Professor Studies Racism on the Prairies

This article is over 9 years old.

BRANDON, MB – A Brandon University (BU) professor is co-hosting an international symposium to examine Chinese experiences of racism in Northern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta villages, towns and small cities from the 1880s until 1960.

Dr. Alison Marshall, Dept. of Religion, Brandon University 2014 (web)Dr. Alison Marshall, BU Department of Religion, and Pauline Greenhill at the University of Winnipeg are presenting “Masquerade, Masking and Multiculturalism in Canada: An International Symposium” as part of their five-year, $287,000 Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

“The symposium foregrounds the motivations, actors, and outcomes in the performance of race, and especially those that create belonging, or exclusion,” says Dr. Marshall, “While many Manitobans enjoy ethno-cultural spectacles, food and music, we are concerned with way that the performance of race sometimes mimics historical processes, structures and systems of power by stereotyping and marginalizing newcomers and Indigenous peoples.”

Issues to be discussed at the symposium include cultural appropriation, blackface, and Chinese ethnic drag. Georgetown University Professor Dr. Katrin Sieg will deliver the keynote address, “Dragging up Bodies in European Museums”, addressing the ethical issues museums face over relics acquired during colonial expansion.

“Dr. Marshall’s project is a culmination of her expertise in several areas, including racism, religion, history, and gender,” says Dr. Gervan Fearon, BU Vice-President (Academic and Provost). “Her research will provide essential information to communities, government agencies and school divisions who know that welcoming, diverse communities are healthy, prosperous communities.”

“Masquerade, Masking and Multiculturalism in Canada: An International Symposium” will be held at the University of Winnipeg from June 2 – 4. Registration closes May 28.

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Alison Marshall
Professor, Department of Religion

Glen Kirby
Communications Officer



To receive any BU publication in an alternate format please contact

About BU

Success is built at Brandon University. Our growing, progressive campus welcomes a diverse and inclusive community that combines proud tradition with shared ambition. Through our excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, we educate students to make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders. Join us at