BA, Contemporary Studies and Spanish, University of King’s College (Halifax) (2013)
MA, Women and Gender Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University (2016)


Cate May Burton hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and draws strength from the ocean on the East and the West coast. Her research at the Social Justice Institute centres on conjoined critiques of liberalism as cultural supremacy and neoliberalism as evacuation of sociality and public space. Her work engages with critical theory, intersectional feminism, critical race, anti-colonial, and indigenous theories, and aims to intervene in the field of education. Her current PhD proposal is concerned with eurocentrism and cultural supremacy in settler-colonial (Canadian) teacher education, and asks how cross-cultural discussions of values and positionality might enhance non-indigenous teachers’ capacities to move toward transformative integration of indigenous material into k-12 classrooms. She is a member of the Critical Racial & Anti-Colonial Studies research network at the Social Justice Institute, and the Global Indigenous Politics Collective at the Liu Institute. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the Social Justice Grad Student Association, and seeks community wherever she goes.


In her Bachelor’s and her Master’s research, May Burton explored philosophical approaches to community and otherness. She began to tease together the deconstructive approach of Jean-Luc Nancy and a nexus of psychoanalytic tools from Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Julia Kristeva to articulate the unevenness in national treatments of minority groups with respect to the national culture’s appearance of neutrality.

In her doctoral research, May Burton will further her critique of liberal and neoliberal articulations of the subject. By focusing on climate change as a perfect moral storm, May Burton will expose insufficiencies in the conceptual underpinnings of liberal politics in the face of complex and large-scale political problems stemming from global capital and extractionism.

Selected Publications

Non Peer-reviewed (In all publications, I am the sole author, unless otherwise indicated)

Master of Arts Dissertation, “Identity, Culture, Contestation: Theorizing the Invisibility of Dominant Group Identity with Freud, Kristeva, and Nancy” — in progress

“Janelle Monàe’s Spiritual Android,” Social Robot Futures (blog), May 12, 2015. Available at   

“Against the Canon: Derrida’s Metaphoricality and Spivak’s Postcolonial Critique,” 2015 Student   Empowerment Conference, Saint Mary’s University, Feb. 2015. Available at

Credited in, Toughill, K. “ Success or Anomaly?” Case Consortium @ Columbia. New York: Columbia University. 2013. Available at

“Unsettling Narrative: Coetzee’s Political Resistance through the Lens of Abjection.” Hinge (University of King’s College Journal of Contemporary Studies) XIX (2013). 70–81.

“How Agency and Time Intertwine: Humans and Other Animals in Leibniz and Schopenhauer.” Babel (University of King’s College Journal of Early Modern Studies) XII (2013). 26–33.

Bennett, J. & May-Burton, V., “Environmental Justice for Lake Ainslie”, The Chronicle Herald (Opinions). Aug. 15, 2012. Available at

Graduate Student Research Award, University of British Columbia
Canada Graduate Scholarships Master’s Award