Congratulations to recent PhD Alexandra Rodney, recipient of a SSHRC postdoctoral award

April 30, 2019 by Sherri Klassen

Alexandra Rodney, who completed her PhD in the Department of Sociology in 2017, has been awarded a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship to pursue research in the Department of Sociology at Ryerson University for the 2019-2010 academic year. The SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship program is funded by the Canadian government and seeks to “support the most promising Canadian new scholars in the social sciences and humanities, and assist them in establishing a research base at an important time in their research careers.”

Alexandra’s postdoctoral program is the next step after holding a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Guelph for the last two years where she conducted research on gender representation and leadership at the institution. Prior to that her dissertation work in the Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, resulted in a dissertation titled Healthy is the New Thin: The Discursive Production of Women’s Healthy Living Media. The dissertation was based on an analysis of women's healthy living media, which is produced within a Western political context of neoliberalism, healthism, and obesophobia. This work endeavoured to understand how health, gender and culture intersect within the contemporary healthy-living mediascape. Among other findings, the dissertation shows how social media food discourses differ from those in traditional print media and how everyday women are able to position themselves as health experts that readers turn to for health guidance. This dissertation work was supervised by Josee Johnston, Shyon Baumann and Elaine Power.

For her postdoctoral program, Alexandra will extend her previous food studies research on community food cultures. The title of her postdoctoral project is School Food Program Mobilization: Sowing the Seeds of Food Justice Leadership. This project is shaped by a social movements theoretical framework and has two key objectives: 1) understanding the conditions that lead to school food program mobilization; and 2) understanding how school food programs build community capacity for social justice leadership. The research site for this project is the city of Toronto where food insecurity rates can be as high as 50% in some neighbourhoods. This project will be supervised by Dr. Mustafa Koc in Ryerson University’s Sociology department.