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Carla Rice is Canada Research Chair in Care, Gender, and Relationships in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences at University of Guelph, a position she assumed after serving as Associate Professor in Gender and Women’s Studies at Trent University. A leader in the field of body image within Canada, she is a founding member and former director of innovative initiatives such as the National Eating Disorder Information Centre and the Body Image Project at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.
Dr. Rice research in the fields of critical psychology, equity education, gender and sexual development, and women’s health spans three major areas of focus: diverse women’s narratives of embodiment in the passage to womanhood; arts-‐based inquiry into the experiences of people with disabilities and bodily differences in social and professional encounters; and qualitative research into the body as an equity issue in school settings. Her scholarship offers critical commentary on, and ethical interventions into, debates about contemporary body-‐related social problems such as: the obesity epidemic, early puberty, the sexualization of girls, racism and colourism, and cultural and medical representations of diseased, disabled, and physically different bodies. The growing number of academic articles she has published in psychology, education, health, and women’s studies journals range from feminist, poststructuralist, and critical race and disability studies perspectives on eating, weight, and embodiment problems (debates about eating disorder etiology; effects of sexual, racial, medical, and colonial trauma on embodiment; race, class, and colonial dimensions of obesity prevention discourses and programs; controversy about ‘healthy eating’ and ‘healthy weights’ messages and BMI surveillance in health and physical education curricula; and the effects of body-‐based harassment) to responding to the symbolic and social exclusions of children and adults living with bodily differences (developing public health and health education interventions, curricula, and public policy to promote inclusion and equity).
PhD (Women's Studies) - York University, 2004
Master's (Applied Psychology) - Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 1993
She is author of over 20 academic articles on appearance and difference appearing in both national and international refereed journals. She is widely cited by critical scholars working in the fields of obesity, eating disorder, and body image disparagement. Using the knowledge generated through her clinical and research activities, she has co-‐authored many popular and professional resources and her work has been translated into French, Spanish, and Farsi. The list below highlights some of her more recent articles and book chapters:
Hobbs, M. and Rice, C. (authors alphabetical) (in press). Rethinking Women’s Studies: Curriculum, pedagogy, and the introductory course. Atlantis: A Woman’s Studies Journal/ Revue d'etudes sur les femmes, accepted.
Hobbs, M. and Rice, C. (authors alphabetical) (in press). Reading Women’s and Gender Studies in Canada: A review of recent introductory textbooks. Canadian Woman Studies, accepted.
Rice, C. (2010). Editorial: Gendering bodily difference. Radical Psychology: A Journal of Psychology, Politics and Radicalism, 10th Anniversary Issue on Bodily Difference. Retrieved from: http://radicalpsychology.org/.
Rice, C., Zitzelsberger, H., Porch, W., & Ignagni, E. (2010). Creating community across disability and difference. D. Driedger, (Ed.), Living the edges: A disabled women’s reader. Toronto: Inanna Publications Inc. (Reprint).
Rice, C. (2010). Becoming the fat girl: Acquisition of an unfit identity. In V. Zawilski (Ed.), Inequality in Canada: A reader on the intersections of gender, race, and class (2nd Edition) (pp. 211-230). Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press (Reprint).
Rice, C. (2009). Imagining the other? Ethical challenges of researching and writing women’s embodied lives. Feminism & Psychology, 19(2): 245–266.
Rice, C. (2009). Exacting beauty: Exploring women’s body projects and problems in the 21st century. In N. Mandell (Ed.), Feminist issues: Race, class and sexuality (5th Edition) (pp. 131-160). Toronto: Pearson Canada, Inc.
Rice, C. (2009). How big girls become fat girls: The cultural production of problem eating and inactivity. In H. Malson & M. Burns (Eds.), Critical feminist approaches to eating dis/orders. New York: Psychology.
Rice, C. (2007). Becoming the fat girl. Women’s Studies International Forum, 30(2), 158-174.
Larkin, J. & Rice, C. (2005). Beyond “Healthy Eating” and “Healthy Weights”: Harassment and the health curriculum in middle schools. Body Image: An International Journal of Research, 2(3), 219-232.
Rice, C., Zitszelsberger, H., Porch, W., Ignagni, E., & Erickson, L. (2005). Envisioning new meanings of difference. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 3 & 4, 119-130.
Rice, C., Zitszelsberger, H., Porch, W., & Ignagni, E. (2005). Creating community across disability and difference. Canadian Woman Studies, 24(1), 187-193.
Rice, C. (2007). Beauty, ability and growing up female. In B. Crow & L. Gottell, (Eds.), Open boundaries: A Canadian women's studies reader, Third edition (pp. 320-332). Toronto: Pearson. (Third reprint)
Rice, C. (2006). Nuestros cuerpos, territorios ocupados. In Colectivo Ma Colere, (Eds.) Mi cuerpo es un campo de batalla: Analisis y testimonios. (pp. 93-129). Valencia, Spain: Ediciones La Burbuja.
Larkin, J. & Rice, C. (2006). Harassment and harmful body practices: Broadening the focus of body image education for girls. In F. Leach & C. Mitchell (Eds.) Combating gender violence in and around schools: International perspectives (pp. 125-133). Stoke on Trent, UK and Sterling, USA: Trentham Books.
Rice, C. (2005). Mon corps est un champ de bataille. In Ma Colère, (Eds.), Mon corps est un champ de bataille: Analyses et témoignages, (pp. 58-106). Lyon, FR: Éditions ma colère.
Her books include two forthcoming volumes:
Becoming Women: The Search for Self in Image Culture an exploration of the body projects and problems of close to 100 Canadian women (from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, of varying sizes, and with and without disabilities and differences), the first generation to come of age in image culture (UT press).
Gender and Women’s Studies in Canada: Critical Terrain, an introductory women’s and gender studies reader co-‐edited with Dr. Margaret Hobbs, published by Canadian Scholars’/Women’s Press in November 2012.
Dr. Rice contributes to progressive scholarship and social change through initiating interdisciplinary and community-university research collaborations, influencing education and health policy and practice, and changing media representations of girls, women, and people living with disabilities and physical differences. Over the last 10 years, her focus has shifted from understanding impacts of the “body beautiful” on diverse women’s body perceptions to analyzing the effects of cultural messages about the abject fat, disabled, and anomalous body on those who embody differences. Using innovative arts-‐informed approaches, she initiates research projects that create opportunities for women with differences to represent themselves in their own words and images, and that seek to engage diverse audiences in re-considering commonly held, harmful assumptions. Since coming to the University of Guelph, she has established the Re•visioning Differences Media Arts Centre (REDMAC), a mobile media and expressive arts laboratory that puts new media technologies into the hands of marginalized communities as a way of understanding the efficacy of the arts in shifting stereotypes.