Department of Social Justice & Community Studies


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Faculty and Staff

Full- time SJCS Faculty

Benita Bunjun
Associate Professor
McNally South 205
902-496-8161
benita.bunjun@smu.ca

For details on Dr. Bunjun's work, please see:
Profile page

Val Marie Johnson
Associate Professor (Sabbatical July 1- December 31, 2021)
vjohnson@smu.ca

For details on Dr. Johnson's work, please see:
Profile page

Darryl Leroux
Associate Professor, Department Chair (July 1- December 31, 2021)
McNally South 203
902-420-5879
darryl.leroux@smu.ca

For details on Dr. Leroux's work, please see:
Profile page

Rachel Zellars 
Assistant Professor
SMU Leave of Absence Sept. 2021- June 2022, Jocelyne Bourgon
Visiting Scholar, Canada School of Public Service
rachel.zellars@smu.ca

For details on Dr. Zellars's work, please see:
Profile page

Punam Khosla 
Assistant Professor
McNally South 207
902-491-6617
punam.khosla@smu.ca

Punam Khosla is a scholar- activist and University lecturer who has transformed a long career of front- line social movement activism to academic pedagogy, research and critical theoritical work. Her current research theorizes the corporeal logic of everyday gendered, racialized and sexualized violence. She has worked as an educator, organizer, culturalcurator, policy analyst, researcher and public speaker in academia, government, media, arts and communit- based organizations. Khosla returned to academia to reflect on and break through the cul-de-sacs and questions that haunt social movements in their quest for social transformation. Building on a long and varied activist history her work on racialized, gendered and sexual violence speakers to the violent production of marked bodies and rethinks the social contours of race, gender, sexuality and dis-ability as a crucial foundation and erased third leg of the present world system. At once de-colonial, feminist, geographical and historical materialist, Khosla’s theorization of the corporeal social realm and its role in capitalist and spatial productions moves past the limits of a cultural, discursive, political-economic, territorial-geographical analytical architecture that defines radical social and political thought.


Neil Balan 
Assistant Professor
McNally South 209
neil.balan@smu.ca

Neil Balan has over 12 years of university teaching experience at four different Canadian universities, across multiple programs, and in undergraduate levels. He holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities (York U) and a MA in Media Studies (Concordia). He's interested broadly in critical studies of settler colonialism, racial capitalism, austerity and neoliberalism, petrocultures and climate change, biopolitics, infrastructure space, and state violence in relation to military affairs, militarization, and counterinsurgency. In 2020, Neil published two essays in Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies: "Government-in-a-Box, or Understanding Pandemic Measures as Biopolitics" as part of special collection on the COVID-19 pandemic; and, "Pandemic Time and Wartime, All Out of Joint," as part of a special themed issue.

Neil develops courses as spaces of collective teaching and learning that are reciprocal and shared acts undertaken in common. His aim: work together to imagine, create, and bring into being different university futures focused on community-based work and built on transformative social justice that is decolonial, abolitionist, anti-capitalist, and intersectional in scope and effect. In 2021-2022, he's teaching the following courses: SJCS 2220 Race, Racism, and Colonialism; SJCS 3508 Corporate and State Crime; SJCS 3810 Climate Disasters and Climate Justice; and SJCS 4811 The Military and Power

Adjunct SJCS Faculty 

Yvonne Brown
yvonne.brown@smu.ca 

Dr. Yvonne Brown brings to SJCS over forty years of training, experience, and innovation at all levels of the education system. At the post-secondary level, she has engaged in extensive and ongoing research and teaching in feminism, critical multiculturalism, slavery, anti-racism, globalization, decolonization, African and diaspora literature and history, and Caribbean Studies. Yvonne has a strong commitment to mentoring students as they navigate their way through very complex university bureaucracies, mindful of the obstacles facing students with challenges of indigeneity, race, class, disabilities and language. She believes in making racism and other forms of discrimination objects of scholarly inquiry that aim to transform curricula, policies, and practices in ways that acknowledge emotions of pain, shame, rage, and fear, and look at ways we can provide spaces for healing, dialogue, and reconciliation. Dr. Brown is the author of the autoethnography Dead Woman Pickney: A Memoir of Childhood in Jamaica (2010), and in the process of preparing a second edition. 

Part- time SJCS Faculty

Cooper Lee Bombardier
Cooperlee.bombardier@smu.ca

Cooper Lee Bombardier is a queer, trans writer, visual artist, and activist. He is the author of the memoir-in-essays Pass With Care, a finalist for the 2021 Firecracker Award in Nonfiction. His writing appears in The Kenyon Review, The Malahat Review, Ninth Letter, CutBank, Nailed Magazine, Longreads, Narratively, BOMB, and The Rumpus; and in 19 anthologies, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology, The RemedyEssays on Queer Health Issues, and the Lambda-nominated anthology, Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Speculative Fiction From Transgender Writers, which won a 2018 American Library Association Stonewall Book Award. He teaches in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at University of King’s College and in women and gender studies/social justice and community studies at Saint Mary’s University. 

Community Educators Collaborating with SJCS

Michelle Paul:
michelle.paul@smu.ca
Michelle Paul (Dalhousie University, Sociology/Anthropology; University of King's College, journalism) is a mother, treaty rightsholder, water protector, land defender, advocate, and activist. Her rights-based advocacy work is within Indigenous communities in solidarity with allies, and mainly around resistance to colonial interests’ infringements on Mi’kmaw sovereignty in their unceded territory. This importantly includes environmental concerns and resisting industry exploitation of Mi’kmaq lands without Mi’kmaq consent, such as in the Alton Gas Resistance.

SJCS Staff

Ghalia Mohamed
SJCS Administrator
McNally South 211
902-491-6624
ghalia.mohamed@smu.ca