Research Interests

Gender, sexuality, education, queer and trans* youth, radicalized identities, popular culture and cultural studies, feminist and queer theory

Current Research

My PhD dissertation focuses on the experiences of school staff who have worked with trans and gender-nonconforming youth. Through everyday administrative and social practices, school systems invest heavily in gendered norms and the gender binary. By analyzing interview data, my dissertation explores how educators navigate this institutional context and the expectations that it puts onto them by drawing on but also sometimes resisting dominant discourses about education, gender, and the value of diversity. I am particularly interested in illuminating the complex contradictions that adults in schools encounter when they (try to) support trans and gender-fluid students, in order to avoid blaming individuals for systemic failures.

As someone who has always been very involved in social justice work in and outside of my academic life, my hope is that my research will help inform educational practices and improve institutional responses of school systems to gender diversity and gender non-conformity.

Academic Publications

Frohard-Dourlent, H. (forthcoming) Somebody’s Asian in Dr. Horrible: Racialized (mis)representations, humour, and the absolution of whiteness. In Woodall, L. & Iatropoulos, M.E. (eds.), Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in the Works of Joss Whedon. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland.

Frohard-Dourlent, H. (2015) ‘I don’t care what’s under your clothes’: the discursive positioning of educators working with trans and gender-nonconforming students. Sex Education (read it online).

Lyon, K., Frohard-Dourlent, H., Fripp, P. & Guppy, N. (2014) Canada. In Stevens, P. & Dworkin, G. (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Race and Ethnicity Inequalities in Education. New York: Palgrave.

Frohard-Dourlent, H. (2012). When the heterosexual script goes flexible: How readers respond to female heteroflexibility in popular culture. Sexualities, 15(5-6), 718-38. (read it online)

Kenyon, K., Frohard-Dourlent, H. & Roth, W. (2012) Falling between the cracks: Ambiguities of international student status in Canada. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 42(1). (read it online)

Frohard-Dourlent, H. (2012). Working to “increase respect and reduce stigma”: Thinking through the possibilities and limits of an anti-homophobia education program in Paris. Journal of LGBT Youth Studies, 9(1), pp. 1-21. (read it online)

Frohard-Dourlent, H. (2012). Anti-homophobia education beyond bullying. In M. Smith & F. Jaffer (eds.) Beyond the Queer Alphabet: Conversations on Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality. Teaching Equity Matters E-Book Series. http://www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/Beyond-the-Qeer-Alphabet

Frohard-Dourlent, H. (2010). “Lesbian-faux” representations: Navigating the politics of female heteroflexibility in Buffy Season 8.” In Sexual Rhetorics in the Whedonverse (pp. 31-47), edited by E. B. Waggoner.

Frohard-Dourlent, H. (2009). Why the school system fails to equalize: The influence of socio-economic background on children’s achievement in school. Sojourners: Undergraduate Journal of Sociology, 1: 37-45.
Community reports and other publications

Community reports and other publications

Veale J, Saewyc E, Frohard-Dourlent H, Dobson S, Clark B & the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey Research Group (2015). Being Safe, Being Me: Results of the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey. Vancouver, BC: Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia. (read it online) (en francais)

Chandra Herbert, R. & Frohard-Dourlent, H. (2015). So you wanna start a GSA? Practical guide for students and their allies. Vancouver, BC: CALL Out! project.

In 2013, I was awarded the Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. This is a competitive, faculty-wide award that is granted for outstanding contribution to teaching and learning. Over my last five years as a Teaching Assistant in the department, I have received an average score of 4.7 out of 5 in student evaluations.

2015

Instructor for SOCI-320 – Diversity in Family Forms
TA for SOCI-316 – Human Sexuality

2014

TA for SOCI-312 – Canadian Social Structure
TA for SOCI-382 – Sociological Methods: Qualitative Research

2013

TA for SOCI-369 – Sociology of Sexualities

2012

TA for SOCI-312 – Gender Relations
TA for SOCI-369 – Sociology of Sexualities
SOCI-100: Introduction to Sociology

HÉLÈNE FROHARD-DOURLENT’s
Curriculum Vitae

Education

M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2010
B.A., Paris III – Sorbonne-Nouvelle, 2007

Bio

My substantive research interests center on the way that topics related to gender and sexuality are approached and discussed in the institutional context of formal education in ways that often reproduce dominant norms and thus create disparities in achievement, health and social well-being for students who do not fit into current cultural expectations of gender and sexuality. I always pay attention to the ways in which these processes are shaped by discourses of race/ethnicity, disability, and class. A secondary but significant research interest of mine considers how dominant discourses circulate in media representations in complex ways that often simultaneously challenge and confirm normative expectations. This preoccupation with the impact of popular culture has been particularly powerful in the classroom, where I use images and videos to engage students in their sociological learning and encourage them to look at their everyday world with a keen critical eye.

My academic work has always gone hand-in-hand with significant commitments to social justice work in the community. Over the years, I have been involved in many committees and organizations that interact with educators on issues of gender and sexuality, support young queer and trans people, and work to create both individual and systemic cultural shifts. I have spoken to the media about these issues on a number of occasions, most recently in response to the release of the Canadian Trans Youth Health survey, as one of the francophone members on the team.