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Zoë Gross is a fourth-year PhD Candidate at the Women & Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Zoë’s dissertation project, which includes primary ethnographic field research in Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda, connects critical race and whiteness studies and a critical transnational feminist lens to interrogations of international development in Canada and East Africa. Key areas of her doctoral research include: whiteness, privilege, and complicity; altruism, ‘goodness,’ ethics, humanitarianism and the white-saviour industrial complex; international development in East Africa and Canada, and Canadian Studies; (post)colonial studies; sexuality studies.
Zoë completed her MA at Carleton University in the Pauline Jewett Institute. Her thesis, titled “Constructing Whiteness and Locating Power in East Africa: Desirability and Status of ‘Others’ with Access,” was awarded the University Medal for Outstanding Graduate Work. Zoë graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Women & Gender Studies (Honours) and Conflict Resolution Studies (four-year) from the University of Winnipeg in June 2011 and was awarded a Gold Medal in WGS and a Silver Medal for the Faculty of Arts Honours graduates. Zoë also holds a BA from Brandon University, completed in June 2007, with a three-year degree in English and a minor in Political Science.
Zoë has received distinctions and competitive awards, including SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship from 2013-2016, the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master’s Scholarship, and the SSHRC CGS Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement. She is a recipient of the 2014 WGSI Margrit Eichler Student Leadership Award.
In 2015 Zoë’s article, “(De)Constructing Whiteness, Power, and ‘Others with Access’: International Development and Transnational Interracial Intimacies in East Africa,” was published in the Journal of Critical Race and Whiteness Studies.
Zoë taught Gender & Violence in Summer 2016 and Winter 2017, and has been a teaching assistant for multiple courses, including: Utopian Visions, Activist Realities; Sexuality and the City; Masculinities and the Human in an Age of Terror; Gender & Neoliberalism; and Gender, Race, and Class in Popular Culture.
Zoë is under the supervisorial direction of Prof. Marieme Lo and has also worked under Prof. M. Jacqui Alexander and Prof. Sherene Razack.