Past Research Projects

Lives Outside the Lines: Gender and Genre in the Americas: A Symposium in Honour of Marlene Kadar”


Conference Organizers: International Auto/Biography Association of the Americas IABAA (co-convened by Eva C. Karpinski and Ricia Chansky) and the Centre for Feminist Research at York University, in collaboration with the School of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, the Department of Humanities, and the Graduate Program in Critical Disability Studies at York University, the international journal a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, and the Fulbright Specialist Program.

Funder: SSHRC Connection Grant, IABAA, York University, Canada@150

Conference Description:                                              

“Lives Outside the Lines: Gender and Genre in the Americas,” held from May 15-17, 2017 at York University in Toronto, was the third biennial conference of the International Auto/Biography Association Chapter of the Americas (IABAA). The conference brought together the leading scholars of autobiography, biography, and other forms of life writing, as well as new and emerging scholars, artists and practitioners of life writing, and graduate students.

Focusing on regional and hemispheric research and scholarship, the conference explored the multiple lines that gendered lives in the Americas cross, both physical boundaries of national borders and intangible crossings of the established borders of gender, language, and genre. The themes of "Lives Outside the Lines" were directly linked to the importance of transnational movements triggered by globalization and the popularity of multi-media and multi-genre experimentation that creates new possibilities and forms of self-representation. Papers and presentations delivered at this conference investigated diverse representations and intersectional theorizations of embodiment and identity, with special attention given to marginalized lives, excluded subjects, traumatic histories, and invisible narratives. The event was dedicated to the celebration of the scholarship of York professor and CFR Associate Marlene Kadar, a theorist and critic whose contributions have dramatically altered the field and expanded its interdisciplinary methods of study.

IABAA has been at the forefront of research that shapes the global scholarly dialogue on life narratives in Canadian, African American, Latin American, Caribbean, and African diasporic literatures, deepening cross-cultural understandings of diversities of self, identity, and experience. Its conferences promote transnational investigation, collaboration, and study, especially in areas related to colonialism, postcolonialism, decolonialism, racialization, diaspora, Indigeneity, and gender and sexuality constructions across the Americas. This conference reflected the interdisciplinary and multi-generational composition of the participating group of scholars from the North and South, fostering networking and innovation in the field; facilitating new collaborations and publications; and training and integrating graduate students into the international academic community. Since almost all major Canadian scholars of life writing were in attendance, the conference showcased the high position that the Canadian school of auto/biography and life writing studies occupies in the global field.

The three-day conference “Lives Outside the Lines” consisted of a half-day mentoring workshop for graduate students, co-organized by the SNS Network (Life Writing Graduate Student and New Scholar Network affiliated with IABA); one-and-a-half days of simultaneous panels drawn from an open Call for Papers; and one full day of single panels by invited speakers. Other activities included a book launch of Auto/Biography in the Americas: Relational Lives (Routledge 2016), with substantial contributions by Canadian scholars and a student-curated community and activist art exhibit. Expected outcomes include a special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies (forthcoming 2018), an edited collection, and an open access online archive in York Space.

U.S. Homophile Internationalism


 Professor Marc Stein, a CFR Faculty Associate, recently completed his U.S. Homophile Internationalism project (funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant). Outputs from the project included an online archive and exhibit created by Dr. Stein and his research team titled “U.S. Homophile Internationalism: Archive and Exhibit” for  . Focusing on the 1950s and 1960s, it features annotated bibliographies, digitized materials, and introductory essays on U.S. homophile magazine references to, representations of, and contributions from other parts of the world (including Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Russia/Eastern Europe/Soviet Union).

The research team presented its work on a plenary panel at the Gay American History @ 40 conference in New York City in May 2016 and The Journal of Homosexuality devoted a special issue to the project, U.S. Homophile Internationalism (Vol. 64, Issue 7, 2017), guest edited by Marc Stein. It featured articles by research team members, who included York PhD students Shlomo Gleibman, Tamara Lang, Sage Milo, Darya Serykh, Carly Simpson and Healy Thompson (see Table of Contents below). The team also presented its work on a panel at the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities in New York in June 2017.

U.S. Homophile Internationalism – Special Issue of the Journal of Homosexuality (Vol. 64, Issue 7, 2017) – Guest Edited by Marc Stein

Introduction: U.S. Homophile Internationalism (Marc Stein)

Democratizing LGBTQ History Online: Digitizing Public History in “U.S. Homophile Internationalism” (Tamara de Szegheo Lang)

“The Madness of the Carnival”: Representations of Latin America and the Caribbean in the U.S. Homophile Press (Shlomo Gleibman)

“But Oh! What Tales”: Portraying the Middle East in U.S. Homophile Periodicals of the 1950s and 1960s (Sage Milo)

Homonationalism Before Homonationalism: Representations of Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union in the U.S. Homophile Press, 1953–1964 (Dasha Serykh)

Imperial Queerness: The U.S. Homophile Press and Constructions of Sexualities in Asia and the Pacific, 1953–1964 (Carly Simpson)

“Some Africans Gave Full Approval of Homosexuality”: Representations of Africa in the U.S. Homophile Press, 1953–1964 (Healy Thompson)

Sex With Neighbors: Canada and Canadians in the U.S. Homophile Press (Marc Stein)

Queer Bathroom Monologues

Funder: SSHRC
Project Dates: 2012-2014
Principal Investigator: Sheila Cavanagh (York University)
Project Participants: Dr. Laura Levin and Dr. Judith Rudakoff in the Department of Theatre at York University
Community Partners: Brendan Healy, the artistic director at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre; Helen Kennedy, the executive director of Egale; Katina Watson, the Director of Programs and Services at YouthLink; Dr. Debra Pepler, the director of the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research; and the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University.

This Public Outreach SSHRC Dissemination grant project is based on the PI's performance ethnography the "Queer Bathroom Monologues" (QBM). The QBM is based on fictionalized monologues inspired by interviews with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) folks published in Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality and the Hygienic Imagination (2010). The interviewees describe homophobic and transphobic experiences in the binary gendered toilet and how this room conditions hegemonic ideas about the body, sex and gender. A myriad of stories are told spanning from the devastating, to the sublime; the traumatic, to the passionate; the mundane, to the curious; the comic and everything in between. The QBM enacts how the rigidly gendered space of the toilet is both an opportunity for same-sex encounters but also an arena where gender binaries are strictly enforced. The play premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival in July, 2011, and won the Audience Pick Award. It will now be developed as a professional production at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre for a larger, community based audience in the greater Toronto area.

Women’s Human Rights, Macroeconomics and Policy Choice

Funder: SSHRC
Project Dates: 2010-2011 (renewed until 2014)
Principal Investigator: Barbara Cameron (York University)
Co-Applicants: Isabella Bakker (York University), Meg Luxton (York University), Leah Vosko (York University)
Other researchers: Bonnie Diamond (Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action), Kate McInturff (Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action), Farha Leilani (Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation), Joyce Hancock (Independent Consultant), Nancy Baroni (FAFIA), Sarah Lugtig (Manitoba Human Rights Commission), Shelagh Day (Poverty and Human Rights Centre), Andree Cote (Public Service Alliance of Canada), Yvonne Peters (Independent Consultant)

The “Women’s Human Rights, Macroeconomics and Policy Choices” project mobilizes knowledge on the political economy of women’s human rights reflected in the growing body of literature that uses a human rights lens to analyze government policy. The specific focus of the project is research that addresses the connections among macroeconomic policy, public policies that particularly impact the paid and unpaid work of women, and women’s access to human rights. The project is designed to engage members of local organizations concerned with women’s human rights in the real-world policy process related to the development of the annual federal budget. These organizations are involved in the project through their affiliation with the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), an umbrella for seventy-five organizations concerned with women’s human rights.

Racialization, Racism and the University

Funder: SSHRC
Project Dates: 2010-2014
Principal Investigator: Frances Henry (York University)
Co-Applicants: Audrey Kobayashi (Queen’s University); Malinda Smith (University of Alberta); Peter Li (University of Saskatchewan); Enakshi Dua (York University); Carl James (York University); Carol Tator (York University)

This study will be the first of its kind to address the status of racialized and indigenous scholars in Canadian universities. As a national, multidisciplinary team of scholars, we will undertake a national analysis of Canadian universities with a more detailed analysis of ten universities that represent a diversity of regions and institutions. The study will gather data required to make an accurate assessment of the representation and position of racialized minorities within Canadian universities, and will analyze these data to reveal patterns of discrimination and racism with a particular focus on three questions: 1) How does the pattern of racism vary according to gender, sexuality, ability, age, and different kinds of racializations? 2) Are there any differences between institutions? 3) How do patterns of racialization affect the mission of universities to deliver equitable education and research and thus fulfill their public responsibility?

Transnational Migration Trajectories of Immigrant Women Professionals in Canada

Funder: SSHRC
Project Dates: 2009-2014 (parental leave: 2010-2011)
Principal Investigator: Guida Man (York University)
Co-Applicants: Tania Das Gupta (York University), Kiran Mirchandani (University of Toronto), Roxanna Ng (University of Toronto)

This study focuses on the transnational migration trajectories of work and family of immigrant women professionals from Mainland China and India. The study addresses three fundamental areas of inquiry: transnational migration, women’s work including work in the home and in the paid labour force, and global labour market restructuring. Specifically, this study examines how immigrant women professionals adopt transnational migration strategies to negotiate the conflicting demands of paid work and household work in the context of the complicated and contradictory processes of globalization and transnationalism. The myriad transnational strategies  immigrant women professionals utilize in negotiating their work and family life will be examined.

Identifying and Establishing Effective Organizational Practice in Serving the Diverse Communities of York Region

Funder: Municipality of York Region
Project Dates: September 2012 - March 2013
Administrating Centre:  Centre for Feminist Research
Researchers: Frances Henry (York University), Time Rees (Independent Researcher)

Sharing Our Legacy: Indigenous-African Relations Across the Americas

Project Dates: July  2010 - July 2013
Principle Investigator: Bonita Lawrence
Conference Planning Team: Enakshi Dua (York University), Vermonja Alston (York University), Beenash Jafri (York University), Zahir Kolia (York University), Kimberly Palmer (York University), Leah Stewart (York University)
Funder: SSHRC

"Worked to Death": Gendered-Racialized Dimensions of Economic Security for Later Life Canadians

Project Dates: March 2010-March 2012
Principle Investigator: Nancy Mandell (York University)
Co-Applicants: Ann Kim (York University), Meg Luxton (York University), Valerie Preston (York University)

Negotiating Sexualities: A Study of Youth and Development in Guyana

Project Dates: 2010-2012
Principle Investigator: Linda Peake (York University)
Participants: Karen De Souza (Red Thread Research Team, Guyana)
Funder: SSHRC

Rethinking Feminist Interventions in Urban Studies

Project Dates: 2009-2012
Principle Investigator: Linda Peake (York University)
Granting Agency: SSHRC
Funder: SSHRC

Memory and Memorialisation

Project Dates: April 2009-March 2010
Principle Investigator: Alison Crosby (York)
Participants: Dr Malathi de Alwis (University of Colombo)
Funder: IDRC

Sharing Feminist Research on Social Policies and Collective Action/Partager la recherche féministe sur les politiques sociales et l’action collective

Project Dates: April 29, 2009-April 30, 2010
Principle Investigator: Jacinthe Michaud (York University)
Co-Applicants: Barbara Cameron (York University) and Leah Vosko (York University)
Funder: SAIC, CIHR

U50 Lecture Series, Feminism and the Academy

Project Dates: 2009-2010
Organizers: Linda Peake, Meg Luxton, Enakshi Dua
Participants: Margaret Thornton (ANU, Australia), Lorraine Code (York University), Nadje Al – Ali (SOAS, UK), Ann Shteir (York University), Elisabeth Young Bruehl (New York), Chandra Mohanty (Syracuse University)

Excavations, Collusions, and Contestations: A Symposium on Violence, Memory, and Memorialization

Date: April 15, 2010
Organizers: Enakshi Dua, Alison Crosby, Honor Ford Smith
Speakers: Urvashi Butalia (Zubaan Books), Malathi de Alwis (University of Colombo), Alison Crosby (York University), Alissa Trotz (University of Toronto), Honor Ford-Smith (York University).

Education as Regeneration: Processes of Decolonization

Project Dates: 2007-2010
Principle Investigator: Celia Haig-Brown
Funder: SSHRC

Doing Theory: Marxism, Feminism, Critical Race Theory

Date: Dec 11, 2009
Organizers: Enakshi Dua
Speakers: Himani Bannerji, Nahla Abdo, Jasodhara Bagchi, Davina Bhandar, Barbara Godard, Dorothy Smith, David McNally, Shahrzad Mojab, Radhika Mongia, Ananya Mukherjee, Sherene Razack, Sunera Thobani, Judith Whitehead

CEDAW and the Status of Women in Ontario

Project Dates: 2008-2009
Principle Investigator: Barbara Cameron (York University)
Funder: CURA

Ensuring Social Reproduction: A Longitudinal Study of Households and Social Polity in Three Ontario Centres

Project Dates: 2007-2009
Principle Investigator: Meg Luxton (York University)
Funder: SSHRC

The Feminist Journals Network (FJN)

Project Dates: 2006-2009
Principle Investigator: Meg Luxton (York University), Marilyn Porter (Memorial University)
Funder: CIDA

Reconceiving Human Rights

Principle Investigator: Guida Man (York University)
Participants: Barbara Cameron (York University)
Funder: SSHRC

Penetrating Neoliberalism: Changing Relations of Gender, Race, Ability and Class

Project Dates: 2006-2008
Principle Investigator: Susan Braedley (York University), Meg Luxton (York University)

Women’s Human Rights, Citizenship, and Identities in a North American Context

Project Dates: 2004-2008
Principle Investigator: Patricia McDermott (York University), Sandra Whitworth (York University), Meg Luxton (York University)

Building Opportunities: Collaborative Feasibility Study

Project Dates: 2006-2007
Principle Investigator: Susan Braedley (York University)
Participants: Simcoe-Muskoka YMCA, Simcoe County Training Board, Centre for Feminist Research
Funder: Ontario Trillium Foundation

Leadership, Gender, and Public Policy: The Case of Indira Gandhi

Project Dates:2002-2005
Principle Investigator: Vijay Agnew (York University)
Funder: SSHRC

Research Direction in Labour Relations and Labour Market Development

Project Dates: 2001-2004
Principle Investigator: Carla Lipsig-Mumme
Funder: SSHRC

Gender, Ethnicity and Health: South Asian Perspectives

Project Dates: 2002
Principle Investigator: Vijay Agnew (York University)
Funder: SSHRC

Immigrant Women, Violence, and Health Across the Life Span

Project Dates: 2001
Principle Investigator: Vijay Agnew (York University)
Funder: York Incentive Grant