Associate Professor Leesa Fawcett

Leesa Fawcett’s research area is human-animal relationships and she is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto. Her intellectual work is rooted in her commitment to social and environmental justice and the belief that biology and philosophy are always entwined. Her interdisciplinary, feminist research crosses over between environmental and cultural studies, environmental philosophy, environmental and sustainability education, human ecology and biological conservation. She was originally trained in marine biology and oceanography and worked as a field biologist for ten years. She did her Master’s degree in environmental thought and education (with a thesis on anthropomorphism and bears), and her doctoral research in a bat lab, studying (human) ecology, conservation, and children and nature. She is presently a member of WWF’s scientific advisory committee on the Endangered Species Recovery Fund for Canada. Her current research project, “Thinking About Animal Minds” (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada), is a narrative exploration of animal consciousness, culture and tool use, focussing on whales and bats.

Selected publications by Leesa Fawcett

(forthcoming, 2008) “(Un)Natural Histories: Feral Wanderings, Embodiment and Ecological Learning”  In M. McKenzie, H. Bai, P. Hart & B. Jickling (eds.) Fields of Green: Re-Storying Education. Hampton Press.

(in progress) “Wild Cultures: An (Eco)Feminist Perspective on ‘Other’ Animals’ Consciousness”. 

2005. “Bioregional Teaching: How to Climb, Eat, Fall and Learn from Porcupines”. In P. Tripp & L. Muzzin (eds.), Teaching as Activism: Equity Meets Environmentalism. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press. pp. 269-280. 

2002. “Children’s Wild Animal Stories: Questioning Inter-Species Bonds,” Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, Vol. 7 (2) Spring: 125-139.

2001.  “Shadows, Saviours and Fieldwork: Orangutan Conservation and Research,” Review Essay, Animals and Society, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 89-96. 

2000. “Ethical Imagining: Ecofeminist possibilities and environmental learning,” Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, Vol. 5, pp. 134-149. (with C. Russell and A. Bell).

2000. “Navigating the Waters of Canadian Environmental Education.” In T. Goldstein and D. Selby (eds.), Weaving Connections: Educating for Peace, Environmental and Social Justice. Toronto: Second Story Press, pp. 196-217.

(ed. with R. Keil, D.V.J. Bell, and P. Penz). 1998. Political Ecology: Global and Local. New  York/London: Routledge. 

(with J. Lien and S. Staniforth). 1985. Wet and Fat: Whales and Seals of Newfoundland and Labrador. St. John’s: Breakwater Books Ltd.