Faculty & Research
Faculty Here For You
Program Coordinator: Jessica Barr, Bachelor of Arts and Science and Cultural Studies
Science Advisor: Steven Rafferty, Chemistry
Note: In years when the Program Coordinator is from an arts discipline, there will be a Science Advisor. When the Coordinator is from the sciences, there will be an Arts Advisor.
Jessica Marion Barr, BAS Program Coordinator; Faculty, Bachelor of Arts and Science, Cultural Studies
Jessica Marion Barr is an artist, educator, and researcher who completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at Queen's University in fall 2015, focusing on ecological elegies. Her interdisciplinary practice incorporates artmaking, arts-science research, and pedagogy, investigating creative and collaborative approaches to issues around climate change, species decline, and social/ecological justice. Jessica has recently exhibited artwork at the Design Annex of the Art Gallery of Hamilton; Gladstone Hotel (Toronto); World of Threads Festival (Oakville); Wall Space Gallery (Ottawa); FINA Gallery, University of British Columbia (Kelowna, BC); Hart House (University of Toronto); and Union Gallery, The Artel, Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, and the Ban Righ Centre (Kingston, ON). Jessica's 2013 Nuit Blanche (Toronto) installation project Indicator investigated the concept of indicator species and empire; the project was included in NOW Magazine's Critics' Picks as well as The Grid's "Nuit Blanche Animated" (listen to Jessica's sound installation Indications). Vernal Pool: A Participatory Project about Place + Precipitation, a collaboration with artist Karen Abel, was the recipient of the 2014 Jury’s Choice Award and the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects/GROUND Award at Grow Op: Exploring Landscape and Place at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto (more on this project, and listen to Jessica's sound installation Vernal Chorus). Jessica's interdisciplinary training and creative approaches, combined with her enthusiasm for teaching, make her an engaging and well-loved instructor who has been nominated for multiple teaching awards.
Suzanne Bailey, English
Suzanne Bailey is Professor of English Literature at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada. She is the author of Cognitive Style and Perceptual Difference in Browning’s Poetry (2010) and senior editor of P.K. Page’s Brazilian Journal (2011). She has published on nineteenth-century intellectual history in Victorian Poetry, Victorian Studies, Photography and Culture, Women’s Writing and other journals, and she writes the annual review of publications on Robert Browning for the journal Victorian Poetry. Her work on Canadian travel writing and poetry appears in Mosaic, University of Toronto Quarterly, Canadian Literature and Canadian Poetry. Her research and teaching issues range from literature and science, especially evolution, to women’s travel writing, the visual arts in Canadian modernism, and theories and representations of age in poetry and life-writing. Read more about Suzanne Bailey's interests and research.
Karen Blair, Psychology
Dr. Blair is a professor in the Psychology Department at Trent and the Director of the Trent Social Relations, Attitudes and Diversity Lab, a CFI-funded lab that is home to Ontario’s largest iMotions research suite. Dr. Blair and her students use a variety of research methods ranging from arts-based methods to psychophysiology to explore LGBTQ+ Psychology, close relationships, affection, social support, femmephobia, Holocaust education, prejudice, and the social determinants of health. The lab includes a number of interdisciplinary research collaborations and Dr. Blair supervises graduate students in the Psychology MSc/Ph.D. and Interdisciplinary Social Research Ph.D. programs at Trent. Opportunities for undergraduate students include volunteering, directed readings and research practicum courses, and honours thesis research. You can learn more about Dr. Blair’s research and teaching interests on her website: www.drkarenblair.com, Psychology Today Blog, and Google Scholar profile. https://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=aR6kFvYAAAAJ&hl=en
Ray Dart, Business Administration
Ray appreciates curiosity which spans ideas, organizations and disciplines, and feels his undergraduate degree from Trent University – where he studied biology, philosophy, anthropology and environmental studies – was a perfect foundation for his lifelong interest in the organizational side of community development, sustainability and social change. His master’s degree was in Environmental Studies, and his doctoral degree was at the Schulich School of Business at York University. His research focuses on social enterprise, organization theory, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. Check out his many areas of expertise and research interests
Hugh Hodges, English
Hugh's principal areas of interest, both as a researcher and as a teacher, are popular music and the literatures of Africa and the West Indies. He is currently at work on a book about pop music in Margaret Thatcher's Britain: it was a politically turbulent period in Britain (race riots, the Falklands War, hunger strikes by imprisoned IRA members, the smashing of the Trade Unions and massive unemployment) and popular music had critical and insightful things to say about it all. He has also published articles on Bob Marley, Nigerian Afro-beat pioneer Fela Kuti, Trinidad calypsonian Lord Kitchener, and the dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson. This is where Hugh's interest in music overlaps with his interest in Africa and the West Indies. Hugh regularly offers courses in both African and West Indian literature and they generally include plenty of music "because I don't think you can separate West Indian Literature, say, from reggae, calypso and soca, or Nigerian literature from highlife, juju and Afro-beat. And even if you could, why would you want to?" Hugh has also written about the Jamaican poets Lorna Goodison and Geoffrey Philp and the Nigerian novelists Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Chimanda Ngozi Adichie, and Chris Abani. His book on Jamican poetry, Soon Come, was published by the University of Virginia Press.
Lev Marder, BAS (Sessional Faculty)
Dr. Lev Marder has been teaching a variety of Arts and Science courses since 2019. His research focuses on how evolving knowledge and ignorance practices create and remedy social and political problems. Some of his research on knowledge and ignorance in democracies, equality, citizenship, and protest movements appears in the International Studies Review, Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies, Philosophy and Social Criticism and Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory.
Naomi Nichols, Sociology
Naomi Nichols is an Associate Professor (Sociology) and the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Community-Partnered Social Justice at Trent University where she founded and directs the Research for Social Change Lab https://www.socialchangelab.ca/.
Nichols’ research activities and publications span the areas of social inequality; poverty; youth homelessness; youth justice; child welfare; education; “youth at risk;” youth mental health; higher education, research impact and community-academic research collaborations.
Prior to August 2020, she was an Associate Professor (Education) at McGill University.
Anne Pasek, Cultural Studies, Trent School of the Environment
Anne Pasek is the Canada Research Chair in Media, Culture and the Environment and an Assistant Professor cross-appointed between the Department of Cultural Studies and the School of the Environment. She studies the cultural politics of climate change, focusing in particular on how carbon becomes mediated and meaningful in different institutional and social contexts. As an energy humanist, she further investigates the connection between research methods, academic norms, and carbon intensity, developing and prototyping low-carbon alternatives for conducting research and sustaining collegial connections. Dr. Pasek’s wider research interests include the politics of infrastructure, critical making and research-creation processes, and feminist STS. She has published on topics ranging from geoengineering, knitting software, Moore’s Law, urban agriculture, and glitch aesthetics.
Steven Rafferty, Chemistry
B.Sc. Honours Biology and Chemistry, Waterloo (1986)
Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of British Columbia (1992)
Bioinorganic chemistry, especially heme proteins of the parasitic protist Giardia intestinalis
Kevin Siena, History
I am an historian of medicine. My research focuses on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain. My initial books and articles explored the problem of sexual disease in the era before antibiotics, looking especially at how factors like class and gender impacted understandings of the disease, institutionalization of treatment and especially the experiences of sufferers. I have since worked on the medical histories of suicide, homosexuality, forensics, medical ethics, dermatology, medical advertising and female healers. I am currently completing a book on class and contagion in the eighteenth century which looks at how medical discussions of epidemic diseases such as plague and typhus allowed doctors to medicalize prevailing assumptions about the urban poor.
Aaron Slepkov, Biomaterial Physics
Aaron's research interests: Nonlinear photonics, Optical properties and characterization of organic and bio-materials, microscopy.
Learn more about Aaron's research by visiting his website.
Sarah West, Kinesiology (Biology and Trent/Fleming School of Nursing)
Dr. West’s research focuses on examining physical activity and exercise in special populations, including in those with chronic disease. Outcomes assessed include bone health, muscle health, metabolic health, and psychosocial health. Other areas of interest include advancing physiology and kinesiology pedagogy research. Key research areas: Exercise physiology, exercise and psychosocial health.
Banner Image Credit - Aaron Slepkov, Several more circles after Kandinsky, May 2020