2010 M.A. Honors Research Masters in Social Science
University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2008 B.A. Honors Anthropology, Sociology, & Russian and Eastern European Studies
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

2006 C.S.S. Certificate in Social Science
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
Budapest, Hungary

2005 A.A. Honors Liberal Arts in Science
Delta College
Saginaw, Michigan, USA

 

Biography

Katherine Fobear holds a Research Masters in Social Science with high distinction from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and a High Honors BA in Anthropology, Sociology, and Russian and Eastern European Studies from the University of Michigan. Katherine’s research has primarily focused on identity construction, community building, and spatial formation of disenfranchised lesbian, gay, trans and queer communities in the United States, Eastern and Western Europe. Out of this, Katherine has sought to create a network of queer researchers and LGTBQ activists in which issues on violence and discrimination against sexual and gender minorities are brought to the forefront. Katherine is the co-founder of the Global Queer Research Group, a graduate student run research group focused on the intersections of sexuality and queer bodies in an era globalization, transnationalism, and colonialism/imperialism. Katherine’s current research involves the settlement experiences of LGBTQ refugees in North America. Using participatory photography and oral history, Katherine explores how LGBTQ refugees create a sense of home and belonging in Vancouver. In addition to her research, Katherine is an active volunteer with Rainbow Refugee and assists LGBTQ refugee claimants in their refugee process and settlement in Vancouver. Katherine has held several community events and workshops around LGBTQ refugees and newcomers.

Research

“Accordion Homes: Embodiment, Memory, & Relatedness in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Refugees’ Settlement in Vancouver, BC”

This research explores sexual and gender minority refugees’ settlement in Vancouver, Canada, based on one year of in-depth oral history interviews with eleven sexual and gender minority refugees and a participatory photography project with six sexual and gender minority refugees. The issues examined lie at the intersection of two ongoing discussions in migration scholarship and practice and contribute to each of them: sexual orientation and gender identity in refugee settlement in Canada, and relatedness and home-making in queer migration.

In this study, sexual and gender minority refugees construct home and belonging through constructions of relatedness. Relatedness involves the relationships that individuals make and maintain with their bodies and emotions, as well as to other persons, places, and objects. Relatedness is a multi-sited and multi-temporal endeavor in which individuals situated themselves between their past country of origin, their present settlement in Vancouver, and their future desires in Canada. It is through participants’ stories and pictures of settlement that we can see how embodiment, memory, identity construction, and place-making are situated within interconnected webs of relationships. These webs of relationships inform sexual and gender minority refugees’ construction of home and belonging.

Selected Publications

Fobear, K. (2016). Unsettling Interpretative Authority: Connecting Critical Indigenous Methodology with Feminist Oral History. Journal of Feminist Scholarship (Accepted with publication in Spring 2016).

Fobear, K. (2014). “Whose Peace Are We Talking About?” The need for critical gender analysis in peace education. Peace Studies Journal. 7 (3), 98-114.

Fobear, K. (2014). Telling Our Truths: Oral History, Social Justice, and Queer Refugees. Oral History Forum. (Accepted December 14, 2013).

Fobear, K. (2014). Queer Settlers: Questioning settler colonialism in LGBT asylum processes in Canada.Refuge 30(1), 47-56.

Fobear, K. (2014). Queering Truth Commissions. Journal of Human Rights Practice (Accepted May 03, 2013).

Fobear, K. (2013). “A Privilege Shame” Elspeth Probyn’s Construction of Shame and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. INK, 2(1), 16-19.

Fobear, K. (2012). Beyond A Lesbian Space? Public lesbian social spaces in Amsterdam as sites for the production of visibility, identity, and community. Journal of Homosexuality 59, 721–747.

2012 IASSCS-Ford Foundation Emerging Scholar Award, International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society
2013 Barbara Roberts Memorial Fund: Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement for Women
2014 Oral History Association International Scholarship