Discovering University Worlds Conference / Jan 13 2023

Conference Poster

The day-long event on January 13 is the wrap-up final conference for the “Discovering university worlds” project, funded by SSHRC.

Short presentations by numerous students and faculty will be given, presenting research on different aspects of the university (U of T, in our case).

The gathering will be held in the anthropology department in the St George campus.

10.00 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Tania Li. Why study our own university?

10.15 PANEL 1: U Of Tears: student-led research 

Student-led research including Karuna Sinha on COVID 19, Olivia Bernard and Vallari Patel on “Dropping out”, Alyanna Denise Chua on international students, Huibin Lin on recruiting in China, Lena Yuan on “Being evaluated”. Moderator: Girish Daswani

11.45 KEYNOTE: Bobby Lee and Tristan Ahtone / project

Cambridge historian Bobby Lee and US Indigenous journalist Tristan Ahtone explain the public history website ‘’, on the unjust enrichment of US ‘land grant’ universities.

2.15 PANEL 2 : U of T as employer

Justin Holloway on unionization at U of T; Michelle Buckley and Kiran Mirchandani on outsourcing; Emiri Katakawa on campus policing, Deb Cowen on the Censure U of T campaign. Moderator: Tania Li

3.30 PANEL 3: Activism, politics and money at U of T

Amanda Harvey-Sanchez on Divestment; Mike Lawler on Food Security; Alejandro Paz on Hearing Palestine; and Chelsea Tao on innovation and intellectual property. Moderator: Mark Hunter

The project

University Worlds is an interdisciplinary SSHRC funded project based at the University of Toronto that explores a deceptively simple question: what is a university?

Student and faculty researchers follow this question into lecture halls, boardrooms, student group meetings, planning documents, and archives to develop a complex but vivid portrait of Toronto’s largest academic institution.

Our goal is to explore the everyday experience of people who work or study at the university, and to shine a bright light on the workings of power. This no simple matter as the University of Toronto is a massive institution. It stretches across three campuses with over 61,000 students and 27,000 full- and part-time staff. The two key research themes are student experience, highlighting issues of diversity and the actions students take to challenge and shape university worlds; and university mandates, which extend far beyond research and teaching to matters such as real estate development and financial management.