"Spectres of In/Visibility" will be held on October 23, 2009,
from 8 am to 7:30 pm at the University of Toronto.
*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
*Historic National Gathering Aims to Fill the Research Gap on Filipinos in
Toronto, Ontario (September 8, 2009) - Leading scholars will convene to
address the absence of academic and policy discussions on Filipinos in
Canada, the third largest non-European ethnic group in the country.
"Spectres of In/Visibility" will be held on October 23, 2009, from 8 am to
7:30 pm at the University of Toronto.
The symposium's featured speakers will include Dr. Eleanor Ty of English and
Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Dr. Leonora Angeles of Community
and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Bonnie
McElhinny of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies at the University of
According to the 2006 Statistics Canada Profile, the Filipino population in
Canada is estimated to be just over 436,190 people. Although 31% of
Filipinos have university degrees and 72% participate in the labour force,
Filipinos in Canada make $5,000 less than the national average income. The
Filipino community in Canada also has a higher proportion of women compared
to the national population (57% compared to 51% nationally). Many of these
women have come to Canada through the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), a
federal work program that has garnered considerable attention among
policymakers and in the media in recent months.
The symposium will focus on migration, labour, race, and gender issues, and
will also showcase other topics, such as arts, health, and politics. John
Paul C. Catungal, a graduate student in Geography at the University of
Toronto, says that this broader view is necessary to expand the prevailing
attention on the LCP and youth violence. He notes, "While the experiences of
caregivers and at-risk youth are important, we want to go beyond
stereotypical 'nannies and gangsters' representations and explore the
complexities of Filipino lives in Canada."
"The symposium was developed out of a community need to fill the research
gap on Filipinos in Canada," says Dr. Roland Sintos Coloma, a faculty member
in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education and the only Filipino professor
at the University of Toronto. He adds, "It will be a groundbreaking
gathering. It will bring together a critical mass of scholars throughout
Canada, for the first time, to develop a national academic platform for
Filipino Canadian Studies."
The symposium is free and open to the public. It is organized by Kritikal
Kolektibo, a group of faculty and graduate students interested in Filipino
Studies at the University of Toronto. This event is sponsored by the Social
Sciences and Humanities Research Council and a number of faculties,
institutes, and departments at the university. The registration form and
schedule are available online at http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/rsc/filcan2009/
Roland Sintos Coloma, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Sociology and Equity Studies in Education
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto
Office Phone: (416) 978-0462