Past Events


Hemispheric Institute 5th Convergence

Unsettling the Americas: Radical Hospitalities and Intimate Geographies: Hemispheric Institute 5th Graduate Student Initiative Convergence Conference at Aluna Theatre’s CAMINOS Festival, presented in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts
Where:Ada Slaight Hall, at Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East, Toronto

When:October 5-7, 2:00-5:30pm

About the Convergence: 

Unsettling the Americas: Radical Hospitalities and Intimate Geographies, offers three days of conversations and performances reflecting on histories of settlement, displacement, and resettlement throughout the Americas. Whereas the term “hospitality" invokes a series of guest-host and mover-stayer relations centred on solicited encounters, "radical hospitalities” propose an ethics of gathering and imply a new way of being together that can be both utopic and politically generative. The conference will ask: How do we enact and contest the intimate frontiers of coloniality through performance? What it means to host and to be hosted in colonized spaces? How might performative practices of gathering and welcoming oppose growing isolationist and nationalist movements? 

We have assembled a dynamic group of artists, activists, and scholars to address these timely questions, including: Dylan Robinson, Benvenuto Chavajay, Cheryl Angel; Lisa Stevenson, Farrah Miranda, Ali Kazimi, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Jasmin Zine. The conference and festival will feature a talk and photo exhibition by Mexican photojournalist Moysés Zúñiga Santiago (whose photos follow Central Americans on the migrant trail from Mexico to the US); a staged reading presented by Climate Change Theatre Action 2017; and a cabaret curated by the Hemi Convergence (with performers Beth Nixon, Minah Lee, Megan Johnson, Geneva Foster Gluck, OrgyPUNK, MC Stephen Lawson, and DJ Firecracker).


Unsettling the Americas: Radical Hospitalities and Intimate Geographies is made possible by the generous support of Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics; Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas; Aluna Theatre; Native Earth Performing Arts; York University’s Graduate Program in Theatre & Performance Studies, Department of Theatre, Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), Faculty of Graduate Studies, School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design; the Performance Studies (Canada) Project; Climate Change Theatre Action (Canada 150 @ York); Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; The Photography of Global Migration study (Western University); Canadian Theatre Review.



Hemi's Encuentro digital catalog

Every two years, the Hemispheric Institute hosts an Encuentro—part academic conference, part performance festival—in a different site in the Americas. Fostering experimentation, dialogue, and collaboration, each Encuentro brings together approximately five hundred scholars, artists, activists and students to take part in a ten-day program of keynote lectures, work groups, performances, installations, roundtable discussions, visual arts exhibits, video screenings and hands-on performance workshops.



Performing Embodied Oralities In The Americas | Performance, Oralidades Y Corporalidades En Las Américas

This gathering of scholars, artists and activists will explore the multiplicity of oral practices in the Americas, giving attention to the performative aspects of testimony, storytelling, word circles and other forms of verbal exchange in different contexts including Indigenous and Afroamerican communities, those living with disability, and those affected by mass violence. We are eager to discuss how particular practices of orality may differ because of their location, their particular embodiments, and their distinct histories of oppression and struggle against different power structures. At the same time, we would like to focus our discussions on key questions of methodology and practice in order to help form the basis for collaborative work. What are the critical issues in relation to our methods and ethics of engaging with oral practices—such as questions of community ownership, protocols, embodied difference, literate biases, contentious dialogues and even fundamental questions about the nature of oral stories? What are the best ways of working with groups and communities in the resurgency of their oral histories and storytelling knowledge? How does orality itself employ or enable particular sets of practices in relation to memory, identity, sovereignty and political engagement? What knowledge and possibilities do oral practices offer for liberatory movements, peace-building and indigenizing? We seek engagements with these questions that are based in particular collective contexts.