Three York University professors earn York-Massey appointments

York University Professors Jennifer Steele, Gabrielle Slowey and Joan Judge have earned Massey College appointments for the 2018-19 academic year.

Steele, of the Faculty of Health, was awarded a York-Massey Fellowship, while York-Massey Visiting Scholarships were awarded to Slowey and Judge, both of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.

“We are very pleased that Professor Steele, Professor Judge and Professor Slowey were awarded these honours,” said Robert Haché, vice-president research and innovation. “The York-Massey Fellowships and Visiting Scholarships represent an important opportunity for York researchers and academics to expand their areas of scholarship and contribution to their various disciplines in a broader context – the rich and stimulating community at Massey College.”

Massey College is an independent college situated on the University of Toronto campus. The fellowship provides the selected faculty member with prime office space in the college for the academic year and the status of a full senior resident of the college, with all privileges enjoyed by senior Fellows. The title “York Fellow of Massey College” remains for life or while mutually agreeable.

Visiting scholars will have a study space in the college and access to all the same privileges as the Massey College senior Fellows. Membership in the Massey Alumni Association is granted to visiting scholars at the completion of their program.

York-Massey Fellowship (2018-19): Jennifer Steele
Jennifer Steele
Jennifer Steele

Jennifer Steele is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, at York University. Her research spans social, developmental and educational psychology. In one of her main lines of research, she aims to better understand children’s implicit social cognition, with a specific focus on enhancing our understanding of how and when prejudice develops. In a second line of research, she has been particularly interested in how to combat the early development of implicit racial biases and to determine how racial attitudes emerge among minority children. In a third line of research, she aims to increase understanding of how culture shapes people’s thoughts and behaviours throughout development.

To address her research goals, she has built teams of graduate and undergraduate students who have run studies through camps, schools and community locations (e.g. the Ontario Science Centre) across the Greater Toronto Area. She has collected a substantial amount of data and her first goal during her sabbatical year is to finalize papers based on these data for publication.

Her second goal is to outline her next line of research and pursue her next grant. The University of Toronto provides access to many colleagues with similar research interests with whom she hopes to collaborate on grants (e.g. SSHRC Partnership Grant) and/or papers. From OISE to the Department of Psychology and the Rotman School of Business, there are many places where social and developmental psychologists, many of whom Steele is already collegial with, reside.

Her third goal is far more tentative; Steele is an aspiring writer and is considering writing a novel that would build on her knowledge and experience in the world of psychology. Writing a novel is well outside of her wheelhouse, but is something that she would like to explore further while immersed in the Massey College and U of T community.

York-Massey Visiting Scholarship (2018-19): Gabrielle Slowey
Gabrielle Slowey
Gabrielle Slowey

Gabrielle Slowey is an associate professor in the Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, at York University. She also holds the position of director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York.

During her 2018-19 sabbatical leave, Slowey plans to pursue a major research project and prepare a book-length manuscript. The Politics of Knowledge(s): Extraction and Ecological Governance in Northern Canada will address public policy research questions not only specific to the Canadian north, but also relevant to Arctic nations’ shared challenges. It will answer important resource-related questions pertaining to the development of extractive resources, the rights of Indigenous peoples and the role of the environment in the decision-making process.

This research creates a rich starting point and foundation for the advancement of multi-ecology/comparative ecology research and analysis within academic and policy worlds, as well as within Indigenous communities across the circumpolar north.

York-Massey Visiting Scholarship (2018-19): Joan Judge
Joan Judge
Joan Judge

Joan Judge is a professor in the Department of History, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, at York University. She is a cultural historian of Chinese knowledge and print.

During her sabbatical leave in 2018-19, she aims to complete her current SSHRC-funded book project, In Search of the Chinese Common Reader: Usable Knowledge and Wondrous Ignorance in the Age of Global Science, 1890-1955. In addition, her book-length project, “In Search of the Chinese Common Reader,” will be finalized during her tenure as a York-Massey Scholar. It is an investigation of the nexus of usable knowledge, science and state power in China’s historic transition from insular dynasty to global nation. Key problems addressed at the core of the project include the relationship among knowledge, print and society, the nature of science and the politics of ignorance.

As China lurched from imperial to republican to communist rule, political upheaval was interwoven with profound epistemic flux: the demise of Confucianism (the intellectual foundation of the ruling class for over two millennia) and the rise of the western scientific treatise; the outflow of Chinese students to Japan, North America and Europe in search of technical and political knowledge, and the influx of missionaries, merchants and translated texts, purveyors of new religious, commercial and sociopolitical ideas.

Shifting the focus from the more rarefied and well-researched ambits of these trends, Judge’s project probes the more mundane and densely populated arenas of China’s knowledge culture – streetside bookstalls, fledgling publishers and the homes of poorer urbanites. Its key protagonists are China’s as-yet little understood common readers, low-level bureaucrats and merchants, workers and housewives of modest literacy and modest means.

About Massey College
Massey College consists of junior Fellows, made up of graduate students; senior Fellows, consisting primarily of faculty; journalism Fellows; members of the Quadrangle Society (leaders in business, the legal profession and philanthropy); as well as visiting scholars and alumni, of whom an increasing number come from York University. The college offers an extraordinary experience by providing a community that allows all members to expand their horizons academically, socially and culturally.

The York-Massey Fellowship and York-Massey Visiting Scholarships were open to full-time faculty members planning to go on sabbatical or other leave during 2018-19.