Doleen Tisawii'ashii Manning. Into the Light @ Guelph Civic Museum

Former IICSI Postdoctoral Fellow Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, an Anishinaabe contemporary artist, is co-curator for an upcoming exhibition at the Guelph Civic Museum. Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario examines local histories and the ongoing legacies of racial “betterment” thinking in Southern Ontario—a movement 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-twentieth century, eugenics (race improvement through heredity) was taught in a number of universities throughout Southern Ontario, including the 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; the poor; and disabled people for segregation in institutions, cultural assimilation, and sterilization.

The exhibition represents a critical response to the call for universities, disciplines, researchers, and knowledge producers generally to grapple with the profound ethical, social, economic, cultural, political, and psychological impacts of the knowledge that they produce. The exhibition is a unique opportunity for course instructors examining themes related to diversity, inclusion, ableism, sexism, racism, reproduction, sexuality, health, law, education, politics, history, feminism, media, communication, art, curation, sociology, psychology, decolonization, reconciliation, and more to bring their students and classes for an immersive, multi-sensory experience as well as for guided tours and Q&A sessions with the exhibition researchers and curators. Dr. Manning’s co-curators are Mona Stonefish, Peter Park, Evadne Kelly, Seika Boye, and Sky Stonefish; Into the Light 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 at the University of Guelph. Into the Light is at the Guelph Civic Museum from September 14, 2019 to March 1, 2020.

Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning is also a new Assistant Professor in Indigenous Education & Pedagogy at York University, starting in 2020. Congratulations Dolleen!

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