Panel Schedule | Arts Matters Conference | UNB

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Faculty of Arts
UNB Fredericton

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Panel schedule

All panel presentations will be recorded and shared with presenters. If you do not wish to have your presentation recorded, please alert our panel chair at the beginning of your panel. Presentation recordings will only be shared with conference panelists.

Panel 1

9 - 10 a.m. | Chair: Rose Grant

Title: Standards of Care: Expertise, Authority, and Legitimacy in Trans Health

Abstract: The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) is most widely known for creating the Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People (SOC). What WPATH has done with the SOC is produce expert knowledge through professional consensus of the best ways treat ‘gender dysphoria.’ While WPATH may present itself as the overarching authority on ‘trans health,’ it produces a relatively narrow vision of trans health that reduces the health of an incredibly diverse population to the diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria and managing the effects of gender affirming procedures such as hormones and surgery.

By applying theories of boundary work, expertise, and authority, I find that the SOC constructs a boundary between the science and politics of trans health in an attempt to maintain the objectivity of the science to reinforce the legitimacy of the SOC as set of clinical guidelines. However, the SOC’s role in guiding public and private insurance providers in determining coverage for gender affirming care shows that the document has inherent political consequences.

Title: I Am What I Am: Gender and The Voice

Abstract: As a non-binary singer myself, navigating the deeply gendered world of singing and voice education has always been difficult for me. To help myself understand as both a singer and a future music educator, I have completed research on the tools that a voice professor must have to support singers and students of any gender identity. A voice teacher must have: an accurate understanding of what it means to be transgender, the proper vocabulary to discuss vocal techniques outside of gendered stereotypes, knowledge of the physical aspects of medically transitioning, and knowledge of the psychological and societal challenges faced by transgender singers.

I touch on the topic of genderless vocabulary in vocal instruction by discussing updated language that is becoming more common amongst transgender people themselves, as well as in educational institutions, and by discussing voice feminization and masculinization. I reference multiple articles on the physical effects of hormone therapy and medical transitioning, and how voice instructors can accommodate for students whose voices are changing. Primarily, I discuss how voice instructors can assist students experiencing gender dysphoria, and voice related gender dysphoria, through creating a safe space free of gendered language and gender stereotypes, researching, and promoting prominent transgender classical singers in the field, and working with students to select repertoire that does not make them feel any type of dysphoria.

Title: Queer in Saskatchewan

Abstract: I self-identify as queer and bisexual. I am from Treaty 6 Territory, the Homeland of the Métis. My work is primarily spoken word poetry with a focus on my experiences of being queer in the primarily conservative province of Saskatchewan. It wasn’t until my fourth year of university in 2021 that I began questioning my sexuality when I fell in love with a woman, despite already being in a two-year long relationship with a man. I never questioned my sexuality until then because I was raised to believe that all people are and should be heterosexual. Of course, I was aware of people who did not fit into the social norms of society, such as the queer community, but I lacked the connection to this community.

I found sanctuary in the arts community where people were very accepting of those who may not fit the traditional mold set by dominant culture. I started writing when I began high school, I found that writing helped me to express my emotions and deal with them in a healthy way. When I began university, I stopped writing as I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and an episode of major depressive disorder. Recently, I have started writing again and I would love to be able to share my work with like-minded people who are interested in the experience of a queer person in Saskatchewan.

Title: One Kilometre in my Starving Body

Content note: This audio piece contains direct references to living with anorexia, potentially triggering restrictive eating comments, and lists symptoms experienced after restrictive eating. Audience discretion is advised. If you or anyone you know is experiencing eating disorder patterns, we encourage you to seek help. Eating Disorders Nova Scotia | Chimo Helpline

Abstract: Like many, I developed mental health issues over the course of the pandemic, specifically anorexia nervosa. During my fight against anorexia, I felt like nobody understood what I was going through. I was going through so much guilt, fear, anxiety, depression… It was horrible. I wanted to share my perspective on what it is like living with anorexia. This audio clip was made in response to a prompt in one of my classes. We were told to bring one kilometre to class, so I brought one kilometre of me running on a treadmill from the perspective of where my head was at this time last year.

Everything I say is a direct quote from my journal of my thoughts or things that people said to me. Showing this project to people helped others realize that there is not something wrong with them resulting in body insecurities, but something wrong with the society that tells people that only a certain type of body is acceptable, and if you do not have that body, you should do anything you can to change your own to fit what is deemed “ideal.”

Panel 2

10:10 - 11:10 a.m. | Chair: Fernando Aguilar

Title: Applying Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model as an Historical Tool: A Critical Analysis of New Brunswick Newspaper Coverage on the Russian Revolution, 1917-1920

Abstract: Between 1917 and 1925, numerous local, regional, and provincial labour revolts erupted across Canada. In both New Brunswick and Canada at large, a broad coalition of labour unionists, farmers, primary producers, women, and newly immigrated populations stood side by side to protest the continuation of the Canadian effort in World War I, as well as strike for better wages and enact new forms of industrial unionism. By the Summer of 1919, upwards of 30,000 citizens in Winnipeg held a General Strike. Workers halted the city’s normal functioning and established, for the first time in Canadian history, a self-governed branch of working-class democracy: The Central Strike Committee.

The Canadian labour revolt created unprecedented fissures within state hegemony. Between 1917 and 1920, these fissures coincided with massive eruptions of working-class action during the Russian Revolution, a national event with truly international significance. Activists in Canada wielded ideologies, languages, and strategies borrowed from the Russian experiment, reappropriating them back into the Canadian context. Using Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s Propaganda Model, this presentation investigates the contents of two local newspapers – Fredericton’s Daily Mail and Newcastle’s The Union Advocate – paying careful attention to their constructions of the Russian Revolution between 1917 and 1920.

I argue that, as postulated by Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model, constructions of the Russian Revolution consistently served the interests of the Canadian state and its owning class. Newspaper coverage was in large part directed and mediated by repressive actions undertaken by the Canadian state, including the deportation of Eastern European migrants, the silencing of dissident newspapers, and the mass arrest of labour oriented and left-wing activists.

Title: On Beauty and Communism: The Bilateral Relationship Between Communist Ideas and Our Attention to Beauty

Abstract: : In the second half of the twentieth century, two topics were often excluded from public discourses in the Western world: beauty and communism. The former was considered damaging and distracting, while the latter was seen as anti-democratic and dangerous. This view on beauty changed when Elaine Scarry, in her book On Beauty and Being Just (1999), put forward the argument at the turn of the century that beauty leads to justice. Since then, many writers have taken up and built upon this claim, agreeing that notions of beauty play an important role in our social and political relations. For Scarry, beautiful things assist in increasing our attention to what is fair and just in society, which in turn draws our attention to what is unfair and unjust, to what needs to change.

By applying a Marxist reading to Scarry’s book, I argue that a heightened attention to beauty raises our awareness of the inequalities and injustices inherent in a capitalist system, both in personal wealth and in individual attention. As a result, we seek a system that shows a sense of fair distribution across society, a quality that, according to Scarry, is present in both beauty and justice. I argue that communism is the answer, since attention would no longer be a privilege of the wealthy and everyone would have the same opportunities to appreciate beauty, be it a work of art, a natural environment, or another human being. I conclude that beauty and communism have a mutual relationship; as in, being more attentive to beauty gives rise to communist ideas and principles, while a society built upon the true principles of communism as envisioned by Marx would allow for a greater attention to beauty.

Title: Exploring the Existence of the Essence of Fascism

Abstract: Fascism was prevalent in Europe during the mid-1900’s. Various states or countries held entirely fascist governments, while others had governments that bordered on being fascist. While there is a common understanding that a fascist government has some basic characteristics such as a dictatorial power structure and ultra-conservative views, there are differences in how these fascist governments ruled. Furthermore, there remains a question of whether all these different fascist governments and ways of ruling make fascism in the various countries fundamentally distinct.

This presentation will aim to show how there is a phenomenological essence of fascism by looking at fascist governments in Italy, France and Germany around the Second World War and their similarities, particularly in their anti-Semitic ideologies. This will be done by understanding French anti-Semitism through Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew, Italian fascism through Umberto Eco’s Ur-Fascism and German fascism through Arendt’s work Eichmann in Jerusalem and Winthrop Bell’s espionage report. This analysis will begin by firstly looking at the origins of fascism in these three European countries and then reviewing the anti-Semitic policies of that time period. I will conclude by comparing the representation of fascism in each country to some of Umberto Eco’s underlying principles of fascism.

Title: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples: Two Case Studies in Human Rights Approaches

Abstract: Human rights have been nearly universally recognized in Canada since the Second World War. What has not been agreed upon is what the proper approach should be to achieving them on the world stage. Using the debate surrounding two major UN Declarations – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) – this paper outlines the primary approaches taken by Canadian governments to these declarations and their approach to human rights more broadly.

In the case of the UDHR, I will contrast the pragmatism of global affairs minister Lester B. Pearson with the rights-based approach of John P. Humphrey, the declaration’s drafter. Pearson and others in his circle believed food and security to be more practical guarantees of human rights while Humphrey believed that international soft power also had the ability to improve living conditions globally. In the case of UNDRIP, I will show how it has been adopted domestically by certain Indigenous groups to demand the recognition of their rights.

I will also contend that the breaking of precedent to ratify the internationally non-binding agreement amounts to merely a symbolic victory and achieves very little in bridging the actual human rights gap experienced by Indigenous Canadians. For this reason, UNDRIP should be followed by drastic financial and social measures to ensure its principles are met.

Panel 3

11:20 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. | Chair: Indhu Iyengar

Title: Trauma-Informed Activities for Children Who Have Been Exposed to Domestic Violence

Content note: This presentation will touch on the effects of family/domestic violence. For info on resources/support on domestic violence, see Liberty Lane or contact the Chimo Helpline.

Abstract: Family violence affects children across Canada and has been affecting the population at endemic rates. “Among child and youth victims, approximately 16,200 (30%) were victims of family violence perpetrated by a parent, a sibling, a spouse or another type of family member” (Stats Can, para. 8). Family violence has affected children’s development, emotional, and physical health and needs intervention at an early age in order to break the cycle of violence. However, not many children receive the intervention that they need to develop healthy relationships and work towards developing social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills. Because these violent crimes may go unreported, there is a significant need in developing programs for children who have been exposed to violence. These programs exist at Liberty Lane, a second stage housing program for individuals and their children who have been exposed to domestic violence. As the Children’s Program Assistant, I have been working on developing a trauma-informed binder of activities titled “Trauma-Informed Activities and Tools for Children and Youth” that enriches the children’s program and will help children develop the skills that they need in life to cope with the violence that they have experienced. This binder has been developed with the use of research articles surrounding the topic of family violence as well as materials that have been developed to target specific issues. These topics include anger management, anxiety management, resiliency, coping skills, emotional regulation, identity development, mindfulness, self-awareness, self-assertiveness, self-esteem, and social skills. This binder is also divided into sections that pertain to children aged 2-5, children aged 6-12, and children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This work is important as it outlines activities, tools, and strategies that foster recovering from trauma. In addition, doing these programs will allow the cycle of violence to be broken. Children are the next generation, and it is important for them to develop the skills that they need to recover from their trauma.

Title: Valuing Care and Feminized Labour: A Transnational Feminist Analysis of Job Quality in the Community Care Sector

Abstract: It is widely recognized by feminist scholars that care work is significantly undervalued and under-recognized. This is precisely because it is a feminized field and provided by workers who are predominantly women and racialized individuals (see e.g., Kelly et al., 2020; The Care Collective, 2020; Milner et al., 2019; ILO and OECD, 2019). This position underpins a SSHRC Partnership Engage research project with the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity entitled, Valuing Work in Community and Social Care in New Brunswick Through International Perspectives.

This collaborative research project explores how the systems and structures that serve to fund and deliver care work create, reinforce, and perpetuate undervalued and poor-quality employment in the community care sector in New Brunswick, across Canada, and internationally. This presentation provides an overview of the fragmentation of the sector, its effects on employment, and its local and global impact. This presentation will consider the issue of fragmentation, also coined as isolation or silo-ing, through a transnational feminist approach and an intersectional lens. Transnational feminism, a theory emphasizing the deep-rooted linkages between the local and the global, and intersectionality, an analysis that pays attention to identities, power relations, and systems and structures, both highlight the broad scope of fragmentation of the sector. Elements of fragmentation such as the isolation community care workers face, the divisiveness instilled among professions within the sector, and the impact of global care chains in the workforce all serve to trap workers in precarious jobs and to maintain the status quo of under-valuing feminized labour. Ultimately, this piece is an addition to the critical discussions that have been occurring internationally for the past decade on the care crisis—a crisis that has existed and affected many long before the upheaval of the Covid-19 pandemic—and argues that the fragmentation of care work must be addressed as part of a global response to improving community care.

Title: Arching Willows

Abstract: L'Arche Fredericton is a branch of the international organization named L’Arche which aims to offer an alternative form of community for folks with and without intellectual disabilities. A fairly young community, L’Arche Fredericton has already proven its worth in New Brunswick’s capital city. It provides a safe and friendly place for individuals to experience true community while challenging the barriers in society which forces ‘non-conformists’ to the margins.

L’Arche Fredericton has worked to break down these barriers and to share their community through various projects, including a video series which is the center of this presentation. The video that will be presented, titled “Arching Willows,” was designed as a preview for the entire video series that L’Arche Fredericton is producing. It highlights themes which define L’Arche so to create a greater awareness and appreciation of the beauty and joy of the organization. In turn, the “Arching Willows” video series aims to contribute towards forming a healthy and inclusive community.

Panel 4

3:15 - 4:15 p.m. | Chair: Arti Prajapati

Title: Black women in engineering: The influence of race, gender, and education level on hiring decisions

Abstract: In 2017, women represented less than 30% of all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations in the United States (e.g., National Science Foundation, 2019). Of these occupations, engineering had one of the lowest representations of women (15.6%) (National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, 2017). Although the number of women within STEM is increasing, Black women continue to be an enigma. During the same year, Black women represented less than 3% of all STEM and 0.6% of engineering occupations (e.g., National Science Foundation, 2019). If women are increasing in numbers across STEM fields, then why are Black women still struggling with gaining access to these occupations? Are Black women perceived and judged differently than other job candidates?

The current study aims to answer these questions by examining how a candidate’s race (Black vs. White), gender (woman vs. man), and education level (Bachelor of Science vs. Master of Science) influences how others perceive them during the hiring process for an engineering position. In this study, individuals who self-identified as men, resided in North America, and worked in a STEM field were recruited as participants via Prolific. It was hypothesized that Black candidates would be rated as less hireable, likeable, and competent than their White counterparts; however, the effect of race would be stronger in the woman candidate condition. To test these hypotheses, a 2 (race: Black vs. White) X 2 (gender: man’s name vs. woman’s name) X 2 (education level: Bachelor of Science vs. Master of Science) multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) will be conducted, with perceived hireability, likeability, and competence as the main dependent variables. Relevant findings will be discussed during this presentation. This research is important as we could gain a better understanding of racism and sexism in the workforce.

Title: How do people express sympathy? A content analysis of American sympathy cards

Abstract: Cultural differences exist in the expression of compassion (Koopmann-Holm et al., 2021), such as how people convey sympathy toward grieving others (Koopmann-Holm & Tsai, 2014). We conducted a content analysis of sympathy messages in cultural artifacts, namely sympathy/bereavement cards. American sympathy cards were collected from the “sympathy” section of a public online catalogue belonging to one of the largest greeting card companies in North America: Hallmark.

We examined the contents of American cards for their emphasis on the following measures: approach and avoidance (Hamamura et al., 2009; Roth & Cohen, 1986), independence and interdependence (Triandis, 1989a; Markus & Kitayama, 1991ab), and level of person centeredness (McCullough et al., 2019). We expected that the messages would be reflective of and intertwined with the cultural values of a given society. Thus, we hypothesized that the cards’ messages would reflect Western/individualistic cultural values in the context of bereavement. Preliminary results from our analysis will be presented at the conference. Findings, as well as future directions, will be discussed from the cultural psychology perspective.

Title: Diary of a Mad Black Woman (Presentation of artwork)

Abstract: From Jola: “I asked a friend based out of Canada to give a journal response on Afrikoko, Calabar chic and Weird confidence and he offered this: “Jola's artwork is characterized by an innovative and versatile use of imagery, textures, doodles, abstract art and mark making. Spontaneity is a key factor that accompanies his creative vision.””

In my unique and compelling hyper realistic pencil portraits I try to capture fragments from my observations in real life so rather than depicting humanity as the way we see it in pure reality, I decided to demonstrate its inner emotion, intricacy and how that plays a role in everyday life. In these works, I emphasize a time when Black women have felt an innate need to leave their individual mark in the world.

About the series: Mad in the Mad Black Woman only emphasizes the grievances of this woman, how equality is not a thing even in the civilised world, how they suffer for the barest minimum and find it difficult to get to the top of the food chain, how they are perceived as the weaker vessel and how they strive to be brave, work hard and turn the opinions around - that's the whole idea of the Mad. The rage which motivates them to push.

They are beautiful, strong, moral, confident, willing to fight for their goals rather than stay silent, they have beautiful natural hair, melanin popping skins, moderately made up, and ready to set on the world as the sky is their starting point. They are the Mad black woman and this is the Diary.

Title: Space Girl and equality (Presentation of artwork)

Abstract: Equality is something that is fundamental and very important to me as a young black woman growing up in a world with well defined fault lines around race, ethnicity, and class.

I believe that as human beings we are all equal no matter the colour of our skin, our gender, or our class. We are the same. Space girl represents that principle.

Each character is painted with different skin tones because they are from different races but that does not make one race inferior or the other race superior to the other. We are one.

My digital painting which I have titled "Space Girl and Equality" represents peace, equality and happiness which is something I strive for in this world battling as it does today with the consequences of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Everyday, I try to help someone around me or to do something good that will have a positive impact in another person's life because little acts of kindness help to make the world we live in better. The bright colours and flowers in the work represent happiness and joy which is what we need especially now when so many sad things are going on in the world. The cartoon inspired characters are for us to remember the child in us and recall the happiness and carefreeness of childhood. I want people to smile when they look at this, to feel this sort of happiness and peace and to also create their own happy place in their minds. I hope this painting serves its purpose and inspires others to make a change and strive to make the world a better place.

Thank you for this great opportunity to present my artwork.