Wendy Michener Memorial Lecture to discuss facing human wrongs and hospicing modernity 

hands placed on top of one another

The 2022 Wendy Michener Lecture “Facing Human Wrongs and Hospicing Modernity,” will be delivered online by Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti, a Latinx professor at the University of British Columbia on Thursday, March 31 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.  

Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti
Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti

The lecture will offer an overview of the work of Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF), an arts/research collective, with a focus on her book Hospicing Modernity: Facing Humanity’s Wrongs and the Implications for Social Activism and the interdisciplinary open course “Facing Human Wrongs: Navigating the complexities and paradoxes of social and global change.” 

Machado de Oliveira Andreotti holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities, and Global Change. The March 31 lecture will explore the activist work of GTDF, a transnational, intergenerational and inter-disciplinary collective where activists, students, educators, volunteers and Indigenous knowledge keepers work together to develop public pedagogies and artistic interventions. GTDF’s projects operate at the interface of two goals: confronting historical, systemic and ongoing social and ecological violence; and the unsustainability of modern-colonial systems and ways of being.  

The lecture will explore how these approaches deepen understanding and emphasize the importance of engaging with the inevitable complexities, difficulties and failures involved in efforts to address social and ecological challenges, and the need to commit to social and organizational change over time, rather than seeking quick or feel-good solutions. 

Machado de Oliveira Andreotti began her career as a teacher in Brazil in 1994 and has since led educational and research programs in countries including the U.K., Finland, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Brazil and Canada. She works across sectors in international and comparative education, particularly focusing on global justice and citizenship, Indigenous and community engagement, sustainability, as well as social and ecological responsibility. Her research examines relationships between historical, systemic, and ongoing forms of violence and the inherent unsustainability of modernity.  

“We are incredibly honoured to host Professor Andreotti for the annual Wendy Michener Memorial Lecture,” says Laura Levin, associate dean, research at the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD). “Her recent books, Hospicing Modernity and Towards Braiding (with Elwood Jimmy) are important theoretical and educational touchstones for students engaging with decolonial practices across disciplines. These publications, alongside her activist work with groups like the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures collective and Teia das 5 Curas, challenge our assumptions about what activist processes can and should look like. They also model how artistic methodologies create powerful spaces for grappling with rights and environmental emergencies that connect us globally.” 

This lecture is co-presented by AMPD along with York University’s Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), Faculty of Education, Hemispheric Encounters Partnership and Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts & Technology

In 1986, York University established the Wendy Michener Memorial Lecture to commemorate the Canadian art critic and journalist. Michener’s understanding of French-Canadian and Anglo-Canadian culture earned her the affectionate title “Canada’s first true national critic.” Her work appeared in the Montreal Herald, Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, Saturday Night, and Maclean’s.  

This lecture provides a discussion forum for vital issues and developments in culture and the arts. Past guest lecturers include journalist Anna Maria Tremonti, artists Matthew Ritchie and Wafaa Bilal, and creative industries executive Hael Kobayashi.  

Tickets for the event are available online. Additional information is featured on the event registration page.