the theatres. This convergence wasn’t planned, but it distinctively shaped the way a few of us experienced Black Panther. Watching the film through the ‘lens’ of Fanon’s arguments about colonization and liberation was… unsettling? I am personally still not sure of the right word is to describe it.

In this episode, Jasmine Jasani, a fellow book club member and Curious Public podcast contributor, joins me at London Public Library to talk about reading Wretched of the Earth and watching Black Panther in such proximity.

Is violence a legitimate tool to overthrow an oppressor who has or is committing violence against you? Who has the ‘right’ to tell an oppressed person how to achieve their liberation? What does it mean to transcend the binary of ‘us and them’ when one has colonized and brutalized the other?