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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 20, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Patricia Elliot

Professor, Sociology and MA CAST

Contact Information
Phone: 519.884.0710 ext.3682

Office Location: DAWB 5-142
Office Hours: Winter Term 2015: Thursday 11:00 – 12:00 pm, Or by appointment
Languages Spoken


Academic Background

BA (York); BEd (Toronto); MA (York); PhD (York)


I am a Professor in the Sociology Department at Wilfrid Laurier University. I am a co-founder and member of the MA program in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory.  As a graduate of York University's Social and Political Thought Programme, I bring an interdisciplinary focus to my research and my teaching. My major research interests are in theories of gender, transgender, sexualities, queer theory, feminism and psychoanalysis. My first book, From Mastery to Analysis: Theories of Gender in Psychoanalytic Feminism (1991), was published by Cornell University Press, and a second book was published with Ashgate in December 2010.

New Publication:

Debates in Transgender, Queer, and Feminist Theory (Ashgate Publishing Ltd.)


Transgender studies is a heterogeneous site of debate that is marked by tensions, border wars, and rifts both within the field and among feminist and queer theorists. Intersecting the domains of women’s studies, sexuality, gender and transgender studies, Contested Sites provides a critical analysis of key texts and theories, engaging in a dialogue with prominent theorists of transgender identity, embodiment and sexual politics, and intervening in various aspects of a conceptually and politically difficult terrain. A central concern is the question of whether the theories and practices needed to foster and secure the lives of transsexuals and transgender persons will be promoted or undermined - a concern that raises broader social, political, and ethical questions surrounding assumptions about gender, sexuality, and sexual difference; perceptions of transgender embodiments and identities; and conceptions of divergent desires, goals and visions.


'Patricia Elliot's book is a highly welcome addition to scholarly literature that engages critically with the theory and the lived realities of both transsexual and transgendered lives without privileging one above the other. With great integrity, she openly acknowledges her own "outsider" position to crucially extend the debate to the ethical responsibility to respond openly to those mutual differences that demand a significant rethinking of bodies, sex and gender.'
          Margrit Shildrick, Queen's University Belfast, UK

'This impressive book provides a lucid and engaging critical mapping of what Elliot identifies as key rifts in feminist, queer and trans studies conceptualizations of transsexing and transgendering. At the same time, it offers a compelling account of how and why it is that corporealities, subjectivities, and identities might best be conceived as heterogeneous sites of (un)becoming. As such, the book is, to my mind, an example of feminist practice at its most generous and engaged.'
          Nikki Sullivan, Macquarie University, Australia

For full title detail visit Ashgate Publishing Ltd:

Other Selected Publications:

* “Engaging Trans Debates on Gender Variance: A Feminist Analysis,”  Sexualities vol. 12.1, 2009, pp.5-32.

* “Feminist Politics and the Question of Trans Inclusion,” Atlantis. vol 29.1, Fall 2004, pp. 13-20.

* A Psychoanalytic Reading of Transsexual Embodiment,” Studies in Gender and Sexuality.  vol 4.2, Oct. 2001, pp. 295-323.

* "Some Critical Reflections on the Transgender Theory of Kate  Bornstein," Atlantis vol.23, no.1, Fall/Winter 1998, pp.13-19.

* "Transgenderism and the Question of Embodiment: Promising Queer Politics?" Gay and Lesbian Quarterly  vol. 4, no. 2, 1998, pp.231-261. Co-authored with Katrina Roen.

* “Denial and Disclosure: An Analysis of Selective Reality in the Feminist Classroom,” in L. Eyre and L. Roman (eds), Dangerous Territories: Struggles for Difference and Equality in Education. New York: Routledge, 1997.

* "Working Through Racism: Confronting the Strangely Familiar," Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society vol.1, no.1, Spring 1996, pp.63-72.

* "Denial and Disclosure: An Analysis of Selective Reality as Resistance to Feminist Curriculum," Resources for Feminist Research vol.24, nos.1 & 2, Spring/Summer 1995, pp.3-13.

* "Politics, Identity, and Social Change: Contested Grounds in Psychoanalytic Feminism," Hypatia  vol.10, no. 2, Spring 1995, pp.41-55.

Courses Taught:

Graduate course, MA CAST: Transforming Bodies

Undergraduate courses: Sociology of Sexualities; Psychoanalysis and Society; Sociology of Gender; Contemporary Social Theory; Women and Identity.

Areas of Expertise

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