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Jen Rinaldi, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Jen Rinaldi, PhD Jen Rinaldi, PhD

Assistant Professor, Legal Studies, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Urging enhanced support for Canadians with disabilities through storytelling and arts-based mediums

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Biography

Social and digital media have sharpened the lens through which abject bodies are portrayed, and too often critiqued. It has opened the world to intense criticism, and allowed virtual strangers to weigh in on everything from one’s sexual orientation and race to body image and body shaming, perpetrating hate and sometimes violence.

Inspired by stories of strength and adversity, Jen Rinaldi, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Legal Studies Program of the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, advocates increased awareness and vital support for persons with psychiatric and intellectual disabilities who not only face discrimination, but are victims of violence due to their circumstances. She works tirelessly to create arts-based opportunities for these individuals to become self-advocates and share their stories.

Mental health diagnosis casts a wide net often stemming from internal emotional struggles or intellectual challenges. Dr. Rinaldi's critical body of research examines the development of narrative and arts-based methodologies to deconstruct eating disorder recovery, and to re-imagine recovery in relation to queer community. She also works in collaboration with Recounting Huronia, an arts-based collective that explores and stories traumatic histories of institutionalization. Co-ordinator of the Huronia Speakers Bureau, she helps former residents communicate the historical injustices that took place through its outreach program.

Dr. Rinaldi's latest research explores artistic interpretation of works generated by individuals with disabilities, and aims to increase the disability presence in arts-based communities. She joined UOIT in 2012, and earned a tenure-track role within her faculty in 2014. She concentrates on disability law in her teaching.

Diverse interests and influences led her to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Philosophy and Classical Civilizations with Great Distinction from the University of Windsor in 2005, her Master of Arts in Philosophy with Honours from the University of Guelph in 2007, and her Doctorate in Critical Disability Studies at York University in 2013. Her graduate studies focused on the philosophy of law and identity politics of gender and disability studies.

Industry Expertise (8)

Education/Learning Legal Services Mental Health Care Program Development Public Policy Research Social Services Women

Areas of Expertise (6)

Body Image Body Management Constitutional Protections of Same-Sex Marriage Disability Eating Disorder Recovery Gender

Accomplishments (4)

Co-ordinator, Huronia Speakers Bureau (professional)

2016-02-01

The Huronia Speakers Bureau is an outreach activity that is part of the Recounting Huronia: A Participatory Arts-Based Research Project. It consists of persons who were once residents at the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia Ontario, and represents a wide array of personal experience and expertise on institutionalization.

Reviews Editor, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (professional)

2016-04-26

The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies publishes peer-reviewed original articles that advance research in the multidisciplinary, international field of disability studies.

Executive Board, Canadian Disability Studies Association (professional)

2013-09-01

The Canadian Disability Studies Association-Association Canadienne des Études sur L’Incapacité is dedicated to providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and scholarship regarding disability; networking among individual members, community groups, and other academic organizations; and maintaining and building a commitment to a scholarship that remains connected to, informed by, and in ongoing dialogue with community and consumer organizations and agencies.

Robert Tiffin Student Leadership Award (professional)

2013-06-01

In recognition of Dr. Rinaldi's leadership efforts which contributed to the growth, development, and vitality of York University.

Education (3)

York University: PhD, Critical Disability Studies 2013

University of Guelph: MA, Philosophy 2007

University of Windsor: BA, Philosophy and Classical Civilizations 2005

Media Appearances (2)

Survivors of institutionalization empowered to speak out

Community Living Ontario  online

2016-02-29

Update Friday spoke with Dr. Jen Rinaldi, a researcher at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), who is the volunteer administrator for the Bureau, and Harold Dougall, a former resident and Bureau presenter.

The Bureau itself is part of a larger initiative called Recounting Huronia: A Participatory Arts-Based Research Project, which was funded by a UOIT Social Science and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant. Dr. Rinaldi provided some insight on what the Bureau hopes to accomplish.

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Huronia Survivors Speak Out

Channel 12 CHEX TV Durham  tv

2016-02-11

It was once an institution for developmentally or intellectually disabled children. Thursday, survivors talked about the horrific conditions and treatment they experienced while living at the former Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia.

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Event Appearances (10)

Narrative Filmmaking on Body Stigma and QueerCrip Sexualities: An Exploration of Process & Themes

Canadian Disability Studies Association 13th Annual Conference, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences  Calgary, Alberta

2016-05-28

De/Constructing Exclusionary Immigration Law and Policy, Past and Present

Canadian Disability Studies Association 13th Annual Conference, Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences  Calgary, Alberta

2016-05-28

An Exploration of Participatory Arts-Based Research Conducted in Queer Community

Sexuality Studies Association Conference 2016  Calgary, Alberta

2016-05-29

Intersecting Stigmas, Intersecting Solutions: Insights from Through Thick and Thin, A Collaborative Research Project Exploring Queer Women’s Experiences of Body Image and Body Management

3rd Annual Weight Stigma Conference  Reykjavik, Iceland

2015-09-18

The Production of the Recoverable Subject in Eating Disorder Treatment Regimes

International Society of Critical Health Psychology 9th Biennial Conference  Grahamstown, South Africa

2015-07-12

Imagining Disability Futurities

Canadian Disability Studies Association 12th Annual Conference, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences  Ottawa, Ontario

2015-06-02

A Reflection on Legal Discourse and the Weight of Injustice

Canadian Disability Studies Association 12th Annual Conference, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences  Ottawa, Ontario

2015-06-02

In Honour of the Arthurs: Disability Support Services in the Age of Austerity

Nordic Network of Disability Research 13th Research Conference  Bergen, Norway

2015-05-02

Un-Fit Bodies

Nordic Network of Disability Research 13th Research Conference  Bergen, Norway

2015-05-02

Curating the Disabled Body: Histories, Legacies, and Futurities

Law and the Curated Body  Toronto, Ontario

2015-03-12

Research Grants (3)

Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life

SSHRC Partnership Grant $20000

2015-01-01

This project explores the artistic interpretation of works generated by individuals with disabilities, and aims to increase the disability presence in arts-based communities.

Through Thick and Thin: Investigating Body Image and Body Management among Queer Women in Southern Ontario

Women's College Hospital $75000

2015-01-01

In partnership with Toronto's Women's College Hospital and Rainbow Health, Dr. Rinaldi has developed digital storytelling workshops to allow LGBTQ to share experiences of body stigma, and what it means to face extreme body management issues. Stories are available through social media, and Sherbourne Medical Institute has adopted the training model.

Recounting Huronia: A Participatory Arts-Based Research Project

SSHRC Insight Grant $75000

2014-01-01

This project focuses on an arts-based collective involving survivors’ of physical and sexual abuse, and aims to raise the consciousness of the trauma that occurred through institutional outputs and speaking opportunities. As part of this project, Dr. Rinaldi is editing a special journal on survivorship to be published in late 2016.

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Courses (5)

Legal Theory

LGLS 2200U, 2nd Year Undergraduate Course

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Philosophy of Law

LGLS 3220U, 3rd Year Undergraduate Course

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Disability Law

LGLS 3300U, 3rd Year Undergraduate Course

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Law and the Body

LGLS 4030, 4th Year, Undergraduate Course

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Integrating Projects

LGLS 4099U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course

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Articles (4)

Recovering Bodies: The Production of the Recoverable Subject in Eating Disorder Treatment Regimes Learning Bodies - The Body in Youth and Childhood Studies

2016-02-03

In this chapter, we critique biopedagogies that inform eating disorder treatment. We employ a body-becoming counter-pedagogy as a theoretical frame in order to explore how youth develop and enact particular subjectivities when treated for eating disorders. Correspondingly, we consider how the failure or the refusal to enact an idealized subjectivity, one shaped by race and class and of particular interest to this chapter, sex and sexual orientation, results in the marking of bodies as unrecovered, even unrecoverable. We provide an account of biopedagogies of eating disorder recovery, against which we develop a body-becoming pedagogy. Using this philosophical framework we demonstrate how eating disorder treatment regimes sex bodies, and by extension how sex is conceptualized within heterosexual matrices.

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Reproductive Inequality in Canada Health Tomorrow: Interdisciplinarity and Internationality

2013-01-01

This article will examine the implications of taking an autonomy approach to reproductive health policy and practice, and the value of shifting to an equality approach. In legal terms, the acknowledgement that reproductive control is often a s. 15 equality matter, not simply a s. 7 concern, could lead to drastically different health care services. The author will begin by explaining R. v. Morgentaler (1988), the case which set the precedent that reproductive health is a s. 7 concern—that is, an autonomy matter. The author will identify some current conditions in the context of reproductive health in order to illustrate the shortcomings to s. 7. Specifically, she will demonstrate the importance that government take positive action rather than uphold a position of non-interference. The subsequent section will make a case for redressing present conditions via the invocation of s. 15 equality rights. The author will conclude with an evaluation of s. 15, considering the objection that not even this section can guarantee positive action.

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Critical Disability Discourse Retrospective Critical Disability Discourse

2013-01-01

Or, to put it more accurately, I was advised not to establish a journal while still a student, given the ponderous weight of the workload. This was more or less the friendly bit of counsel given when I first approached an editor in the disability studies field and made rather vague, starry-eyed inquiries regarding how to set up a journal. Admittedly, looking back now, I would have to conclude this was excellent advice.

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Two Women, Shared Stories: Contending with the Appropriation of Resistance in the Context of Sexuality Feral Feminisms

2014-01-01

This paper explores two authors’ experiences navigating the sexualized, heteronormative gaze. The stories told differ to the extent that they derive from different embodiments, but both pertain to resistance against paradigmatic ideas about beauty and sexuality, especially in relation to disability. The first story considers medical and sexual objectification in the context of eating disorder recovery. The second focuses on interpretations of the physically disabled body as unworthy of sexual consumption. Both narratives take up activities of resistance, but given the complexity of how resistance works, the authors seek to complicate what happens to resistance as well as how it is constrained, appropriated, and reframed.

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