Identity and Community as Interpretive Limits

“You end up creating your identity by defending the thing people think you are.”

“People still think I’m Jewish….I look and act like a person they know, but deep inside I’m the person they hate.”

“In the end, well, people say it’s just because I’m Edward Said’s daughter.”

-comments by Najla Said, left out of context

This essay is not a normative critique of anyone’s identity. Rather, I want to bracket the questions we ask about identity: questions about details, dynamics, relationships with discourse and power, about our own identities and those of others. Placing these (questions about identity) in a bracket, I want to ask: what is signified by these questions? Why is ‘identity’, even a specific person’s identity, considered a legitimate object of interest, of discussion, of questioning? Following along this line of thinking I will question the implicit effects of framing questions in terms of identity rather than community in relation to a recent presentation by Najla Said and Spivak’s essay on the subaltern.

If we de-familiarize ourselves from the normalcy, the average-everydayness of such questions in the humanities, we might notice that there is a slight feeling of taboo that accompanies these questions. Perhaps feeling that we are straying a little too close to something private, perhaps also a sense of vanity – why, after all, is this ‘identity’ so important?  Continue reading →


Toad Lane 20th Anniversary Reunion Party

Greetings Toads of the past 20 years! We (the current Toads) would like to officially invite you all to the 20th anniversary gathering of Toad Lane that we will be hosting at your former home!



WHEN: March 22 at 3:00pm until March 23 at 3:00pm

WHAT: A chance to catch up with past housemates and gather across generations to reminisce and celebrate 20 years since Toad Lane’s creation in 1994 as a vegetarian (and in 2008 a vegan) co-op/collective house.

DATES: Saturday, March 22nd and Sunday, March 23rd 2014

LOCATION: Toad Lane, 429 Brunswick Ave

GUESTS: Past and current Toad Lane residents. Partners and children welcome too! To be able to comfortably accommodate everyone, we are not extending the invite further e.g. Tony from 397 Huron in 99’.

DO I NEED TO RSVP? – To help us in making arrangements, please RSVP here:

**Please invite your past housemates from Toad Lane to this fb event or have them e-mail us at**



3pm – We’ll give tours of the house. Come see what has and hasn’t changed! Your artwork may still be on the wall! Let’s have coffee and tea, and we’ll have some other ongoing activities.

4pm – Introductions (potentially with recorded videos from those unable to make it), followed by a slide show of pictures from over the years

5pm – chill time

5:30pm – a vegan dinner (menu coming soon!)

7:30pm – storytelling. Share your favourite stories from Toad Lane!


10:30am – vegan brunch at Toad Lane

– ice skating at Jean Sibelius Park (the park just 20 metres north! Pending weather.)
– alternative neighbourhood walk (potentially)
– rest and relaxation


– We have room for up to 10 people to sleep at Toad Lane for Friday and/or Saturday evening. We will also check with our friends and neighbouring co-opers for more space.

– Either ourselves and/or experienced and vouched for friends of ours will be providing childcare

In advance, please let us know your housing and childcare needs, as well as any dietary restrictions. We will do our best to accommodate any specific access related requests (communicated in advance). Unfortunately, as you may recall, Toad Lane is not wheel chair accessible.


– If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute with some rad skills please let us know at

– To help us in making arrangements, please RSVP here:

Looking forward!
Lots of Toad love!