The following scholars have been honoured for their excellent dissertations:
2016 - 2017:
Dr. Funké Aladejebi is an Assistant Professor in the Gender and Women's Studies department at Trent University. She is currently working on a manuscript titled, ‘Girl You Better Apply to Teachers’ College’: The History of Black Women Educators in Ontario, 1940s – 1980s,' which explores the importance of Black Canadian women in sustaining their communities and preserving a distinct black identity within restrictive gender and racial barriers. She has published articles in Ontario History and Education Matters. Her research interests are in oral history, the history of education in Canada, black feminist thought and transnationalism.
“Girl You Better Apply to Teachers’ College” examines the role of black women educators in Ontario from the 1940s to the 1980s. In an attempt to contribute to historical analysis on black identity, citizenship and racial difference in Canada, this dissertation investigates the ways in which black Canadian women confronted and navigated socially constructed boundaries of racial alienation, limited institutional support and inequality within Ontario school systems.
Largely using oral interviews, school board minutes, newspapers, yearbooks, and community records, “Girl You Better Apply to Teachers’ College” argues that black women educators’ sense of belonging in the professional sphere circumvented subtle and overt forms of racial and social exclusion in Ontario schools. In an effort to locate themselves within the Canadian national narrative, black female educators navigated concepts of citizenship and created a new kind of belonging that was parallel to and, at times, intersected with concepts of Canadian statehood.
Dr. Rebecca Hall holds a PhD in Political Science from York University. She takes a feminist political economy approach to questions related to Indigenous/Canadian State relations, resource extraction, and gender-based violence, and has published peer-reviewed pieces on these topics. Hall’s research interests come out of her community work in the Northwest Territories, and she is grateful to the workers at The Native Women’s Association of the Northwest Territories and to the communities in and around Yellowknife for their teachings and their generosity. This summer, Dr. Hall will take up an appointment in the Department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University.
Dr. Hall’s dissertation, entitled Diamonds are Forever: a decolonizing, feminist approach to diamond mining in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, takes a feminist political economy approach to the impact of the northern diamond mining industry on Indigenous women. It reveals the ways in which Dene, Métis, and Inuit women’s labours that contribute to the social reproduction of their kin and communities have been both a site of colonial restructuring towards the demands of extractive capital, and of decolonizing resistance. Woven through this analysis is an examination of the relationship between structural and embodied racialized and gendered violence. Dr. Hall argues that the gendered structural tension between the extractive regime and the reproduction of place-based social relations contributes to disproportionately high levels of embodied violence against Indigenous women in the NWT.
2015 - 2016:
Dr. Veronika Novoselova “Networked Publics, Networked Politics: Resisting Gender-Based Violent Speech in Digital Media”
This dissertation is a qualitative study of digital media that identifies and analyzes feminist responses to violent speech in networked environments across Canada and the United States between 2011 and 2015. Exploring how verbal violence is constitutive of and constituted by power relations in the feminist blogosphere, Dr. Novoselova asks the following set of research questions: How do feminist bloggers politicize and problematize instances of violent speech on digital media? In what ways are their networked interactions and self-representations reconfigured as a result of having to face hostile audiences? What modes of agency appear within feminist blogging cultures? This work engages with feminist theory (hooks, 2014; McRobbie, 2009; Stringer 2014), media studies (boyd, 2014; Lovink, 2011; Marwick 2013) and their intersections in the field of feminist media studies (Jane 2014; Keller, 2012). Drawing on interviews with the key players in the feminist blogosphere and providing a discursive reading of selected digital texts, Dr. Novoselova identifies networked resistive strategies including digital archiving, public shaming, strategic silence and institutional transformations. Dr. Novoselova argues that feminist responses to violent speech are varied and reflect not only long-standing concerns with community building and women’s voices in public context, but also emerging anxieties around self-branding, professional identity and a control over one's digital presence. This research underscores the importance of transformative capacities of networked feminist politics and contextualizes agentic modes of participation in response to problematic communication.
Bio: Dr. Veronika Novoselova holds an MA and a PhD from York University. In 2016 she completed her doctoral research in the Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies. Her dissertation identifies, contextualizes, and analyzes responses to verbal violence on digital media platforms across Canada and the United States. Located at the intersections of media studies and feminist theory, her most recent research explores how digitally mediated confessions reveal negotiations of privilege and difference in feminist blogging cultures. In addition to teaching and research, for the past four years Veronika have been serving as a Social Media Coordinator at Feral Feminisms, a peer-reviewed multimedia journal based in Toronto.
2014 - 2015:
Dr. Helene Vosters “Good Mourning Canada? Canadian Military Commemoration and its Lost Subjects”
Using the Highway of Heroes as a point of departure, “Good Mourning Canada? Canadian Military Commemoration and its Lost Subjects” interrogates the role of Canadian military commemoration in the construction of nationalist narratives and gendered and raced hierarchies of grievability. Extending the work of feminist historians I argue that the displacement of women—as gender-marked bodies—from their historical role as the primary public mediators of mourning, left its new mediators conveniently unmarked. Unlike the invisibility of the marginalized or disavowed “other,” the privileged invisibility of military commemoration’s unmarked mediators is a powerful one that naturalizes the gendered and racialized essentialisms produced by processes of militarism, colonialism, and nationalism.
The theoretical and historical labour of Dr. Vosters' research is done in concert with a process of embodied inquiry in the form of three durational memorial performance projects—Impact Afghanistan War; Unravel: A Meditation on the Warp and Weft of Militarism; and Flag of Tears: Lament for the Stains of a Nation. Following performance and queer studies theorist José Esteban Muñoz, each of these projects engages a disidentificatory and intersectional feminist embrace of the gendered lexicons of violence, war, and peace as a mechanism for resisting the violent essentialisms of militarism and nationalism. As with my examination of the history of women’s lament, through the use of this disidentificatory performance approach my intention is to make strange military commemoration’s normalizing elegiac narratives by drawing attention to their construction and their performances of in/visibility.
Bio: Helene Vosters is an artist, scholar, and activist. She holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies (York University) and is currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Manitoba). Helene’s work explores issues of state violence, the politics of its transmission into social memory, and the role of performance and aesthetic practices in mobilizing resistance. Helene’s scholarly contributions include articles in Canadian and international peer-reviewed academic journals (Performance Research, Theatre Research in Canada, Canadian Journal of Practice-based Research in Theatre, and Canadian Theatre Review), and book sections in Performance Studies in Canada (forthcoming), Performing Objects and Theatrical Things and Theatre of Affect.
2013 - 2014
Dr. Julie Dowsett - "Feminism for Sale: Commodity Feminism, Femininity, and Subjectivity"
2012 - 2013
Dr. reese simpkins - Making Trans Multiple: Movement, Materiality, Becoming"
2011 - 2012
Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae - "(Re)Positioning Myself: Female and Black in Canada"
2010 - 2011
Dr. Lee Wing Hin (Vivian) - "I’m Not Homophobic, I’m Chinese”: Hong Kong Canadian Discourses of Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, and Multiculturalism in Same-Sex Marriage Debates, 2002-2006
2009 - 2010
Dr. Ruth Knechtel - The Mother and the Androgyne: Comparative Strategies of the New Woman
2008 - 2009
Dr. Jennifer Johnson - All's Fair in Love, War and Negotiations': Gender, Nation and Spaces of Corporate Capital at the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
2006 - 2007
Dr. Sharon Beckford - (Un)recovered Persephones: The Gendered Quest for Individuation in a Selection of Literature by Black Canadian Women Writers
2005 - 2006
Dr. Madelina Sunseri - Theorizing Nationalisms: Intersections of Gender, Nation, Culture and Colonialism in the Case of Oneida’s Decolonizing Nationalist Movement
Dr. Ilya Parkins - Material Modernity: A Feminist Theory of Modern Fashion
Dr. Heather Milne - Rites of Passage: Women’s Travel Writing in Canada, 1885-1914
Dr. Angela Failler - Edible Interpretations: From Melancholy Feminisms to Mourning Anorexia
2004 - 2005
Dr. Jacqueline Petropoulos - Women Writing Race: The Politics of Identity and Theatrical Representation in Canada during the 1980s.
2003 - 2004
Dr. Candida Rifkind - Labours of modernity: The literary left in English Canada, 1929-1939
Dr. Carla Rice - Becoming women: Body image, identity and difference in the passage to womanhood.
2002 - 2003
Dr. Carol Ricker-Wilson - Textual Fantasies: Urban High School Women as Critics and Narrators of Popular Romance
2001 - 2002
Dr. Sherilyn MacGregor - Beyond Mothering Earth: Ecological Citizenship and the Gendered Politics of Care.
2000 - 2001
Dr. Ruth Fletcher - Post-Colonial Legal Forms: A Feminist Critique of Irish Abortion Law
1999 - 2000
Dr. Verna Linney - The Flora Delanica: Mary Delaney and Women’s Art, Science and Friendship in Eighteenth Century England
1998 - 1999
Dr. Christine Ramsay - Masculinity and Processes of Intersubjectivity in the Films of David Cronenberg
Dr. Maja Korac - The Power of Gender in the Transition from State Socialism to Ethnic Nationalism, Militarization, and War: The Case of Post-Yugoslav States
1997 - 1998
Dr. Marietta Messmer - "I have a vice for voices": Reconstructing Emily Dickinson's Epistolary Subject Positions
1996 - 1997
Dr. Andrea O'Reilly - Ship and Harbor: Inn and Trail: Toni Morrison on Motherhood
1995 - 1996
Dr. Greg Malszecki - ‘He Shoots! He Scores!’ Metaphors of War in Sport and the Political Linguistics of Virility