"Theory comes alive for me when I have a kid’s book in hand. I find picturebooks, in particular, offer rich and surprising material for mounting a queer counter-politics of criticism and imagination."

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Student Profile: Kathleen Forrester

Educational Theory and Practice: Curriculum and Pedagogy Stream PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education

December 21, 2020
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I am a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education. I love reading, writing, and studying children’s literature and have made this niche field my specialization in all my graduate degrees. Theory comes alive for me when I have a kid’s book in hand. I find picturebooks, in particular, offer rich and surprising material for mounting a queer counter-politics of criticism and imagination.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I came to SFU to work with my supervisor, Dr. Elizabeth Marshall, who is an established scholar in the field of children’s and young adult literature. Dr. Marshall’s expertise in feminist visual analysis informs and guides my own queer and feminist approach to theorising with picturebooks.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH AND/OR PROGRAM.

As a queer person who has travelled away from my Australian family of origin to make a life with chosen family here in Canada, I find I am always looking for ways to make visible the myriad of non-traditional constellations of intimacy and kin that exist beyond the dominant notions of bio-nuclear families. In my research, I engage creative and critical methods to theorize about children’s literature and kinship. Specifically, my PhD thesis looks toward picturebooks as rich sites for exploring more-than-human relationality through a queer worlding framework. There are ecological, educational and social justice implications that stem from this research as the figure of the human is decentred, queered, and read as part of a complex world of interspecies kin entanglements.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I love the opportunity to think with other students in interdisciplinary ways. Through taking courses both within my own faculty, and also across other faculties and disciplines, I have been exposed to ideas and approaches that have made my own research more expansive, and I have made some lasting friendships as well.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR FUNDED AWARDS?

I hold a Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship, and also a SSHRC fellowship. I am also a grateful recipient of the donor-funded Dr. M. Sheila O'Connell Graduate Publication Scholarship for Children’s Literature award.

Contact Kathleen: kathleen_forrester@sfu.ca
Website: sfu.academia.edu/KathleenForrester