Three events on December menu for McLaughlin Lunch Talks Series

McLaughlin College invites the York University community to come and listen to interesting speakers as they share their knowledge on a variety of topics during the popular Lunch Talks Series. The long-running series continues this year in a virtual format via Zoom.

Students who attend six or more lunch talks throughout the year will receive a Certificate of Participation, while those who attend 10 or more will receive a Certificate of Honour.

December features three events in this series, taking place Dec. 2, 9 and 10 via Zoom.

Dec. 2 – Indigenous Women’s Resistance to Colonialism and Whiteness: The connection to ethnographic storytelling and the significance of Guest Responsibilities as a Settler Educator, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Emma Posca
Emma Posca

The purpose of this presentation by Emma Posca, a PhD candidate in the School of Gender, Feminist and Sexuality Studies at York University, is to expand upon her role and responsibility as a guest of Indigenous people. She will discuss the motivation and contextualization to the ongoing treatment of Indigenous people by colonial governments for non-Indigenous people to learn about.

Indigenous people were robbed of their lands, lives and identities which motivates my desire to end the historical and on-going trend of Indigenous and gender-based violence. Storytelling in the form of ethnographies and/or auto-ethnographies are a significant and powerful way for Indigenous people, especially women, to formulate a resistance towards the impact of colonialism.

As a settler-educator, she takes her lead from Indigenous people, who can no longer do all the work, to be able to create a movement towards changing oppressive structures.

Posca’s dissertation topic is rooted in sociological/psychological theories, feminist theory and social work frameworks. Using theories, methods and concepts such as Indigenous feminism, allyship, intersectionality, critical race theory, ethnography, patriarchy, colonialism and decolonization, her dissertation revolves around gender and race and Indigenous-based violence that plagued and continues to plague Indigenous women in Canada.

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Dec. 9 – UK’s General Strike: Brexit and Walter Benjamin’s ‘Critique of Violence,’ 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

This event is presented by Patricia Tuitt, who over the past few years has published a number of articles/book chapters which have sought to show the relevance to various contemporary problems of Walter Benjamin’s 1921 philosophical text ‘Critique of Violence.’

Patricia Tuitt
Patricia Tuitt

The Griffith Law Review article titled ‘Walter Benjamin, Race and the Critique of Rights’ (2019) and the chapter titled ‘The Construction of a Terrorist Under Article 1 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951’ (which is in James Simeon’s edited volume, Terrorism and Asylum, 2020) are recent examples. This research paper turns the focus onto the U.K.’s decision to exercise the right to withdraw from the European Union (EU) which was conferred on EU Member States by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Tuitt argues that the tensions and conflicts which have attended the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU (Brexit) are foreshadowed in the ‘Critique of Violence.’

Tuitt is a legal academic working within the field of postcolonial studies. Formerly
professor and dean of the School of Law at Birkbeck, University of London, she now curates an online resource (, consisting of academic articles, book  reviews and blog posts. Her publications include the monographs, False Images: Law’s Construction of the Refugee (1996) and Race, Law, Resistance (2004). She is co-editor of Critical Beings: Law, Nation and the Global Legal Subject (2004) and Crime Fiction and the Law (2016). Recently published articles include Walter Benjamin, Race and the Critique of Rights (Griffith Law Review, 2019) and European Empires in Conflict: The Brexit Years (Law and Critique, 2020).

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Dec. 10 – UN International Human Rights Day Commemoration, 12:30 to 2 p.m.

International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is one of UN’s major achievements as well as the first enunciation of human rights across the world.

Adopted on Dec. 10, 1948, the Declaration stipulates universal values and a shared standard of achievement for everyone in every country. While the Declaration is not a binding document, it inspired over 60 human rights instruments that today make a common standard of human rights.

This year’s Human Rights Day theme “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights” relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to “build back better” by ensuring human rights are central to recovery efforts. We will reach our common global goals only if we are able to create equal opportunities for all, address the failures exposed and exploited by COVID-19, and apply human rights standards to tackle entrenched, systemic, and intergenerational inequalities, exclusion, racism, and discrimination. Dec. 10 is an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of human rights in re-building the world we want, the need for global solidarity as well as our interconnectedness and shared humanity.

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