MA, History, University of British Columbia (2008)
BA Honours, History, Carleton University (2005)
Certificate of Excellence in New Media Studies, Vancouver Film School (1999)

Biography

Beth Stewart is currently a PhD candidate at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, as well as a Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Issues. She is also a mother of three young children. In 2011-2012 she brought her family to Gulu Town in Northern Uganda for five months where, in collaboration with the local organization The Justice and Reconciliation Project, she conducted fieldwork with children who were born into the captivity of the rebel group, The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Her dissertation is based on this research, subsequent field work in 2013, and an ongoing project on the ground.

The intimate and prolonged nature of the war in Northern Uganda has made life challenging for everyone. Children who were born into LRA captivity constitute a unique marginalized child survivor population whose perspectives and experiences have significant value in the context of social reconstruction.

A core group of 14 boys and a core group of 16 girls (ages 12-18) who were “born in the bush” participate in this project. They shared their knowledge through participatory research activities including play, drawing, drama, music, semi-structured interviews, group discussions, and personal journals. Careful and creative listening of their ‘voices’ reveals much about identities, stigma, child agency, and justice.

As an artist, Beth also collaborated with these children to visually express the nuances of their perspectives. The children’s poetry, stories, and drawings presented in visually rich mixed media pieces engage audiences to question their assumptions and beliefs about notions of children, war, peace, and justice.

This research speaks to broader themes, including micro-level transitional justice, mainstreaming the voices of marginalized child survivor populations, child agency, and narratives of childhood.

Research

In collaboration with The Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) in Gulu town, Northern Uganda, my PhD research examines the everyday lives of children who were born into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). These are children whose mothers (and often fathers) were abducted as children and forced to ‘marry’ into the ranks of the LRA, and subsequently forced to bear children.

Selected Publications

Articles

(peer-reviewed)

Baines, E., Stewart, B. (2011). “‘I cannot accept what I have not done’: Storytelling, gender and transitional justice.” Journal of Human Rights Practice 3 (3), 245-263.

(not peer-reviewed)

Stewart, B. (2008). “The Trouble with reaching out: The relationship of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada and rural women in ‘developing countries’ in the late 1960s.” Views from the Edge 16.


Book Reviews

Beth W. Stewart. (2010). “Review of: Bush wives and girl soldiers: Women’s lives through war and peace in Sierra Leone,” Africa Peace and Conflict Journal vol. 3(2): Fall 2010.


Presentations

Accepted Refereed Papers

Stewart, B. (2012). “Listening to Children Born into the Lord’s Resistance Army” Children in Text, Person, and Theory, University of Toronto, April 19.

Baines, E., Lee, L.M., Rosenoff, L., Stewart, B. (2010). “Theatre Works: Young Women Challenge Conflict Narratives in Rwanda and Northern Uganda” International Forum for Child Welfare WorldForum 2010, Pallisades, NY, November 8-11. Presented by B. Stewart.

Baines, E., Lee, L.M., Rosenoff, L., Stewart, B. (2010). “Theatre Works: Young Women Challenge Conflict Narratives in Rwanda and Northern Uganda” 2010 Annual Conference of the Peace & Justice Studies Association, University of Winnipeg Global College. October 1-2. Presented by L. Rosenoff.

Baines, E., Lee, L.M., Rosenoff, L., Stewart, B. (2010). “Theatre Works: Young Women Challenge Conflict Narratives in Rwanda and Northern Uganda” Children and War: Past and Present, University of Salzburg, Austria. September 30-October 2. Presented by L.M. Lee.

Stewart, B. (2010). “Re-writing the Gender Map in a Post-Conflict Context in Eastern Africa” Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Annual Graduate Student Conference, UBC, April 30.

Stewart, B. (2008). “The Trouble with reaching out: The relationship of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada and rural women in ‘developing countries’ in the late 1960s.” Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Annual Graduate Student Conference, UBC, May 5.

Stewart, B. (2008). “Reclaiming significance: The Canadian Negro Women’s Association’s campaign to Chatelaine magazine in 1959.” Western Association of Women Historians Annual Conference, UBC, May 20.

Stewart, B. (2008). “Internationalism by the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada in 1967.” Qualicum History Conference, Qualicum, BC, January 15.

Invited Presentations

Lee, L.M., Rosenoff, L., Stewart, B. “Theatre Works: Young Women Challenge Conflict Narratives.“ The UBC Blue and Gold Review: Celebrating Achievement, Chan Centre, November 2010.

“Field Debrief: Community-based research with marginalized groups of children and youth in East Africa: Navigating social dynamics.” The Liu Institute for Global Issues and the International Development Research Network, The Liu Institute for Global Issues, February 2013.

“Field Debrief: Being a mother and researcher working with children in a highly politicized context” The Liu Institute for Global Issues and the International Development Research Network, The Liu Institute for Global Issues, April 2012.