Disruptions/Perturbations 2016: CFP

Our next conference will be held Jan. 14-17, 2016 at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario (Canada). We welcome proposals on all topics of relevance to cultural studies from our current and future members. Our call for papers can be found here et pour la version française, cliquez ici.

The conference theme, Disruptions, encourages submissions devoted to exploring disruptions in and of culture. This may include papers that investigate intentional and unintentional, local and global disruptions of established systems or dominant orders; the potential of disruptions to engender shifts in cultural, social, economic, environmental, biopolitical, etc. conditions; forms of activism, social mobilization, and other collective/grassroots based disruptions. Of particular interest this year are papers that address disruptions of cultural ideologies, assumptions, and hegemonies around race, racial construction, and racialization in their various forms. We seek to generate discussion about disruptive cultures and practices. Are such disruptions destructive or productive? Cultural or countercultural? Brief or enduring? Do they stem from utopic or dystopic social and cultural visions? Do they produce new cultural forms or reify pre-existing ones? Are disruptions a normative dimension of culture? What are the ethics of disruptive practices? Who/what is affected when disruptions fail, backfire, or are appropriated? Do disruptive practices require privilege or address disenfranchisement?

This conference is hosted at Wilfrid Laurier University, located in Waterloo, Ontario (Canada). Waterloo is located in southwestern Ontario, approximately 110km from Toronto. The city is easily accessed from Toronto Pearson Airport. There are also direct flights into the Waterloo International Airport from Chicago, Ottawa, and Calgary (with connections to Vancouver, Edmonton, and other major western cities). VIA Rail service runs to the city from Montreal, Toronto and points west (Windsor, London, etc.). GO train and bus service also connects Waterloo to Toronto.


En vue de son prochain colloque, l’Association Canadienne des Études Culturelles invite ses membres ainsi que de futurs membres à soumettre des propositions de communication sur tous les sujets relevant des études culturelles.

Le thème du colloque, Perturbations, encourage des communications qui explorent l’ensemble des formes de dérangement culturel. Les communications peuvent porter sur le désordre, intentionnel ou inintentionnel, local ou global, de systèmes établis et dominants; le potentiel des perturbations pour engendrer des changements de conditions culturelles, sociales, économiques, environnementales, biopolitiques, etc.; des formes d’activisme, de mobilisation sociale, et d’autres formes de perturbations collectives ou émergentes. Nous sommes particulièrement intéressés à recevoir des communications touchant les perturbations d’idéologies culturelles, de suppositions et d’hégémonies autour de l’enjeu de la race, de constructions raciales et de la racialisation sous diverses formes. Nous cherchons à engendrer des discussions au sujet de cultures et de pratiques dérangeantes. De telles perturbations sont-elles destructrices ou productives? Culturelles ou contre-culturelles? Brèves ou durables? Émergent-elles de visions socioculturelles utopiques ou dystopiques? Produisent-elles de nouvelles formes culturelles ou en réitèrent-elles d’anciennes? Les perturbations constituent-elles une dimension normative de la culture? Quelle est l’éthique de pratiques dérangeantes? Qui est affecté (ou qu’est-ce qui est affecté) lorsque la perturbation échoue, se retournent contre les instigateurs, ou est appropriée? Les pratiques dérangeantes nécessitent-elles des privilèges ou touchent-elles ceux et celles qui en sont privés?

Le colloque aura lieu à l’Université Wilfrid Laurier située à Waterloo, en Ontario (Canada). Waterloo se trouve dans le sud-ouest de l’Ontario, à environ 110 km de Toronto. La ville est facilement accessible de l’Aéroport International Toronto Pearson. Il existe également des vols directs vers l’Aéroport International de Waterloo en provenance de Chicago, Ottawa et Calgary (avec des connexions à Vancouver, Edmonton et d’autres villes importantes). VIA RAIL offre des services en provenance de Montréal, Ottawa et Toronto qui continuent vers l’ouest (London, Windsor, etc.).

Stay tuned…

Check back here in the next couple of weeks for information about the 2016 CACS-ACEC biennial conference as well as new membership information…

CACS-ACÉC: Call for EoI/Appel à manifestation d’intérêt

cacsimagecobblesCall for Expressions of Interest to Host the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies

The CACS Advisory Board is currently soliciting Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a new host for the organization beginning in 2017. CACS is currently housed at Wilfrid Laurier University in southwestern Ontario. According to the CACS constitution, the organization is to rotate every four years to a new institution and, preferably, a new region.

Members of the new host institution, along with members from the region, will form a new On-Site Committee (OSC) and OSC Executive that will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization, including its finances, membership, and web presence, and is mandated to run a conference for CACS in alternating years (for two in total). The On-Site Committee Executive consists of 6 positions: Chair, Treasurer, Conference Chair, Communications Chair, Chair of Cultural Action and Activism, and Online Coordinator. The OSC and executive will work in conjunction with the CACS Advisory Board, which, according to the CACS constitution “provides advice and direction to the OSC related to matters which are of importance to CACS beyond the day-to-day running of the organization. The Advisory Board may only make decisions for CACS in consultation with the OSC.” The current Advisory Board consists of 7 members and will make every effort to provide continuity for CACS during the transition. For more information about the organization and infrastructure of CACS, see the “organization” page of our website; http://cacs-acec.ca/organization/ (see also, the CACS Constitution, which is linked at the bottom of that page). CACS is a bilingual organization.

Although the transfer from CACS’ current home at Wilfrid Laurier University to its new home should be completed by Jan. 2017, the first conference for which the new host would be responsible can take place in 2018 (the exact date of the conference is up to the new OSC Executive and can be variable).

Hosting CACS is a valuable opportunity to develop space not only for cultural studies research, but for public outreach with local social, political, and community groups. Those interested in hosting CACS will want to consider the organizations’ two intersecting mandates:

  1.  To promote the interests of those teaching and studying cultural studies in Canada by facilitating the dissemination and exchange of research nationally and internationally, by exploring professional issues, and by organizing scholarly and professional meetings.
  2.  To create greater public spaces across Canada for the development of productive relationships between people from institutional and non-institutional sites. To this end we aim to make connections with, and plan activities in concert with social, political and community groups. These activities may include, but are not limited to, the production and dissemination of pamphlets, working papers and other materials designed as interventions into public discussions of current social, political and cultural issues.

If you are interested in providing an institutional home for CACS please send a brief (approx 500 words) statement expressing your interest as a host to directly to the CACS President of the Advisory Board, Catherine Burwell, cburwell[at]ucalgary[dot]ca, no later than March 2nd 2015. The board will review proposals and contact interested parties by April 15th 2015.

The statement should outline:

  •  general information about the planned institutional host and how this host may provide a beneficial home for CACS (ie. proximity to other institutions; affiliations with cultural organizations activisms etc.; host to cultural studies departments/research)
  •  possibilities for institutional support (both in-kind and direct financial support, if possible)
  •  one or more key organizational figures (ie. OSC Chair) and ideally an outline of the OSC Executive
  •  your organizational capacity (access to facilities and venues, lodging, funding, labour, etc.)

Current On-Site Committee Chair, Alexandra Boutros (aboutros [at] wlu [dot] ca) and President of the Advisory Board, Catherine Burwell (cburwell [at] ucalgary [dot] ca), are happy to speak with you further about the current needs of CACS, conditions of a transfer, or anything else you may have questions about with regards to hosting the organization. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Appel à manifestation d’intérêt pour accueillir l’Association canadienne des études culturelles

Le conseil consultatif de l’ACÉC est à la recherche d’une nouvelle institution pour héberger l’organisation, de 2017 à 2021. L’ACÉC est actuellement hébergée par l’Université Wilfrid Laurier dans le sud-ouest de l’Ontario. Selon la constitution de l’ACÉC, l’organisation doit changer d’institution d’accueil, et préférablement de région si possible, à tous les quatre ans.

Les membres de la nouvelle institution d’accueil, avec les membres de la région, formeront le comité des lieux (CDL) et l’exécutif du CDL, qui sera responsable du fonctionnement au quotidien de l’organisation, incluant les finances, les abonnements et la présence en ligne. L’exécutif du CDL sera également délégué pour élaborer deux colloques biannuels pour l’ACÉC. Cet exécutif est composé de 6 postes: président/e, trésorier/ière, coordonnateur/trice des colloques, coordonnateur/trice des communications, coordonnateur/trice de l’action culturelle et de l’activisme et coordonnateur/trice des activités en ligne. Le CDL et l’exécutif travailleront de pair avec le comité consultatif de l’ACÉC qui, selon la constitution de l’ACÉC, «fournit conseils et directives au CDL à propos des sujets importants pour l’ACÉC au-delà de la gestion quotidienne de l’organisation. Le comité consultatif ne peut prendre des décisions qu’en consultation avec le CDL.» Le comité consultatif est composé de 7 membres et fera tout en son pouvoir pour effectuer une transition stable et harmonieuse. Pour plus d’informations au sujet de l’organisation et de sa structure, voir la page «Organisation» de notre site Web: http://cacs-acec.ca/organisation/ (voir également la constitution de l’ACÉC, en anglais seulement, mise en lien au bas de cette page). L’ACÉC est une organisation bilingue.

Même si la transition entre l’institution actuelle de l’ACÉC et sa nouvelle institution d’accueil devrait être finalisée en janvier 2017, le premier colloque réalisé sous l’égide de la nouvelle institution d’accueil pourrait avoir lieu en 2018 (les dates exactes du colloque seraient à déterminer par l’exécutif du CDL et peuvent varier).

Accueillir l’ACÉC est une opportunité considérable pour développer non seulement l’espace pour la recherche en études culturelles, mais aussi pour soutenir la sensibilisation du public à travers des groupes locaux, politiques et communautaires. En ce sens, voici les deux mandats intersectés de l’organisation:

  1.  Promouvoir les intérêts de ceux et celles qui enseignent et qui étudient les études culturelles au Canada, en facilitant la circulation et les échanges nationaux et internationaux des recherches, en explorant les enjeux professionnels et en organisant des rencontres savantes et professionnelles.
  2.  Créer davantage d’espaces publics à travers le Canada pour le développement de relations productives et efficaces entre les individus provenant de sites institutionnels et non-institutionnels. Pour ce faire, nous projetons établir des ponts avec des groupes sociaux, politiques et communautaires, en plus de planifier des activités avec ces groupes. Ces activités peuvent inclure la production et la circulation de brochures, de documents de travail et d’autres pièces visant à intervenir dans les débats publics au sujet d’enjeux sociaux, politiques et culturels, mais elles ne se limitent pas à celles-ci.

Si votre institution est intéressée à héberger l’ACÉC, veuillez envoyer une brève déclaration (approximativement 500 mots) exprimant votre intérêt directement à Catherine Burwell, la présidente du conseil consultatif de l’ACÉC, au cburwell[at]ucalgary[dot]ca , au plus tard le 2 mars 2015. Le conseil passera en revue les propositions et contactera l’institution intéressée le 15 avril 2015.

La déclaration doit inclure:

  •  les informations générales au sujet de l’hôte institutionnel et les manières dont cet hôte accueillera avantageusement l’ACÉC (c’est-à-dire la proximité d’autres institutions; les affiliations avec des organisations d’activisme, etc.; la présence de recherche ou de départements favorables aux études culturelles)
  •  les possibilités pour le soutien institutionnel (à la fois en nature et en espèces, si possible)
  •  une ou plusieurs membres-clés de l’organisation (par exemple, la direction du CDL) et idéalement, une ébauche de l’exécutif du CDL.
  •  la capacité organisationnelle de votre institution (l’accès au site et aux installations, l’hébergement, le financement, les ressources humaines, etc.)

La directrice actuelle du CDL, Alexandra Boutros (aboutros[at]wlu[dot]ca), et la présidente du comité consultatif, Catherine Burwell (), seront heureuses de répondre à vos questions à propos de l’ACÉC, ses besoins, les conditions de la transition, ou quelconque autre sujet de questionnements ayant rapport avec l’hébergement de l’organisation. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter.


Dispersions 2014: CACS-ACÉC On-line Conference Schedule now live

An online version of the CACS-ACÉC 2014 Conference Schedule is now available here; http://cacs-acec.ca/dispersions-conference-schedule/.

Please note that you can download abstracts for each panel. Look for a link toward the bottom of the page or panel menu. You can also tweet directly from the online schedule (look for the Twitter button in the top right). Our hashtags are #CACS14 and #ACEC14.

Roundtable Panel: Mixing Ingredients

IMG_5702CACS-ACÉC presents a rountable discussion

Mixing Ingredients: Bringing Food Research Outside the University

January 16, 2014, 7pm, Balsillie School of International Affairs (Rm 145)

Andrew Bieler, Communication & Culture, York University

Michelle Coyne, Second Harvest, Toronto, Ontario

Charles Levkoe, Postdoctoral Fellow, Wilfrid Laurier University

Steffanie Scott, Geography & Environmental Management, University of Waterloo

Food connects us. This simple statement reveals how the food we consume, research, refuse to eat, or throw away structures our everyday local and global lives, This roundtable–comprised of academics, advocates, activists, organizers, and artists–will explore how food research moves across both disciplinary and institutional borders and takes up residence outside academic confines and discourses. This conversation will be an opportunity to explore how academic thinking can be translated through the study of food in such a way as to be useful outside of university structures.


Screening and Director’s Talk: Dal Puri Diaspora (2012)

dal puri email blankThe Canadian Association of Cultural Studies and the Cultural Studies Program at Wilfrid Laurier University presents a screening of Dal Puri Diaspora followed by a discussion with director Richard Fung.

7:00pm, January 17, 2014 at the Original Princes Cinema, 6 Princess St. W., Waterloo, ON. Free-Open to the Public

The recipe for dal puri traveled with indentured workers from India’s Gangetic plain to British and Dutch Caribbean colonies in the 19th Century. In the 1960s the wrapped roti migrated from Trinidad to North America, where it is known as West Indian roti and is popular in cities like New York and Toronto. Shot in Toronto, Trinidad and India, Dal Puri Diaspora tracks dal puri’s remarkable passage across space and time, linking colonialism, migration and the globalization of tastes.

Richard Fung is a Trinidad-born, Toronto-based artist and writers. Among other honours, Richard has received the Toronto Art Award for Media Art, the Bell Canada Award for outstanding achievement in video art, and the Rockefeller and McKnight fellowships. He teaches at OCAD University.

Special thanks to Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Studies Department, Dr. Mariam Pirbhai, and the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Arts for their support of this event.

CACS-ACÉC Keynote and Reception: January 18, 2014

All are welcome to attend the CACS-ACÉC Keynote by Dr. Mimi Thi Nguyen at 5pm on Jan. 18, 2014 at the CIGI auditorium, 67 Erb St. W, Waterloo, ON (directions). The keynote will be followed by a reception.

CACS-ACÉC Keynote: Damage Control, and the Art of Governing through Freedom

Mimi Thi Nuguyen: Associate Professor, Asian American Studies, Gender and Women Studies, Conrad Humanities Professorial Scholar, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Damage Control elaborates upon liberalism as a practice and a principle for the rationalization of government, which claims at its heart freedom as the reference for its politics, as power’s problem. Indeed, an attachment to freedom is foundational to liberalism’s claim to a heightened attention to its presence or lapse, an attention that thereby continually commits free peoples to sustain or manufacture its presence in all directions, across the globe. Within a complex economy in which freedom and its others (such as bondage) or its fellows (such as security) are thus presumed transferable or exchangeable, examination, evaluation, calculation and choice unfold as liberal forms for organizing, assessing, and manufacturing freedom’s ideal presence and thereby correcting its absence. These forms configure persons, actions, and qualities such as freedom as objective, comparable and also governable. In other words, once the objects and subjects of liberal powers are standardized–for instance, freedom as rights, which can be exchanged in trade or political negotiations–they create possibilities for control and interference. Beginning with the gift of freedom and the wars that follow, Damage Control considers some of the forms then that are liberal violence’s moderating principle and uncanny justification.

Special thanks to Wilfrid Laurier University’s Communication Studies Department, Cultural Analysis and Social Thought MA Program, International Migration Research Centre, and the Faculty of Arts, Dean’s Office for their support.

Registration for CACS-ACÉC Conference is Now Open

Early bird registration for the upcoming CACS-ACÉC Biennial Conference is now open. You can register via our website here

Conference events will include a screening of Dal Puri Diaspora followed by a discussion with director Richard Fung at 7pm on Friday, January 17th.  The screening will take place at Waterloo’s independent Princess Cinemas. Our keynote speaker, Mimi Thi Nguyen, will be speaking on “Damage Control, and the Art of Governing through Freedom” on January 18th at 5pm at the CIGI Auditorium. The keynote will be followed by a reception. Check back here for updates. We look forward to seeing everyone in January.

CACS-ACÉC CFP Deadline Extended (Oct. 7, 2013)

cacsimagetype  The deadline for abstracts for the upcoming CACS-ACÉC conference has been extended to Oct. 7th, 2013. The CFPs (in English et   en français) are below. For more information and updates about the conference see; http://cacs-acec.ca/conference-2014/.





January 16-19, 2014
Balsillie School of International Affairs
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


The Canadian Association of Cultural Studies invites proposals on all topics of relevance to cultural studies from both current and future members for its upcoming conference.

The conference theme Dispersions encourages submissions devoted to exploring all forms of distributed culture. This may include papers that investigate dispersions of people, social groups and communities;  flows of cultural objects and materialities; or the dispersion of cultural studies scholars (so often now housed in vulnerable departments) across disciplines. We are curious about the implications of these dispersions. Do they result in fugitives? Or new forms of belonging? Do they constitute new forms of culture? Hybridities? Transgressions? Alienations? Transformations? Sedimentations? What does it mean to scavenge cultural belonging in the context of cultural dispersion? Is culture atavised? Or preserved? We hope to open up discussion and critical reflection about culture in the context of fragmentation, convergence, and accumulation.

We welcome papers that focus on (but are not limited to):

* Explorations at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, nationality
* Critical interventions into concepts of the transnational, transcultural, multicultural
* Examinations of unruly cultures, fugitive cultures, border cultures, diasporic cultures
* Distributed art cultures and practices (aesthetics; new mediations, etc.)
* Mobilities, immobilities, and constellations of flows
* Co-constitutions of animal subjects and animal culture
* Tensions between local and global cultures
* Dispersions of the unconscious
* Foodscapes and food cultures

Submission Guidelines:

Please submit electronically to cacs@wlu.ca an abstract (appended as a .doc or a .docx attachment) of no more than 300 words by October 7, 2013. Please include with your proposal, a paper title, your name and affiliation, 5-8 keywords that represent the major foci of your proposal. Notifications will be sent out by Oct. 30, 2013. Early bird registration for the conference will open Nov. 1, 2013 at http://cacs-acec.ca/. Regular registration fees will apply after Dec. 1, 2013



16-19 Janvier 2014
Balsillie School of International Affairs
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


En vue de son prochain colloque, l’Association Canadienne des Études Culturelles invite ses membres ainsi que de futurs membres à soumettre des propositions de communication sur tous les sujets relevant des études culturelles. Le thème du colloque, Dispersions, encourage des communications qui explorent l’ensemble des formes de distribution de culture. Les communications peuvent porter sur la dispersion des personnes, des groupes sociaux et des communautés, sur les flux d’objets culturels et des matérialités ou bien encore sur la dispersion des chercheurs mêmes en études culturelles parmi d’autres disciplines (se retrouvant souvent au sein de départements plus vulnérables). Quelles sont les conséquences et les implications de ces dispersions ? Aboutissent-elles à la figure du fugitif ? Ou bien alors à de nouvelles formes d’appartenance ? Ces dispersions annoncent-elles de nouvelles formes de culture ? Quelles sont les hybridités, les transgressions, les aliénations, les transformations et les sédimentations qui résultent de ces dispersions de culture et comment s’opèrent-elles ? Et puis, que cela signifie-t-il que de chercher des appartenances culturelles dans le contexte de la dispersion de culture ? La culture est-elle atavique ? Se préserve-t-elle ? Nous souhaitons établir un espace de discussion, de réflexion et de critique sur la culture dans un contexte de fragmentation, de convergence et d’accumulation. Nous invitons des communications portant sur les thématiques suivantes (mais qui ne se limitent pas à cette liste) :

*Des enquêtes à l’intersection des questions de race, de genre, de sexualité, de religion, d’ethnicité, de nationalité.
*Des interventions critiques sur les concepts de transnational, transculturel, multiculturel.
*Des observations sur des cultures indisciplinées et turbulentes, sur des cultures fugitives, frontalières et diasporiques.
*La distribution de pratiques et de cultures artistiques (esthétique, nouvelles médiations, etc.).
*Les mobilités, les immobilités et la configuration des flux.
*La co-constitution des sujets animaux et leur culture.
*Les tensions entre cultures locales et globales.
*Les dispersions de l’inconscient.
*Les cultures alimentaires et les paysages de l’alimentation.

Soumission de résumé:

Veuillez soumettre un résumé par voie électronique à cacs@wlu.ca (en attaché sous format .doc ou .docx) ne dépassant pas 300 mots avant le 7 octobre 2013. Veuillez inclure le titre de la communication, le nom et l’affiliation de l’auteur(e) ainsi que 5 à 8 mots-clés qui décrivent au mieux le propos de la communication. Les avis de sélection seront envoyés d’ici le 30 octobre 2013. L’inscription en ligne sera ouverte à partir du 1er novembre 2013 à l’adresse suivante : http://cacs-acec.ca/. Les frais réguliers d’inscription seront appliqués après le 1er décembre 2013.

Announcment: Mimi Thi Nguyen Keynote for CACS-ACÉC 2014 Conference

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Mimi Thi Nguyen will be a keynote speaker for the CACS-ACÉC conference in January 2014 (Jan. 16-19).

Mimi Thi Nguyen is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Author of The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages (Duke, 2012) and co-editor (with Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu) of Alien Encounters: Popular Culture In Asian America (Duke, 2007), Nguyen sees her work emerging from the frame of transnational feminist cultural studies. Nguyen has been involved with zine culture since 1991 and has produced several zines, including Race Riot. In 2012 she went on the first POC Zine Project/Race Riot Tour.

more to come…