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"Autotheory as Feminist Practice" Lauren Fournier & Pamila Matharu in Conversation

Tue, Mar 16/21 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm


In this talk, Pamila Matharu and Lauren Fournier will be in conversation on the occasion of the launch of Fournier’s new book Autotheory as Feminist Practice in Art, Writing, and Criticism (The MIT Press, 2021). The two will discuss ideas that Fournier takes up in the book, including the state of the “autotheoretical turn” in recent feminist art, the role that histories of intersectional feminist activism play in contemporary conversations and trends, the ethics of disclosure and exposure, and the relationship between autotheory, autofiction, and other terms, like auto-ethnography. The two will draw from their backgrounds as artists, writers, and curators involved in feminist organizing in Toronto and elsewhere to discuss the use of autobiographical materials in critical and conceptual work. Books will be available for purchase.

Lauren Fournier is a writer, curator, and filmmaker who writes autotheories and autofictions for the page and the screen. She is currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Visual Studies, where she is working with Lisa Steele on a studio-based project that extends an autotheoretical approach to a critical consideration of whiteness, settler-colonialisms, and class. She has co-edited a special issue of ASAP/Journal on "autotheory" with her collaborator Alex Brostoff, which will be launched at UC Berkeley in May. Her first two books, an academic monograph through The MIT Press and an autofictional novel through Fiction Advocate are forthcoming in winter and spring 2021.

Pamila Matharu is a settler of northern Indian Panjabi descent, born in Birmingham, England, based in Tkarón:to (Toronto). A graduate of the Visual Arts and Fine Arts BEd programs from York University, she works primarily in visual arts, alternative education and cultural production. A recipient of the Toronto, Ontario and Canada Art Councils creation/production grants, she has screened and exhibited her work locally, regionally, nationally. Recently she was awarded the CONTACT Photo Festival’s 2020 Burtynsky Photobook Award, the 2019 Images Festival Homebrew Award and the 2019 Ontario Association of Art Galleries’ Exhibition of the Year, for her critically acclaimed first solo exhibit One of These Things Is Not Like The Other at A Space Gallery, Toronto (2019). She’s been a volunteer Board member for CARFAC Ontario, Gallery 44, Toronto Artscape, Images Festival, and SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre). Currently in research and development is Where Were You in ‘92?, a new project slated to debut in October 2021 at the Archives of Ontario, an invitation by Archive I Counter-Archive, iterations will continue to unfold at the Or Gallery (Vancouver, BC), and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, ON), through the spring and summer of 2022 respectively.

This talk is part of the Winter MVS Proseminar speakers series (organized by Charles Stankievech), other speakers include: Kapwani Kiwanga (Jan 17), Filipa Ramos (Jan 23, in partnership with Mercer Union), Rui Amaral (March 23) and Irenonsen Okojie (Feb 23). In the Fall we presented Chris LeeAngela Schubot, and the Airspace Tribunal (in partnership with the Power Plant) and the 50th Anniversary Reading of Éden, Éden Éden (in partnership with the Musee D’Orsay's Donatien's Grau and the Association Pierre Guyotat). Please consult the MVS Proseminar events listing at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design for details of upcoming events:


Specifically, this book launch is presented in partnership with MIT Press and TYPE Books.