Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario

Thin white text on a black background reads: Coming September 14, 2019 to March 1, 2020 Bodies in Translation and the Guelph Civic Museum present: Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario Guelph Civic Museum 52 Norfolk St, Guelph. Curated by: Mona Stonefish, Peter Park, Dolleen Tisawii'ashii Manning, Evadne Kelly, Seika Boye and Sky Stonefish

We invite you and your students to Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern OntarioThe exhibition will be featured at the Guelph Civic Museum from September 14, 2019 to March 1, 2020 and will offer guided tours and Q&A sessions to professors and courses addressing themes of diversity, inclusion, decolonization and reconciliation. You can book these in advance (details below) with the exhibition’s lead researcher Dr. Evadne Kelly, Post-doctoral Fellow at Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice, University of Guelph, co-creator and co-curator of Into the Light, and Dawn Owen, Curator of Guelph Museums.

Museum Hours of operation are Tuesday – Sunday 10AM-5PM and Fourth Fridays of each month until 9PM. Admission is $6.00/person, and free on Fourth Fridays from 5PM-9PM.

Exhibition Overview

Into the Light examines local histories and ongoing legacies of racial “betterment” thinking in Southern Ontario that de-humanized and disappeared those who did not fit the normative middle-class lives of white, able-bodied settlers.

In the early to mid 20th century, eugenics (race improvement through heredity) was taught in a number of universities throughout Southern Ontario, including Macdonald Institute and the Ontario Agricultural College, two of the three founding colleges that formed the University of Guelph. Educational institutions played a significant role in the eugenics movement by perpetuating destructive ideas that targeted Indigenous, Black, and other racialized populations, poor, and disabled people for segregation in institutions, cultural assimilation and sterilization.

While eugenics sought to eradicate those deemed as “unfit,” this exhibition centres the voices of members of affected communities who continue to work to prevent institutional brutality, oppose colonialism, reject ableism, and foster social justice.

Into the Light is co-curated by Mona Stonefish, Peter Park, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, Evadne Kelly, Seika Boye and Sky Stonefish. This exhibition of artistic, sensory, and material expressions of memory aims to bring one of Guelph’s dark secrets, as well as stories of survival, out of the shadows and into the light.

Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario is co-presented by Guelph Museums and Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life at Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice, University of Guelph.

Guided Tours and Q&A sessions

Guided tours and/or Question and Answer sessions with Dr. Evadne Kelly, Post-doctoral Fellow at Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice, University of Guelph, Into the Light co-creator and co-curator, are available most Mondays and Thursdays by request. Guided tours with Dawn Owen, Curator of Guelph Museums may be available on other days by request. Tours and Q&A sessions are approximately 1-hour long however this timeframe can be adapted for your group. Please contact Museum Bookings at to make arrangements in advance of your group visit to the exhibition and visit the Guelph Civic Museum Education Program page for more information on booking group tours.

Further Teaching and Learning Opportunities

Into the Light has great pedagogical value and potential for social justice-oriented faculty and students and content from the exhibition may be integrated into courses for both Fall 2019 and/or Winter 2020 terms. The exhibitionextends to studies in disability, decolonizing, social and political dimensions of bodies, difference, sexuality, archives,history of sociology, psychology and anthropology, history of public health, education, and domestic science,Canadian history and the history of science, race and racism, equity, human rights law and policy, and more.

Into the Light Public Events at the Civic Museum

  • Into the Light Opening Celebration

Friday, September 27, 2019 – 6PM – Free admission

Remarks, performances and reception. All galleries will be open.

  • In Conversation: Eugenics Retold

Saturday, October 26 – 2 PM – Civic Museum – Free admission

A conversation among eugenics activists and Into the Light co-creators and co-curators Mona Stonefish, Peter Park, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, Evadne Kelly, Seika Boye and Sky Stonefish, who work to prevent institutional brutality, colonialism, ableism, and social injustice. The conversation event will have ASL Interpretation and CART Live Captioning.

Access Information

  • For more access information and a visual story please see the Into the Light Access Guide available digitally and in print from Bodies in Translation at and the Guelph Civic Museum.
  • Into the Light is a multi-sensory exhibition. The content of the exhibition can, to varying degrees, be accessed through smell, sound, touch, and sight.
  • Captioning and Transcripts: There will be captioning and/or transcripts for all audio media in the exhibition. These captions will be visible on or next to the media.
  • There will be narrative audio descriptions provided. Headsets are available throughout the exhibition.
  • There will be a relaxing space available on the second floor of the museum. There will be comfortable chairs in the space.
  • Please help us make this space as scent-free as possible by avoiding wearing scented body products and laundry detergents.
  • There is an all-gender accessible washroom on the main floor of the museum.
  • There is an elevator to get to all floors of the building, and the museum is wheelchair accessible.
  • There is free wi-fi and free parking.
  • American Sign Language (ASL): There will be ASL interpreters at the conversation with co-curators on October 26, 2019. The interpreters will be wearing a badge that says “ASL Interpreter.”
  • Communications Access Real Time Translation (CART): There will be CART live captions at the conversation with co-curators on October 26, 2019. The live captions will be projected.

Links and Social Media

Into the Light on Facebook

Guelph Museums

Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice

Bodies in Translation: Activist Art Technology & Access to Life

Bodies in Translation on Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Evadne Kelly: Dancing Spirit, Love, and War

We’re so excited to announce the publication of Evadne Kelly’s Dancing Spirit, Love, and War: Performing the Translocal Realities of Contemporary Fiji! Evadne is one of our brilliant postdoctoral researchers.

The cover of Evadne's book, in black and golden yellow. 4 dancers in grass skirts and making fists are at the top, above the title and author in yellow block print.
The cover of Evadne’s book, in black and golden yellow. 4 dancers in grass skirts and making fists are at the top, above the title and author in yellow block print.

This text explores meke, a traditional rhythmic dance accompanied by singing, signifies an important piece of identity for Fijians. Despite its complicated history of colonialism, racism, censorship, and religious conflict, meke remained a vital part of artistic expression and culture. Evadne Kelly performs close readings of the dance in relation to an evolving landscape, following the postcolonial reclamation that provided dancers with political agency and a strong sense of community that connected and fractured Fijians worldwide.

Through extensive archival and ethnographic fieldwork in both Fiji and Canada, Kelly offers key insights into an underrepresented dance form, region, and culture. Her perceptive analysis of meke will be of interest in dance studies, postcolonial and Indigenous studies, anthropology and performance ethnography, and Pacific Island studies.

Available for purchase now wherever you buy your books, and you can also read an excerpt on Google Books.

Defying Barriers

Poster for Defying Barriers

Community members, researchers and students are invited to join the McMaster Faculty of Humanities and the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging on May 15th from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. for Defying Barriers, a workshop examining how aging and disability impact engagement with the arts, and how we can enable participation and expression through a variety of artistic media.

The workshop will feature an accessibility audit and tour of community studio space Centre[3], presentations from invited artists, Dave Bobier and Rebecca Baird, and round-table discussions to explore topics and future research directions.

You are invited to join this dynamic, free workshop!
Register here by May 10.

Please feel free to share this invitation with any interested colleagues, students and community members.

For further information, click here.

Additionally, please do follow us on Twitter: @DefyingW (, and Instagram: defying_barriers ( for regular updates on the workshop.

Please direct inquiries to Netri Pajankar (

Finding Language: A Word Scavenger Hunt by Vanessa Dion Fletcher

Image of text on page with highlighted words.

In this interactive tour, artist Vanessa Dion Fletcher will engage participants through response cards that have been meticulously embroidered with quills. The program will encourage reflection on the political, social and emotional meaning of language.

Saturday, March 23, 1-2pm
Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue, Toronto, ON
PRICING: General $20; Members $15*; Students $10

Vanessa Dion Fletcher is an artist of Potawatomi and Lenape ancestry, living and working in Toronto. Her practice is aligned with the intersections of contemporary performance and community engagement as they exist beside the powerful and longstanding material cultures of quillwork and beadwork—actively engaging with identity, social exchange, political critique, and hands-on learning.

In 2017, she asked artist and teacher Brenda Lee of Nipissing First Nation to teach her the process of working with porcupine quills, from harvesting the quills from the deceased animal to cleaning, dyeing, and stitching them onto a finished object. The two artists continue to share their knowledge of their relationships to materials, the land, traditional cultures, and the female body in relation to the natural world.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Vanessa Dion Fletcher

Blindness Gain and the Art of Non-Visual Reading with Hannah Thompson

Presented by The Peripheral Visions Speakers Series, Tangled Art + Disability and the Bodies in Translation Project

Poster for Blindness Gain and the Art of Non-Visual Reading

Friday March 29, 6-8 pm, reception to follow
Location: Tangled Art + Disability, 401 Richmond Street
Wheelchair Access, ASL

This lecture will celebrate the critical and creative power of blindness. Through a discussion of examples from 19th century French literature and art, Professor Thompson will argue that blindness is a fruitful theoretical stance available to both blind and non-blind people, Thompson’s Critical Disability Studies approach will dismantle the traditional hierarchy of the senses and invite new ways of beholding familiar texts and images.

The Aesthetics of Audio Description Master Class:

Thursday March 28, 11 am -1 pm
Sensorium Loft, York University
Wheelchair Access, RSVP

This class will use insights from critical disability studies to explore how audio description might enhance the aesthetic experience of both blind and non-blind beholders. Drawing on articles published in the 2018 special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly, ‘Blindness Arts’, we will explore what non-visual ways of engaging with art and artefacts might teach the visually dependent world. When it is made available to everybody and included in the conception of an exhibition or artwork, can audio description be celebrated as a privileged example of “blindness gain” which works to challenge ocularcentric understandings of the hierarchy of the senses?

Professor Hannah Thompson

Professor Thompson has published widely on French literature and theory, the body, gender, sexuality and disability. She is the author of three books on French literature and culture including Reviewing Blindness in French Fiction (1789-2013) (Palgrave, 2017), which marks the start of Professor Thompson’s influential work on the cross-overs between French Studies and Critical Disability Studies. Professor Thompson has published two edited volumes: New Approaches to Emile Zola and Corporeal Practices: (Re)Figuring the Body in French Studies (with Julia Prest). In 2015 she co-organised the Blind Creations conference and micro-arts festival with Vanessa Warne and she is the author of the popular Blind Spot Blog.

Accessibility and Location Information Details:

Tangled Art + Disability, 401 Richmond Street
Wheelchair access. ASL interpretation. Tangled Art + Disability is in an accessible building near the Southeast corner of Richmond and Spadina. Wayfinders will be present to direct visitors to the gallery. Please help us to make this a scent-free environment (click here).

Sensorium Loft.
The Loft is on the 4th floor of the Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts, York University.

York University subway is an accessible station on the University Line. Wayfinders will be present to direct and guide participants to and from the subway (other locations by request). Wheelchair access requires an elevator key, so please contact us in advance. For further access information and to rsvp email

The Peripheral Visions Speakers Series is a partnership of the Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts and Technology, VISTA: Vision Science to Application and the Peripheral Visions Lab. This event is co-sponsored by Tangled Art + Disability, Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life, the Graduate Program in Critical Disability Studies, The Departments of Theatre and Cinema and Media Arts, and the Performance Studies (Canada) Speaker Series. We are grateful for support from the Canada Research Excellence Fund and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

The Peripheral Visions Speaker Series is co-curated by Mary Bunch, Laura Levin and Lauren Sergio.


2019 Digital Arts Services Symposium/Symposium des services d’arts numériques (DASSAN19)

Building digital arts services for collective impact.

March 15-20, 2019

As technology progressively transforms every facet of society, there is a pressing need for the arts and culture sector to jointly take ownership of its own digital futures.

From March 15-20, 2019, come to Toronto as the 2019 Digital Arts Services Symposium / Symposium des services d’arts numériques (DASSAN19) offers constructive, cross-sectoral dialogues and alliance-building opportunities inspired by pioneering keynote speakers, community salon sessions, professional industry exchanges, hackathon competition with a $5,000 grand prize, and a bootcamp for fledgling devotees to the digital world.

Proudly presented by ArtsPond in association with Agilo Arts and BeMused Network, DASSAN19 is designed to nurture valuable insights for both emerging and experienced producers and technologists alike, with the goal of building a critical digital practice within the arts and culture sector in Canada.

DASSAN19 is generously funded by the Digital Strategy Fund at Canada Council for the Arts.

For more information about the conference and how to get tickets, go to the DASSAN19 website.

Poster for event with information and images of Mona Stonefish and Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning

Dreams, Visions, Hallucinations: Disability and other ways of seeing with Mona Stonefish and Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning

March 6, 2019, 4-5:30 pm in the Joe G. Green Theatre.

Presented by Sensorium, VISTA and The Peripheral Visions Speaker Series.

Dolleen Tisawii’ashiiManning hosts a public conversation with Traditional Doctor and Elder Mona Stonefish on Anishinaabe dream imaging practices and their implications for critical disability studies. Manning worked with her mother and Stonefish in developing her mnidoo theory of consciousness. This interrelational understanding of perception and knowing involves a possession by these living potencies, along with an expanded understanding of vision. In this discussion, they question western conceptions of ability and disability, while also considering the debilitating impact of colonialism.

Hart House Hancock Lecture 2019

Handwriting text: Moving Towards a Disability Justice Revolution

In Canada, people with disabilities are consistently told, explicitly and implicitly, that we do not have the right to exist freely. In this lecture, Sarah Jama will discuss the ways the “disabled body” and “disabled mind” is treated through consumerist understandings in order to uphold every existing oppressive structure in our society. Sarah will discuss the history of the disability justice movement in Canada and the USA, unpack themes around global capitalism, the historical links between colonialism and ableism, and discuss how to build a world that truly uplifts the rights of people with disabilities. Lastly, she’ll walk you through her journey as an organizer, and the steps she has taken towards building inclusive movements. The answer to a better world is a revolution that centres disability justice.

Thursday, March 14 at 7 pm at the Hart House

*Tickets are sold out but live coverage of talk will be available on the Hart House Facebook page.

More information about Sarah Jama and the Hart House here

Upcoming: Crip Technoscience for Disabled Cyborgs: Access, Community, Politics

Thursday March 21st 2019, 11am -1pm
Sensorium Loft
4th Floor of Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts
York University

Kelly Fritsch engages with the emerging field of crip technoscience, exploring what it means for disability politics, community, and access. Taking up Alison Kafer’s provocation that disabled people are cyborgs because of their politics rather than their impairments, Fritsch explores the ways in which disabled community forms out of frictional and ambivalent relations to technoscience, marking out the implications of these relations for social justice practices. For accessibility and to RSVP please

Kelly Fritsch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University in unceded Algonquin territory. Her research broadly engages crip, queer, and feminist theory to explore the relations of disability, health, technology, risk, and accessibility. She is co-editor of Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle (AK Press, 2016 with Clare O’Connor and AK Thompson), and has co-edited special issues of Somatechnics (on “Sexuality in Canada” with reese simpkins, 2017), Feminist Formations (on “The Biosocial Politics of Queer/Crip Contagions” with Anne McGuire, 2018), and Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience (on “Crip Technoscience” with Aimi Hamraie, Mara Mills, and David Serlin, forthcoming March 2019). Fritsch was a 2015-2018 Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Women & Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto.

Event sponsors: The Peripheral Visions Speakers series is sponsored by Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts and Technology, VISTA: Vision Science to Application, The Departments of Theatre and Cinema and Media Arts, the Performance Studies (Canada) Speaker Series, the Graduate Program in Critical Disability Studies, the Canada Research Excellence Fund and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The series is curated by Mary Bunch, Laura Levin and Lauren Sergio. With thanks to U of T’s Equity Studies Program, the New College Innovation Fund and the Department for Social Justice Education at OISE for their continued support of the Disability Studies Speaker Series.

Kelly Fritsch: Crip Commitments: Disability, Theory, Politics

Poster for event
Poster for Crip Commitments: Disability, Theory, Politics

The New College Disability Studies Speaker Series presents Crip Commitments: Disability, Theory, Politics

A Lecture by Prof. Kelly Fritsch (Carleton)

In collaboration with York University’s Peripheral Vision Speaker Series

Engaging the frictions of crip and disability theory, Kelly Fritsch non-innocently considers the possibilities of radical social change that emerge through knowing and making disability differently.

Thursday March21st 2019, 6-8pm
OISE Library
252 Bloor St. West
(Above St. George Subway)

All Welcome – Free
Wheelchair accessible

For more accessibility or additional information, please contact