Sociology Annual Lecture to explore themes of presencing, resurgence, decolonization and Nishnaabeg thought

Photo by Nadya Kwandibens / Red Works Photography
Photo by Nadya Kwandibens / Red Works Photography

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, an independent scholar, artist and Anishnaabe writer is the guest presenter for the 2020 York Sociology Annual Lecture on Feb. 4 at 4 p.m. in Osgoode Hall 1005.

Described as “playful, pissed-off and ferociously funny,” Simpson’s work breaks open the intersections between politics, story and song, bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light and sovereign creativity.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – photo by Nadya Kwandibens

Working for over a decade as an independent scholar using Nishnaabeg intellectual practices, Simpson has lectured and taught extensively at universities across Canada and has 20 years experience with Indigenous land based education. She holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba and teaches at the Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning in Denendeh.

As a writer, Simpson was named the inaugural RBC Charles Taylor Emerging writer by Thomas King in 2014 and in 2017-18 she was a finalist in the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Trillium Book Award. As a musician, she was awarded the inaugural Outstanding Indigenous Artist at the Peterborough Arts Awards in 2018.

Simpson’s presentation will explore creative and intellectual practice through themes of presence, resurgence, decolonization and Nishnaabeg thought, and will include a screening of Amanda Strong‘s animated short film, Biidaaban.

Biidaaban, which was listed as a Top Ten Canadian Short at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and has been nominated for Best Animated Short at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards, follows the titular protagonist and a 10,000-year-old shapeshifter and friend known as Sabe as they set out to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees in an unwelcoming suburban Ontario neighbourhood.

Past guest presenters at York University’s Sociology Annual Lecture include Lisa Stampnitzky from the University of Sheffield, Terrell Carver from the University of Bristol, and most recently Renisa Mawani from the University of British Columbia.