Master of Arts,
Film Studies, Department of Theatre & Film, The University of British Columbia
Thesis: Queer Japanese Cinema: A Rich and Diverse Cultural History’s Challenge to Hegemonic Ideologies of Gender and Sexuality

Bachelor of Arts with Honours Specialization,
Film Studies and Minor in Gender, Sexuality and Culture Studies, Department of Film, The University of Western Ontario
Thesis:  The Exclusionary Production of Transgendered Bodies in Transnational Cinema

Ontario College Certificate with Honours,
General Arts and Sciences – One Year, Algonquin College


Joshua M. Ferguson graduated with a PhD in the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. Joshua is a recipient of two Canada Graduate Scholarships from SSHRC, for both their MA and PhD research. They completed their Master of Arts in Film Studies at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Theatre and Film. Their MA thesis work explored and articulated a rich and diverse queer canon of Japanese cinema that reconnects with Japan’s cultural history of diverse genders and sexualities.

Joshua’s interdisciplinary doctoral research combines film studies and production, feminist theory and methodology to articulate a cinematic and academic space for non-binary transgender people. Joshua’s dissertation examines the meteoric rise of a transgender societal phenomenon, particularly in North America, and how this phenomenon participates in the exclusionary production of trans* diversity whereby trans* subjectivities are homogenized in line with the societal conflation of sex and gender. Transgender is no longer understood as an umbrella term for trans* subjects in North American discourse. Transgender has come to mean only transman and transwoman, so what happens to transpeople who fall outside of this binary-based trans* subjectivity? Joshua argues that a transgender metanarrative founded in gay and lesbian identity politics has worked on the level of ideology and biopower to exclude non-normative trans subjects from mainstream societal discourse. They examine forms of popular culture, specifically fiction and non-fiction film, to evidence the working of this exclusionary metanarrative. Their objective is to carve a theoretical third-space for gender based on hybridity in order to begin to articulate the important need for society to recognize genders beyond the binary.

Joshua also produced the award-winning short fiction film, Whispers of Life (Florian Halbedl, 2013) about a gay-youth who uses the active power of imagination and communication, with the help of a stranger, as a form of suicide prevention. The short has international distribution and was exhibited at festivals internationally (screened in six countries, including Canada, the US, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Australia). They are currently producing and directing a new short fiction film entitled Limina (set to be released in early 2016) about a curious gender-fluid child named Alessandra who embarks on a path of kindness.

Joshua has a clear vision to ignite global change on issues of sex and gender. They believe that the cinematic medium is a critical tool in fusing academia with creative practice in an effort to inspire tolerance and awareness of the diversity of queer gendered people. Cinema can act as a beacon of hope for those struggling with being marginalized while simultaneously deploying ways for us to find success in a global landscape that has limited ideas of cinematic representation.

Learn more about Joshua on UBC’s Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies:

Research Interests

Cultural studies, diaspora studies, film studies, trans cinema, queer methodologies, Japan’s cultural history of genders, Japanese queer cinema, ideology and gender(s), female superheroes in comic books (cinema), documentary cinema, autoethnography

Selected Publications

Ferguson, Joshua Mark. “Queering Methodologies: Challenging Scientific Constraint in the Appreciation of Queer and Trans Subjects.” The Qualitative Report. 18:25. 1-13. 2013.

Ferguson, Joshua Mark. “The Haunting of Cronenberg’s Cinema: Queer Monsters, Colonized Bodies and Repressed Desire in M. Butterfly and Eastern Promises.” Cinephile. 2010.

Ferguson, Joshua Mark. Queer japanese cinema: a rich and diverse cultural history’s challenge to hegemonic ideologies of gender and sexuality. Thesis. University of British Columbia, 2010.