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Leigh Potvin - Cape Breton University. Sydney, NS, CA

Leigh Potvin

Assistant Professor, Community Studies | Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS, CANADA

Educator, activist, academic. Interests: straight privilege, urban farming, backyard chickens, fat activism & active transportation.





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Industry Expertise (5)


Food Production



Writing and Editing

Areas of Expertise (14)

gender studies (feminism)

Queer Theory

Privilege in Society

White Privilege

straight privilege

Food Security

Youth and Education



Fat Bullying and Fat Shaming


Northern Ontario


Teacher Education

Education (4)

Lakehead University: PhD, Education 2017

Straight privilege, queer theory

Lakehead University: M.Ed, Education 2011

Critical masculinity studies

Lakehead University: B.Ed, Education 2005

McGill University: B.A., Political Science/African Studies 2003

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (2)

More than pink shirts and posters: Straight allies in schools

CBC Information Morning (Cape Breton)  radio


Radio interview for Cape Breton University research month about research entitled, More than pink shirts and posters: Straight allies in schools.

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Backyard chickens in Thunder Bay

CBC Superior Morning  radio


What is it like having backyard chickens in Thunder Bay? Leigh Potvin knows and is a community advocate for greater access to urban livestock, like chickens.

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Research Grants (3)

Doctoral Fellowship

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada $40000


Two-year doctoral fellowship to pursue doctoral research

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Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Lakehead University/Government of Ontario $15000


for doctoral studies

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Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Lakehead University/Government of Ontario $15000


for doctoral studies

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Articles (3)

Radical heterosexuality: Straight teacher activism in schools

Confero: Essays on Education, Philosophy, and Politics


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Exploring Gender Norms through the "Colour Blind" Initiative

Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education


Recently, the authors have been collecting data for a research project that explores secondary school boys' perceptions of masculinity. They spent a week in Leigh's grade 11 philosophy class discussing gender while observing and video recording students' perception for analysis. In their research, they used Colour Blind as a vehicle for unearthing students' perceptions about masculinity. Colour Blind is a group initiative task that involves a blindfold for each participant and a structured array of coloured shapes. After completing the blindfolded problem-solving task, their group was able to make a list of typically masculine leadership strategies. The authors propose that, as time goes by, the Colour Blind experience may help these students to name and challenge dominant gender norms that would otherwise go unquestioned. The initiative can also be used as an innovative experiential approach for exploring concrete or abstract concepts across the Ontario K-12 curriculum.

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Boobs, Boxing, and Bombs: Problematizing the Entertainment of Spike TV

Spaces for Difference: An Interdisciplinary Journal


Spike is the only television network in North America “for men.” Its motto, “Get more action,” is suggestive of pursuits of various forms of violence. We conceptualize Spike not as trivial entertainment, but rather as a form of pop culture that erodes the gains of feminists who have challenged the prevalence of normalized hegemonic masculinity (HM). Our paper highlights themes of Spike content, and connects those themes to the literature on hegemonic masculinity. Moreover, we validate the identities and lives of men who cannot or refuse to subscribe to the pressures of hegemonic masculinity.

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