Ryerson University

 

Over the past 150 years, Canada has earned a global reputation for being an inclusive, multicultural nation that honours the plethora of voices, faces, and spaces that have shaped our country’s identity. As we celebrate the achievements of our country on its 150th anniversary, we also pose questions about what voices have been silenced and what faces have been hidden in the process of creating a Canadian nationality and identity. Contested Lands: Canadiana at 150 features rare books, photographs, postcards, letters, and other historical objects while considering themes of contestation involving First Nations peoples, the Great War and Canadian women. 

 

William Gush. Egerton Ryerson, c.1836. Oil. 76.2 cm x 101.6 cm (including frame). Courtesy of the Ryerson University Archives and Special Collections.

Showcasing artefacts from the MLC Research Archive and from the Ryerson University Archives and Special Collections, the exhibition includes an original oil portrait by William Gush from 1836 of Egerton Ryerson, alongside the critical literary exploration of residential schools by Mohawk writer Tekahionwake (E. Pauline Johnson) and the image of an unknown Indigenous woman pictured upon a striking mere three-inch glass slide.

 

The trauma of the Great War 1914-1918 and Canada’s role in combat is considered through the original trench school war diary of Lieutenant Percy Puley, which provides lesson plans and notes for educating soldiers on how to protect themselves from gas attacks. Tiny vintage war photography is juxtaposed with the prolific work of women such as Canada’s first unofficial woman war artist Mary Riter Hamilton, who painted the battlefields from 1919 to 1921 in an effort to mitigate the trauma suffered by those wounded in the war. In this, the exhibition also considers the achievements of Canadian women who challenged the unequal political landscape.

 

"This exhibit shines a light on our past and, in doing so, it demonstrates why equity, diversity, and inclusion are an essential part of all that we do at Ryerson. We know that by welcoming a range of worldviews, experience and knowledge we greatly enrich our learning, teaching, research, and work environments.” says Mohamed Lachemi, president and vice-chancellor of Ryerson University. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to this exhibit to engage in these topics, which are more important and more relevant than ever.” 

 

“We are excited about this contribution to the Canada 150 celebrations,” says Irene Gammel, who curated the exhibition with a team of graduate students and recent graduates including Sasi Evani, Cameron MacDonald, Kate Vallely and Audrey Willsey. “We are proud to partner with the Ryerson Archives who have loaned us some of their treasures and with ACCUTE [the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English] as part of the Congress of the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences.”

 

ACCUTE president Manina Jones, a professor of English at the University of Western Ontario, and her team have been planning for Congress 2017 at Ryerson for almost a year. “We are keen to join forces on this exhibition, which will be of great interest to ACCUTE members,” she notes. The exhibition complements the association’s academic programming under the umbrella of the Congress theme, The Next 150, On Indigenous Lands.

 

Congress 2017 is expected to bring up to ten thousand visitors to the Ryerson Campus from May 27 – June 2, 2017. For those who cannot come to Ryerson, the exhibition includes a live Twitter discussion, providing a participatory element through which to contemplate and critique the contested lands of Canada’s past and present.

 

WWI Portrait of Lt. Percy M. Puley. Photograph. Courtesy of the PPCLI Regimental Museum and Archives.

Exhibition

May 28 - June 30, 2017

Monday – Thursday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM 

 

Exhibition Opening

Sunday, May 28, 1:45-3:15 PM.

MLC Gallery, 111 Gerrard Street East.

Refreshments will be served.

Free of charge and open to the General Public.

 

Live Twitter Discussion

@MLC_Research

Tuesdays, May 23 and 30

 

To RSVP, please contact admin@mlc.ryerson.ca.

For media inquiries, please contact media@mlc.ryerson.ca 

 

Please click for the poster-pdf here

 

Mary Riter Hamilton, Battlefields, 1919. Oil on light cardboard with separate wood backing. 34.4 cm x 27.2 cm. Library and Archives Canada.

 

 

 

Exhibition Opening Photo Gallery

 

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

MLC Themes

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

Amid the unprecedented social change of World War I, women renegotiated their identities by dramatically changing the way they engaged with the arts. But how did they do so? And how did everyday citizens engage with the war?

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

MLC Themes

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, considered by many to be the mother of Dada, was a daringly innovative poet and an early creator of junk sculpture. “The Baroness” was best known for her sexually charged, often controversial performances.

Modernism in the World

MLC Themes

Modernism in the World

Recent research has departed from the Euro-centric and national view of Modernism to include approaches and methods studying Modernism across national boundaries and across different art forms to include fashion, dance, performance, technology, and visual culture.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

MLC Themes

Lucy Maud Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery is perhaps Canada's most important literary export. She was prolific writer of over 500 short stories and poems, and twenty novels, including the beloved Anne of Green Gables.

Canadian Modernism

MLC Themes

Canadian Modernism

The works of numerous Canadian authors who lived during the modernist era may well constitute the most central and experimental articulation of Canadian modernism in prose, allowing authors to stage cross-cultural, controversial, and even conflicted identities.

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

MLC Themes

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

Life writing, including autobiographical accounts, diaries, letters and testimonials written or told by women and men whose political, literary or philosophical purposes are central to their lives, has become a standard tool for communication and the dissemination of information.