Research

“I saw in theory a location for healing” – bell hooks, 1994

PTG is committed to the process of healing for survivors of gender based violence and having survivors voices central to the shift that needs to happen in society around patriarchy and violence against marginalized bodies. We see research as a way to contribute to theory and practice and use transformative research tools, such as action based research, arts based research, and community engagement, as a way to create change, witness stories of survival, and effect policy and practice for future programming.

Current Research

“Honour/Shame” Related Violence Edited Collection

Editors: Amina Jamal, Mandeep Kaur Mucina & Farrah Khan

In collaboration with professor Amina Jamal, Pomegranate Tree Group is a coordinating a symposium on September 20 – 21st and edited collection of critical essays on “honour” related violence. The idea for this anthology emerged initially in reaction to the murder of Aqsa Parvez and the responses of various institution and communities. As other murders of young women come to light in Canada, such as Amandeep Atwal, Jassi Sidhu, Zainab, Sahar and Geeti Shafia, we find that there are limited spaces for us to mourn and reflect on the complexities of these murders.

Read More 

Often the reactions of mainstream society and the questions posed to us are the following: is violence endemic to South Asian communities? Do some religions condone “honour “based killings?

Reacting to the death and to the responses, the following questions became a central focus for our work: How can we begin discussing the complexities of violence in South Asian and other racialized communities? What are some ways to do this without reinscribing colonialist assumptions that violence lives in racialized cultures? Indeed how do we talk about violence within and with our communities outside of the parameters of dominant discourse? How do we demand accountability for gendered violence within our communities without serving the interests of institutional racism, economic exploitation, Islamophobia and hetero-national imperialism?

Submissions from academics, community workers and activists. Scholarship in, but not limited to, the following areas is particularly encouraged: sociology, critical criminology, education, gender studies, law, social work, cultural studies, communication and social psychology.

We hope to amplify how communities are resisting on various levels to challenge both dominant perspectives as well as voices inside communities that perpetuate violence against women.

Topics include:

● Popular Media, Critiques and Questions

● Grassroots Movements to Address Violence

● The “Honour” Crimes Industry

● Sexual & Bodily Rights

● Community Conversations, Healing, Resiliency

● The Construction of Girlhood

● Counselling Frameworks and Supports

● Experiences in Newcomer and/or Racialized communities

● State Interventions and Policies i.e. immigration

● Role of Institutions i.e. education and social services

Editors

Amina Jamal is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. She teaches courses in social theory, race and ethnicity, immigration and Women and Islam. Her work has been published inSigns, Meridians, Feminist Review, the Journal of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies and Totalitarian Movements & Political Religions.  Her forthcoming book entitled Vanguard of a New Modernity? Women in the Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan  is an ethnographic and textual study that seeks to offer a much needed South Asian perspective to the study of women, Islam and modernity. Claiming social, political, cultural and affective ties to Canada, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, Jamal’s work straddles the domains of contemporary transnational feminist social and political theories and the rich spiritual, philosophical and political heritage of Islam and Muslims in South Asia.

Mandeep Kaur Mucina M.S.W, PhD Candidate:  For over 11 years Mandeep has been practicing on the frontline as a social worker, child and youth worker, and community activist. Mandeep’s experience and interests are in family violence and doing community based education and engagement with South Asian communities around issues of violence against women. Mandeep is currently working towards a PhD in the Adult Education and Community Development program at OISE and finished a Master’s degree in Social Work, from the University of Toronto. Currently, she is focusing her research on second-generation South Asian women and their experiences of honour-based violence particularly exploring how second-generation South Asian women negotiate cultural knowledges, such as honour, in the Canadian context.

Farrah Khan M.S.W. is an emerging leader in grassroots equity movements.  She has spent the last sixteen years working diligently to raise awareness of gender-based violence through art creation, counseling and community development.  Farrah is a nationally recognized public speaker and educator on violence against women including forced marriage and “honour” related violence. She holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto and supports women survivors of violence as a counselor and advocate at a violence against women agency. Deeply disturbed by the 2007 murder of teenager Aqsa Parvez, Farrah recognized that young Muslim women needed safer spaces to connect. She co-founded AQSAzine, a grassroots award-winning art collective that published four issues of an internationally-distributed magazine celebrating Muslim youth writing and art. She has been presented with various awards including the Toronto Vital People Award.

Deanna Ida M.A.: Deanna is the Operations Coordinator of Pomegranate Tree Group and she also works at The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. She has an MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies. She has worked as a Teaching Assistant at Brock University, teaching students in the subject matters of Media, Research Methods, Communication Theory and Language & Rhetoric. She has also worked at Ryerson University as Graduate Assistant for Department of Criminal Justice and Criminal Law, in six different subject areas and she was a Research Assistant for Ryerson’s Department of Sociology. Her most current work includes editing and research in many areas, with particular interest in human rights, international law and Palestinian issues.