Julie Kate Seirlis

Continuing Lecturer International Development, Indigenous Studies, and Human Rights

JK Seirlis
Julia (Julie Kate) Seirlis holds a BA in English, French, Italian, Latin and Private Law from the University of Cape Town and an MSt and DPhil in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford. Her doctorate examined the relationships between race and space in the construction -- and alienation -- of Coloured ("mixed race") identities in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe.

After three years of development work in Zimbabwe as a researcher and writer, a human rights program officer and an adviser on gender equity and children's rights, Dr. Seirlis lectured in anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, between 2002 and 2005.

In 2006, she was commissioned by the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy, then EISA, to write a book marking the 10th anniversary of the organisation and its work on elections and democratisation in Africa. The book, Walking a Tightrope, was published in October 2008.

She joined St Paul's in August 2013. Her research at St. Paul's and the University of Waterloo focuses on the ethics and politics of teaching international development and on pedagogy as activism.

Her Honours students have written theses on a wide range of topics from the importance but limitations of the Canadian TRC and the challenges of implementing constitutionally enshrined language rights in post-apartheid South Africa  to the (un)democratic spatial politics of Toronto. Her doctoral student, Sophie Sanniti, is applying ecofeminism to an examination of radical economics and political ecologies.

Dr. Seirlis was nominated for a Distinguished Teacher Award in 2015 and was a recipient of the award in 2018.