Monthly Archives: January 2017

Sara Ross

Lecture: Novelis Nullius: Legal Norms and the (dis)appearance of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian Fiction

Signa Daum Shanks and Kate Sutherland are presenting the lecture Novelis Nullius: Legal Norms and the (dis)appearance of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian Fiction on February 13, 2017, between 12:30pm and 2:00pm in Osgoode Hall Law School’s Room 2027. According to the event description:

Fiction writers both invent new visions of society, but they also often depict trends that they already observe. In Canada, a series of novels acted as a tool for writers’ interests in either or both purposes. McClelland and Stewart’s “New Canadian Library Series” introduced both new re-printed titles to an audience that also wanted some reflections from the academy about those works’ impact. With either an “introduction” or “afterword”, the NCL novels invited more readers to learn more about Canada and literature by having a lower cost and some guidance not typical of other publishing houses or editions.

By focusing on the NCL titles about Canada’s West, and critiquing how those works and their accompanying scholarly essay represented the historic trends experienced by Indigenous peoples, we investigate how the learning of law giving a more accurate portrait of how these works did, or failed to, illustrate Indigenous peoples accurately. While proponents of the “law and literature” subfield often purport that reading literature can tell us more about the law, we want to discuss how appreciating legal norms can help better evaluate the accuracy and impact of fiction. Thinking about a community’s laws can also refine what we think about the responsibility of all writers – regardless of whether they write a fictional work or a non-fictional presentation.

Make sure to RSVP to confirm your attendance at:


Sara Ross

Art News: Canadian Art on Toronto Art Gallery Shuttered by Police

Blank Canvas Gallery

Canadian Art has published an article by Leah Sandals on an incident that occurred at Toronto community art space and art gallery Blank Canvas this past New Years Eve. The gallery was hosting a New Years Eve party offering alcohol without a Special Occasion Permit, under the supervision of co-owner John Samuels and Andrew Davy. During the evening, the Toronto Police entered the establishment in order to place Samuels under arrest, firing a taser at him in the process. Following the incident, the gallery was shuttered, and its locks changed. The article quotes several figures in the Toronto art scene who describe how the incident may have been racially charged. An excerpt from the article reads as follows:

“To me, this speaks to a much larger issue, which is the way that racism and the Toronto Police Service has been playing out over the last 30 years,” says artist, activist and researcher Syrus Marcus Ware, who is also a member of Black Lives Matter Toronto. “But this is also a story about the way the contemporary art scene does or doesn’t interact with issues of anti-blackness.”

You can read the full article here:

Sara Ross

Law.Arts.Culture event – Tell: making poetry from law

Tell - Sutherland poster

On January 16, 2017 Law.Arts.Culture is holding the event “Tell: making poetry from law”. It will feature Soraya Peerbaye and Sheila Batacharya in conversation with Kate Sutherland, between 10:30am and 12:30pm at Osgoode Hall Law School in Room 4034. The event description includes the following:

In writing the award winning Tell: Poems for a Girlhood, poet Soraya Peerbaye was deeply influenced by legal materials from the trial of the murderers of Reena Virk and the scholarship of Dr. Sheila Batacharya on reading the case through the lenses of race, crime and law. Join us to hear Soraya Peerbaye and Sheila Batacharya in discussion with Osgoode Professor Kate Sutherland about the story of Reena Virk, the process by which legal materials can be turned into poetry, and the power and potential of this kind of work.

To attend ensure you rsvp at the following link: