BIG Talk – It’s more than just the zipcode: It’s about how one’s access to reproductive services is impacted by various levels of border walls

with Andréanne Bissonnette (Postdoctoral Fellow, Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University) | Victoria, BC & Zoom | September 26, 2023

In Person: CFGS C168 (Sedgewick building, University of Victoria) or Zoom. The meeting will take place from 12:00PM to 1:30PM PST. Register in advance for this meeting here. Registration is free but required.

Along the US-Mexico border, how one perceives their access to reproductive health services is often impacted by the various levels of border walls. Women’s position along the border will impact the level of controls implemented by states, and in turn the availability of services. However, identity markers such as immigration status and ethnicity intersect with geographical positioning to impact perceptions and experiences of access to reproductive care. This presentation offers an analysis of Latinas’ perceptions and experiences of access to reproductive health services in two border states (California and Texas). Based on extensive fieldwork (observation, survey and interviews), it demonstrates how immigration status and ethnicity influences how public health policies are lived along the border.

Dr. Andréanne Bissonnette is a postdoctoral fellow at the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University, where she is part of the binational research team focused on the equity of Canada – US border measures during the pandemic. Her research focuses on reproductive health access in the United States, with a focus on the intersections of ethnicity, immigration status, and geographical position. Born along the US-Canada border, her research has brought her to the US-Mexico border several times through the years, including for a research fellowship at the University of Texas at El Paso (2019). She has published her work on reproductive healthcare and health and borders in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Quebec in Montreal.

BIG Talk – It's more than just the zipcode: It’s about how one’s access to reproductive services is impacted by various levels of border walls

Indigenous Pillar 1: Research Assistant

EXTENDED: Final Date for Application Submission Now: September 28th 2023

PROJECT SUMMARY: 21st Century Borders – Borders in Globalization (BIG) is an international research project funded through a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Partnership Grant with its central hub located in the Centre for Global Studies (CFGS) at the University of Victoria (UVic). Our research program is comparative (across regions), policy-relevant, and cohesive (thematically consistent). Research assistants will work as part of the BIG team and will be expected to conduct primary research. The BIG research team at UVic will provide supervision, with support from our advisory boards comprised of academics, policy-makers, and business people.

PREFERENTIAL HIRE: In accordance with the University’s equity plan and pursuant to Section 42 of the BC Human Rights code, preference will be given to members of the following designated group(s): [Indigenous Peoples, Black people, people with disabilities/disabled persons, racialized people, or people of colour, and women and gender diverse peoples]. Candidates from [these groups/this group] who wish to qualify for preferential consideration must self-identify in their cover letter.

The committee will review other applications if they do not find a suitable candidate in the preferential pool.

POSITION SUMMARY: The University of Victoria invites applications for Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Jeff Corntassel, who is a co-principal investigator and lead of Indigenous Pillar 1 with the BIG project. The position entails administrative responsibilities and research activities that may include but not be limited to the following:


– Be a main point of contact for inquiries and correspondence related to Indigenous Pillar 1, which focuses on Indigenous internationalism, self-determination, and expressions of Indigenous nationhood;

– Manage appointments at the direction of the program leads and management;

– Work with BIG team and Indigenous community participants to coordinate Summer Institute and partner gathering for the summer;

– Organize meetings and gatherings, including creating agendas and meeting packages, catering, and booking venues;

– Attend meetings, prepare detailed summaries of discussions, develop draft action plans for implementation and coordinating follow up activities; and

– Arrange travel including transportation and accommodations.


– Collaborate with Research Team leaders and management to align project objectives and strategies; and

– Assist with research on various topics including: Indigenous Internationalism, oral histories of local Indigenous food sovereignty and trade networks, and Indigenous climate action that transcend state borders.


– Prepare and edit program correspondence including marketing and communications through social media;

– Platforms and webpage updates; and

– Assist with the coordination of the Indigenous Pillar podcast series.


– Ability to work autonomously and take a lead role on projects under the supervision of the Program leads and management;

– Strong organizational and time management skills with advanced attention to detail;

– High level of self-direction, with an ability to work both independently and as part of a team;

– Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills; and

– Advanced proficiency with computer applications including MS-Office Suite; experience using social media applications an asset.


– Cultural awareness of the Indigenous peoples of British Columbia, and familiarity with Indigenous nations and the issues they face in regard to the public post-secondary education system;

– Knowledge of Indigenous historical perspectives, and challenges specific to Indigenous students and communities;

– Consultation with Elders and Knowledge Keepers regarding cultural protocols and community practices; and

– Knowledge of Indigenous ways of knowing and being and cultural protocols, as well as knowledge of event planning, coordination and delivery, and good judgment to coordinate culturally significant and respectful events.


– 3 or 4 Year Undergraduate, MA or Ph.D student in Indigenous Studies, Social Sciences or other Humanities, with written and oral academic language proficiency in English;

– Ability to work on a large research team; and

– Ability to coordinate with a network of academic partners.


– This is a one year position for 15 hours a week, with an option to extend contingent upon grant funding.

– The rate of pay will be $22/h

– Start date is negotiable, but no later than October 16th, 2023

– The successful candidate will be provided with shared office space at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies.

– The position is funded by the 21st Century Borders grant as part of the Borders in Globalization research program. 21st Century Borders is funded through external grant funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Erasmus+ Programs of the European Union.

HOW TO APPLY: Please send the following materials by 4pm PST Sept 28th  to [email protected] addressed to BIG Manager with “Indigenous RA Application fall 2023” in the subject line:

– A complete curriculum vitae

– A statement of research interests, related experience, and future goals, please reflect on your positionality and your own values and ethical principles related to research.

– Contact details for three references

– Optional: research outputs such as journal articles or editorials that best demonstrate your fit for the position.

Only complete submissions will be considered.

Further information about the University of Victoria, the School of Public Administration, and the Centre for Global Studies is available on their websites.

UVic is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our living, learning and work environments. In pursuit of our values, we seek members who will work respectfully and constructively with differences and across levels of power. We actively encourage applications from members of groups experiencing barriers to equity. Read our full equity statement here:

Indigenous Pillar 1: Research Assistant

Bringing EU Human Centered Design to BC

This three year project aims to engage European and North American researchers with BC public sector organization policy makers and practitioners to build and sustain complaint system capacity in local government public sector organizations in B.C. It builds on a previous set of workshops which were co-funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union through the Jean Monnet Chair in Innovative Governance (2018, Co-constructing Justice: Citizen-centered design for public service complaint systems).

Complaint System Design is about access to justice, and involves the creation of processes and systems to deal with repeated or systemic disputes: an effective complaint system inhabits a constitutionally significant space within public service organizations, making the justice journey more manageable and accessible for users. Therefore, the aim of this grant is to build on the EU advancements in human-centered, public sector complaint systems and harness EU knowledge to apply to public sector organizations in British Columbia. In this project we will study how to adapt and implement EU approaches to complaint system design, and apply these learnings to local governments in British Columbia, Canada.


  • Research: Researchers will engage and supervise graduate students to conduct pre-post evaluations of complaint system capacity building success in BC local government public sector organizations
  • Outreach: 1) Training the Trainers Workshop, 2) two orientation workshops with public sector administrators and elected officials, and 3) a pilot training for 10 BC local governments. As well we will host a major international conference in Canada (Year 2)
  • Teaching: an Open Online Course on complaint system design in public sector organizations


  • 4 training workshops
  • 1 international conference
  • 1 open online course platform: DR509
  • 20 trained practitioners in complaints system design

UVic Team:

Tara Ney

Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly


Chris Gill, University of Glasgow

Jane Williams, Queen Margaret’s University,

Sabine Junginger, University of Lucerne

Chris Gill, BC Office of the Ombudsperson

Local Government Management Association

Union of British Columbia Municipalities

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Robert Lapper, School of Law, University of Victoria

2023 World Conference of the Association for Borderlands Studies

Eilat Campus of Ben-Gurion University, Israel | February 13-18, 2023

BIG team members and fellows were some of the many attending ABS’ Borders, Edges and Interfaces: Pluralities and Scales conference, hosted February 13th-18th, 2023 at the Eilat Campus of Ben-Gurion University at the tri-border towns of Eilat (Israel), Aqaba (Jordan) and Taba (Egypt).

The study of borders has experienced significant growth during the past thirty years . Focussing on the borderless world theories of the late 80’s and early 90’s, scholars from across the disciplinary boundaries have come together with new border narratives, ranging from the level of the state to the scale of local borders, from the physical borders to the perceived, and with a recent focus on the reconstruction of borders in a post 9/11 world, and the way in which borders are represented through a variety of images, ranging from film, literature, caricatures and cartography.

The conference was be held at the Elat Campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in the south of Israel. The town of Elat is located at the meeting of three borders – Egypt (Taba), Jordan (Aqaba) and Israel (Elat) – and just a few kilometers north of the border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia.  Israel-Palestine is located at the interface of borders, continents and cultures, and sessions will be devoted to the sensitive Geopolitics of this region, at local and national scales. Dependent on the political conditions at the time, it is the intention of the conference organizers to arrange a tri-border field trip. Following the conference, there was a choice of two optional field trips to other critical border regions – Israel’s northern borders with Lebanon and Syria; and the borders and geopolitics of the West Bank and the Jerusalem region.

The conference organizers are hoping that by February 2023 it will be possible to hold a conference with physical participation, but will also be making contingency plans for a virtual conference if necessary. Even, as expected, a return to physical participation, there will be the possibility of some hybrid sessions, so that many scholars, and particularly students who will be unable to make the journey, will be able to participate

In addition to individual abstracts, the organizers welcome proposals for thematic sessions on any topic relating to border studies across the multi-disciplinary perspectives, across the geographic scales, and across global cultural and geographical locations.

Full list of keynote speakers.

Find more information on ABS’ site here.

2023 World Conference of the Association for Borderlands Studies

Graduate Student Fellow (PhD)

Jules Soupault

Borders in Globalization | 21st Century Borders

Jules Soupault (he/him) left his hometown of Toulouse (France) to pursue his doctorate at the University of Victoria, on W̱SÁNEĆ & Lək̓ʷəŋən territories. He is inspired and influenced by movements of solidarity without borders, anarchist companions, and beloved friends. In his doctoral research, he aims to contribute to abolitionist practices and ideas by “studying up” the (re)production of (b)orders. His dissertation project focuses on state-sponsored violence and the integration of policing across borders in North America and Europe. He joined the BIG team in 2021 and has developed indicators for the Dyad Database to grasp the politics and management of “security” at a global scale. 

Jules Soupault

Student Spotlight – Roberto Vila-Lage

Visiting Graduate Student (PhD) – University of Victoria

About Roberto:

Roberto Vila-Lage (he/him) is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain). His research focuses on the study of cooperation across external and internal Spanish borders, with special emphasis on natural protected areas. His thesis discusses the impact of governance and management of biosphere reserves and national parks on internal borderlands (specifically, between autonomous communities in Spain).

Prior to pursuing his doctoral studies, he received a MA in Spatial Planning, Management & Development and a BA in Geography and Spatial Planning from the University of Santiago de Compostela, and a BA in Economics from the University of A Coruña. Roberto is member of Territorial Analysis (ANTE) Research Group and participates in the project HIGHLANDS.3. He joined the BIG team as a visiting graduate student in the fall of 2022.

What is your current research project, and how does it address borders in the 21st century?

I am currently working on my PhD thesis. My research focuses on analyzing the socio-spatial effects produced by the presence of intra-state borders in relation to protected natural areas. Specifically, I am studying biosphere reserves and national parks located just along the boundaries between autonomous communities (i.e. devolved “regions”) in Spain. The objective is to apply the theoretical framework of transboundary conservation, usually conceived around international borders, to internal boundaries and administrative limits. From the methodological point of view, I mainly use qualitative research techniques, such as semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders to grasp their perceptions in regard to boundaries, protected areas and cross-border cooperation.

What motivated you to pursue this project?

The main motivation has been my supervisors: Valerià Paül and Juan M. Trillo-Santamaría. After many years researching on the Galician-Portuguese border, they identified the need to study internal borders between autonomous communities in Spain. Thanks to their strong support, and the funding from the Ministry of Universities, I was able to initiate this project.

Where do you see your project having the most impact?

In general terms, I would like it to help to reflect on the importance of and effects produced by intra-state borders in decentralized countries, as is the case in Spain. More specifically, although I am not very optimistic about it, I would like it to promote effective cooperation and coordination mechanisms to facilitate the management of cross-border protected natural areas in Spain.

What has your fellowship with BIG allowed you to do that you might not have done otherwise?

There is no doubt that the highlight has been meeting the excellent team of the BiG and the CFGS of the University of Victoria. It is an exceptional environment for carrying out research. My stay also allowed me to do field work on the border between British Columbia and Alberta and to enjoy of the stunning landscapes of the Rocky Mountains.

What are your plans for after your PhD?

I do not really know how many times a day I ask myself this question… Honestly, after my PhD, I would like to have the opportunity to develop a postdoctoral project linked to borders studies that allows me to continue developing my research career.

What is one non-academic book that you think everybody should read and why?

Recently I read an interesting book that I have recommended to a few friends. Its title, taken from a painting by Paul Klee, is The Twittering Machine. I especially like this book because its author, Richard Seymour, analyzes and reflects in an excellent way on the toxic relationship we have with social networks and the social industry.

Student Spotlight - Roberto Vila-Lage

Graduate Student Fellow (MACD)

Nadine Graham

BIG | Jean Monnet Human-to-Military Security Database Project – University of Victoria

Nadine Graham joined the BIG team in June 2022 as a Graduate Student Fellow.  She is currently completing a Master of Arts in Community Development in the Public Administration Department at UVic and focuses on the analysis of Immigration and Settlement related policy, non-profit settlement services as well as migration and border studies. She previously completed a Master’s in Immigration Management (Now called Migration Studies) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. She has 5 years of experience working with newcomers in the settlement field, in both language and employment. Nadine has had two book reviews published about gender inequality in China and cyber crimes against women in India in the Asian Journal of Women’s Studies.

Nadine Graham

Graduate Student Fellow (PhD)

Shoukia van Beek

Borders in Globalization | Jean Monnet Human-to-Military Security Database Project

Shoukia van Beek (she/her) is a settler-scholar and graduate student at the University of Victoria, on W̱SÁNEĆ & Lək̓ʷəŋən territories. Shoukia was named after her late grandmother, a Frisian-Dutch immigrant, whose ferocity, compassion, and caring ways shaped Shoukia’s sense of self and community. Her lessons and love continue to inform Shoukia’s interests, worldview, and ultimately, her work. Shoukia’s research examines how borders, and their associated practices, function as a mechanism of settler-colonialism. Her work is rooted in, and takes place at the intersection of, literatures and theories of political ecology, border studies, and Indigenous sovereignty¾actively centring an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, and abolitionist legal-geographic analysis and epistemological commitment.

Shoukia joins the BIG team as a PhD Fellow and will be working with Jeff and Emmanuel on questions of Indigenous nationhood as well as with the BIG and JMN database teams!

Shoukia van Beek

Database Coordinator | Senior Research Assistant

Maria Finnsdottir

Jean Monnet Human-to-Military Security Database Project – University of Victoria

Maria Finnsdottir is a Senior Research Assistant and she leads our team of research assistants collecting indicators for both the BIG and Jean Monnet database projects.

Maria is PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Toronto. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, she received her BA in Sociology from UVic in 2016, and her MA in Sociology from U of T in 2018. Her research focuses broadly on gender and radical right politics. For her doctoral research, she is examining how gendered inequality operates within radical right political parties, both at the level of supporters and of politicians. This work aims to understand the particular gendered drivers of radical right support, and the place of women in racist and exclusionary politics.

Maria Finnsdottir

Call for Proposals: XV International Congress on Regional Integration, Borders and Globalization in the American Continent

Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico

Monday, June 15, 2015 (All day)

Proposals to participate in the XV International Congress on Regional Integration, Borders and Globalization in the American Continent are currently being accepted.

The congress will be held jointly with the IV International Congress of Border Cities On 28, 29 and 30 October 2015 At the Institute of Social Sciences and Management Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) In Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México

DESCRIPTION: The International Congress on Regional Integration, Borders and Globalization in the American Continent has been since 1996 a space that encourages critical reflection in order to contribute to a greater understanding of our reality. It has also fostered action research and the construction of a critical stands vis-à-vis the most pressing problems of the American continent. To continue this reflection, its 15th Congress is jointly held with the 4th International Conference on Border Cities, held since 2009 at the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez (UACJ). This joint conference seeks to integrate various discussions and debates which have taken place for nearly twenty years through our project and research program on Regional Integration, Borders and Globalization in the Americas. This conference’s purpose is primarily to establish new mechanisms for interdisciplinary teamwork and comparative work. On this occasion, we seek to emphasize a critical view of the concept of borders and their economic, political, social, psychological, cultural, legal and territorial manifestations. Further, we seek to question the very existence of borders in a globalized world. This conference will include a visit to the border town of El Paso, Texas. The call for proposals includes papers, roundtable discussions, full panels, book presentations, video conferences, documentaries and academic exchanges with open discussions on the following


    • Regional integration, free trade and globalization
    • Productive and service sectors in globalization
    • Neoliberalism, globalization and limits of national sovereignty
    • Political and geopolitical thinking of globalization and integration
    • Regionalization and extraction of strategic natural resources
    • Regional integration, megaprojects and environmental impacts
    • The emergence of new integration processes in the region 
    • Militarization, armaments and repression
    • Regional security and multidimensional security
    • “War on Terror and the “War on Drugs”
    • Insecurity and organized crime
    •  New migration flows
    • Forced migration and human trafficking
    • Displacement of peoples and exile
    • Refugee Policies
    • Ethnicities in the face of globalization
    • Emerging social networks
    • Social conflict and resistance
    •  Borders as global and transnational spaces
    • Regional integration, cooperation and border development
    •  Economic transactions and cross-border labor markets
    • The construction of cross-border social networks
    • Borders and bio-politics
    • Border Crossing Controls
    • Material expressions of border security (walls, canals, fences, prisons and detention centers, etc.)
    • Dehumanization of borders and democratic responses to terrorism and insecurity
    • Culture, history and border narratives
    • New identities and cross-border subjects
    • Border, inter-ethnic territories and ethno-development
    • Universal citizenship, cosmopolitanism and cross-border mobility
    • Cultural heritage and border landscape
    • Political processes and public policy
    • Violence and Public Safety
    • Environment, public health and welfare
    • Social vulnerability on the borders
    • Construction, de-construction and reconstruction of the concept of borders
    • Internal and external Borders (borders within borders)
    • Boundaries within the nation-state


  • Examine the impact of the global economic crises on the political and social landscape in the Western Hemisphere
  • Develop networks to analyze ways of working jointly on globalization and borders
  • Provide methodological tools to articulate resistance processes and reflection on regional integration alternatives
  • Strengthen the link social movements—academia
  • Encourage and promote comparative approaches between countries in the region to discuss common issues
  • Promote the study and critical reflection of the concepts of borders and boundaries as well as knowledge of the social reality of the border cities

PARTICIPANTS Researchers, teachers, students, activists and members of civil society organizations

PRACTICAL INFORMATION Transportation, accommodations and food costs will be paid by the participants. Because the campus of the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez is located in an area where food services (restaurants) are not close by, the Local Organizing Committee agreed to retain the services of a restaurant which will provide meals at a cost of $ 30.00 (thirty US dollars) or $ 400.00 (four hundred pesos) for the three days. A participant wishing to utilize this service must pay all $400 pesos upon registration. At the end of the congress, there will be a visit to the border town of El Paso, Texas. The costs shall also be paid for by the participants. Please send a note next to the abstract of the paper if you are interested in this activity. All participants are responsible for having a valid visa issued by the United States to cross the border.

DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS Please, turn in your proposals by June 15, 2015, with an extension of one page maximum, double spacing, Times New Roman 12 font. The deadline to receive submissions for those interested in publishing their paper in a Memory CD version of the conference is September 30, 2015. The length of the paper is 20-25 pages, double spacing, Times New Roman 12 front, in Word format. The deadline for submission of papers to the Organizing Committee for its review and possible publication in a book is December 5, 2015. Please send abstracts and papers to the following three addresses:

Publication of papers in the book: The papers will be submitted to a review committee and those that are selected will be published. The Committee will provide the editorial guidelines for all papers to be published. Depending on the amount of selected materials and resources available will be publishing one or more thematic books.