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2023 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Reckonings and Re-Imaginings

York University will host the 2023 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, in partnership with the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Congress is the largest academic gathering in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. The event in 2023 will be the 92nd annual edition, bringing together around 70 academic associations from humanities and social sciences disciplines, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and more. York’s Keele and Glendon campuses will welcome over 10,000 scholars, graduate students and practitioners.

This year’s theme, Reckonings and Re-Imaginings, invites attendees to place Black and Indigenous knowledges, cultures and voices at the centre of critical discussions to reckon with the past and re-imagine a future that embraces decoloniality, anti-racism, justice, sustainability and equity. York’s commitment to action on these issues and to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals reflects our dedication to creating positive change in higher education and scholarship. 

As the first in-person event held in four years, adherence to public health guidelines will be prioritized. The conference will also include robust virtual components. We encourage you to come to campus during the week and participate in the open-access activities and performances that are part of Congress 2023 programming. Here is some of what you can see and access for free at the Keele Campus during the week: 

  • A ‘Re-Imaginings’ Social Tent in the middle of the Commons for community members to gather and enjoy a bite to eat or a beverage together. 
  • Live Swag Stage performances at four locations on campus, including in front of Vari Hall, at the Vanier basketball court, outside of Accolade East and the Dahdaleh Building.  
  • Encounters augmented reality experiences that explore new perspectives on social presence and the power of collective self-organization in public spaces. Use your phone to access the experience at any Info Kiosk.  
  • The Art of Scott Library self-guided tour where visitors scan a QR code and learn about acclaimed artists, including Michael Hayden’s “York Electric Murals” and Hugh LeRoy’s “Rainbow Piece.” 
  • York Library Exhibits reflecting on the Congress 2023 theme including Reckoning & Re-Imagining: Deborah Barndt’s Engaged Use of Photography and Celebrating Black Emancipation through Carnival. 
  • The Longhouse poem, shaped like a Haudenosaunee longhouse that honours the Oneida core values of a good mind, a good heart, and a strong fire in the Accolade East CIBC Lobby. 

Look for the SARIT Test Track in front of Vari Hall on May 30 and June 1, where Congress participants will test drive these electric vehicles during the week. You can also help build the Congress Community Mural outside the Second Student Centre during the week and contribute to this artwork that will live on campus after Congress. 

Community passes are available to those interested in attending these and other York Programming activities organized for Congress and will be free to Black and Indigenous community members. We look forward to seeing you there and as a reminder, term dates have been adjusted to align with the timelines for this year’s event. 

Check out these events at Congress 2023 featuring members of the Dahdaleh Institute:

Please note that this listing only includes open programming at Congress that directly involves members of the Dahdaleh Institute. Many faculty fellows and students are also presenting their work at association conferences within Congress.

Speakers: Yvonne Su, Cary Wu

Modality: In-person - Scott Library, Keele Campus

In alignment with the Congress theme of Reckonings and Re-Imaginings, the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies is proud to share a series of short lectures featuring the outstanding work of early-career researchers. Four lectures, approximately six minutes each, will play on a large digital kiosk in the entrance lobby to Scott Library for the duration of Congress to allow delegates access.

For more information, visit:

Speakers: Angela Norwood, Jen Gilbert, Sarah Flicker, Laina Bay-Cheng

Modality: In-person - Rob And Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building, 3rd Floor

Led by PIs Prof. Angela Norwood (Design) and Dr. Jen Gilbert (Education), and facilitated through AMPD’s Year of the Arts, the project is a 10 x3 pop-up, interactive Gallery that will present the findings of a collaborative study, For the Record (4theRecord). The study features the narratives of racialized and LGBTQ2S+ young women and nonbinary youth to examine the shifting meanings of risk as young people navigated relationships during COVID. Racialized and LGBTQ+ young women and non-binary youth are routinely cast as 'at risk.' The overarching goal of this outreach project is to exchange knowledge and disseminate the narratives of racialized and LGBTQ2S+ young women and nonbinary youth on how they navigated friendships, school, family, and sex during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

This pop-up Gallery is a collaboration between Education and Design/AMPD. A new, AIF-funded course was developed for this project — entitled "Representing Risk, a data-driven virtual and physical gallery." The course allows Design students from each year in their program to work collaboratively on development of the 4theRecord Gallery of Risk. Through this innovative, “vertical studio” format, Design students will work with the research team to translate study findings into a dynamic, digital and pop-up exhibition that will engage youth, sexual and public health organizations, educators, policy makers, and the community in an on-going conversation and vital knowledge exchange about the meanings of risk in a world indelibly marked by COVID. The research upon which the course is based is headed by an international team of researchers, three of whom are here at York, including Dr. Laina Bay-Cheng, AVP Faculty Affairs, Dr Sarah Flicker from Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change and Dr Jen Gilbert.

Speakers: Idil Boran, Julia M. Satov, Matias de Dovitiis, Nick Mulé, Lee Truong, and Amanpreet Chonkrian

Modality: In-person - Seymour Schulich Building-SSB W141

This community engagement event is a living lab that brings to the table professionals from various sectors, community youth voices from the Humber River-Black Creek Youth Council, and other Youth groups in the Greater Toronto Area. The goal is to debate and co-design radical collaboration to accelerate credible and impactful implementation of the UN SDGs by 2030. The dialogue is premised on the knowledge that social transformation needs radical collaboration between a diverse range of voices, disciplines, and sectors, bridging generations of changemakers. Practitioners who act as changemakers in their profession will present action plans across a range of sectors, including women & tech; public health and nursing; housing and social equity; secondary education; post-secondary education. Youth leaders will respond and debate with changemakers for improving and scaling up implementation for social and environmental justice.

This event is organized by CIFAL York’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee as an experimental living lab to build new bridges between the university and society and between professional change makers and youth leaders with cross-sectionalities of women, LGBTQIA+, Black and Indigenous voices through radical collaboration and changemaking. It will exemplify the contribution of community dialogues and living labs to knowledge creation within the humanities and social sciences.

Please note this event will be presented in English. Event descriptions and translation (if applicable) provided by the host organization and published in authenticity by the Federation.

Speakers: Yvonne Su, Amanda Alencar, Natalia Cintra

Modality: Hybrid

Surveys and interviews can fail to capture the everyday nuances and complexities of migration. As a result, researchers have turned to digital and visual methodologies such as photovoice, video voice, documentary-making and participatory video. These emerging methods allow us to move beyond words, and in utilizing a medium free from the burdens of language or literacy, asylum seekers, refugees and migrants can present their world to the global community on their own terms.

In the age of Instagram and TikTok, asylum seekers, refugees and migrants are already familiar with the universal reach of photos and videos so how do we empower them to use skills they already have for our projects and how to we ensure a decolonial approach that addresses tensions over creative direction and authorship?

Bringing together international scholars that have engaged deeply with these new methods, this event will showcase short films and videos by migrants and refugees through participatory video, as well as samples of documentary and photovoice and video voice projects.Event descriptions and translation (if applicable) provided by the host organization and published in authenticity by the Federation.

Speakers: Kaitlin Di Pierdomenico, Yao Jean Kouadio, Emmanuel Kyeremeh, Godfred Boateng

Modality: In-person - McLaughlin College-MC112

The overall goal of this session is to stimulate a critical discussion about case studies, approaches, and best practices related to pressing social problems in Africa. This session will focus on the policy implications of issues pertaining to mental healthcare, sexual and reproductive health, access to childcare services, substance use, and resource extraction, as well as examine the effectiveness of initiatives that have been implemented.

Speakers: Myra Bloom, Marie-Hélène Larochelle, Gillian McGillivray, Gertrude Mianda, Gabriel Levine, Swann Paradis

Modality: In-person - York Hall A-100, Glendon Campus

Presentations from 15:00-17:00 followed by a reception from 17:00-18:00. To reserve your seat please RSVP:

Myra Bloom (English) : « Nelly Arcan confronts ‘the tyranny of beauty »
Marie-Hélène Larochelle (Études françaises) : « Recherche monstrueuse, comprendre les marges de la littérature »
Gillian McGillivray (History) : « Sugar and Power in Brazil »
Gertrude Mianda (Études des femmes et de genre) : « Féminisme africain dans l’espace francophone et la perspective décoloniale »
Gabriel Levine (Drama and Creative Arts) : «Ecology, play, and object-performance »
Swann Paradis (APRGS) : « À propos d’un artéfact exposé au Musée Buffon de Montbard : la ‘‘Nomenclature des singes’’»Event descriptions and translation (if applicable) provided by the host organization and published in authenticity by the Federation.

Speakers: Candis Callison, Deborah McGregor, and Naomi Klein

Modality: Hybrid

  • In-person - Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University
  • Online: register here

The event will feature two distinguished Indigenous researchers and communicators, Candis Callison (Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Journalism, Media, and Public Discourse at UBC) and Deborah McGregor (Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice at York), along with award-winning author and activist Naomi Klein (Professor of Climate Justice at UBC). They will discuss how Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing can make the threat our planet faces from climate change, and ways of confronting it, matter to broader publics both inside and outside the university 

Speakers: Rhonda Lenton, Sapna Sharma, Bernie Derible, Larissa Crawford

Modality: In-person - Seymour Schulich Building-SSB W141

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) capture complex global problems that are going to require cross-sector collaboration joining industry, education, government and practitioners. Universities have a special role to play in facilitating these conversations and cooperation, but also unpacking the implications of the problems and the solutions for diverse stakeholders if we are to advance equity for all. This session looks at promising opportunities from a DEDI lens for strengthening our impact on the UN SDGs.

Speaker: Mark Terry

Modality: In-person - Curtis Lecture Hall A

Mark Terry will be launching his new book titled "The Emerging Role of Geomedia in the Environmental Humanities" in his presentation.

The event is finished.


Saturday, May 27, 2023 - Friday, June 02, 2023


9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Saturday, May 27, 2023 - Friday, June 02, 2023
  • Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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