“Peace and Conflict”

Social Justice reading List

november 2021


What Strange Paradise by Omar al-Akkad 

Song of Batoche by Maia Caron

The Three Pleasures by Terry Watada

Aria by Nazanine Hozar

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

Obasan by Joy Kogawa

The Interpreters by Wole Soyinka


Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto (memoir)

Intolerable by Kamal Al-Solaylee (memoir)

The Emperor’s Orphans by Sally Ito

Insurgent Empire by Priyamvada Gopal

The Russian Revolution: A View from the Third World by Walter Rodney

Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World by Kumari Jayawarden

Revolution and Counterrevolution in China by Lin Chun

Short Fiction

Dusk in the Frog Pond by Rummana Chowdhury 

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim 

Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope by Beverley Naidoo

White Carnations by Musa Rahum Abbas

Other Moons Vietnamese Short Stories of the American War and Its Aftermath edited by Quan Manh Ha and Joseph Babcock

Graphic Novels

Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim

Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr Al Rabeeah 

The Scout by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson

If I Go Missing by Brianna Jonnie with Nahanni Shingoose

Plays and Poetry

Redpatch by Raes Calvert and Sean Harris Oliver (Play)

Postscripts from a City Burning by Sam Cheuk (Poetry)

Memory for Forgetfulness by Mahmoud Darwish (Poetry)

Food Narratives

2021 Genre Panel

The House Student Literary and Library Committee invites you to join us for our annual Genre Panel on Food Narratives, where we will be exploring the creative and professional experiences of food writers and the literary character of culinary narratives.

Food is an integral part of life. But it is not only life sustaining. It has the unique capacity for storytelling — bringing people together and evoking memories through generations. This event serves to enrich students and community members by sharing insights into the creative process, industry, and theory of food narratives, and it seeks to foster a deeper understanding of food narratives from the literary perspective.

Date: October 28, 2021

Time & Duration: 5:00 to 7:00 PM (2 hrs)

Location: Video Recording

Cost: Free

Event Contact: Emily Hurmizi and Matthew Lee


Suzanne Evans holds a PhD in Religious Studies. After working, studying, and living in China, Indonesia, India and Vietnam, she now lives and writes in Ottawa. Her writing, which has appeared in academic and literary journals, newspapers, magazines, and books, has a strong focus on women and war. Her new book, The Taste of Longing: Ethel Mulvany and her Starving Prisoners of War Cookbook, is the 2021 Forward Indies gold medalist for biography and is short listed for the Ottawa Book Awards (Nonfiction) and Taste Canada Award for Culinary Narrative.  

Ify Ogbue is a food stylist, photographer and recipe developer on a creative mission to capture the beauty of flavour. Her years of experience as a nutritionist lends to her deep understanding of the emotional connection food evokes within each of us. What began as a simple food blog, Yani’s Kitchen, quickly turned into a more meaningful, creative pursuit. 

Her use of natural light and shadows in her images lures viewers; allowing them to feel a sense of awe and comfort. She blends her understanding of visual storytelling, food styling and photography to tell food stories and works, not only to create images that inspire – but visually satiates.  

Ann Hui is the Globe and Mail’s national food reporter. She’s also the award-winning author of the bestselling book Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurants.

Trevor Lui has made a life and career surrounded by the sights and sounds of food and drink. He has spent more than 20 years producing thousands of event experiences as an executive for major entertainment venues, top-tier hotels & casinos for the likes of heads of states and Hollywood starlets. A diverse builder of innovative implementation, brand marketing, operations and ground-zero build outs, he likens a good, honest meal on a street corner than being tied down to a corporate boardroom. He’s a lover of ‘the story’ and inspired with each bite and sip around him and believes we are all connected through our dining experiences.

In 2018, Trevor shed his corporate job to fulfil his entrepreneurial dream of creating unique experiences. He has helped co-create and develop some of Toronto’s foremost food brands, Kanpai Snack Bar, Yatai Japanese Street Food, Shook Noodle, La Brea Food, Fat Rabbit and stackt market collaborations, Makan Noodle Bar, Pop Kitchen and the newest creation, Joybird.

His agency Highbell Group curates uniquely immersive culinary events that pushes the boundaries of innovation coupled with a growing list of clients that seek their services for branded video content in the style of his welldocumented Soulful Food Stories series. Trevor is also co-founder of the agency Quell representing food & drink talent with a focus on broadening BIPOC work and leadership.

In addition, Trevor is a frequent consultant, speaker & editorial contributor to industry publications and business forums as well as holding executive posts on boards in the global tourism and academia space. He has also provided promotional ambassadorship to numerous notable consumer brands and is a regular contributor to Cityline. Trevor just released his inaugural cookbook, Double Happiness, now available at all major retailers.

How To Get Published

Date: November 25, 2021

Time & Duration: 5:30 to 7:30 PM EST (2 hrs)

Location: Hart House Debates Room

Cost: Free

Event Contact: Emily Hurmizi and Matthew Lee

Want to know how to get published? Back by popular demand, the HHSL&LC ‘s “How to Get Published” Panel invites publishers and writers to share their experiences with the publishing industry and provide insight to emerging writers seeking to get their creative work (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc.) published. This event gets to the heart of the publishing industry and everything that an emerging writer needs to succeed.

The invaluable panel with editors and writers will feature a moderated panel discussion and Q & A session, where the panelists will answer audience questions about writing and publishing. Topics covered will include publishing options, the steps necessary to get published, and industry secret advice.

This panel event is intended for emerging writers and students in all fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc. But we welcome all members of the community to attend.

There will be limited in-person seating avaliable in the Debates Room of Hart House. We will also stream the event via Zoom for online participants.

Event Schedule

5:45 – Moderated Panel Discussion

6:30 – Break

6:40 – Questions and Answer

Accessibility information: Due to the ongoing campus construction, please enter Hart House through the accessible entrance at Tower Road from Hoskin Avenue. This is the only entrance to Hart House. Access to Hart House Circle from Tower Road remains closed. After your visit to Hart House, you can exit through the accessible doors at the Founder’s Prayer. There is also an exit at North Lane, most convenient for the use of visitors to Hart House Fitness Centre or The Hair Place.

Speaker Biographies

Pia Singhal is an acquiring editor with ECW Press, where she’s working on building a full list. So far, she has acquired a novel about the link between colonization and humanitarian work, a memoir by a former CTV reporter about the traumatic effects of crime reporting on victims, a book about the small ways we can redefine masculinity to become healthier for everyone who interacts with it, and a gothic horror about a biracial Vancouverite trapped on a small island with white supremacists. Prior to joining ECW, she worked at Westwood Creative Artists Ltd. with Jackie Kaiser, and at the beloved Type Books where she occasionally still hangs out. She strongly recommends the following reads: The Seas by Samantha Hunt, and In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado.

Tali Voron (she/her) is the Founder and Publisher at The Soap Box Press, an independent micro-press based in Toronto, that focuses on providing an accessible platform and community for emerging writers and creatives. Tali is also a freelance editor and the Editorial Assistant at Coach House Books. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto where she majored in English, and completed her Master of Arts in Literatures of Modernity at Ryerson University.

Silmy Abdullah is a Bangladeshi Canadian author and lawyer based in Toronto. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Toronto and completed her law degree at the University of Ottawa. Silmy is the author of Home of the Floating Lily, a collection of eight short stories that highlight the Bengali immigrant experience in Toronto. Set in both Canada and Bangladesh, the stories follow the lives of a few families as they navigate the complexities of migration, displacement, love, friendship, and familial conflict.

The Language of Hip Hop

Artist Talk

DillanPonders and Adrian Hayles

Artist Talk: The Language of Hip Hop

ince its underground inception in the Bronx in the 1970s, Hip Hop has grown to be a global artistic movement, which expresses the imagination, experiences, and unique language of Black and other underprivileged communities through djing, rapping, breaking, graffiti, fashion design, and writing. 

In this first installment of the HHSL&LC Artist Talks, visual artist and illustrator Adrian Hayles and rapper DillanPonders will discuss the power of Hip Hop as a tool for storytelling and creative expression, as well as the creative processes and practices behind their own work. 

This event is intended for emerging artists and students in the Toronto community, who are interested in harnessing their imagination in new and creative ways and in subverting ‘traditional’ approaches to storytelling.

Date: October 8, 2021

Time & Duration: 5:30 to 7:00 PM EST (1.5 hrs)

Cost: Free

Event Contact: Emily Hurmizi and Matthew Lee

2020-2021 Events

Annual Literary Fair

Intentional World-building

Finding Light in the Darkness

Student Journalism 101

Annual Genre Panel: A Deep Dive Into Comedy

Lingua Fantastica

How to Get Published

The WorldBuilding of Wakanda

Arbor Room Magazine

How to Find a Literary Agent

Write Outside Your House

Black Voices in Can Lit

Be Good to Yourself, Whoever You Are

Statement: The Tragedy at Kamloops Residential School

Dear Hart House and U of T Community,

The Hart House Student Literary and Library Committee stands in grief with Indigenous communities and extends our sincerest condolences to all those affected by the shameful and tragic events which took place at Kamloops Indian Residential School and residential schools throughout Turtle Island.  

The announcement by Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation that an unmarked mass grave site with the remains of 215 children was found at the Kamloops Indigenous Residential School in British Columbia serves as a powerful reminder of the unacknowledged past, ongoing injustices, and lack of meaningful actions taken to reconcile in ‘Canada.’ 

Residential Schools operated between the late 1800s to 1996 to forcibly remove over 150,000 Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit children from their communities and assimilate them into White Canadian Society. In residential schools, Indigenous children were forbidden from speaking their native language and practicing their culture. They endured physical and sexual abuse, and were denied adequate living conditions. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee estimates that approximately 3,200 to 6,000 children were killed while attending residential schools due to neglect, abuse, and violence. Those who survived suffer from deep and unspeakable trauma. 

We stand with Indigenous communities to demand accountability, acknowledgement, and action from the Canadian Government and the Catholic Church, which could include but is not limited to:

  • ‘Call of Actions’ listed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in a publicly available document released in 2015. The document details actions in:
  • Legacy of Residential School Survivors include policies to benefit Education, Health, Language and Culture and Justice system for residential school survivors
  • Reconciliation includes, demanding equity in legal systems, including indigenous history and treaties in the Pledge of Allegiance,Renewing or establishing Treaty relationships based on principles of mutual respect etc.

The Hart House Student Literary and Library Committee would also like to amplify the following:

  • As non-Indigenous people residing in Canada, we recognise our position as ‘Settlers,’ aim to acquaint ourselves with all the ‘Calls of Actions’ and promote them through our means.
  • We commit to learning more about the land that we are privileged to live and write on, and we aim to spread more information about the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River, such as through meaningful ‘Land Acknowledgements.’
  • As a committee focused on the appreciation of literature, we have and will continue to seek Indigenous stories, storytellers, poets and publications.
  • Through our committee, we have and we will continue to create an inclusive environment to listen and learn from Indigenous members of our society through all forms of art.
  • We have and will continue to maintain a rigid anti-discriminatory selection process for all competition based events, publications, and hiring positions.

The tragedy at Kamloops Indian Residential School speaks to the enduring trauma that Indigenous communities experience and how residential schools are not simply a chapter in Canada’s history. Ultimately, we stand with Indian Residential School Survivors Society in calling on the government, social institutions and corporations, and Canadian citizens to recognise the intergenerational effects of residential schools by “supporting research, education, awareness, partnerships, and advocating for justice and healing.”


The Hart House Student Literary and Library Committee

Mental Health and Trauma Resources

  • Indian Residential School Survivors Society (counseling, support, workshops, and traditional healing): 1-800-721-9966, https://www.irsss.ca/
  • National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
  • KUU-US Crisis Line Society (for those within B.C.): 1-800-588-8717
  • Talk4Healing: 1-855-554-HEAL (4325), https://www.talk4healing.com, Crisis: 1-888-200-9997

Books about Indigenous history and Residential Schools

  • Legacy: Trauma, Story, and Indigenous Healing by Suzanna Methot
  • A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott
  • Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
  • Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission