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Native humour gets serious

Aboriginal writer Drew Hayden to explore humour in Canadian media for annual Gail Guthrie Valaskakis lecture
October 27, 2010

Award-winning writer, playwright and commentator Drew Hayden Taylor will be the keynote speaker at the fifth edition of the Gail Guthrie Valaskakis Annual Lecture on Diversity and Canadian Media.

The title of Taylor's lecture will be: “An Extremely Serious and Intensely Sober Exploration of Native Humour in Canadian Media”.

Hosted by Concordia's Department of Communication Studies and Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), the event will take place on Thursday, November 4, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Masonic Memorial Temple, 2295 Saint-Marc (corner of Sherbrooke West), 7th floor.

An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, Taylor has an extensive curriculum vitae. He performed stand-up comedy in Washington D.C. (including a performance at the Kennedy Center) and was artistic director of Canada’s premiere Aboriginal theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He is also an award-winning playwright with over 70 productions, he is a television scriptwriter, novelist and author of 20 books. He has been involved with over 17 documentaries that explore the First Nations experience.

Taylor is an avid advocate for Canada’s First Nations and has traveled to 16 countries around the world, sharing Native literature and raising awareness about First Nations issues. Currently, Mr. Taylor is working on a new play titled “Crees in the Carribean” and a collection of essays called “Postcards from the Four Directions”.

Created in 2005 as a joint initiative between CRARR and Concordia’s Department of Communication Studies, the Annual Lecture aims to promote research and other initiatives with industry, government and the broader community on issues involving Canadian media and diversity.

In 2008, the Annual Lecture was officially named after the late Gail Guthrie Valaskakis, one of Canada’s leading experts on Aboriginal communication. Valaskakis was Chair of Concordia’s Communication Studies Department and Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Research Director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and a Director at CRARR and a recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award.

Related links:
•    Department of Communication Studies
•    CRARR
•    Drew Hayden Taylor

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