Professor Listing

meagher-photo

Michelle Meagher, PhD, MA, BA

Associate Professor, Associate Chair Undergraduate, Honors Advisor

Arts

Women's & Gender Studies

About Me

I hold a BA in Women's Studies (University of Alberta), an MA in Interdisciplinary Humanities on the Body and Representation (University of Reading, UK), and a PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason University, Virginia, USA. Upon graduating from GMU in 2005, I taught in the departments of Women's Studies and Cultural Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario for two years. In 2007, I returned to my home town to take up a position of Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at the U of A. When I'm not teaching or advising students, I'm in my garden or dreaming about it. 



Research

My research focuses on feminist art and feminist art history with particular emphasis on the late twentieth century North American context. 

“Art, Feminism, and the Periodical Press” considers the ways that feminist art was produced, defined, and circulated by periodical communities of the late 1970s and through the 1980s in the U.S. context. I'm centrally interested in the New York based feminist periodical Heresies, which was published by a feminist collective between 1977 and 1992. This project is supported by a four year (2014-2018), $104,000 SSHRC Insight grant. Research emerging from this project has appeared in Feminist Media Studies (2014), and is forthcoming in Feminist Theory in an essay co-authored with WGS Honors graduate Roxanne Runyon. Find out more about this project and my research team here

In addition to research directed at Heresies, this research program has included organizing Publishing Feminisms, a symposium on feminist periodicals and feminist print culture to be held at the Banff Centre for the Arts in May 2015, curatorial work with artist-scholar Roewan Crowe, and editorial work on a special issue of American Periodicals on feminist periodical publishing. 

I have further research interests in body studies; feminist cultural studies; ageing and art; feminist generational politics; and the feminist seventies. 



Teaching

Some of the courses that I am regularly scheduled to teach are: 

  • WGS 101: Representations of Girls and Women
  • WGS 220: Feminism and Popular Culture
  • WGS 301: History of Feminist Thought

Recent fourth year and graduate seminars include: 

  • Writing Social Change (Feminist Print Culture Studies)
  • Art and Feminism: Theory, Practice, Politics
  • Body Politics

In recent years, I've supervised undergraduate reading courses and honors theses on feminist crip studies and histories of feminisms of color. 

In Winter 2019, I will teach a combined undergraduate and graduate section of GSJ 506:Feminist Cultural Studies and WGS 498 with the title "Making Feminist Media." In this class, we will consider the politics and practices of feminist cultural production with an emphasis on feminist print culture and publishing. Beginning with an examination of turn-of-the-century suffrage publications like the WSPU’s Votes for Women, and turning to the late 1960s to early 1970s rise of the "women in print" movement in North America, which was marked by an explosion of feminist publications (Spare Rib, Heresies) and publishers (Virago Press), this course will consider the often complex role that print culture played and continues to play in developing as well as publicizing feminist activisms and actions. Insofar as the class is shaped by the framework of feminist cultural studies, our emphasis will be on examining how texts are produced, circulated, and consumed in both material and digital contexts. Key questions include: How does feminist publishing produce feminist communities and/or feminist counterpublics? What role have feminist publishing practices - and the recent emergence of feminist print culture studies - played in the (re)narration of feminist histories? How have older circuits that relied on bookstores, marks on paper, woman-only print shops, feminist-friendly distributors, and world-of-mouth been replaced or displaced by virtual circuits?

In Winter 2018, I taught a combined undergraduate and graduate section of GSJ 598 and WGS 498 titled "Art, Activism, and Social Justice." The central goal of this class was to understand the ways that social justice movements affiliated with recent North American feminisms have used art to imagine new futures, to critique and challenge existing socio-political systems, and to transform the public sphere.  Main topics that we will cover include: Feminist Art, Art in Public, Feminist Art Education, Institutional Critique, Art & Obscenity, Art & Environmentalism, Digital Feminisms, Art in Urban Spaces, Fibre Feminism, Feminist Galleries