Gender, Material Culture, & Culture Diplomacy Conference
October 7-9, 2010
University of Toronto, St George Campus


Program ( minor changes to follow) - Download as word doc


Thursday, October 7th 2010

Venue:  William Doo Auditorium, 45 Willcocks Street, New College


3: 00 pm- 3: 30 pm

Welcome  remarks

Welcome Professor Yves Roberge, Principal, New College
Dr. Thomas Thieku, Director, African Studies
Professor Bonnie McElhinny, Director, Women & Gender Studies Institute           
Conference theme presentation: Marieme Lo, PhD., conference organizer


3: 30 PM - 4: 30 PM     

Imagining, Embodying & Embracing Africa  inside -out

Chair: Silvia Forni, PhD., Associate Curator of Anthropology in the Royal Ontario Museum

Mary Hark, Studio Artist, Assistant Professor of Textile Design, Design
Studies Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
SEAM: Mixed Media Textile Paintings a visual consideration of place through the lens of a textile aesthetic

Keli Massud, BFA, Visual Artist, Toronto
A question of Origin


4: 30 PM- 5: 30 PM  

Re-interpreting culture:  the art & possibilities  of  cultural  diplomacy

Chair: Ato  Quayson,  Professor, University of Toronto


Paula Heinonen, PhD., International Gender Studies Centre, University of Oxford
Defining African Culture in the context of a Globalized World with examples from Ethiopia

Patricia Stamp, Professor Emerita of African Studies and Women’s Studies, York University
Kenya, Kiondos and Cultural Diplomacy: Reviving Kamba Women’s Autonomy


5: 30 PM- 6:30PM  

Exhibition & Curated event “Embodiment & Visualization of   Material  Culture Across Time and Space”

Marieme Lo PhD., Netta Kornberg & Sarah Nesib, University of Toronto  


6 :30 PM-7:30 PM         



Friday,  October  8th 2010

Conference Venue: Hart House, the Music Room, 7 Hart House Circle


9: 00 AM-- 10:00 AM  

Keynote: Beyond Gendercentric Models: Historicizing Identities in Discourses of African Art and Aesthetics

Oyeronke Oyewumi, PhD., Associate Professor of Sociology and Women & Gender Studies,   SUNY at Stony Brook, USA


10: 00 AM  --  11:00 AM   

Semiotics & deconstruction of material culture

Chair:  Professor Eric Jennings, University of Toronto


Ato Quayson, Professor of English and Director Center for  Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto
Political Semiotics of Dress in West Africa

Soelve Curdts, PhD., Princeton University & Fritz Thyssen   Stiftung für Wissenschaftsförderung, Germany
The Girl


11:00 AM  --  12:00 PM 

Material culture: Embodying belonging, resistance & empowerment 

Chair: Professor Thembela  Kepe, University of Toronto


Gary van Wyk PhD., Curator Axis Gallery, New York
Flying the Flag: Beadwork and Dress Articulating Belonging and Resistance in South Africa

Samba Gadjigo, PhD., Professor, Mount Holyoke College    
The rope and the belt as symbols of rebellion and empowerment in Ousmane Sembene's films and prose fiction


12: 00 PM -- 1: 00 PM  

Student Luncheon  Panel: Fashion’s many faces: Aesthetics,  representation & African spaces

Organized and chaired by: Netta Kornberg & Sarah Nesib, University of Toronto


1: 00 PM -- 2:00 PM    

Material culture: Engaging history &  negotiation change across different temporalities

Chair: Professor Melanie Newton, University of Toronto


Ferdinand de Jong, PhD., University of East Anglia, UK
The Material Culture of Slave Trade Commemoration: Dress and Nudity in the Performance of Reconciliation at Gorée Island, Senegal

Suzanne Gott, PhD., the University of British Columbia Okanagan                            
Cloth and Beads in Southern Ghana as Sites of Intercultural Engagement and Strategic Interaction


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM  

Gendered technologies & labor: indigenous production & marketing of material culture

Chair: D. Soyini Madison, Professor, Northwestern University                           


Silvia Forni, PhD., Associate Curator of Anthropology in the Royal Ontario Museum, Department of World Cultures                               
Gendered technologies: Continuity and innovation in a Cameroonian pottery tradition

Marieme Lo, PhD.,University of Toronto
Senegalese women traders:  embodying a gendered economics of aesthetics & consumption

Laura L. Cochrane, PhD., Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Central Michigan University 
Embodying heritage & contemporary community: Weaving in Ndem, Senegal


Coffee Break


3: 00 PM -- 4:00 PM 

Space, culture  and  praxis

Chair:  Shahrzad Mojab, Professor,University of Toronto


D. Soyini Madison, Professor, Northwestern University
Women's Spaces: Tradition, the Body, and Performance as Social Action

Amal Mohammed Hassan Jamal, PhD., McGill University     
Kel Azjer Tuareg Culture: Public and Private Space in Ghat


4: 00  PM  - 5:00 PM 

Reclaiming identity, performing citizenship& negotiating belonging

Chair:  Professor Alissa Trotz, University of Toronto


Maimuna Mohamud, M.A. Global Gender Studies, SUNY at Buffalo 
New Diasporic Interpretations of the Guntiino: Re-defining Clothing, Re-affirming Identities.  Exploring Memory, Homelands & the Generational Gap among Somali Women in the Diaspora

Angela Washington-Thibodeaux, PhD (ABD), Capella University
In Search of the Black Victorian: Black & the Transnational Phenomena of Skin Bleaching

Jean Mbaga, Lecturer, Dept of History, University of Douala Cameroon &  Georges Djatsa Maffo, Lecturer Dept of Anthropology University of Douala , Cameroon     
‘Cloths’ for social distinction in nowadays Bamun Empire


Saturday  October  9th 2010

Conference Venue: Hart House, the Music Room


9:00 AM-10:30 AM 

Symbolism,  material expression of piety, &  religiosity

Chair:   Professor Michael Lambek, University of Toronto


Patricia Bentley, Senior Curator at the Textile Museum of Canada
Magic Squares: An Examination of Their Metaphoric Significance in Muslim West African Visual Cultures

Beth A. Buggenhagen, PhD., Assistant Professor of Anthropology Indiana University
Money Takes Care of Shame: Exchange and Value in an Era of Global Volatility in Global Senegal

Elisha P. Renne, Professor, Department of Anthropology and the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Veils, Gender, and Material Expressions of Piety in Northern Nigeria


10: 30 AM- 11: 30 AM

Fashioning Citizenship, selves & identities

Chair:  Professor Dickson Eyoh


Jude Fokwang, PhD., Trent University
Fabrics of Identity: Modernity, Women’s Uniforms and Associational Life in Bamenda

Emmanuel Nuesiri, PhD., & Orock Tanye Besong, Cameroon
The Ubiquitous ‘Classless’ CICAM of Cameroon 


11: 30 AM          

Closing Keynote

Elisha P. Renne, Professor, Department of Anthropology and the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  



12:00  - 1PM 



Download Conference Poster in Word Doc here



Marieme Lo, PhD:  or call  (416) 946 3218
Netta Kornberg:
Sarah Nesib:


Marieme Lo, New College, African Studies, and Women and Gender Studies Institute Organizing committee: Netta Kornberg, Sarah Nesib, Dr. Dickson Ejoh, Angela Fleury, Dr. Sarah Fee, and Dr. Silvia Forni

All events are free and open to the public - Registration at:

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