Persons Day with Dr. Karen Flynn

Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 13:00

Join the Department of History, Women’s and Gender Studies in the School of Social Work, and the Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Accessibility in welcoming Dr. Karen Flynn on Thursday, October 21 at 1:00-2:00pm in celebration of Persons Day 2021. 

Flyer Text:

Persons Day Lecture with Dr. Karen Flynn

Thursday, October 21

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.


*“Not Every [Body] is a Person: The appearance and [dis]appearance of Black Women in Canada.”

This presentation grapples with how and under what circumstances Black women appear and disappear in narratives about the Canadian nation. I argue that Black women appear in and become intelligible through U.S. Black racial formation. The core of the presentation draws on Black Canadian feminist thought as an intervention that centers and makes visible the specificity of Black Canadian women’s subjectivities and identities.

*The above title is a reworking of M. Jacqui Alexander’s,  “NOT JUST (ANY) BODY CAN BE A CITIZEN: The Politics of Law, Sexuality and Postcoloniality in Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas.”

Register online and read Dr. Flynn's biography at

Co-sponsored by the Department of History, Women’s and Gender Studies in the School of Social Work, and the Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Accessibility

Persons Day Flyer


Karen Flynn is an Associate professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Flynn is also the associate chair for the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.  She received her Ph.D. in Women's Studies from York University, Toronto, Ontario, in 2003. Her research interests include migration and travel, Black Canada, health, popular culture, feminist, Diasporic and post-colonial studies. Dr. Flynn’s book: Moving Beyond Borders: Black Canadian and Caribbean women in the African Canadian Diaspora published by University of Toronto won the Lavinia L. Dock Award from the American Association of the History of Nursing. She is currently serving as a guest editor for a special issue on race, racism, and nursing for the UK Association for the History of Nursing. Dr. Flynn is also in the process of completing a second book project tentatively titled, The Black Pacific: The African Diaspora in East Asia that maps the travel itineraries of young Black EFL teachers across borders.

In addition to her academic work, Dr. Flynn has published numerous editorials in Share, Canada's largest ethnic newspaper, which serves the Black & Caribbean communities in the Greater Metropolitan Toronto area. area. Dr. Flynn has had oped articles in Now Magazine, the Toronto Star, and She was also a free-lance writer for Canada Extra, and most recently for Origins. As a public scholar, she writes passionately about contemporary issues considering issues of race, gender, class, sexuality, age, and nation. In addition to her own writings, Dr. Flynn has been tapped for expertise for the Toronto StarU.S.A, Today, and ESPN’s, Undefeated

Dr. Flynn was appointed a Dean’s Fellow for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), a program geared towards strengthening and expanding the cadre of leaders in the College. In 2015, Dr. Flynn was selected as the Conrad Humanities Fellow for LAS for excellence in scholarship.

Dr. Flynn was awarded the Unit for Criticism Senior Fellowship, 2020-2022, was named as the Aaron and Laurel Clark Professorial Scholar, 2020-2023, and selected as a Public Voice Fellow. In 2019, she was awarded the Hilda Neatby Prize in Canadian Women's and Gender History, awarded by the Canadian Committee in Women's History of the Canadian Historical Association and the AAHN Mary Adelaide Nutting Award for Exemplary Historical Research and Writing in a Manuscript or Article for the article, “Hotel Refuses Negro Nurse": Gloria Clarke Baylis and the Queen Elizabeth Hotel” published in the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History.

Most recently, Dr. Flynn was selected for the Building Pathways for Emerging Leaders the Provost's leadership  development program.

Danielle Reaume