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Research Spotlight: Victoria Kannen 

PhD Candidate
Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education


1. How do students and educators in higher education engaged in critical identity studies identify privilege, both for others and themselves?

2. How do the participants interpret the presence or absence of particular identities/bodies as impacting the classroom environment?


I am interested in the ways in which students and educators in critical identity studies (such as: women and gender studies; sociology; etc.) understand and engage with notions of privilege in their everyday lives.

As privilege is often conceptualized as invisible and normative – such as ‘normal’ versus disabled bodies – my work centres on understanding privilege as fundamental to conceptualizing identities and educational spaces. My interest in this area focuses on how interviewees convey their experiences with privileged identities in the classroom, in specific relation to their understandings of gender, race, and(dis)ability.

Victoria works with Featured Research Celebration Professor Sandra Acker

My supervisor has created an amazingly supportive and engaging environment for me to navigate through my studies. Not only is she my mentor, but, over the years, we have collaborated on research projects, publishing a peerreviewed article, and engaged in countless thought-provoking conversations that have enriched my graduate experiences far beyond any expectation I once had.


SESE offered me the opportunity to work with scholars who could help me to develop my interests in identity, education, feminism, and politics. The interdisciplinary nature of SESE afforded me the freedom to explore my range of interests and experiment with various ways to study them.

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