Black Life in the Wake and the Making of Otherwise Projects

When and Where

Thursday, November 16, 2023 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Fleck Dance Theatre
Harbourfront Centre
235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8


Christina Sharpe
Dionne Brand


As part of a 2023-2024 Andrew Mellon Sawyer Seminar titled “Evasion: Thinking the Underside of Surveillance” we invite you to attend "Black Life in the Wake and the Making of Otherwise Projects" with Christina Sharpe and Dionne Brand on November 16th at the Fleck Dance Theatre. This discussion will raise questions around surveillance and carceral capitalism, rethinking structures of power, and spaces of transformation that can move us towards new possibilities. 

Reception to follow: 9:00 - 10:00pm

More about Professor Christina Sharpe:

Christina Sharpe is a writer, Professor, and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University in Toronto. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Race, Gender & Class (RGC), at the University of Johannesburg. Sharpe  is the author of three books: In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (Duke UP, 2016)—named by the Guardian and The Walrus as one of the best books of 2016 and a nonfiction finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects (Duke UP, 2010), and Ordinary Notes published in April 2023 (Knopf, Canada; FSG, USA, and Daunt, UK).  She is currently working on What Could a Vessel Be? (FSG, USA/Knopf, Canada 2025) and Black. Still. Life. (Duke UP, 2025). Her writing has appeared in many artist catalogues and in Frieze, Paris Review, Harpers, BOMB Magazine, The Funambulist, Artforum and Art in America.

More about Dionne Brand:

Dionne Brand is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist. Her writing is notable for the beauty of its language, and for its intense engagement with issues of international social justice 

Dionne Brand became prominent first as an award-winning poet, winning the Griffin Poetry Prize for her volume Ossuaries, the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Trillium Book Prize for her volume Land to Light On. She’s garnered two other nominations for the Governor General’s Literary Award for the poetry volumes No Language Is Neutral and Inventory respectively, the latter also nominated for the Trillium and the Pat Lowther. She has won the Pat Lowther Award for poetry for her volume thirsty also nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the city of Toronto Book Award.  Her 2018 volume, The Blue Clerk, was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry and the Griffin Poetry Prize and won the Trillium Book Prize. She was the Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto 2009-2012. In 2022 Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems was published.

Brand has also achieved great distinction and acclaim in fiction and non-fiction. She was awarded the Windam-Campbell Prize for fiction in 2021 Her most recent novel, Theory which also won the Toronto Book Award 2019 and the BOCAS fiction prize. Her novel, Love Enough was nominated in 2015 for the Trillium Book Award. Her fiction includes the critically acclaimed novels In Another Place, Not Here, At the Full and Change of the Moon, and, What We All Long For an indelible portrait of the city of Toronto which also garnered the Toronto Book Award. Dionne Brand’s non-fiction includes Bread Out Of Stone, and A Map to the Door of No Return, which has been widely taken up by scholars of Black Diaspora.

Dionne Brand was Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies, 2004-2022. She holds several Honorary Doctorates, Wilfred Laurier University, University of Windsor, Simon Fraser University, The University of Toronto, York University and Thornloe/Laurentian University.  

Brand was Poetry Editor at McClelland & Stewart (Penguin Random House Canada)2014-2021, and is now Editorial Director of Alchemy and imprint of Knopf Canada. She lives in Toronto. She is a member of the Order of Canada.

Contact Information

Katharine Bell


Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies


235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8