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Conferences & lectures

Race, haunting and magic in research and writing: When your data nudges you to write speculative fiction

Date & time
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Registration is closed


Leila Angod


This event is free



Presented by the 2020-21 Lillian Robinson Visiting Scholars program.

In the academy we typically tell stories for other academics through scholarly venues using disciplinary genres. What happens when your data doesn’t want to fit into these boxes anymore and rather has a story to tell that is very different from the one you had envisioned?

Woman with long brown hair, wearing dark red lipstick, small golden earrings and a black shirt, smiling at the camera. Leila Angod

In this presentation I share how my ethnographic and archival research project about race at Canadian elite schools is taking on a life of its own as a work of fiction. This unexpected trajectory emerged from writing ethnographic vignettes that began to take up increasing amounts of space on the page. I began to sense that the parameters of scholarly writing limited my exploration of how race and empire haunt Canadian elite school life.

Building on my theoretical framework of the social magic of relations of power (Bourdieu, 1989; Hartman, 1997; Marx, 2009), I began to sense a storyworld taking shape around these principles, and composite characters beginning to emerge from the participants of my study.

Building on the visual methodologies that I use in youth participatory action research, I also explore my early foray into incorporating visual approaches into my creative writing practice.

I explore questions of audience and how we wish to be in conversation with others, of storying racial violence, and, thinking with Ruth Wilson Gilmore, of creating critical feminist infrastructures of care. This presentation is an invitation to reflect on and be in conversation about creative writing in and through research.

About the speaker

Leila Angod is a lecturer at University of Toronto and University of Ottawa who resides in Montreal. Her forthcoming publication “On Refusing to Redeem Voluntourism: The Antiblackness of Social Justice Education at an Elite School” addresses the study that this talk draws from, and will appear in Equity & Excellence in Education journal.

Note that space is limited and registration is required.

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