$0 – $350
19th Triennial ACLALS Conference: Ruptured Commons

19th Triennial ACLALS Conference: Ruptured Commons

Actions and Detail Panel

$0 – $350

Date and time


Ryerson University - Ted Rogers School of Management, TRSM

55 Dundas Street West

Toronto, ON M5G 2C3


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No Refunds

Join us as we place notions of rupture and commons in a wide variety of pan-historical contexts and scales from the local to the global.

About this event

At a time when we are experiencing profound and unexpected disruptions to our shared spaces, routines, economies, societies, and work-lives, ACLALS 2022 proposes that we convene in Toronto to consider the nature and implications of rupture, the commons, and their conjoining: the ruptured commons. And while disease and risk are top of mind these days, imperialism and colonialism were always, of course, forms of severe rupture – to lifeways, cultures, and forms of inhabitation, community, and governance. Capitalism is inherently disruptive, and disruptive technologies (from the printing press to social media, the steam engine to the drone) transform lives and present their own opportunities and threats. Rupture is increasingly becoming a modus operandi among political actors, whether they seek to exploit and accentuate divisions, or, in the case of anti-colonial movements and Black Lives Matter protests, to contest hierarchies, privileges, and prejudices embedded in social attitudes and institutional practice. The increasingly frequent eruptions of such moments raise important questions about social consensus around common realities and common truths. 

Garnett Hardin wrote in 1968 about “the tragedy of the commons” – the tendency for publicly owned, shared space to degrade through the neglect, abuse, overuse, and simple taking-for-granted of its multiple owners, who, because there are so many, do not identify as owners and take little responsibility. With each new climate-change study we become more aware of the ways our common environment has seen its natural states and processes violated by human activity. The ruptured commons is at the heart of the concept of the Anthropocene and what Amitav Ghosh has called “the great derangement” of our unsustainable ways. The global pandemic, with its multiple and far-reaching disruptions, has forced us to rethink our common spaces and how we use them, from city streets to airplanes, domestic spaces to workplaces – including academic ones. Indeed, our work as scholars, teachers, and students has been ruptured in countless ways as our institutional commons of classrooms and conferences fragment into rectangle-bound faces and voices on screens. Finally, the “common” in Commonwealth has come under fire for decades, whether by rewriting it as “common poverty” or by rejecting its presence in the names of our discipline and, for some, in ACLALS itself.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers include:

Kateri Akiwennze-Damm (University of Toronto)

Lillian Allen (OCAD University)

Cajetan Iheka (Yale University)

Susie O’Brien (McMaster University)

Ruth Vanita (University of Montana)

Talking Circles will address:

• Teaching Reconciliation

• Teaching Global Citizenship

• Pedagogy in the Anthropocene

• Anti-racism in the Classroom

• Teaching Place

• Indigenizing the Academy/Classroom

• Affect and Emotion: Feeling in the Classroom

• Teaching and risk

• Embodied teaching practices

• Experiential learning

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