The Centre for Feminist Research has named Nael Bhanji and Anna Augusto Rodrigues the joint recipients of the 2017-18 Mary McEwan Memorial Award.
Bhanji is the 2018-19 Visiting Scholar in Sexuality Studies at the Centre for Feminist Research at York University and a lecturer at Carleton University. Drawing upon critical race theory, trans studies, psychoanalysis and affect theory, his research explores articulations of necropolitics, racialization, surveillance and counterterrorism within an increasingly globalized trans movement. Bhanji’s work appears in Transgender Migrations: The Bodies, Borders, and Politics of Transition, The Transgender Studies Reader 2, Trans Studies Quarterly 4.1, Canadian Ethnic Studies and The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities. He is presently working on a monograph titled “Trans Necrointimacies: Race and the Chalky Affects of Trans Memorialization.”
Bhanji’s dissertation, Trans Necrointimacies: Affect, Race, and the Chalky Geopolitics of Trans Memorialization, explores the centrality of the memorialization of racialized trans death in structuring whiteness as emblematic of contemporary trans(normative) life. Taking his point of departure from the chalk outlines of dead bodies that frequently appear during rituals of trans memorialization, he analyzes how the affective circulation of racial decay and necropolitical violence – a phenomenon I have termed transnecrointimacies – is central to the securitization of both whiteness and trans-homonationalism within the nation state. In tracing the affective worldings that occur through the spectacularization and consumption of “ordinary” racialized trans death, his dissertation animates the seemingly disparate narratives of counterterrorism and trans politics, the trans body and the terrorist body, and vigilant reactions and the vigil that re-acts ordinary violences.
Rodrigues has a PhD in education and a specialized graduate diploma in language and literacy education, both from York University. As an interdisciplinary educator, her research interests include exploring issues of equity, diversity and inclusivity in education, researching alternative and digital literacies and incorporating artistic practices into curriculum. Underpinning the above research is an intense commitment to social justice issues and interest in community-driven scholarship. She is also a visual artist who uses photography, digital media and collage to engage with issues of social equity. Rodrigues is currently a contract instructor at Trent University.
Pop-Up Pedagogy: Exploring Connections between Street Art, Feminist Literacy Practices and Communities investigated the potential of feminist street art to create informal spaces of learning on the streetscape while considering its pedagogical significance as a feminist literacy practice that could assist women, and those who identify as women, to participate in the shaping of community and global conversations. For this research, Rodrigues analyzed data from various sources, including interviews with feminist street artists, social media feeds, online articles and her own personal journal entries. In addition, she analyzed more than 1,400 images of street art she photographed over a period of five years while conducting fieldwork in Montreal and Toronto. In her dissertation, Rodrigues argues that feminist street art, as artifacts, and the actions associated with its production, can be considered a form of feminist public pedagogy that facilitates informal learning outside of traditional educational systems and also encourages women to contribute to the conversations happening in their communities, both online and in real life.
More about the Mary McEwan Memorial Award
Named in honour of Dr. Mary McEwan, a feminist psychiatrist, the Mary McEwan Memorial Award is awarded annually to one PhD dissertation produced per year at York University in feminist scholarship. An awards committee of faculty affiliated with the Centre for Feminist Research selects the winners.
To learn more about the Mary McEwan Memorial Award, and to see past winners, visit cfr.info.yorku.ca/awards.