A scholar inspired by how social justice movements generate change and how, across differences in power, privilege and worldview, alliances are forged, will deliver a lecture on “storying activisms.”

The lecture, “Storying Activisms: Intimate Geographies of Making, Un-making and Home-making in Nogojiwanong,” by Canada Research Chair Dr. May Chazan, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 7 pm in Brian Mulroney Hall Room 101.

The lecture is sponsored by the Women Studies and Gender Studies Program, the Department of Sociology and the Department of Gerontology.

With interests in gender, aging and intergenerational alliances, Dr. Chazan’s current work focuses on struggles for social and environmental justice taking place on Turtle Island, where her position as a “white, settler, Canadian” underpins her commitment to critical, decolonizing and feminist scholarship.

“My talk will focus on my newest research on storying resistance, resurgence and resilience in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough, Ontario). I am examining activisms and activist connections through intergenerational, digital storytelling workshops, focusing on the mid-sized urban context of Nogojiwanong, the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg,” said Chazan.

Chazan’s work aims to document the lesser told and frequently forgotten stories of activisms. She engages activists of different ages who identify as racialized, Indigenous and LGBTQ+.  She also seeks to contribute to queer, decolonial and feminist approaches to intergenerational storytelling as knowledge production methodology.

In her talk, Chazan will offer preliminary reflections on the emerging themes from the first round of research workshops.  Based on three storytellers’ interviews, she will explore how their stories reflect activisms as processes of both “un-making” (dismantling, resisting, exposing) oppressions and “making” (through creative work, land-based practices and ceremony) different, fairer, more sustainable futures. She will also discuss these storytellers’ invocations of “home” or “home-making” as central to their activisms, investigating the ways in which “home” is both highly emotive and highly contested in this context of ongoing settler colonialism.

Chazan is a Canada Research Chair in Gender and Feminist Studies and a faculty member in Gender and Women’s Studies at Trent University.  She also serves on the executive committee of the Trent Centre for Aging and Society.  She directs an activist-research collective called Aging Activisms (www.agingactivisms.org), which seeks to understand and support the many ways people of different ages, genders, backgrounds and abilities work for social change across different movements and across their lives.