Asked to speak about the #MeToo movement and the Academy, I would like this talk to be an occasion for critical engagement that goes beyond a mere litany of names and offenses. How should the Academy be addressing the #MeToo movement? How can we frame this teaching moment, derived as it is from working conditions in the arts and entertainment industry? By providing an opportunity for interrogation and interpretation, we can move the discussion past one particular industry and address the underlying issues of impropriety and the imbalance of systemic power as it relates to women in the workforce not just as a backstory but also as a pivotal turning point for the future.
Joan Simalchik is a Senior Fellow, Massey College, and the Director of the Women and Gender Studies Program, University of Toronto Mississauga. She researches, teaches, and writes on the themes of gender, violence, historical memory and trauma, and the aftermath of war and dictatorship. She is the author of the Canadian edition of Women’s Realities, Women’s Choices (Oxford University Press, 2017) and The Public Dimension of Privatized Trauma: Impact and Response in Where To From Here? Examining Conflict-Related and Relational Interaction Trauma (forthcoming May 2019, Brill). As a governance board member of the Family Services Peel’s Institute on Violence Prevention she is organizing, with Harvard’s Heal Network, a Global Conference on Human Trafficking and Trauma to be held at UTM in June. Dr. Simalchik is the recipient of the Ludwig and Estelle Jus Human Rights Award from the University of Toronto and the President of the Republic of Chile Award for Humanitarian Service to the People of Chile.