I am a Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Alberta. I have a BA in Philosophy from the University of Victoria (1998), and a BA and MA in Art History from McGill University (2000 and 2002), and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Toronto (2006). I wrote my Master's thesis on the Aesthetics of Sadism and Masochism in Italian Renaissance Painting, and my PhD dissertation on philosophies of confession, after which I was a postdoctoral fellow in the Philosophy department at McGill University (2006-2008), where I began my recently published book on Foucault, feminism, and sexual crime (Routledge 2018), as well as my current research on Foucault, feminism, and food politics. Since my postdoctoral studies, I have continued to work in the areas of Foucauldian studies, feminist theory, the philosophy of sexuality and gender, the philosophy of food, and animal and environmental ethics, publishing three monographs as well as several edited volumes. In 2014 I was elected to the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2018 I was awarded major research grants for two projects: a Kule Institute for Advanced Studies grant for a research cluster on "Prisons, Teaching, and Social Justice" and a SSHRC Insight Grant for a 5-year project on "Intersections of Animality." In 2019 I was awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for a 2-year project on "Anthropocene Affects," and I co-founded the North American Association for Critical Animal Studies (NAACAS).
I have recently completed a book called Foucault, Feminism, and Sex Crimes: An Anti-Carceral Analysis (Routledge 2018). This work brings together Foucault's writings on crime and delinquency, on the one hand, and sexuality, on the other, in order to theorize sexual crime. Because Foucault's few explicit discussions of sexual crime have been considered notorious from a feminist perspective (he refers to adult-child sex as "bucolic pleasures," argues for the abolition of statutory rape laws, and suggests that the rape of adult women may be no worse than "a punch in the face," and might be decriminalized or punished with a fine), this work brings feminist insight and research on gendered and sexual violence into conversation with Foucault's writings, while remaining committed to Foucault's critique of the prison and the current criminal punishment system and to his critical approach to sexuality. Drawing on the critical race, decolonial, critical disability, queer and critical trans studies literature on the prison that has emerged since Foucault's Discipline and Punish, this project theorizes non-carceral feminist responses to crime. Some articles that have come out of this study include "Foucault, Feminism, and Sex Crimes" (Hypatia, 2009), "Infamous Men, Dangerous Individuals, and Violence against Women: Feminist Rereadings of Foucault" (The Blackwell Companion to Michel Foucault, 2013), and a special issue of philoSOPHIA: a journal of continental feminism, that I guest-edited with Lisa Guenther on the topic of Queer, Trans, and Feminist Responses to the Prison Nation (vol. 6, no. 1, Winter 2016).
I am also currently working on a project that brings together Foucauldian philosophy, feminist theory, animal ethics and food politics. Some articles that have come out of this project are "The Precarious Lives of Animals: Butler, Coetzee, and Animal Ethics" (Philosophy Today, 2008), "Foucault and the Ethics of Eating" (Foucault Studies, 2010) and "Abnormal Appetites: Foucault, Atwood, and the Normalization of an Animal-Based Diet" (Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 2012). This project will culminate in a book, co-authored with Kelly Struthers Montford, titled Abnormal Appetites: Foucault and the Politics of Food (McGill-Queens University Press). Kelly Struthers Montford and I have also finished co-editing two books, Disability and Animality: Crip Perspectives in Critical Animal Studies and Colonialism and Animality: Anti-Colonial Perspectives in Critical Animal Studies (in press with Routledge--expected publication in April 2020), and are at work co-editing another volume, Building Abolition: Decarceration and Social Justice (under contract with Routledge), which will proceed from a conference that Kelly, Ada Jaarsma and I organized at the Banff Centre in September 2019.
In August 2016, a volume that I edited with Hasana Sharp, Feminist Philosophies of Life, was published by McGill-Queens University Press. This book emerged from a conference I organized on Bios: Feminist Philosophies of Life, at the Banff Centre in 2013.
In November 2016, my book, The Routledge Guidebook to Foucault's The History of Sexuality was published with Routledge Press. This work provides students of Foucault with detailed explanations of volumes 1-3 of The History of Sexuality, as well as chapters on the influence and legacy of volume 1 in feminist and queer theory.
Earlier major works include my first book, The Culture of Confession from Augustine to Foucault (Routledge, 2009) and a book I edited with Neil Dalal, Asian Perspective on Animal Ethics (Routledge, 2014).
In the past I have taught courses for Philosophy departments (at the University of Toronto, McGill University, the University of North Florida, and the University of Alberta) ranging from Philosophy 101: Values and Society (an introduction to Moral and Political Philosophy) and Philosophy 102: Knowledge and Reality (an introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology) to Contemporary Ethical Issues, Applied Ethics, Feminist Philosophy, Philosophy of Sexuality, Humans and Animals, Philosophy of Food, and graduate seminars on Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault, and Judith Butler. In the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Alberta I have taught courses such as Contemporary Feminist Theory, Feminism and Food, Environmental Feminisms and Social Justice, Feminism and Sexualities, Critical Disability Studies, Prison Abolitionism, and Anthropocene Feminisms, as well as the GSJ 501: Social Justice Workshop for the Gender and Social Justice M.A. program.
Advanced study of theories of social justice. Students will complete 20 hours of Community Service-Learning (CSL) and reflect on how their CSL experiences were informed by or challenged the theoretical material explored in the course.Fall Term 2022
This course offers advanced study of selected issues in current feminist theorizing (Not open to students with credit in WGS 499.)Fall Term 2021
An introduction to feminist issues in current philosophy. Note: Not open to students with credit in PHIL 332.Fall Term 2021
Introduction to food justice and feminist food politics. Note: Not open to students with credit in W ST 340 or WGS 340.Winter Term 2022 Winter Term 2023
Introduction to social and cultural models of disability, with an emphasis on intersections of disability with race, class, gender, and sexuality.Winter Term 2022 Winter Term 2023
Approaches to, and key debates about, sexuality. Topics may include: sexology; critiques of heterosexuality; political lesbianism; queer theory; transgender and intersexuality; prostitution and sex work. Note: Not open students with credit in W ST 370 or WGS 370Fall Term 2022
The origins and evolution of various schools of contemporary western feminist thought. Not available to students with credit in PHIL 332. Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200 level WGS or W ST course, or consent of department.Fall Term 2021
Open only to Women's and Gender Studies honors, majors and minors. Normally may be taken only once. Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200 level WGS or W ST course, or consent of department.Fall Term 2021
Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200 level WGS or W ST course, or departmental consent.Fall Term 2021