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Visiting Fellows and External Associates

Visiting Fellows are scholars with academic positions in other post-secondary institutions who are physically visiting at York University, including visiting scholars from Canada, short-term international visiting scholars, and Visiting Professors in Canadian Studies. Visiting Fellows are members of the Centre for the duration of their stay at the Robarts Centre and no more than one year at a time (renewable). Their appointment process to the Centre and degree of administrative support will vary but will necessarily involve the approval of the Director.

External Associates are scholars and community members who collaborate with at least one Faculty Associate of the Centre, and whose work actively support the public outreach and engagement missions of the Centre. These associates are external to York University and are granted special membership to the Centre by the Director for a two-year term (renewable). They receive minimal administrative support from the Centre, subject to approval by the Director.

Visiting Fellows 2023-24

Aspasia Chatzidaki
Centre for Intercultural and Migration Studies, Department of Primary Education, University of Crete/ Visiting Fellow

Aspasia Chatzidaki is Professor and Director of the Centre for Intercultural and Migration Studies in the Department of Primary Education at the University of Crete ( In her research, Dr. Chatzidaki focuses on teacher education for diversity and inclusion in various contexts and on Greek as a second and heritage language. Currently she is involved in research regarding the status and prospects of Greek as a heritage language in Canada; the project is sponsored by the Hellenic Heritage Foundation (HHF).

Dr Chatzidaki has participated in various research and teacher education projects and has published on issues of community/heritage language maintenance and inclusive/ empowering approaches to education with regard to bilingual students. Some of her recent publications include:

Panagiotopoulou, J.A., Rosen, L., Kirsch, C., & Chatzidaki, A. (Eds), (2019).‘New’ Migration of Families from Greece to Europe and Canada - A ‘New’ Challenge for Education?Springer.

Chatzidaki, A. & Tsokalidou, R. (Eds), (2021). Challenges and Initiatives in Refugee Education: the case of Greece. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Kousis, M., Chatzidaki, A. & Kafetsios, K. (Eds), (2022). Challenging Mobilities in and to the EU during Times of Crises. The Case of Greece. Springer-IMISCOE Research series. Open Access.


Pilar Cuder-Domínguez
School of Humanities, University of Huelva, Spain/ Virtual Visiting Fellow

Pilar is a Professor of English at the University of Huelva (Spain). Her research interests are the literary representations of intersections of gender, genre, nation, and race. She is the author of three books and editor of eight collections of essays. Her latest publications have discussed the work of writers of Black and Asian ancestry in Canada and the UK, drawing from critical race studies and postcolonial and feminist theories. She is currently lead investigator of the research project “Bodies in Transit: Genders, Mobilities, Interdependencies” (FFI2017-84555-C2-1-P, and team member of the international project “Thanatic Ethics: The Circulation of Bodies in Migratory Spaces” (



Mitja Durnik
Political Science, University of Ljubljana/ Visiting Fellow (2015-16, 2019-20 & 2021-22)

Mitja Durnik is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Administration. He teaches courses in public policy, comparative politics and theory of public administration. His research work is mostly oriented to research issues in migration studies, integration of new immigrants and international relations between Canada and the European Union. In his PhD thesis, he investigated the political conflict between the Aboriginal peoples of Canada and the Canadian government in the field of hydroelectric policy. Dr. Durnik is an active member of the CEACS – Central Euroepan Association of Canadian Studies.


Jutta Ernst
Professor and Chair, American Studies, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany/ 2023-24 Visiting Professor in Canadian Studies

Jutta Ernst is Professor of American Studies and Executive Board member of the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies ( at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. Her research focuses on contemporary US-American and Canadian writing, periodical cultures, and the translation and mediation of literature. Her most recent publications include Amerikanische Modernismen: Schreibweisen, Konzepte und zeitgenoessische Periodika als Vermittlungsinstanzen (2018) and the coedited volumes Shifting Grounds: Cultural Tectonics along the Pacific Rim (2020) and Periodical Studies Today: Multidisciplinary Analyses (2022). She is cofounder of the Mainz research group on ‘Transnational Periodical Cultures’ ( and coeditor of the Brill series ‘Studies in Periodical Cultures’ (


Vesna Lazović
English, University of Ljubljana/ Visiting Fellow

Vesna Lazović is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she has been full-time employed since 2018. Her main research interests include sociolinguistics, translation, contrastive linguistics, discourse analysis, semantics, pragmatics, intercultural communication and ELT methodology.  Since she teaches the course “Canadian Society and Culture”, she decided to visit the Robarts Centre and use the opportunity to find more valuable sources and further develop the course content to meet her students’ needs.


Aránzazu Tirado Sánchez 
Political Science and Public Law, Barcelona Autonomous University/ Visiting Fellow

Aránzazu Tirado Sánchez teaches Comparative Politics and Spanish Politics at Barcelona Autonomous University. Her research focuses on national and international affairs, Latin American politics, geopolitics, US and Latin American relationships, foreign policy analysis, and lawfare. Her major writings comprise El Lawfare. Golpes de Estado en nombre de la ley (Ed. Akal, 2021); Venezuela. Más allá de mentiras y mitos (2nd edition, Ed. Akal, 2019); and La clase obrera no va al paraíso. Crónica de una desaparición forzada (5th edition, Ed. Akal, 2016), with Ricardo Romero Laullón.

At the Robarts Center, she is conducting research, funded by the Institute for Self-Government Studies of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalonian government), entitled "Self-Determination and Lawfare: A Comparison between Catalonia and Quebec".



Past Visiting Fellows


Tina Benigno
Albertus Magnus College, Connecticut

Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun
Faculty of Philology, University of Bialystock, Poland

Amanda Coles
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University, Australia

Ewelina Feldman-Kołodziejuk
Faculty of Philology, University of Bialystock, Poland

Kalina Kukiełko
Institute of Sociology, University of Szczecin, Poland

Jessica Parish
Marie Curie Visiting Fellow, Center for Urban Research on Austerity, De Montfort University, Leicester, England


Susan Ashley
Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle

Robin Curtis
Institute for Media and Cultural Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany


Paul Halferty
English, Drama and Film, University College, Dublin


Junichi Miyazawa
Cultural and Creative Studies, Aoyama Gakuin University


Seung-Ryul Lee
ESL/EFL, Korea Aerospace University

Carolyn Strange
History, Australian National University


Ana Fraile
English, University of Salamanca

Thomas Mohr
School of Law, University College, Dublin

H. Kalpana
English, Pondicherry Central University


Shilpa Bhat
English, Ahmedabad University

Marcin Gabrýs
Canadian Studies, Jagiellonian University

Özgün Akduran
Political Science, University of Istanbul

External Associates

Patrick Connor

Patrick J. Connor received his Ph.D. in History from York University in 2012. He was subsequently an R. Roy McMurtry Fellow in Canadian Legal History. His research has focused on the history of crime and punishment in nineteenth century Canada, with an emphasis on executive clemency and pardons. Having recently relocated to Nova Scotia, he is currently writing a book about food, cooking, and eating in nineteenth century Halifax.


Gilberto Fernandes
Visiting Professor, History

Gilberto Fernandes is an academic and public historian of migration, ethnicity, race, and labour in North America, especially the history of Portuguese and other Lusophone diasporas in North America, and the construction industry and its labour organization in Toronto. He is the author of various scholarly articles on these topics, and of the book This Pilgrim Nation: the Making of Portuguese Diaspora in Postwar North America. Fernandes is the co-founder and lead director of the Portuguese Canadian History Project, through which he has delivered an extensive public history program, including archival outreach, online and travelling exhibits, popular publications, public lectures, youth summer programs, walking tours, and others. With the research and public history project "City Builders: a History of Immigrant Construction Workers in Postwar Toronto," Fernandes has produced, directed, and written a documentary and oral history video series; curated a travelling multimedia exhibition; developed and designed a website with multiple digital history features; and oversaw the digitization of close to 3,200 archival photos. The City Builders was the recipient of a Lieutenant Governor of Ontario's Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation in 2019 and has drawn a great deal of media attention. Fernandes has also been a course director in the Department of History at York University.

Research Interests: Migration, ethnicity, and race in North America; Portuguese and other Lusophone diasporas; Portugal's soft power; Ontario's construction industry and its labour organization; Toronto's riot and protest history; public and digital history

Websites: City Builders | Portuguese Canadian History Project | Personal Website


Janet Friskney

Janet B. Friskney is a book historian with a particular specialty in Canadian publishing history. The author of New Canadian Library: The Ross-McClelland Years (2007), Dr. Friskney has also introduced and edited Thirty Years of Storytelling: Short Fiction by Ethelwyn Wetherald (2011), served as associate editor to volume three of the History of the Book in Canada (2007), and wrote the introduction to Formac’s 2012 reprint of Helen Milecete Duffus’s The Strawberry Girls. Her article literature includes studies related to the Methodist Book and Publishing House / The Ryerson Press, Canadian bible and tract societies, and the history of library and publishing services for the blind in Canada. Her post-secondary education includes an honours B.A., summa cum laude from York University, an M.A. in Canadian Heritage & Development Studies from Trent, a Ph.D. in Canadian history from Carleton University, a post-diploma certificate in Book and Magazine Publishing, with honours, from Centennial College, and a certificate in Access to Information and Protection of Privacy, with distinction, from University of Alberta. She has taught courses in publishing history at York and Simon Fraser University, has held a Tremaine Fellowship from the Bibliographical Society of Canada, and has been a co-applicant on two successful SSHRC Connection Grants.


Elaine Gold
Director, Canadian Language Museum

Elaine Gold is the Director of the Canadian Language Museum. She initiated the Museum’s founding in 2011, directs the creation of its exhibits and oversees its operations. She brings to her work at the CLM a PhD in Linguistics, decades of teaching at the University of Toronto, an MA in Art History and strong experience in arts administration and curatorial work. She has lived in central, western and northern Canada, and is dedicated to promoting and protecting this country's rich language heritage. Dr. Gold was awarded the Canadian Linguistic Association’s 2019 National Achievement Award in recognition of her outreach work through the Museum.

Website: Canadian Language Museum


Darnel Harris
Master of Environmental Studies, York University

Darnel Harris is a planner and community advocate breaking down barriers to practical mobility for all ages and abilities. He has a passion for space animation, mobility and sustainability. His research and outreach efforts have been recognized by the German Government, and he produced Toronto’s 1st Annual Cargo Bike Championship this summer to showcase the difference cargo bikes can make. Darnel is Executive Director of Our Greenway, a coalition of businesses, residents and community groups in Toronto's northwest seeking to build a 21 kilometers of mobility paths protected by raingardens, connecting people to places and new opportunities all year round..


Ged Martin
Professor Emeritus, University of Edinburgh and former director, Centre of Canadian Studies, University of Edinburgh

Ged Martin is a graduate of Cambridge who has spent half a century studying Canadian history, often in comparison with other parts of the British empire. He has written about the Durham Report, Confederation, Kingston in Ontario, Saint John in New Brunswick, the alcohol problem of John A. Macdonald, the marital difficulties of Alexander Campbell and the spiritualist adventures of Mackenzie King. Ged Martin likes to pose unusual questions: his recent work has asked: who could speak French in English Canada? and how much did Canada 'pay' First Nations for the prairies? (The inverted commas indicate a notional calculation, since no purchase money changed hands.)

Personal Website


Kate Moo King-Curtis
M.A. grad, Humanities, Research Associate

Kate is a recent grad with extensive experience in the arts and film in Canada and the US. She completed an MA in Humanities (York University) with an MRP titled "A Multistoried Artist: Holistic Self-Reflexivity in Childhood Studies." In this research project, she created an analysis model using childhood art artifacts, autoethnographic tools, and research-creation.

In early 2021, she finalized a research project titled "Youth Support Imaginings," using arts-based methods with youth for the Children, Childhood and Youth Hons. BA program (York University). 

Kate is affiliated with one of the Robarts Centre’s research clusters, the Children and Young People Interdisciplinary Research Network (CYPIRN). In it, she looks to engage in meaningful collaborations to build knowledge with, for and about diverse young people in a Canadian context. 

Future Goals: Participatory research in art therapy to develop VR tools with and for children and youth. 

Research Interests: Art therapy, mental health, children and youth studies, arts-based methods, youth agency in research, intersectionality, technological equity, critical race theory


Sharifa Patel
Ph.D. English and Cultural Studies

Sharifa Patel holds a PhD in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University. Her research examines representations of violence in Muslim families in Canadian news media and challenges settler-colonial notions of family and kinship in Canadian immigration policies. Sharifa is affiliated with the Robarts Centre at York University and is also a co-managing editor of the online journal, Feral Feminisms.


Jen Preston
Ph.D. Social and Political Thought

Dr. Jen Preston holds a PhD in Social and Political Thought from York University. Her research focuses on oil and gas extraction in Canada and its relationship to settler colonialism. Her research has been published in journals such as Race & Class, Cultural Studies, and Nouveaux Cahiers du socialisme


Altaf Qadeer

Altaf Qadeer is a scholar of multiple fields. His research interests include; science education, linguistics, literature, education, Urdu creative writing, teacher training, pedagogy, religious studies, inspiring creativity, multilingualism, multiple-nets. One of his ideas to inspire education at international level through the multilingual power of Canada was also published by Toronto Star.

Dr. Altaf Qadeer is also a member of European Science Education Research Association (ESERA). He was a member of International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) in 2018. Altaf has contributed as a researcher with the York Center for Asian Studies (YCAR). He has also studied 'Educating Global Citizens' through the professional education program of Harvard Graduate School of Education. Some of his research about languages and literature is published by Cross-Asia (Heidelberg, Germany). He has contributed to the B.Ed., teacher training program in the Faculty of Education, York University as a Site-Coordinator/ Adjunct Professor. He also published his idea to start simplified form of research journals for children. Altaf has developed various tools for children education.

Website: Cognitive Net


Alexis Hieu Truong
Criminology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa

Alexis H Truong is Assistant Professor in the Criminology Department at the University of Ottawa. His research focuses on themes of mental health, violence towards women, transitions into adulthood and popular culture in Canada and Japan. He also specializes in research methods, both qualitative and quantitative. Prior to starting his tenure-track appointment, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London (UK, Fonds de recherche Société et Culture [FQRSC] Postdoc Scholarship, 2016-2017) in the Sociology Department and was also associated with Sophia University for his fieldwork (Tokyo, 2010-2011) while he completed his PhD at the University of Ottawa (Canada, ON) in Sociology (FQRSC Doctoral Scholarship). He also holds a master’s in social work, and currently is a member of the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS) and a member of The Sociological Review’s editorial board.

Currently, Professor Truong is principal investigator on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant exploring the effect of psychiatrization on transitions into adulthood of youths in Canada. He is also co-researcher on two SSHRC funded Partnership Engage Grants: the first one is looking at stigma experiences while accessing public health services for women with borderline personality disorders who have also experienced sexual violence or intimate partner violence; the second grant is looking at emotional difficulties experienced by community organisations’ healthcare workers in the context of the COVID-19 response, and especially those working with marginalized populations experiencing homelessness, handicaps and mental health-related issues. Professor Truong’s research also looks at the place and role of popular culture and leisure practices in the lives of young adults, and how it fosters social insertion. One article on this theme has been published in the International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, where he explores three pathways taken by youths participating in costume play practices in Tokyo (Japan). He has also recently published with one of his master’s students, Anne M Goodall, in the Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being. on the therapeutic effects of participation in tabletop roleplaying games such as Dungeons & Dragons.