Faculty Members

There are nearly 40 faculty members at Acadia who are involved in the Women's and Gender Studies program, either through teaching its courses, doing research in the area, or by participating in the committee work.  These faculty are available to assist students in their studies related to women and gender depending on the faculty member's particular area of expertise. 


Cross-listed Faculty: Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology

Research and teaching interests: African Diaspora migration and settlement within the Americas and Caribbean; Black Feminist Theory; Critical Race Theory; Postcolonial Theory; narrative analysis; the intersections of race, gender, class and sexuality; diversity and equity issues in education; social justice and social change; qualitative and ethnographic inquiry.


Saara Liinamaa

Cross-listed Faculty: Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology

Research and teaching interests: Classical and Contemporary Social Theory; Urban Studies; Cultural Sociology; Work and Organizations; Visual Methodologies 




Zelda Abramson

Department of Sociology

Research and teaching interests: Health and healthcare, families, research methods, women's studies.


Cynthia Alexander

Department of Politics


Barb Anderson

School of Nutrition and Dietetics
mailto: barb.anderson@acadiau.ca

Research and teaching interests: Barb Anderson has been involved in the Nova Scotia Food Security Research projects since 2001, to gather evidence to support changing policy to work towards food security for all Canadians. Community Nutrition, Adult Learning applied to nutrition and dietetic practice, Leadership in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Health Promotion.


Svetlana Barkanova

Department of Physics

Research and teaching interests: Subatomic theory, fundamental symmetries of nature, women in physics.


Mike Beazley

Librarian for Women's and Gender Studies


Rachel Brickner

Department of Politics
Phone: 902-585-1349
Research Interests: Workers' activism and labour rights, especially for women, migrants, and public sector employees; democratic citizenship in theory and practice; civil society and social movements; politics of the United States and Latin America; gender and development.


James J. Brittain

Department of Sociology

Research and teaching activities: Gender and Revolutionary Social Change, International Development, Latin America, Social Theory, Women in Guerrilla Movements


Wanda Campbell

Department of English and Theatre
BAC 430

Research activities: Creative Writing; Writing by Women, particularly Nineteenth-Century Canadian.


School of Nutrition
902- 585-1266

Research interests: Global Food Security and Sovereignty,  Food Systems and Sustainability, Food Culture, Health Promotion and Policy, and Sports Nutrition


Michael Dennis

Department of History and Classics

Research activities: The labour movement in the South and the United States in the late twentieth century; intellectual and cultural history of 20th century America, youth subcultures, and higher education.


Kelly Dye

School of Business


Lesley Frank

Department of Sociology

Research Interests: food studies, health inequity, family poverty, infant feeding, research methods.


John J. Guiney Yallop

School of Education

Research and teaching interests: John Guiney Yallop is a poet and poetic inquirer who teaches about literacy, sexual orientation and gender diversity issues in education, as well as arts-based and autoethnographic/autobiographic research methodologies. 


Sonia Hewitt

Department of History and Classics

Research activities: Sonia Hewitt is a Roman archaeologist, and her area of interest is the archaeology of daily life in Italy and the provinces, especially domestic architecture and baths. She has participated in excavations in Greece and Tunisia, and has conducted fieldwork at the Roman site Volubilis in Morocco. She is currently working on the neighborhood baths in urban and rural Roman Africa.


Anna Kiefte

Department of Physics
HSH 227


Heather Dahringer

Department of Sociology

Research and teaching activities: Feminist methodology, women and crime, social and discursive constructions of masculinity and femininity, body image and eating disorders, feminist theory, research ethics, sociology of deviance, and criminology.


Jennifer MacDonald

Department of History and Classics
Room 447, Beveridge Arts Centre
(902) 585-1243

Research and teaching interests: Jennifer MacDonald researches and teaches on European history.


David MacKinnon

School of Education
Emmerson Hall, # 305

Research interests: Human sexuality, sex education, leadership for social justice, rural education and community development, interpretive and critical research methodologies, and critical pedagogy.


Anna Migliarisi

Department of English and Theatre
BAC 429

Research interests: Anna Migliarisi's interests have been in women working in/for theatre (as performers, playwrights, directors and producers); the history of women in the theatre; gender and performance. Other research areas are the history, theory and practice of directing; Renaissance and Baroque theatre; theories of performance.


Barbara Moore

Department of Sociology

Research interests and activities: Women and Development, Gender Inequality, Poverty and Inequality, Women and the Welfare State, Women in Cuba. Publications referring to the Montreal Massacre and its effect on women plus "Please Don't Bury Me: Nova Scotia Women's Response to the CHST". Union work includes being the current Co-Chair of the CUPE National Global Justice Committee.


Lisa Narbeshuber

Department of English and Theatre

Research activities: American literature, especially modern American poetry; Sylvia Plath; Ernest Hemingway.


Randy Newman

Department of Psychology

Research Interests: Randy Lynn Newman has research interests in the area of reading and speech perception mechanisms, cognitive neuroscience. Reading involves the coordination of several processes including the encoding of an orthographic representation, the assignment of phonology to written text, and the integration of these processes with semantic representations. Understanding the dynamics of these processes is a central focus of cognitive science. One of the more contentious issues in reading research has to do with how skilled readers use the phonology of words during reading. For example, there is disagreement over whether skilled readers are able to rely solely on the orthography of familiar words when reading for meaning, thus ignoring phonology, or whether phonological representations are always activated during reading. My research objective is to delineate the circumstances and mechanisms by which skilled readers use phonology when reading single words as well as meaningful text. This goal is accomplished by using traditional behavioral paradigms such as masked priming, in combination with cutting edge brain imaging techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event related brain potentials (ERPs).


Robert Pitter

Department of Kinesiology
Research and teaching interests: Sociological Aspects of Physical Activity and Sport, Political and socio-economic aspects of sport and recreation, Sport, Media and Culture, Meanings surrounding sport and recreation experiences, Physical Cultural Studies.


Gillian Poulter

Department of History and Classics

Research interests: Gillian Poulter's areas of interest are 19th century Canadian culture, cultural nationalism, and Canadian women's history. Her publications include Becoming Native in a Foreign Land: Sport, Visual Culture & Identity in Montreal, 1840-85 (UBC 2009) which examines the construction of a Canadian national identity in Victorian Montreal through the appropriation of aboriginal cultural activities such as lacrosse, snowshoeing and tobogganing. Her current research looks at the customs and rituals attached to births, weddings and funerals in the Annapolis Valley in the late 19th and early 20th century, and the construction of family history through scrapbooks.


Ann Marie Powers

Department of Sociology
585 -1107

Teaching and research interests: Ann Marie Powers teaches Women in the Modern World, Introduction to Women's Studies, Cross Cultural Belief Systems, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.  Her research interests are ingender and social organisation; symbolism (women and religion); Newfoundland and Atlantic Canada; intercultural communication and cultural diversity education.


Lisa Price

Department of Psychology

Teaching and research interests: Lisa Price's current areas of research interest include attachment styles, support and well-being in couples and parent/adolescent relationships, violence in relationships and risky sexual behaviour. Her teaching interests include Human Sexuality, Violence in Relationships, Clinical Psychology, and Psychotherapy for clinical graduate students.


Anne Quéma

Department of English and Theatre

Teaching and research interests: My research is characterized by interdisciplinarity. Since publishing The Agon of Modernism: Wyndham Lewis’s AllegoriesAesthetics, and Politics in 1999, I have published articles on legal discourse and same-sex partnership, law and literature, historiography, Gothic fiction, fiction and the visual arts, and Canadian modernism. My book, Power and Legitimacy (2015), examines the relationship between power and language in the context of interdisciplinary analyses of jurisprudence, statutory law, and literature. My current research project explores practices of experimental poetry in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a particular focus on Nicole Brossard, Erín Moure, and Rachel Zolf.


School of Music
Research interests: Christianne Rushton created a course in Opera History that explores the representation of gender and sexuality in Opera. The course, “Sex, Gender and Stereotypes in Opera”, begins by examining the role of the Castrato (a male singer with the voice of a female) and will continue through the development of the trouser-role (a mezzo-soprano portraying men and boys).


Donna Seamone

Comparative Religion - Department of History and Classics

Research and teaching interests: Ritual studies and performance studies; Cultural anthropology especially issues of representation, race ethnicity and gender:  ethnography/fieldwork in the study of lived experience; relation of media and representation to lived religion; Health, illness, and religion & medical anthropology; New religious movement and emergent religion; Religion on the internet; Study of "liberation" movements; Life writing & gender: spiritual biography (western and contemporary), life history, and illness narratives; Nature-Body-Spirit relationships in religion and culture (ritual and ecology, ecofeminism) 


Andrea Schwenke-Wylie

Department of English and Theatre

Research and teaching interests: Children's and Young Adult Literature, with a focus on first-person narration, the relation between words and pictures in picture books, and fairy-tale rewrites.


Karolyn Smardz Frost

Harrison McCain Visiting Professor
Department of History and Classics

Teaching interests: African Canadian history; primary research; urban history

Research interests:  Both an archaeologist and an historian, Karolyn Smardz Frost conducts new research in African Canadian/American history of the 18th & 19th centuries. Her current research at Acadia's Planter Studies Centre celebrates the many contributions made by enslaved African Americans to the early development of Maritime Canada.


Sonia Thon

Department of Languages and Literatures - Spanish
585-1258 or 585-1500

Research and teaching interests: Women writers in contemporary Spanish and Spanish-American literature.


Xiaoting Wang

Department of Economics

Research activities: Industrial organization, antitrust economics


Leigh Whaley

Department of History and Classics

Research and teaching interests:  Leigh Whaley teaches courses in the History Western Civilization I and II on campus and with Open Acadia, as well as courses on European Women, European Men and Masculinity, Comparative Revolutions, and France. She has published Women's History as Science: A guide to the debates; Radicals: Politics and Republicanism in the French Revolution; and The Impact of Napoleon Bonaparte, 1800-1815: An Annotated Bibliography.  Her current research project is "The Family Fouquet: Philanthropy, Medicine and Charity: The Counter-Reformation at Work in France and the New World".


Jamie Whidden

Department of History and Classics

Research and teaching activities: Jamie Whidden completed his doctorate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he studied Egypt and North Africa. He has an interest in patriarchy, particularly as an aspect of  Middle Eastern cultures. In all his courses, including Global, African, and Middle Eastern, an important component is the study of patriarchy and its impact upon gender relations.


Geoffrey Whitehall

Department of Politics
BAC 215

Research and teaching activities: Geoffrey Whitehall's research interests are in Sovereignty and Preemption; and Aesthetics of International Politics.  He teaches courses in Law, Politics and Government; Theoretical Approaches to International Politics; Pop Culture and World Politics; Politics of International Law; the Politics of New Global Technologies; and Human Rights. 


Department of Philosophy
Research and teaching interests: metaphysics and epistemology in Kant and Early Modern Philosophy. Her current research topics include the notions of substance, causality, consciousness, and the self in theories of cognition and ethics. She is also interested in the practical application of Kant’s theory of experience to problems in biology, artificial intelligence and gender studies - specifically with respect to the natural, artificial and gendered dimensions of “the self.”


Ying Zhang

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Research activities: Time Series Analysis and Applied Statistics; Statistical Computing and Symbolic Algebra Computing; Statistical Consulting on Biostatistics, Survey and Research Design