Monday, May 12, 2008 | 09:04 PM ET
Smaro Kamboureli, Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Critical Studies in Canadian Literature at the School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph (Maria Gilli/Greece)
Smaro Kamboureli will give the keynote address at the closing of the Tracing the Lines Symposium. Here she reflects on Roy Miki's life, work and legacy. Video clips courtesy of CBC Archives.
Roy Miki is one of a handful of Canadians that I know whose life course and career path can be described accurately only by resorting to superlatives. What makes him so exceptional is that he exemplifies what Antonio Gramsci calls an organic intellectual: someone who, rooted in a community and its local struggles, also engages in an equally committed fashion with various institutions and the nation to effect change for society at large. Dr. Miki has done this through cultural and political activism, teaching, scholarship, and poetry.
Whether it is in relation to the Redress movement of Japanese Canadians, the Writing thru Race conference sponsored by the Writers’ Union of Canada, writing and editing in the areas of Canadian literature in general and Asian Canadian literature in particular, or pedagogy inside and outside the classroom, Dr. Miki’s publications, cultural activities and social activism have demonstrated, and have done so over a long span of time, a dedication and commitment to change that are virtually unparalleled.
For example, because of his fundamental belief in justice, especially justice as it pertains to the effects of racialization and racism, Dr. Miki took on two of the most significant struggles about race relations and culture in recent Canadian history whose outcomes have had, and will continue to have, a lasting impact on Canadian society and culture.
Continue reading to see video clips of Roy Miki from CBC's Archives