Open events
Event #1111

Invisible to Visible: A Symposium of Contract Faculty Work


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

09:00 - 17:30
Add to your calendar
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre - IBLC 301 LILLOOET
UBC workshops
English | anglais
This open event is hosted by

At this Symposium, UBC’s Contract Faculty will present their discipline-specific research, as well as innovations in pedagogical practices. The Symposium will provide an opportunity for Contract Faculty at UBC to give research-based papers on specific disciplines and on pedagogical practices, offer a teaching workshop, and showcase their research in an accompanying special exhibition of publications. Panels on topics such as academic freedom and marginalization will present collaborative work between Contract Faculty from UBC and other Canadian campuses. Despite many challenges, Contract Faculty members at UBC have produced impressive research in many fields, and are at the forefront of excellence in shaping student learning and experience. This Symposium is intended to transform Contract Faculty work from invisibility to shining visibility.

9:00: Registration
9:30 – 10:00: Welcome addresses
10:00 – 10:45: Keynote Panel #1: Academic Freedom: Catherine Douglas, Sarika Bose, Rhiannon Don
10:45 – 11:00: Coffee
11:00 – 11:15: David Brownstein: “The surprising origins of coastal British Columbia reforestation efforts, 1915-1939” 
11:20 – 11:35: Jillian Lerner: “Inducing Attention: The Battery, Camera, and Irritable Cadaver of Dr. Duchenne”
11:40 – 11:55: Ruth Lowe-Walker: “Diversity and Pluralism in Multicultural Contexts: Legal Cases without Precedent”
12:00 – 13:00: Lunch
13:00 – 13:45: Keynote Panel #2: Marginalization and Invisibility: Charmaine Gorrie, Jennifer Gagnon, Sarika Bose
13:50 – 14:05: Xueshun Liu: ““Invisible” grammar in Mandarin Chinese class as illustrated by the example of “hěn cháng tóufa de rén””
14:10 – 14:25: Catherine Douglas: “Integrating Indigenous Perspectives in Economics Education”
14:30 – 15:30: Laila Ferreira and Jennifer Gagnon: “Strategies for integrating diversity through UDL: Inclusive classroom practices and course design for contract faculty”
15:30 – 15:45: Coffee 
15:50 – 16:05: Mary-Ann Saunders: “Possible Bodies in Julie Taymor’s (Transgender) Tempest”
16:10 – 16:25: Gisele Baxter: “Beyond Textual Poachers: Fan Fiction and Fan Culture in the Digital Age”
16:30 – 16:45: Brett Grubisic: “"A Gift of Yuban": A Reading”
16:50 – 17:05: Dale Throness: “Interpretations of Song”
17:05 – 17:30: Final Remarks
19:00: No Host Dinner (optional) 
All-Day: Contract Academic Publications: An Exhibition
Presenter Biographies
Gisele Baxter: Dr. Baxter has taught sessionally at UBC since 1997. Her research interests include 19th-21st century literary and cultural studies, Gothic studies, dystopian and post-apocalyptic narratives, and children’s literature. She is co-editor, with Brett Grubisic and Tara Lee, of Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase: Contemporary North American Dystopian Literature.
Sarika Bose: Sarika Bose specializes in Victorian drama and in British Children’s Literature, and teaches in the Department of English Languages and Literatures at UBC. Her most recent book-length publication has been an edition of Dion Boucicault’s The Octoroon, a Victorian anti-slavery melodrama. She is the Contract Faculty Committee Chair at the UBC Faculty Association, the Contract Academic Staff Committee Chair at the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), and a CAUT Executive Committee member. Some of her latest research has been on marginalization, academic labour and academic freedom, on which she has presented papers at conferences across North America.
David Brownstein: David Brownstein is an historical geographer and the Principal of Klahanie Research Ltd. David has been a UBC sessional instructor since 2005, presently in both the Geography and History departments. In 2018 he co-authored a commissioned corporate history of the BC Truck Loggers Association, and is at present co-editing a series of books on Canada's forest history.
Rhiannon Don: Rhiannon Don has worked as an instructor in English Studies at Nipissing University since 2007, where she teaches first-year writing to a variety of different student cohorts. She has been serving on the CAUT CAS Committee for 3 years. Outside of teaching, she is committed to improving the working conditions of contract academics. She is also an avid knitter and curler.
Catherine Douglas: Catherine Douglas is a Lecturer in the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia. The emphasis of her teaching, research and community engagement is on the causes of economic growth, with a particular focus on sustainable development. This interest in the deeper forces determining economic outcomes inspires her interest in the implications of colonial legacies and the need to bring a more inclusive and representative lens to the topics of her economics courses.
Laila Ferreira: Laila Ferreira is a lecturer in ASRW and teaches academic writing and research to both first and upper-level students in the Faculty of Arts and Vantage College. From the distinct but interlinked disciplines of literary, writing and disability studies, Dr. Laila Ferreira conducts research and contributes to pedagogical initiatives that work towards creating the conditions for a fully inclusive scholarly community.
Jennifer Gagnon: Jennifer Gagnon (PhD, Political Science) is a sessional lecturer in Political Science at UBC and the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for the educational programming of the AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre. Her research is interdisciplinary and embraces a broad range of topics in political theory, classics, disability studies, feminism, and gender. Her main area of research is in the intersections between ancient political thought and disability studies, especially as it concerns gender, inclusion and exclusion, violence, and visible and invisible disabilities. With the AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre, she facilitates workshops and campus engagement on issues related to sexual assault awareness and supporting survivors. 
Charmaine Gorrie: Charmaine Gorrie received her PhD in Classics from the University of British Columbia and has been teaching in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies at UBC since 1996. Her research focuses on the Severan period, but she teaches in many areas of the ancient world. She is a member of the Contract Faculty Committee of the Faculty Association at UBC.
Brett Grubisic: A resident of Salt Spring Island, Brett Josef Grubisic teaches at UBC. An editor or co-editor of four collections, he has published scholarly books, chapters, and articles. A frequent reviewer, he also publishes short fiction and novels, including The Age of Cities, From Up River and For One Night Only, Oldness; Or, the Last-Ditch Efforts of Marcus O, and "The Final Appearance of Victoria Grunt."
Jillian Lerner: Jillian Lerner teaches art history at UBC and Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her research on nineteenth-century visual culture has been published in History of Photography, Grey Room, and Oxford Art Journal. Dr. Lerner is the author of Graphic Culture: Illustration and Artistic Enterprise in Paris, 1830-1848. Her current book project on early photography is under contract with Bloomsbury.
Xueshun Liu: Xueshun Liu has been teaching in the Department of Asian Studies at UBC since 2000. He received his PhD in Asian Studies from UBC in 2005. His research interests include Chinese language pedagogy, Classical Chinese poetry from the Tang to Qing Dynasty, oracle bone inscriptions, ancient Chinese astronomy, and early Chinese civilization.
Mary Ann Saunders: Mary Ann Saunders teaches courses in research writing, literature, and transgender studies at the University of British Columbia. Her teaching and research interests include the application of trans-informed pedagogies in the writing classroom, marginalized youth in children’s and YA fiction, and trans representation in literature and other media.
Dale Throness: Trained in Canada and England, lyric baritone Dale Throness teaches voice in the Department of Music. An in-demand performer around the Lower Mainland, he has sung many operatic roles, as well as Brahms’ lieder and choral solo parts in Brahms and Fauré’s requiems.
Paper and Presentation Abstracts
David Brownstein
Title: “The surprising origins of coastal British Columbia reforestation efforts, 1915-1939”
After the First World War, the British government appealed to Canada for tree seed to replant the devastated European countryside. As British Columbia exported thousands of pounds of tree seed overseas, local harvesting technology evolved in ways that made natural forest regeneration on the coast impossible. Formerly unthinkable hand planting of trees became an imperative, so the system meant for foreign reforestation was retooled for local use and set in action by 1940.
Jillian Lerner
Title: "Inducing Attention: The Battery, Camera, and Irritable Cadaver of Dr. Duchenne"
This paper explores photographic portraits made by a French neurologist in the 1850s. Dr. Duchenne used a battery and a camera to produce visual evidence for his treatise on The Mechanism of Human Expression. He also elected to pose alongside the malleable patient he described as an "irritable cadaver." In these peculiar self-portraits Duchenne demonstrates his control over the patient’s body and experimental conditions. But to what extent can the doctor control the signals sent by his own affect or by the photograph? What concepts of expression and attention, body and soul, human and machine are in play?
Ruth Lowe-Walker
Title: “Diversity and Pluralism in Multicultural Contexts: Legal Cases without Precedent"
I’m currently working on the problem of hard cases in the legal system. These are cases that have no legal precedent and as a result, cannot be determined by case law. New law is the result, but how is this new law justified? There have been a variety of theoretical responses to this question. H L A Hart seemed to suggest judicial ‘discretion’ was in some sense arbitrary, others suggest moral principles play a significant role in these decisions and still others deny that there is a distinction between simple and hard cases. My current research considers the ramifications of these theoretical approaches for minority rights claims in constitutional democracies.
Xueshun Liu
Title: “Invisible” grammar in Mandarin Chinese class as illustrated by the example of “hěn cháng tóufa de rén”
When students utter an expression that is ungrammatical, teachers who find it difficult to explain why it is so tend to tell students just to stop using the expression. This talk argues that “non-explanation” is insufficient in Chinese language teaching. For instance, the structure “hěn cháng tóufa de rén” is not a standard Mandarin Chinese expression. While a clear explanation is absent from textbooks, with a fair amount of research it can be demonstrated that it is not in agreement with two rules of Chinese grammar. Whenever possible, teachers should provide clear grammar explanations—“invisible” in textbooks—than simply ask students to avoid ungrammatical expressions.
Catherine Douglas 
Title: Integrating Indigenous Perspectives in Economics Education
Indigenous perspectives are largely absent in undergraduate Economics education in Canada, a reflection of their limited presence in the discipline altogether. This talk will provide a brief account of strategies aimed at mending this gap in several Economics courses taught at UBC’s Vancouver School of Economics. More specifically, the presentation will point to possible reasons for this absence; the importance of institutional acknowledgement of the problem; support for faculty and cross-disciplinary peer learning and networking; as well as the role of specific pedagogical strategies such as the integration of interdisciplinary research and methodologies in the curriculum, guest speakers and experiential learning.
Laila Ferreira and Jennifer Gagnon
Title: “Strategies for integrating diversity through UDL: Inclusive classroom practices and course design for contract faculty”
Workshop Abstract
As contract faculty we often do not have the time and resources for professional development. We also might find ourselves overwhelmed with our course loads and the diverse needs of our students. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an empirically proven educational framework emphasizing that accessibility and inclusivity begin with changes to curriculum that are responsive to students’ needs. Instead of juggling student accommodations on an individual basis, UDL provides design principles that benefit all learners while alleviating barriers for students with disabilities, culturally diverse learners, and students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Workshop participants will leave with specific, manageable strategies and resources to apply UDL in their own teaching and course design. This will be a one-hour workshop.
Mary Ann Saunders
Title: Possible Bodies in Julie Taymor’s (Transgender) Tempest
Courtney Lehmann’s 2014 analysis of Julie Taymor’s 2010 film of The Tempest relies on the idea of “body horror,” finding Ariel’s “undifferentiated” body “grotesque” and “monstrous.” The horror Lehmann registers is disturbingly similar to the way trans bodies are frequently characterized, suggesting fear of trans embodiment underpins Lehmann’s analysis. Absent from her discussion are perspectives drawn from those who inhabit such bodies and experience them as ordinary, people for whom Ariel might seem coherent, not incoherent, beautiful, not grotesque. What understandings of Taymor’s Ariel emerge when reading the character through trans experiences of embodiment rather than cisnormative fears of trans bodies?
Gisele Baxter
Title: "Beyond Textual Poachers: Fan Fiction and Fan Culture in the Digital Age"
Abstract: This project originally examined the coincident rise of Harry Potter fan fiction and fan communities as Web 2.0 took off, the novels became a landmark in series-fiction publication, and the first film adaptations appeared early in the 21st century. Responding to Henry Jenkins’s Textual Poachers and subsequent work on new media and participatory culture, I am looking at diverse current digital productions, from the literary emphasis of An Archive of Our Own to the audio-visual possibilities of Tumblr and Instagram. Examples will range from Discworld to the current Star Wars trilogy.
Brett Grubisic
Title: "A Gift of Yuban": A Reading
Brett Grubisic will give a reading of his short story: "A Gift of Yuban"
In which a narrator describes a reluctant road trip with his boyfriend that culminates in an awkward visit with aging and infirm distant relatives. For the narrator the dubious, hour-long visit summons a past best left forgotten. The story's abrasive portrait of family and inheritance challenges normative views of familial continuance.
Dale Throness
Title: “Interpretations of Song”
When a musical composition that is imagined by a composer goes out to the world of listeners and interpreters, its possible transformations are unlimited. In this lecture-performance, we will examine some ways in which interpretation can change the character of a piece of music.
Special Keynote Panels:
Panel #1: Academic Freedom
This panel will examine the particular challenges faced by academics who are on precarious contracts. Their employment status makes them too vulnerable to risk administrative wrath or poor student evaluations by challenging administrative policies, making public political statements, teaching controversial subjects, choosing specific teaching materials, creating difficult tasks for students or grading student work with the rigour they might have used if they had had secure jobs. Although CAUT and universities themselves may have strong policies and statements supporting the right to academic freedom, in practice, these are easy to bypass when an academic can be simply unhired without consequences to administrators' or universities' reputations. The panel will offer some background, and ask the question, “what will be the long-term effect on scholarship and on the mission of the Academy for achieving the common good if academic freedom is eroded”?
Panel #2: Marginalization
This panel will examine one effect of hiring so many academics in the Western world on a temporary and precarious basis. CAUT, CCPA and AAUP’s recent major surveys on temporary contract-based hiring in the Academy confirm that a formerly stable socio-economic sector has become significantly destabilized. The 2005 Copenhagen Questionnaire and the recent Mental Injury Toolkit that was constructed by several Canadian unions speak to the psychological damage inflicted on workers (from any sector) by the constant threat of losing one’s job and financial solvency, as well as the constant demoralization and dehumanization that come from being dismissed by colleagues as being second rate, and from being treated by administrators as mechanical parts to keep the university running. This panel will investigate the following questions: “What will happen to the Academy when the majority of its scholars and pedagogues are placed in intellectual, economic and personal despair? How will the marginalized and hopeless bring hope to the next generation?”
Publications by Contract Academics: An Exhibition 
This exhibition will bring together a display of work published in the last 5 years by UBC’s many contract faculty in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The chief curator is Sarika Bose, with the assistance of Charmaine Gorrie, Laila Ferreira, Catherine Douglas and Florian Ehrensperger.