Joint Chair in Women's Studies, University of Ottawa and Carleton University

Université d'Ottawa / Carleton University

In 1985, the Office of the Secretary of State created a Joint Chair in Women's Studies at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. Four other chairs of women's studies, in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Quebec City and Halifax, were also established under the same program.

Working in both French and English, the incumbent of the Joint Chair in Women's Studies at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, teaches, engages in research and participates in appropriate committees and events on both campuses. She acts as a resource person on women's issues and feminist research at both universities. She also establishes and maintains contact with local, regional, national and international feminist educational and community-based organizations.

Nadia Abu-Zahra has been named to the Joint Chair in Women’s Studies at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. She begins her 3-year mandate on July 1, 2019.

Nadia Abu-Zahra

Nadia Abu-Zahra

 We extend our congratulations to Ms. Abu-Zahra and look forward to working with her in the coming years.  As the Joint Chair in Women's Studies, Ms. Abu-Zahra will provide university courses, participate in collaborative research projects, and organize events at both universities to engage with feminist individuals and organizations conducting research at the university. community and education at the local, regional, national and international levels. Ms. Khan will also be the resource person on women's issues and feminist research at both universities.

Dr. Abu-Zahra invites members of the student and faculty community, as well as feminist organizations from the local to the transnational levels, to join in communities of practice with the theme, “Sharing Feminist Pedagogy and Mobilising Solidarity in Our Learning Environment”. These communities of practice will be opportunities to share experiences and interests in learning and in transforming the structures and contexts of learning, with inspiration from the diverse but often under-celebrated initiatives that abound in these communities. Dr. Abu-Zahra will also facilitate credit-bearing seminars in “Feminist Pedagogy, Community Mobilization, and Learning”.

For more information and to sign up, please email

Nadia Abu-Zahra holds a DPhil in Geography from the University of Oxford, along with an MA from the University of Toronto in Geography, Environment and Health, and a BA from the University of Toronto in International Development and Economics. She is an Associate Professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa, and a member of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre. She co-facilitates, with Professor Emily Regan Wills, “Community Mobilization in Crisis”, a project that co-creates open educational resources with community mobilizers around the world in multiple languages, and supports the use of the resources transnationally to build community mobilizations.

Dr. Abu-Zahra has written on a variety of topics, including gender justice in colonial and conflict situations, and the implications of geographic (im)mobility for education and health. She has a longstanding interest in pedagogy, works closely with university services and research groups in teaching and active, experiential, and community-engaged learning, and was a finalist for the Ottawa Network for Education’s Capital Educators’ Award. Her research focuses on the everyday consequences and spaces for agency in situations of crisis and, most recently, on the role of higher education institutions in transforming power relations and opening spaces for healthy and accountable relations. She was honoured to be among the first members of the Reconciliation Committee of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and was an elected Director on the Federation’s Board from 2011 to 2015. In 2017, she was awarded the Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Activities in the Media and the Community.

Joint Chair in Women's Studies
Dr. Nadia Abu-Zahra 
Social Sciences Building, Room 11046
Telephone : 613-520-2600 ext. 6644

Assistant to the Joint Chair in Women's Studies
Ann Morneau
Social Sciences Building, Room 11002
Phone: 613-520-2600 ext. 6644

For updates, please follow the Joint Chair on social media!

Past incumbents

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