Shirley Steinberg, PhD

Shirley Steinberg

Werklund Research Professor of Critical Youth Studies

Werklund School of Education, Specialization, Leadership

Media contacts

Clayton MacGillivray
Content and Media Specialist

Twitter: @UCalgaryEduc


Educational Background

PhD Cultural Studies, Pennsylvania State University, 1997

MEd University of Lethbridge, 1990

BEd University of Lethbridge, 1987


Shirley R. Steinberg is a Research Professor of Critical Youth Studies at the University of Calgary. She is the author and editor of many books in critical pedagogy, urban and youth culture, and cultural studies. Originally a social/improvisational theatre creator, she has facilitate happenings and flashmobs globally. A regular contributor to CBC Radio One, CTV, The Toronto Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette, and Canadian Press, she is an internationally known speaker and teacher. She is also the founding editor of "Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education", "The International Journal of Youth Studies", and the Managing Editor of "The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy". The co-founder of The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy, she is the co-organizer of International Institute of Critical Pedagogy and Transformative Leadership, she is committed to a global community of transformative educators and community workers engaged in radical love, social justice, and the situating of power within social and cultural contexts, specifically involving youth.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Dr. Steinberg is an international speaker, teacher, and author. She is a collaborator with several countries in several continents. She is also active in Canadian organizations and a media contributor. In her position as Research Chair, she is dedicated to creating a robust global network infrastructure for critical youth and community workers. Her work in Islamophobia is rooted in re-articulating the changing nature of Islamophobia, in what she terms the Third Wave.

Steinberg serves on the new Executive Boards of the Calgary Refugee Support Group (formally Syrian Refugee Support Group), and the RS Foundation, a Canadian nonprofit organization which provides ocular procedures to restore eyesight and places community wells in Bangladesh and Pakistan. She is Co-PI, Canadian Engagement Study: Assessing Public Communication Grant, a national survey assessing the communication gap between Muslims and other Canadians.

Current Research Professor Affiliations (2017):

  • The University of Barcelona
  • Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
  • Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
  • IPEC, Instituto de Pedagogia Critica Chihuahua, Mexico


Areas of Research

Scholarly Activity

Dr. Steinberg's work focuses on the cultural/social/education development of youth, and critical community involvement. She is concerned with how society views young people, and her work creates an environment in which youth are viewed as positive democratic agents within society. As a Research Chair, she has established an international network of youth and community workers engaged in a critical pedagogical approach to activism and pedagogy. Her work is currently focused on issues of Islamophobia, Empowerment of Women, and Critical Diversity Studies.

  • Critical youth studies
  • Youth and community activism
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Islamophobia
  • Critical media literacy
  • Diversity
  • Critical qualitative research
  • Refugee/newcomer studies


Course number Course title Semester
EDER 606 LEC 01 01 Writing Educational Research 2020
EDER 69319 LEC 01 01 Interpretive Study of Curriculum 2020


  • Calgary Chapter of North America Woman of Wonder Award, INCA. 2017
  • Lifetime Achievement Award , International Media Literacy Conference. 2015
  • Critics Choice Book Award: Critical Youth Studies. Ibrahim, A. & Steinberg, S.R., Eds. NY: Peter Lang Publishing., American Education Studies Association Critical Choice Book Award: . 2014
  • Cinema Perpetuum Mobile Film Festival Screening Selection: Seeing through Paulo’s Glasses: Political Clarity, Courage, and Humility. Producer and Co-Director, with Dr. G. Cucinelli. CPM, Minsk, Belarus., 2013
  • Lifetime Service Recognition, Scholars of Color, International Institute for Critical Pedagogy and Transformative Leadership: Malta, October 14. Award presented by Dr. Venus Williams as the representative of combined group of North American scholars.. 2013
  • Critic's Choice Book Award: Critical Qualitative Research Reader. Steinberg, S.R. & Canella, G., Eds. NY: , American Education Studies Association . 2012
  • Citizenship Award, Central Memorial High School, Calgary, Alberta.. 2012
  • Paulo Freire Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Justice and Education, AERA Presentation by Chapman University Faculty of Education.. 2011
  • Distinguished Scholar Lecture , University of Winnipeg Faculty of Education.. 2010
  • Helen Devitis Jones Medal for Excellence in Teaching., Texas Tech University Faculty of Education . 2009
  • Alumnus of the Year, The University of Lethbridge. 2006