Katherine Fobear

Katherine Fobear

Contact Information

Supervisor: Dr. Leslie Robertson / Dr. Erin Baines


M.A., Honors Research Masters in Social Science,University of Amsterdam (2010)
B.A., Honors Anthropology, Sociology, & Russian and Eastern European Studies, University of Michigan (2008)
C.S.S., Certificate in Social Science, Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Budapest (2006)
A.A., Honors Liberal Arts in Science, Delta College, USA (2005)
Ph.D., Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, UBC (2016)

Dissertation Title: Accordion homes: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) refugees’ experience of home and belonging in Canada


“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