Thank you to All of our participants for another great event!

The 7th Annual Ethnic and Pluralism Studies Graduate Research Conference was held on January 30-31, 2014 at the Munk School of Global Affairs. We received a great number of proposals for this year’s conference, and a careful selection process produced 7 thematic sessions with a total of 22 presentations (full program details here). The result was another high-quality academic event, with a wonderful audience turnout and participation

Every year, we are very fortunate to have a group of discussants who are experts in the field of ethnic studies and are willing to dedicate their time to our conference. Their thoughtful and thorough comments provide great feedback to the presenters, and their presence is certainly one of the most notable characteristics of our event.

Another trait unique to our conference is the involvement of our student organizers. Students from our Ethnic and Pluralism Collaborative Graduate Program serve on the steering committee, and take part in the proposal selection and organizing of the thematic sessions. This year all of the sessions were chaired by members of the student committee, and some of them were also presenters during the conference. That is why you will see their names appear repeatedly in the following summary. Thank you Amartya, Amrita, Barbara, David, Elena, Hafeeza, Marie-Pier, Naomi, and Nadia.

Day One: January 30, 2014

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The conference started with two papers on “MIGRATION” by Mabel Ho (Sociology, University of Western Ontario) and Sarah Misu Lee (Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto).The session was chaired by Amartya Biswas (CERES, University of Toronto) and Professor Hae Yeon Choo (Sociology, University of Toronto) served as discussant.

We then moved on to the session on “INTEGRATION”, chaired by Naomi Lightman (OISE,University of Toronto). Professor Randall Hansen (Director of CERES, University of Toronto) commented on four papers, by Raluca Bejan (Social Work, University of Toronto), Maria Teresa Cappiali (Political Science, Universite de Montreal), Natasha Miletic (CERES, University of Toronto) and Beesan Sarrouh (Political Studies, Queen’s University). Raluca and Beesan are both repeat presenters at the EPS conference: we are very proud that students choose our conference to present their work repeatedly throughout the course of their studies.

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P1030309The conference moved across the street to Massey College where Professor Barrington Walker (History, Queen’s University) gave the keynote lecture in the Upper Library. Professor Walker is a graduate of the University of Toronto, and specializes in the study of Black Canadian history, legal history and the histories of race and immigration in Canada.

His talk “Colonizing Nation: Historicizing the Canadian Racial State” drew a capacity crowd, and generated a very animated Q&A session. Here is an excerpt from the lecture abstract: “This talk, based on two current book projects, will focus upon the interlocking histories of race, colonization and immigration in Canada from the era of European colonization to the late twentieth century. It poses one central question: what was the relationship between the history of colonization in Canada and its histories of race and immigration? Beginning with a critical examination of First Nations history, immigration historiography and the history of state racism in Canada, this talk problematizes one of the central motifs’ of Canadian immigration history: the innocent notion of the immigrant arriving upon and settling empty lands“. For more details on the talk and speaker bio, please see the event poster




Session 3 on “IMMIGRATION LAW AND POLICY” was held back in Room 108N at the Munk School of Global Affairs. The discussant, Dr Stephanie Silverman (Osgoode Hall Law School, York University), was herself a former presenter at the EPS conference. Hafeeza Murji (CERES, University of Toronto) chaired the session. The three presenters were John Carlaw (Political Science, York University), Trevor Corkum (Leadership, Adult and Higher Education, University of Toronto) and Sybil Thompson (Osgoode Hall, York University).



Day Two: January 31, 2014

Professor Jeffrey G. Reitz, Director of the Harney Program in Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies, served as discussant for Session 4 on “HEALTH”. Another student from our EPS Collaborative Program and repeat presenter at the conference, Barbara Lee (Social Work, University of Toronto) was the session chair.  Anna Durbin (Institute of Health Management, University of Toronto), Kuldeep Grewal (History, University of Toronto), Marie Pier Joly (Sociology, University of Toronto) and Amrita Kumar-Ratta (Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto) presented their work in this session.








Stephanie Bojarski (Education, Queen’s University), Kate Partridge (HSSSJE, University of Toronto) and Elena Prokopenko (Sociology, University of Toronto) were the presenters for Session 5 on “EDUCATION”. Hafeeza Murji once again chaired the session and Professor Diane Farmer (HSSSJE, University of Toronto) provided the comments.








The theme of Session 5 was “COMMUNITY”. Chaired by Amrita Kumar-Ratta and with Professor Jack Veugelers (Sociology, University of Toronto) as discussant, we heard presentations by Mariam Rashidi (Public Policy, Ryerson University) and Marc-Yvan Valade (Policy Studies, Ryerson University) in this session. Mariam is also a return presenter.









It is interesting that the last session of the conference often turns out to be one of the liveliest. This year Session 7 on “IDENTITY” was chaired by David Martineau (CERES, University of Toronto) and had Professor Daniyal Zuberi as discussant. Amartya Biswas, Nadia Eldermerdash (Political Science, University of Toronto), Amirta Kaudher (Social Anthropology, York University) and Jonathan Neufeld (CERES, University of Toronto) gave their presentations, and provided a great ending for the 7th Annual EPS conference.








Thank you again to all the presenters, discussants, session chairs and members of the student conference.We hope that you can all join us again for our 8th Annual Conference in January 2015!


Written by Momo Kano Podolsky