The Florence Bird Lecture, one of the major lecture series at Carleton University, is named in honour of Senator Florence Bird who served as the Chair of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women (1967-1970).

Each year, the Lecture features a prominent individual and highlights their important work in their respective field.  The topics of the Florence Bird Lecture have varied significantly over the years, but always focus on areas of particular concern for an equitable and just society.

Previous speakers have included the Honourable Monique Bégin, Madeleine Parent, Dr. Glenda Simms, Judy Rebick, Maureen O’Neill, Maureen McTeer, the Honourable Susan Whelan, Nelofer Pazira, and “Jane Doe” among others.

Our 2016 speaker was Ivan Coyote, presenting their lecture: Neither, Nor: How to Circumnavigate the Gender Binary in Seven Thousand Easy Steps. They spoke on Monday, March 7th at 1:00pm in 303 Paterson Hall. See the poster here.

ivan004Photo credit: Jourdan Tymkow

Ivan Coyote is the award-winning author of ten books, the creator of four short films, and has released three CDs that combine storytelling with music. Ivan is a seasoned stage performer and long-time road dog, and over the last eighteen years has become an audience favourite at storytelling, writer’s, film, poetry, and folk music festivals from Anchorage to Amsterdam.

The Globe and Mail newspaper called Coyote “a natural-born storyteller” and the Ottawa Xpress once said that “Coyote is to Canadian literature what kd lang is to country music: a beautifully odd fixture.”

Ivan often grapples with the complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity in their work, as well as topics such as family, class, social justice and queer liberation, but always with a generous heart, a quick wit, and the nuanced and finely-honed timing of a gifted raconteur. Ivan’s stories remind of us of our own fallible and imperfect humanity while at the same time inspiring us to change the world.

Check out their website, Facebook, and Twitter!

Past Florence Bird Lectures