Vanier College is pleased to announce it is holding its annual English Symposium, October 27-30, 2015. This year’s event entitled Subversions will gather speakers and performers from a wide range of artistic and scholarly fields who, through their own respective approaches, fight against and undermine certain dominant forces that strive to shape the way we think, feel, and exist.

“These are individuals who do not wish to maintain the status quo,” says Alan Wong, Vanier English Department teacher and principal organizer of this year’s event. “Rather they seek to invent and reinvent how we look at our cultures, our societies, and ourselves, inspiring us to commit our own acts of subversion.”

Highlights of the week

  • Music critic and award-winning author, Sean Michaels, will treat the audience to the ethereal sounds of the theremin and read from his novel, Us Conductors, which won the Giller Prize in 2014.
  •  Award-winning author and editor Nancy Kilpatrick will talk about the intriguing yet sometimes frustrating process of writing and also editing a horror/dark fantasy book, and why these genres are so important.
  •  A Hip-Hop panel featuring hip hop artists Peggy Hogan (a.k.a. Hua Li), Marshia Maxwell (a.k.a. Marshia Celina), and Nicolas Palacios-Hardy (a.k.a. Butta Beats), who will ruminate on their respective creative processes and offer a taste of their oeuvres.
  •  A panel featuring representatives from three local youth-focused organizations will speak on projects through which teens and young adults have produced forms of expression that convey their stories and experiences.
  • A panel with women in the gaming industry, including Tanya X. Short, Samantha Cook, and Kim Hoang, the panelists for this session who are creating and producing games that subvert gender-based stereotypes and seek to change an environment that can be very hostile to women.
  • A panel on writing speculative fiction an extremely popular genre of fiction, which includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery, and features worlds created purely from the author’s imagination. Speakers for this panel—Jo Walton, Dr. Melissa Yuan-Innes, and Claude Lalumière, will read from their work and reflect on their processes as writers of speculative fiction.
  • Popular stand-up comediennes Jess Salomon and Eman El-Husseini who are no strangers to controversy will speak about writing comedy and the debates it often incites.

Check the Vanier Calendar of events for times and details of each event. All activities take place in the Auditorium (A-103). Copies of speakers’ books will be available for purchase at the entrance of the Auditorium and at the bookstore throughout the Symposium.

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