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Accolades in Research

Research is one of our top strengths.

LA&PS is the proud home of internationally recognized researchers. Our Faculty’s strength lies in the diversity and range of our researchers’ expertise, specifically in the interdisciplinary social sciences, liberal arts, humanities and professional studies. The Faculty’s commitment to research excellence is reinforced by the continued success of our faculty members in external research funding competitions, and respected national – as well as international – awards and recognitions.

Our faculty are thought leaders undertaking ground-breaking research around the most relevant issues facing humanity today – COVID-19, anti-Black racism, Indigenous research, and Disaster & Emergency Management – with an international focus. Researchers in LA&PS work within and across the University, and with colleagues in more than 80 countries around the world to examine and discover, critique and create.  

York University receives largest-ever research funding grant from CFREF

Banner of Connected Minds project

York University, in partnership with Queen’s University, has been awarded a monumental grant of nearly $105.7 million from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). The funding from the Government of Canada is the largest single federal grant ever awarded to York and is in support of Connected Minds: Neural and Machine Systems for a Healthy, Just Society. This historic CFREF grant awards York University with $82.8 million and $22.8 million to Queen’s University.

Research in Review

Funding & Research Support

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$0 mil+

in new external research funding
(2023)

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$0 mil+

in new Tri-council funding
(2023)

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$8.5 mil+

in new SSHRC funding
(2022-23) 

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$7 mil+

Funding for new research partnerships
(2022-23) 

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0

New hires in 2022-2023

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0%

Success rate in SSHRC Partnership Programs

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61%

Success rate in early stage research

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Events and Knowledge Mobilization projects supported

Prestigious Awards & Accolades

Investing in New Generation of Scholars

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Postdoctoral Fellowships

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Graduate degrees completed (MA & PhD)

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Graduate Tri-Council scholarships

Our Experts in the Media

Preventing the spread of wildfires in Alberta

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Eric Kennedy (Disaster and Emergency Management and college head) was on CTV Your Morning.

Detransition needs further understanding, not controversy

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“Gender care researchers, clinicians, and service developers have an obligation to understand these experiences and to develop tailored detransition related health and social care services as one part of comprehensive gender care. To address the current knowledge gaps, we weave together existing literature about those who have discontinued or reversed a gender transition and offer guidance on how to better design future research studies and care” Professor Kinnon MacKinnon states.  

Canada’s inaugural National Day Against Gun Violence promotes prevention and healing

“The inaugural National Day Against Gun Violence in Canada can be considered as a form of disaster mitigation. In general, disaster mitigation includes a wide variety of measures taken before a disastrous event occurs. In this case, mitigation will not eliminate gun violence, but it can act to reduce it, prevent it from occurring, or help in better preparing for its aftermath”Professor Jack L. Rozdilsky discusses. 

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Trolling and doxxing: Graduate students sharing their research online speak out about hate

“Media relations and knowledge-mobilization offices must develop clear protocols for protecting community members and supporting them in the wake of encountering hatred online. It is equally essential that these policies are readily available and easy to locate for scholars in distress,” PhD Candidates Alex Borkowski, Marion Tempest Grant, and Professor Natalie Coulter state.  

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Distinguished Researchers

Our faculty members are especially well-known for their impressive array of scholarly outputs, which have influenced public policy and debate, enriched society and culture, inspired awe – and utterly transformed ways of thinking. Touching on many areas of study within the liberal arts and professional fields, our researchers can draw from their diversity of scholarship, extensive network and research centres to produce work that hits on the most relevant issues of the day.

Here are some of our faculty who have won accolades for their high-calibre research.


Order of Canada

Presented by the Governor General or reigning monarch, the second-highest honour one can be given in Canada awards people who have made extraordinary contributions to the country and enriched the lives of others.

Susan Swan Professor Emerita  
Swan was appointed for her contributions to Canadian literature and culture, and for her mentorship of the next generation of writers. Professor Swan is a cofounder of The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction and has been an awards finalist for numerous Canadian literary prizes. Swan’s archives span her life as a novelist and Humanities professor and are available as fonds in the York University archives

Hédi Bouraoui, Department of French Studies
Professor Bouraoui was formally invested as a member of the Order of Canada during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in 2019, receiving recognition for his tremendous body of work and tireless advocacy for French-language literature. He is the former Chair of French Studies, and has authored 20 books of poetry, 15 novels, and several volumes of literary criticism throughout his career.

2019 AWARD WINNER Hédi Bouraoui

Susan McGrath, School of Social Work
Professor McGrath was formally invested as a member of the Order of Canada in 2015 for her contributions to research and policy on refugee rights and for fostering collaboration among scholars in her field.

A leading advocate for marginalized people, McGrath has ardently defended human dignity for over four decades. Her early training as a social worker prompted what would become a lifelong concern for displaced persons abroad. As a professor at York University, she directed the Centre for Refugee Studies and led its transformation into one of the world’s premier locations for forced migration studies. Notable for forging links between the policy and research communities, she has always sought to use her academic work to bring about tangible improvements in the lives of those in need.

Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada

Selected by their peers as representing the best in their fields, these Canadian scholars, artists and scientists are recognized as leaders who have had a remarkable impact on the arts, humanities and sciences.

YearFacultyDepartment
2023Sara HorowitzHumanities;
Languages, Literatures
& Linguistics
2023Joshua FogelHistory
2021Michele JohnsonHistory
2020Molly Ladd-TaylorHistory
2020William WickenHistory
2019Jonathan EdmondsonHistory
2018Wenona GilesAnthropology
2018Joan JudgeHistory
2017Lesley A. JacobsSocial Science
2017David McNabEquity Studies
2017Marcel MartelHistory
2015Leah VoskoPolitical Science
2014Priscila UppalEnglish
2013Adrian ShubertHistory
2011Pat ArmstrongSociology
2011Isabella BakkerPolitical Science
2011Bernard LightmanHumanities
2010Sheila EmbletonLanguages, Literatures
& Linguistics
2003Stephen GillPolitical Science
1989Paul E. LovejoyHistory

YearFacultyDepartment
2017Richard C. HoffmanHistory
2013Bettina BradburyHistory and Gender,
Sexuality & Women's Studies
2005Lorraine CodePhilosophy
2004John SaulPolitical Science
1999Michael HerrenHumanities
1997Hédi BouraouiFrench Studies
1995Bryan MassumGeography
1994Leo PanitchPolitical Science
1993Irving M. AbellaHistory
1993Joseph AgassiPhilosophy
1992Robert CoxPolitical Science
1989James GibsonGeography
1989Evelyn KallenAnthropology
1989Frances HenryAnthropology
1988Michael KaterHistory
1985John O'NeillSociology
1982Jack GranatsteinHistory
1982John WarkentinGeography
1981Jerome Ch'enHistory
1976John BosherHistory

Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

To recognize the exceptional achievements of emerging scholars, artists and scientists, the Royal Society elects those to its college who have begun demonstrating this excellence within 15 years of having completed their post-doctoral program or its equivalent.

Deanne Williams, Department of English
Professor Williams specializes in medieval and Renaissance literatures. She established her reputation early with her prize-winning The French Fetish from Chaucer to Shakespeare (2004), which considers the impact of the Norman Conquest on the culture of medieval and Renaissance England by examining a variety of literary representations of, and responses to, France and "the French".

Rachel Koopmans, Department of History
Professor Koopmans has made major contributions to the fields of history, literature, manuscript studies, and art history. Author of the influential and award-winning Wonderful to Relate: Miracle Stories and Miracle Collecting in High Medieval England (2011), she has now extended her reach into the specialist area of medieval stained glass, and is engaged in a revolutionary study of the famous "miracle windows" at Canterbury Cathedral devoted to Thomas Becket.

Kristin Andrews, Department of Philosophy
Professor Andrews has been instrumental in developing the field of philosophy of animal minds. Her interdisciplinary work in the philosophy of psychology demonstrates evolutionary continuity between human and other animals in ways that challenge human uniqueness claims based on supposedly human-unique cognitive capacities. This prize-winning research has received international attention among scholars and in the popular press, and has practical policy consequences about how we should treat other species.

Fuyuki Kurasawa, Department of Sociology
Professor Kurasawa has contributed substantially to research on cross-cultural analysis, human rights and humanitarian crises, and the impact of new technologies on public understanding of global problems. The recipient of several national and international distinctions, he is an inaugural York Research Chair in Global Digital Citizenship and a sought-after bilingual media analyst.

Canada Research Chairs

Attracting and retaining some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds, this program bestows this title and award on deserving Canadian university research professors who pursue knowledge and research excellence.

Rosemary Coombe, Department of Anthropology
Professor Coombe holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Law, Communication and Culture at York University, where she teaches in Anthropology, the York & Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture, and the Graduate Programme in Socio-Legal Studies. Coombe's work addresses the cultural, political, and social implications of intellectual and cultural property laws in contexts shaped by neoliberal governmentalities and human rights norms. She is especially interested in international indigenous rights, cultural heritage practice, and postcolonial issues. Prior to being awarded one of the country's first Canada Research Chairs she was Full Professor of Law at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. She holds a J.S.D. from Stanford University with a Minor in Anthropology and publishes widely in anthropology and political and legal theory.

Christina Sharpe, Department of Humanities
Christina Sharpe, Professor in the Department of Humanities, has been awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities. As such, Sharpe will create a fulsome and vibrant research hub, rich with innovative research creation practices and projects. The program will convene the Black Still Life Research Group as a new model of study bringing together established and emerging Black Studies scholars, graduate students, and visual and performing artists whose work investigates the myriad ways Black life is made and lived. Through collaborative, theoretical and community-based research methods, the program will explore interdisciplinary ways of knowing and acting to generate scholarly and creative outcomes in Black Studies knowledges.

Leah Vosko, Department of Politics
Leah F. Vosko is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Professor and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Gender & Work at York University. Her research includes (1) the development of an Employment Standards Database, offering a platform for comparative research on employment standards; (2) the creation of the Canada Labour Code Data Analysis Infrastructure, transforming a large-scale administrative database that the Government of Canada's Labour Program maintains into a research tool yielding new insights into labour standards compliance across the country; and (3) an investigation identifying avenues for realizing labour market membership among workers labouring transnationally.

Alan Corbiere, Department of History
Alan Corbiere is an Assistant Professor in the History Department, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous History of North America. There has been an increase in history publications adopting an “Indigenous perspective” based upon colonial documents. Yet many Anishinaabe elders state that their story is still not being fully told because their oral traditions and languages are not the main source. Anishinaabe conceptualizations of time, history, literacy and discourse have not been fully analyzed nor incorporated. Corbiere proposes to “re-right” and “re-write” Indigenous history by privileging oral traditions, Anishinaabemowin and material culture (museum collections) while re-interpreting colonial records, weaving these sources together to the purpose of language/cultural/knowledge revitalization.

Christopher Kyriakides, Department of Sociology
Christopher Kyriakides, Department of Sociology, is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Socially Engaged Research in Race and Racialization. Kyriakides' 'Racialized Reception Contexts' research program focuses on configurations of racialization in relation to the meaning of ‘East/West’, ‘South/North’ and articulations of racism and nationalism in the reception of refugees in Europe, North America and the Middle East. His research is guided by the understanding that racialization, particularly in light of the post-9/11 ‘war on terror,’ works with the historical conditions of racism specific to a given national formation, but in a dynamic global context. The initial five-country analysis, including Canada, the United States, Italy, Greece and Jordan, will examine the extent to which policy instruments and media discourses related to the ‘global refugee crisis’ negatively impact racialized communities in each reception context.

Jennifer Pybus, Department of Politics
Jennifer Pybus, Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics, has been awarded a Tier 2 CRC in Data, Democracy and AI. Her globally recognized, interdisciplinary research intersects digital and algorithmic cultures and explores the capture and processing of personal data. Her work focuses on the political economy of social media platforms, display ad economies, and the rise of third parties embedded in the mobile ecosystem which are facilitating algorithmic profiling, monetisation, polarization and bias. Her research contributes to an emerging field, mapping out datafication, a process that is rendering our social, cultural and political lives into productive data for machine learning and algorithmic decision-making. Pybus has cultivated strong European links with public organizations and will use her chair to engage Canadians with innovative tools, resources and pedagogy for increasing critical data literacy and democratic debate about artificial intelligence.

Regina Rini, Department of Philosophy
Regina Rini is a York University Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy, and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition. Rini’s research focuses on how people in democratic societies justify their social beliefs to one another. Her work analyzes research from the social sciences, especially cognitive science and sociology, to draw conclusions about how public debate currently works. She also investigates philosophical questions about what it means to improve public debate. How can we take deep moral and political differences seriously while remaining respectful in a diverse society? Rini's central answer is a connection between public discourse and personal moral agency. She argues that we cannot understand our individual moral and political decisions without also understanding how we relate to those of others.

Ethel Tungohan, Department of Politics
Ethel Tungohan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics, and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Canadian Migration Policy, Impacts and Activism. Tungohan will undertake an analysis of discourses that have underpinned the Canadian government’s policies towards temporary foreign workers from 1973 until 2017 and the nature of these policies and their effects on different groups of temporary foreign workers. She will also examine the range of migrant workers’ social movement activities that have emerged as a response, in particular, to anti-migrant discourses and policies.

LA&PS Postdoctoral Fellows

The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) has introduced an inaugural postdoctoral fellowship program. Fellows receive a funded, one-year postdoctoral research position to conduct their proposed research project under the guidance of a faculty supervisor.

With the support of the Dean’s Office and LA&PS Research Office, these fellowships give researchers the opportunity to further pursue their academic interests with experts in the field and enhance the outstanding research being done in LA&PS.

Tariq Habibyar
Supervisor: Professor Andrea Emberly, Humanities 
Project Tittle: “Afghan Migrant Youth in Toronto: Refugees’ Musical Identity as the Heart of the Story of New Canadians” 

Alexandra Mourgou
Supervisor: Professor Athanasios Gekas, History  
Project Tittle: “Musical Geographies and the Greek Canadian Experience in Toronto. Places, Cultures, & Diasporic Identities” 

Shireen Chang
Supervisor: Professor Kristin Andrews, Philosophy 
Project Title: “Symbolic Communication in Animals: How Parrots Learn to Speak and Originate Meaning”. 

Anthony Sangiuliano
Supervisor: Professor Michael Guidice, Philosophy 
Project Tittle: “The Philosophical Foundations of Social Justice Tort Law: Private Obligations, Public Values, and the Separation of Powers”. 

Guggenheim Fellowship

Supporting exceptional creativity in the arts, these awards are given to scholars who have demonstrated outstanding ability. Applicants undergo a rigorous selection process, screened by experts in their own fields and former Guggenheim Fellows.

Joan Judge, Department of History
Joan Judge is among 184 artists, writers, scholars and scientists in Canada and the United States awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Professor Judge was recognized for her work in East Asian Studies. Her research has focused on the materiality of ideas, and on the interpenetration of Chinese and Western epistemologies of nation, gender and the body from the turn of the 20th century. Her current book-length research project, "China’s Mundane Revolution: Cheap Print, Vernacular Knowledge, and Common Reading in the Long Republic, 1894-1955," asserts the historical value of intellectual detritus. A descent into an increasingly lowly register of texts, it asks what crude print editions, their seemingly random assemblages of knowledge, and their inquiring readers can teach us about the vagaries – and failures – of China’s iconic 20th century revolutions.

Michael Helm, Department of English
Professor Helm was awarded with a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019 for his exceptional achievements in the field of fiction, and was one of two York professors chosen to receive the accolade from a group of close to 3,000 applicants during the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation's 95th competition. He is the author of four novels - all of which were national or international award finalists - as well as personal essay and writing on fiction, poetry, and visual arts. His work has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Tin HouseLiterary PubThe Millions, and Brick, where he serves as an editor.

York President's Research Excellence Awards

These awards celebrate established full-time faculty members who are select in their fields, and have made significant contributions to both advancing York University’s international reputation for research excellence and its community’s intellectual life.

Julia Creet, Department of English
President's Research Impact Award
Professor Creet was selected for this award as a reflection of her research on digital privacy, data mining, genealogy, and memory. She has produced both traditional research outputs and edited essay collection, as well as innovative contributions including a workshop on genealogy and genetics, and a documentary film titled, "Datamining the Deceased: Ancestry and the Business of Family."

Deanne Williams, Department of English
President's Research Excellence Award
Professor Williams was selected for this award as a reflection for her accomplishments in medieval and Shakespeare studies. She is the author of several groundbreaking monographs that have had a notable impact in these fields, and is a strong contributor to York University's intellectual life as well - serving on a number of committees in the Department of English and proving students with experiential learning opportunities.

Marcello Musto, Department of Sociology
President's Emerging Research Leadership Award
Professor Musto was selected for this award as a reflection of his scholarly publications. He is acknowledged globally as one of the key authors who has made very significant contributions to the revival of Marx studies. In particular, he has reconstructed the stages of Marx’s critique of capitalism in light of the new historical-critical edition of his writings. Musto has an impressive publication record, authoring four and editing seven books, in addition to many articles and book chapters, since he moved into the tenure stream ago.

York Distinguished Research Professors

Demonstrating scholarly achievements, these individuals are recognized for their excellence in research, extensive publication and continuing contributions to their field. Recipients have an international reputation in their area of study.

YearFacultyDepartment
2018Bernard LightmanHumanities
2017Jonathan EdmondsonHistory
2014Isabella BakkerPolitics
2011Nicholas RogersHistory
2010Patricia ArmstrongSociology
2009Sheila EmbletonLanguages, Literatures
& Linguistics
2005Stephen GillPolitics
1997Paul E. LovejoyHistory

YearFacultyDepartment
2005Stuart ShankerPsychology
2001H. Vivian NellesHistory
2001Reginald WhitakerPolitical Science
2000James CarleyEnglish
1999Michael HerrenHumanities
1999Leo PanitchPolitical Science
1998Lorraine CodePhilosophy
1994Jack GranatsteinHistory
1993Ian JarviePhilosophy
1992Michael KaterHistory
1992Gareth MorganAdministrative Studies
1989John BosherHistory
1984Jerome C ChenHistory
1983John O’NeillSociology

York Research Chairs

Building on the world-renowned research being done at York University, these competitive appointments support and recognize excellence in research and scholarship in all areas and disciplines, as well as research leadership.

Jimmy Huang 

Huang’s research as a YRC will aim to overcome the limitations of the existing information retrieval (IR) methods for web search and develop a new retrieval paradigm called task-aware and context-sensitive information search for big data. This approach, similar to ChatGPT or GoogleBard, will leverage IR techniques to offer an interactive and dynamic search experience. The program’s research results are expected to provide a deeper understanding of user information needs and generate novel techniques and tools. 

Jacob Beck 

Jacob Beck has received a Tier 2 York Research Chair in Philosophy of Visual Perception. Beck is an associate professor of philosophy in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and is also a member of the Cognitive Science Program, the Centre for Vision Research and the Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) program. Appointed as a Tier II Chair, he has research interests that include the study of mental representation and consciousness from an empirically informed philosophical perspective. Most of his current research centres on three issues: the format of mental representation, the perception–cognition boundary, and how consciousness and representation interrelate. 

Andrea Emberly 

As a YRC, Emberly will take a community-led approach to the study of children’s musical cultures that explores issues around sustaining endangered musical traditions by emphasizing the connection between music and wellbeing. The research program will focus on child-led and intergenerational collaborations that amplify the voices of equity-seeking children and young people who tell their own stories, in their own voices. The work will explore how children and young people are active social agents who locate and activate unique and meaningful pathways to sustain, change and transform musical traditions. 

Denielle Elliott 

Elliott’s work as YRC will explore how ethnographic experiments and transdisciplinary collaborations between arts, neuroscience and medical anthropology can contribute to a fuller understanding of conceptions of self, brain trauma and mental health. Her research program involves a multidisciplinary team that will explore the embodied experiences of people living with brain trauma and brain trauma knowledge-making practices in the clinic and laboratory, as well as their convergences. The research results will increase understandings of the effects of brain trauma, facilitate transdisciplinary collaborations between the arts, science and humanities and highlight how uniquely valuable ethnographic methods are to understanding urgent health priorities. 

Cary Wu 

Wu’s YRC program will work to establish a transdisciplinary political sociology of health approach to investigate health inequalities and provide greater understanding of what forces maintain, increase and reduce health inequalities. The research includes theoretical and empirical illustrations that will focus on trust – the belief in the reliability of others and institutions. The program will seek to energize the field of political sociology by introducing a much-needed new research direction that focuses on trust and will advance a unifying theory of trust to explain health inequalities. 

LA&PS Research Awards

These awards recognize Liberal Arts & Professional Studies faculty members’ excellent research and the impact that work has on academic and social communities, as well as their commitment to engaging York University students.

Natalie Coulter, Department of Communication & Media Studies 
Established Researcher 

Natalie Coulter is an Associate Professor in Communication and Media Studies and Director of the Institute for Digital Literacies (IRDL) at York University, Canada. She is co-author of Media and Communication in Canada (9th ed) and co-editor of Youth Mediations and Affective Relations (2019) and author of Tweening the Girl (2014) She is a founding member of the Girls’ Studies Research Network (GSRN) at York University, and the Association for Research on the Cultures of Young People (ARCYP). 

Carlo Fanelli, Department of Social Science 
Established Researcher (Honourable Mention) 

Carlo Fanelli’s current work revolves around two major projects. The first explores how urban austerity has impacted public services and labour-management relations in Canadian cities and how these experiences differ and/or share parallels with international examples. The second, led by Principal Investigator Bryan Evans (Ryerson University), explores how Canadian and international living wage movements have responded to low-waged and precarious work amid the erosion of social welfare nets and the widening of inequality across diverse social groups. I am also conducting work on the ‘uberization’ of the charter fishing industry on Lake Ontario, including the work-life implications this has had on operators and potential risks this poses for consumers and fisheries. I am also undertaking studies in the areas of unpaid internships and the nonprofit sector. I am happy to supervise student research in these areas and others related to work and labour studies more broadly. Since 2009, I have also been editor-in-chief of Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research published by Athabasca University Press. 

Cary Wu, Department of Sociology 
Emerging Researcher 

Cary Wu (PhD, UBC) is an assistant professor of sociology at York University. His research focuses on political culture, race and ethnicity, and health inequality. He has published widely on these topics and often shares his research with the public via national and international TV, radio, and newspaper forums including NPR, CBC, CTV, Washington Post, Toronto Star, Maclean’s, and The Economist. He is currently working on a five-year (2022-2026) SSHRC Insight Grant research project to develop a political sociology of health (PSH) to study social and political trust as essential determinants of health. 

Abigail Shabtay, Department of Humanities 
Emerging Researcher (Honorable Mention) 

Dr. Abigail Shabtay is an Assistant Professor in the Children, Childhood, and Youth program in the Department of Humanities. She is also appointed to the graduate programs in Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies, Education, Communication and Culture, and Humanities. Dr. Shabtay has received awards for excellence in teaching and research in her field, including the LA&PS Dean's Award for Distinction in Research (2022-2023), the Humanities Award for Teaching Excellence (2020-2021), the York Student Accessibility Award (2020-2021), and the Ada Slaight Drama-in-Education Research Award (2018-2019). Dr. Shabtay’s research focuses on children’s rights, social justice, child-centred research methodologies, experiential pedagogies, theatre with children and youth, youth activism, and drama-based participatory action research. She is currently the Principal Investigator for multiple SSHRC-funded projects related to children, youth, and the performing arts. She has served on organizing committees for eight academic conferences in her field and is the Chair of the annual "Children, Youth and Performance Conference".