Emilia Nielsen holds a PhD in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice from the University of British Columbia, a MA in English from the University of New Brunswick and a BFA in Writing from the University of Victoria. She was a Teaching Fellow at Quest University in Squamish, BC from 2013-2015. Recently, Dr. Nielsen joined the University of Alberta’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies as a Full-Time Instructor in 2015-2017.
Emilia’s primary area of research is feminist cultural studies with an emphasis in life writing and specific attention on breast cancer and queer disability. Through an intersectional feminist framework, this research explores the body, narrative and social justice. It insists on rethinking the power of personal stories, not only in the field of gender, sexuality and women’s studies, but also in contemporary cultural life in a historical moment where we are instructed to “tell your story.” Moreover, this research considers how personal narratives can illuminate larger social justice issues located at the intersections of gender, race ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexuality and ability. Overwhelmingly, Emilia explores the making of collective knowledge and investigates where disruptive stories impress upon institutions such as medicine and academia and, in so doing, have the potential to engender creative resistance. Her academic writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in journals such as TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Canadian Woman Studies, Performance Research, and Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature.
Her poetry has appeared across Canada in literary journals including: The Antigonish Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Event, Descant, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Prairie Fire, Room Magazine, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry by PRISM international. She has attended writing residencies at The Banff Centre, Sage Hill Summer Poetry Colloquium, and the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Summer Artists and Writers Colony at University of Saskatchewan’s Kenderdine Campus at Emma Lake. Opportunities to write, study and travel were made possible by financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, The University of British Columbia, The University of New Brunswick, The University of Victoria, the British Columbia Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. Her debut collection of poetry, Surge Narrows, published by Leaf Press in 2013, was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, granted by the League of Canadian Poets.
Emilia is a member of the following literary and scholarly professional organizations: The League of Canadian Poets, Canadian Women in the Literary Arts, Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes and the Sexuality Studies Association.