By KelleyAnne Malinen
GenderFugeDec 03, 2019
Responsibization in the Canadian jails and prisons
Ashley Avery is a queer feminist, advocate, mother, and poet. She is currently the executive director of Coverdale Courtwork Society, a non-profit community-based organization that provides support to women and gender diverse people who are involved in the criminal justice system. She holds an Honours Diploma in Social Service Work from Seneca College as well as a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women’s Studies from Mount Saint Vincent University. Ashley is also in Graduate school, studying for a Masters in Women & Gender Studies under the supervision of El Jones and Dr. Rachel Zellers. In 2020, her work to support the exodus of over 41% of the jail population in response to covid-19 won the Michael McDonald Access to Justice Award.
We also have Robert Clarke with us today. During his career with Corrections Canada, Robert Clark rose through the ranks from student volunteer to deputy warden. He worked with some of Canada’s most notorious prisoners, including Tyrone Conn and Paul Bernardo, and he dealt with escapes, lockdowns, murders, suicides, and a riot. But he also arranged ice hockey games in a maximum-security institution, sat in a darkened gym watching movies with three hundred inmates, took parolees sightseeing, and consoled victims of violent crime.
In his monograph Down Inside, Clark takes readers into prisons large and small, from the minimum-security Pittsburgh Institution to the Kingston Regional Treatment Center for the mentally ill and the notorious (and now closed) maximum-security Kingston Penitentiary. He challenges head-on the popular belief that a “tough on crime” approach makes communities and prisons safer, arguing instead for humane treatment and rehabilitation and for an end to the abuse of solitary confinement.
Robert Clark began his career with Corrections Canada in 1980, working in the gymnasium at the medium-security Joyceville Institution. Over the next thirty years, he worked at seven different federal prisons and in almost every conceivable role. Robert lives in Kingston Ontario.
Before drafting questions for this podcast, students read the “I’m very careful about that: narrative and agency of men in prison,” a 2006 article by the late John P. McKendy.”
Women's Weightlifting with Amanda Thompson
Students have contributed the questions which I will ask today's guest, Amanda Thompson, based on their readings of course materials including the classic feminist phenomenological article “Throwing Like a Girl,” by Iris Marion Young.
Amanda is a Chartered Professional Coach in Olympic Weightlifting. Amanda is NCCP Competition Development Certified in Weightlifting, as well as an NCCP Learning Facilitator and Coach Evaluator, among other fitness related certifications. She sits as the VP Administration for our PSO (provincial sport organization) the NS Weightlifting Association. Through Amanda’s club, the Hubtown Weightlifting Club, she has produced National level competitors in all age categories. She has founded an annual women’s event titled “Women in Weightlifting” which brought high level female role models to NS to work with our athletes. She also founded a youth weightlifting program, one of the only few in the province. Amanda is incredibly passionate for moving women forward in sport at all levels. She sits on a committee with our NSO (national sport organization) titled The Committee for the Advancement of Women in Weightlifting and participates in a provincial task force aimed at advancing women in sport. Additionally, Amanda is a Canadian Women in Sport (formerly CAAWS) learning facilitator.
Supporting women, girls, trans, non-binary and Two-Spirit persons affected by the criminal justice system: From the establishment of Coverdale to Covid-19Ashley Avery
Ashley Avery is executive director of Coverdale Courtwork Society, a non profit organization that supports women, girls, trans, non-binary and Two-Spirit persons affected by the criminal justice system.
Before joinging Coverdale, she worked in the Mental Health field in Toronto, ON and then in Halifax, NS in facilities supporting women experiencing homelessness and women transitioning from prison to the community. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies from Mount Saint Vincent University. Ashley has completed numerous trainings and certifications in the areas of Mental Health, Trauma Informed Practice and Counselling. She is involved in SSHRC funded research that is studying the causes and consequences of breaching court orders for women in the criminal justice system in Nova Scotia. She has also worked supporting the transformation of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia to the new Access to Justice & Law Reform Institute of Nova Scotia. In addition to these roles, is a feminist writer, poet and advocate living in KJIPUKTUK (Halifax). She is a former member of the Hali Slam team and a competitor at the 2017 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.
In preparation for this interview, students read John McKendy’s 2006 article "I’m very careful about that: narrative and agency of men in prison."
This interview is the first recorded online rather than in the classroom due to social distancing measures taken in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The quality of the recording is likely to be compromised somewhat by this situation.
McKendy, J. (2006). I’m very careful about that: narrative and agency of men in prison, Discourse & Society, 17(4): 473-502.
Racism in Nova Scotia's Criminal Justice System - Robert Wright
"Robert Seymour Wright is a Social Worker and Sociologist whose 29 year career has spanned the fields of education, child welfare, forensic mental health, trauma, sexual violence, and cultural competence. A 'clinician/academic/administrator,' he has always integrated his work delivering direct practice clinical service to clients with teaching and supervising interns, and promoting lasting systemic change through social policy advocacy. He also consults, trains, speaks and comments on a wide range of issues. His extensive pro bono work gave birth to The Peoples' Counselling Clinic, a non-profit mental health clinic. His pioneering work with colleagues in cultural competence and conducting cultural assessments has received national attention." In preparation for today's interview, students from SOAN 3501 watched documentaries about the Central Park Five and read Duru's 2004 article entitled "The Central Park Five, The Scottsboro Boys, and the Myth of the Bestial Black Man." This myth, described by Duru as "deeply embedded in the American psyche" and the American Criminal Justice System frames Black men as "animalistic, sexually unrestrained, and ultimately bent on rape" (p. 1315).
Duru (2004, March). The Central Park Five, The Scottsboro Boys, and the Myth of the Bestial Black Man, The Cardozo Law Review, pp. 1-41.
Wet’suwet’ten, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Indigenous and Colonial Law - Patti Doyle Bedwell
Patti Doyle Bedwell is a Lawyer, writer, and the first Mi’Kmaq woman to earn tenure at Dalhousie University, as well as being Dalhousie Law School’s first teacher of Mi’kmaq ancestry. She is past director of the Schulich School of Law’s Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Initiative, and is now a faculty member in the College of Continuing Education. She served as the Chair of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women for ten years. She has worked closely with Mi’kmaq communities, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Women and the Law, and with the United Nations on Women and Aboriginal rights. Patti has taught Indigenous People and International Human rights, Indigenous Peoples and Natural Resources, Constitutional Law, Public Law, and Aboriginal Peoples and the Law.
Students prepared for this interview by reading “Gendered Racial Violence and Spatialized Justice: The Murder of Pamela George,” by Sherene Razack and by watching the film Kanehsatake: 270 years of Resistance, directed by Alanis Obomsawin. Students in this class typically create our interview guides based on their readings, but the timeslot when they would normally have done so for this interview overlapped with the National Student Walkout for Wet’suwet’ten. Consequently, we cancelled class, and I was left to my own device.
Rainbow Refugees of Nova Scotia - Emma Cameron
Today, using a student-generated interview guide, I will be having a conversation with Emma Cameron. Emma is a graduate student in health promotion at Dalhousie University. For her thesis, she is examining The Postnatal Healthcare Experiences of Resettled Syrian Refugees in Nova Scotia. Today, we are primarily interested in Emma’s work with the Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia.
Students prepared for creating this interview guide by reading “Homonationalism as Assemblage: Viral Travels, Affectives Sexualities,” a 2015 article by Jasbir K. Puar. Students created interview questions that in many cases were informed by the Puar reading but that would nonetheless make sense to listeners unfamiliar with this work.
The Pink Dumbbell Problem - Terri Roberts
Today, using a student-generated interview guide, I will be having a conversation with Terri Roberts. Terri is currently a part-time graduate student at MSVU working on her MA in Women & Gender Studies. Her thesis, The Pink Dumbbell Problem, is about gender and agnotology in the fitness education industry. She is a full time fitness instructor and is also a course conductor for the Nova Scotia Fitness Association. Her side-gig is writing children's books about Celtic mythology which introduce the Gaelic language.
Students prepared for creating this interview guide by reading “Throwing like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment Motility and Spatiality,” Published by Iris Marion Young in 1980. To quote Young, her paper “seeks to begin to fill a gap that […] exists in existential phenomenology and feminist theory. It traces in a provisional way some of the basic modalities of feminine body comportment, manner of moving, and relation in space. It brings intelligibility and significance to certain observable and rather ordinary ways in which women in our society typically comport themselves and move differently from the ways that men do.” Young is interested in the embodiment of norms experienced by women who are, quote, “situated in contemporary advanced industrial, urban, and commercial society.” She argues that even the experiences of women in our society who live against feminine norms of body comportment have their lives situated and given meaning by these norms.
Students created interview questions that in many cases were informed by the Young reading but that would nonetheless make sense to listeners unfamiliar with Young’s work.
Drag and Burlesque - Martell and Kulczycki - 23 October, 2019
Welcome to the podcast Genderfuge, recorded in Gender & Society, a Sociology & Anthropology Class at Mount Saint Vincent University.
Today, using a student-generated interview guide, KelleyAnne interviews Kelly Martell and Rena Kulczycki.
Kelly (also known and Ka, The Lady Corbeau, Beau Raven) is a 31 year old born in Halifax. She and has worked in various areas from photography, management, sex work and full time performing arts. She is a full time burlesque dancer as well as dabbles in drag.
Rena is a 2nd Gen, mixed race settler in K'jipuktuk who makes a living as a facilitator of community youth development along with other freelance facilitation work. They have been exploring and performing gender through drag as Tai Europe and Friskie Business for five years. Rena is also an enormous fan of Kelly's work!
Storying the Land - Pictou - 6 November, 2019
As always, today’s genderfuge intervie takes place in a Sociology & Anthropology Class at Mount Saint Vincent University - Gender & Society. Today, using a student-generated interview guide, KelleyAnne interviews Sherry Pictou.
Sherry Pictou is a Mi’kmaw woman from Ľsɨtkuk (water cuts through high rocks), known as Bear River First Nation, Nova Scotia, and an assistant professor with a focus on Indigenous feminism in the Women’s Studies Department at Mount Saint Vincent University. She is also a former chief for her community and the former co-chair of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples. Her research interests are decolonization of treaty relations, social justice for Indigenous women, Indigenous women’s role in food and lifeways, and Indigenous knowledge and food systems.
To prepare for this interview, our students viewed the film “We Story the Land” produced by Martha Stiegman and Sherry Pictou.
Othermothers - Shoboiki - 9 October, 2019
In this episode of the Genderfuge podcast, recorded in Gender & Society, a Sociology & Anthropology Class at Mount Saint Vincent University, KelleyAnne interviews Abimbola Shoboiki. Abimbola recently graduated with a Master's degree in Women and Gender Studies from Mount Saint Vincent University. Her research interests include Black identity, Autoethnography, Africentricity, Storytelling, women, gender and social justice. Our class prepared for this interview by reading two chapters from Abimbola’s thesis about the tradition of Othermothering.
The Bogus BDSM Defense - Chanelle Gallant & Andrea Zanin - 2 October, 2019
Welcome to the first Genderfuge podcast, recorded in Gender & Society, a Sociology & Anthropology Class at Mount Saint Vincent University.
In this podcast, using a student-generated interview guide, KelleyAnne interviews Chanelle Gallant and Andrea Zanin. The conversation focuses on BDSM and the "Bogus BDSM Defense" - a phenomenon whereby defendants in sexual assault cases frame their violence as consensual kink. Gallant and Zanin argue that this strategy works best when used by defendants who hold social privilege and who are accused of sexually assaulting women who are socially marginalized, such is racialized, indigenous, and/or sex working women.
Chanelle Gallant is a long-time organizer, trainer, and writer with a focus on sex and justice. Her writing has appeared in MTV News, TruthOut, the Rumpus, Bitch magazine, and various anthologies. For over a decade, she has organized to build the power of people in the sex trade and to end policing and prisons. In 2016, she helped found the first chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice outside of the United States. She is working on her first book, a theory of sexual labour.
Andrea Zanin is a queer writer, scholar, teacher, community organizer and expert witness who focuses on the ethics of BDSM/leather and non-monogamy. She has been published in Globe and Mail, Bitch, and Ms. Magazines, and many anthologies, both popular and scholarly. Andrea was named Toronto Leather Pride Woman of the Year 2014 and won the Pantheon of Leather Canadian Award for 2016. She is currently working on a book and plans to return to finish her PhD in gender, feminist, and women’s studies at York University.