The Memory Project: Critical Collective Memory Work with LGBTQ Seniors


  • Claire Elizabeth Robson Simon Fraser University



To read the accompanying Digital Story visit:

This presentation reports upon one piece of data – a memory box made by a participant in a project conducted as part of the author’s federally funded postdoctoral research in Simon Fraser University’s Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. The two-year project (The Memory Project) engaged LGBTQ elders living in the Grandview Woodlands area of Vancouver’s Eastside in collaborative critical arts practices. These practices were designed to expand and complicate assumptions about age and sexual identity, to lend voice and agency to queer seniors whose issues and culture are often overlooked in our society, to explore the potential of critical arts practices as a means to generate social change, and to construct strong communities.

Author Biography

Claire Elizabeth Robson, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Claire Robson facilitates Quirk-e – the queer imaging & riting collective for elders and co-organizes BOLDFest, a conference for lesbian elders. Her federally funded postdoctoral research at Simon Fraser University investigated the potential of arts-engaged community practices. A widely published writer of fiction, memoir, and poetry, Claire’s most recent book, Writing for Change, shows how collective memoir writing can effect social change. Her awards include Xtra West Writer of the Year, the Joseph Katz Memorial Scholarship (for her contributions to social justice), and the Lynch History Prize (for her contributions to better understanding of gender and sexual minorities).