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Illingworth Kerr Gallery Inspiring Speaker Series Event and Reading List: Home

EVENT DATE Tuesday April 6th, 2021 Time 3PM MST / 5PM EST.

Inspiring Speakers Series: Reading List 

The Inspiring Speakers Series 2021 is moderated by visual artist, community organizer and social activist Nura Ali, in conversation with interdisciplinary artist and educator Deanna Bowen and Dr. Karina Vernon Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Bowen and Vernon will virtually discuss their individual research-based practices, and use of archives to confront false narratives about Black people’s presence in the prairies and throughout Canada, as well as the erasure of Black people from Canadian History.

In celebration of Black History and to promote the Inspiring Speaker Series, the Luke Lindoe Library collaborated with the Illingworth Kerr Gallery to distribute a reading list curated by visual artist, community organizer and social activist Nura Ali. Every Friday the Illingworth Kerr Gallery (IKG) and the Library released four (4) titles on the library web site, in the Friday Flyer, the Bulletin, and on the IKG Instagram @ikg_auarts. 

*Register to attend and receive the zoom link here on Eventbrite

Reference + Learning Services Specialist

Profile Photo
Catherine Carlyle
Alberta University of the Arts
1407 - 14 Ave. NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4R3

Event Recording



  • W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black FolkeBook, 2009 edition / Also available at Calgary Public Library
  • bell hooks, Art On My Mind: Visual Politicsbook, 1995 
  • Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novelbook, 1937 / Also available at Calgary Public Library 
  • Christina Elizabeth Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Beingbook, 2016 


  • James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negrobook, 2017 / Also available at Calgary Public Library
  • Karina Vernon, The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthologybook, 2020 / Also available at Calgary Public Library 
  • Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressedbook, 2018 [50th anniversary edition]
  • Saidiya Hartman, Lose your Mother: a Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Routebook, 2007 / Also available at Calgary Public Library 


  • Katherine McKittrick, Silvia Wynter, On Being Human as Praxisbook, 2015 
  • Dionne Brand, No Language is Neutralbook, 1998 
  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Manbook, 1995 / Also available at Calgary Public Library 
  • bell hooks, All About Love: New Visionsbook, 1952 / Also available at Calgary Public Library  


  • Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Anti-Black Worldbook, 2020 
  • Cheryl Foggo, Pourin’ down rain: a Black Woman Claims her Place in the Canadian Westbook, 2020 edition / Also available at Calgary Public Library
  • Zora Neale Hurston, Barracoon: the Story of the Last Black Cargobook, 2019 / Also available at Calgary Public Library
  • Christina Elizabeth Sharpe, Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjectsbook, 2010 


  • Bertrand Bickersteth, The Response of Weeds: a Misplacement of Black Poetry on the Prairiesbook, 2020 / Also available at Calgary Public Library 
  • Ibram X Kendi, How to Be an Antiracistbook, 2019 / Also available at Calgary Public Library 
  • Edouard Glissant, Poetics of Relationbook, 1997 edition 
  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature, book, 1986 


  • bell hooks, Bone Black: Memories of Girlhoodbook, 1996 
  • Richard Wright, The Outsiderbook, 2003 edition / Also available at Calgary Public Library 
  • Dionne Brand, The Blue Clerk: Ars Poetica in 59 Versosbook, 2019 / Also available at Calgary Public Library  
  • Fred Moten, In the Break: the Aesthetics of the Black Radical Traditionbook, 2003 / Also available at Calgary Public Library 


  • Saidiya Hartman, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicalsbook, 2020 / Also available at Calgary Public Library 
  • Robyn Maynard, Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Presentbook, 2017 / Also available at Calgary Public Library 
  • Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masksbookebook, 2008 
  • James Baldwin, The Fire Next Timebook, 1993 edition / Also available at Calgary Public Library 


  • Suzette Mayr, Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hallbook, 2017 / Also available at Calgary Public Library 
  • Katie Kellough, Magnetic Equatorbook, 2019 edition / Also available at Calgary Public Library 
  • Claude Brown, Manchild in the Promised Landbook, 2012 edition 
  • Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Studybook, 2013 

About Nura Ali

Nura Ali is a visual artist, community organizer and social activist, living and working in Calgary, Alberta. Her multidisciplinary practise engages issues of memory, place building, displacement and power. Nura is committed to community oriented organising and for this reason became one of the founding members of the Vancouver Artists Labour Union, a unionized workers cooperative with a mission to transform labour practices within the arts and cultural sector. Nura is deeply invested in strategies to dismantle oppressive structures and is keenly motivated to create welcoming,  inclusive and equitable spaces in the art world. 

About Deanna Bowen

Deanna Bowen is a descendant of two Alabama and Kentucky born Black Prairie pioneer families from Amber Valley and Campsie, Alberta. Bowen’s family history has been the central pivot of her auto-ethnographic interdisciplinary works since the early 1990s. She makes use of a repertoire of artistic gestures in order to define the Black body and trace its presence and movement in place and time. In recent years, her work has involved close examination of her family’s migration and their connections to Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley and Black Strathcona, the “All-Black” towns of Oklahoma, the Kansas Exoduster migrations and the Ku Klux Klan in Canada and the US. She is a recipient of a 2020 Governor General Award for Visual and Media Arts Award, a 2018 Canada Council Research and Creation Grant, an Ontario Arts Council Media Arts Grant in 2017, a 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and the 2014 William H. Johnson Prize. Her writing, interviews and art works have been published in Canadian Art, The Capilano Review, The Black Prairie Archives, and Transition Magazine. Bowen is editor of the 2019 publication Other Places: Reflections on Media Arts in Canada.

About Dr. Karina Vernon

Dr. Karina Vernon is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto Scarborough where she researches and teaches in the areas of Canadian and Black Canadian literature, Black aesthetics, archives, critical pedagogy, and Black-Indigenous solidarities. She is editor of The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology, published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2020 and a forthcoming companion volume, Critical Readings in the Black Prairie Archives.