Mary McEwan Memorial Award

Call for Nominations: Mary McEwan Memorial Award 2018-2019 (deadline November 25, 2019)


Named in honour of Dr. Mary McEwan, a feminist psychiatrist, this annual award of $1,000.00 will be awarded to one PhD dissertation produced in 2018-19 at York University in the area of feminist scholarship. An Awards Committee of faculty affiliated with the Centre will choose the winners.

If you have dissertations that were recommended for awards in 2018-19 (dissertations defended between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019 are eligible), please consider putting them forward for this award. The submission deadline is Monday, November 25, 2019.


1. Must be a graduate student who has successfully defended a dissertation during the 2018-19 academic year.
2. The nominee's dissertation must concern feminist theory and/or gender issues.
3. The examining committee for the dissertation must unanimously recommend it for an award.


Each nomination must include:

1. A copy of the dissertation and no more than a one-page statement from the nominee about the contribution the dissertation makes to feminist scholarship.
2. A letter of recommendation from the student's Supervisor commenting on the nominee's dissertation or thesis.
3. A statement from the Graduate Program Director noting that the nominee's dissertation was recommended as one that should be considered for a prize.
4. A copy of the external examiner’s report.


Nominations must be received by Julia Pyryeskina, Coordinator, Centre for Feminist Research, 611 York Research Tower no later than Monday, November 25, 2019.

Submissions and questions can be made via email to

The 2017-18 Award was issued to joint winners.

2017 - 2018:

Dr. Nael Bhanji

Dr. Nael Bhanji is the 2018-2019 Visiting Scholar in Sexuality Studies at the Centre for Feminist Research at York University and a lecturer at Carleton University. Drawing upon critical race theory, trans studies, psychoanalysis, and affect theory, his research explores articulations of necropolitics, racialization, surveillance, and counter-terrorism within an increasingly globalized trans movement. Nael's work appears in Transgender Migrations: The Bodies, Borders, and Politics of Transition, The Transgender Studies Reader 2, Trans Studies Quarterly 4.1, Canadian Ethnic Studies, and The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities. He is presently working on his monograph entitled “Trans Necrointimacies: Race and the Chalky Affects of Trans Memorialization.”

Dr. Bhanji's dissertation, Trans Necrointimacies: Affect, Race, and the Chalky Geopolitics of Trans Memorialization, explores the centrality of the memorialization of racialized trans death in structuring whiteness as emblematic of contemporary trans(normative) life. Taking his point of departure from the chalk outlines of dead bodies that frequently appear during rituals of trans memorialization, he analyzes how the affective circulation of racial decay and necropolitical violence—a phenomenon he has termed transnecrointimacies— is central to the securitization of both whiteness and trans-homonationalism within the nation-state. In tracing the affective worldings that occur through the spectacularization and consumption of ‘ordinary’ racialized trans death, this dissertation animates the seemingly disparate narratives of counter-terrorism and trans politics, the trans body and the terrorist body, and vigilant reactions and the vigil that re-acts ordinary violences.

Dr. Anna Rodrigues

Dr. Anna Augusto Rodrigues has a PhD in Education and a specialized graduate diploma in Language and Literacy Education, both from York University. As an interdisciplinary educator, her research interests include exploring issues of equity, diversity and inclusivity in education, researching alternative and digital literacies, and incorporating artistic practices into curriculum. Underpinning the above research is an intense commitment to social justice issues and interest in community-driven scholarship. She is also a visual artist who uses photography, digital media and collage to engage with issues of social equity. Dr. Rodrigues is currently a contract instructor at Trent University.

Pop-Up Pedagogy: Exploring Connections between Street Art, Feminist Literacy Practices and Communities investigated the potential of feminist street art to create informal spaces of learning on the streetscape while considering its pedagogical significance as a feminist literacy practice that could assist women, and those who identify as women, to participate in the shaping of community and global conversations. For this research, Dr. Rodrigues analyzed data from various sources which included interviews with feminist street artists, social media feeds, online articles and her own personal journal entries. In addition, she analyzed over 1400 images of street art she photographed over a period of five years while conducting fieldwork in Montreal and Toronto. In her dissertation, Dr. Rodrigues argues that feminist street art, as artifacts, and the actions associated with its production, can be considered a form of feminist public pedagogy that facilitates informal learning outside of traditional educational systems and also encourages women to contribute to the conversations happening in their communities, both online and in real life.


For a list of past recipients of the award, please see the following link:

Mary McEwan Memorial Award – Past Winners