Anti-Racist Feminist Interventions Into the Academy

Researchers are interested in exploring issues of anti-racist equity in the Academy. Over the past three decades a large body of feminist research has emerged documenting the persistence of discriminatory barriers in Canadian Universities faced by members of equity seeking groups including: women, members of racialized minorities, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal people. Intimately tied to such discriminatory practices are questions of curriculum. This research cluster encompasses two pan-University groups of faculty and students.

First, a national, multidisciplinary team of scholars, is undertaking a national analysis of Canadian universities. 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?   

The second group focuses on questions of curriculum development, particularly on how to construct an interdisciplinary Asian Canadian Studies.  In order to do this, members of the cluster have addressed how Asian Canadian Studies in currently constituted and how it is intertwined with other fields, such as area studies, women’s and gender studies, professional training, social and community work. This group draws together faculty and graduate students across four Ontario Universities with an interest in developing a feminist, anti-racist and decolonizing Asian-Canadian Studies. Members of the research cluster have met for three years – during which they have organized a monthly seminar series, a monthly reading group on the contemporary interdisciplinary scholarship in Asian-Canadian Studies, and discussed and developed research proposals and ideas. Members of this group have submitted two SSHRC RDI grants and one University of Toronto Jackman Humanities Institute grant in order to generate funds for research and programming. This research group reaches out to more than 80+ people on their informal listserv. A member of the research group has developed a new graduate course at OISE entitled ‘Theorizing Asian Canada’. Members have contributed to the launch of “Asian Canadian Wiki”, a website dedicated to promoting Asian Canadian community. Through collaborative and individual projects, these researchers contribute to deeper understandings of significant issues and questions in the field.

Members of this research cluster have a number of goals:

  1. To contribute to inter- and multidisciplinary theoretical understandings of the social construction of racialization, racism, equity, and social justice
  2. To explore the discursive, material, and everyday practices of racism
  3. Researching on Asian Canadian Studies
  4. To assist policy makers, administrators, and faculty associations to develop more effective tools to ensure equity.
  5. Facilitating collaboration with scholars nationally and internationally.