Graduate Profiles

Alderson, Aedan



  • Year Entered: 2016

    Student Info

    Dissertation Title

    [Working Title] Dreaming the Post-Colonial: Mi’kmaq and Irish experiences of contemporary British Imperialism

    Comprehensive Areas

    • Comparative Imperialisms
    • Post-Colonial Studies


    Dr. Liette Gilbert (FES); Dr. Anna Zalik (FES); Dr. Cyndy Baskin (Ryerson Social Work)

    Previous Education

  • B. A. Honours, Sociology
  • MES, Planning
  • Publications


    Alderson, A. Deconstructing Multiracial Experience through Intersectional Analysis: Jinthana Haritaworn's Biopolitics of Mixing (Book Review). In,
    Undercurrents Journal of Critical Environmental Studies, Volume 18, 55-
    56. York University.

    Services & Experience

    Services & Experience

    University Service

    2012-2013. Editorial Academic Review Board Member
    Undercurrents Journal of Critical Environmental Studies

    Teaching Experience

    2013-2014; 2016-Present. Tutorial Leader. Introduction to International Development Studies Department of Social Sciences, York University. Toronto, Ontario.


    2016-2017 Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral)  $15,000


    Conference & Presentations

    Conference & Presentations

    Conference Papers

    August 19, 2017. “Allies in a familiar struggle: comparatively examining Irish and Mi'kmaq history”. Accepted for presentation at The Global Irish Diaspora 1st International Congress. University College Dublin. Dublin, Ireland.

    May 11, 2017. "Canada 150 or British-Canada 254? Unsettling nationalist mythology under British rule”. Accepted for presentation at The Annual Graduate History Symposium: Canada 150: Defining the Nation in a Transnational World. University of Toronto. Toronto, Ontario.

    March 18, 2017, “British Canada 254: re-positioning the struggle for decolonization in Canada”. Presented at the CIRCLE conference: Reckoning with Canada at 150: Critical Perspectives and Indigenous Sovereignties. Carleton University. Ottawa, Ontario

    February 17, 2017. “Unsettling developments in Canada: standing with Indigenous land defenders”. Presented at The Knowledge in Sharing Stories Conference: Tetewatatenonhkhwe: Strengthening The Circle, York University. Toronto, Ontario.

    Guest Lectures

    2016. “Dreaming the Post-colonial: Nationalism and the Neo-colonial era”. Department of Social Sciences, York University. Toronto, Ontario.

    2014. “Planning as Dispossession: Settler Urbanism and The Indigenous Question”. Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. Toronto, Ontario.

    2013. “Historical Brownfield Mapping For Environmental Justice in Jane/Finch”. Environmental Justice Symposium. Hosted by the Toronto Public Library/Social Planning Toronto and community partners. Toronto, Ontario.

    2013. “Occupy Toronto, Collaborative Resistance, and Civic Engagement” Department of Human Rights and Equity Studies, York University. Toronto, Ontario.


    Other Activity

    2014-2015. Principal Investigator. Beyond the politics of recognition: Settler colonial land use and urban Aboriginal self-determination in Toronto. York University, Toronto, Ontario

    May-August, 2013. Planning Consultation Lead. Independent Annual Service Review. Northwood Neighbourhood Services. North York, Ontario.

    November, 2012. Co-Investigator. Graduate Review of Pearson Union Express Project. York University. Toronto, Ontario.

    October, 2012. Co-Investigator. Graduate Review of Ontario Municipal Board Effectiveness. York University. Toronto, Ontario.

    September, 2012. Co-Investigator. Malvern Priority Neighbourhoods Profile Update. York University. Toronto, Ontario.

    2011-2012. Principal Investigator. Occupy Toronto, the Occupation of St. James Park: a Sociological Case Study. York University. Toronto, Ontario.

    January-April, 2012. Co-Investigator. Review of the effectiveness of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. York University. Toronto, Ontario


    Why FES?

    As an interdisciplinary researcher at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, I have three major objectives: First, to do situated academic research that is not vacant of participants' voices: exploring and valuing different positionalities, histories, and intersectional relationships in the environmental struggles that I study; Second, to create opportunities to examine global history while discussing dominant ideologies and practices that shape and structure everyday life; and third, to continue my journey excavating my own position in struggles for self-determination and environmental justice at the local and international scale through examining contemporary conditions of the global economic and political contours of governance, international capitalism and the ongoing legacies of colonialism.

    My PhD program engages strategies and comprehensive areas that work to broaden and demonstrate an understanding of contemporary manifestations of British imperialism and coloniality in regions that have experienced British rule. It explores the comprehensive areas of comparative imperialisms, and post-colonial studies, while engaging with comparative research on the histories of Ireland and the Mi’kmaq confederacy to highlight the tactics that the nations I descend from have used in order to survive and assert independence from colonialism. By drawing on international case studies that highlight the linkages and differences in global and local struggles, my research works to gather conflictive representations of the past, present, and future that envision a variety of futurities both within and outside of the goals of empire. I situate this work within Environmental Studies, because I believe that broadening our understanding of how imperialist interventions work to impose control over structures of social, bio-physical/ecological, and cultural environments has the potential to offer up important insights into the strategies that are needed to work towards a more just world.