Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs

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Robert Sutherland Visitorship


The Robert Sutherland Visitorship was established in 1997 by the John Deutsch University Centre, Queen’s University, on the recommendation of the Robert Sutherland Task Force. The Task Force recommended, in part:

"That the John Deutsch University Centre establish the Robert Sutherland Visitorship, with the express purpose of bringing to campus a noted speaker each year with expertise in the areas of equity, community diversity and race relations."

Funded by the JDUC, the Visitorship Committee has brought a number of distinguished visitors to the campus since 1998, including: Esmeralda Thornhill, Enid Lee, Ken Wiwa, Patricia McFadden, Faith Nolan, William Commanda and Romola Trebilcock, George Elliott Clarke, Afua Cooper and Lawrence Hill.

Award Criteria

The terms of reference for the Sutherland Visitorship are to bring to campus a noted speaker with expertise in the areas of equity, community diversity and race relations. The Visitor will be expected to:

• attend the campus for several days;

• engage with students, staff, faculty and members of the community;

• participate in academic activities and/or research workshops, as may be programmed;

• deliver a public address on a topic related to the areas of equity, community diversity or race relations.

The Visitorship includes food, travel and accommodation (under Queen’s University guidelines) and an honorarium (or donation to a charity).

Nomination Process

Any person or group within the Queen’s community is eligible to make a nomination. A nomination should include: statement of suitability, topic of public address, biography, proposed programme, university and community partnership potential, and any other relevant information, web links, etc. Please indicate the role the nominator would expect to play in programme delivery.

The 2013 nomination period will occur later in 2013. 

Nominations should be sent to the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, Gordon Hall 300, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6,

Selection Process

Nominations will be adjudicated by the Visitorship Committee, which is composed of Queen’s students, staff and faculty, and chaired by the Assistant Dean, Student Affairs.

Administration and Reporting

The Visitorship is administered through The Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs.


The 2013 Sutherland Visitor was Dr. Jasbir Puar, Edward Said Chair of American Studies, American University of Beirut, Lebanon and  Associate Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University , USA. She is the author of  Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times.

Dr. Puar visited Queen's January 16-18, 2013 to speak with several groups of students and give a public lecture entitled Homonationalism, Sex, and Disability: Pinkwashing and Biopolitics in the Middle East.

Her presentation surveyed recent debates on what has been termed “pinkwashing”: the use of gay rights by the Israeli government to deflect attention from its occupation of Palestine. Instead of reproducing a queer exceptionalism – homonationalism – that singles out homosexuality as a particular facet of state control, Dr. Puar argues that the practice of pinkwashing should be situated within a broader biopolitics of state control that invests in a range of bodies and bodily habits. The focus will be specifically on the use of disability as part of a biopolitical assemblage of control that instrumentalizes a spectrum of capacities and debilities for the use of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Dr. Puar was hosted by the Department of Gender Studies and the Sexuality and Gender Diversity Certificate Program.  

Read more about Dr. Puar's visit