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Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.

Queen’s Reads explores Canadian identity

With more than 4,000 free copies of this year’s Queen’s Reads book, The Break, distributed to students, and discussion groups underway, the university’s common reading program is preparing to hold its first campus-wide event: a panel on what it means to be Canadian.

The campus community is invited to gather on Wednesday, Nov.  8 at 6:30 pm in Wallace Hall in the John Deutsch University Centre to ask questions and hear from students, staff and faculty members from a breadth of faculties and schools, as they talk about being Canadian in light of Canada 150.

The panelists are:

  • Lee Airton (Professor, Education)
  • Thomas Dymond (Med’20)
  • Audrey Kobayashi (Professor, Geography and Planning)
  • Robert Lovelace (Professor, Global Development Studies)
  • Barrington Walker (Professor, History)
  • Lauren Winkler (ArtSci’17, JD’20)

“We are so fortunate to have such a distinguished group of Queen’s community members participating in Queen’s Reads,” says Kevin Collins, Coordinator, Student Development in the Student Experience Office. “The panel will share their diverse perspectives on what it means to be a Canadian, to discuss intersectionality in relation to identity, and to investigate why Canada 150 celebrations can be problematic and how we can work together to better incorporate reconciliation into our daily lives.”

The Break, by Winnipeg author Katherena Vermette, tells an intergenerational story of a Metis family as they navigate the effects of trauma. It was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, shortlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads 2017, and is the recipient of the 2017 Amazon First Novel award. 

Free copies of the novel will be available for all Queen’s students at the panel event. Everyone is encouraged to attend, even if you haven’t read the book.

This term’s discussion groups, which focus on the first half of the book and include a bookmark-making activity are being held on Monday, Nov. 13, Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Tuesday, Dec. 5.  Registration is available online.

Learn more about Queen’s Reads and all of the program activities planned this term and throughout academic year, including a campus visit by Ms. Vermette in March.

The Break explores important messages related to identity, diversity, Indigenous culture, intergenerational trauma, sexual violence and resilience. If support is needed at any time to help readers navigate these topics, there are resources available for students, as well as for faculty and staff.