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The latest from Lambda Foundation! PDF Print E-mail
Written by President May 25, 2015, updating   
Friday, 28 November 2014 16:25

Lambda News Flashes


Professor Nicole LaViolette, whose name graces our award at the University of Ottawa, has left Lambda a  generous gift of $9,750, bringing the current total of the endowment to over $31,000.  Nicole passed away in May after a very brave and determined struggle with cancer. She accomplished a great deal in the area of international human rights even after her  illness was first diagnosed four years ago. She was truly an inspiration.  Donations to the Nicole LaViolette Friends of Lambda Prize can be made through Lambda and we will forward them to the University of Ottawa. See the How to Donate tab at the top of this page. Let's keep Nicole's wonderful spirit alive!


We are pleased to announced that Ellis Hofmann is the latest recipient of the Jack Hallam Human Rights Award at Gulf Islands Secondary School on Salt Spring Island, BC. Ellis' award-winning essay describes his experience helping a friend deal with transphobia in ways that benefitted them both.  For more details, see  our west coast news link (below). Congratulations, Ellis!


Lambda has a new director in Kathleen Reed, a librarian and technical research expert at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo.  Kathleen will coordinate our web presence. We will post more details of her many accomplishments and contributions to the LGBTI community later. Welcome, Kathleen!


Lambda’s university awards for excellent research and writing have been endowed with the purpose of supporting education in human rights, specifically on sexual orientation and gender identity. Our winners will become the professors, teachers, writers, film makers, health care professionals, international workers, lawyers, etc. who will bring an enlightened view of LGBTI issues to their colleagues, clients/students and audiences in their respective fields. Our awards also foster an LGBTI-supportive atmosphere at our nine host universities.


Lambda has a new name: Lambda Scholarship Foundation Canada. We changed it because potential donors sometimes confused our previous name, Lambda Literary and Scholarship Foundation, with the Lambda Literary Foundation in the United States. We will still be known to you, in short form, as Lambda Foundation/Fondation Lambda. We have retained our charitable status as well. That means we still issue tax receipts for donations. See the How to Donate Tab at the top of this home page. Any time is a good time to donate to Lambda! Thank you!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2015 16:44
Two outstanding winners share Lambda’s Gary Sealey award at Carleton PDF Print E-mail
Written by secretary   
Friday, 08 May 2015 13:53

Two PhD students are sharing our newly named Gary Sealey Friends of Lambda Award for their innovative and bold research. They are Melanie Rickert in Anthropology and Charlotte Hoelke in Canadian Studies. It is the first time the Lambda award at Carleton has been presented under its new name. Melanie won the Lambda Award at Carleton a couple of years ago for her MA research.

Melanie tells us: My doctoral research stems from my MA thesis which focused on queer activism and activists in St-Petersburg, Russia. For my dissertation, my goal is to return to Russia - cities to be determined (possibly Moscow and St-Petersburg). I aim to explore the many ways in which individuals who might identify along the LGBT spectrum are positioned as ‘other' (un-Russian, abnormal, against the norm) by the state. Furthermore, I seek to understand how these individuals are fostering spaces - public, collective, and accessible - that offer them the opportunity to build areas of acceptance, and shared experiences in cities (and a country) that continue to attempt to invalidate their experiences, and existence.


Melanie Rickert celebrates Pride with her mother Lynne

Our other winner, Charlotte Hoelke, is focusing on the connections between Indigenous and Queer culture. Charlotte writes: “My current doctoral dissertation research explores the ways in which Indigenous erotic arts engage in decolonization efforts by voicing Indigenous perspectives and views of sexuality and gender, and envisioning new Indigenized futures free of subjugation and assimilation.  I am also interested in how Indigenous erotica can be used as a teaching tool, and as a catalyst to foster much-needed conversations between scholars of Indigenous Studies and Queer Theory.”

Charlotte Hoelke presents her research

Charlotte Hoelke completed a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies and Religions from Nipissing University in 2010, a Masters of Arts in Religion and Public Life from Carleton University in 2012 and a Masters of Arts in Canadian Studies (Indigenous Studies and the North) in 2013.  She is currently a student in the PhD program in Canadian Studies at Carleton.  Her research interests include: Indigenous erotic art; Queer Theory; and sexual and reproductive justice.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 May 2015 16:49
LaViolette Prize Winner at Ottawa U Investigates LGBT Rights in the Caribbean. PDF Print E-mail
Written by President May 25, 2015, updating posts starting   
Saturday, 08 September 2012 21:31


Cailey Dover in Saint François, Guadeloupe

Cailey Dover in Saint François, Guadeloupe


Cailey Dover, who is investigating the history and progress of LGBT rights in Guadeloupe and Jamaica, is the first person to win the Lambda award at Ottawa U since it was renamed in the Nicole LaViolette Friends of Lambda Prize last year. Cailey is a graduate student in Political Science with a specialization in Women’s Studies. For her Master’s thesis research, she is carrying out a comparative examination of the legal and other colonial traditions in Jamaica (English common law) and Guadeloupe (French civil law), and the different impacts they have had on LGBT peoples, their rights and their activism in those two countries. There is still very little academic research on LGBT rights in the Caribbean and this thesis will be among the pioneer student contributions to this field.

Aside from her research interests, Cailey has been active in the LGBT community in Ottawa. She is a member of Amnesty International and helped organize the Capital Pride human rights vigil in 2013, among other activities.

Professor Nicole LaViolette (1963-2015)

The Lambda Foundation renamed its award at Ottawa U to honour one of our first prize winners at that institution, Professor Nicole LaViolette of the Faculty of Law, who died  May 22, 2015. She became an internationally renowned scholar, as well as a local activist, in LGBT refugee rights. She was a wonderful example to her students. The new name also honours the many Friends of Lambda, who established and sustained the original endowment.

Since the award's  inception, Lambda has been conducting an ongoing campaign to increase the endowment, which we hope you will support. Please go to the How to Donate tab at the top of this home page.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 May 2015 16:10
First Lambda Winner at Laurentian Explores Media Silence over LGBT Rights at Sochi Olympic Games; meanwhile, there’s more action on campus diversity PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 08 May 2015 14:34

The first recipient of the Grant Halle Lambda Foundation Award at Laurentian is Kirby Johnson, a second year Masters student in the Human Kinetics program who focuses on sports, including media coverage. He was particularly interested in the impact of Russia’s antigay law on all the LGBT people who performed at, or attended, the Sochi Olympics. Kirby writes: “My research focuses on Canadian media representations of Article 6.21 of the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences (Russia's anti-gay law). Using keyword searches, I collected all articles from The Globe and Mail and La Presse referring to Article 6.21, Vladimir Putin, LGBT, LGBT rights, etc. from the promulgation of Article 6.21 (June, 2013) until July 7, 2014. I have found that these Canadian media outlets gave adequate media coverage to Article 6.21, LGBT rights in Russia, and the situation in Russia following the introduction of the law, but The Globe and Mail and La Presse failed to discuss the implications on LGBT athletes, coaches, media members, or fans travelling to Sochi as Olympic Games guests.” His research demonstrates that there is still media silence about LGBT issues in sports, and this was particularly true of the two major dailies he studied in the Sochi case. Kirby, who is studying for his MHK under the supervision of Professor Barbara Ravel, completed his undergraduate degree in Physical and Health Education (2011) at Laurentian University as well as his Bachelor of Education (2012). He was recently hired by the York Region District School Board as an occasional teacher. In his spare time, he does play-by-play coverage of Laurentian’s basketball teams.



Kirby Johnson calling the play-by-play on the basketball court


Kirby says he really appreciates winning the Lambda award and thanks the main benefactor, Grant Halle, an antiques dealer in the Sudbury area.  Mr. Halle decided he wanted to contribute to LGBT scholarship in this way, and make the research award available to any graduate and undergraduate students studying in either English or French in any Laurentian program. It’s Lambda’s first award in Northern Ontario. So far he has raised over $18,000 for the endowment, while other donors, including Laurentian staff, have chipped in with monthly and single donations.


Grant Halle


We are still building the Grant Halle Lambda Award until it is worth at least $1000 each year, so please donate to this inspiring cause.  You can contribute through CanadaHelps or send us a cheque. You will find the link at the top of the home page.


Action on LGBT Diversity at Laurentian


The timing of the first Grant Halle Lambda Award could not be better, from our perspective. Three years ago, Dr. Joël Dickinson of the Psychology Department and her associates on the Sexuality and Gender Diversity Committee released the results of a campus study.


Prof. Joël Dickinson


The study found that while some LGBT students and staff said they felt welcome at Laurentian, others did not, and there was still work to be done.


Prof. Dickinson reports that since then, several great things have happened.  The administration has demonstrated its support in tangible ways.  The University President, Dominic Giroux opened Pride Week on campus this winter, and he and his executive team wore “Ally” buttons the entire week. Prof. Dickinson and her committee held a successful Ally Education Day, with pins and handouts on how to be an LGBTQ2-S ally.  She also reports that there are plans for a minor in critical gender and sexuality studies in the English department, with new and revised courses, that she hopes will be available to students in 2016. Her committee is also putting the final touches on a Safe Space training program for staff to be housed in the Human Resources department. And there are plans afoot to make all new bathrooms installed on campus gender neutral.


That is great progress! Congratulations from Lambda to Prof. Dickson and her committee as well as to President Giroux and the LGBT-supportive faculty, staff and students at Laurentian.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:41
Introducing the latest member of our Lambda team. PDF Print E-mail
Written by secretary   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 19:04 Morris IV is very excited to start working with the Lambda Foundation as the Social Media Coordinator volunteer. He hails from Nova Scotia, grew up in Kuwait and Pennsylvania, and currently calls Montreal home. He graduated from McGill University in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, sociology, and sexual diversity studies. As an undergrad, Jefferson was involved with LGBTI issues, student support programs, and event-planning and promotion. He hopes to dedicate his career to improving the lives of minority groups, particularly queer ones. Welcome, Jefferson!


Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 21:12
U of Manitoba award winner examines enforced gender identity norms on intersex people PDF Print E-mail
Written by secretary   
Saturday, 29 March 2014 00:02

Congratulations to Katelyn Dykstra Dykerman, a second-year PhD student in the Department of English, Film, and Theatre at The University of Manitoba and the current winner of Lambda’s Les McAfee Memorial Award. She tells us: “My current research engages questions regarding the eugenic treatment of LGBTI+ peoples but instead of focusing on historical eugenics, as I have done in my previous research, I discuss current debates regarding LGBTI+ people in the realm of genetics. I focus particularly on contemporary debates surrounding the medical treatment of intersex conditions and how these treatments can and do mirror the exclusionary practices of historical eugenics in an effort to construct clear, and normalized, bodily categories of sex, gender, and sexuality.”

U of Manitoba award winner examines enforced gender identity norms on intersex people

Katelyn is a member of the Queer Biopolitics research cluster at the Institute for the Humanities, as well as a casual contributor to Notches: (Re)marks on the History of Sexuality Blog. She is also actively involved in graduate student politics both at the departmental and larger institutional level. Her research interests include queer theory, biopolitics, and early 20th century literature.

U de M. Lambda winner investigates gay-bashing on YouTube


Laurent Pineault, maîtrise, Études cinématographiques; Master’s student in film studies; Université de Montréal.


The World's Worst Place to Be Gay: les vidéos de “gay-bashing”, des sites d'extrême-droite à YouTube.

La recherche portera sur la montée des vidéos de “gay-bashing” depuis 2011. Il s'agira de situer cette montée dans un contexte politique de retour de lois anti-gay dans les pays d'où proviennent les vidéos étudiées et par rapport aux différentes théories anthropologiques et socio-historiques concernant les sources et motivations derrière les actes de violence homophobe. Le corpus se composera de trois vidéos venant de Russie (“Putin's Crackdown on LGBT Teens in Russia”), de Libye (“Gay Torture and Violence in Libya”) et Ouganda (“African Man Burned to Death”). L'analyse du corpus se fera en trois temps : d'abord l'analyse de la forme et du contenu des vidéos en tant que tels, ensuite, l'analyse de leur circulation et des différents utilisateurs qui distribuent les vidéos en ligne, et, finalement, l'analyse de leur réception en portant attention aux commentaires d'autres utilisateurs. Je tenterai de montrer comment les vidéos de “gay-bashing” effectuent une rupture par rapport à une vision de YouTube et autres média sociaux comme libérateurs et comme lieux d'expression de soi (particulierement pour les membres des communautés LGBT) en les transformant en lieux d'une humiliation triplée par l'enregistrement de l'humiliation physique et sa diffusion sur le web. J'essaierai ensuite de voir comment la circulation et la redistribution de ces vidéos par different groupes et utilisateurs les instrumentalisent selon divers agendas politiques et idéologiques, pour finalement me questionner, en m'inspirant du “triangle de l'humiliation” theorique de Donald Klein, sur le rôle ambivalent du témoin (physique ou virtuel) dont la présence est nécessaire pour qu'il y ait humiliation. La présente recherche sera également l'occasion de développer des outils théoriques et méthodologiques propres aux nouveaux médias et aux formes et contenus inédits qui s'y déploient.


This research will focus on the rise of gay-bashing videos since 2011. It will situate this rise in the political context of anti-gay laws in the countries where the videos I study originate, and also study the increase in relation to different anthropological and socio-historical theories concerning the sources and motivations behind acts of homophobic violence. The research corpus will consist of three videos from Russia (“Putin's Crackdown on LGBT Teens in Russia”), Libya (“Gay Torture and Violence in Libya”), and Uganda (“African Man Burned to Death”). The analysis will be performed in three stages: first, studying the form and content of the videos as such; then, analyzing their circulation and the different users that distribute these videos online; and finally, examining their reception through paying attention to comments from other users. I will attempt to show how the gay-bashing videos effect a break from the concept that YouTube and other social media platforms are liberators and places for self-expression (particularly for members of the LGBT communities) by transforming these sites into places of humiliation, tripled by recording physical humiliation and then spreading it over the Internet. I will then try to see how the circulation and redistribution of these videos by different groups and users are exploiting them according to various political and ideological agendas. Then, inspired by theorist Donald Klein's “triangle of humiliation”, I will analyze the ambivalent role of the witness (physical or virtual) whose presence is necessary for one to be humiliated. This research will also be used to develop theoretical and methodological tools pertinent to new media and to the forms and new content that deploy it.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 23:37
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