Karen Saunders

"In many ways my work is Diversity."

Karen Saunders

Contact details

Email: karen.saunders@canterbury.ac.nz


I am a Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Creative Arts. In my teaching I work alongside students supporting them to develop their writing voice in an academic context. I also teach an interdisciplinary course that draws from a variety of theories appraising the way we look at sex, sexuality, gender, and bodies. In many ways my work is Diversity. I am also a member of the LGBTIQA Community.

What does diversity mean to you?

Diversity means to me the possibility of a transformative learning space and society whereby difference is embraced as a necessary part of pedagogy and existence. It means recognising the contribution difference has for creativity, innovation, understanding, and the shaping of a healthier Society.  

What role does diversity play in your work?

Diversity plays a significant role in all aspects of my work, especially in my teaching, and I encourage students to bring who they are into the learning space. When people feel comfortable to be themselves and are respected for that there is the potential for communication to open up to embrace both commonalities, and points of difference. I feel difference is too often trivialized, and a writing paper is a great place to recognize and explore the richness of humanity.  

What diversity activities have you been involved in?

I am a member of the Arts Equity and Diversity Working group and in 2015 I won an Award for my contribution to Diversity Week. I have also been involved in collaborative panel discussions with members from Qtopia and Intersex Awareness New Zealand.