Women Scholars' Speaker Series

We are very excited to present the Women Scholars’ Speaker Series (WSSS) for 2023-24! Through a series of in-person and online panels and presentations, we invite you to engage with the latest research around pressing and multifaceted topics. We remain dedicated to the community that has been built through the WSSS and hope to expand our network through this year’s series. We look forward to connecting and engaging with you all.

Upcoming Events for 2023-24
The Ethic of Time: Indigenous oral histories of sport in an age of reconciliation

Thursday, March 7
2 - 3:30 p.m. MST
1st Choice Savings Centre (PE 261)

Join Dr. Janice Forsyth, a Professor in Indigenous Land-Based Physical Culture and Wellness at UBC and a member of Fisher River Cree Nation, for an insightful talk around archival and oral history of Indigenous sport in Canada. Dr. Forsyth will reflect on the meaning of sport in the lives of Indigenous men and women, gathered through interviews conducted over a 15-year span, and what it means to complete academic oral history in a rapidly changing landscape as information about residential schools comes to light.

Click here for more information. We look forward to seeing you there!

Please register here.


Past Events

The WSSS hosted a New Year Faculty Coffee Hour, an event to foster connections and camaraderie among our newest colleagues.

Speakers: Dr. Jebunnessa Chapola (SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Regina) and Dr. Ranjan Datta (Mount Royal University)
Co-sponsored by: Women Scholars' Speaker Series

Dr. Jebunnessa Chapola's doctoral research journey tells the story of her racialized settler woman's transformative journey toward transnational solidarity, mutual empowerment and how to be anti-racist through community engagements in Saskatoon, Canada.

Dr. Ranjan Datta will share his 17 years of anti-racist and decolonial research journey with various Black, Indigenous and racialized immigrants and other land-based minority communities worldwide.

Read more here.

Speaker: Dr. Maho Ikeda (Hokkai Gakuen University)
Presented by: The Department of History & Religion
Co-sponsored by: Asian Studies and Women Scholars' Speaker Series

When political parties first form and evolve in a society, the process often reflects deeper societal changes. Japan is no exception. Political parties in Japan emerged following the Meiji Restoration of 1868 in response to a nationwide movement for broader political participation.

This event examined the formative years of political parties in Japan and explored their ramifications into the 20th century.

Read more here.

Speakers: Dr. Orquidea Morales (School of Theatre, Film, and Television at the University of Arizona), Lin Young (Mount Royal University), and Dr. June Scudeler (Simon Fraser University).
Moderated by: Dr. Chelsea Ekstrand and Dr. Miranda Leibel.

This session delved into the multi-faceted aspects of horror tales, examining the political, sociological and cultural implications these narratives carry. More about this spook-tacular event here.

Speakers: Dr. Dharashree Das (Prentice Institute), Dr. Mbuli Shei Clodine (Community Bridge Lab), and Dr. Chelsea Matisz (Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience)
Moderated by: Dr. Chelsea Ekstrand and Dr. Miranda Leibel

This session brought together a group of accomplished interdisciplinary postdoctoral scholars to discuss the evolving nature of interdisciplinary studies. The panel provided insights into the strategies they employed to overcome hurdles, the collaborative approaches that have driven their success, and the ways they've harnessed multiple perspectives to tackle complex issues.

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Doyle, UC Riverside

The Women Scholars' Speaker Series is pleased to present Dr. Jennifer Doyle, Professor of English at UC Riverside. Professor Doyle spoke about the work involved in her recent book Campus Sex, Campus Security.

Campus Sex, Campus Security was written in a fever: the book was published in 2015, prior to #metoo and the transformation in journalism which grew around this shift in discourse about harassment. In this talk, Jennifer shares the process of writing this book, and shifts in her thinking as she's centered more and more of her work around harassment and its ecologies. 

Watch the recorded session

Dr. Gülden Özcan was a brilliant scholar, activist, colleague, friend, loving partner and mother. She worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge prior to her untimely passing in May 2022. This panel brought together scholars and activists to discuss her important legacies both within and outside of the academy. Panelists included:

  • Khadija Baker (Montreal-based, multidisciplinary artist of Kurdish-Syrian descent)
  • Dr. Simten Coşar (feminist political scientist)
  • Dr. Nisha Nath (settler woman of colour living in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) and an Assistant Professor of Equity Studies at Athabasca University)
  • Arturo Tejeda Torres (a PhD candidate in Cultural, Social and Political Thought at the University of Lethbridge

Watch the recorded session

Panelists: Monique Giroux, Eve Chartrand, Marie-Jeanne Musiol, Jaimee Jarvie
Moderator: Mia van Leeuwen

This webinar highlighted the artist as researcher and contributor to the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic expression, scholarly investigation, and experimentation.

Panelists: Evelyn Encalada Grez, Petra Molnar, Ethel Tungohan
Moderator: Julie Young

This webinar highlighted three panelists whose research bridges academia, advocacy, and community-based work in the area of migrant justice.  

Presenter: Dr. Nisha Nath (Assistant Professor of Equity Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Athabasca University
Roundtable Discussion with SNAC+ members:  Gulden Ozcan, Gideon Fujiwara, Glenda Bonifacio, Saurya Das
Moderator: Dr. Caroline Hodes (Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies (SNAC+, co-applicant RED project)

Watch the recorded session

Meet the Organizers
Photo of Chelsea Ekstrand

Chelsea Ekstrand (she/her) is an assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge. She received her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Saskatchewan in 2019 and cut her post-doctoral fellowship at Western University short to start her appointment at the University of Lethbridge in July 2020. Her NSERC funded research focuses on human neuroimaging- incorporating behaviour, functional neuroimaging, and structural connectivity to identify the underlying network architecture of "real-world" cognition in brain health and disease.

Photo of Miranda Leibel

Miranda Leibel, assistant professor and Evelyn Hamilton Chair in the School of Liberal Education, is a settler scholar and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Alberta (Treaty Six territory), before completing an interdisciplinary PhD in Canadian Studies and Political Economy at Carleton University in Ottawa (unceded Algonquin territory). Her current work examines bureaucratic and policy processes in the context of settler-colonial government, demonstrating the connections between mundane practices of governance and the ongoing violence of settler colonialism in Canada.

History of the Women Scholars’ Speaker Series
Dr. Shelly Wismath

"In May 2002, a University Town Hall with the President and Provost included some discussion on diversity and inclusion. In the ensuing Q&A, there were once again questions about how to balance diversity with excellence, implying that members of under-represented groups were not as well qualified or as excellent. A few years before this, there had been a round of hiring of women faculty in the Faculty of Arts and Science, but by 2002 most of them had left ULethbridge. One issue for many of them was being the lone woman in a sometimes not very welcoming department.

Right after the Town Hall, I had a long discussion with Provost Seamus O'Shea about these issues, and suggested some ways to improve life for women on campus. One suggestion was a speaker series that would feature the work of women scholars, especially recent hires, to allow them to get their research out into the campus community and to make connections with women in other departments and faculties than their own. Dr. O'Shea followed up on this with significant funding, and thus was born the Women Scholars' Speaker Series.

Nearly 20 years later it is still flourishing as a showcase for talented women researchers on campus."

Professor Shelly Wismath, Dean of the School of Liberal Education and Professor of Mathematics