Learn about our speakers:

Dr. Pheng Cheah is a Professor of Rhetoric and the Chair of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at University California, Berkeley. He is a leading scholar on Cosmopolitanism, World literature, and theories of globalization and transnationalism. His most recent book publications include What is a World?: On Postcolonial Literature as World Literature (2016), Derrida and the Time of the Political (2009) and Inhuman Conditions: On Cosmopolitanism and Human Rights (2007). Dr. Cheah is currently at work on three book projects: a book entitled The Politics and Rights of Life: Toward a Biopolitical Theory of Human Rights, a collection of essays on the changing character of power in contemporary globalization and the role of culture and comparison in these transformations with special reference to postcolonial Asia, as well as a book on globalization and Chinese film.

Dr. John Culbert teaches in the Department of English and in the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies at UBC. He specializes in modern French literature, travel writing and Critical Theory. Dr. Culbert is the author of Paralyses: Literature, Travel, and Ethnography in French Modernity (University of Nebraska Press, 2010).

Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva‘s academic writings and artistic practice address the ethical questions of the global present and target the metaphysical and ontoepistemological dimensions of modern thought. Currently, she is an Associate Professor and Director of The Social Justice Institute (the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice) at UBC. She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (2007) and co-editor with Paula Chakravartty of Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (2013).

Dr. Margery Fee holds the Brenda and David McLean Chair in Canadian Studies (2015-2017) to work on early oral and literary production by Indigenous people in BC and the Yukon. She is also working on a new project in Environmental Humanities, a book on polar bears in the Reaktion Press Animal series, which she plans to connect to work on Inuit and Omushkego Cree stories about human-animal interaction. She has a paper forthcoming (with Shurli Makmillen), “Disguising the Dynamism of Law in Canadian Courts: Judges Using Dictionaries,” in The Pragmatic Turn in Law and Language, edited by Janet Giltrow and Dieter Stein (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter) and is working on The Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles, 2nd online edition with editor-in-chief, Stefan Dollinger, to appear in 2017.

Dr. Sneja Gunew (FRSC) B.A. (Melbourne), M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Newcastle, NSW) has taught in England, Australia and Canada. She has published widely on multicultural, postcolonial and feminist critical theory and is Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She was Director of the Centre for Research in Women’s and Gender Studies (2002-7) and North American editor of Feminist Theory(Sage) 2006-10. She was Associate Principal of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies, UBC, 2008-11. Her books include Framing Marginality: Multicultural Literary Studies (1994) and Haunted Nations: The Colonial Dimensions of Multiculturalisms (Routledge 2004). Based in Canada since 1993, her current work is on comparative multiculturalisms and diasporic literatures and their intersections with national and global cultural formations.

Dr. Dina Al-Kassim is a critical theorist, who works on political subjectivation, sexuality and aesthetics in transnational modernist and contemporary postcolonial cultures, including the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the United States. She is the author of On Pain of Speech: Fantasies of the First Order and the Literary Rant (University of California Press, 2010), which examines parrhesia and the politics of address in the practice of literary ranting. Her current project, entitled Exposures: Biopolitics and New Precarity under Globalization asks why and how exposure has come to be a condition of contemporary truth through selective soundings in literature, arts practice, protest and politics from Lebanon, South Africa, and the United States. Other projects include discrepant histories of colonial psychoanalysis and theories of anti-colonial solidarity.

Dr. Christine Kim‘s teaching and research focus on Asian North American literature and theory, diaspora studies, and cultural studies. She is the author of The Minor Intimacies of Race (University of Illinois Press, 2016) and co-editor of Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora and Indigeneity (Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012). She has contributed chapters to essay collections on Asian Canadian literature and theatre and published articles in Interventions, Mosaic, Studies in Canadian Literature, and Journal of Intercultural Studies. Christine is co-director of SFU’s Institute of Transpacific Cultural Research. Currently she is working on a SSHRC funded book-length project on representations of North Korea, cultural fantasies, and Cold War legacies.

Lydia Kwa has lived and worked in Vancouver since 1992 as a psychologist and writer. She has published two books of poetry, The Colours of Heroines (Toronto: Women’s Press, 1994) and sinuous (Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2013). Kwa’s first novel This Place Called Absence (Winnipeg: Turnstone, 2000) was nominated for several awards including the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her next novel The Walking Boy (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2005) was nominated for the Ethel Wilson prize. Pulse was first published in 2010, then re-issued in 2014 (Singapore: Ethos Books) and is set in both 1960s and 21st Century Singapore, as well as in Toronto. She has a forthcoming novel Oracle Bone with Arsenal Pulp Press in the Fall of 2017. Her writing spans various times and spaces in the Asia-Pacific region and imagination.

Dr. Larissa Lai is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary and directs the Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing there. Her most recent book is Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s (2014). In addition to being a leading researcher in Asian Canadian literature, Lai is an accomplished novelist. Her two novels When Fox Is a Thousand (1995) and Salt Fish Girl (2002) were met with critical acclaim. A recipient of the Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers’ Award, she has been shortlisted for the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Tiptree Award, the Sunburst Award, the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award, the bpNichol Chapbook Award and the Dorothy Livesay Prize.

Dr. Heather Latimer is a Lecturer at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice and in the Coordinated Arts Program. Her primary fields of scholarship and teaching are cultural studies, science studies, and health studies. Her research focuses on how reproductive politics connect to the gendered body and national politics. Specifically, she is interested in how reproductive technologies and politics are shaped by conversations focused on citizenship, sexuality and biopolitics. She has published articles in Feminist TheorySocial Text, and Modern Fiction Studies. Her first book, Reproductive Acts: Sexual Politics in North American Fiction and Film, was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2013.

Dr. Sophie McCall is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Simon Fraser University, where she teaches Indigenous literatures and contemporary Canadian literature. Her most recent publication, with co-editor, Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, is The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (ARP Books 2015). Her anthology of Indigenous literatures, Read, Listen, Tell: Indigenous Literatures from Turtle Island, with co-editors Deanna Reder, Dave Gaertner, and Gabrielle Hill, is forthcoming from Wilfred Laurier UP in Summer 2017.

Dr. Vijay Mishra is Professor of English Literature at Murdoch University. He has written on the Gothic, Australian and Postcolonial Literatures, Diaspora Theory, Bollywood Cinema, Classical Indian Poetics and Multiculturalism. He has completed a manuscript titled ‘The Genesis of Secrecy: Annotating Salman Rushdie’ which makes extensive use of the Emory Salman Rushdie archive.

Shani Mootoo was born in Ireland, and grew up in Trinidad. She holds an MA in English from the University of Guelph, writes fiction and poetry, and is a visual artist who has exhibited locally and internationally. Mootoo’s novels include Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, longlisted for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Lambda Award; Valmiki’s Daughter, longlisted for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize; He Drown She in the Sea, longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Award, and Cereus Blooms at Night, shortlisted for the Giller Prize, The Chapters First Novel Award, The Ethel Wilson Book Prize, and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is a K.M. Hunter Arts Award and 2017 Chalmers Fellowship Award recipient. She currently lives in Prince Edward County in Ontario.

Dr. Dory Nason (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley) is Anishinaabe and an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Her areas of research include contemporary Indigenous Feminisms and related Native women’s intellectual history and literature. At UBC, Professor Nason teaches Indigenous Literature and Criticism; Indigenous Theory and Research Methods; and Indigenous Feminisms. Dory recently co-edited the volume Tekahionwake: E. Pauline Johnson’s Writings on Native America (Broadview Press, 2016) along with Dr. Margery Fee (UBC English). She is currently at work on her book manuscript, Red Feminist Voices: Native Women’s Activist Literature. She and Dr. Glen Coulthard were also featured contributors to the groundbreaking anthology, The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement (ARP Books), which was released to great acclaim in March 2014.

Dr. Wenche Ommundsen is Research Professor and former Dean of Arts at the University of Wollongong, and Honorary Professor of Deakin University. She has published widely on multicultural, diasporic and transnational literature, with particular focus on Asian Australian writing. Her current projects include an edited collection featuring the history of Australian writing in ten languages other than English and a book-length study of Chinese Australian literature. She has been active in establishing and supporting Australian Studies Centres in China and in organising student and staff exchanges. She is the leader of a team of Chinese and Australian scholars examining cross-cultural reading practices.

Dr. Fazal Rizvi is a Professor of Global Studies in Education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, as we well as an Emeritus Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has written extensively on issues of identity and culture in transnational contexts, globalization and education policy and Australia-Asia relations. He is the author of Globalizing Education Policy (Routledge 2010) and a collection of his essays is published in: Encountering Education in the Global: Selected Writings of Fazal Rizvi (Routledge 2014).

Dr. Terri Tomsky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Her research examines memory politics in postcolonial and post-socialist literatures. Her essays on cultural memory, trauma, postcolonial studies, and human rights have appeared in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Life Writing, parallax, Biography, Canadian Literature, Australian Journal of Human Rights (forthcoming) and in various book collections. Her current book project, Narrating Guantánamo: Cosmopolitanism, Abjection, Global Belonging, theorizes the interplay of cosmopolitanism and abjection within the context of global terrorism, and focuses in particular on the figure of the enemy combatant.