Profile: Vera Chouinard

Vera Chouinard is Professor of Geography and former Director of the Women’s Studies Program at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. Her most recent research focuses on socio-spatial forces shaping experiences of disability in the developing nation of Guyana.

Vera Chouinard is a Canadian geographer who received her training at the University of Western Ontario (Honours B.A. 1979 Geography), the University of Toronto (M.A. 1980 Geography), and McMaster University (Ph.D. 1986 Geography). A social, radical and feminist geographer, she has long-standing interests in processes of marginalization and differencing in society and space and the political economic and cultural forces shaping these. For more than a decade, her research and writing has focused on disability issues; addressing such topics as: women’s experiences of chronic illness and disablement, socio-spatial barriers to disabled women’s activism, impacts of state restructuring on disabled people’s lives and well-being, neo-liberalism and disabled women’s experiences of state income and employment supports, impacts of housing provision on disabled women’s lives, health and well-being, issues of accommodation in academic and other workplaces, and socio-spatial forces shaping disabled people’s lives in the developing world. Her work has been widely published in academic journals and edited book collections.

Vera’s recent articles include: (2010) Impairment and Disability, in T. Brown, S. McLafferty, and G. Moon, eds., A Companion to Health and Medical Geography, Wiley-Blackwell, 242-257; (2010) Towards Enabling Geographies: ‘Disabled’ Bodies and Minds in Society and Space, edited by Vera Chouinard, Ed Hall and Rob Wilton, Ashgate Publishing. (2009) Placing the ‘mad woman’: troubling socio-spatial representations of being a woman with mental illness in Girl Interrupted, Social and Cultural Geography, V. 10(7), 791-804; (2008) with VA Crooks and RD Wilton, Understanding, embracing, rejecting: Women s negations of disability constructions and categorizations after becoming chronically ill, Social Science and

Medicine 67, 1837-1846; and, with VA Crooks, Negotiating neoliberal environments in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada: restructuring of state-voluntary sector relations and disability organizations’ struggles to survive, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 26, 173-190. Vera may be contacted at

Updated: January 2011