Dr. - University of Toronto
Immigration Health Work of People with Chronic Illness, Disability and Genetic OthernessIf the late Stephen Hawking had wanted to settle in Canada, he would likely have been denied because he was disabled. Federal immigration law excludes people with chronic illness, disability or genetic otherness from permanently settling. This is called medical inadmissibility. What does being made medically inadmissible consist of for persons with or affected by chronic illness, disability or particular genetic constitutions? In exposing the effort that people made medically inadmissible must do before, during, and after a failed Canadian immigration process, we learn about what lives end up being about after people are prevented from residing, remaining or reuniting with family. This is a new line of scholarly inquiry that extends my prior contributions to the social organization of knowledge, medico-legal borderlands, and critical social science perspectives on HIV/AIDS veins of scholarship in sociology.
How do Bureaucrats and Professionals Govern People with HIV in Canada's Immigration System?I am working to complete a monograph for the University of British Columbia Press. The book is about the medical, legal and bureaucratic governance of people with HIV within the Canadian immigration regime. I argue that the state’s ideological work related to HIV ushers in a set of institutional practices that are highly problematic. I draw on my institutional ethnographic fieldwork and long-time engagement in HIV milieus. I am concerned about power relations grounded in the deference accorded to so-called expert knowledge, and in parallel, the eliding and subjugation of other ways of knowing, including embodied knowledge. Through this project, a key Canadian social institution is demystified through an exploration and critique of how things work administratively. This book produces new knowledge within the social organization of knowledge, medico-legal borderlands, and critical social sciences perspectives on HIV/AIDS veins of scholarship within sociology.
I am currently a political sociologist and associate professor at the University of Toronto. My career is dedicated to social research, services, care, and activism. I study the social organization of knowledge about migration, minoritization, the body and the state. I ask questions about the people, politics and places involved in exclusionary health and social policy and the medical, legal, and bureaucratic practices that support these exclusions. My fieldsites are in Canada, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, and Romania. My book Screening Out (2022) is an institutional ethnography of the Canadian immigration system’s medical program and HIV-related policy. In addition to monograph and scholarly article, I publish in formats such as prose, popular and scholarly blog, film, photo exhibit, podcast, and art installation. I am fluent in English and French.