Two PhD students are sharing our newly named Gary Sealey Friends of Lambda Award for their innovative and bold research. They are Melanie Rickert in Anthropology and Charlotte Hoelke in Canadian Studies. It is the first time the Lambda award at Carleton has been presented under its new name. Melanie won the Lambda Award at Carleton a couple of years ago for her MA research.
Melanie tells us: My doctoral research stems from my MA thesis which focused on queer activism and activists in St-Petersburg, Russia. For my dissertation, my goal is to return to Russia – cities to be determined (possibly Moscow and St-Petersburg). I aim to explore the many ways in which individuals who might identify along the LGBT spectrum are positioned as ‘other’ (un-Russian, abnormal, against the norm) by the state. Furthermore, I seek to understand how these individuals are fostering spaces – public, collective, and accessible – that offer them the opportunity to build areas of acceptance, and shared experiences in cities (and a country) that continue to attempt to invalidate their experiences, and existence.
Melanie Rickert and her mom at Pride
Our other winner, Charlotte Hoelke, is focusing on the connections between Indigenous and Queer culture. Charlotte writes: “My current doctoral dissertation research explores the ways in which Indigenous erotic arts engage in decolonization efforts by voicing Indigenous perspectives and views of sexuality and gender, and envisioning new Indigenized futures free of subjugation and assimilation. I am also interested in how Indigenous erotica can be used as a teaching tool, and as a catalyst to foster much-needed conversations between scholars of Indigenous Studies and Queer Theory.”
Charlotte Hoelke completed a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies and Religions from Nipissing University in 2010, a Masters of Arts in Religion and Public Life from Carleton University in 2012 and a Masters of Arts in Canadian Studies (Indigenous Studies and the North) in 2013. She is currently a student in the PhD program in Canadian Studies at Carleton. Her research interests include: Indigenous erotic art; Queer Theory; and sexual and reproductive justice.