Lectures

Performative Lecture: Kaie Kellough

The year 2019 marks a half century since the iconic Sir George Williams “affair”, during which students at what is now Concordia University in Montreal occupied the ninth floor of the Henry F. Hall Building in protest against racial bias in grading. Through their occupation, the students -- immigrants from the Caribbean, members of various black diasporas, and their allies -- denounced racist pedagogical practices and the administration’s dismissal of students’ concerns. On the final day of the occupation, police entered the building, assaulting and arresting nearly 100 people. The former student protestors never received an apology, and the events of the fourteen day student occupation remains a traumatic moment in Montreal history and represents a major instance of Black radical action in Canada.

During this event, Kaie Kellough, one of the organizers a conference held to commemorate the occupation, called Protests and Pedagogy, will discuss and respond to the lingering legacy of this moment and its renewed relevance in the context of Vincent Meessen’s exhibition Blues Klair.

Kellough’s work emerges at a crossroads of social engagement and formal experiment. From western Canada, he lives in Montreal and maintains a strong relationship with the Caribbean, with roots in Guyana, South America. His books include Magnetic Equator (2019) and Dominoes at the Crossroads (Fall 2019). His novel Accordéon was shortlisted for the Amazon/Walrus Foundation First Novel Award. His vocal performance, recorded audio, and electronic narrative explore migration and the suspension of arrival.