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Aging Activisms hosting the opening plenary at TrentAging2019 | May 28 2019

Aging Activisms will be hosting the opening plenary for the Trent Aging 2019 conference at Trent University. Our opening is just one part of a jam-packed conference program with so much that is worth checking out. Find the program for TrentAging 2019 here, and read on to find out more about our opening plenary!

Storying Activisms: Reshaping Cultural Imaginaries of Aging

What can intergenerational activist storytelling research contribute to aging studies? We open TrentAging2019 with attention to how diverse stories of activist aging can call on us, as scholars and practitioners, to rethink gerontological concepts, reconfigure dominant narratives, and reshape our cultural imaginaries of aging.

Hosted by Aging Activisms, a research program and activist-research collective led by Dr. May Chazan at Trent University, the opening plenary will feature three thought-provoking digital stories, followed by a dynamic panel discussion. We will showcase the creative process and emerging findings from five research-generation workshops carried out between 2016 and 2018, recording the stories of over 70 community activists, scholars, and students of varied ages, backgrounds, genders, and abilities. This project contributes to critical efforts to expand the epistemological scope of aging studies, inspired by Sandberg and Marshall’s question, “whose lives are worth preserving for old age?”

Dr. Chazan will moderate an intergenerational panel of three panelists, ranging in ages from 27 to 72, who have participated in this research as storytellers, research facilitators, and/or community participants: Melissa Baldwin, Dr. Jenn Cole, and Mary Gordon.

Dr. May Chazan holds Trent’s Canada Research Chair in Gender and Feminist Studies and serves as an executive member for Trent’s Centre for Aging and Society. She teaches, parents, researches, writes, organizes, and leads the Aging Activisms research collective in Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg territory (Peterborough, Canada), where she gratefully nurtures relationships with, and to learn from, four generations of brilliant thinkers and activists. In Trent’s Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, Chazan teaches courses on feminist and decolonial activisms, feminist methodologies, and the intersections of gender, race, and class.

Chazan’s program of research, Aging Activisms: Storying Resistance, Resurgence, and Resilience, explores why and how activists of different backgrounds, genders, abilities, and generations work for change throughout their lives, how they connect across time and space, and how they narrate, circulate, and archive their own stories of resistance.


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