• Zemina

10-12-2019: Current Readings

Updated: Oct 14, 2019




Life Stages and Native Women – Kim Anderson

This book is an exploration into the theory of life stages and how it applies to the daily operations of indigenous life. The theory of life stages is meant to provide guidance, a sense of purpose, and belonging for each person as they move through different stages of life. Contrary to Western culture, the theory of life stages here are not necessarily defined by age, but rather, emotional, mental, and spiritual growth. So, if the Elders do not feel you are ready to take on the responsibilities of the next stage of life, regardless of how old you are, you will not be given said responsibilities. The theory of life stages, in this text, also intimately connects with ideas and significance of place, identity, and the disruption of this theory due to residential schooling and colonization.


Where to find this book:

Seekers Books; 509 Bloor Street W


Native Wisdom for White Minds – Anne Wilson Scahef

This book is a compilation of meditations and reflections by the author as she works with and talks to Indigenous Peoples from tribes all over the world. There is a quote from an Indigenous tribe member for every day of the month followed by her own reflections. Though this is an interesting text, to be honest, I was more interested in reading the quotes in the book and parsing out what they would mean to me as opposed to reading her reflections. This book is a good way to start priming your brain to being more open about thoughts and ideas that are not particularly popular in mainstream Western culture but may resonate nonetheless in your sub-cultural groups.


Where to find this book:

This one is a little tricky to find. Although you can get it on Amazon, I was up for the challenge of chasing this book down. By calling various local bookstores in my area, I came to know that Type Books (883 Queen St W, Toronto) orders books directly from the publisher for you if they don’t have it in store.


The Design of Everyday Things – Don Norman

This book provides a thorough background in the now very popular industry and practices of design and design thinking. It gets you in the mindset about re-evaluating the ways in which objects and buildings are designed and how the design of these things inform the way you subsequently use them. For me, I am finding this book helpful in learning about the origins of design thinking and seriously questioning how the physical layout of spaces influence us on much deeper levels than we think.


Where to find this book:

BMV books (471 Bloor St W, Toronto)


Women, Race and Class – Angela Davis

She is a legend and I cannot possibly do her or her writings any justice in the format of this current post, however, I will say this: her ability to so seamlessly connect and interrelate these concepts all underpinned by historical and on-going events; was mind-blowing. I was also particularly stunned at the fact that many of the themes she presented in this book (originally published in 1981; 4 years before I was born) are still very prevalent in todays’ society. This gem of a book will introduce you to concepts and characteristics that define colonialism and the ways in which they manifest in conversations related to women (feminism), race, and class. Highly recommend this read.


Where to find this book:

A Different Booklist (779 Bathurst St, Toronto)


ColonizeThis! -- Hernandez and Rehman

I literally drank this book up mainly because so many of the things written in here truly resonated with me and my own experiences, struggles, and forms of resistance I have dealt with and continue to deal with as an outspoken woman of colour. The range of topics and story types this compilation presents is most likely to at least hit parts of your being if you are a first-gen WOC. Many of the stories discuss the identification and subsequent turning point for these authors upon realizing that their feminist classes were really just talking about white feminism and completely discounting the fact that there are several other layers to feminism that must be accounted for.


Where to find this book:

Seekers


How to be an ANTIRACIST – Ibram X. Kendi


I started this book just this morning to be honest (October 12, 2019). I have read the introduction and CH1. So far, he has reviewed the idea that you cannot be in-between on matters of racism. You are either a racist, or an anti-racist. He also defines what it means to be an anti-racist. An interesting notion he also introduces is the idea that terms such as racial discrimination, systemic racism, institutional racism, etc, are all quite redundant. Instead, Kendi advocates to use the term "racist policy" since it is easier to understand and therefore more accessible of a term. I am excited about reading more. Keep you posted!


Where to find this book:

A Different Booklist


Citizenship, Activism, and the City – Patricia Burke Wood                          

A small but mighty text that brings together ideas of citizenship and activism within the context of the city (Toronto). Wood describes, in explicit terms, how we must re-think activism and re-examine who is actually involved in such acts. The book also thoroughly explores what it means to bring the invisible, marginalized experiences at the forefront of conversations, thought; and how activism, even if temporary, brings these conversations into the physical tangible space. This text for me not only connected so many ideas about how my experiences in the city are dictated by how space is used, but also that space itself is an institution. I’m probably going to have to read this book again. It is also part of the Routledge series of Place, Space and Politics that I imagine to be reading more about in future.


Where to find this book:

Very privileged to have been given this text by Dr. Wood herself but can be found on Amazon I think


TARP (Toronto Aboriginal Research Project) Final Report

I just finished reading through the executive summary which outlines the current state and experiences of Aboriginal youth, men, and women and their experiences accessing and living within city spaces. There is SO much work that needs to be done and I look forward to reading through this report to gain a better understanding of the issues Indigenous Peoples have faced and currently face and ways to remedy them.


Where to find this book:

Can be found here: http://www.councilfire.ca/Acrobat/tarp-final-report2011.pdf


The Original I Ching Oracle or The Book of Changes – The Eranos I Ching Project

This book discusses the development of I Ching, the hexagrams, and the historical practice of using the I Ching as an oracle to understand present-day circumstances and situations using natural systems and cycles as the foundation of understanding. I am reading this text to help open my mind to other forms of thoughts and ideas on how change works and how to understand it. Since we are entering a time in which many things are about to enter into a state of transition, I think it is important to make a conscious effort in acquiring knowledge in other forms of thoughts and ideas. I am also finding this text fruitful in understanding differences of thought between Eastern and Western thought and thinking.


Where to find this book:

BMV Books (Bloor location)


Legislatures – David C. Docherty

This book is an audit of Canadian government and governance practices. It also provides interesting recommendations on ways to fix Canadian government. This is also a good text to read in conjunction with Meslin’s Teardown Democracy (review follows) as there are quite a few overlaps. Legislatures was published before Meslin’s book. Also a good resource to develop a background in Canadian government operations, what things are, mean, what they do etc.


Where to find this book:

UBC Press: https://www.ubcpress.ca/legislatures


Designing Regenerative Cultures – Daniel Christian Wahl

I purposely read this book slowly because there was SO much wisdom in this text. It talks not only about how to re-design our culture in a way that is more sustainable but also stresses the importance of asking the right questions using systems thinking approaches. It really provided a language for me to articulate and express my own inner thoughts about what I felt was and is going in. Highly Recommend.


Where to find this book:

Triarchy Press


Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory –Eichenbaum

This was the text I continuously referenced during my Master’s work and find myself re-exploring. My Master’s work was focused on episodic memory, behavior, and hippocampal (a structure in the brain) state. If you’re interested in that space, really recommend this text. My Master’s work also appears to be related to a lot of my current explorations around space as an institution, systems and design thinking, so, that’s super exciting.


Where to find this book:

Amazon. Sorry.


Racism and National Consciousness – Case

So this book shouldn’t have been in this pile because I haven’t started reading it so I don’t have anything to say but I’m excited to get to it. Keep you posted!


Where to find this book:

A Different Booklist


Thinking in Systems – Donella H. Meadows

This book was recommended to me by a friend. Really great primer text in learning about systems and systems thinking. Reading this one extra slowly as well because it’s full of good things. If you’re interested in Systems thinking, read this book.


Where to find this book:

Amazon. Sorry.


Teardown Democracy – Dave Meslin

So as discussed above, this book goes through the different ways in which we can work towards fixing our government and the democratic process, much like Dochertry’s Legislature, but in a more accessible way. There are also pictures to explain things. So. That’s good.


Where to find this book:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/533225/teardown-by-dave-meslin/9780143197058


If there are any books in here that you are reading and would like to talk more about, hit me up! Also, if you are having difficulty accessing any of these books, reach out. Though I am hesitant to loan out my books (because my books are my babies), I would be open to figuring out how I can share this information with you.

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