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Imagining/Inuit/Imagining: 16th Inuit Studies Conference
October 23-25, 2008, St. John's College, University of Manitoba

As Inuit become vocal within the academic community and formulate their own understandings of themselves in the world, Inuit are Imagining Inuit.  The scholarly community is responding to this changing reality by Imagining Inuit in new and exciting ways.  This conference is a convergence of Inuit Imaginings as we will speak to the great variety of ways in which we view and understand each other creatively and intellectually.

Introduction:  The Inuit Studies Conferences began in 1978 in Quebec City when members of the Inuksiutiit Katimajiit invited scholars to meet and share their research concerning Inuit.  The conference has always framed itself as a "scientific" meeting of researchers and has met every two years since then in different cities worldwide.  There are clusters of researchers focusing on Inuit studies all over the world including various communities in the Circumpolar North.  At the 2006 meeting of the Fifteenth Inuit Studies Conference, Professors Peter Kulchyski and Chris Trott invited the conference to be hosted in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Winnipeg is an ideal location for a number of reasons. We not only have a large number of people working in the field in this city, but we are also home to some of the finest research collections of Inuit art and history.  The Winnipeg Art Gallery holds the largest publicly owned collection of Inuit art in the world, in addition to the extensive Hudson’s Bay Company archives and ethnographic holdings at the Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg provides a rich and vibrant backdrop for Imagining Inuit Imagining.  

Theme:  The theme of the 16th Bi-Annual Inuit Studies Association conference hosted at the University of Manitoba is Imagining Inuit Imagining.  By this we refer simultaneously to investigations of Inuit culture marking the place of Inuit within the western imagination (imagining Inuit); discussion and reflection on Inuit imaginative productions (Inuit imaginings); and examination of the place of Inuit imagination in Qallunaat constructions or the way in which Inuit imagination is imagined (imagining Inuit imagining).

Imagining is to be taken in its broadest sense, not only as a reference to creative works but also how both Qallunaat and Inuit imagine each other through theory.  Sessions span academic disciplines, crossing the social sciences and humanities, to arrive at a deeper understanding of Imagining Inuit Imagining.   Deadline for submissions is now closed.

Keynote Speakers:

Bernard Saladin d'Anglure  French born and Canadian by adoption, Prof. Saladin d'Anglure has worked since 1956 among Inuit, initially in Nunavik and since the 1970's in Igloolik.  His research covered a broad range of subjects from kinship and social organization to cosmology and shamanism.  Dr. Saladin d'Anglure is best known for his ground-breaking work conceptualizing gender among Inuit.  For many years he was teaching Anthropology at Universite Laval, and is now Professor Emeritus at Laval, still active in research, and President of the Association Inuksiutit Katimajiit Inc.

Zacharias Kunuk, Igloolik  Born in Kapuivik, Canada, Zach Kunuk (Inuit) spent his childhood summers traveling and hunting with his family and his winters going to school in Igoolik. In 1983 he started working at the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation, which is a regional public broadcasting organization that produces original programming, often in Inuktitut. In 1985 Kunuk began a collaboration with Norman Cohn. In 1991 they founded Igoolik Isuma Productions with Paulossie Qulitalik and Paul Apak. Isuma's first feature film, Atanarjuat/The Fast Runner portrays a traditional Inuit epic myth, in the Inuktitut language. The film won the Camera d'Or for Best First Feature at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, and six Genie awards in Canada, including Best Picture and Best Director for Kunuk. In 2004, Kunuk won the first Sun Hill Award for Excellence in Native American Filmmaking, a new annual honor from the Harvard Film Archive.

Peter Irniq  Peter T. Irniq, 53, is an Inuit cultural teacher and has lived most of his life in the Kivalliq Region, including Naujaat (Repulse Bay), Salliq (Coral Harbour), Qamanit'tuaq (Baker Lake), Igluliagaarjuk (Chesterfield Inlet), Kangiqiniq (Ranking Inlet) and Iqaluit. He has also lived in the Western Arctic, Manitoba and Ontario.