Representatives for Canadian Women and Geography, 2016-2017
Dr. Ebru Ustundag, Chair of CWAG
Laura Shillington, CWAG Vice-Chair & Secretary
Laura Shillington is Faculty in the Department of Geosciences and the Department of Social Science Methods at John Abbott College in Montréal. Her research centres broadly on urban social-natural relations. At present, her research projects include the urban political ecologies of nature and children; and gender, environmental justice, and the political ecologies of emotions.
Laurence Simard-Gagnon, Co-Communications Coordinator
Laurence is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at Queen's University. Initially trained as a community worker, she continues her involvement in community groups and collectives in Québec City organizing on issues of social justice and violence against women. Her research interests involve women’s daily lived experiences and practices, mothering/motherwork, intersectionality and differences, care, cultural work and cultural continuity. She completed her Master’s at Laval University studying practices of berry picking and use of Inuit women in Inukjuak, Nunavik. Her PhD work looks at daily experiences of mothering and the linguistic minority of francophone mothers in Kingston, ON.
Dr. Audrey Kobayashi, CWAG Treasurer
A native of British Columbia, Dr. Kobayashi completed a B.A. (1976) and M.A. (1978) at the University of British Columbia, and a PhD (1983) at UCLA. Audrey taught in Geography and East Asian Studies at McGill University from 1983 to 1994, when she came to Queen’s, initially as Director of the Institute of Women’s Studies (1994 to 1999) and thereafter as Professor of Geography. Dr. Kobayashi spent time as a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia, University College London and, most recently, Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand. In 1994, she was a Fulbright Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC. Other positions include President of the Canadian Association of Geographers (1999-2001), and Editor, People Place and Region, Annals of the Association of American Geographer
Adrienne Johnson, Co-Communications Coordinator
Juliane Collard, CWAG Student Representative
Nicole Van Lier, CWAG Student Representative
Nicole Van Lier is a doctoral student in Human Geography at the University of Toronto. Her work applies theories of political ecology, feminist political economy, postcolonial studies, and state-formation to critically explore access to land and resources as sites of ongoing anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, and anti-racist struggle within contested nation-building projects. Her dissertation will focus on the state-sanctioned residential water shutoffs in Detroit. She holds an MA in Social Justice Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Her Masters thesis explored the regulation of political dissent in opposition to the Line 9 oil pipeline in Ontario, mediated through symbolic and material exchanges between media representation, neoliberal environmental governance, and private property.
Past CWAG Chair, 2014-2016
Dr. Sara Koopman
At the time of her Chairship, Sara Koopman was an Assistant Professor of Geography at York University. She is a long time international solidarity activist and does collaborative thinking with those movements. Her focus is on colonial patterns in solidarity organizing, and how activists with privilege can and do work to change them. Her recent work is on international protective accompaniment in Colombia as an example of altergeopolitics. Her current research looks at how stories travel out of war zones and how they are used to build solidarity and peace. She blogs at decolonizingsolidarity.blogspot.com.
Past CWAG Chair, 2012-2014
Dr. Julie Christensen
Julia is a newly-minted PhD in Geography, having successfully defended her dissertation at McGill in November 2011. Since then, she has been a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Geography at the University of British Columbia, though she spends much of her time in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, her hometown and also the site of much of her research. In Yellowknife, she is also a Research Fellow at the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research.
In general, Julia's interests lie in critical northern geographies. For her PhD and postdoctoral work, she focused on northern Indigenous experiences of home and homelessness. She has also been working with Indigenous women in Yellowknife to develop new ways of understanding agency in northern women’s homelessness using storytelling and creative writing as research methods and modes of research dissemination.