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 "Syrian 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.
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
refugees and migration
gender and sexuality pedagogy and curriculum
The Social Justice Centre
Awards and 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
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)
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 feminist activism and social movements, such as 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.
Reading the Room: Lessons 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
Kouri-Towe, Natalie. 2016. Ethical Imperatives in Transnational Solidarity. TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. 35: 213-216.
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
Teaching Guides and Resources
Kouri-Towe, Natalie and Myloe Martel-Perry. 2021. Better Practices in the Sexuality Classroom: Teaching Resources and Guides for Sustainable and Equitable Learning.
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