Michelle Meagher, PhD, MA, BA

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Womens & Gender Studies

Contact

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Womens & Gender Studies
Email
mmmeaghe@ualberta.ca
Address
Assiniboia Hall
9137 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2E7

Overview

About

I hold a BA in Women's Studies (University of Alberta), an MA in Interdisciplinary Humanities on the Body and Representation (University of Reading, UK), and a PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason University, Virginia, USA. Upon graduating from GMU in 2005, I taught in the departments of Women's Studies and Cultural Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario for two years. In 2007, I returned to my home town to take up a position of Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at the U of A. I have served in numerous administrative roles in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, including the role of Department Chair from 2018 to 2023. 

Please note that I am on leave January to June 2024. 





Research

My research focuses on feminist art and feminist art history with particular emphasis on the late twentieth century North American context. My current interest in this topic centres on the question of time - How do feminist artists represent experiences of time? How do feminist explorations of time contribute to contemporary philosophical and phenomenological approaches to temporal embodiment, and embodied temporality?

With Tessa Jordan, I co-edited a special issue of American Periodicals in Fall 2018 on the topic of feminist publishing. My current research project draws on digital humanities methods to understand and analyse feminist publishing networks. Supported by a SSHRC IDG grant, AdArchive is a collaborative research project that explores innovative digital humanities methods to better understand and represent feminist publication networks in the late 1970s. Members of the AdArchive team in 2022-23 are Timothy Arthur, Erin Sanderman, Tegan Nelson, and co-PI Jana Smith Elford of Medicine Hat College. 

I have further research interests in body studies; feminist cultural studies; ageing and art; feminist generational politics; and the feminist seventies. 




Teaching

Some of the courses that I am regularly scheduled to teach are: 

  • WGS 101: Representations of Girls and Women
  • WGS 301: History of Feminist Thought

Recent fourth year and graduate seminars include: 

  • Writing Social Change (Feminist Print Culture Studies)
  • Art and Feminism: Theory, Practice, Politics
  • Body Politics

In recent years, I've supervised undergraduate reading courses and honors theses on feminist crip studies and histories of feminisms of color. 

GSJ 506:Feminist Cultural Studies: "Making Feminist Media." In this class, we consider the politics and practices of feminist cultural production with an emphasis on feminist print culture and publishing. Beginning with an examination of turn-of-the-century suffrage publications like the WSPU’s Votes for Women, and turning to the late 1960s to early 1970s rise of the "women in print" movement in North America, which was marked by an explosion of feminist publications (Spare Rib, Heresies) and publishers (Virago Press), this course will consider the often complex role that print culture played and continues to play in developing as well as publicizing feminist activisms and actions. Insofar as the class is shaped by the framework of feminist cultural studies, our emphasis will be on examining how texts are produced, circulated, and consumed in both material and digital contexts. Key questions include: How does feminist publishing produce feminist communities and/or feminist counterpublics? What role have feminist publishing practices - and the recent emergence of feminist print culture studies - played in the (re)narration of feminist histories? How have older circuits that relied on bookstores, marks on paper, woman-only print shops, feminist-friendly distributors, and world-of-mouth been replaced or displaced by virtual circuits?

GSJ 598 and WGS 498 titled "Art, Activism, and Social Justice." The central goal of this class is to understand the ways that social justice movements affiliated with recent North American feminisms have used art to imagine new futures, to critique and challenge existing socio-political systems, and to transform the public sphere.  Main topics that we cover include: Feminist Art, Art in Public, Feminist Art Education, Institutional Critique, Art & Obscenity, Art & Environmentalism, Digital Feminisms, Art in Urban Spaces, Fibre Feminism, Feminist Galleries


Announcements

In the 2024-25 academic year, I'll be teaching Canadian Feminist Activisms, a 300-level course in WGS. 

Scholarly Activities

Research - femlab: a feminist exhibition space

For almost a decade, I have worked as a curator and director for a small gallery space that is hosted and supported by the Department of Women's and Gender Studies. femlab: a feminist exhibition space is a gallery that features a wide range of feminist creative activity. COVID-19 closures have disrupted the gallery's planned exhibitions. 

femlab gallery website

Research - Visualizing Feminist Networks: Representing Heresies in Linked Open Data

This is a digital humanities project that has as its main goal the identification, description, and representation of advertising images from Heresies in Linked Open Data. Though underexamined in periodical studies, advertisements provide insight into the economic strategies of social movement magazines. They also reveal the extent to which social movement presses, and in particular feminist periodicals, relied upon periodical networks in order to sustain and advance their projects. 

The first phase of theisualizing Feminist Networks project was a collaboration with Jana Smith Elford at Medicine Hat College, employs linked data to model, understand, and visualize the social, economic, and artistic networks that supported the success of Heresies, an important second wave feminist journal. The project wass generously supported by the KIAS CRAfT Digital Research Archives grant, which enabled us to work with the University of Alberta Libraries (especially the Digital Initiatives Unit) and the Arts Resource Centre. Scholarly writing on the methods deployed in this project will be published in an upcoming issue of International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing. 

Phase two, which began in 2022, is AdArchive: Tracing Pre­Digital Networked Feminisms. With Dr. Smith Elford and a team of graduate and undergraduate researchers, this SSHRC IDG-supported project applies models and methods developed in earlier work to a broader range of feminist periodicals. 

Featured Publications

Jana Smith Elford and Michelle Meagher

Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. 2023 November; 42 (2):361-382 10.1353/tsw.2023.a913031


Jana Smith Elford and Michelle Meagher

International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing. 2023 March; 17 (1):1-24 10.3366/ijhac.2023.0297


Kiera Keglowitsch and Michelle Meagher

International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics. 2022 January;


Michelle Meagher and Kylie Burton

Australian Feminist Studies. 2021 May; 10.1080/08164649.2021.1972408


Michelle Meagher

A Companion to Feminist Art, edited by Hilary Robinson and Maria Elena Buszek. 2019 June; 10.1002/9781118929179.ch10


Michelle Meagher

The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Sociology, Second Edition. 2019 April;


Tessa Jordan and Michelle Meagher

American Periodicals . 2018 December;


Michelle Meagher, Roxanne Loree Runyon

Feminist Theory. 2017 January; 18 (3):14 10.1177/1464700117721883


Michelle Meagher

2015 January;


Michelle Meagher

Feminist Studies. 2014 January; 40 (1):101-143


Michelle Meagher

Feminist Media Studies. 2014 January; 14 (4):578-592