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Jocelyn Thorpe  - University of Manitoba . Winnipeg , MB, CA

Jocelyn Thorpe

Associate Professor, Women's and Gender Studies Program | University of Manitoba

Winnipeg , MB, CANADA

Professor Thorpe explores the history and legacies of colonialism in the Canadian context



Jocelyn Thorpe  Publication Jocelyn Thorpe  Publication



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Dr. Jocelyn Thorpe speaks on reserved gym times for the ALC READ THE TRC REPORT (Canada's apology, pages 267–269)



My research draws from critical race, feminist, and environmental studies scholarship to examine the history and legacies of, as well as challenges to, colonialism in the Canadian context. I seek to understand how past discourses and relationships of power lead to and naturalize present-day social and environmental inequities, and to open up possibilities for more just relationships among humans and between humans and the non-human world in which we live.

My current major project, "Lost Encounters in the 'New-Found-Land,'" is supported by a five-year SSHRC Insight Grant (2013–2018). It explores the history of present-day relationships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Newfoundlanders and the territory they have come to share, with the goals of: contributing a detailed analysis of a little-known history; advancing scholarly understandings of the workings of colonialism, including its relationship with the non-human world; and contributing to decolonizing relationships among humans and between humans and the rest of the world. Together with Newfoundland Mi'kmaq artist Joanna Barker, I am currently working on the oral history component of the research.

With my colleagues Stephanie Rutherford at Trent University and L. Anders Sandberg at York University, I recently completed co-editing a book called Methodological Challenges in Nature-Culture and Environmental History Research. The collection grapples with challenges of how to study human-environment relationships over time, and provides insight from scholars working in diverse geographical and theoretical contexts. Additionally, I am the author of Temagami's Tangled Wild: Race, Gender, and the Making of Canadian Nature, which studies the history of how Teme-Augama Anishnabai territory in Ontario came to be understood by non-Indigenous people as a site of wild Canadian nature, and the efforts of the Teme-Augama Anishnabai over time to enact their own relationships to their homeland.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (6)

Critical Race Theory


Environmental Studies


Social Inequality

Environmental Inequality

Accomplishments (1)

Teaching Excellence Award (New Faculty Category)

Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba, 2015

Education (3)

York University: Ph.D., Environmental Studies 2008

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute of Studies in Education: M.A., Sociology and Equity Studies 2003

University of Toronto: B.A. (Hons.), English Literature and Equity Studies 2001

Media Appearances (5)

Academia has a mom problem



This is without significant pressure from the university, but it also demonstrates, as my buddy Jocelyn Thorpe points out to me, that there is a bit of a disconnect between the gifts of the union and the realities of life. Sometimes we have to finish things we started, or do things we said we would do when we were more ambitious and better rested. I am deeply, profoundly sleep deprived, so I am certain that I do everything on that list very poorly...

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Let's make cycling in this city safe for all

Winnipeg Free Press  


I love riding my bike. On my bike, I feel strong, free and joyful. When I heard feminist abolitionist Susan B. Anthony proclaimed in 1896 bicycling had done more for the emancipation of women than anything else, I knew instinctively what she meant...

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We can start to reconcile now

Winnipeg Free Press  


Two weeks have passed since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its findings, since I had the honour of being packed into the ballroom of the Delta hotel in downtown Ottawa for the momentous occasion. I lucked out and got to sit tucked on the floor at the feet of residential school survivor and self-described victor Ted Fontaine, one of many indigenous leaders from Manitoba in the room...

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Princess parties for all, including the boys

Winnipeg Free Press  


I tried to relax about the whole princess thing. You might say I worked hard to let it go. My six-year-old daughter seems OK so far. Yes, she pretends to be Princess Anna from Frozen. But she pretends also to be Piggie from the Elephant and Piggie book series, Paddington Bear, and Orphan Annie. The list goes on...

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Girls struggle more to play sports longer

Global News  


“I do think that part of it is this idea that girls throw like a girl, run like a girl, pass like a girl,” said Jocelyn Thorpe, a women and gender studies professor at the University of Manitoba. “It makes it not appealing for someone to pass a ball to someone who supposedly doesn’t know what to do with it.”...

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Event Appearances (5)

Youth-Led Reconciliaction, Winnipeg Branch

Pathways to Reconciliation Conference  Winnipeg, MN.


Making Colonialism National: The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Promise of New/Old Stories

Annual Meeting of the Canadian Historical Association  Calgary, AB.


Decolonizing Teaching: A Roundtable

Annual Meeting of Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes  Ottawa, ON.


Belaboured Introductions: Inspired Reflections on the Introductory Course in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Annual Meeting of Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes  Ottawa, ON.


Beyond Texts and Archives: Experiments with New Sources and Methods in Environmental History

2nd World Congress of Environmental History  Guimaraes, Portugal


Research Grants (1)

Lost Encounters in the 'New-Found-Land'

SSHRC Insight Grant 

2013 - 2018

Articles (3)

The Intro Course: A Pedagogical Toolkit

Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture and Social Justice


Grassroots Empowerment and the Rise of the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women's Network (NAWN): A Report on NAWN's First Eight Years

Newfoundland Aboriginal Women's Network


Temagami's Tangled Wild: The Making of Race, Nature, and Nation in Early-Twentieth-Century Ontario

Rethinking the Great White North: Race, Nature, and the Historical Geographies of Whiteness in Canada