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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 17, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Sara Matthews

Associate Professor and Global Studies Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Contact Information
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext.4580

Office Location: DAWB 5-119
Office Hours: Tuesdays 11:30am-1:00pm or by appointment
Academic Background

PhD, York University; MA, University of Toronto; BSc, University of Guelph


Sara’s work is interdisciplinary and explores the cultural studies of conflict and social reparation. She is interested in how individuals and communities learn from traumatic historical events and imagine forms of social justice and reconciliation. Her past research explored pedagogical strategies at Apartheid Museums in South Africa, specifically the difficulties of witnessing testimonial accounts of racialized violence. Her current research considers how contemporary Canadian War Artists are responding to Canada's mission in Afghanistan. In addition to her academic work, Sara curates aesthetic projects that archive visual encounters with legacies of war and social trauma.

Current Research Interests 

Aesthetic responses to war and conflict; theories of affect and memory
Visual culture, literature and digital narrative as memory work
Ethical encounters between military and civilian cultures
Teaching and learning from traumatic historical events; psychoanalysis and culture

Current teaching interests 

GS101 "Introduction to Global Studies", GS201 "Theories of Global Studies", GS231 "Introduction to War and Conflict", GS431 "Narratives of Violence"


2013. Re-thinking the "Good" in Good Global Citizenship: The Ethics of Cosmopolitan Pluralism. In: Benham-Rennick, J. and Desjardins, M. (Eds.). The World is my Classroom: Priorities for Globalizing Canadian Higher Education. University of Toronto Press, p. 142-169.

2013. "The Trophies of Their Wars": Affect and Encounter at the Canadian War Museum. Museum Management and Curatorship, p. 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/09647775.2013.807994

2012. Kennedy, RM., L.. Farley and S. Matthews. Art in Times of Conflict: Curricular Explorations. Special Issue of the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies 10(2).

2010. Traces of the Human: Memory and the Visual Frame in The Hero Book. Public (42): 47-55.

2009. Hitler’s Car as Curriculum Text: Reading Adolescents Reading History. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies 7(2):49-85

2008. The Apartheid Museum as Difficult Return: Self-implication in the Construction of Research Narratives. In: Landry, Anik (ed). La recherche en éducation muséale: actions et perspectives / Research in Museum Education: Actions and Perspectives. Éditions MultiMondes, Universitie Quebec a Montreal. (2008)

2007. Some Notes on Hate in Teaching. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society Volume 12 Issue 2:185-192. (2007)

Art Writing

2013. Wanting Images. A series on Art, Pedagogy and Desire for Gallery TPW, Summer 2013.


Additional Information

2012/13 Executive of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies

Book Review Editor Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies