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Athabasca University

Alexa DeGagne, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Women's and Gender Studies



  • B.Soc.Sci., Political Science, University of Ottawa
  • M.A., Political Science, University of Alberta
  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Alberta

Academic Career and Research

I joined Athabasca University in September 2015 as an Assistant Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies. I was the 2015/2016 Visiting Scholar in Sexuality Studies at York University.

My research, teaching and community engagement are focused on gender-based and sexuality-based social justice movements and activisms in Canada and the United States. My work has examined the relationship between feminist movements and fatherhood movements in the context of American welfare programs; and the relationship between LGBTQ movements, and social conservative forces in the context of same-sex marriage policies, in both cases asking how the movements co-constitute, antagonize and assimilate to each other.

My current SSHRC-funded research agenda continues this work by focusing on the relationship between LGBTQ social movement organizations, and police organizations in Canada. This project is positioned in a unique moment of change, tension, and division in the Canadian LGBTQ community, as particular LGBTQ community members and organizations have argued that the criminal justice system is the best means to protect LGBTQ people against hate, discrimination, and violence. This shift in the last decade towards police protection detaches from LGBTQ communities’ historically fraught relationships with the police and legal system, upending a relationship once understood to be violent and antagonistic. These developments indicate deeper fault lines within the LGBTQ community, marked by questions of who should experience non-discrimination and equality, who should be protected by the state and police, and who should be targeted and criminalized by the police.

My research seeks to bridge gaps between activist and academic communities, and recognizes that activists’ work and knowledge are integral to the success of my analysis, projects, and work.

I have published and forthcoming works on LGBTQ politics, specifically on the following topics: same-sex marriage activism in California; the history of LGBTQ politics in Alberta; LGBTQ refugees in the Canadian refugee system; homonationalism and the Canadian criminal justice system; the uses of anger as a tool in LGBTQ activism; and the politics of police in LGBTQ communities.

My political activism is based in my Edmonton queer community where I have worked with several social justice projects as a community organizer and agitator, public educator, columnist, and queer arts festival co-chair. I am currently a producer and host of GayWire News Radio on CJSR 88.5FM.

Research Areas and Interests

  • activism and political resistance
  • gender, sexuality and politics
  • social movement theory
  • LGBTQ social movements
  • queer theory
  • social justice
  • police and criminalization

Select Publications

DeGagne, Alexa. (forthcoming 2020). “Chapter 12: Pinkwashing Pride Parades: The Politics of Police in LGBTQ2S Spaces in Canada.” In Turbulent Times, Transformational Possibilities? Gender and Politics Today and Tomorrow. Fiona MacDonald and Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

DeGagne, Alexa. (forthcoming 2020). “Apologies and Raids: Public Sex, LGBT Communities and Neoliberalism in the Detention State,” Neoliberal Contentions. Catherine Kellogg, Steve Patten, Lois Harder, Eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

DeGagne, Alexa. 2019. "A True Match? The Federal New Democratic Party and LGBTQ Communities and Politics." In Queering Representation: LGBTQ People and Electoral Politics in Canada. Manon Tremblay, Ed. Vancouver: UBC Press.

DeGagne, Alexa. 2018. “Defining Sexuality through the Courts in California's Proposition 8,” Journal of Homosexuality 65(14): 1957-1984.

DeGagne, Alexa. 2018. “On Anger and Its Uses for Activism.” In Contemporary Inequalities and Social Justice in Canada. Janine Brodie, Ed. University of Toronto Press.

DeGagne, Alexa. 2015. “’Severely Queer’ in Western Canada: LGBT2Q Activism in Alberta.” In Queer Mobilizations: Social Movement Activism and Canadian Public Policy.  Manon Tremblay, Ed. UBC Press.

Trevenen, Kathryn and Alexa DeGagne. 2015. “Homonationalism at the Border and in the Streets: Organizing against Exclusion and Incorporation.” In Disrupting Queer Inclusion: Canadian Homonationalisms and the Politics of Belonging. OmiSoore H. Dryden and Suzanne Lenon, Eds. UBC Press.

Gaucher, Megan and Alexa DeGagne. 2014. “Guilty Until Proven Prosecuted: The Canadian State’s Assessment of Sexual Minority Refugee Claimants and the Invisibility of the non-Western Sexual non-Citizen,” Social Politics:International Studies in Gender, State & Society.

DeGagne, Alexa. 2013. “Queer Bedfellows of Proposition 8: Adopting Social Conservative and Neoliberal Political Rationalities in California’s Same-Sex Marriage Fight.” Studies in Social Justice 7 (1): 107-124.

Brodie, Janine and Alexa DeGagne. 2013. “Chapter Five: Neo-Liberalism.” In Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics, Fifth Edition. Janine Brodie, Sandra Rein and Malinda Smith, Eds. Pearson Canada.

DeGagne, Alexa. 2012. “Queering the language of ‘sexual minorities’ in Canada.” In Beyond the Queer Alphabet: Conversations in Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality. M.S. Smith and F. Jaffer, Eds. Ottawa: Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Updated November 08 2018 by Student & Academic Services

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