Graduate Student Conference

Biopolitics: In Many Ways

Saturday, February 16, 2019

10:30AM – 6:00PM

Rogers Communications Centre

Ryerson University (RCC-230)

Jointly hosted by: Ryerson and York University Joint Graduate Program Communication & Culture; Cultural Analysis and Social Theory MA Program, Wilfrid Laurier University; & Technē: Wilfrid Laurier University Biopolitical Research Group



10:30 to 11:00           Opening Remarks

11:00 to 12:30           Session 1

Session 1 – Biopower (Chair: Amy Barlow - RCC 230 AB)

“Who Enters the World? Biopower and Prenatal Testing” - Melodie Cardin (Carleton University)

“The History of Sexual Difference” - Toby Anne Finlay (York University)

“ISIS’s Modified Video Games: Techno-Prosthesiticization of Brain or an Extension of Body?”- Venus Torabi (Brock University)

12:30 to 1:30             Lunch

1:30 to 3:00               Sessions 2 & 3

Session 2: The Anthropocene (Chair: Fatima Z. Chakroun - RCC 230 AB)

“Climate, Migration and Religion: The Biopolitics of Pueblo Sin Fronteras” - Shifa Abbas (Wilfrid Laurier University)

“Discounting Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Food Security and Cultural Survival in the Anthropocene” - Tyrone Hall (York University)

“Biopolitics, Power and Defining Life in the Anthropocene” - Sahver Kuzucuoglo (Wilfrid Laurier University)


Session 3 – Necropolitics (Chair: Ashan Moghul - RCC 223)

“Suicide and the Death of Biopower in Modern Capitalist Society” - Alberto Carneiro (Wilfrid Laurier University)

“Resisting Agamben: Political Suicide in Tibet and the Resistance of Sovereign Power” - Christopher McAteer (York University) 

“On the Ontogenetic Anatomy of Colonialism: Examining the Necropolitical, Epigenetic Residues of KKKanada” - Patrick Teed (York University)


3:00 to 3:30               Break 

3:30 to 5:00               Sessions 4 & 5

Session 4 – Bare Lives (Chair: Shifa Abbas - RCC 223)

“Syrian Subjectivity: Countering Oppression Through Photography” - Amy Barlow (Wilfrid Laurier University)

“The Story of Ashura Through a Biopolitical Lens: Homo Sacer, Disciplinary Power and the Concept of Martyrdom” - Fatima Z. Chakroun (Wilfrid Laurier University)

“Dubai: Thinking clearly about Biopolitics and Bare Life” - Ashan Moghul (Ryerson/York University)


Session 5 – Thanatopolitics & Resistance (Chair: Sahver Kuzucuoglo - RCC 230 AB)

“Encounters in Gay Culture: Is it a Queer Betrayal or is it Thanatopolitical?” - Ethan Jackson (Wilfrid Laurier University)

“Biopolitics, Transformative Powers of Life and the Case of Roma People in Glasgow, Scotland”- Eva Kourova (Glasgow Caledonian University)

“The Fear and Biopolitical Control of the ‘Terrorist Other’” - A. Percy Sherwood (Western University)

“Maiming the Indigenous Canadian: The New Colonialism”- Tyler Svadjian (Wilfrid Laurier University)

5:00 to 6:00                Closing Remarks & Critical Reflections

Event Organizers 

Greg Bird (he/him) – Associate Professor, Cultural Analysis & Social Theory MA Program (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Philippe Theophanidis – Assistant Professor & Coordinator, Communications Program (York University, Glendon Campus)

Toronto is in the 'Dish With One Spoon Territory’.  The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.

This event has been generously supported by the Cultural Analysis and Social Theory MA Program, Wilfrid Laurier University; the Communication Program, York University, Glendon Campus; the joint graduate program in Communication and Culture (ComCult), Ryerson University and York University; the Catalyst at FCAD, Ryerson University.

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