Merrick Pilling

Merrick Pilling

Degrees: Ph.D. Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, York University; M.A. Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University; B.A. (Hon.) Conflict Resolution Studies, Women’s Studies, University of Winnipeg

Scholarly Interests: Disability and madness; social justice education in healthcare and social services; trauma-informed care and two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (2SLGBTQ) people; critical approaches to violence and trauma; intersectional, anti-racist approaches to understanding gender and sexuality; Trans Studies; community based research and qualitative methods

Dr. Merrick Pilling is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Windsor where he teaches courses on disability, madness, race, sexuality, and gender. His work employs an intersectional, anti-racist lens that emphasizes the importance of lived experience, relevance to the communities being researched, and making changes to the systems that create marginalization. Previously, Dr. Pilling was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and taught at X University’s School of Disability Studies. He has worked in research positions at a number of institutions including the Wellesley Institute, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and York University’s School of Social Work.

Dr. Pilling has also developed and delivered social justice-based curriculum for adult learners with direct service backgrounds in healthcare on the following topics: intersectional, anti-oppressive approaches to delivering mental health services, trauma-informed care, 2SLGBTQ+ competence, and trans and non-binary identities.

Dr. Pilling has two books in the interdisciplinary field of Mad Studies.  Interrogating Psychiatric Narratives of Madness: Documented Lives explores cultural representations of race, gender, sexuality, madness, and class in psychiatric inpatient charts. Queer and Trans Madness: Struggles for Social Justice is a monograph that explores the tensions and overlaps at the intersection of queer and trans madness. 

Teaching Philosophy

Merrick aims to create an equitable, power-sharing environment where instructors and students learn from one another. He believes it is important to make complex theoretical concepts understandable through connections to everyday life and experience. In classes, Merrick pays special attention to building a sense of community and connection.

Classes Regularly Taught

WGST 2990:  Disability, Madness & Social Justice

WGST/SACR 2100:  Gender, Sexuality & Social Justice

WGST 2200:  Women, Race & Social Justice

WGST 4000: Exploring the Feminist Voice

Opportunities for Students to Work with Dr. Pilling

Undergraduate Students:

Students may have the opportunity to work as a Teaching Assistant for some of Dr. Pilling's courses.

Abbreviated CV

Postdoctoral Fellow, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Ph.D. Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, York University

Doctoral Research Trainee, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON

MA Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University

BAH Conflict Resolution Studies; Women’s Studies, University of Winnipeg

Recent Publications:

Peer-Reviewed Books:

Pilling, M. (In Press). Queer and Trans Madness: Struggles for Social Justice . Palgrave MacMillan.

Daley, A., & Pilling, M. (2021). Interrogating Psychiatric Narratives of Madness: Documented LivesPalgrave MacMillan.

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters:

Pilling, M. (2021). Sexual violence and psychosis: Intersections of rape culture, sanism, and anti-Black sanism in psychiatric inpatient chart documentation. In A. Daley, & M. D. Pilling (Eds.), Interrogating Psychiatric Narratives of Madness: Documented Lives. Palgrave Macmillan, 155-186.

MacKinnon, K.R., Guta, A., Voronka, J., Pilling, M., Williams, C.C., Strike, C., & Ross, L.E. (2021). The political economy of peer research: Mapping the possibilities and precarities of paying people for lived experience. British Journal of Social Work, 51(3), 888-906.

Pilling, M. (2019). Changing directions or staying the course? Gender, sexuality, and recovery in Canada’s mental health strategy. In A. Daley, L. Costa, & P. Beresford (Eds.), Madness, Violence, and Power: A Critical Collection. University of Toronto Press, 97-114.

Pilling, M., Daley, A., Gibson M.F., Ross, L.E., & Zaheer, J. (2018). Assessing ‘insight’, determining agency and autonomy: Implicating social identities. In J. Kilty & E. Dej (Eds.),  Containing Madness: Gender and ‘Psy’ in Institutional ContextsPalgrave MacMillan, 191-214.

Pilling, M., Howison, M., Bellamy, C., Davidson, L., Frederick, T., Ross, L., McKenzie, K., & Kidd, S. (2017). Fragmented Inclusion: Community Participation and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer People with Diagnoses of Schizophrenia and Bipolar DisorderAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 87(5), 606-613.

Pilling, M. (2013). Invisible identity in the workplace: Intersectional madness and processes of disclosure at work.  Disability Studies Quarterly, 33(1).