Profile: Isabel Dyck

Isabel Dyck, Professor of Human Geography, Queen Mary, University of London, UK. Isabel is a social and feminist geographer and a member of the Health, Place and Society research theme. She will be developing research allied to her work with RIIM (The Metropolis Project) in Vancouver, Canada. This work is concerned with various aspects of immigrant and refugee experience, including health and well-being.

Isabel Dyck’s BA and MA degrees are in social anthropology, from the University of Manchester in the UK, where she grew up. She followed these with a PhD in social geography at Simon Fraser University in Canada. Her PhD work on women’s integration of paid labour and normative motherhood in suburban environments was then developed through a lens of health, illness and disability following her appointment in 1988 in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of British Columbia. During her time at UBC she forged two main directions in her research, one concerning health and health care experiences of female international migrants in Canada, and the other pursuing a theoretical understanding of the constitution and embodiment of a chronically ill identity. This latter stream of work first concerned the close documentation of the restructuring of the working and home lives of women with Multiple Sclerosis and then, in close collaboration with Pamela Moss and her work, turned to the development of a feminist material approach to understanding the chronically ill body. Pamela and Isabel elaborate this approach in the 2002 book, Women, Body, Illness, published by Rowman and Littlefield.

Isabel returned to the UK in 2005 to take up her present position. Recent research papers consider the reconstruction of ‘home’ and ‘healthy space’ as women with immigrant or refugee identities, renegotiate everyday life and raise children in a multicultural society. New research will follow similar themes in East London. Isabel’s interest in forging space for feminist work in health geography is reflected in the 2001 volume, co-edited with Sara McLafferty and Nancy Lewis, Geographies of Women’s Health, published by Routledge, and a review article, Feminism and health geography: Twin tracks or divergent agendas,? in Gender, Place and Culture V10(4) 2003.

Isabel may be contacted at

Updated: August 2007