Featured speaker preview: Lee Maracle

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Note: The public is welcome to attend individual sessions at no charge, except the Walrus Talk on October 20, which is sold out. University of Calgary students are welcome to attend all Speaking Her Mind sessions for free – no ticket or registration required.

Note:  Our final program is now live!

Speaking Her Mind final program


We asked poet and novelist Lee Maracle for a sneak peek at the presentation she’s planning for Speaking Her Mind on October 21. Her talk is titled: “What shapes the silence around Indigenous women inside the feminist movement.” 

Lee Maracle shares with you the first line of her presentation:

We all know that the condition of Indigenous women is appalling and requires our very loud objections, but alas, the noise-making around Canada’s treatment of us is left to those who are miss-treated.  Why is that?

Join us at Speaking Her Mind, October 20-22 at the University of Calgary, to hear Lee Maracle and many more women of influence. Note that University of Calgary students will be admitted to Speaking Her Mind sessions free of charge (no need for U of C students to register – just come and show your student ID).

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Featured Speaker Preview

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Sneak peek: Fibbie Tatti on indigenous women & cultural survival 

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We are so excited to welcome Fibbie Tatti, visionary advocate for Aboriginal languages and culture, to Speaking Her Mind. We asked Fibbie Tattie for a glimpse at her presentation topic, and here’s what she told us:


“The Sahtugotine of Deline on Great Bear Lake are just beginning to implement the Self-government Treaty they negotiated with Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories. This is truly a reason for celebration.

However, it is important to remember that the Sahtugotine have been practicing self-government since time immemorial. We had to or we would never have survived.

My presentation will focus on the role women played in traditional Sahtugotine self-government and in particular how, through the rites of passage from a girl to a woman, a young woman, ‘the newcomer’ becomes a skilled and knowledgeable person who can contribute to the survival of her people.”

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Registration for Speaking Her Mind is now open!

Here is the link to the registration page.

Conference accommodation is available at the Hotel Alma – you can find information through this link to Hotel Alma.

Our program can be viewed here.

The conference runs October 20-22, 2016, and will open with The Walrus Talks: The Art of Conversation on the evening of Thursday, October 20. Your conference registration fee includes this event, which features talks by Denise Donlon, Amanda Lang and more.

All conference events will take place on the University of Calgary campus, at the Rozsa Centre. The Hotel Alma is just next door. Here’s a link to a Google Map showing the Rozsa Centre.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Calgary!


Call for Papers

Speaking Her Mind: Canadian Women and Public Presence
20-22 October 2016
University of Calgary

How are women engaging with public discussion and debate in Canada?

Speaking Her Mind: Canadian Women and Public Presence is the follow-up conference to Discourse and Dynamics: Canadian Women as Public Intellectuals, which took place at Mount Allison University in October 2014 (see discoursedynamics.ca). As Discourse and Dynamics made clear, “public intellectual” remains an unsatisfactory term for many women who have contributed to and continue to engage in public discussion and debate in Canada. Speaking Her Mind aims to take that investigation to the next level.

Proposals are invited for presentations that explore Canadian women’s public presence on questions of concern related to social, political, cultural, economic, literary, artistic, linguistic, diplomatic, and environmental issues. A wide range of participation is invited, from individual papers to panels, performances, or other forms of discussion. The following are suggestions but all proposals for individual or collaborative presentations are welcome.

  • Women’s right to speak
  • Public presences that have made a difference
  • When the body speaks
  • Speaking about violence, poverty, racism, health
  • Politics and its Discontents
  • Entering/leaving the public sphere
  • Opinions and their backlash
  • Forms of speaking: literature, art, music, dance, photography

Proposals should include:
1. title (up to 150 characters) 2. abstract (100-150 words) 3. description (300 words)

& on a separate page a short biographical note and full contact information

Proposals may be submitted electronically by October 15, 2015 (deadline extended!) to speakinghermind@ucalgary.ca


Aritha van Herk
Professor, Department of English
2500 University Dr. N.W.
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta
T2N 1N4

Christl Verduyn
Director, Centre for Canadian Studies
Professor, Department of English
Mount Allison University
Sackville, New Brunswick
E4L 1G9