Past Visiting Scholars & Students

2015-2016

Alexa Photo 3  Dr. Alexa DeGagne is an Assistant Professor in Women's and Gender Studies at Athabasca University. Dr. DeGagne completed the doctoral program in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta in June 2015.  Her research, teaching and community engagement are focused on gender-based and sexuality-based social justice movements and activisms in Canada and the United States.  Specifically, her work has examined the relationship between feminist movements and fatherhood movements in the context of American welfare programs, and the relationship between LGB, trans and queer movements, and social conservative forces in the context of same-sex marriage policies, in both cases asking how the movements co-constitute, antagonize and assimilate to each other. Her current and future research agenda continues this work by focusing on the relationship between LGB, trans and queer social movement organizations, and police organizations in Canada. She has published works on LGB, trans and queer political organizing in Canada, specifically on the following topics: LGB, trans and queer politics in Alberta; homonationalism and the Canadian criminal justice system; LGB, trans and queer refugees in the Canadian refugee system; and the uses of anger as a tool in Canadian LGB, trans and queer activism. Dr. DeGagne’s political activism is based in her Edmonton queer community where she has worked with several social justice projects as a community organizer and agitator, public educator, columnist, radio producer and host, and queer arts festival co-chair.

unnamedDai Kojima is the 2015-16 Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research. He received his PhD from the University of British Columbia in February 2015, specializing in the areas of Migration and Diaspora Studies, Queer Studies and Critical Media Studies. His ethnographic doctoral research examined the cultural politics of mobility in queer Asian diasporas in Canada. At UBC, he was a co-founder of the Global Queer Research Group at Liu Institute for Global Issues and taught at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. His current postdoctoral project explores the labours of “affinity” among queer Japanese immigrants and migrant workers in Canada. He is currently preparing a book manuscript entitled “Wabi-Sabi Diaspora: The Traveling Sentiments and Queer Worldings of Japanese Migration Politics.” His most recent published work appears in Anthropologica, and Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture.

DSCN1348  Dr. Elisabeth Mercier is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Feminist Research at York University and the Institut de recherches et d’études féministes at UQAM. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Montreal. Her dissertation offers a critical analysis of the feminist, media, and public discourses about girl’s ‘hypersexualization’ and those regarding the ‘Islamic’ practice of veiling.  Her current research project examines the comments and controversies raised by the SlutWalk in the mainstream media and within the feminist blogosphere. Her work has been published in CommpositeNouvelles Questions Féministes, and Québec Studies.

Renuka York2  Renuka Biharie, holds a MPhil. in Public Administration with specialization in International Relations from Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS). Currently the Coordinator for the Institute for Women, Gender and Development Studies (IWGDS) of the Faculty of Social Science from march 2014 and also a member of the Board of the IWGDS from October 2010. Teaching "Gender and International Relations" at the University. Organized several panel discussions, Conferences and Workshops together with NGO's and International Organization regarding Domestic Violence (gender based violence), Women and politics, Women and Sustainable Development and LGTB platforms. In March 2015 IWGDS offered for the first time an undergraduate Gender Course for Government Gender Focal Points, University Students, Private sector and NGO's with lecturers from Suriname and York University. Renuka Biharie also facilitates the activities as mentioned in the MoU between AdeKUS and York, on behalf of the Anton de Kom University and York University. Currently involved in the Canada/Inter- Guiana project for Women,Gender and Sexuality Studies together with the Gender Studies Unit (GS) of the University of Guyana, Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) of the University of West Indies and York University, University of Toronto and Ryerson University for setting up Blended Courses in Women and Gender Studies.

2014-2015

Barabara Baird-Website PhotoDr. Barbara Baird is an Associate Professor in Women's Studies at Flinders University in South Australia. Formerly, she worked at the University of Tasmania where she coordinated the Gender Studies program. Her research focuses on the cultural politics of sexuality and reproduction and their intersection with discourses of race and national identity. Her main current research project is a cultural history of the practice of abortion in Australia since the early 1990s. She is also part of a collaboration that is researching the history of 'sexual citizenship' in Australia over the last forty years. With respect to this social reality, she has a focus on the criminalisation of the transmission of HIV, as well as law reforms to recognise 'same sex' relationships and abortion.  In all these contexts, Dr. Baird is investigating the circulation and embodiment of neoliberal discourses of subjectivity, particularly as they have been examined in relation to (young) women and their inflection by global discourses of race and whiteness. Dr. Baird’s work is widely published in Australian and international journals. She also teaches introductory and advanced Women's/Gender Studies. In 2012, Dr. Baird received a university teaching award for her undergraduate course 'Indigenous Women's Voices'. She has been involved in 'pro-choice' abortion activism and LGBT activism, and has served as a member of government LGBT consultative committees in both Tasmania and South Australia.

reese simpkins photo Dr. reese simpkins is a Visiting Professor in Sexuality Studies. He completed his PhD in Political Science at York University in December 2012, and is in the process of finalizing a book manuscript entitled “trans* matters, trans* assemblages: becoming and politics,” which is based on his doctoral research. While at the CFR, he will be working on his new research program, “trans* autopoiesis: material embodiment and the production of space/time.” This research program uses the concept of autopoiesis (i.e. the ability of systems to self-organize) in both its biological and collective senses to theorize trans* as a dynamic system, the materiality of which produces space and time. In other words, he investigates the ways in which trans* materialities, experiences, and embodiments produce their own rhythms, temporalities, and spatialities at both the social and individual levels. “Trans* autopoiesis,” then, should be understood as the material-spatio-temporalities that trans* both produces and is a product of, where trans selves, subjects and identities/identifications are only one outcome of the intra-relation of trans* “spacetimematter.”

Lilia Topouzova-Website PhotoDr. Lilia Topouzova is a historian and a documentary filmmaker. Her historical research examines the history and memory of the Bulgarian gulag. She is revising a book manuscript that surveys the establishment of the forced-labor camp system during the communist era and post-1989 attempts to come to terms with the legacy of repression. Previously, she has been a postdoctoral fellow in Gender Studies at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University, and she has been a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Contemporary History at the University of Potsdam in Germany. Dr. Topouzova is also the writer of the critically acclaimed documentary “The Mosquito Problem & Other Stories,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and received the Human Rights Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival in 2007. Her second film, which she co-directed and co-produced, “Saturnia,” was awarded the Toronto Showcase Award at the 2012 Moving Image Film Festival. Dr. Topouzova is currently in pre-production of her third film, “Anaanaga: My Mother,” supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Art Council.

Asli Zengin-Website PhotoDr. Asli Zengin is currently a Visiting Research Fellow in Sexuality Studies at the Center for Feminist Research at York University. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Anthropology and the collaborative program in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto in May 2014. Her dissertation, Sex Under Intimate Siege: Transgender Lives, Law, and State Violence in Contemporary Turkey, focuses on the transformation of transgender lives into the microphysical domain of state power for the symbolic and material production of sexual and gender difference in Turkey. She also analyzes how transgender people respond to this process in their everyday negotiations with state medical and legal authorities and police officers.  Dr. Zengin has widely published in peer-review journals and edited volumes. Her most recent article, “Sex for Law, Sex for Psychiatry: Pre-Sex Reassignment Surgical Psychotherapy in Istanbul,” was released in the Anthropologica May 2014 issue. Prior to her doctoral studies, she did her master’s research on female sex workers and their relations with the Turkish state. This work was published as a book in Turkish with the title Iktidarin Mahremiyeti: Istanbul’da Hayat Kadinlari, Seks Isciligi ve Siddet [Intimacy of Power: Women Prostitutes, Sex Work and Violence in Istanbul]. Her research interests include the body, gender, sexuality, queer theory, anthropology of law, medical anthropology, the state, violence, and contemporary issues in the Middle East with a special focus on Turkey.


2013 - 2014

pictureforcfrAudrey Enid Benn, a forward-thinking academic, gender analyst and specialist, is currently the head of the Women’s Studies Unit, University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus.  After completing her undergraduate studies in Social Sciences, Social Work and graduating with honours for both programmes, she went to teach at the University of Guyana for a short period in the following subject areas; Social Policy, Social Administration and Theory and Practice of Social Work in the Department of Sociology.  She then proceeded to the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, Institute of Development Studies where she read for a Master of Arts Degree in Gender and Development.  Having graduated from Sussex, Audrey returned to Guyana to take up the position of Programme Officer, and later Coordinator of the Women’s Studies Unit/Institute of Development Studies which is under the Directorship of Distinguished Professor Clive Y. Thomas.  For over two decades Audrey has been championing the causes of women and girls, and has been working tirelessly developing educational and empowerment programmes for disadvantaged communities.

Photo - Nora RuckNora Ruck is currently a Marie Curie Fellow at the Department of Psychology at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna and at the History and Theory of Psychology Program at York University. As a psychologist (PhD from the University of Vienna in 2012) with additional training in cultural studies and feminist science studies, her research focuses on the relations between psychology and society at large. She has analyzed the historical trajectory of evolutionary psychology and its social context and has studied ideological codes and boundary works in several public scientific controversies, including the sociobiology controversy of the late 1970s and evolutionary psychology controversies of the 1990s. Her current research interest continues on this line and examines the role and function of science in so-called socioscientific controversies, i.e., controversies in which pressing social problems are discussed with the help of science in public media. She explores the ways in which psychological gender research is drawn on in public discourse to explain existing gender inequalities and to either question or legitimate different political solutions to problems of gender inequality.

reese simpkins photo reese simpkins is a Visiting Professor in Sexuality Studies. He completed his PhD in Political Science at York University in December 2012, and is in the process of finalizing a book manuscript entitled “trans* matters, trans* assemblages: becoming and politics,” which is based on his doctoral research. While at the CFR, he will be working on his new research program, “trans* autopoiesis: material embodiment and the production of space/time.” This research program uses the concept of autopoiesis (i.e. the ability of systems to self-organize) in both its biological and collective senses to theorize trans* as a dynamic system, the materiality of which produces space and time. In other words, he investigates the ways in which trans* materialities, experiences, and embodiments produce their own rhythms, temporalities, and spatialities at both the social and individual levels. “Trans* autopoiesis,” then, should be understood as the material-spatio-temporalities that trans* both produces and is a product of, where trans selves, subjects and identities/identifications are only one outcome of the intra-relation of trans* “spacetimematter.”

2012 - 2013

Dr. W.S. Kottiswari is Associate Professor of English in the Department of English; Organiser for the Research Centre for Comparative Studies, PG Dept. of English; and Research Guide at the Research Centre for Comparative Studies, PG Dept. of English at Mercy College, Palakkad, Kerala. While at York, Dr. Kottiswari is working on a project entitled Rethinking Marginalised Subjectivity and the Maternal – A Cross Cultural Study of Indian Dalit and Native Canadian Autobiographies. The aim of the project is to analyse the literary corpus of representative Indian Dalit and Native Canadian women writers. The discourses of these marginalised women writers are analysed in order to understand the politics of subjectivity which is caught in the complicated matrix of culture and dominant ideologies. The study also underscores marginalised women’s negotiations with mainstream hegemonic culture.

Professor Jared  Sexton is visiting York this fall as a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturing Chair. He comes to us from the University of California, Irvine, where he is Associate Professor and Director of the Program in African American Studies and teaches in the Department of Film and Media Studies and the Ph.D. programs in Visual Studies and Culture and Theory. He also holds affiliations at UCI with the Critical Theory Institute and the Center for Law, Culture and Society. Professor Sexton's research examines the political culture and cultural politics of the post-civil rights era United States, focusing on matters of race and sexuality, policing and prisons, multiracial coalition, and contemporary film. He is the author of Amalgamation Schemes: Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiracialism (University of Minnesota Press) and co-editor of a special issue of Critical Sociology on "Race and the Variations of Discipline." His articles have appeared in journals like American Quarterly, InTensions, Qui Parle, Radical History Review and Social Text as well as several anthologies on race, politics and popular culture. While in residence at York, Professor Sexton will teach an undergraduate course on black feminist thought for the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and continue working on the manuscript for his next book, The Shadow of a Color Line: Racial Politics beyond Coalition.

Dr. Sevasti Trubeta is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of the Aegean in Greece. Her research interests include issues of humanitarianism, biopolitics, eugenics, the social history of medicine, minorities, Roma, racism, migration, refugees, and globalization. While at York, Dr. Trubeta will be working on a project entitled “Social Inequality and Creation of the Perfect Human - Comparison of Eugenics and New Reproductive Technologies (IVF).” This project combines ideas springing out of her previous work on eugenics and the social issues attached to it (with a regional focus on Southeastern Europe) and her present research in global dimensions of social inequality in application of reproductive technologies, with a special focus on fertility (sperm donation, in vitro fertilization). From an epistemological point of view, the approach is multidisciplinary since it involves disciplines such as social history of medicine, sociology of social inequity and sociology of the body and human reproduction.

 2011 - 2012

Kamile Demiris the vice dean of the Faculty of Education at Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, Burdur, Turkey where she is also an associate professor in the field of educational management. She received her doctorate from Anara University in 2002. Her research interests include educational leadership, gender equality in education and teacher training, and sustainable professional development. She is currently researching gender equity in teacher education programs and awareness of pre-service teachers about gender issues in education.

Michelle Gewurtz recently completed her PhD 3 Women/3 Margins: Political Engagement and the Art of Claude Cahun, Jeanne Mammen, and Paraskeva Clark (2011) at the University of Leeds under the supervision of renowned feminist art historian Griselda Pollock.  She received her M.A. in Art History and a Graduate Diploma in Curatorial Studies in Visual Culture From York University in 2004.  She has worked in curatorial and educational capacities in galleries in Ontario and British Columbia.
Click here for Dr Gewurt's Profile at Academia.edu

Elizabeth Higginbotham is currently a Professor in the Department of Sociology with appointments in Women’s Studies and Black American Studies at the University of Delaware.  She was one of the founders of the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis, where she was located between 1983 and 1998.  Her scholarship has been in the areas of race, class and gender with attention to issue of education and employment. Higginbotham is the author of  Too Much to Ask: Black Women in the Era of Integration.
Click here for Dr Higginbotham's Faculty Profile at the University of Delaware

Neelam Kumar is a scientist with the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), in New Delhi, India. Her work concerns the psychology of science, and gender and science. She published the edited book Women and Science in India (Oxford University Press, 2009) and another volume, Gender and Science: Studies across Cultures, is being published by Cambridge University Press, India.

Tiffany Muller Myrdahl is a feminist geographer (PhD University of Minnesota, 2008) and an assistant professor in the Department of Women & Gender Studies at the University of Lethbridge. Her research interests are concentrated in three overlapping areas: geographies of difference; place and the politics of identity; and geographies of urban change and uneven urban development. Her current research employs social theory, critical analyses of urban policy, and oral history methodologies to examine the socio-spatial formations of queer identities, focusing especially on the material effects of, and challenges to, normative social relations in social spaces and the built environment. While at York, she will be writing a book manuscript from her current research project, The Lives of (Sexual) Others: Social difference and urban change in Lethbridge, Alberta. Click here for Dr. Myrdhal's Faculty Profile at the University of Lethbridge.

2010 - 2011

Visiting Scholars:

  • Jin Haritaworn, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Louise Johnson, Deakon University, Australia
    Anne Runyan, University of Cincinnati

Visiting Post-Doctoral Scholar:

  • Francesca Mailoi, Italy

Visiting Graduate Student:

  • Ximena Ureta, Uruguay

2009 - 2010

Visiting Scholars:

  • Jin Haritaworn, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Katja Kahlina, Central European University

2008 - 2009

Visiting Scholars:

  • Kristin Blakely, Wilfred Laurier University
  • Jan Burns, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK
  • Mina Cho, Seoul University, South Korea
  • Vanessa Farr, Social Development and Gender Advisor, United Nations Development Program

2007 - 2008

Visiting Scholars:

  • Mina Cho, Chungnam National University, South Korea
  • Iris Mendel, Institute for Cultural Sciences, Vienna
  • Lata Narayanaswamy, University of Durham, UK.
  • Kseniya Zaika, State University – Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

2006 - 2007

Visiting Scholars:

  • Elyem Atakav, Southhampton Solent University, Southhampton, England
  • Tanja Cvetkovic, University of Nis, Serbia
  • Anh Hua
  • Diana Lee-Smith
  • Payoshni Mitra, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
  • Lata Narayanaswamy, University of Durham, UK.
  • Savita Singal, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India

2005 - 2006

Visiting Scholars:

  • Linda Carty

2004 - 2005

Visiting Scholars:

  • Fereshte Ghashghai, Alazhra University, Iran
  • Kimie Kumayasu, Osaka Women's University, Osaka, Japan

2003 - 2004

Visiting Scholars:

  • Elisabetta Camussi, State University of Milano-Bicocca
  • Fereshte Ghashghai, Alazhra University, Iran
  • Kimie Kumayasu, Osaka Women's University, Osaka, Japan
  • Silke Neunsinger and Pernilla Jonsson, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Sarah Nicholson, University of Western Sydney
  • Leslie Schlesse, University of Hanover, Germany
  • Friede Magloire Ngo Youmba, University of Bielefeld, Germany

2002 - 2003

Visiting Scholars:

  • Maria Cristina Martins, Brazil
  • Ulla Vuorela, University of Tampere. Finland
  • Fadwa Allabadi, Al-Quds University, East Jerusalem
  • Rajuladevi Akkamadathilkinathy, India
  • Rampai Surinal, Thailand