I am a Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock University and I hold the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Gender, Work and Care. Prior to coming to Brock, I was a faculty member of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Carleton University for 13 years and at Saint Mary’s University (Sociology and International Development Studies) for 3 years.
Most of my research and writing has travelled along four paths:
(i) ethnographic and narrative research on daily practices of work and care, especially for diverse groups of fathers;
(ii) methodological, epistemological, ethical, and ontological issues in knowing with and from stories and narrative accounts;
(iii) an attentiveness to genealogies of concept formation, especially concepts of responsibility, embodiment, time, care and work;
(iv) thinking through how to enact social change and policy and program interventions on issues of work and care, especially parental leave policies.
My book Do Men Mother? which traversed, or began to, all four of these pathways, was awarded the John Porter Tradition of Excellence Book Award from the Canadian Sociological Association. A second revised (and ‘revisited’) version of this book is forthcoming in 2017 and a follow up book on breadwinning mothers and stay-at-home fathers in Canada and the United States is in process now. While this book build on a 14 year longitudinal research program, it is framed around conceptual, ontological and epistemological issues and focuses on genealogies, choreographies and ecologies of breadwinning and care.
I began my academic career in creative writing and have been slowly working to find ways to merge artistic interventions, political advocacy, and epistemic practices. Some of this work occurs through collaboration with others in the Research Studio for Visual and Narrative Methods.
Part of my current research program on knowledge making and care is focused on (slowly and respectfully) working with/ learning from indigenous scholars and elders on issues of care work, decolonization, and entanglements of story telling, politics, ethics, ontologies and epistemologies.
Academic background and writing projects:
- BA at York University (in Political Theory, but started in Creative Writing with W.O. Mitchell);
- MA in International Development Studies at Carleton University (thesis on Nicaraguan revolution);
- Six years and eleven countries in Central and South America, mainly as a participatory researcher and trainer in water supply projects for the United Nations, World Bank, and several NGOs;
- PhD in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University (as a Commonwealth Scholar).
- Twenty years working in academia; twenty-six years working as a mother (of three).
- Slow scholar.
- Author of 3 books, 2 forthcoming books and over 100 peer-reviewed publications – including articles in leading international journals, book chapters, handbook chapters, encyclopedia entries, film and book reviews, introductions to Special journal Issues, and chapters in international policy collections.
- Author of Op Eds on fatherhood, slow scholarship, and parental leave policies.
- Feature articles about my work have appeared in major publications, including: Time magazine, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the National Post, the Globe and Mail, CBC radio and TV, CTV, and TVO.