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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.  

LA&PS Research at a Glance

Over $8 million

In total research funding (2019-20)

Over $3.5 million

In SSHRC funding (2019-20)

Over $1 million

In CIHR funding (2019-20)


In NSERC funding (2019-20)


Awarded research projects in 2019-20 academic year


Canada Research Chairs


Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada


Full-time faculty

Our Experts in the Media

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A national strategy which addresses provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructures as basic as affordable housing and accessible public transit is needed to better support Canada’s older population, suggests Professor Pat Armstrong, a leading expert in long-term care.

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Federal election 2021: More supply won’t solve Canada’s housing affordability crisis


Promises to build more homes is not a meaningful solution to Canada’s housing affordability crisis, notes Joel Roberts Social & Political Thought PhD candidate: "High house prices are not due to supply shortages."

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Ugly Anti-Masker Protests Plague Canadian Election

It’s unsurprising that the anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown protesters are targeting Justin Trudeau’s events, notes Professor Cary Wu, as political ideology is the single best predictor of pandemic behaviours, such as mask wearing.

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Jagmeet Singh says ending for-profit long-term care will be ‘less costly.’ Why it’s not necessarily that simple

While government funding helps non-profit operators build capital, it doesn't necessary benefit taxpayers explains Professor Pat Armstrong: “We are paying for a building that then they own in the end.”

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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.

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

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.

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

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, English

Rachel Koopmans, History

Kristin Andrews, Philosophy
Fuyuki Kurasawa, Sociology

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 Combe
Coombe's work focuses on the global intersection of intellectual property, cultural heritage and human rights with an emphasis on indigenous peoples and sustainable development.

Leah Vosko
Vosko conducts research on labour market insecurity in Canada and internationally with attention to social relations of gender and citizenship. Her current work focuses on employment standards enforcement and access to labour rights and protections among temporary migrant workers. She is director of the Gender and Work Database, the Comparative Perspectives on Precarious Employment Database, and the Employment Standards Database.

Christopher Kyriakides
Kyriakides' “Racialized Reception Contexts” research program focuses on configurations of racialization in relation to the meaning of East/West, South/North and the articulations of racism and nationalism in the reception of refugees in Europe, North America and the Middle East. The initial five-country analysis of Canada, the United States, Italy, Greece and Jordan will examine the extent to which policy instruments and media discourse related to the global refugee crisis negatively impacts racialized communities in each reception context.

Ethel Tungohan
Tungohan analyzes 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 also examines the range of migrant workers’ social movement activities that have emerged as a response, in particular, to anti-migrant discourses and policies.

Regina Rini
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 in a diverse society, exploring connections between public discourse and personal moral agency.

Trudeau Fellows

Acting as exceptional public educators, professors and intellectual guides, these esteemed individuals empower doctoral scholars in the area of the sciences to become the engaged leaders of the future. 

Haideh Moghissi, Professor Emerita of Equity Studies, received the Trudeau Fellowship in 2011 for her work as a leading international scholar of gender, women and Islam. Born and raised in Iran, she was a founder of the Iranian National Union of Women. Her body of research has been consistently informed by her commitment to meaningful, sustainable change and to social justice and gender democracy in the Middle East. She has led several international collaborative research projects on the interacting elements that define the increasing tensions between self-identified Muslim migrants and their new countries.

Political scientist, York Research Chair and Distinguished Research Professor Isabella Bakker received York University’s first Trudeau Fellowship in 2009 for her work in feminist and critical political economy. Her research addresses the effects macroeconomic policies have on equitable, socially just and sustainable development, as well as on human rights. Her work connects fundamental economic policies and forces to the economics of daily life to show how people and communities reproduce and sustain themselves in an increasingly privatized capitalist global economy.

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.

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.

Killam Research Fellowships

Awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Killam Fellowships support outstanding scholars in conducting two years of groundbreaking research in the humanities, social and natural sciences, engineering and health sciences.

English Professor Deanne Williams was awarded a 2018 Killam Research Fellowship by the Canada Council for the Arts, to undertake the first ever study devoted to the history of the girl actor from the Middle Ages to the English Revolution.

History Professor Adrian Shubert was awarded a 2015 Killam Research Fellowship by the Canada Council for the Arts for his research on Baldomero Espartero, a Spaniard who went from poverty and obscurity to being offered the Spanish throne. Shubert was the first York Professor in almost a decade to win a Killam Research Fellowship.

SSHRC Impact Awards

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, or SSHRC, presents these awards in order to outstanding researchers in order to celebrate their achievements, training, and outreach activities, recognizing the role post-secondary institutions play in promoting research knowledge.

Department of Politics professor Leah Vosko was recognized for excellence in research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and was the recipient of their prestigious Impact Award (Insight Category) in 2019. She is an internationally renowned social scientist. Having overseen numerous path-breaking research projects, her contributions to scholarly knowledge, networks, and learning tools have made lasting impacts within academe. She is the author of numerous books, articles, chapters, and technical reports, in addition to several edited scholarly volumes.

Department of Social Science professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé was recognized for excellence in research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in 2018. Lipsig-Mummé is the recipient of the SSHRC’s prestigious Impact Award (Partnership Category). She is principal investigator of the “Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change” project, which brings together 56 individual researchers and 25 partner organizations and unions in seven countries. Its groundbreaking work has been recognized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

School of Social Work professor Susan McGrath was recognized for excellence in research with the Social Science & Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Impact Award in 2015. McGrath’s innovative work in leading the Refugee Research Network has resulted in a successful research partnership that works to improve the well-being of refugee and forced migrants. McGrath received the Partnership Award, which is given to a partnership that, through mutual cooperation and shared intellectual leadership and resources, has demonstrated impact and influence both within and beyond the social sciences and humanities.

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.

2018Bernard LightmanHumanities
2017Jonathan EdmondsonHistory
2014Isabella BakkerPolitical Science
2011Nicholas RogersHistory
2010Patricia ArmstrongSociology
2009Sheila EmbletonLanguages, Literatures
& Linguistics
2006Stephen GillPolitical Science
1997Paul E. LovejoyHistory

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.

Uzo Anucha, School of Social Work, is a Tier 2 York Research Chair in Youth and Contexts of Inequity. Her research is conceptualized as a community dialogue centred on equitable collaborations with community stakeholders. She is the Provincial Academic Director of the Youth Research and Evaluation eXchange (YouthREX), a multi-million investment by the Ontario government. YouthREX is an innovative knowledge hub that makes research evidence and evaluation practices accessible to Ontario’s youth sector through capacity building, knowledge exchange and evaluation leadership.

Kristin Andrews, Department of Philosophy, is a Tier 2 York Research Chair in Animal Minds. Her interests are in animal and child social cognition and moral development. She has worked with dolphins in Hawaii and orangutans in Borneo. Her research area is in the philosophy of psychology. Her first book, Do Apes Read Minds?, was published by MIT Press in 2012. She is in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Department of Philosophy.

Jacob BeckDepartment of Philosophy, is a Tier 2 VISTA York Research Chair in Philosophy of Visual Perception. Beck's research interests 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.

Jimmy Huang, School of Information Technology, is a Tier 2 York Research Chair in Big Data Analytics. His research focuses on the areas of information retrieval, big data and their applications to the web and medical healthcare. The objective of his research program is to overcome limitations of existing information retrieval methods and to formally develop a new retrieval paradigm called context-sensitive and task-aware information search for big data.

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.

Teddy Atim is a visiting fellow at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University. She will work with supervisor Annie Bunting, an associate professor in the Law & Society program. Professor Bunting is also the Project Director for the Conjugal Slavery in War (CSiW) Partnership, a SSHRC Partnership Grant. Atim’s project is titled, “The legacies for wartime sexual violence in northern Uganda: Social reintegration of women survivors and children born of war in northern Uganda.” Her project will examine the contextual factors that shape and influence war-time sexual violence, and women’s agency to overcome their wartime experiences. Atim’s research falls under a LA&PS initiative Championing Emerging Black Scholars. 

Lance Balthazar is an adjunct professor in the department of Philosophy at Austin Community College. He will work with supervisors Jacob Beck and Kevin Lande with the department of Philosophy, on a project titled, “How Things Look and Why They Look That Way: Investigations in Vision at the Empirical-Philosophical Intersection.” Balthazar’s research falls under two themes: investigating the ways things look and investigating the psychophysics and visual processing which produce the looks of things. Balthazar’s research falls under a LA&PS initiative Championing Emerging Black Scholars. 

Blair Fix is a political economist based in Toronto. His research focuses on how energy use and income inequality relate to social hierarchy. He will work with supervisor Jonathan Nitzan with the department of Politics on a project called, “Does Hierarchy Drive Income Inequality?” His work will examine how hierarchy relates to the growth of in-equality. By studying how growing income inequality relates to the hierarchical structure within firms, Fix looks to illuminate new ways to combat inequality.

Lauren Nareau is a doctoral student and current fellow and researcher at Energy Poverty PIRE in Southern Africa (EPPSA). Working under the supervision of Natasha Myers in the Anthropology department, her project is titled, “Cultivating Energy, Sowing Empire: making biofuels out of colonial legacies.”  Using an abolitionist framework and anticolonial methods that are reshaping anthropological theory and practice, her research seeks to create a community-led, collaborative project that opens constructive dialogue about prison labor and the plant Marabú to understand how Afro-Cuban communities are staging new relationships with plants for a new future.

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.

Chris Chapman, School of Social Work
Emerging Researcher Category
Professor Chapman's work expands the field of disability research by shedding light on important social issues and assessing the interlocking oppression that exists between them. With several journal articles, a co-authored book, and a co-authored play, Chapman tackles these topics head-on.

Niruapama Agrawal, School of Administrative Studies
Established Researcher Category
Professor Agrawal is a founding member of the Disaster & Emergency Management program, and an accomplished researcher in her field, with two books, several articles across 18 peer-reviewed journals, and many other pieces co-published with graduate students.

Shobna Nijhawan, Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics
Established Researcher Category
Professor Nijhawan is lauded for her work on South Asian literatures and languages, as well as gender, feminist, and women's studies - offering quality, quantity, scope, and breadth. Her writing credits included two monographs and several book chapters.

Carmela Murdocca, Department of Sociology
Distinction in Social Justice Research
Professor Murdocca's research focuses on the sociology of law, race and gender to shed light on various injustices. Her in-depth analysis of criminalization, racial violence, and social exclusion experienced by racialized and Indigenous people in Canada is thought-provoking and informative.

Jennifer Korosi, Department of Geography
Emerging Researcher Category
Professor Korosi is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of limnology, paleo-limnology, and bio-geochemistry. She is also an expert in ecosystem change, including pollutant tracking and aquatic environments.

Miriam Smith, Department of Social Science
Established Researcher Category
Professor Smith is known for her expertise in comparative politics and political science. She has also had a significant influence on the theoretical approach associated with historical institutionalism, LGBTQ+ political mobilization in
Canada and the US, and the study of civil society and social movements.

Sylwia Chrostowska, Department of Humanities
Emerging Researcher Category
Professor Chrostowska is widely recognized by her peers for successfully straddling the divide between academic writing and literature.

Alice MacLachlan, Department of Philosophy
Emerging Researcher Category
Professor MacLachlan was is described by her peers as a brilliant research leader. She is also well known as a thought leader in ethics, feminist philosophy and the role of apology in establishing trust.

Joan Judge, Department of History
Established Researcher Category
One of the most respected scholars of modern Chinese history and culture, Professor Judge has influenced an entire generation of historians.

Hassan Qudrat-Ullah, School of Administrative Studies
Established Researcher Category
A highly prolific researcher in the field of decision sciences and system dynamics approach, Professor Hassan Qudrat-Ullah is skilled at mobilizing resources to establish his own innovative research niche.

Luin Goldring, Department of Sociology
Social Justice Research Category
Professor Goldring is the winner of the biennial LA&PS Award in Social Justice Research. Known for her ground-breaking work on the experiences of migrant workers in Canada, she exemplifies the spirit of social justice.

Jonathan Edmondson, Department of History Chair, received the LA&PS Award for Distinction in Research, Creativity or Scholarship in the Established Researcher category. He is world-renowned as an expert on the Roman Empire, Roman inscriptions and Roman social history. His body of work, as well as his strong commitment to sharing his research, has shed light on the Roman world for scholars, students and the public.

“I’m excited about my research on the Roman Empire, especially Roman Spain, because it’s given me access to a range of new monuments with inscriptions, previously unpublished, that have the potential to throw new light on the impact of Rome on Indigenous societies,” said Edmondson. “Although people have been studying the Roman Empire for centuries, we can always pose new questions about, and gain fresh insights into, the Roman world.”

Boyd Cothran, a history professor, was honoured in the Emerging Researcher category. He will be presented with his award in the Winter 2017 semester. Since earning his PhD four years ago, he has achieved an outstanding record of scholarly research in the growing field of Indigenous history. His work, shared in both academic and public venues, is reframing the U.S. narrative and places Indigenous history at its centre.

“What excites me the most about the growing field of Indigenous history is how we are rewriting the history of North America by reclaiming the central role Indigenous peoples have played in the development of our shared society,” said Cothran. “For too long, historians wrote histories of North America that ignored Indigenous people, denying them a history and by extension a future. Indigenous history is an exciting field because every day it seems like there are new stories being discovered and new perspectives on old subjects being shared.”

Sean Kheraj, Department of History
Emerging Researcher Category
Dr. Sean Kheraj is being recognized in the Emerging Researcher category for his inspiring scholarship and his academic and public reach. Since defending his dissertation in 2008, he has been exceptionally productive, innovative and dynamic as a Canadian environmental historian.

Jimmy Huang, School of Information Technology
Established Researcher Category
Dr. Jimmy Huang, Director of the School of Information Technology, is known for his expertise and creativity in the quickly changing fields of information retrieval and big data analytics with complex structures. Since 2003 Professor Huang has had a remarkable publication record of over 170 papers in the most respected journals and top-tier conferences in information technology.

Lesley Jacobs, Department of Political Science, Department of Social Science
Established Researcher Category
Dr. Lesley Jacobs is recognized nationally and internationally for his interdisciplinary research in the fields of law, socio-legal studies, social science and political science. His areas of expertise include international trade, human rights, race relations, and law and political theory.

Eric Mykhalovskiy, Department of Sociology
Distinction in Social Justice Research
This is the first year that we are presenting the Award for Social Justice Research in LA&PS. This new award acknowledges an academic career that exceeds expectations, while making substantial contributions that advance social justice in any form. Dr. Eric Mykhalovskiy is the winner of the inaugural Social Justice Research Award for his research in the sociology of health and healthcare.

Linda Peake, Department of Social Science
Established Researcher Category

Our first winner in the Established Researcher category is Linda Peake, professor in the department of social science and director of York University’s City Institute.

Peake describes herself as a critical human geographer, exploring the feminist geographies of gender, race and sexuality, particularly as they relate to the global south. Over the past 30 years she and her graduate students have worked extensively with grassroots organizations in Guyana, conducting research aimed at improving the lives of local women.

Lesley Wood, Department of Sociology
Emerging Researcher Category

Wood’s research marries theory with social activism, examining the complex dynamics of social movements through a variety of lenses.  Wood’s research has included surveying G20 protesters in the thick of a demonstration, interviewing activists about their organizational and strategic choices, studying the impact of policing on protest and examining the characteristics of the U.S. anti-war movement.

Wood’s research marries theory with social activism, examining the complex dynamics of social movements through a variety of lenses.  Wood’s research has included surveying G20 protesters in the thick of a demonstration, interviewing activists about their organizational and strategic choices, studying the impact of policing on protest and examining the characteristics of the U.S. anti-war movement.