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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 19, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Kate Rossiter

Assistant Professor, Health Studies (On leave)

Contact Information
Phone: 519.756.8228 ext.5793

Office Location: RCE 254

Academic Background
Ph.D., University of Toronto, 2005 – 2009, Social and Behavioural Health Science
M.A., New York University, 2000-2001, Performance Studies
B.A., Mount Allison University, 1995-2000, Drama and Women’s Studies


I have been an enthusiastic member of the Laurier Brantford community since 2009. The route to Brantford was not a straightforward one, academically speaking: I arrived at LB on the heels of completing my PhD at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health where I critically explored the intersection of theatre and public health research. Before enrolling at U of T I worked as a Health Promoter at York University, and sexual health educator in New York City, where I also completed my Master’s Degree in Performance Studies. Prior to this, I lived in New Brunswick where I did a combined interdisciplinary degree of Drama and Women’s Studies. My academic interests have always been extremely varied, so I feel incredibly lucky to find myself at a small campus that values interdisciplinarity and supports my work as both a critical scholar and an academic with an arts-based practice.  My current research involves the use of art to facilitate storytelling with institutional survivors.

Beyond my academic work I am an avid baker, a novice jogger, a sucky dog owner, and the proud mama of one active, delightful toddler: Ruby.

Additional Information

Teaching 2013-2014

Fall 2013
HS200 –  Social Determinants of Health
HS404 - Theorizing the Body

Winter 2014

HS 200 - Social Determinants of Health 

Administrative Responsibilities 2012-2013

I am currently the Women’s Faculty Colleague for the Brantford Campus. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns about issues regarding gender and equity on campus.

Research interests

My areas of research are diverse, and take multiple forms. I am interested theatre as a mechanism for engaging health and bioethics research, and explore this area from both a theoretical and an applied perspective as a practicing playwright. Most recently I worked with Dr. Rebecca Godderis on a large historical research-based theatre production
exploring ethical issues inherent within pandemic influenza planning and response entitled “Abide With Me: A Story of Two Pandemics.” Currently, I am beginning a new creative project that explores the nature of institutionalization through the history of institutions for developmentally disabled people in Ontario. Further interests include understanding the lived experience of the social determinants of health (SDOH) through creative teaching methodologies, and in particular the use of board games (see for details); and the impact of neo-liberalism and the knowledge economy on systems of inquiry and daily bodily practices.

Selected Publications

Rossiter, K and Clarkson, A. (2013).  "Opening Ontario's 'Saddest Chapter':  A Social History of  the Huronia Regional Centre." Journal of Canadian Disability Studies.

Rossiter, K. (2012). “Talking Turkey: Anxiety, Public Health Stories and the Responsibilization of Health.” Journal of Canadian Studies. 46(20): 176-195.

Godderis, R. and Rossiter, K. (2011). ‘If you have a soul you will volunteer at once’: Gendered expectations of duty to care during pandemics.  Sociology of Health and Illness.

Rossiter, K. and Godderis, R. (2011). Finding the necessary distance: Theorizing ethnographic research-based theatre. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 40(6), 648-677. 

Rossiter, K. (2011). Bearing Response-ability: Theater, Ethics and Medical Education. Journal of Medical Humanities 33: 1 - 14.

Gray, J., K Rossiter, Kontos, P. Colantonio, A., Gilbert, J. Keightley, M. James, S. Machin Gale, S. Nacos, M. (2011). After the Crash: A Play About Brain Injury. Canadian Theatre Review 146: 66-86

Faegan, R., Rossiter, K. (2011). University-Community Engagement: A Case Study using Popular-Theatre. Education and Training 53(2): 140-154.

Silva, D., Nie, J., Rossiter, K., Sahini, S., Upshur, R. (2010). Contextualizing Ethics: Ventilators, H1N1 and Marginalized Populations. Healthcare Quarterly 13(1), 32

Rossiter, K. and Reeve, K. (2010). It's Your Turn!: Exploring the Benefits of a Traditional Board Game for the Development of Learning Communities. In F. Edvardsen and H. Kulle (eds), Educational Games: Design, Learning and Applications. New York: Nova Publishers.

Selected Creative Works

Rossiter, K. and Godderis, R. (2010). Abide With Me: A Story of Two Pandemics©. Unpublished Script.

Rossiter, K. and Reeve, K. (2007) The Last Straw! ©: A Board Game About the Social Determinants of Health. Published Board Game.

Selected Invited Talks and Conference Papers

Polzer, J., Power, E., Rossiter, K., Thompson, A., Wakewich, P., and Wynn, F.Peer Mentoring for Critical Pedagogy in Health Education: Findings from a Workshop on Teaching Social Determinants of Health (SDH) in Undergraduate Settings. Biennial Conference of the Canadian Society for the Sociology of Health, Ottawa, October 25-27, 2012.

Rossiter, K. Curing What Ails Us? Performance in the Context of Health Research. Performance Studies: Canada. Toronto, On. April 13 -14 2012.

Rossiter, K. Plagues and Performance. The Art of Healing: Art Gallery of Ontario. Toronto, On. February 24th 2012.

Rossiter, K. Pandemic Dramas:  Using Theatre as a Method for Generating Public Ethical Deliberation Regarding Pandemic Preparedness and Response. Pandemic Preparedness Strategic Research Initiative Conference. Montreal, PQ. November 11-13th 2010.

Rossiter, K. The Monster Within: Body as Home, Disease as Story. Grand River Forum. Brantford, On. October 20th 2010.

Godderis, R. and Rossiter, K. Waiting for the Pandemic: Theatre, Embodiment and Knowledge Generation. Qualitative Health Research Conference. Vancouver, British Columbia, October 3-5, 2010.

Rossiter, K., Godderis, R., Clarkson, A. Brantford, 1918: A Study of Bioethics, Pandemic Influenza and Historical Research-Based Theater. International Congress of Qualitative Methodology. Urbana-Champagne, IL. May 25 -27th 2010.

Rossiter, K. Performance Ethnography and the Lived Experience of Pandemic Vulnerability. 27th Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference. Brantford, ON. May 13 – 15th 2010.

Rossiter, K. Method Acts: A Critical Exploration of the Use of Theatre in Medical Education. Landscapes of Learning Conference. Brantford, ON. September 2009.