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Given the circumstances, we will need to cancel the FLA Conference on March 28. We will monitor the situation, in line with college directives, regarding when to reschedule. We hope to reschedule the conference for the Spring-Summer or the Fall semester.

Humber FLA Conference 2020: What is Mightier – Ideas or Actions?

North Campus

samantha king

Keynote: Samantha King - The Rise and Fall of the Pink Ribbon: Ideas and Actions in the Battle Over Breast Cancer


The meanings of breast cancer, and the actions taken to prevent, detect, and treat it, are sites of intense political conflict. In this talk, I trace how breast cancer emerged as a commodified cause par excellence, how the science and economics of the disease have been shaped by competing interests, and how the ideas and actions of activists and scholars successfully challenged the “tyranny of cheerfulness” that defined the pink ribbon industry for over two decades.


Samantha King is Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies and the Department of Gender Studies at Queen’s University, where she researches and teaches the embodied dimensions of consumer culture. Her work has appeared in venues such as Social Text, Body and Society, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and the International Journal of Drug Policy. Her first book, Pink Ribbons, Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) is the subject of a National Film Board of Canada documentary by the same name. More recently, she co-edited Messy Eating: Conversations on Animals as Food (Fordham, 2019). Her current research explores the cultural preoccupation with dietary protein in the context of climate change.


Call for Papers

This year, the FLA Conference will focus on the challenges and conflicts that erupt between ideas and theories dealt within the abstract, and/or when theories and ideas are put into practice. It will examine the contests and gaps that exist between ideas and actions, and the impacts and fallout that can occur between the two. Some topics that can be pursued, but are by no means a limit for submission, include:

Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology

  • What are the gaps between imagined technological innovations and the realities of making them happen? What are the potentials and pitfalls of work being done on controlling devices directly through the brain?
  • Should all current implementations of technology be allowed, or are there ethical conflicts culture should consider? Should we be attempting to have communication devices directly link with brain signals?

Longo Faculty of Business

  • What challenges exist between business models and the practice of business? Can creating new market demands for technology truly be made a sustainable business practice?
  • What ideas lead to success or failure in business when they have been put into practice? For example, are social enterprises that take into account the triple bottom line always successful in practice?
  • Has the idea of molecular gastronomy been successful in practice in restaurants, or has it become just an enterprise in creativity, that in the wrong chefs’ hands leads to poor tasting food that is usually out of the price range of the majority of the population?

Faculty of Health and Wellness

  • Have new innovations of efficiency in the healthcare field created unintended consequences and drawbacks for staff and patients? For example, how has the idea of increasing efficiency in the health care system led to the unintended consequence of increasing surveillance of nursing staff and a reduction in the quality of patient care?
  • What are the gaps existing in trying to bridge Western medicine’s ideas of wellness and Alternative/Complementary medicine’s ideas of holistic care, such as that advocated by Naturopathic and/or Indigenous practitioners?

Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences

  • What are the conflicts and challenges that arise from combining academic pursuits and activism? Should all research and ideas have delineated applications or aim to inform policies?
  • Are theories and thinking best understood as distinct from action? Is analyzing and/or writing narratives/poetry less active than protests?

Faculty of Media and Creative Arts

  • How do ideas impact the form of media that receives funding and the kinds of media projects that emerging creators can pursue? Is it easy for new individuals to get financial support to develop new media applications and games?
  • What are the conflicts and issues growing between mainstream and independent media sources, and the culture which consumes them? Can YouTube still be considered an independent media platform?
  • How do we best design buildings that can be sustainable, functional, and unique?

Faculty of Social and Community Services

  • How have theories of criminology and crime shaped practices of dealing with crime, and what are the conflicts or gaps with these approaches? For example, how has the idea of Broken Windows policing, which was initially developed by criminologists who advocated improving the quality of life for communities to reduce crime, has in practice led to the unintended consequence of zero-tolerance policing?
  • What are the best methods for giving communities what they need, and who knows better as to what is required – the community service workers or the community itself? For example, has the idea of community policing been effective in preventing and reducing crime?

Please submit paper panel proposals to:

Submission Deadline: March 16, 2020