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Dr. Natalie Kouri-Towe

Practicum Director, Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality, Simone de Beauvoir Institute & Womens Studies
Assistant Professor, Simone de Beauvoir Institute & Womens Studies

Dr. Natalie Kouri-Towe
Photographer: Serene Husni
Office: S-MU 401-3 
MU Annex,
2170 Bishop
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 5856


Natalie Kouri-Towe is an interdisciplinary feminist and sexuality studies scholar working on solidarity, kinship, and attachment in social movements and activist responses to war and gender/sexuality-based violence.

She has worked previously as a Lecturer in the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh (2017/18) and as a visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Thorneloe University at Laurentian in Sudbury, Ontario (2016/17).

Her research has been published in both academic and non-academic venues on topics related to solidarity, kinship, and attachment in social movements; queer activism; and masculinity in conditions of war in the Middle East. She is currently working in two new areas of research; the first examines responses to the "refugee crisis," and the second investigates sexuality pedagogies in the contemporary classroom. 

book manuscript (in progress), tentatively titled Solidarity at Risk, examines feminist and queer solidarity under neoliberalism. 


PhD Sociology of Education and the Collaborative Program in Women's and Gender Studies, University of Toronto
MA Communication Studies, McGill University
BA Women's Studies Honours and Humanistic Studies, McGill University

Research Interests

social movements
transnational feminism
gender-based violence
refugees and migration
affect studies
digital media
feminist pedagogy and curriculum


Feminist Media Studio

Feminist Researchers Against Borders Network

The Social Justice Centre

Awards and Grants


SSHRC Insight Grant 2020 Competition (Co-investigator)
Project Title: Triggering Education: Relational Readings of Trigger Warnings in the Canadian Post-Secondary Classroom
Team: Michelle Miller (PI), Hannah Dyer (co-applicant), Natalie Kouri-Towe (co-applicant), Julia Sinclair-Palm (collaborator)

SSHRC Connection Grant 2020 Competition (Co-applicant)
Project Title: Departures, Encounters, and Arrivals: Feminist Approaches to Migration and Mobility Justice Studies
Team: Gada Mahrouse (PI), Natalie Kouri-Towe (co-applicant)

SSHRC Insight Development Grant 2019 Competition (PI)
Project Title: Family and Kinship in the Refugee-Sponsor Relationship in Canada


Dean’s Award for Excellence in Academic Service 2020
Faculty of Arts and Science, Concordia University

Award for Academic Leadership in Sexuality Studies 2019
Sexuality Studies Association (SSA)

Teaching activities

Current Courses

SSDB 275: Introduction to Sexuality Research (Winter 2020, Winter 2021)
SSDB 492: Seminar in Advanced Topics in Sexuality I - Transnational Sexuality Studies (Winter 2020, Fall 2021)
SSDB 493/SSDB 425: Ethics in Community Engagement (Fall 2020, Fall 2021)
SSDB 220: Introduction to Theories of Sexuality (Not currently teaching)
WSDB 384: Queer Feminism (Not currently teaching)

Courses in Development

Sexuality and Migration

Research activities

Book Project

Solidarity at Risk (in progress) examines the friction of feminist and queer solidarity under neoliberalism and the attending risks placed on contemporary practices of transnational solidarity through the convergence of global capitalism, human rights discourses, and shifting ideologies of selfhood. I contend that we must reconsider how solidarity in the21st century is formulated in order to effectively understand the relationship between contemporary projects for social transformation and new practices of governance in an era shaped by globalization. The book traces the history of solidarity and its debates in transnational feminist theory and politics to consider how ruptures in social movements emerge temporally and ideologically across the late 20th and early 21st century. Turning to debates in feminism around the #MeToo movement, the book interrogates how sexuality and subjectivity have emerged as markers of feminist and queer activism and proposes a way forward beyond fragmentation for social movements organizing today.

New Research

Refugee Solidarities: Gender and Sexuality in Responses to the "War on Terror" investigates how narratives of survival in the face of war and the “refugee crisis” shape queer and feminist solidarities and kinship. Looking at the outcomes of solidarity activism, gender-based aid work, and refugee sponsorship in three geopolitical contexts (Canada, Lebanon and the EU), I am interested in how securitization, gender, and sexuality converge in the ideologies that shape and structure what post-conflict survival can look like in the “refugee crisis.” This new work considers the intersections between the geopolitical flows shaping refugee migration and the concepts, values, and ideologies shaping the actions and visioning of those who desire to support, sponsor and act in solidarity with refugees.

Project Timeline

In 2019, the first stage of this projected was funded through a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, to examine the role of gender, sexuality, family, and kinship in refugee-sponsor relationships in Canada

In 2017, I co-launched—with Anna Carastathis, Gada Mahrouse, and Leila Whitley—the Feminist Researchers Against Borders Network, an international network of feminist scholars that aims to build research and activist partnerships in the "refugee crisis."

For more info:

Research in Progress

Adolescent Masculinity and War in the Middle East is a three part series that examines how the adolescent masculinities of Arab and Muslim youth are deployed in discourses around the War on Terror and conflict in the Middle East. The first part of this series, published in 2017, examines the case of Omar Khadr.

Graduate Supervision

Supervision: I am taking on a limited number of graduate students under my supervision working in areas closely related to one of my current research projects.

Graduate Supervisory Committee: I am taking on a limited number of supervisory committee positions as second or third committee member for the coming academic year.

Areas of focus:
  • refugees and migration with a focus on gender, sexuality and Canada;
  • gender and sexuality in responses to war in the Middle East;
  • queer social movements and activism;
  • sexuality and kinship.
For inquiries, please email me:
  • a description of your research project and how your project fits within one of the areas of research focus outlined above;
  • a short explanation of what kind of role you'd like me to take on your committee;
  • the name and contact information of your primary supervisor;
  • a timeline of your graduate program.


Refereed Publications

Kouri-Towe, Natalie. 2020. Solidarity at a Time of Risk: Vulnerability and the Turn to Mutual AidTOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. 41: 190-198.

Carastathis, Anna, Natalie Kouri-Towe, Gada Mahrouse, and Leila Whitley. 2018. Introduction to special issue “Feminist Interventions in ‘Crisis’: Intersectionality, Refugees,and Migration.” Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees. 34(1): 3-15.

Kouri-Towe, Natalie. 2017. National (in)security and the shifting affective fields of terror in the case of Omar Khadr. NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies.

Kouri-Towe, Natalie. 2015. Textured Activism: Affect Theory and Transformational Politics in Transnational Queer Palestine-Solidarity Activism. Atlantis:Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice. 37(1): 23-34.

Edited Collections

Carastathis, Anna, Natalie Kouri-Towe, Gada Mahrouse, and Leila Whitley (eds). 2018. Feminist Interventions in ‘Crisis’: Intersectionality, Refugees, and Migration. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees. 34(1).

Book Reviews

Kouri-Towe, Natalie. 2016. Ethical Imperatives in Transnational Solidarity. TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. 35: 213-216.

    Public Writing

    Kouri-Towe, Natalie. 2020. “Uncanny Sexuality in the Playground of the (un)Real.” Published in conjunction with the exhibition “Tommy Bruce: Real Problems” shown at AC[2]: Albuquerque Contemporary Art Center & the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 6-16.

    Kouri-Towe, Natalie. 2016. Textured Activism: In-Between Liberation and Oppression. OpenDemocracy: Transformations. (December 27).

    Kouri-Towe, Natalie. 2016. Queer. Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle. Eds.Kelly Fritsch, Clare O’Connor, and AK Thompson. AK Press: 335-341. 

    Kouri-Towe, Natalie. 2013. Queer Apocalypse: Survivalism and Queer Life at the End. FUSE Magazine. 36.3 (June): 4-5.

    Kouri-Towe, Natalie. 2012. Trending Homonationalism. No More Potlucks. 19 (January-February).

    Artistic performances

    Performance, Women’s Studies Professor Tour Guide
    Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House
    Artists: Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue
    IceBox Project Space, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 16-27, 2019

    Performance & Talk, Queer Apocalypse
    With Artist: Atom Cianfrani
    Videofag, Toronto, Ontario, January 17, 2013

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