Margaret Robinson - writer. researcher. activist - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Scholarly Writing
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Photo of Margaret RobinsonWelcome

Margaret Robinson is a feminist scholar and bisexual activist based in Toronto.

Her research interests include

Health Research: LGBTTI2Q issues in health equity, the social aetiology of mental illness, the social construction of substance use, and sexual identity development.

Religion: Christian sexual ethics, religion & politics, feminist theology, postcolonial theology, gender & sexuality, religious-based prejudice (esp. anti-Judaism and homophobia), LGBTTI2Q issues in religion, critical theory & religion, queer theology, sexual ethics, and new religious movements.

Sociology/Political Science: queer studies, LGBTTI2Q issues & gender in film, identity politics, LGBTTI2Q activism and community formation, criminal subcultural identities.

 

Research

Margaret works in the Health Systems & Health Equity Research division of the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health. She is currently the Project Coordinator of Risk and Resilience Among Bisexual People in Ontario: A Community-Based Study of Bisexual Mental Health.

This project will include a quantitative survey of 800 bisexual people from across Ontario. We aim to identify practices or strategies that improve mental health for bisexuals, and also identify barriers to mental health or mental health services. This study will use respondent-driven sampling, a method by which people who complete the survey recruit new participants from their own social networks. This method has been demonstrated to reduce sample bias.

For more details about this study visit our Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team website.

Margaret also works as a writer for Rainbow Health Ontario, compiling factsheet on the latest research in LGBT health. A complete list of the documents she's produced can be found here, on their website, but titles include:

LGBT Mental Health
Bisexual Mental Health

Intersex Health

 

Recent Work

(2011, August). Monogamy and Polyamory as Strategic identities. American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, DC.

Abstract
The emerging concept of relational orientations makes shifts in sexual identity difficult to accommodate and may mask women’s actual sexual practice. Drawing on a qualitative study of 40 bisexual women in Toronto, this paper argues that polyamory and monogamy are strategies by which bisexual women explore their sexuality, rather than cohesive identities or behavioural orientations. Nearly a quarter of the monogamous-identified women reported having previously identified as polyamorous. Among total participants, 12.5% reported shifting between monogamy and polyamory more than once. These shifts enable women to manage and negotiate their visibility as bisexuals. There was a significant disjoint between self-identity and sexual behaviour. The majority of the polyamorous women were not dating multiple partners at the time of the interview, while over a quarter of the monogamous women reported having threesomes in their current relationship. Viewing monogamy and polyamory as strategic identities can help health care practitioners more accurately assess their clients’ needs and risks, within a social determinants of mental health framework.

(2011, May). Pride, Performance, and Praise: Bisexual Anthologies as Bible. American Academy of Religion, Eastern International Region, Syracuse, NY.

Abstract
Bisexual anthologies construct spirituality as an integral part of a healthy sexualit, yet few works have examined these anthologies as texts. My paper analyses these anthologies as Bibles through an interpretive textual analysis, using an iconic and performative lens. First I identify the socio-political subject positions made possible by the text’s use of the category of spirit. Second, I examine the iconicity of bisexual anthologies and argue that the sign to which they refer and which they are designed to resemble, is the real or imagined bisexual community. Third, I argue that such Bibles exercise a performative function both through the trope of the coming out story and through their role as community archetype. Finally I argue that the subject positions offered by the text shape and are shaped by the function of these bi Bibles as icons of community.

(2011, May). Review of Sean Mills, The Empire Within: Postcolonial Thought and Political Activism in Sixties Montreal. Journal of Postcolonial Theory & Theology, 2,

(2011, April). Looking For The Lost. Postcolonial Networks: Rethinking Postcolonial in Interstitial Spaces. Invisible Worlds, untold Stories.

(2010, October). Veganism and Mi'kmaq Legends: Feminist Natives Do Eat Tofu. American Academy of Religion conference, Atlanta, GA.

Abstract
This paper proposes a postcolonial ecofeminist reading of Mi’kmaq legends as a basis for a vegetarian or vegan diet rooted in indigenous culture. Mi’kmaq legends portray animals as siblings to Lnu’k (the people). Rather than dominion over the animals, humanity and animal life are presented as being on a spiritual and physical continuum. These legends offer an alternative to the widespread stewardship/domination model of human-animal relations found in the Genesis story. The development of ecofeminist readings of traditional stories is complicated by the gendered nature of food production and consumption in Mi’kmaq culture. Ecofeminist exegesis of Mi’kmaq legends provide us with an indigenous grounding for vegetarian or vegan practice while offering a critical standpoint on issues such as the indigenous fishing industry.

The text of this talk has also been reprinted at The Scavenger.

(2010). Reading Althaus-Reid: As a Bi Feminist Theo/Methodological Resource. Journal of Bisexuality 10(1/2).

(2010, May). Psychological Decolonization: Getting Back My Indian Soul. American Academy of Religion Eastern International Regional Conference, Ottawa, ON. .

(2010, February). Keynote Address. Don’t Box Me In: Diversity in Gender and Sexuality, the 8th Annual Gathering of Pacific Northwest Reconciling Ministries Network, Puyallup, WA.

(2009, November). Postcolonial Outrage[ous]: Marcella Althaus-Reid’s Critical Bisexuality. American Academy of Religion Conference, Montreal, Q.C.

(2010, February). Who is God and How Do We Know? irobyn.com.

Academic History

Ph.D. in Theology, 2009
University of Saint Michael's College, Toronto School of Theology
Dissertation: “Turning Points in Identity and Theology: Bisexual Women Choosing Between Monogamous and Polyamorous Relationships” Download the pdf
Supervisor: Marilyn Legge

My dissertation examines the conflation of bisexuality with polyamory. I used voice-centred relational analysis and critical theory to examine email interviews with bisexual women in the Toronto area. I show how participant’s relationship choices are incorporated (or not) into their bisexual identity.


M.A. in Theology, 2001
University of Saint Michael's College, Toronto School of Theology
Thesis: "The Influence of Gender Construction on Catholic Approaches to Same-Sex Desire"
Supervisor: Ronald Mercier


B.A. in English and Religious Studies, 1997
Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Thesis: "Non-Heterosexual Liberation Theology"
Supervisor: Paul Bowlby

Download my Academic CV

Download a pdf of my Statement of Teaching Practice

Download a pdf of my Statement of Teaching Philosophy