News at the University of New Brunswick

Michael V. Smith to deliver annual W.C. Desmond Pacey Memorial Lecture at UNB

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Feb 11, 2019

Category: myUNB , UNB Fredericton

Michael V. Smith, a queer writer, performer and associate professor of creative writing at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, B.C., will deliver the W.C. Desmond Pacey Memorial Lecture at the University of New Brunswick on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

In a hybrid performance-lecture entitled “This Body Is a Gift: Gender and Meaning-Making in One Man’s Art,” Mr. Smith presents a retrospective of his body-based creative work. He has made a career examining how bodies are read, misread, or re-read. “This Body Is a Gift” explores ways in which art can (de)construct gender as a functional tool for undoing, unseeing, unbecoming. Inspired by the work of artists Leigh Bowery, Cindy Sherman and Darren O’Donnell, he up-ends the everyday to complicate what is a freak and who is familiar.

“My talk takes a page from Darren O’Donnell’s book, Social Acupuncture, which invites people to locate themselves more clearly on the societal landscape,” says Mr. Smith. “I’m here, you’re there. And what’s that space we’ve made in between?”

Mr. Smith is the author of various books, including Cumberland, Progress, and My Body is Yours. He has also penned several books of poetry, which include: What You Can’t Have, Body of Text and Bad Ideas.

Mr. Smith has also won various writing and short film awards. His awards include a Western Magazine Award for Fiction, the Dayne Ogilvie Award for Emerging Gay Writers, and the Colin Campbell Award for Best Canadian Male Short at Toronto’s Inside Out Festival.

In addition to his writing and short film work, Mr. Smith also performs at various cabarets and festivals around the world, including Toronto’s VideoFag, Junge Triebe Festival in Bielefeld, Germany, and the Vancouver Comedy Festival.

The W.C. Desmond Pacey Memorial Lectures were established in 1981 in honour of UNB professor and administrator Desmond Pacey, who died in 1975. Lectures are presented by leading figures in the humanities and social sciences.

Mr. Smith will give the W.C. Desmond Pacey Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Tilley Hall, Room 102, on the UNB Fredericton campus. There will be a reception at 5 p.m., with the lecture to follow at 5:30 p.m. The lecture, organized by the faculty of arts at UNB’s Fredericton campus and sponsored by UNB Associated Alumni, is free and open to the public. Given that Mr. Smith is presenting an art talk, please be advised that there will be some images with nudity.

Media contact: Angie Deveau

Photo credit: Sarah Race