Conference Sessions

A Critical Take on Discourses and Practices of Well-Being

| |
In recent years, and especially since the advent of COVID-19, interest in the issue of wellness or well-being has increased. More academic research on wellness is being produced, and the issue is more frequently being discussed on a variety of public platforms. Additionally, more institutions are establishing wellness policies, hiring wellness officers, and /or offering wellness webinars, apps, and other tools to promote and support their staff's and/or clients' well-being. While many people have welcomed this increased attention to the issue, others are concerned about the harmful consequences and uses of well-being discourses and practices. These include their potential to entrench if not worsen the status quo by individualizing social issues, making people responsible for solving problems that are not of their own making, and blaming, pathologizing, or punishing people who do not/cannot improve their personal well-being. The aim of this session is to critically examine ways in which wellness discourses and practices are being deployed, to tease out the associated benefits and harms, and to propose ways to maximize the former while minimizing the latter.

Organizer: Claire Polster, University of Regina

A Structure Not an Event I: Settler Colonial Analyses of the Canadian Scholastic Apparatus

| |
An Althusserian (2014) approach to education posits that the Scholastic Apparatus exists to replicate the ideologies and norms of the nation-state. Looking to Wolfe (1999, 2006, 2013), we know that the invasion of what is currently called Canada was a structure and not an event; thus, systems of education, as part of the overall settler colonial structure of the nation-state, are used to defend Indigenous removal, elimination, and assimilation (Tuck & Yang, 2012). In other words, education in Canada serves to rationalize (a) the theft of Indigenous lands and (b) the right of settler occupation on Indigenous lands. Federal and provincial/territorial governments, school boards, as well as higher education institutions continue their attempts to engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action (2015); however, structural concerns such as anti-Indigenous racism, as well as the ongoing nature of settler colonial processes (Carrillo Rowe & Tuck, 2017; Jafri, 2017; Kauanui, 2016; Lawrence 2004; Lawrence & Dua, 2005; Razack, 2002) are often ignored. As Tuck and Yang (2012) cautioned, “decolonization is not a metaphor,” and yet how can state institutions claim to be engaging in reconciliatory and/or decolonial processes when settler colonialism facilitated the formation of the Canadian nation-state? This co-sponsored panel session with the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada —one of the Associations within the Canadian Society for Studies in Education—features proposals for papers that aim to confront the ways settler colonialism exists always-already within state governance structures and accordingly inside mainstream systems of education, both K-12 and post-secondary. More specifically, this panel aims to disrupt the ways education is viewed as “value neutral” and instead to interrogate the ways it is and has always been settler colonial.

Organizer: Danielle Lorenz, University of Alberta

A Structure Not an Event II: Settler Colonial Analyses of the Canadian Scholastic Apparatus

| |
An Althusserian (2014) approach to education posits that the Scholastic Apparatus exists to replicate the ideologies and norms of the nation-state. Looking to Wolfe (1999, 2006, 2013), we know that the invasion of what is currently called Canada was a structure and not an event; thus, systems of education, as part of the overall settler colonial structure of the nation-state, are used to defend Indigenous removal, elimination, and assimilation (Tuck & Yang, 2012). In other words, education in Canada serves to rationalize (a) the theft of Indigenous lands and (b) the right of settler occupation on Indigenous lands. Federal and provincial/territorial governments, school boards, as well as higher education institutions continue their attempts to engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action (2015); however, structural concerns such as anti-Indigenous racism, as well as the ongoing nature of settler colonial processes (Carrillo Rowe & Tuck, 2017; Jafri, 2017; Kauanui, 2016; Lawrence 2004; Lawrence & Dua, 2005; Razack, 2002) are often ignored. As Tuck and Yang (2012) cautioned, “decolonization is not a metaphor,” and yet how can state institutions claim to be engaging in reconciliatory and/or decolonial processes when settler colonialism facilitated the formation of the Canadian nation-state? This co-sponsored panel session with the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada —one of the Associations within the Canadian Society for Studies in Education—seeks proposals for papers that aim to confront the ways settler colonialism exists always-already within state governance structures and accordingly inside mainstream systems of education, both K-12 and post-secondary. More specifically, this panel aims to disrupt the ways education is viewed as “value neutral” and instead to interrogate the ways it is and has always been settler colonial.

Organizer: Danielle Lorenz, University of Alberta

Acting Against Speciesism I: Bringing Animals to the Centre

| |
Social movements and activism around animal welfare and rights have been a consistent presence in Western society over the past six decades. From reform to animal welfare laws and the status of animals as property to climate crisis protests, awareness is being raised around the prevalence of speciesism in our world. Speciesism harms both animals and humans; academic research and social justice initiatives with intersectional non-speciesist approaches are needed. This session focuses on the human-animal bond and bringing animals from the periphery to the centre. The papers presented here highlight successes of animal related advocacy, challenges within the social movements, efforts to reform structural speciesism, and recognition of both human and animal labour in the drive for non-speciesist social justice.

Organizers: Rochelle Stevenson, Thompson Rivers University, Sarah May Lindsay, McMaster University

Acting Against Speciesism II: Bringing Animals to the Centre

| |
Social movements and activism around animal welfare and rights have been a consistent presence in Western society over the past six decades. From reform to animal welfare laws and the status of animals as property to climate crisis protests, awareness is being raised around the prevalence of speciesism in our world. Speciesism harms both animals and humans; academic research and social justice initiatives with intersectional non-speciesist approaches are needed. This session focuses on the consumption and exploitation of animals in various ways, from highlighting exploitation in leisure industries, to problematizing discourses around plant-based meats, to the promise of vegan advocacy.

Organizers: Rochelle Stevenson, Thompson Rivers University, Sarah May Lindsay, McMaster University