lmdavids


Lisa Davidson

Photo of Lisa Davidson

Department of Anthropology

Assistant Professor
Undergraduate Program Director

Email: lmdavids@yorku.ca


As a teaching-stream Assistant Professor and a scholar of migration, racialization, and multiculturalism, my focus is on the experiential learning of undergraduate students, especially the learning of first-year students, and to expose students to think about inclusion and diversity beyond celebratory perspectives. I bring course materials that emphasize a wide range of knowledges and contributions by racialized, Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ2S scholars that attend to alternative forms of social and political belonging. As such, my pedagogy includes music, food, creative writing, art work, performances, and social media that engage the oral, aural, visual and tactile senses of students for affective learning. My goal is to intervene in passive learning activities that take place in isolation by encouraging problem-based understanding and to integrate community ways of sensual, experiential, and imaginative knowledge pathways with academic ‘cerebral’ knowledge

My current research project, All in God’s Time: Hope, Conviviality and Place-Making among Filipino Canadian Protestants, is a collaborative study with Filipino Christian communities in Toronto, Montreal, and Winnipeg. The focus of this project is the question of tolerance, specifically, I ask: “what does it mean to be tolerated?” This study elucidates how Filipinos in Protestant congregations are working to create and sustain a sense of place, community, and belonging and the kinds of programs they are developing to support political and spiritual connections within their own communities and with newly arrived immigrants, second and third-generation Canadian Filipinos, and mixed-race Filipinos. Pedagogically, this research will include undergraduate students as a method of teaching, for them to gain hands-on experience with community learning and a deeper understanding of decolonizing research methods and urban anthropology. Previously, my research with multiracial and socio-economically underprivileged Protestant churches in Toronto focused on the political and emotional work involved in sustaining unity and in growing multicultural Christian communities amidst the challenges of doing hospitality. I am co-editor (with Roland Sintos Coloma, Bonnie McElhinny, Ethel Tungohan and John Paul C. Catungal) and contributing author of Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility (University of Toronto Press, 2012).

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Degrees

PhD. Anthropology, University of Toronto
M.A. Anthropology (Collaborative Program in Asia Pacific Studies), University of Toronto
B.A. (Honours). Anthropology, University of British Columbia

Research Interests

Anthropology , Multiculturalism, Migration and Transnationalism, Christianity, Kinship, Citizenship
Book Chapters

Publication
Year

Davidson, Lisa. 2012. “(Res)sentiment and Practices of Hope: The Labours of Filipina Live-in Caregivers in Filipino Canadian Families”. In Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility. University of Toronto Press. Pp 142-60.

2012

McElhinny, Bonnie, Lisa Davidson and John Paul C. Catungal et al. 2012. “Specters of (In)visibility: Filipina/o Labour, Culture and Youth in Canada”. In Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility. University of Toronto Press. Pp 5-45.

2012

Approach to Teaching


ANTH 1140 6.0 What is to be Human? Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology

Course Description:

What is culture and how does it vary over time? What shapes people’s ideas and experiences of belonging and identity? How are people propelled to imagine who they are how they belong? In this full-year course, students are introduced to contemporary concepts, theories and debates in anthropology. We will address topics covering the social construction of ‘race’, the relationship between sex and gender, the ways that people form familial, political, and economic relationships and how all of this connects with subsistence strategies and food sovereignty. We will also attend to the role of language, belief systems, and affect in shaping human experiences, motivations, and actions. Through ethnographic readings, films, experiential learning activities, and virtual field trips, we will familiarize ourselves with the conceptual and practical tools of anthropology for analyzing, understanding and reflecting on power, privilege and social inequalities. In the Fall term, we will focus on anthropology’s big ideas and in the Winter term, we will learn how to apply and develop these ideas to the multicultural and multiracial context of the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere in Canada. The aim of this course is to move beyond rote memorization and to sharpen our capacity to question taken-for-granted assumptions and common-sense beliefs and to help us realise the potential of anthropology to engage with the world around us.

This is an experiential learning course.

ANTH 2130 6.0 Anthropology Through the Visual: Images of Resistance/Irresistible Images

Course Description:

How are images a form of communication? How do photographs, political cartoons, memes and visual art embody social meaning and interaction? In this course, students are introduced to a variety of visual forms of representation including, but not limited to films, advertisements, public art, cartoons, graphic novels, and social media to understand how the visual conveys cultural lives and experiences. We will start with the politics of representation and authority, particularly who is made visible, who is rendered invisible, and who is occluded in visual representations. We will address anthropology’s role in othering and objectifying various groups of people. Then, we will untangle the relationship between public memory, “truth”, and “cancel culture” and the conditions that contextualize the production and defacement of national monuments and memorials. We will unpack how and why movies, street art, graffiti, and other visual technologies produce, and are produced by meaning, fantasy, and desire of and for various publics. In the later section of the course, we will cover the potential of anthropology as research creation by assessing the discipline’s visual methods for ethnographic documentation. We will conclude by discussing how certain groups, such as Idle No More and Black Lives Matter, are creating political interventions through social media and gaining traction as political social movements.

ANTH 2220 3.0 From Settler Colonialism to Multiculturalism: An Anthropological Approach

Course Description:

How do we live and interact with others in multicultural and multiracial societies? What is the relationship between settler colonialism and multiculturalism? Who is a settler? This course is a critical study of settler colonialism, diversity, and multiculturalism by attending to: (a) the politics of elimination, assimilation and recognition of Indigenous presence; (b) settler colonial institutions, ideologies and practices that have endorsed and validated racialized and social hierarchies in Canada and in other settler states across the globe, and (c) historical and contemporary interactions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and how such interactions challenge settler and colonial epistemologies. To accomplish the aims of this course, we will draw upon studies that critique celebratory perspectives of multiculturalism to identify emerging forms of knowledges and practices that interrogate multicultural values of recognition, tolerance and welcome, thus offering alternative modes for interacting with ‘strangers’. This course offers an in-depth analysis of Canada through ethnographic accounts of: settler acts of dispossession of Black, Indigenous and racialized communities; redress and reconciliation; heritage-making and nationalism, and religious diversity and solidarities. We will also consider other ideas and forms for living multiculturally, such as conviviality and cosmopolitanism, co-existence (kyosei) in Japan, superdiversity in Europe, and recent studies on human-nonhuman relationships.


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/ANTH2130 6.0 B Anthropology Through The Visual REMT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/ANTH1140 6.0 A What does it mean to be human? LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2022 AP/ANTH2220 3.0 M Settler Colonialism to Multiculturalism LECT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/ANTH2130 6.0 B Anthropology Through The Visual REMT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/ANTH1140 6.0 A What does it mean to be human? LECT


As a teaching-stream Assistant Professor and a scholar of migration, racialization, and multiculturalism, my focus is on the experiential learning of undergraduate students, especially the learning of first-year students, and to expose students to think about inclusion and diversity beyond celebratory perspectives. I bring course materials that emphasize a wide range of knowledges and contributions by racialized, Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ2S scholars that attend to alternative forms of social and political belonging. As such, my pedagogy includes music, food, creative writing, art work, performances, and social media that engage the oral, aural, visual and tactile senses of students for affective learning. My goal is to intervene in passive learning activities that take place in isolation by encouraging problem-based understanding and to integrate community ways of sensual, experiential, and imaginative knowledge pathways with academic ‘cerebral’ knowledge

My current research project, All in God’s Time: Hope, Conviviality and Place-Making among Filipino Canadian Protestants, is a collaborative study with Filipino Christian communities in Toronto, Montreal, and Winnipeg. The focus of this project is the question of tolerance, specifically, I ask: “what does it mean to be tolerated?” This study elucidates how Filipinos in Protestant congregations are working to create and sustain a sense of place, community, and belonging and the kinds of programs they are developing to support political and spiritual connections within their own communities and with newly arrived immigrants, second and third-generation Canadian Filipinos, and mixed-race Filipinos. Pedagogically, this research will include undergraduate students as a method of teaching, for them to gain hands-on experience with community learning and a deeper understanding of decolonizing research methods and urban anthropology. Previously, my research with multiracial and socio-economically underprivileged Protestant churches in Toronto focused on the political and emotional work involved in sustaining unity and in growing multicultural Christian communities amidst the challenges of doing hospitality. I am co-editor (with Roland Sintos Coloma, Bonnie McElhinny, Ethel Tungohan and John Paul C. Catungal) and contributing author of Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility (University of Toronto Press, 2012).

Degrees

PhD. Anthropology, University of Toronto
M.A. Anthropology (Collaborative Program in Asia Pacific Studies), University of Toronto
B.A. (Honours). Anthropology, University of British Columbia

Research Interests

Anthropology , Multiculturalism, Migration and Transnationalism, Christianity, Kinship, Citizenship

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

Davidson, Lisa. 2012. “(Res)sentiment and Practices of Hope: The Labours of Filipina Live-in Caregivers in Filipino Canadian Families”. In Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility. University of Toronto Press. Pp 142-60.

2012

McElhinny, Bonnie, Lisa Davidson and John Paul C. Catungal et al. 2012. “Specters of (In)visibility: Filipina/o Labour, Culture and Youth in Canada”. In Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility. University of Toronto Press. Pp 5-45.

2012

Approach to Teaching


ANTH 1140 6.0 What is to be Human? Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology

Course Description:

What is culture and how does it vary over time? What shapes people’s ideas and experiences of belonging and identity? How are people propelled to imagine who they are how they belong? In this full-year course, students are introduced to contemporary concepts, theories and debates in anthropology. We will address topics covering the social construction of ‘race’, the relationship between sex and gender, the ways that people form familial, political, and economic relationships and how all of this connects with subsistence strategies and food sovereignty. We will also attend to the role of language, belief systems, and affect in shaping human experiences, motivations, and actions. Through ethnographic readings, films, experiential learning activities, and virtual field trips, we will familiarize ourselves with the conceptual and practical tools of anthropology for analyzing, understanding and reflecting on power, privilege and social inequalities. In the Fall term, we will focus on anthropology’s big ideas and in the Winter term, we will learn how to apply and develop these ideas to the multicultural and multiracial context of the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere in Canada. The aim of this course is to move beyond rote memorization and to sharpen our capacity to question taken-for-granted assumptions and common-sense beliefs and to help us realise the potential of anthropology to engage with the world around us.

This is an experiential learning course.

ANTH 2130 6.0 Anthropology Through the Visual: Images of Resistance/Irresistible Images

Course Description:

How are images a form of communication? How do photographs, political cartoons, memes and visual art embody social meaning and interaction? In this course, students are introduced to a variety of visual forms of representation including, but not limited to films, advertisements, public art, cartoons, graphic novels, and social media to understand how the visual conveys cultural lives and experiences. We will start with the politics of representation and authority, particularly who is made visible, who is rendered invisible, and who is occluded in visual representations. We will address anthropology’s role in othering and objectifying various groups of people. Then, we will untangle the relationship between public memory, “truth”, and “cancel culture” and the conditions that contextualize the production and defacement of national monuments and memorials. We will unpack how and why movies, street art, graffiti, and other visual technologies produce, and are produced by meaning, fantasy, and desire of and for various publics. In the later section of the course, we will cover the potential of anthropology as research creation by assessing the discipline’s visual methods for ethnographic documentation. We will conclude by discussing how certain groups, such as Idle No More and Black Lives Matter, are creating political interventions through social media and gaining traction as political social movements.

ANTH 2220 3.0 From Settler Colonialism to Multiculturalism: An Anthropological Approach

Course Description:

How do we live and interact with others in multicultural and multiracial societies? What is the relationship between settler colonialism and multiculturalism? Who is a settler? This course is a critical study of settler colonialism, diversity, and multiculturalism by attending to: (a) the politics of elimination, assimilation and recognition of Indigenous presence; (b) settler colonial institutions, ideologies and practices that have endorsed and validated racialized and social hierarchies in Canada and in other settler states across the globe, and (c) historical and contemporary interactions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and how such interactions challenge settler and colonial epistemologies. To accomplish the aims of this course, we will draw upon studies that critique celebratory perspectives of multiculturalism to identify emerging forms of knowledges and practices that interrogate multicultural values of recognition, tolerance and welcome, thus offering alternative modes for interacting with ‘strangers’. This course offers an in-depth analysis of Canada through ethnographic accounts of: settler acts of dispossession of Black, Indigenous and racialized communities; redress and reconciliation; heritage-making and nationalism, and religious diversity and solidarities. We will also consider other ideas and forms for living multiculturally, such as conviviality and cosmopolitanism, co-existence (kyosei) in Japan, superdiversity in Europe, and recent studies on human-nonhuman relationships.


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/ANTH2130 6.0 B Anthropology Through The Visual REMT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/ANTH1140 6.0 A What does it mean to be human? LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2022 AP/ANTH2220 3.0 M Settler Colonialism to Multiculturalism LECT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/ANTH2130 6.0 B Anthropology Through The Visual REMT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/ANTH1140 6.0 A What does it mean to be human? LECT