Past Visiting Scholars & Students


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. Tiffany Pollock is a Visiting Postdoctoral Student at the Centre for Feminist Research. Her research employs feminist ethnographic methods to examine the negotiations involved in the transnational mobility of cultural practices, people, capital and ideas. Situated within an interdisciplinary framework that encompasses feminist and queer anthropology, transnational gender and sexuality studies, and ethnomusicology/dance studies, her work elaborates how social actors grapple with the politics and tensions of contemporary global encounters through affective and musical modalities.

Her SSHRC-funded dissertation, “Frictions and Flows: Affective Economies of Fire Dance in the Thai Tourism Industry,” elaborates the affective worlds of Thai and Burmese male fire dancers who perform for tourists on the Thai islands. Drawing on multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork, it brings together theories of affect, sexuality, gender, spatiality and embodiment to examine how changing landscapes of danced labor and value are negotiated by dancers. It distills how extra-corporeal “energies” are employed by dancers as part of a complex of affective labor and ethico-political solidarities. In collaboration with fire dancers, she is working on a co-authored monograph detailing the aesthetics of Thai fire art.

Tiffany’s current postdoctoral project critically examines the intersections of music, embodiment and mobilities in young peoples’ lives. It investigates how the (re)embodiment of musical heritages by refugee youth in (re)settlement contexts is a way through which the tensions of social integration and politics of inclusion/exclusion are grappled with. This project is supported by a MITACS Accelerate Grant, and a SSHRC Insight Development Grant through the transnational and multi-generational Connecting Culture and Childhood Project. Employing participatory action research methods, the project develops youth-led knowledge and dissemination practices.

Vinícius Santiago is a Visiting Graduate Student at the Centre for Feminist Research and a PhD candidate in International Relations at the Institute of International Relations of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (IRI/PUC-Rio), Brazil. His master’s thesis at the same university dealt with state violence in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. He has been engaged in an ethnographic work with the mothers whose sons have been murdered by the Military Police in the slums of the city. His field work involved following the mothers on public encounters such as protests, marches, vigils where they are able to mourn publicly those lives. His research attempts to open space to rethink the arbitrariness of some sovereign practices which are put into play by the armed wings of the Brazilian state. Based on the findings of his M.Phil study, he has published a paper on the narratives of mothers who have been engaged in the political struggle for justice after de death of their sons, “From the Backstage of War: the struggle of Mothers in Favelas of Rio de Janeiro,” in the Journal Contexto Internacional. His PhD research follows the master’s study and aims to analyze to which extent the female resistance to state violence unveils the mechanisms of power which operate under the structure of state sovereignty. Recently, he has co-authored a book on urban mobility and the right to the city at Complexo do Alemão slums in Rio de Janeiro, published by Heinrich Boll Foundation. His research interests include post-colonial studies, post-structuralism, aesthetics, gender, racism and violence.

Laura França Martello is a PhD candidate in Political Science, Federal University of Minas Gerais with the support of Foundation for Coordinating Capacity-building of Personnel in Higher Education (CAPES), Brazil, and a Visiting Graduate Student at the Centre for Feminist Research through the Emerging Leaders of Americas Program from Global Affairs Canada International Scholarships. Laura researches Brazilian and Latin American feminist movements and resistance cultures, especially autonomous groups, collective organizing and feminist gatherings. Her research focus is on intergenerational relations amongst feminists and self defense in its multiple dimensions as a feminist theory and practice of autonomous justice.




Cristina Pereira Vieceli is a Visiting Graduate Student at the Centre for Feminist Research, a PhD candidate in the Graduate Programme of Economics at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and an economist at the Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (Dieese), in Brazil. Her interests lie in issues of gender, labour, and economy with special attention to the Brazilian economy. Her master's dissertation subject was about domestic employment in Brazil, looking for the characteristics of peoples and jobs at the domestic employment from 1996 to 2013 and at the intersection of gender, class and race. This dissertation and further studies from other researchers originated the book “Emprego Doméstico no Brasil: raízes históricas, trajetórias e regulamentação” (“Domestic employment in Brazil: historical roots, trajectories and regulation”), a preview of which in Portuguese may be accessed here: An abstract of a more recent paper on domestic employment in Brazil may be accessed here: In the current research to the doctorate in Economics at UFRGS, Cristina's broad interest subject is the reproductive work that is invisible for both labour and production statistics, intended to measure the size of non-paid household work in Brazil, especially women’s work, and its consequences to labour statistics and national accounts.


Dr Barnita Bagchi

Dr. Barnita Bagchi teaches and researches Comparative Literature at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Educated at Jadavpur University, India, and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, she has published widely on utopia, histories of transnational and women’s education, and women’s writing in western Europe and south Asia. She directs the Utrecht Utopia Network (, which, for example, recently hosted an international workshop in Utrecht on ‘Urban Utopias: Memory, Rights, and Speculation.’

Most recently, she has been awarded a British Academy Visiting Fellowship to conduct research on Transcultural Utopian Imagination and the Future: Tagore, Gandhi, and Indo-British Entanglements in the 1930s, at Lancaster University in late summer and early autumn 2018. Her books include the monograph Pliable Pupils and Sufficient Self-Directors: Narratives of Female Education by Five British Women Writers, 1778-1814 (New Delhi: Tulika, 2004), a part-translation with introduction, Sultana’s Dream and Padmarag: Two Feminist Utopias, by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain(New Delhi: Penguin Classics, 2005), an edited volume, The Politics of the (Im)possible: Utopia and Dystopia Reconsidered (New Delhi, London, Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2012), and the co-edited volume Connecting Histories of Education: Transnational Exchanges and Cross-Cultural Transfers in (Post)colonial Education, with Eckhardt Fuchs and Kate Rousmaniere (Berghahn Books, 2014). Her articles and chapters have appeared in volumes such as A History of the Indian Novel in English (Ed. Ulka Anjaria, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016), and in journals such as Paedagogica Historica, Women’s History Review, and CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture.

Chandni Bhambhani photo

Chandni Bhambhani is a Visiting Graduate Student at the Centre for Feminist Research at York University and a Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Doctoral Fellow. She comes from the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, India, where she is pursuing her PhD in Sociology. Her research attempts to break the silence of Indian academia on the subject of childlessness by choice. Based on the findings of her M.Phil study, she has published a working paper on the experiences of Indian women choosing childlessness in the working paper series of Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore. Her PhD research aims to examine the decision making process among couples who choose to remain childless, and as a visiting scholar at CFR, she intends to compare the Indian and Canadian contexts shaping the decision to be childless in two diverse societies.

Lisa Edwards is presently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. Her research project is entitled: “Representation of Gender and Ethnicity in Online News Reports of Suicide in Guyana”. In July, 2017, she was accepted for a Canada-CARICOM Leadership Scholarship. She was hosted by the Center for Feminist Research at York University under the supervision of Prof. Kamala Kempadoo as a Visiting Graduate Student. Her period at York University was fourteen weeks during which she attended two graduate studies courses on Black Feminism and a seminar course. Prior to her present pursuit, she completed a summer programme at the Caribbean Institute for Gender and Development (CIGAD) at the Nita Barrow Unit, Cave Hill Campus, University of the West Indies in Barbados. Her undergraduate degree was completed at the University of Guyana in 2013 where she read for a degree in Communication Studies. Upon completion, she worked with Prof. Paloma Mohamed, University of Guyana, as one of her personal research assistants. Hence, between her early years as an undergraduate student to present, Lisa not left the classroom. Lisa's interests include gender, suicide, representation, domestic violence and media. Lisa is also interested in the making and producing of documentaries around social issues. Thus far, she has been involved in making two documentaries based on social cohesion in Guyana as an undergraduate project ( and voices of women as part of a Loyola film festival ( She has also been involved in organizations such as Theatre Guild of Guyana and other short term community projects and research.

Dr. Christine M. Klapeer is a lecturer in Gender Studies at the Georg-August University of Göttingen and a board member of the Göttinger Center for Gender Studies. She was the 2017-18 Visiting Scholar in Sexuality Studies at the Centre for Feminist Research. She obtained her doctorate in Politics with an emphasis on Political Theory and feminist/queer Citizenship Studies from the University of Innsbruck in 2011. Before joining the University of Göttingen, she held a postdoctoral position at the Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna (2011 to 2016), was a guest professor at the Central European University Budapest (2015) and a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Bayreuth (2016 to 2017), continuing her work on transnational queer movements and development politics. From 2013 to 2016 she was also part of a research team that conducted the first large-scale study on the living situations of LGBTIQs in the city of Vienna (funded by the Viennese Antidiscrimination Unit) and continued this research in a following up project entitled “Urban Sexual Geographies, Queer Citizenship and the Socio-Economic Status of LGBTIQs in Vienna” (funded by the Austrian National Bank). Since 2017 Christine is a convenor of the “German Political Science Association’s” section on “Gender and Politics”.

During her stay as a visiting scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research and the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University in Toronto/Tkaronto Christine worked on her third monography entitled „Queer G(r)ifts. Development, LGBTIQ Rights and the Trajectories of Transnational Solidarity“.

Her research interests include: queer and postcolonial Political Theory; intersectional and race critical perspectives on  heteronormativity, sexual citizenship and queer politics; trans/national LGBTIQ movements; (dissident) sexualities and genders in development politics, development discourse and development research.

Her latest publications are:

(2018): Dangerous Liaisons? (Homo)Developmentalism, Sexual modernization and LGBTIQ rights in Europe. In: Corinne L. Mason (eds.): Routledge Handbook of Development Studies, London; New York: 102-118.

(2018): LGBTIQ rights, Development Aid and Queer resistance. In: Olivia U. Rutazibwa and Robbie Shilliam (eds.): Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial politics, London; New York: 179-194.

(2018): Transnational ways of belonging and queer ways of being. Exploring transnationalism through the trajectories of the rainbow flag. In: Identities - Global Studies in Culture and Power 25 (5), Special Issue:Connecting and Confronting Transnationalism: Bridging Concepts and Moving Critique, (jointly with Pia Laskar)

(2017): Queering Development in Homotransnationalist Times: A Postcolonial Reading of LGBTIQ Inclusive Development Agendas. In: Lambda Nordica. Special Issue on Postcolonial Queer Europe 2/3, 41-67.

Dr. Marta Luxan photo

Dr. Marta Luxan is a full time Associate Professor at the University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU) where she co-coordinates the Feminist and Gender Studies MA Program ( Dr. Luxan is a member of two research groups: Grupo de Investigación AFIT-Antropología Feminista Ikerketa Taldea (Feminist Anthropology Research Group of the Basque university Research System) and SIMReF-JovenTic (research group on Feminist Methodology, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Her research has been carried out in two main areas: at the intersection of social research methodology and gender, and demographic issues and families. In the last years, she has been working also on social movements.

Nowadays, Dr. Luxan is the local main researcher on a European project led by Brunel University (UK), called Universities Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence (USVSV): Training for Sustainable Student Services (, and a researcher with Fortaleciendo la rigurosidad metodológica en los estudios de género a través de aprendizajes internacionale. During her visit, Dr. Luxan will study similar experiences at Canadian universities.

Dr. Audrey Rousseau (Sociology, University of Ottawa, 2017) is currently a Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research. She is specializing in the politics of memory, indigenous studies, women's experience of oppression, and digital storytelling. Apart from her affiliation to the CFR, Audrey is a member of the newly founded Research Laboratory on Indigenous Women Issues – Mikwatisiw (Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue) and has been part of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (Concordia University) since 2012. As a feminist scholar, Audrey’s work values the voices of marginalized social groups that have been (are) directly affected by historical wrongs and are struggling for recognition, justice and redress.

Her doctoral dissertation explored the contemporary struggles led by survivors of the Magdalen Laundries and their allies in Ireland. These religious-run institutions (18th-20th century) confined, abused, and forced into labor girls and women deemed “fallen”. Her study examined how the concept of “conflict of interpretations” (Paul Ricoeur) can be productive in analyzing intimate and collective knowledge about the past. While investigating different aspects of Irish women's contemporary history, as well as disciplinary techniques of normalizing social discourses and bodies, the core of her research material consisted of oral histories (collected by feminist scholars in Ireland), parliamentary debates, and newspaper archives over a period of 21 years. Her dissertation made a significant contribution to the field of sociology of memory by developing a unique and comprehensive methodological approach to social discourses combining Ricoeur’s hermeneutical approach with partially computer assisted text analysis.

While at the CFR, under the supervision of Dr. Carmela Murdocca, she will be working on a new collaborative research project investigating the testimonial space of the Canadian National Inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (Raconter pour transformer l’histoire: Étude collaborative de l’espace testimonial au sein de l’Enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées, SSHRC, 2017-2019). This project aims to bring together survivors and families of disappeared Indigenous women and girls to create culturally appropriate narratives to honor and commemorate their loved ones. These living archives could serve as education tools to document specific cases of disappearance in the province of Québec, thus, teaching about colonial violence against Indigenous women and girls and its enduring legacy.



Dr. David K Seitz photoDr. David K. Seitz is a Visiting Scholar in Sexuality Studies at the Centre for Feminist Research at York University, and a lecturer at the Women and Gender Studies Institute and the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. He received a Ph.D. in human geography, women and gender studies and sexual diversity studies from the University of Toronto in 2015. He is currently revising a book manuscript under advance contract with the University of Minnesota Press, tentatively titled "A House of Prayer for All People": Repairing Citizenship in Queer Church. The book investigates the affective dynamics of intimacies and solidarities across race, gender, and nation in a large, predominantly LGBTQ church in Toronto, Canada. His essays on citizenship, difference and affect appear or are accepted and forthcoming in Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and the volumes The Freudian Legacy Today and Queering Religion, Religious Queers.

Dr. Burca Kizilirmak Yakisir photo

Dr. Burca Kizilirmak Yakisir is a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research at York University, and a Professor of Economics at Ankara University in Turkey. Her research interests include gender economics, time use, international trade and income inequality. She has done research on women in labor markets as well as research on time use and gender inequality. While at York University, she will be working on a research project that aims to evaluate the contribution of women to the national economy by using the time use survey results. Time use surveys provide valuable data for measuring the invisible contribution of women’s work in the economy, in such forms as unpaid work and informal paid work. Assessment of the contribution of women in the economy this way is useful in making women visible in macroeconomic policies and constructing policies that aim gender equality, well-being and empowerment of women.

 Dr. Ricia Chansky is a Visiting Fulbright Specialist with the Centre for Feminist Research at York University, and the co-organizer of the Lives Outside the Lines: Gender and Genre in the Americas - A Symposium in Honour of Marlene Kadar conference, May 15-17, 2017. For the full conference programme, please see the IABA-Americas website here.

Dr. Chansky is Associate Professor of literature at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. She is coeditor of the journal a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, and of The Routledge Auto/Biography Studies Reader; and editor of Auto/Biography Across the Americas: Transnational Themes in Life Writing and Auto/Biography in the Americas: Relational Lives.


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.

Dai 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.

  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 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.


Dr. 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.

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.”

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.


Audrey 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.

Nora 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 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

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