Imagine and practice conditions to create a radically different world (York)

“Facing the Past, Reimagining the Future”: Imagine and apply circumstances to create a radically different world

Symposium of the Aboriginal Literary Studies Society

From May 31 to June 2, 2023

As part of the Humanities Conference, University of York

The area known as Tkaronto, long protected by the Anishinabe Nation, Haudenosaunee Confederacy and Huron-Wendat, is now home to many indigenous and black communities. We acknowledge the Treaty’s signatories, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This region is governed by the One Spoon Bowl Wampum Belt, an agreement to peacefully share the territory and take care of the Great Lakes region.

As in previous years when ILSA joined Congress, this year the ILSA Symposium shares the theme of the event: “Facing the Past and Reimagining the Future.” Led by Andrea Davis and Indigenous Protocols, Guidelines, and Recommended Practices, the 2023 conference proposes to refocus “the experiences, knowledge, and cultures of Indigenous and Black communities under the meaningful and critical ways of thinking necessary to achieve racial and climate justice,” as well as support equality, diversity, and inclusion practices in its programming. This commitment includes ways in which Congress encourages associations, such as ILSA, to be open to participants who bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the conversation, “including people who have never participated in Congress or whose work has never been reflected in it.”

ILSA 2023 Symposium will focus on the power and potential of Indigenous literatures to “imagine differently” [1]. Lou Cornum (Diné) writes that Aboriginal stories are tools for “imagining better worlds organized around different ethics of connection and relationship” [2]. Jas Morgan (Cree-Métis-Saulteaux) suggests that Aboriginal arts imagine a future in which “the possibilities of love and relationship [sont présentées] As a re-emergence in the face of an environmental disaster.” [3]. Meanwhile, Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee) writes that by “imagining otherwise,” Aboriginal etiquette makes room for “forms of engagement and meaningful encounters which, though disapproved of by the colonial authorities, are essential to cultural resurgence and the re-establishment of ways of Others are knowledge, existence, and living.They insist on opening up possibilities that transcend cynicism and despair. [4].

Thus, the future of Aboriginal literatures depends on relationships with all those who envision a world recovering from colonialism and white supremacy. Under the themes of “Facing the Past, Reimagining the Future” and “Imagining Differently,” we invite researchers, knowledge keepers, writers, artists, and community members to consider the links between racial and relational justice, convergence, sovereignty, and climate justice, and to reflect on what it means to think alongside black writers and other scholars who They support the theme of the conference. ILSA seeks to create opportunities at this gathering to collectively imagine the future of Indigenous literary studies and to engage in the relationships and responsibilities that will shape that future.

Building and consolidating society and relationships

One of the key questions posed in this year’s Congress takes relationalism as a starting point: What might it mean to commit to getting to know each other and help each other in our differences, given that the world we want to live in tomorrow depends on the actions we take all together today? (2023 Conference) Sponsorship and collaboration are integral to ILSA’s business and our sense of identity as an organization. Since our first seminar, our discussions have been rooted in thinking about how we do Indigenous literature studies. In this spirit, we invite authors, artists, community members, students, educators, and researchers to join us in considering the connections between and beyond studies, domestic literature, and other disciplines in order to “imagine differently” together. Considering literary creation broadly, we invite submissions on literature, film, theatre, video games, new media, storytelling, songs, music and other forms of narrative expression.

Details for submitting the proposal

ILSA invites you to submit a proposal for participation, as well as a biographical note using the online form at the latest Friday, January 13, 2023 at 11:59 PM (PST). Note that ILSA accepts proposals in both French and English; We also welcome applications wholly or partly in the indigenous language. For those, we will work with bidders to discuss logistical issues.

Submissions: Submissions of 200 to 300 words should present ideas that you are currently working on, or would like to pursue, especially those related to the topic described above. Although some proposals may be geared towards the classical form of academic communication, others may also be collaborative or even formally innovative, arising from creation or even taking the form of a practical activity.

Questions to consider when writing your proposal: What is the central question that drives your research or creativity? To which texts, concepts and/or practices do you resort to thinking about this? Then, at this preliminary stage, what are the arguments or any case, what expression or result do you hope from this work?

Proposals for sessions, round tables or workshops will also be considered. These proposals should include an abstract of the session (200-300 words), a brief description of each intervention (100-200 words). If you have any special needs for your session (technical need, room layout, etc.), you can include them in a concluding paragraph with the subheading “Specific Needs.”

Poster Shows: ILSA is bringing back the Poster Session this year! Posters can submit research work on all topics related to the ILSA Forum and the chosen topic this year. Poster presentations are intended to be interactive and provide an opportunity for ILSA participants to exchange ideas in a more user-friendly environment. Posters are in no way a secondary form of presentation at ILSA conferences. Instead, they offer a unique format for visiting each other, for exchanging, and are often better suited to certain types of content.

CV: Along with your proposal, we also ask that you submit a short relationship statement. Rather than a traditional CV that only highlights your professional qualifications, we ask you to introduce yourself, to express who you are in relation to Indigenous studies and the literary arts. Why do you want to participate in the 2023 conference? What do you hope to gain from this engagement that you can then incorporate into your creative/academic/community contributions? Entries must not exceed 200 words.

For any questions about the call for proposals, or about the bidding process, please write to

[1] Justice, Daniel Heath. Why native etiquette is important. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2018.[4] 156.

[2] Cornum, Lou. “NDN’s Starmap for Space.” Read, Listen, Tell: Aboriginal Stories from Turtle IslandEdited by Sophie McCall et al., Wilfrid Laurier University Press, p. 364-71. Our translation.

[3] Morgan, Jas. “Visual Cultures of Indigenous Futurism”. Jets Magazine, number. 6, May 2016, Our translation.

[4] Justice, Daniel Heath. 156. Our translation.

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