The guest blogger who opens our regular blogging for 2018-19, Afrouz Tavakoli, is a second year Educational Studies PhD student in the Department of Integrated Studies at McGill University. She completed a degree in Women’s Studies at Concordia University and has a BA in International Relations from Webster University of Geneva, Switzerland. Afrouz is interested in the process of identity formation and belonging as relational and social phenomena. Her inspiration in writing a graphic novel, excerpted here (illustrations by M. Ali Ziaie), was to deconstruct how the interplay of social and power dynamics influences the sense of self and belonging of migrants. Through the graphic novel form she has examined the additional challenges for those immigrants who are categorized as Muslim and Middle Eastern in the current Islamophobia era. In her doctoral dissertation, by drawing on critical pedagogy, Afrouz will be studying how educational institutions in Canada can facilitate self-conscious awareness raising of Middle Eastern Muslim women so that they can autonomously craft and integrate their dual identity as Canadian-Muslim women. Continue reading
During my time in Montreal (and thanks to my student medical/dental insurance), I have had several visits to the dentist. On each occasion, the use of language in the dentist’s office in a bi(/multi)lingual city in a French-speaking province has fascinated me.
As a white French heterosexual Québécoise, I know for a fact that life is pretty easy for me. If I’m in a job or apartment hunting, I have a good chance to find something convenient. If I travel, crossing borders is, at worst, a loss of time and, at best, a way to practise my languages. No one questions my last name, my skin colour, my nationality, my sexual orientation, my intentions, or my dangerousness. I understand that this is no coincidence. I am not a particularly lucky person. In fact, luck has nothing to do with it. It’s all about privilege.
“To examine Whiteness is to identify how race shapes the lives of both White people and people of colour [and Indigenous peoples]” (Yee and Dumbril, 2003, p. 100).
In her blog, Emmanueola (What’s your story?) urges all of us think about our story:
“Each of us has a story to share, and educators must ensure that their students become confident and that all stories are heard and respected for what they are, even if they do not fall into conventional categories. What’s your story?“”
This blog post is my story, my story of an online dating experience. I share this story with you to challenge and perhaps think about the notion of “conventional categories” of being “Canadian”.
Rubina Khanam is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan. Her doctoral research focuses on language policy and planning in postcolonial contexts. Prior to her graduate studies in Canada, she lived in South Korea for three years while she pursued her Master’s in Applied Linguistics. Her MA research examined discourse markers across speech contexts. She completed her primary, secondary and undergraduate studies in Bangladesh. Continue reading