Word from the Director

Kathryn Trevenen

Welcome to the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa

Building on a rich tradition of interdisciplinary and collaborative work at the local, national and international scales, the Institute promotes interdisciplinary feminist education and research in a bilingual and multicultural setting. Our new name, which was made official in June 2014, grew out of the interests of faculty and students for an academic home that reflected the diversity of this rapidly expanding field, which includes attention to intersectional questions related to race, sexuality, queer, trans, disability and indigeneity.

Founded in 1999, the Institute offers innovative undergraduate and graduate programs and hosts a wide range of conferences and seminars every year, including the Feminist Cafés series and the Shirley Greenberg Annual Lecture, which has featured leading speakers, including renowned queer studies theorist Jasbir Puar and feminist novelist, Marie-Claire Blais. In March 2014, we welcomed feminist and cultural studies scholar Sara Ahmed from Goldsmiths College (University of London, UK).

Our faculty, affiliated scholars and alumni are recognized at home and abroad for their research and expertise in fields ranging from women's health, social movements, public policy, feminist theory and literature, queer theory, globalization, gender and migration, media studies, anti-racist and post-colonial studies, gender and development, dis/ability, and human rights.

We offer a major, a minor in Women's Studies, and three joint honours bachelor's degrees (with Criminology, Sociology, and Political Science, respectively, as well as a stand-alone master's program, a collaborative master’s program, and a Ph.D. in Women's Studies. Regarding the latter, we graduated our first Ph.D. student, Dr. Heather Hillsburg, who has gone on to a postdoctoral fellowship at Lakehead University. Since then, three more Ph.D. candidates have completed their doctorates: Alexandre Baril (currently a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) postdoctoral fellow at Wesleyan University in Connecticut), Corinne Mason (currently a tenure-track professor at Brandon University in Manitoba), and Tanya Watson.

In 2012 we launched our newly designed undergraduate program in women’s studies. The revamped program introduced a series of new courses and specialities that reflect the dynamism of the field of feminist and gender studies. These changes highlight three cutting-edge themes in the field, which build upon and solidify the already-existing strengths of our faculty members:

  • Feminism and Transnationalism
  • Intersectional Feminist Analysis
  • Gender, Bodies and Sexualities

The Institute continues to grow in response to demands for critical feminist education at the graduate level and in particular to the need for French-language offerings. For students, the Institute's ideal location in Canada's capital offers rich opportunities for varied work with researchers and activists in women's organizations, NGOs and government.

If you want to learn more about our programs and about the exciting research taking place here, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Kathryn Trevenen, Ph.D.
Acting Director

Image in banner:
'Maintain Theta, acrylic on canvas, 2012, Amy Schissel (University of Ottawa MFA)'
The image is courtesy of uOttawa graduate Amy Schissel, represented by Patrick Mikhail Gallery (www.patrickmikhailgallery.com)

Back to top