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Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

Photo of Roger Simon in a doorway, smiling.

Memorial for Dr. Roger Simon

Sunday, January 27, 2-4 p.m.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As many of you know, Roger Simon passed away on September 17, 2012. Professor Emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, where he taught for more than 40 years, Roger also served as a Director of the Centre for Media and Culture in Education and was a founder of the Critical Pedagogy and Cultural Studies Forum.
Roger’s death leaves us with a repertoire of works that we will surely read and re-read to help us think about, among other things, the intersections of ethics, memory, and cultural practices in education.  But, his death also leaves us, of course, with a silence, his silence, which cannot respond back to our readings or tell us more. We’re left with something perhaps akin to what Simon terms the “terrible gift.” Often employed by Simon throughout his later works, the “terrible gift” attests to a difficult moment when one comes face to face with the task of inheriting the remnants left by absent others: A task that is both painful to acknowledge, given the loss, and hopeful, given the world-forming capacity unleashed by our finding significance in the traces of what has passed.

Keenly aware of how memorial practices risk falling into facile assurances, assimilations, defences, and idealizations, Simon has emphasized the important work of “remembrance-learning,” where the task is to learn how to receive and translate the “terrible gift” of the past so that we can open the present to something new.
In the spirit of “remembrance-learning”, we invite you to join the OISE community on Sunday, January 27 from 2-4pm at the First Narayever Congregation where we will come together to consider Roger’s legacy for the field of education and beyond. All are welcome. Please feel free to forward this invitation within your networks.


First Narayever Congregation
187 Brunswick Ave
Toronto, ON

Directions to the First Narayever Congregation can be found on their website.

For further information about the memorial, contact Kari Dehli at kari.dehli@utoronto.ca.

Flyer for the Event (Opens in PDF)