Welcome Dr. Simone Pfleger and Dr. Lana Whiskeyjack!

Dr Michelle Meagher - 14 July 2020

Friends and colleagues,

It's my distinct pleasure to announce that Dr. Simone Pfleger and Dr. Lana Whiskeyjack have joined the Department of Women's and Gender Studies. 

Dr. Simone Pfleger earned a PhD in 2018 from Washington University in St Louis’s Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. While a student at Washington University, Dr. Pfleger completed a Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She came to the U of A in 2017 as a Research Associate in the Wirth Institute and then joined the department of Women's and Gender Studies as a postdoctoral fellow in 2018. Her postdoctoral work expands upon her award-winning doctoral dissertation and explores the representation of heteronormative and neoliberal temporal structures in post-2000 German film. Her work on queer temporality, film and precarity has appeared in journals including Feminist German Studies and Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies. She is a co-author of Grenzenlos Deutsch: an Open-Access Curriculum for Beginning German, and co-editor with Carrie Smith of Transverse Disciplines: Working across and beyond Academic Communities, a volume in progress that uses the interdisciplinary field of “German Studies” as a way to examine the possibilities of unsettling disciplinary-based academic structures. Simone joins us as an Assistant Professor with a cross-appointment with the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, where she will teach German language and Culture. Welcome, Simone!

Dr. Lana Whiskeyjack is a 2017 graduate of the iyiniw pimâtisiwin kiskeyihtamowin doctoral program at University Blue Quills, which is a First Nations owned and operated university – the first of its kind in Canada. She is a multidisciplinary artist, scholar, and teacher with research and teaching expertise in Indigenous arts-based practices, community based research, iskwêwêwin sexual health, and Indigneous ethics. Dr. Whiskeyjack joins our department from the Faculty of Extension. In the upcoming year, she’ll teach in the MA program in Community Engagement and develop courses in WGS for our program. Dr Whiskeyjack is PI on a CIHR Indigenous Gender and Wellness Development Grant  for a project on Resiliency and Well being for two spirit youth and their families. She’s co-PI with Fay Fletcher on an KIAS Cluster Grant on Experiential Learning for Indigenous Knowledge Collaboration and she collaborates on an enormous Alberta Health Services project, also with Fay Fletcher on Metis Settlement Life Skills Research. Lana is author of nimiywêyihtên “I feel great”, published by Eaglespeaker Publishing in 2019, and co-author of articles in scholarly journals including American Journal of Community Psychology, Health Promotion International, and International Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect. A practicing artist, Lana is also the PI on an Edmonton Community Foundation Vital Signs Grant for a project called 13 Moons, and a related Edmonton Arts Council Grant for Wa-wih-isow, an exploration of 13 Moons. These are paintings based on Cree teachings of the 13 moons, a calendrical system in which each moon has a name and a teaching. Lana joins us as an Assistant Professor with a full appointment in WGS. Welcome, Lana!

Additionally, though Dr. Felice Lifshitz is not a new addition to the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, beginning July 1st, her appointment is now 100% housed in our unit. Trained as a historian with expertise in religious studies, Dr Lifshitz continues to build our thriving MA program in the position of Associate Chair (Graduate).

With these changes, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies is now a unit with 10 faculty members - what a change from twenty years ago!