Women’s & Gender Studies


Women’s and Gender Studies explores alternatives within society to achieve equal rights and equal treatment for both sexes. Women’s Studies is necessary because of a hitherto limited understanding of the role played by women in history and contemporary society. Women’s Studies explores traditional and feminist views of women, the psychology of women, women’s economic roles, and their relationships to men and each other.

Janice Dodd

Though their numbers have increased over time, women are still underrepresented in medical sciences. In collaboration with the Canadian Association for Women in Science, Dr. Janice Dodd has studied the recruitment, persistence, and success of women in biomedical research in Canada.

Alongside Liz Millward, she analyzes the ways in which women scientists are represented in popular culture – especially in comparison to their male peers. These portrayals play a role in recruiting and retaining women in science.

In recognition of her work, Dodd received the Sarah Shorten Award from Canadian Association of University Teachers for promotion of the advancement of women in Canadian universities.

Dodd is a professor in women’s and gender studies, and also serves as professor and head of the department of physiology. She earned her BSc in biology and her MSc and PhD in molecular biology, all from the University of Toronto.

Shawna Ferris

Dr. Ferris is an assistant professor in women’s and gender studies recently funded to develop a database on missing women and sex work.

Her research interests include cultural representations of and responses to sex workers, as well as cultural marginalization, and the resulting raced, classed and gendered violence. Her current research examines anti-violence, anti-racism, and decolonization-oriented commemorative activism stemming from the growing number of missing and murdered women—many Indigenous —in urban centres across the Canadian West.

Ferris has begun work on a missing women and sex work database, funded by an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciencs and Humanities Research Council. The digital database will include academic research, print and visual media, online and offline activism, commemorative initiatives and image collections. She is collaborating with Winnipeg’s Stopping Violence Against Aboriginal Women Action Group and hopes the database will encourage further work in these understudied areas.

Nancy Kang

Dr. Nancy Kang is an Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Canada Research Chair in Transnational Feminisms and Gender-Based Violence. She specializes in transnational, multi-ethnic, and diaspora women’s literatures. Her current research project examines narratives of alternative mothering, interracialism, and forms of violence against North American women of color.

Dr. Kang co-authored The Once and Future Muse: The Poetry and Poetics of Rhina P. Espaillat (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018) with Dr. Silvio Torres-Saillant (Dean’s Professor of Humanities, Syracuse University), part of the Latino and Latin American Profiles series edited by Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama (Distinguished Professor, The Ohio State University). She co-edited The Culture and Philosophy of Ridley Scott (Lexington Books, 2013) with Ashley Barkman and Dr. Adam Barkman (Chair of Philosophy, Redeemer University College). Her scholarship has appeared in such journals as LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States, Canadian Literature, Women’s Studies, Latino Studies Journal, African American Review, Callaloo, Journal of Lesbian Studies, and Essays on Canadian Writing. She has contributed articles for such reference sources as The Oxford Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latino/a Literature, Keywords in Latino Studies, Great Lives from History: Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, and The African American National Biography.

Dr. Kang’s creative writing appears in such venues as Little Patuxent Review, Canadian Literature, ARIEL, Ricepaper Magazine, Route 2, Ploughshares, and Stone Canoe.

Liz Millward

Liz Millward is co-ordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies. She is interested in women’s negotiation of place and use of transportation. Her current research is on the historical struggles undertaken by lesbians in Canada to create community by building up local, regional, and national networks of autonomous lesbian spaces in the face of homophobia, misogyny, institutional repression, and violence. This work also deals with the internal dynamics of lesbian community as members attempted to unlearn lessons of dehumanization and embrace diversity. Her publications include the award-winning Women in British Imperial Airspace, 1922-1937 (2008) and several articles on transportation history and lesbian geography. Her recent book Making a Scene: Lesbians and Community across Canada, 1964-84, documents the lesbian movement’s development. Her teaching encourages students to understand the need to develop theoretical frameworks to explain how complex oppression functions, is justified, and to consider their own agency in this process.

Janice Ristock

Dr. Janice Ristock obtained her BA (hons) at the University of Manitoba, MA in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Guelph and PhD in Community Psychology at the University of Toronto (OISE).

Dr. Ristock is Associate Vice-President (Research) for the University of Manitoba. She is also Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Disability Studies Program.

Her scholarly work reflects an overarching focus on community mental health and social justice. Her research is in three intersecting areas: gender and sexuality; interpersonal violence; and HIV/AIDS and stigma. She has gained international recognition for her research on violence in same-sex relationships and community-based research methodologies.

Dr. Ristock received an Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Interdisciplinary Research and an Outreach Award from the University of Manitoba. She also received a YMCA/YWCA Woman of Distinction Award as well as a book award for No More Secrets: Violence in Lesbian Relationships from Division 44 of the American Psychological Association for making a distinguished contribution to psychology.

Jocelyn Thorpe

Dr. Thorpe joined women’s and gender studies at the University of Manitoba in 2012 as an assistant professor. She came from Memorial University and was previously at the University of British Columbia, where she held a SSHRC postdoc from 2008 to 2010.

Her research examines how ideas about nature, race, gender and nation shape our interactions with one another and with our environments.

Thorpe’s PhD research at York University in Toronto focused on the historical creation of the Canadian wilderness in an Ontario area known as Temagami and how the idea of “wilderness” is a cultural construction implicated in a racialized form of Canadian nationalism and dispossession of First Nations like the Teme-Augama Anishnabai.

Dr. Thorpe’s research will focus on the history of Native-Newcomer-land relationships in Newfoundland, and she will teach Feminist Community Organizing: Theories and Practice in the fall.

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