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Dr. Natalie Kouri-Towe

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


Dr. Natalie Kouri-Towe
A photo of Natalie Kouri-Towe against a wood fence. She has short hair and is wearing glasses, earrings, a yellow coat and dark shirt.
Photographer: Serene Husni

Bio

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. More recently, she has been working in the area of gender and sexuality pedagogies.

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. 

Her 
book manuscript (in progress), tentatively titled Solidarity at Risk, examines feminist and queer solidarity under neoliberalism. She is also editing a book on gender and sexuality pedagogies.

Education

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

gender
race
sexuality
solidarity
social movements
transnational feminism
masculinities
securitization
war
gender-based violence
refugees and migration
affect studies
digital media
gender and sexuality pedagogy and curriculum

Affiliations

Feminist Media Studio
https://feministmediastudio.ca

Feminist Researchers Against Borders Network

The Social Justice Centre

Awards and Grants

Grants

FRQSC Research Support for New Academics 2021 Competition (PI)
           Soutien à la recherche pour la relève professorale
Project Title: Éducation « difficile » : avertissements de contenu dans les études supérieures au Québec et au Canada

SSHRC Connection Grant 2021 Competition (PI)
Project Title: Teaching in the 21st Century: Pedagogy and Curriculum from the Gender and Sexuality Studies Classroom
Ranked: 1st sextile

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

Awards

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, 2021, 2022)
SSDB 493/SSDB 425: Ethics in Community Engagement (Fall 2020, Fall 2021)
SSDB 492: Seminar in Advanced Topics in Sexuality I - Transnational Sexuality Studies (Winter 2020)
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 Projects

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.


Teaching in Times of Conflict: Reflections on Pedagogy and Curriculum from the Gender and Sexuality Studies Classroom (in progress) is an edited book featuring leading gender and sexuality scholars from across Canada. The book invites readers across disciplines into the conversations happening within our field's classrooms on topics ranging from foundational learning, to applied learning, tackling racism within our courses, and tackling requests for trigger warnings. 

New Research

Trigger and Content Warnings in Higher Education

Working with co-investigators Michelle Miller (PI, OCAD University), Hannah Dyer (co-investigator, Brock University) and Julia Sinclair-Palm (collaborator, Carleton University) on an English national study on trigger warnings in Canadian post-secondary institutions, I am also the PI on a parallel French study in collaboration with Joëlle Rouleau (collaborator, Université de Montréal).

Project Timeline

SSHRC Insight Grant - 2020-2023

Year 1: 2020-2021 national online survey on trigger and content warnings in English-speaking post-secondary education institutions in Canada

Year 2: 2021-2022 qualitative interviews

Year 3: 2022-2023 Feminist Participatory Research Action workshops with participants for knowledge mobilization; publishing and presenting.

FRQSC New Researcher Grant - 2021-2024

Year 1: 2021-2022 national online survey on trigger and content warnings in French-speaking post-secondary education institutions in Quebec and Canada

Year 2: 2022-2023 Feminist Participatory Research Action workshops with participants for knowledge mobilization

Year 3: 2023-2024 Publishing 


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

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

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: https://frabnet.wordpress.com/

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.


Publications

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). https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/natalie-kouri-towe/textured-activism-in-between-liberation-and-oppression

    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). http://nomorepotlucks.org/site/trending-homonationalism.


    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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