Dorothy E. Smith Scholar Activist Award Winner
This year’s winner of the Dorothy E. Smith
Scholar Activist Award is
Dr. Gary Kinsman, Professor Emeritus from
Laurentian University and a long time scholar
Gary Kinsman is a queer liberation, anti-poverty, anti-racist and anti
-capitalist activist living on Indigenous land. He studied with Dorothy Smith at OISE/Uof
T and worked with George Smith in the Right to Privacy Committee, the Canadian Committee Against Customs Censorship, and in AIDS ACTION NOW!
He is currently a member of the AIDS Activist History Project and the We
Demand an Apology Network. He is the author of The
Regulation of Desire: Homo and Hetero Sexualities, co-
author of The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as
Sexual Regulation, and co-editor of Sociology for Changing
the World and, most recently, of We Still Demand! Redefining Resistance in Sex and
Gender Struggles. He is a professor emeritus in the Sociology Department at
Laurentian University, Sudbury. His website is radicalnoise.ca
Here is an excerpt from Gary’s nomination letter, by his nominator Eric Mykhalovskiy:
“Gary was among the group of students who worked with Dorothy Smith during her
early years at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education. While many students who
worked with Dorothy came to identify themselves as “institutional ethnographers”, Gary
oriented to Dorothy’s work in a slightly different way. Gary drew on Smith’s
interpretation of Marx’s approach to ideology and her ideas about the social
organization of knowledge and ruling relations to fashion historically informed analyses
of the regulation of LGBTQ sexualities.
Gary is perhaps best known within IE (Institutional Ethnography) circles for his co
-edited collection Sociology for Changing the World.
The book grew out of a conference he organized that was focused
on political activist ethnography and is a tribute to the scholarly and activist work of
George Smith. The collection is unique for how it combines scholarly and activist voices
in the collective project of considering how political activist ethnography, broadly
conceived, can contribute to progressive social transformation.
Gary’s longstanding commitment to forging collaboration between social movement activists and academics is further demonstrated by two of his most recent projects.
The first is the online archive of Canadian HIV activism
—the AIDS Activist History Project —an initiative funded by the
Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada that Gary developed with
his colleague Alexis Shotwell. The second is his co-edited collection
We Still Demand, which brings together contributions on Canadian sex and gender activism from the
1970s to the present.
Gary has been an inspiration to generations of students and scholars looking for
examples of a productive, important and meaningful scholarly
-activist life. Throughout his career, he has traversed the boundaries between the halls of academe and sites of social movement activism with incredible ease.
He has been crucially involved, as an activist, in LGBTQ, trade union, anti
-racist, student, HIV/AIDS and other movement politics, while also making an indelible contribution to national and international scholarship in queer history.
Subtending all this work is Gary’s unwavering commitment to using knowledge about how the world is put together to contribute to progressive social change.