Research

Research

Revision Centre logo Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life from invisibility to inclusion Mobilizing New Meanings of Disability and Difference Gender and Women's Studies book cover reproducing stigma nishnabek de'bwe win Logo of Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage Becoming Women book cover Relaxed Performance Restorying Autism logo Cripping the Arts program cover writing new bodies Thickening Fat The Aging Disability Nexus logo of Project Creates inVisibility: Indigenous in the City poster inVisibility: Indigenous in the City inVisibility: Indigenous in the City Project Creates Aging Vitalities Carla Rice Carla Rice Practicing the Social logo Decolonizing Journeys logo ReVisioning Fitness logo

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.


Research Awards & Projects

Tier II Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Care, Gender and Relationships

Through Carla’s two terms as a CRC, she founded the Re•Vision Centre for Art and Social Justice and the Revisioning Differences Media Arts Laboratory (REDLAB), an assemblage of cutting-edge research projects and a state-of-the-art media lab using innovative arts informed research to understand and positively intervene in the misrepresentation and marginalization of disenfranchised groups within institutions and the broader society. Her CRC program put new media technologies into the hands of communities to investigate how arts-based approaches might engage audiences in reconsidering commonly held, harmful assumptions.

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

2011 – 2021


Funding:

Research Council of Canada Award SSHRC

Re·visioning Differences Media Arts Lab (REDLAB): Exploring the Impact of Culture, Creativity, and the Arts on Social Inclusion and Health Equity

logo of ReVision Centre

REDLAB (Re•visioning Differences Media Arts Lab) is both a physical space at the University of Guelph, and a state-of-the-art mobile media lab comprising sound and video recording equipment and MacBook Pro computers loaded with video production and editing software.

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

January 2016 – December 2021


Funding:

Canada Fund for Innovation (CFI) Infrastructure Grant
The Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI) Infrastructure Grant

Website:

https://revisioncentre.ca

Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life

Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life

Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life (BIT) establishes a community-university research program that builds and expands upon a working relationship between Project Re·Vision and Tangled Art + Disability, Ontario’s leading disability arts organization that cultivates disability, d/Deaf, and Mad arts in Ontario. In partnership with Tangled, and along with 11 community-based organizations and 14 academic institutions, BIT sets in motion a creative and intellectual wave of leading-edge artistic creation research, technological innovation, and critical inquiry within and beyond Ontario. Blending theories and practices of disability arts, feminist arts, and community arts, this grant explores how, and to what ends, we can cultivate arts that re-figure bodies/minds of difference.

Role:

Principal Investigator and Co-Director


Date:

December 2015 – December 2022


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Grant

Website:

https://bodiesintranslation.ca/

From Invisibility to Inclusion: Developing and Evaluating Policies and Practices to Facilitate the Inclusion of Workers with Episodic Disabilities in Ontario Workplaces

from invisibility to inclusion

From Invisibility to Inclusion: Developing and Evaluating Policies and Practices to Facilitate the Inclusion of Workers with Episodic Disabilities in Ontario Workplaces (i2i) is a 4-year research project (2017-2021) that brings together scholars, researchers, business professionals, employers, NGOs, and arts communities with the aim of improving social, economic and employment opportunities for people with episodic disabilities (EDs) in Ontario workplaces. The i2i project examines and assesses existing information about the prevalence and employment patterns of people with episodic disabilities, and the laws, policies, and programs that address the experiences of episodically disabled people. We are also interested in generating new understandings of episodic disability in the workplace. i2i is conducting online surveys with employers, in-person interviews with both employees and employers, as well as holding arts-based multimedia storytelling workshops with both employees and employers. We are using this knowledge to develop resources that enhance employers’ and co-workers’ perceptions and attitudes, to facilitate legal and organizational change, and to advance the inclusion of people with episodic disabilities in Ontario workplaces.

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

2017 – 2021


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant

Website:

https://www.invisibility2inclusion.ca/

Publications (link)

Workshops

From inVisibility to Inclusion: Episodic Disabilities & Work Workshop at Ryerson University, May 1-3, 2019

Guelph Digital Storytelling Workshop at THINC Lab, University of Guelph, April 13-15, 2018

Stretching Our Stories: Digital World-making in Troubled Times (SOS)

The SOS development will be guided by two separate grants: SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (Dr. Carla Rice) and an eCampusOntario grant (Dr. Chelsea Jones, Brock University). Stretching our Stories: Digital World-making in Troubled Times (SOS) is establishing a new online arts- and story-based research program that responds directly to four distinct community-university groups of intellectually and physically disabled, Indigenous, and trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) storytellers in Ontario and Alberta.

As an intersectional, arts-based social justice partnership, SOS is establishing a cross-provincial online collaborative with 90+ story-makers creating multimedia story-making tools and methodologies that cross digital divides and train highly qualified personnel in collaborative, interdisciplinary, cross-sectorial activism.

Conceived of and led by disabled, Indigenous, and TGNC storytellers confronting the uneven impacts of digital divides and social unrest, SOS expands generative relationships between the Re•Vision Centre for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph, Tangled Art + Disability (Toronto), story-makers at Humber College’s Community Integration through Education program (Toronto), the WAABAN Indigenous Teacher Education program, York University (Toronto), Women’s and Gender Studies at Athabasca University (Edmonton), and the School of Disability Studies at X* University (Toronto).

*Please note: Ryerson University is in the process of being renamed. In June 2021, protesters toppled the campus statue of Egerton Ryerson, an architect of Canada’s residential school system, which perpetuated colonial violence, cultural genocide and literal genocide against First Nations, Metis, and Indigenous people in this country. Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty, staff, students, and other community members have petitioned the University to change its name and to substitute “X” in the place of its founding namesake in the meantime. In solidarity with those working toward this important moment, we refer to the institution as “X University.”

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

2021 – 2023


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grants

Countering Eugenics in Education

Countering Eugenics in Education

Building upon the Into the Light exhibition, Anishinaabe Elder Mona Stonefish will guide the development of a new online course titled Countering Eugenics in Education. Co-directed by Evadne Kelly and Carla Rice, the project is funded by eCampusOntario and the U of G Learning Enhancement Fund. This course will address learning challenges in decolonization, anti-racism, and accessibility in institutions of higher education.

A series of modules will introduce the histories of Ontario educational institutions producing and disseminating oppressive knowledge, prioritize voices of survivors and activists, and trace histories and ongoing legacies of eugenics to present day inequities. Students will engage in learning opportunities through an accessible, interactive, ebook, in part, as a response to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015) and the Huronia Settlement and Liberal Government Apology (2013) and to foster social justice broadly in higher education. This online learning resource will be available to Ontario universities in early 2022.

Role:

Co-Director


Date:

Feb. 2021


Funding:

eCampus Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Education

Learning Enhancement Fund (LEF), University of Guelph – Office of the Associate Vice President (Academic)

Mobilizing New Meanings of Disability and Difference: Using Arts-Based Approaches to Advance Social Inclusion for Women Living with Disabilities

Mobilizing New Meanings of Disability and Difference

Women living with disabilities and physical differences are often represented negatively in our society and encounter a number of stereotypes about their abilities, needs, and interests. There is evidence that negative stereotypes inform the experiences that over two million Canadian women with disabilities and physical differences have with their health care providers and constitute a significant barrier to these women receiving satisfactory access to preventive and primary healthcare services in Canada. Existing studies indicate that encountering such barriers to health care resources is linked with an increased risk of mental health problems and chronic disease for women with disabilities and physical differences compared to disabled men and to their non-disabled female counterparts. In this qualitative, participatory arts-informed research project we analyzed and evaluated the effectiveness of two arts-based approaches to alter and transform pervasive stereotypes, including negative cultural and medical views of body differences held by health care professionals, that contribute to health inequities experienced by women living with disabilities and physical differences. The arts-based methods we used were: i) Digital stories or autobiographical videos made by health practitioners and women with disabilities and differences; and ii) Research-based drama with health providers in community and institutional settings. These methods were evaluated as successful in transforming patient-clinician interactions and enhancing clinical competences thereby improving access to and quality of health care for women living with disabilities and physical differences.

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

October 2011 – September 2014


Funding:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Operating Grant

Gender and Women’s Studies: Critical Terrain

Gender and Women's Studies book cover

Gender and Women’s Studies provides an essential introduction to key issues, approaches, and concerns of the field. This comprehensive anthology celebrates a diversity of influential feminist thought on a broad range of topics using analyses sensitive to the intersections of gender, race, class, ability, age, and sexuality. Drawing on contemporary and classic pieces, the carefully selected and edited readings centre Indigenous, racialized, disabled, and queer voices. With over sixty percent new content, this thoroughly updated second edition contains infographics and original activist artwork; a new section on gender, migration, and citizenship; and new chapters on sex work as labour, the politics of veiling, trans and queer identities, Indigenous sovereignty, decolonization, masculinity, online activism, and contemporary social justice movements including Black Lives Matter and Idle No More. Concerned with the past, present, and future of gender identity, gendered representations, feminism, and activism, this book is an indispensable resource for students in gender and women’s studies classrooms across Canada and the United States.

Role:

Principal Investigator and Co-Editor


Date:

2011 – 2011, 2016 – present


Funding:

Research Council of Canada Award SSHRC, Publication Award
Canadian Scholars/ Women’s Press

Publication

Hobbs, M, & Rice, C. (Eds.). (2018). Gender and women’s studies: Critical terrain, second edition. Women’s Press.

Reproducing Stigma: Obesity and Women’s Experiences of Reproductive Care

reproducing stigma

This study examines the experiences of women and transpeople who have been called “obese” and their interactions with healthcare providers while they are attempting to become pregnant. We are interested in learning about people’s relationships with family doctors, nurses, gynecologists, midwives, and/or fertility specialists throughout all stages of attempting to become pregnant. We are also interested in talking to healthcare professionals who deliver that care, as well as to policy makers, to better understand and contextualize the care that larger people are receiving.

Role:

Co-Principal Investigator


Date:

2014 – 2017


Funding:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Operating Grant

Through Thick and Thin: Investigating Body Image and Body Management among Queer Women in Southern Ontario

In collaboration with Project Re•Vision, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) engaged with communities about the very negative experiences of queer women within the healthcare system in relation to their bodies, particularly in relation to body image and body management practices. Queer women have been largely left out of scholarly discussion and research regarding women’s body image and body management practices, with research generally focusing on the stories of women with privilege – white, able-bodied, upper class, cisgender, and heteronormative. By focusing on women of privilege, women who experience differences in their identity are not being represented and are thus being held to standards that may differ significantly from what they desire. Through Thick and Thin collected and shares digital stories of queer people’s experiences within the Southern Ontario healthcare system to help care providers develop a more critical understanding and approach to body image, weight, exercise, and nutrition with queer women clients.

Role:

Co-Principal Investigator


Date:

2014 – 2015


Funding:

Women’s Health Xchange

nIshnabek de’bwe wIn//telling our truths: Aboriginal People and Allies Using Technology, Telling Stories, and Making Change

nishnabek de'bwe win

Although much is written about Aboriginal students’ experiences in schools ( Dion, 2010; Schissel & Wotherspoon, 2003) little research has been produced that provides Aboriginal students and teachers in urban environments opportunities to tell their own stories. What do Aboriginal people themselves have to say about their experiences of schooling in an urban context? In what ways might access to these stories provide stakeholders with the capacity to better respond to Aboriginal students’ needs and Aboriginal student achievement? To understand these perspectives, nishnabek de’bwe win invites Aboriginal teachers and students who teach and learn in urban schools to create digital stories about their experiences during 3-day digital storytelling workshops. Ultimately, our objective is to understand how to create school communities that support positive Aboriginal student achievement. Students and teachers will be invited to participate in the project as researchers and as educators through making self-reflexive videos about their experiences of schooling and by then sharing those films in professional development sessions.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

September 2014 – December 2016


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant

Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage: A Multi-media / Multi-Platform Re-engagement of Voice in Visual Art and Performance

Logo of Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage

The goal of Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage is to conduct collaborative research on the contribution of Inuit visual culture, art, and performance to Inuit language preservation, social well-being, and cultural identity. We come together as Indigenous and non-Indigenous specialists to address the colonial disruption of Inuit oral tradition that coincided with the establishment of the Inuit art market in the 1950s, and the production and distribution of objects without Inuit voice. Our key activities to engage with issues Inuit face today are to target, extend, and develop initiatives linking culture, language, and identity with visual culture, art and performance. By using the classroom, the community centre, the museum and art gallery, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and the World Wide Web, we hope to bring teachers, students and community members, along with academic and non-academic researchers, into a dialogue about the art as a foundation of Inuit traditional knowledge. This research will contribute to the cultural health of Inuit people, identified as the core for every other kind of health for Inuit because it links to one’s sense of identity, the collective social supports for the individual, and the sense of being grounded in positive relationships that nurture individuals and communities now and for future generations.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

September 2013 – September 2020


Funding:

Social Science and Research Council of Canada Award (SSHRC) Partnership Grant

Becoming Women: The Embodied Self in Image Culture

Becoming Women book cover

In a culture where beauty is currency, women’s bodies are often perceived as measures of value and worth. The search for visibility and self-acceptance can be daunting, especially for those on the cultural margins of “beauty.”

Becoming Women offers a thoughtful examination of the search for identity in an image-oriented world. That search is told through the experiences of a group of women who came of age in the wake of second and third wave feminism, featuring voices from marginalized and misrepresented groups.

Carla Rice pairs popular imagery with personal narratives to expose the “culture of contradiction” where increases in individual body acceptance have been matched by even more restrictive feminine image ideals and norms. With insider insights from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, Rice exposes the beauty industry’s colonization of women’s bodies, and examines why “the beauty myth” has yet to be resolved.

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

2013 – 2016


Funding:

Social Science and Research Council of Canada Award (SSHRC)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Publication Award

Publication

Rice, C. (2014). Becoming women: The embodied self in image culture. University of Toronto Press.

This Artist’s Body – Abilities Arts Festival (AAF)

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

2013


Funding:

NBC

Relaxed Performance in Canada

Relaxed Performance

Interest in curating accessible experiences is growing among many in the Canadian arts scene. The question of what this means has begun to drive conversations about how this might be accomplished, concretely: What is an accessible arts experience? How does it look different in different segments of the arts landscape? What are the policy implications of accessibility? How does accessibility in the arts relate to larger debates about accessibility in disability studies? What is access, and what is inclusion?

One key movement in the accessible arts landscape is Relaxed Performance. Relaxed Performance (RP) has been described as “the opposite of the quiet car of a train” (British Council, nd): it refers to the invitation for people to be themselves, including their movement and their vocalizations, in the theatre space. RP includes technical modifications, such as half-dimmed (rather than blackout) theatre lights, warnings about and/or reductions in loud noises and pyrotechnics, the ability to move freely and in and out of the space, a space outside of the main theatre with simultaneous or simulcast video (a “chill space”), and more. Increasingly, Canadian theatres are joining this movement, which began to take root in the UK in the 1990s.

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

2018 – 2019


Funding:

The British Council

Report and booklet

These are both available on the BIT website.

Publications (link)

Practicing the Social: Entanglements of Art and Justice

Practicing the Social logo

Practicing the Social: Entanglements of Art and Justice is a planned gathering (event) of academics/artists/arts organizations. The gathering will be held online in Spring 2021, and will feature contributors from across Canada, the US, Europe, South America, and New Zealand. We will bring together academics and practitioners to engage in discussion and creative discovery about the entanglements between art and justice, and explore the methodological challenges, possibilities, and tensions that define our academic fields and range of social practices.

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

October 2019


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Connection Grant

Taking Digital Storytelling Online: Student Experiences of Access, Inclusion, and Inquiry

With a focus on critical approaches to access and inclusion during the COVID-19 pandemic, this pilot project produced a three-week online digital storytelling module for graduate and undergraduate students. Between September 2020 and April 2021, the Re•Vision team will work closely with 10-15 research methodology students to build digital stories completely online (testing out the new software, pedagogical tools, and platform created for this study) and to research their experiences with this process through a mixed-methods study that involves a co-authored ethnographic account, and an interactive focus group to be completed by April 2021.

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

April 2020


Funding:

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fund

Online Storytelling: Access, Inclusion, and the “New Normal” amid COVID-19

Beginning in May 2020, a team of filmmakers, artists, researchers and editors at Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice developed and assessed an experimental online storytelling module designed in consultation with community members. With a focus on critical approaches to online inclusion, the Re•Vision Centre’s “Online Storytelling” development activity contributed to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing and implementing a time-sensitive experimental online storytelling module series designed to launch and lead a larger, SSHRC PDG application.

Role:

Principal Investigator


Date:

May 2020


Funding:

University of Guelph COVID-19 Research Development & Catalyst Fund

Accessing the Arts Research Project

Accessing the Arts is a research and development initiative that aims to amplify Deaf and disability culture online to make discoverable for the public, a truly inclusive arts culture. We work with communities and arts organizations across Canada, co-creating and designing solutions in the sector that remove barriers in the arts and creates more opportunities for people with disabilities to connect to and access the arts in a digital world.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

October 2019


Funding:

The Canada Council and Creative Users Project

Re•Storying Autism in Education: Advancing the Cultures and Practices of Inclusion

logo of Re•Storying Autism

Re•Storying Autism in Education: Advancing the Cultures and Practices of Inclusion” uses multimedia storytelling to expand knowledge about autistic students’ experiences in public schools. We are cultivating new creative and scholarly outputs with significant policy and practice implications through research activities that pursue a central claim: meaningful inclusion requires the fulsome engagement of autistic perspectives to rethink normalcy and reorient to autism not as a problem to be solved, but as human variation. Filling a gap in educational research, this innovative, multi-site project (Ontario, Manitoba, and the UK) provides research opportunities for autistic individuals to artistically self-represent and author their views about inclusion.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

August 2018


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant


Website:

https://restoryingautism.com/

Re•Storying Autism on Screen: Autistic, Family and Practitioner Perspectives, November 4, 2020

Re•Storying Autism Online Workshop, August 4-21, 2020

Re•Storying Autism in Education Toronto Workshop at Ryerson University, October 18-20, 2019

Cripping the Arts in Canada Symposium

Cripping the Arts program cover

Cripping the Arts 2019 was three days of programming – panel discussions, co-creative workshops, exhibitions and performances – animating how Deaf, Mad, and Disability Arts and activism changes how we experience art and culture as well as the ways our sector contributes, and leads to, the achievements of disability rights and justice movements.

Participants explored, debated, and shared emerging ideas and practices that relate to representation and new models of leadership, disability culture in an increasingly digital world, and working in solidarity between disability rights, racial justice, decoloniality, and Indigenous sovereignty.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

2018


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Connection Grant

Writing New Bodies: Critical Co-Design for 21st Century Digital-Born Bibliotherapy

Writing New Bodies logo

Distress – self-hatred – anxiety: body image concerns severely affect the well-being of a generation coming of age immersed in visual, digital culture. This is particularly true for girls and young women. After all, despite benefiting from advancements in gender equality across various sectors of society, they still confront significant appearance-related pressures in many areas of their lives. Ironically, the very media that could help them develop ideals of diversity and resilience, commonly represent idealized, female-coded, cis-gendered, unrealistic bodies. Indeed, they often help reinforce problematic body image. This does not happen through passive consumption. Rather, individuals actively select and consume images and narratives that resonate with their fears and desires. These emotions are shaped in diverse social interactions. Likewise, individuals participate in shaping them in order to “fit in” and make themselves intelligible to others.

The “Writing New Bodies” project addresses these complex issues by developing a digital fiction – an interactive, literary story game – for a new, media-enhanced form of bibliotherapy – an intervention method that employs directed reading to help with psychological issues. The digital fiction is targeted specifically at body image concerns. It is aimed to encourage emotional and verbal engagement with some of the major challenges facing girls and young women today. These challenges include, for example, heteronormative gender relations, ableism, and familial influences on the ways girls “ought to look” (Rice 2014). Importantly, members of the target population will be key contributors to and benefactors of the research-creation process.

Through community co-design and feminist participatory action research, we aim to establish how our target population can both shape and benefit from the research-creation. How might the process itself help them reflect on body image concerns and build greater resilience? What specific themes should a feminist and social justice informed digital fiction engage with that focuses on aspects of body and body image, and appeals to a broad and diverse cross-section of young women (aged 18-25)? What kind of interactive and narrative design will appeal to them? What designs will benefit professional therapists, and how might our work lead to new forms of media-enhanced 21st century body image bibliotherapy?

The digital fiction will be developed, hosted and maintained by an award-winning feminist digital writer and game developer, who has collaborated with members of the research team in the past. Design ideas will be crowdsourced to the target populations of young women and professional bibliotherapists. Based on their responses, the digital fiction will be built in cooperative co-design iterations. During this process, participants and researchers will act as play testers. They will inform and critically engage with the creative process and their bodily selves throughout.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

2017


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant


Website:

https://sites.google.com/ualberta.ca/writingnewbodies/home

Thickening Fat: Dialogues on Intersectionality, Social Justice & Fatness

Thickening Fat

In February 2018, scholars, activists, and artists from across Canada, the US, Europe, India, and New Zealand gathered at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for a two-day international symposium entitled Thickening Fat: Dialogues on Intersectionality, Social Justice & Fatness. The overarching aim of the event was to bring together established and emergent experts from around the world and across disciplines to engage in discussion on fatness as an entry-point into the complexity of embodied difference and privilege. Two days of complex and robust dialogue resulted from this extraordinary event. The symposium additionally featured an evening open mic event with local community artists and activists.

The book, Thickening Fat: Fat Bodies, Intersectionality, and Social Justice, edited by May Friedman, Jen Rinaldi and Carla Rice seeks to explore the multiple, variable, and embodied experiences of fat oppression and fat activisms. Moving beyond an analysis of fat oppression as singular, this book will aim to unpack the volatility of fat—the mutability of fat embodiments as they correlate with other embodied subjectivities, and the threshold where fat begins to be reviled, celebrated, or amended. In addition, Thickening Fat explores the full range of intersectional and liminal analyses that push beyond the simple addition of two or more subjectivities, looking instead at the complex alchemy of layered and unstable markers of difference and privilege.

Cognizant that the concept of intersectionality has been filled out in a plurality of ways, Thickening Fat poses critical questions around how to render analysis of fatness intersectional and to thicken up intersectionality, where intersectionality is attenuated to the shifting and composite and material dimensions to identity, rather than reduced to an “add difference and stir” approach. The chapters in this collection ask what happens when we operationalize intersectionality in fat scholarship and politics, and we position difference at the centre and start of inquiry.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

February 2018


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Connection Grant

Publication

Friedman, M., Rice, C., & Rinaldi, J. (Eds.). (2019). Thickening fat: Fat bodies, intersectionality and social justice. Routledge.

Aging/Disability Nexus

The Aging Disability Nexus

The Aging/Disability Nexus ​Symposium was a 2-day gathering, ​February 16 & 17, 2017 at Ryerson Univeristy. It is also an edited collection​ ​of essays edited by Katie Aubrecht, Christine Kelly and Carla Rice, published by UBC press in May 2020. The concept for The Aging/Disability Nexus emerged from our recognition of a surprising gap in critical scholarship, that is, scholarship specifically exploring the intersections of disability studies and aging studies. Surprising, we think, because there is significant conceptual overlap between the two fields. For example, both disability studies and aging studies grapple with able-bodiedness, acknowledging that most people will experience disability at some point in their lives. And yet, each field also interprets the meaning and significance of TAB in unique ways. Growing old into disability becomes a significant point of contact with respect to the aging process and where disability represents itself. An overall goal of the Symposium and this website is to serve as a hub about aging and disability. Our hub aims to facilitate the use of knowledge in decision-making and action.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

February 2017


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Connection Grant

Publication:

Aubrecht, K., Kelly, C., & Rice, C. (Eds.). (2020). The aging-disability nexus. UBC Press. https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/A/bo70117160.html

Revisioning Fitness through Non-normative Embodiment

ReVisioning Fitness logo

By “cripping,” “queering,” and “thickening” fitness, Revisioning Fitness will work towards the creation of an accessibility tool kit, and foster stakeholder connections with non-profit and for ­profit fitness organizations, imagining a transformation in the way fitness is conceptualized and practiced. This project brings together a high­ caliber, interdisciplinary national research team to generate knowledge and explore new understandings about movement and fitness through centering the experiential insights of non­normatively embodied people and to explore potential contributions of digital storytelling and a mini­documentary to ongoing conversations about inclusion, accessibility, and difference with fitness and movement.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

June 2020 – May 2022


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant


Website:

https://www.revisioningfitness.ca/

Difference and Movement: The Youth Mobility Project

The Youth Mobility project utilizes creative participatory visual methodologies to investigate mobilities and movement with youth labelled­ as ­disabled as a means to challenge deficit­ based understandings of disability. The specific aims of this IDG pilot study are 1) to develop and refine a methodological design and analytical approach to ground a larger Insight Grant submission; and 2) to build a multidisciplinary team to pursue this research program.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

Summer 2020 – Spring 2022


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant

Accessing the Arts: Centring Disability Perspectives in Accessibility Initiatives

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

January 2020


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant

Engendering Disability-Inclusive Development (EDID)

The project centres around the barriers that women and girls with disabilities face, who, suggested by the United Nations, are to be one of the most marginalized groups worldwide.

This partnership builds on established relationships with NGOs, policy makers and researchers across Canada, Haiti, South Africa and Vietnam to learn and gain detailed information about women and girls experiences through focus groups and interviews. EDID aims to increase the inclusion of diverse women and girls with disabilities by focusing attention, increasing knowledge and creating new opportunities for these individuals.

Role:

Collaborator


Date:

April 2020


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Grant

Decolonizing Journeys: Learning about Decolonizing through Indigenous Research and Digital Story Work

Decolonizing Journeys logo

“Stories of Settler and Indigenous Educators on Decolonizing Journeys” centers Indigenous knowledges, practices, and philosophies to understand how Indigegogy disrupts colonial ignorance and shifts consciousness and actions. We will gather stories of settler and Indigenous journeys of decolonization during and after participants have completed or facilitated the Decolonizing Education Certificate offered by the Centre for Indigegogy.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

October 2019


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant

Precarious Inclusion: Studying Ontarian LGBTQ+ Parents’ Experiences Childrearing in a Post-Legal Parity Framework

logo of Precarious Inclusion

It is a unique time to be a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans, Queer and Plus (LGBTQ+) parent in Ontario because we have gained equal legal parenting rights with the All Families Are Equal Act (2016), but continue to experience political backlash. With this SSHRC Insight Development Grant-funded study, we want to know about the everyday experiences of being an LGBTQ+ parent in this confusing political climate and where discrimination or exclusion surface. We are also interested to learn how experiences of inclusion and exclusion influence LGBTQ+ family’s wellbeing, as well as parents’ ideas about how to care for and protect their children.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

January 2019


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant

Deconstructing Normativity in Gerontology: Focus on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

As Canada’s population ages it is of increasing importance to recognize the heterogeneity of older adults, including their diverse needs as they age. To date, much of the gerontological research often relies on data solely from majority populations and fails to account for diverse experiences of aging, including those from LGBTQ+ communities. As a result, much of the teaching resources and evidence that informs gerontology pedagogy is centred around heterosexual and cisgender aging experiences, often ignoring or inadvertently perpetuating normative ideas around aging (Clarke, Ellis, Peel & Riggs, 2010; Witten, Eyler, Ettner & Eyler, 2007) and discounting life course that fall outside of the ‘norm’.

With funding through the SSHRC Partnership Development Grant program, this project is focused on integrating diverse experiences of aging into existing gerontology curricula. Through our partnership we aim to equip students and systems to recognize and disrupt embedded normative ideas about aging wherein LGBTQ+ individuals’ experiences and narratives are not heard, understood or valued.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

September 2018


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Development Grant

Disability and Livelihoods in Canada

With employment rates among people with disabilities at less than 50 percent, and a resulting reliance on government transfers, we ask: how do people with disabilities in Canada survive, let alone thrive? People with disabilities continue to respond imaginatively by finding alternatives to paid work to sustain themselves and their families. This disjuncture between policy and lived experiences suggests an important and under-explored research area. The Disability and Livelihoods partnership will 1) examine how livelihoods interact with diverse experiences of disability in Canada and 2) begin to develop a strong, practical, and conceptual livelihoods approach to work and families research. Partnership: This partnership brings together key national and local organizations (DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada, Canadian Council for Rehabilitation and Work, Lakeside Hope House Guelph, People and Information Network, and Accessibility Advisory Committee of Guelph), with the University of Guelph’s Centre for Families, Work and Well-being, Re-Vision: Centre for Arts and Social Justice, the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute, and researchers, to contribute to three pilot projects: volunteering, arts and artistry, young women and pre-employment supports, and a broader livelihoods framework. The partnership focuses on three areas of livelihoods which build on the strengths of our partners, recognizing that these will help identify important questions and intentionally gather what we learn into a broader framework for understanding and using a livelihoods approach. The governance structure enables partner organizations to contribute to the leadership and intellectual direction of the partnership in addition to contributing to the pilot project most aligned with their work. Sustainable Livelihoods: Livelihoods describe means to secure the necessities of life — through paid work, caregiving, volunteering, market gardens, fishing, artistry, among others. Livelihoods are not only the capabilities, assets and activities required to maintain life, but also the ability to sustain these in the context of stress and shocks, over time and for future generations, and contribute benefits at the local and global levels over the short and long term. A sustainable livelihoods framework has been developed in relation to the global South, and increasingly used in Canada to assist front-line service organizations to understand and address poverty. Guiding Questions and Goals: The partnership will answer questions that fill the gap between policy and lived experiences, and create a sustainable livelihood framework to inform future social policy and organizational decisions. These questions include: How do definitions of disability shape one’s livelihoods? How do other social locations (e.g. gender, race, immigration status, language) interact with disability to shape experiences of livelihoods? To what extent does managing impairments affect experiences and livelihoods choices? What are the relationships between income support and other forms of livelihoods? Does one’s livelihoods allow them to thrive, not only survive? How do different forms of livelihood work together to enable getting the necessities of life? How do they work together to allow for flourishing? How do livelihoods shape and change our understandings of culture? How do Canadian society and economy rely on diverse livelihoods in the lives of people with disabilities (e.g. unpaid volunteering to implement accessibility legislation, unpaid caregiving by people with disabilities)? In what ways does this reliance on unpaid livelihoods reinforce ableism in Canadian society? How does practicing diverse livelihoods contribute to new ways of thinking about, imagining and living disability.

Role:

Collaborator


Date:

October 2018


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Development Grant

Project Circumpolar Resilience Engagement and Action Through Story (CREATeS)

logo of Project Creates

Project CREATeS is a project of the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) of the Arctic Council. The SDWG co-leads on this project included the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Canada, Finland, Kingdom of Denmark, and Sweden. Youth, invited by Permanent Participants of the Arctic Council, were invited to engage in a dialogue about suicide prevention by telling their own stories, and were supported to make these stories into digital stories, or short films.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

March 2018


Funding:

Government of Canada Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
University of Toronto

Website:

https://www.projectcreates.com/

An Arts-Informed Resident-Centred Approach to Understanding the Relationship between Nursing Home Staff Dementia & Mental Health Literacy and Quality Care

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

2018


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant

The New Sexism: The Interactional Production and Management of Sexist Talk in Contemporary Psychotherapy

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

2017


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant

Enacting Critical Disability Communities in Education

Enacting Critical Disability Communities in Education is a multimedia storytelling project that brought together autistic people, family members, researchers, educators and artists in a unique international partnership between stakeholder groups in education. The aim of the partnership was to collaboratively rethink inclusion beyond remediation or intervention as the ‘solution’ to the problem of autism. An archive of 17 first-person films was created through two multimedia storytelling workshops in Toronto, along with a short documentary about the project.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

2014 -2017


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant

Re-Tracing the African, Caribbean, and European (ACE) Pathways to Care in First-Episode Psychosis

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

2013


Funding:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Knowledge Dissemination Grant

inVISIBILITY: Indigenous in the City

inVisibility: Indigenous in the City poster

inVISIBILITY: An Urban Aboriginal Education Connections Project was a two-phase event and outreach activity bridging the gap between stakeholders in Education and Urban Aboriginal Communities. The first phase was a digital storytelling workshop for Aboriginal students, parents, and teachers to explore and represent their experiences of schooling; the second phase was an art exhibition and speaker series during which the digital stories were screened. Overall our goal is to provide a forum in which Aboriginal people can present their stories through the arts and engage non-Aboriginal communities in learning.

Role:

Co-Investigator


Date:

2013


Funding:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Connection Grant

Eating Disorder Recovery in Context

As a part of her PhD research, Andrea LaMarre explored eating disorder recovery in social context, speaking to people with lived experience of eating disorders and their supporters about recovery. As a part of this project, funded by the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and, subsequently, the Ontario Women’s Health Scholars program, storytellers with lived experience created digital stories about eating disorder recovery.

Role:

Supervisor


Date:

2014 – 2017


Funding:

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
The Ontario Women’s Health Scholars program

Revisioning Aging: Using Digital Storytelling to Understand the Experience of Aging with Serious Illness

Role:

Supervisor


Date:

September 2014 – December 2016


Funding:

Technology Evaluation for the Elderly Interdisciplinary Fellowship Program