When I attend conferences I typically try to engage in a couple of activities outside of the conference programming. This usually means scoping out local museums, heritage sites, and art galleries. While in Regina I was able to squeeze in a few local sights and engage in some more general Congress programming in addition to the sessions offered by the CHA.
On Sunday May 27th I had the chance to attend a Secret Feminist Agenda Podcast meetup at Malty International Brewing. For folks who haven’t heard of the Secret Feminist Agenda, I highly recommend you download a few episodes and listen. Hosted by academic Hannah McGregor, this podcast is a great example of digital scholarship. McGregor has partnered with Wilfred Laurier University Press to develop a platform for the peer-review and critical discussion of the podcast. The meetup was a fantastic opportunity to be in a space with other feminist folks who are pushing boundaries and engaged in exciting scholarship. It was also a chance to connect with some folks from the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities.
I also had the opportunity to check out the Stonecuts and sealskins: Inuit work on paper exhibition at the Fifth Parallel Gallery which featured works from the President’s Art Collection, Shumiatcher donation. Though a relatively small gallery space and a relatively small exhibition Stonecuts and Sealskins included a number of impressive examples of early and contemporary Inuit print making styles. The show included a couple of Kenojuak Ashevak prints, which I had seen before – but are breathtaking every time I see them. I am glad I carved out some time during a break to check out this gallery space.
I also stopped by the beaded blanket collage by Katelyn Ironstar. I loved the participatory art project aspect of this work and the idea of taking up space at an academic conference to reclaim traditional beading styles. Essentially Ironstar was inviting folks to sit with her, learn about traditional beading, and contribute to a collaborative art piece. The space Ironstar carved out was both mindful and reflective. I think we need more of this within academic spaces.
There were definitely local spaces that I wish I had more time to visit during CHA. But I am very glad I had the opportunity to step a bit outside the main conference stream and explore. If nothing else, I now have a few things I want to see in Regina if I ever make my way back through that area.
Photo: Exterior of First Nations University in Regina.