Suzanne Lenon
Associate Professor
Women & Gender Studies
University of Lethbridge

My teaching and research interests reside at the intersections of socio-legal studies and critical race feminisms, with particular focus on the complex ways race and sexuality interlock in law and culture. Specifically, I have been interested in the historical, material and discursive realms of marriage law and its relationships to gendered, classed and racialized nation building (namely, same-sex marriage; the socio-legal regulation of polygamous marriage).

My more recent research project examines these problematics but from the (related) topic of inheritance. This research enquires into why and how inheritance matters as a vehicle to apprehend the workings of social inequalities, and (hopefully) to imagine their transformation. I employ a methodological assemblage of archives, oral history, and critical discourse analysis.

©2017 Suzanne Lenon, Photo credit: Shelagh Lenon, Web development by AvO WebWorks

My research is located in the inter-disciplinary fields of socio-legal studies and critical race feminisms, with a focus on the complex and myriad ways race and sexuality interlock in both law and culture. Specifically, I have been interested in the historical, material and discursive realms of marriage law and its relationships to gendered, classed and racialized nation building. My more recent research trajectory examines these problematics but from the (related) topic of inheritance.

Research & Supervision Interests

  • Inheritance as Socio-Legal Concept, Practice, Meaning(s)
  • Intersections of Race and Sexuality in Law and/or Culture
  • Queer Rights in Contexts of Settler Colonialism & Multiculturalism
  • Gender, Sexuality & Human Rights
  • Marriage & Kinship
  • Socio-Legal Regulation of ‘Family’

Research Projects

Inheritance

Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Theodor Kerzner Q.C. Research Grant (2018)
“Where is my land?’ – Gender and the Legal History of Wills in southern Alberta, 1880-1930”

Board of Governors Research Chair Tier II (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2020)
“Wills as a Social & Legal Practice: Texts, Stories, Meanings”

Centre for Oral History and Tradition Faculty Research Award “(Hi)stories of Inheritance: Kinship, Intimacies, and Belonging”

Social-Legal Regulation of Polygamy

Parkland Institute Faculty Research Award “Entangled Policy Knots: Polygamy, Biopolitics and the Desire for Gender Equality”

Community of Research Excellent Development Opportunities (CREDO) Grant “The Intimate Publics of Polygamy: A Socio-Legal Genealogy of Polygamy and Property Relations”

University of Lethbridge Research Fund “Intimate Publics: A Socio-Legal Genealogy of Polygamy”

Same Sex Marriage

A White Wedding? The Racial Politics of Same Sex Marriage in Canada (PhD Dissertation, OISE/UofT, 2008)

©2017 Suzanne Lenon, Web development by AvO WebWorks

Books

OmiSoore H. Dryden and Suzanne Lenon, eds. (2015) Disrupting Queer Inclusion: Canadian Homonationalisms and the Politics of Belonging. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Book Chapters

Lenon, S. The Governmentality of Gay Rights: Queer Love in Neoliberal Times (accepted). In Re-Making Normal: Governing the Social in Neoliberal Times. ed. D. Brock. UBC Press

Lenon, S. Polygamy, State Racism, and the Return of Barbarism (in progress). In Socio-Legal Imaginations: A Field in Development, eds. M. Alam et.al. (with Margarent Denike)

Lenon, S. and O.H. Dryden (2015) Introduction: Interventions, Iterations, Interrogations: Disturbing the (Homo)Nation. In Disrupting Queer Inclusion: Canadian Homonationalisms and the Politics of Belonging. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Lenon, S. (2015) Monogamy, Marriage and Making of Nation. In Disrupting Queer Inclusion: Canadian Homonationalisms and the Politics of Belonging. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Refereed Journal Articles

Lenon, S. (in progress) 'A Blemish on Canadian History and Pride’: Race and the Demand for Queer Redress. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law

Granzow, K., Kirbyson, E, and Lenon, S. (2017) “‘UnSettling’ the Classroom: Meditations on the Necessity of Failure.” A Light on Teaching.

Lenon, S. (2017) Inheritance’s Intimacies and Social Change. Canadian Review of Sociology, 54(3), 366-368.

Lenon, S. and D. Peers (2017) ‘Wrongful’ Inheritance: Race, Disability and Sexuality in Cramblett v. Midwest Sperm Bank. Feminist Legal Studies

Lenon, S. (2016) Intervening in the Context of White Settler Colonialism: West Coast LEAF, Gender Equality and the Polygamy Reference. Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 6(6), 1324-1347

Unpacking Inclusion & Building Queer(er) Alliances: An Interview with OmiSoore H. Dryden and Suzanne Lenon. (2016) Upping the Anti: A Journal of Theory and Action, 18, 34-46

Lenon, S. (2013) White as Milk: Proposition 8 and the Cultural Politics of Gay Rights. Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture and Social Justice, 36(1), 44-54

Lenon, S. (2012) Hidden Hegemonies of the Rainbow: The Racialized Scaffolding of Forced Marriage & Civil Partnership in the UK. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 33(3), 275-287

Lenon, S. (2011) Why is Our Love an Issue? Same-Sex Marriage and the Racial Politics of the Ordinary. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, 17(3), 351-372

Lenon, S. (2008) What’s So Civil about Marriage? The Racial Pedagogy of Same-Sex Marriage in Canada. Darkmatter, Issue 3, 26-36

Lenon, S. (2005) Marrying Citizens! Raced Subjects? Re-Thinking the Terrain of Equal Marriage Discourse. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 17(2), 405-421

Edited Journal Issues

Nicola Barker and Suzanne Lenon, eds. (2016) “Radically Rethinking Marriage.” Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 6(6)

Suzanne Lenon, Susanne Luhmann & Nathan Rambukkana, eds. (2015) “Intimacies/Affects.” Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture and Social Justice, 37(1)

Stacy Douglas and Suzanne Lenon, eds. (2014) “Law and Decolonization.” Special Issue of Canadian Journal of Law and Society, vol. 29(2)

Carastathis, A., E. Haque, S. Lenon, A. Medovarski, C. Steenbergen and J. Wayne, eds. (2009) “Women and Canadian Multiculturalism.” Canadian Woman Studies, 27(2/3)

Book Reviews

“Family Money: Property, Race, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century” by Jeffory A. Clymer. In Feminist Legal Studies, 22(2), 221-223 (2014)

“About Canada: Queer Rights” by Peter Knegt (Fernwood). In Sexualities, 16(5/6), 747 748 (2013)

“The Importance of Being Monogamous: Marriage and Nation Building in Western Canada to 1915” by Sarah Carter (University of Alberta Press). In Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal, 34(1) (2009)

Review of “All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America” by Suzana Danuta Walters (University of Chicago Press). In Resources for Feminist Research, 31(1&2), 9-11 (2004)

Review of “Same-Sex Marriage in Canada” by Kathleen Lahey and Kevin Alderson (Insomniac Press), for Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 19(2), 180-183 (2004)

©2017 Suzanne Lenon Web development by AvO WebWorks

At the heart of the content of my courses lies “difficult knowledge”, difficult not only with regards to complexity of theory and analysis but also for the ways feminist theories and methodologies can disrupt established ways of thinking. I encourage students to become curious about the world around them, asking after the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of social structures and relations of power that shape our lives. I am committed to continually learning from my students and I strive to encourage students to value their intellectual journey as one worth cultivating. It is my hope that students will carry concepts and analytics learned in my courses into their lives beyond the classroom and as they make their way through their degree and in the world. I want the students I teach to leave the classroom empowered to think critically and thoughtfully about the world around them, and their own place in (producing) it.

Undergraduate

1000 level

WGST 1000 - Knowing Bodies: Introduction to Women & Gender Studies

2000 level

WGST 2300 - Theorizing Women’s Lives: Feminist Frameworks

WGST 2600 - Activism and Advocacy

3000 level

WGST 3020 - Gender, Sexuality & Human Rights

WGST 3300 - Critical Race Feminisms – Theories, Histories, Futures

WGST 3850 - Marriage & Citizenship

4000 level

WGST 4900 - Queer Theory, Queer Lives

Graduate

CSPT 5301/730 - Queering Feminism, Gender & Power

Teaching Resources

Unsettling Settler Colonialism: Resources for the Classroom

Funded through a U of L Teaching Development Fund, this project was inspired by efforts in post-secondary institutions to respond to the 94 calls to action of Canada's Truth & Reconciliation Commission. Together with Dr. Kara Granzow (Sociology), we are developing pedagogical practices that seek to unsettle students'/our complicities with settler colonialism, what we are calling an 'unsettling' pedagogical approach. See our blog post on “ReconciliationSyllabus” for some reflections on this: https://reconciliationsyllabus.wordpress.com.

©2017 Suzanne Lenon Web development by AvO WebWorks