Cultures and Differences in Education

The Centre for Media, Culture & Education, in partnership with the Comparative, International and Development Education Centre, hosted a series of conversations with faculty members, students and community members whose research, work and activisms address sexual violence and its prevention on our campuses. Please see below for important and engaging dialogue across issues of culture and consent, female reproductive rights, and the role of K12 education in violence prevention – all considered potent entry points to greater conversations about gender-based violence, prevention, and the complex interplay of global, national, and local forces informing dominant understandings and approaches.


Date: November 23, 2021

Presenters: Dr. Milena Popova & Emily A. Moorhouse (OISE, University of Toronto)

Abstract: Consent has almost become a meaningless buzzword in the last five years – and at times even been co-opted in ways that undermine progressive values and the fight for social justice. In this talk, we will examine what consent actually means through the lens of agency and bodily autonomy, as well as cultural factors that might limit our ability to freely exercise such agency, thereby compromising our ability to meaningfully consent. We will consider aspects such as popular culture, differences in national cultures, and the scripts of interpersonal and sexual relationships that we might pick up from those around us. 

Dr Milena Popova is a rogue scholar and activist working on sexual violence, sexual consent, and popular culture. They are the author of Sexual Consent (2019, MIT Press), and Dubcon: Fanfiction, Power, Consent (2021, MIT Press). They can be found on Twitter as @elmyra.

Emily A Moorhouse is a PhD Candidate in Social Justice Education, with a collaborative specialization in Women and Gender Studies. Her research areas include sexual violence prevention, media literacy, and curriculum design and assessment.

Sexual Violence Prevention and International Students in Canada

Date: December 6, 2021

Presenters: Dr. Miglena Todorova (OISE, University of Toronto) & Dr. Lana Stermac (OISE, University of Toronto)

Abstract: This presentation will share findings from on-going SSHRC-supported research exploring how international students in large urban universities in Ontario perceive sexual violence prevention initiatives enacted on their campus. The study rests upon personal interviews and two focus groups with 90 participants (60 international students from 21 countries and 30 campus staff working directly with these learners). The research identifies positive aspects of existing prevention approaches yet gaps and significant cultural misalignment between the needs of international students and the campus prevention programmes and services intended to support them.




This presentation was not recorded. Please feel free to reach out the CMCE or to the presenting scholars for greater insight, if interested. 

Dr. Miglena Todorova is Associate Professor in Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto. She is also Director of the Center for Media, Culture and Education. Her research and teaching are in the areas of transnational feminisms, race, gender and globalization and education broadly defined.

Dr. Lana Stermac is Professor of Counselling and Clinical Psychology in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at OISE University of Toronto. She was a member of the Expert Panel on Sexual Violence Education and Prevention at the University of Toronto. Her research and teaching focus on sexual violence against women.

The Pill & The Contraceptive Revolution in America

Date: January 19, 2022

Presenters: Dr. Elaine Tyler May (University of Minnesota) & Daniella Robinson (Native Child and Family Services Toronto & The California Institute of Integral Studies)

Abstract: In the midst of political and cultural events targeting women’s access to abortions, and contraceptives, as well as women’s reproductive and civil rights the world over, this panel will cover the impact of the birth control pill on the lives of women, their sexual and family relationships, and broader society in the United States and Canada.

Elaine Tyler May is Regents Professor of American Studies and History, and Chair of the Department of History, at the University of Minnesota. She is past president of the Organization of American Historians, and past president of the American Studies Association. Her books include Fortress America: How We Embraced Fear and Abandoned Democracy (2017); America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation (2010); Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (1988, new edition 2008); Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness (1997); Pushing the Limits: American Women, 1940-1961 (1996); and Great Expectations: Marriage and Divorce in Post-Victorian America (1980).She has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Ms., Daily Beast, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, among others. She is a recent recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Daniella Robinson, Ph.D. Candidate in Human Sexuality Candidate, The California Institute of Integral Studies and Supervisor of Anti Human Trafficking Supports (Bekaadendang Program), Native Child and Family Services Toronto

Globalizing Discussions on Gender, Violence and Education in K-12 Contexts

Date: February 9, 2022

Presenters: Dr. Carly Manion (OISE, University of Toronto) & Hayley H. Brooks (OISE, University of Toronto)

Abstract: This panel will explore conversations concerning the epistemological evolutions of gender-based violence prevention and education at pre-tertiary levels around the world. By connecting international theories of school-related gender-based violence, primary prevention strategies and the K-12 classroom, this conversation will analyze and extend current approaches, offering new potential pathways for the role of education in the pursuit of effective prevention and a gender equitable future.

 Dr. Carly Manion is Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream (Educational Leadership and Policy Program, LHAE), and Director of the Comparative, International and Development Education (CIDE) collaborative specialization and research center at OISE, University of Toronto. Her research, teaching and advocacy are rooted in the principles of equality and social justice, with specific areas of work including but not limited to gender (with an intersectional lens), international education policies and governance, and teachers and teacher development. Geographically, her work has focused on East and West Africa, East Asia, South America, and North America regions.

Hayley H. Brooks is a PhD Candidate in Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. Her research and teaching focuses on critical global and international education, transnational media and cultural literacies, and gender-based violence prevention in education. She has delivered guest lectures, workshops and scholarly presentations for diverse audiences including K-12 educators in Ontario, international exchange students in higher education, and colleagues at the Canadian Society for Studies in Education, the American Educational Research Association and the Women and Gender Studies Association.

Sexual Violence Prevention on Campus & The Role of Student Unions

Date: April 7, 2022

Presenters: Adaeze Mbalaja (York Federation of Students), Ryan Tomlinson (University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Student Union) & José González (Ryerson Student’s Union)

Abstract: This roundtable will bring together student union representatives from across Toronto, exploring and debating the role of their unions in sexual violence prevention on campuses. Please join us for a critical conversation that centers the voices and experiences of these student leaders, while we explore current approaches and how they are serving and responding to Toronto’s diverse student populations.




This presentation was not recorded. Please feel free to reach out the CMCE or to the roundtable participants for greater insight, if interested. 

Rachel Persaud (Moderator) is a recent Master of Education graduate from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, (OISE) in Adult Education & Community Development. She has worked and volunteered in the field of sexual violence education and is a member of the research team conducting a SSHRC- funded study on sexual violence prevention among international students in Ontario.

Adaeze Mbalaja (She/Her) is the Vice-President Campaigns & Advocacy of the York Federation of Students (YFS), and the Black Caucus Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. Within her role(s), Adaeze focuses on student advocacy and the student movement across so-called “Canada”, and globally. She remains committed to the fight for free and accessible education, anti-racism within post-secondary and larger institutions, environmental justice, and the continued fights for sovereignty and liberation within Indigenous and oppressed communities globally.


José González (He/Him) works for the Ryerson Student’s Union (RSU) as the Student Issues and Advocacy Coordinator. In 2018, he began working at the RSU, leading the Advocacy Student Services for approximately 40,000 students from seven different faculties. Since then, he has assisted the student population with academic and non-academic issues, including academic discipline and accommodations, mediations, academic appeal hearings, discrimination and harassment. José has also sat on university policy committees, and recently acted as Chair for the OMBUDS Committee at Ryerson University. José has a genuine passion for helping people and enjoys working with university students and members of marginalized communities.

Ryan Tomlinson (He/Him) is the Vice President Equity at the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Students Union (UTMSU). His position is centered around ensuring that all members have a fair and equitable experience at UTM and as a union are creating inclusive policies, events, and spaces for all students on campus. This year he has worked on creating spaces for Black and Racialized students at UTM, as well as combating food insecurity by creating a new and improved food centre on campus. Along with his other fellow execs, Ryan has been working on numerous campaigns including Consent is Mandatory by holding town halls on combating sexual violence on campus.