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SMACT Student Activism & Protest Archive 

  1. Call for Archival Submissions
  2. Student Advocacy Archive Terms & Conditions
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Call for Symposium Submissions
Black and white image of a person holding a sign with the text "We will not be pitted against our educators #BetterYork #WeareUofT" painted in black letters.

Call for Archival Submissions

Project Description 

Have you been involved in student advocacy or activism and have an object, artifact, photograph, or other protest ephemera you’d like to contribute to the archive? 

We are accepting digital and material submissions to the student protest archive!

The Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought (SMACT) at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) invites students, community members, and academics to contribute to the creation of a Student Advocacy Archive documenting the ongoing history of post-secondary student activism across Canada to be housed at the Toronto Metropolitan University Archives & Special Collections. 

Our goal in developing this hybrid archive, housing both digital and material student activist ephemera, is to document how post-secondary student social justice advocacy has been, and continues to be, on the forefront of social change. Important student involvement has recently taken place in movements such as People’s Climate March, Idle No More, and Black Lives Matter. We want to document the important contributions of student activists across Canada, which will both serve as a repository for future researchers studying student protest histories, while also culminating in a related symposium, archival exhibition, and speaker series convening community activists, scholars, and students engaged in protest and advocacy efforts. 

Students, community members, and activists are encouraged to contribute digital or material records of ephemera. Contributions can be submitted in a wide variety of possible formats including photographs, videos, posters, pins/buttons, signs, pamphlets, and other content related to student activism in Canada. Contributed content can be submitted for public display during a workshop and/or exhibition event in January 2023, and will eventually be made publicly available as part of TMU’s permanent archival collection. For more information about the symposium click here.

Examples of possible content:

  • Images: photographs, screen captures of social media, communications, posters, signs, other protest-related artwork, and other expressions of the movement
  • Audio files, songs, spoken word performances, recordings of speeches or rallies
  • Videos, gifs, or other short moving image clips
  • Written documentation, fliers, pamphlets/brochures, zines, banners
  • Files: protest posters, community notices, emails, announcements
  • Physical submissions to the archive can include small objects such as pamphlets, posters, buttons, patches, etc. 

Submission Criteria: 

  • Archival submissions must be related to student advocacy and activist organizing in Canada from between 1970-2020
  • Content must be related to a student protest event or movement & can be submitted by anyone knowledgeable about the context of the submission
  • Student organizing can have taken place across Canada, and does not need to have been directly affiliated with Canadian Universities nor have occured on campus 
  • File size of contributed content does not exceed 100MB
  • Metadata submitted is deemed to be accurate by the administrator 
  • Submitted content does not infringe on any existing copyright

How to Submit

To contribute, please read our Terms & Conditions and fill out this form: 

Student Advocacy Archive Submission Form 

Questions? Please review our FAQ, if you don’t see your question reflected here please contact Lauren Morris, the archival research assistant at lauren.sara.morris@ryerson.ca

Archival Exhibition/Workshop – January 2023

Successful applicants to the Student Advocacy Archive will be invited to participate in an Archival Exhibit/Workshop to be held alongside the graduate student symposium in January 2023. If you are interested in participating in the Archival Exhibit/Workshop please indicate this in your application.

A black banner with the french text "Ici comme ailleurs on a raison de se revolter"

SMACT Student Activism ArchiveTerms and Conditions

You are being asked to contribute your documentation of post-secondary student activism in Canada between 1970-2020 to the Studio for Media Activism (SMACT) and the Toronto Metropolitan University Library, which is creating a hybrid digital and physical archival record of the history of post-secondary student activism in Canada. 

Documentation can include photographs, screen captures of social media, posters, signs, protest-related artworks; audio files such as songs, spoken word performances, or recordings of speeches or rallies; videos, gifs, or other short moving image clips; written documentation such as fliers, pamphlets/brochures, zines, and banners; or other files such as protest posters, community notices, emails, announcements, etc. While there is a preference for digital submissions to the archive, there is some capacity to house small physical archival submissions at the University Library. For physical submissions, please fill out the Application Form to the best of your ability and email lauren.sara.morris@ryerson.ca to determine whether we have the capacity to accept your submission.

You may only submit material created entirely by you, or material that you have received permission to submit from its creators, and not copied from our based, in whole or in part, upon any other photographic, literary, or other material, except to the extent that such material is in the public domain, or you have permission of the copyright owner, or its use is allowed by “Fair Dealing” as prescribed by the terms of Canadian copyright law.

You must be 18 years of age or older to submit material. By submitting content through this form, you are granting Toronto Metropolitan (formerly Ryerson) University permission to disseminate, preserve, and use that content in connection with its educational and research mission, including promotional purposes, in all media in perpetuity.

You retain ownership of and copyright in the material you share, and all submitted material will be used in the manner you indicate on the submission form. Submitted material must not violate any confidentiality, privacy, security or other laws.

Toronto Metropolitan (formerly Ryerson) University is not obligated to your include your content in this project or preserve it in perpetuity.

Submit content to the Student Activism Archive.

Student Activism Archive FAQs

What can I submit?

We are looking for any materials related to the history of student activism and protest across Canada from 1970-2020. This can include photographs, videos, screenshots, posters, social media posts, community notices, pamphlets/brochures, zines, banners, protest or activist documents, emails, announcements, songs, speeches, or other activist materials – whatever captures your personal or organizational experience.

What is the archive for?

We hope to record and document the vibrant history of post-secondary student protest across Canada for future research and to preserve the activist legacies of student activism. Documents in the archive will be primary sources for future researchers looking at this time period.

Why do you ask how I would like my work to be used?

We will make the items you upload available to researchers, who may want to use them in papers, presentations, articles, documentaries or other academic or creative works. You can select the level of use you feel comfortable with (for instance, you may be ok with only non-commercial uses) by selecting one of the 6 Creative Commons licenses. All creative commons license require that you are credited for your work. If you would like your submission to remain anonymous, please attribute your submission to an organization or collective. For more information on Creative Commons Licenses, visit their website.

Can I submit more than one file? 

Yes, absolutely! The submission form is set up to accept only one file at a time, but if you would like to submit a series or several files, just email the archival research assistant to let us know: lauren.sara.morris@ryerson.ca

Egerton Ryerson statue with red paint splashes and several protesters standing in front.

SMACT Archive of Student Activism & Protest Symposium

Call for Submissions

Project Description 

Have you been involved in student advocacy or activism and have a story to share? 

We are seeking presentation, workshop, and creative submissions for an upcoming  Student Protest Symposium to be held at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) on February 4 2023!

The Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought (SMACT) at TMU invites post-secondary students (both former and current), community members, and academics to submit proposals for the upcoming Student Protest Symposium. Submissions will be open until December 15, 2022

Our goal is to showcase how student social justice and advocacy has developed, persevered, and changed throughout Canadian history. Student action has been on the forefront of social change. Important student involvement has recently taken place in movements such as People’s Climate March, Idle No More, and Black Lives Matter. Through the symposium, SMACT hopes to convene students, activists, and organizations at the forefront of social change to participate in a one-day in-person event featuring talks, workshops, and panels that engage with the ongoing history of student protest and advocacy. 

We welcome submissions from any individual or organization related to student advocacy and activism in Canada, however, as an in-person event all submissions must be able to be presented in-person on campus at TMU, in downtown Toronto, on February 4 2023. Please note that unfortunately we are not able to provide funding to accommodate travel costs associated with attending the symposium in Toronto. Submissions are accepted in a range of formats, with some possible examples listed below. If you have an idea for a creative presentation or event during the symposium that you don’t see reflected here please email asya.twahir@ryerson.ca

Examples of possible submissions:

  • Traditional academic presentation.
    • Academic presentations should be roughly 10-15 minutes in duration. Please submit an abstract of approximately 150 words describing your presentation and its connection to student protest in Canada. Academic submissions should be accompanied by a 50-100 word bio.
  • Panel or roundtable conversation.
    • Roundtables and panels should include 3-4 people and should be submitted as a single submission. Each of the 3-4 people presenting in the panel may have their own contribution to student protest within a connecting theme; they need not have all worked on a particular project together. Each presenter’s contribution to student protest in Canada should have its own abstract of 100-150 words. The overall panel as a whole should also have a short description (100-150 words) outlining the thematic contribution of the panel to the symposium. The submission should also be accompanied by a 50-100 bio for each panelist, separate to the abstract about their contributions.
  • Community presentation or talk.
    • We also welcome submissions from community groups, activists, and other non-academic presentations or talks. Please submit a 100-150 word description of your intended presentation or talk, along with a 50-100 word bio about your organization, collective, or activist experience and how it connects to the history of student protest in Canada.
  • Workshop.
    • Please submit a 100-150 word description of the intended workshop, along with a point form list of any supplies or resources that would be needed. Please note that all workshop submissions are accepted subject to supply and funding availability. All workshop submissions should be accompanied with (co)facilitator bios of 50-100 words that include the (co)facilitator’s relevant workshop facilitation experience, if applicable.
  • Creative Presentations.
    • We also welcome creative and non-traditional symposium submissions. Please send us a 100-150 word description of your proposed creative submission, including its relevance to the history of student protest in Canada. For creative presentations, please include up to 5 support images relevant to the work you are proposing. Support images should be uploaded as a single document in a pdf format (max file size 100MB), and should include title, medium, size, and year created for each support image. 

Submission Criteria: 

  • Submissions must be related to historical and/or contemporary student advocacy and activist organizing in Canada
  • Student organizing can have taken place across Canada, and does not need to have been directly affiliated with Canadian Universities nor have occurred on campus 
  • Single person presentations should be no more than 15 minutes in length, group presentations, workshops, or proposed activities can be up to 45 minutes

How to Submit

To contribute, fill out this form: Student Protest Symposium Submission Form

The Deadline to apply is December 15, 2022 at 11pm.

Questions? Contact Asya Twahir, the co-ordination and curation graduate research assistant at asya.twahir@ryerson.ca