Supervision & Teaching


Prospective Graduate Students:

Professor Nielsen holds Full Membership in the Graduate Programs in Health Policy & Equity, and Critical Disability Studies in the Faculty of Health, as well as Communication & Culture in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York University. If you are interested in having her supervise your PhD dissertation, MA thesis or major research project, please reach out. Potential postdoctoral researchers interested in securing external funding to work with Dr. Nielsen are encouraged to provide their project plans well in advance of their intended start date.

Former Graduate Students:

  • William MacGregor
    William MacGregor is a former student who Emilia supervised in 2021. As an established performer and emerging health policy and equity researcher William brings performance, autoethnography, and policy analysis together towards disability justice. Find out more about how William’s ongoing research and how working with Emilia helped model artistic and narrative approaches to knowledge formation.
  • Billie Anderson
    Billie Anderson is a former student who Emilia supervised in 2020. As an emerging and dedicated researcher in critical disability studies, Billie has gone on to both work and publish in the field. Hear about how Billie brought conversations around film and disability together in her MA and about her time working with Emilia.

Current Graduate Students:

Supervisory Committee Member for Madelaine McLaughlin:

PhD Candidate, Department of English, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University

Dissertation: “The Poetry and Poetics of Disability” (Working Title)

In progress: April 1 2022

Supervisory Committee Member for Hanako Smith:

PhD Candidate, Communication & Culture, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University

Dissertation: “The Virtual Care Patient Experience in Ontario” (Working Title)

In progress: July 1 2021

Supervisory Committee Member for Kiki Chang:

PhD Candidate, Health Policy & Equity, Faculty of Health, York University         

Dissertation: “The Professionalization and Government Regulation of Music Therapy in Canada” (Working Title)

In progress: July 1 2020


The University of British Columbia named Professor Nielsen a Top Instructor in 2015 as student evaluations placed her in the top 10% of all instructors in the Faculty of Arts. In teaching, she pairs scholarly rigour with opportunities for personal transformation; thus, she challenges students to think critically about their assumptions of contemporary society and who can claim we live in a time of equality where health, medicine, and healing are concerned. Therefore, she seeks to find productive ways to focus experiential knowledge and introduce the theoretical tools necessary to transform personal convictions into evidence-based scholarly arguments. 

In all of Professor Nielsen’s courses she assigns scholarly and arts-based approaches to research and creative activity. Here, she includes diverse materials such as blogs, comics, podcasts, and poetry to engage students in new kinds of critical thinking and creative output. Most recently, she completed a Certificate of Proficiency in Teaching for e-Learning through York University’s Teaching Commons, and with a grant from the Academic Innovation Fund will continue to seek creative and meaningful ways to transform university courses for an online environment. 

Professor Nielsen regularly represents HESO at York University’s scheduled recruitment events: Fall Campus Day; and Spring Open House, not to mention the Founder’s College Academic Orientation. Find out more about HESO through the Program Chats video below.

Program Chats: HESO at York University


In 2019-2021, Professor Nielsen was Faculty Mentor to HESOSA, the Health & Society Student Association, and worked with them to bring faculty and students together for a number of social, skills- and community-building events.


Since her appointment to York University, Professor Nielsen has created six different course syllabi and taught courses at the 1000-, 2000-, 3000- and 4000-level. These courses include a large co-taught lecture, small seminars, and courses that bridged the best of lecture-based learning and seminar style discussion. Also, she has worked to develop a new area of teaching concentration within the HESO program called “Arts, Medicine and Healing.”

Undergraduate Courses


York University

  • SOSC 1801 (6.0) Health Controversies: Issues of Health, Illness and Society
  • SOSC 2112 (3.0) Graphic Medicine: Narrative Medicine, Graphic Novels and Healing 
  • SOSC 3112 (3.0) Health, Storytelling and Media 
  • SOSC 3993 (3.0) Strategies of Social Science Research 
  • SOSC 4140 (6.0) Health and Society Seminar: Arts, Medicine and Healing 
  • SOSC 4142 (3.0) Health, Medicine and Creative Resistance

Prior to joining York University, Dr. Nielsen created 12 distinct course syllabi at the 1000-, 2000-, 3000- and 4000-levels and then taught 28 distinct 3.0 credit, 4.0 credit and 6.0 credit courses for a total of 108 university credits.

University of Alberta

  • WGS 102 (3.0) Gender and Social Justice 
  • WGS 244 (3.0) Disability Studies 
  • WGS 270 (3.0) Feminism and Sexualities 
  • WGS 380 (3.0) Canadian Feminist Activisms: Creative Resistance
  • WGS 460 (3.0) Masculinities: Rethinking Masculinity 
  • WGS 470 (3.0) Special Topics in Sexualities: Writing Queer Feelings
  • WGS 498 (3.0) Special Topics in Gender Studies: Exploring Graphic Medicine

Quest University

  • IND 2100 (4.0) Cornerstone: What is Knowledge? 
  • SOSC 2300 (4.0) Global Perspectives: Thinking Gendered Worlds 
  • SOSC 2400 (4.0) Self, Culture and Society: Engendering Creative Resistance 
  • IND 3137 (4.0) Gender, Sexuality and Disability in Popular Culture

University of British Columbia

  • WMST 101 (3.0) Gender, Knowledge, Sex and Power 
  • GRSJ 101 (3.0) Gender, Race, Sex and Power 
  • GRSJ 224 (6.0) Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice in Literature: Health, Illness and Disability Narratives