Kim’s Convenience: A Conversation with Ins Choi at the University of Winnipeg

If you love comedy and Canadian immigrant stories, you’ve probably been watching Kim’s Convenience. This great CBC series is based on the award-winning play of the same name by Ins Choi. The play’s script was published by House of Anansi Press; reading it doesn’t do justice to the play, though, as it really comes alive through the interpretation of actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who dramatizes the lead character of Mr. Kim (aka Appa) in the play and now in the TV series.

Kim's Convenience: New episodes Tuesdays
SOURCE: CBC Television.

In March 2014, when the play was being performed at Winnipeg’s Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Ins Choi spoke about his experience to a small audience at the University of Winnipeg.

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Interviewees wanted: Descendants of the Winnipeg General Strike

UPDATE: This research is now completed, and I am no longer conducting interviews. Thanks to all for sharing your stories, which are archived at the University of Winnipeg’s Oral History Centre and discussed in this Labour/Le Travail article.
1919 Strike troops
Troops on Main Street, Winnipeg, 21 June 1919. University of Manitoba Libraries, Winnipeg Tribune Photo Collection, PC 18/7188/18-6233a-010.

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Scarborough Fare 2016

Scarborough Fare Logo
Conference logo by Carmen Yung.


“Scarborough Fare: Global Foodways and Local Foods in a Transnational City” was the first joint conference of 3 major food studies organizations: the Association for the Study of Food and Society; the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society; the Canadian Association for Food Studies; and the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition.

The conference was held at the University of Toronto Scarborough, a fitting venue, given the presence of Culinaria on that campus. (I’ve been in awe of their “Mapping Scarborough Chinatown” digital project for some time now.)

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Necessary Idealism: A History of Westgate Mennonite Collegiate

Mural inside Westgate’s front entrance. Photo copyright Janis Thiessen.

Manitoba Mennonites’ ethno-religious identity was transformed in the last half of the 20th century. As a school situated in the heart of the city, Westgate Mennonite Collegiate‘s history offers a unique means of exploring generational and class differences within the Mennonite community. Westgate has been a significant site of contested power and social integration: authorities (government officials, church leaders, and school administrators) struggled with others (parents, students, faculty and staff, church members, neighbourhood residents, and non-Mennonites) to (re)define Mennonitism for the post-Second World War generations.

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Not Talking Union book launch

Hot off the press! Please join me for the launch of Not Talking Union: An Oral History of North American Mennonites and Labour.

NTU cover

The launch will take place at Winnipeg’s McNally Robinson on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 at 7 pm.

The book examines why the majority of North American Mennonites rejected labour unions in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

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Not Talking Union: An Oral History of North American Mennonites and Labour

WPA mural depicting a ’30s era lunch counter, Coit Tower, San Francisco. Photo copyright Janis Thiessen.

Not Talking Union: An Oral History of North American Mennonites and Labour is the title of my forthcoming book from McGill-Queen’s University Press.

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Canadian Food History Symposium 2015

UPDATE: Audio recordings of the five presentations at this event are available online: Andrea Guimond on poverty and diet; Daniel Pastuck on miso and soy; Madison Connolly on wine and Canadian identity; Emily Nikkel on hog farming in Manitoba; and Aisha Entz on the decline of First Nations peoples since European contact.

You’re invited to the third annual Canadian Food History Symposium!

Thursday, 2 April 2015, 9:30 AM

at the University of Winnipeg Oral History Centre

Room 2B23 (Bryce Hall)

CFHS 2015 poster