Celebration of Books 2021 - opening slide

Celebration of Books 2021

Carla DeMarco

The event kicked off with Professor Kent Moore, UTM’s vice-principal, research, and Shelley Hawrychuk, UTM chief librarian, who both expressed their high regard for the annual celebration.

“The Celebration of Books is always one of the highlights of my year,” said Hawrychuk. “We have so many amazing authors and editors on this campus and the talks this afternoon promise to be a fantastic range of diverse topics.”

The first author to present was Tara Vinodrai, professor in the Institute of Management and Innovation (IMI) and program director of the newest program at UTM, the Master of Urban Innovation. She said the book she co-edited with Markus Moos and Ryan Walker, Canadian Cities in Transition: Understanding Contemporary Urbanism, was one of her “favourite projects to work on over time” because of the collaborative nature of the endeavour. Not only was this book an impressive undertaking for bringing together nearly 40 leading scholars across Canada, including Vinodrai's chapter on the changing industrial structure and economies of Canadian cities, it also had contributions from two other UTM colleagues: Shauna Brail, a professor in IMI who contributed a chapter on digital cities, as well as insights on neighbourhood-based inequalities from Alan Walks, professor in Geography, Geomatics and Environment and another participating author in the year’s Celebration of Books for his publication Changing Neighbourhoods: Social and Spatial Polarization in Canadian Cities.”

With over 20 participating authors, the Celebration of Books lasted the full two hours and there were many highlights, including Governor General Award-winning poet Richard Greene, a professor from English & Drama presenting his literary biography, The Unquiet Englishman: A Life of Graham Greene. Greene made it clear he is not related to his subject, though he joked his mother used to tell him and his siblings as children that they just might be related to Elvis Presley.

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, professor in UTM’s department of sociology, presented his book Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Justice: An International Dilemma. In his talk, Owusu-Bempah addressed the ongoing events unfolding around the world and the inequalities in the criminal justice system that make the themes in his book all the more relevant: notably the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, which had been delivered the day before Celebration of Books took place, but also the recent killing of Duante Wright by a police officer near where the Chauvin trial was taking place, as well as Ma’Khia Bryant, a young woman who was killed by police in Columbus, Ohio the same day that the Chauvin verdict was reached.

At the conclusion of the event, Hawrychuk thanked all the authors for their contributions and the team who put the event together, and encouraged ongoing discussions by reaching out to the presenting authors.

If you were unable to attend, you can watch the Zoom event recording, and we invite you to explore all the books highlighted this year on the UTM Library’s website.

The inaugural Celebration of Books event was organized by OVPR and the UTM Library in 2014. This year marks its seven-year anniversary, though the event was not held last year due to the shutdown of the campus in March.

If you are publishing a book in 2021 or early 2022, please get in touch with OVPR or UTM Library and we will ensure you are added to the lineup for the next Celebration of Books. We look forward to welcoming the UTM community back to celebrate our talented authors and editors in Spring 2022.