Carla’s current research interests span several fields of study including critical psychology, critical health studies, feminist disability studies, gender, sex, and sexual development, embodiment and materialization, norms, normalization, and bodily difference, and equity education. Her focus includes research on diverse women’s narratives of embodiment, the experiences of people with disabilities and bodily differences in health care systems, and exploring the body as an equity issue in school settings, with a particular interest in inquiries related to the body in contemporary social relations and cultural representations.
In her work, Carla offers critical commentary on the obesity epidemic, early puberty, the sexualization of girls, racism and colourism, de-colonization of schools, and cultural and medical representations of diseased, disabled, and physically different bodies using both qualitative and arts-based methods. She approaches her research from multiple epistemological perspectives ranging from feminist, post-structuralist, new materialist, post-colonial, and critical race inquiry, to critical theoretical standpoints in psychology, health, and education.
Carla undertakes progressive research that promotes social change through interdisciplinary, arts-based, and community engaged collaborations. Her scholarship involving media representations of girls, women, and people living with disabilities and physical differences, serves as a base for examining and influencing educational and health policies and practices. Further, her research aims to examine how new technology and artistic techniques can contribute to the transformation of views regarding difference and those at the margins of society.
Currently, Carla is engaged in several projects evaluating the use of new media technologies and arts based approaches (including digital storytelling, photography and research-based drama) in understanding the effects of cultural messages on identity and embodiment, particularly on individuals who embody “difference.” These projects include explorations of abject, fat, disabled, sexualized, and anomalous bodies, misconceptions and marginalizations of women, and stereotyping and exclusion in systems, institutions, and communities. She also collaborates on projects evaluating the use of new media technologies and arts based approaches in understanding Aboriginal students experiences of schooling, and on indigenizing and de-colonizing our schools.