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Lab Members

Lab Directors

Monique Deveaux, Professor of Philosophy and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Ethics and Global Social Change

Trained in political philosophy and comparative politics, I take a grounded or ‘engaged philosophy’ approach to studying injustices — especially poverty, exploitation, and cultural oppression. I am interested in rethinking structural injustices and their remedies from the vantage point of justice-seeking groups and their social movements.

Candace Johnson, Professor of Political Science

My research attempts to reconcile two sub-disciplinary areas within political science: political theory and public policy. Most of my published work entails the application of theoretical tools and frameworks to complex global reproductive rights issues; I am also committed to socially engaged feminist research, standpoint methodologies, community engaged collaborations, and transnational dialogue. 

Current Lab Members

Photo of Nneka MacGregor
Nneka MacGregor, Activist-In-Residence (AiR) 2023-2024

Nneka MacGregor is co-founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Centre for Social Justice, better known as WomenatthecentrE, a unique non-profit created by and for women, trans and gender-diverse survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). As a Black intersectional, Transformative Accountability & Justice practitioner and abolitionist feminist, Nneka is also a respected international speaker & trainer. She is an expert advisory panel member of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability and sits on several advisory Boards and committees, including the Federal Advisory Council on the Federal Strategy Against GBV, and co-founded the Black Femicide Canada Council. Her research focuses on femicide, sexual violence, and the intersection of strangulation, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Inter-personal violence.

Marsha Hinds Myrie, Ph.D., Activist-In-Residence (AiR) 2023-2024

Marsha Hinds Myrie is a public intellectual steeped in the Caribbean intellectual tradition and critical studies. The philosophical mooring for her interaction with equity work comes partly out of her PhD research which focused on the ways in which political and cultural experiences shaped the development and creation of intellectual spaces and intellectual thought in Commonwealth Caribbean tertiary institutions. The epistemological valleys that create disciplines in the Western academy are still immensely uncomfortable for Hinds Myrie but if required, she would classify her work as womanism, Black Studies, philosophy as praxis and intellectual history.

Amanda Buchnea, Ph.D. Candidate (Social Practice & Transformational Change)

I am a doctoral candidate in the interdisciplinary Social Practice and Transformational Change program under the supervision of Dr. Leah Levac. I have worked in the field of youth homelessness prevention research and policy advocacy since 2016, and I am the Strategy, Policy, and Innovation Specialist at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. My doctoral project is focused on the knowledge and practice(s) of community homelessness planning in Canada and the ways in which youth are in/excluded from planning and policy processes. My research aims to uphold commitments to intersectionality, critical community engaged scholarship, radical care and solidarity research, and policy-relevant theory. I am using a grounded normative theory approach to understanding the social practices, systems, and structures that hold (youth) homelessness in place and to identify pathways for collective action and transformation

Maral Jumayeva, Ph.D. Candidate (Political Science)

My name is Maral. I am a fourth-year PhD student at the University of Guelph. My research focuses on the implications of cross-sector partnerships on marginalized communities, and it is grounded in empirical data gathered through interviews and personal observations. It also involves testing existing theories about cross-partnerships and distributive justice through a comparative approach. My research prioritizes the interests of the service recipients and is aimed at improving the provision of services to the most marginalized communities.

Mirella Tranquille, Ph.D. Candidate (Philosophy)

My research centers on analyzing the Black American freedom movements of the 1970s and contemporary Black abolitionist coalitions. My principal objective is to develop an ethical framework that accurately reflects the social and political position of Black people as unfreed slaves. Ultimately, I aim to identify a theoretical framework that most effectively supports a revolutionary movement for Black liberation in the USA, focusing on the permissibility of violence.

Rebecca Tatham, Ph.D. Candidate (Political Science & International Development Studies)

I am a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the collaborative Political Science/International Development program working under the supervision of Dr. Candace Johnson. My doctoral research is centered on understanding the gendered nature of extractive development and governance and community resistance in Guatemala. The empirical portion of my research embraces an interpretive feminist and community-based participatory research (CBPR) orientation, which prioritizes community engaged collaborations and centers the unique cultural perspectives of Indigenous activists to advocate for action on environmental and gender justice issues related to mining.

Fabian Garcia, PhD Student (Social Practice and Transformational Change & International Development Studies)

After sixteen years as part of the Ecuadorian Foreign Service, where I completed missions at the General Consulate in Hamburg, Germany, and the United Nations in New York, I joined the University of Guelph in 2022. I am part of the Social Practice and Transformational Change and International Development Studies collaborative program, as well as a collaborator with the Engendering Disability Inclusive Development partnership. I am interested in researching the practices of activists who, while advocating for the rights of nature, incorporate notions of both Critical Posthumanism and Indigenous Cosmologies to reimagine the subject, the community, and our relationships with the more-than-human world.

Sana Taha, M.A. Student (Public Issues Anthropology)

I am a graduate student in the Public Issues Anthropology program, with a focus on (im)migrants’ communities. With background studies in international relations and legal studies, and work experience with refugees and other vulnerable communities, my research focuses on the impact of discrimination against newcomers in the GTA area. My interests revolve around legal constraints which may impact newcomer communities, and which may influence favouritism and prejudice. My work aims at understanding and prioritizing the needs and interests of newcomers, in a way of improving their inclusion on social and cultural levels within their new communities.

Mahad Butt, B.A., Student (Philosophy)

My primary research interests are moral and political philosophy with consideration of how they entail contemporary issues to global justice, societal actions to laws, and public interactions that transform social and cultural institutions. In particular, I am concerned in the analysis of questioning political and social effects, often looking at the way in which moral questions play out on issues of fairness and cultural injustices advocated through a philosophical framework. My aim is to distribute a level of ethical values and adhere principles that hold cultural and political injustices responsible for marginalized communities. 

GET Lab Affiliates

Leah Levac, Associate Professor and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Critical Community Engagement and Public Policy

My research program focuses on the intersections between critical community engaged scholarship and public policy. I am interested in: 1) exploring how community engaged scholarship (CES) can become more critical and attentive to the knowledges and practices of often-invisible communities; 2) fostering innovations in public policymaking through critical CES; and 3) facilitating critical CES capacity-building. I am involved with a number of collaborative projects that consider how public policy making processes and outcomes can be more attentive to the experiences and knowledges of invisible and hyper-visible communities, and welcome students working in these areas.

Fomer Lab Members & Recent Graduates

Ezra Karmel, Ph.D. Candidate (Political Science)

I am a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph and a Senior Innovator at Proximity International’s Innovation Lab. My research draws on grounded theory to explore policy making, local governance, and civil society in authoritarian contexts. I’ve conducted most of my research in the Middle East.

Jacqueline Potvin, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph. My research examines the discursive construction of maternal, reproductive, and sexual health in Canadian development policy, including in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. My research is situated in the reproductive justice framework and interrogates how development policy acts as a site of medicalization, depoliticization, and global biopolitics. In particular, I am interested in analyzing how development policy acts as a site through which the reproduction of women and adolescent girls in the Global South is governed, and through which reproductive inequalities are at times reinforced.

Gabriel Allahdua, Inaugural Activist-in-Residence (AiR, 2022-2023)

Originally from St. Lucia, Gabriel Allahdua worked as a migrant farm worker in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program for four years, from 2012 to 2015, before leaving the program to seek permanent residency in Canada. Now a leading voice in the migrant justice movement, Allahdua is an organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers and an outreach worker with The Neighbourhood Organization, providing services to migrant workers across southwestern Ontario. He lives in Toronto with his two adult children and his grandson.

Gordon Trenbeth, Ph.D. 2023 (Philosophy)

My research primarily involves engaging with solidarity, feminist, and post-human theory as a lens for film study, and applying this as a practical means of exploring solutions to multi-species and environmental ethical problems.  I am especially interested in the analysis of more established political and normative philosophical frameworks via the intervention of more diverse theory as a way of challenging and improving our understanding of community membership from a multi-species perspective.  I use film criticism as a means of grounding my analysis and understanding the cultural context of the theory.

Jeremy Wiens, M.A. 2023 (Philosophy & International Development Studies)

My primary areas of interest are political philosophy and applied ethics, particularly as they pertain to contemporary issues of global justice, public policy, and political economy. I am an advocate for the utility of interdisciplinary approaches to real-world problems, and my current research focus lies in an application of philosophical tools and frameworks to international development studies. My aim is to contribute tools and observations that can help inform the creation of new development paradigms that are sensitive to the mistakes of the past and resilient towards the shocks of the future.

Olubiyi Mark Ariba, M.A. 2022 (Political Science)

My primary areas of research are political theory and public policy, particularly as they interrogate contemporary issues of representation, norms and social policy. My research engages with a broad interdisciplinary framework including quantitative analysis that seeks to transform political theory into an actionable and practical tool that engages with pressing social problems. My current research studies the role of descriptive representatives in the broadening of public policy debates. My aim is to analyze how  social policy driven by descriptive representation can  reproduce structural inequities and  counterintuitively narrow  the proffered solutions to issues that affect marginalized communities.

Shannon Boss, Ph.D. 2022 (Philosophy)

My research examines the ways in which diet discourses in the North American context construct “healthy” and “clean” foods and subjectivities. By considering what is at stake in what and how we eat, I offer insight into how power underpins and permeates our foodscapes today and the ways in which we fashion ourselves within them.

Cameron Fioret, Ph.D. 2021 (Philosophy)

I specialize in Social, Political and Environmental Philosophy, as well as Water Ethics and Justice. I utilize engaged theory in my research for expanding deliberative democracy to normative concerns of water, identifying political harms of water commodification (such as a lack of democracy in a state), and showing how grassroots community water activism can prevent or outlaw water injustices through ‘recommoning’ of water. I am currently an invited Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan’s Water Center.


Marie-Pier Lemay, Ph.D. 2021 (Philosophy & International Development Studies)

I am a FRQSC and SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Political Science Department of the University of Pittsburgh. My postdoctoral project addresses political solidarity from the standpoint of social movements that tackle gender and racial justice. I investigate how informal spaces of solidarity can alternately support or undercut important values of inclusion and diversity. My research interests include solidarity theory, global justice, development ethics/theory, grounded normative theory, decolonial and postcolonial theory, and feminist philosophy.

Personal website

Gloria Novovic, Ph.D. 2021 (Political Science & International Development Studies)

I hold a PhD in Political Science and International Development from the University of Guelph (2021) and specialize in decolonial feminist approaches to global governance. My research is informed by decolonial feminist and development theories and operationalized through interpretive policy critique. My doctoral research examined gender equality commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across systems of development actors in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda, and engaged participants in problem re-interpretation, knowledge generation, and research validation processes. I am passionate about interlinkages between policy and social change and am currently engaged in projects that aim to redefine international solidarity. 

Christi Storfa, Ph.D. 2021 (Philosophy)

My research argues that existing normative models of global justice cannot readily help us address problems of global justice until they fully grasp the interdependency and shared vulnerability of human beings (ecosystems) across borders.  In response to these failings of mainstream global justice theory, I develop a future-oriented normative framework that could support policy makers in analyzing and regulating unfolding global emergencies such as extreme poverty, mass migration, and climate change.