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Arts & Science Program

Dr. Vanessa Watts

Vanessa Watts
Department of Sociology, Kenneth Taylor Hall – 633
905-525-9140 ext. 26119
Office Hours:

Dr. Vanessa Watts is excited to be part of the instructional team in the Arts & Science Program and to teach ARTSSCI 1CC3 / Contemporary Indigenous Studies (cross-listed with INDIGST 1AA3) in 2019-20. She completed her undergraduate degree at Trent University, MA at the University of Victoria, and PhD in the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University. Vanessa is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University. She teaches in areas of Contemporary Indigenous Issues, Residential Schools, Indigenous Sovereignty, Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Methodologies, and Indigenous Ontologies, and recently launched a new course: RECONCIL 1A03 / Reconciling What? Indigenous Relations in Canada.

Dr. Watts’ research interests include the sociology of knowledge, Indigenous ontologies, Indigenous feminisms and Indigenous ways of knowing. In 2018, she was awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for her project “An Indigenist Sociology of Knowledge: Indigenous social lives in Indigenous studies, sociology and political science (1895 and beyond).” The project interrogates over a century of representations of Indigenous peoples in sociology and political science. It will contribute to new knowledge in the field of Indigenous studies through an inductively generated concept map of Indigenous understandings of social beings. This method centres Indigenous voice and knowledges, and convenes it as an authoritative source of analysis. Dr. Watts is also a Research Fellow at the Yellowhead Institute at Ryerson University, a centre that privileges First Nation philosophy and is focused on policies related to land and governance.