THE SEARCH FOR LIBRARIANS’ POWER* at the University of Toronto

UTFA_logo1*A homage to William H. Nelson, The Search for Faculty Power: The History of the University of Toronto Faculty Association 1942-1992. (Canadian Scholar’s Press, 1993, reprinted 2006).

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Librarians Standing Committee of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA)

Monday, March 25, 2013,  12:00 noon to 5:30 pm.  University of Toronto Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto.


 Part 1.  12:00 to 1:00 pm: Buffet lunch

Part 2.   1:00 to 3:00 pm: Keynote Speaker, Professor Peter H. Russell, University Professor Emeritus and Principal of Senior College. Plus comments by:  Scott Prudham, David Naylor, Larry Alford, Ken Lavin (and others)

Part 3.    3:00 to 4:00 pm:  Panel discussion, ‘The status of academic librarianship in Canada today’.   Participants: Constance Adamson, President of Ontario College and Universities Faculty Association (OCUFA); Professor Anver Saloojee, Vice-president, Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), Rea Devakos, First Chair of UTFA Librarians Standing Committee; Harriet Sonne de Torrens, Current Chair, UTFA Librarians Standing Committee, Scott Prudham, President, University of Toronto Faculty Association

Part 4.   4:00 to 5:30 pm: Reception and Musical Performance.   George Sawa and Suzanne Meyers Sawa will perform Middle Eastern music from the 17th to 20th centuries.

**Display Presentation: Examples of scholarly and professional creative work by U of T librarians over the years will be on display for your appreciation and enjoyment. If you want to participate and contribute work, contact Christina Santolin at no later than March 20.

You won’t want to miss this unique event in the life of the University of Toronto! Please RSVP as soon as possible to or by phoning 416-978-4976.

With your RSVP, we need to know your name and exactly which parts of the program you plan to attend:

Part 1. (Buffet lunch)

Part 2. (Keynote speech and opening comments)

Part 3. (Panel discussion on academic librarianship)

Part 4. (Reception and entertainment)

Detailed biographies of the speakers and performers will be available in a program to be distributed at the event.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Speaker Biographies

(*Please note that a full list of participants and biographies will be available in the Program to be distributed at the event)

Keynote speaker: Professor Peter H. Russell, University Professor Emeritus and Principal of Senior College, will speak on his long associations with the University of Toronto libraries and librarians.   Professor Peter H. Russell, O.C., taught Political Science at the University of Toronto from 1958 until 1996, specializing in Judicial, Constitutional and Aboriginal Politics. He is a past President of the Canadian Political Science Association and an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has published widely in the fields of constitutional, aboriginal and judicial politics. Recent focus has been on minority government and constitutional conventions relating to parliamentary democracy. Recent publications include, Recognizing Aboriginal Title: The Mabo Case and Indigenous Resistance to English-Settler Colonialism (2005); Appointing Judges in an Age of Judicial Power (2006); Two Cheers for Minority Government (2008); Parliamentary Democracy in Crisis (2009).

Constance Adamson is President of the Ontario College and University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) and a Research and Instruction Librarian at Queen’s University. Based in the social sciences and humanities library, she has served on several bargaining teams, as a department head, and President of the Queen’s University Faculty Association. For OCUFA, she has served as a Member-At-Large on the Executive and as the Treasurer. Constance received her degree in history from McGill and her MLS from the University of Toronto.

Rea Devakos is an academic librarian at the University of Toronto, Coordinator Scholarly Communication, Information Technology since 2002.  Her UTFA responsibilities have included being the first Chair of the UTFA Librarians Committee, co-chair of the Joint Librarian and Management Committee, Chair of the Equity Committee, Member of the Executive and the UTFA Council. At the University of Toronto she has played an instrumental role in promoting Open Access and scholarly communication initiatives.

Scott Prudham, President of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) and Professor in the Department of Geography and School of the Environment. He was previously Vice-President and Chief Negotiator with UTFA from 2008-2011 and Vice-President University and External Affairs with UTFA in 2007-2008. Recipient of the 2010 Ashby Prize awarded to the most innovative papers published in Environment and Planning A that year. He is author of the 2005 Routledge book Knock on Wood:  Nature as Commodity in Douglas-fir Country, and co-Editor of the 2007 Routledge collection Neoliberal Environments:  False Promises and Unnatural Consequences.  Scott is also an Editor of the journal Geoforum.

Prof. Anver Saloojee is Vice-President of Canadian Association of University Teachers and professor in the Department of Politics and School of Public Administration at Ryerson University. He is President of the Ryerson Faculty Association, and member of the Laidlaw Foundation. He has done extensive research in the areas of human rights, multiculturalism, anti-racism, education and equity. In 2011 he received the CAUT Equity Award. His publications include Social Inclusion: Canadian Perspectives (co-edited with Ted Richmond, 2005), the workbook for Distance Education “Equity and Human Rights” and as part of the Laidlaw Foundations discussion papers on Social Inclusion, he authored a discussion paper titled “Social Inclusion, Anti-Racism and Democratic Citizenship” (2003). From 2005-2008, he was Special Adviser to the Presidency, Government of South Africa and recently presented a paper on reconciling academic freedom and freedom from harassment at the Harry Crowe Foundation Conference.


Suzanne Meyers Sawa, an academic librarian at the University of Toronto, coordinates reference and interlibrary loan services, and provides bibliographic instruction to both graduate and undergraduate students in the Music Library. Her principal area of research is women in Arabic music, from medieval to modern times. She is currently preparing a translation of medieval accounts of the lives of four Arab women musicians of the late 7th and early 8th centuries. Her publications include: “Historical issues of gender and music” in The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, v. 6: The Middle East (2002),  “The role of women in musical life: the medieval Arabo-Islamic courts” in Canadian Women’s Studies / les cahier de la femme (1987) and “The Odyssey of Dahlia Obadia: Morocco, Israel, Canada” in The Canadian Folk Music Journal (1991), reprinted in Canadian Music: Issues of Hegemony and Identity (1994), As a percussionist with the Traditional Arabic Ensemble since 1979, she has given numerous concerts and workshops, and made appearances at folk festivals all over North America.

George Dimitri Sawa combines his expertise as a historian and theorist of medieval Arabic music with his mastery of the Egyptian qanun. George Sawa and the Traditional Arabic Music Ensemble received a 2009 Juno nomination for their first CD “The Art of the Early Egyptian Qanun.” In addition to numerous articles, he  is the author of the fundamental and well-received study Music Performance Practice in the Early cAbbasid Era, 132-320 AH/750-932 AD (Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, 1989; rpt. by The Institute of Mediaeval Music, Ottawa, in 2004) and the ground-breaking Rhythmic Theories and Practices in Arabic Writings to 950 CE (The Institute of Medieval Music, 2009).

Together, George and Suzanne have given many lecture/demo/recitals in both North America and the Middle East.  Their next appearances will be on June 7 at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences meeting at the University of Victoria, and on June 9 at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver.

This entry was posted in Academic Librarianship, Academic libraries, Uncategorized, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Libraries, UTFA. Bookmark the permalink.

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