Dr. Tonya Callaghan

Pronouns: She/They
Dr. Tonya D. Callaghan front facing portrait

Associate Professor

Werklund School of Education, Specialization, Curriculum and Learning

Associate Professor

Anti-Oppression & Anti-Homophobia Education; Critical Social Justice; Critical Theory; Curriculum Theory; Qualitative Research; Women & Gender Studies

Media contacts

Clayton MacGillivray
Content and Media Specialist


Email: clmacgil@ucalgary.ca
Twitter: @UCalgaryEduc

Phone number

Office: 403.210.7867

Background

Educational Background

Doctor of Philosophy Dual doctorate in Education (OISE/UT) & Gender Studies (Faculty of Arts & Science), University of Toronto,

Master of Education Theoretical, Cultural, and International Studies in Education, University of Alberta,

Bachelor of Education Major: Secondary English; Minor: Educational Technologies, University of Calgary,

Bachelor of Arts Major: English; Double Minors: French and Art History, University of Calgary,

Biography

Prior to joining the Werklund School of Education, Dr. Callaghan enjoyed a varied teaching career at the secondary level with over ten years of experience in national, international, rural, urban, Catholic and non-Catholic environments. She completed a joint doctoral degree in two graduate programs at The University of Toronto: 1) The Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development Program in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT), and 2) The Graduate Collaborative Program in Women and Gender Studies with the Women and Gender Studies Institute in the Faculty of Arts and Science. The recipient of two University of Calgary teaching awards for Curriculum Development, Dr. Callaghan was invited to join the Teaching Academy with the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. 

Professional & Community Affiliations

Dr. Callaghan served as a facilitator with support groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) youth in Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto. As a member of the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee, Dr. Callaghan provided input on professional development workshops designed to build safe and caring classrooms, schools, and communities. They serve as an Ambassador for the Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education (CASWE) at the UCalgary Werklund School of Education, as a member of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Network (UCalgary Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion), and as a Member-at-Large for the Alberta and Calgary Gay/Straight Alliance Networks. They also serve as a peer-reviewer for several scholarly journals, and as an adjudicator for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grants. Dr. Callaghan has also served UCalgary as a Senator

Research

Areas of Research

Scholarly Activity

When a promising drama student in the Catholic high school where Dr. Callaghan was teaching died by suicide after suffering several months of homophobic bullying due to his sexual orientation, she decided to take action regarding the Catholic school system's sanctioned and institutionalized homophobia by engaging in research about it. The overarching goal of Dr. Callaghan's research agenda is to integrate theory and practice so that educational stakeholders become motivated to free members of sexual and gender minority groups from religiously-inspired heterosexist oppression. Dr. Callaghan specializes in critical social justice theories, anti-oppression education, and anti-homophobia education. They employ qualitative research methodologies to conduct their local, national, and international research projects.

Interests:
  • Anti-oppression education
  • Catholic education
  • Comparative and international education
  • Critical pedagogy and critical social justice 
  • Curriculum theory and design
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Educational reform and policy
  • Gender studies
  • Human rights
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer studies
  • Youth activism and youth studies

Participation in university strategic initiatives

Courses

Course number Course title Semester
EDER 703.24 Directed Study: Narrative Methodologies Winter 2021
EDER 703.02 Directed Study: Queer Adult Learning Winter 2021
EDER 698 Special Topics in Curriculum & Learning: Queer Theory & Gender Studies Winter 2019
EDER 655.13 Anti-Oppression Education Fall 2015 - Present
EDUC 450 Diversity in Learning Winter 2013 - Present
EDUC 530 Indigenous Education Fall 2017 - Present

Projects

Current:

The Catholic Closet: An International Comparative Study of Homophobia and Transphobia in Catholic Schools

Dr. Callaghan's current study is a comparative cross-case analysis of Catholic school systems in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom vis-à-vis sexual minority groups. This study broadens the parameters of Dr. Callaghan's research agenda by extending beyond Canada's borders into a global discourse of resistance to heterosexist oppression. It aims to uncover the causes and effects of clashes between Catholic canon law and the common laws of the aforementioned nations regarding sexual minorities – clashes which are increasingly being played out in Catholic schools.  

Funding source: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

 

Queer Eye on Medicine: Assessing the Lived Experience of Queer Canadian Physicians and Physician Trainees in the Healthcare Environment.

Co-Investigator on this study for which Dr. Caley Shukalek of the Cumming School of Medicine is serving as Principal Investigator.

Funding source: Royal College Strategic Initiative Grant     

 

Advancing Healthy and Socially Just Schools and Communities

Member of an interdisciplinary committee called Safe Schools, Safe Communities: A Primary Prevention Strategy comprised of faculty members from the Werklund School of Education and the Faculty of Social Work who collaboratively designed and implemented a truly interdisciplinary and award-winning MEd Interdisciplinary degree called “Advancing Healthy and Socially Just Schools and Communities.”

Funding source: The donor prefers to remain anonymous

 

The Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey

Co-Investigator on The Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey, which is part of a Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) grant awarded to Principal Investigator Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc (PhD, RN, FSAHM, FCAHS), Professor with the University of British Columbia School of Nursing. The full CIHR-funded ($2M) national, five-year, multi-university study is called “Reducing Stigma, Promoting Resilience: Population Health Interventions for LGBTQ youth.” This grant is notable in that it is CIHR’s single largest investment aimed at improving health and school outcomes for sexual and gender minority youth.

Funding source: Canadian Institutes for Health Research

Awards

  • UCalgary Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Award (Faculty) , The University of Calgary Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. 2020
  • Werklund School of Education Distinguished Research Lecture Award, Werklund School of Education. 2020
  • The University of Calgary Teaching Award for Curriculum Development, University of Calgary. 2017
  • Award for Best Essay in Alberta Views (nomination), Alberta Magazine Publishers Association . 2015
  • The University of Calgary Teaching Award for Curriculum Development , The University of Calgary. 2015
  • Werklund School of Education Leadership in Education Award, The University of Calgary. 2015
  • Dissertation of the Year, Queer Studies Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association. 2013
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Travel Award, Institute of Gender and Health and Institute of Community Support. 2012
  • Doctoral Award for Outstanding Dissertation, The Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education. 2012
  • Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal -Canada’s highest honor for outstanding scholastic achievement, Governor General. 2012
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2011-2013, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). 2012
  • Izaak Walton Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2011-2013 (honorary), The Killam Trusts. 2011
  • Scholarship Recognition Award for the 2010/2011 Academic Year, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. 2011
  • Keith. A. McLeod Scholarship for Human Rights, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. 2010
  • Academic Excellence Award for the 2009/2010 Academic Year, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. 2010
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral), Government of Ontario. 2010
  • Academic Excellence Award for the 2008/2009 Academic Year, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. 2009
  • Academic Excellence Award for the 2007/2008 Academic Year, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. 2008
  • Academic Excellence Award for the 2006/2007 Academic Year, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. 2007
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships (Doctoral), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). 2006
  • Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto Doctoral Support Award, University of Toronto. 2006
  • Margaret Brine Scholarship for Women, Canadian Federation of University Women. 2006
  • Trudeau Foundation Scholarship - research of a compelling present-day concern (shortlisted), Trudeau Foundation. 2006
  • Mary Louise Imrie Graduate Student Award, University of Alberta. 2006
  • Myer Horowitz Graduate Student Travel Award, University of Alberta. 2006
  • Evelyn Kline Memorial Award in Community Development, National Council of Jewish Women of Canada. 2005
  • Graduate Intern Tuition Supplement Award, Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta. 2005
  • Graduate Student Scholarly Conference Travel Grant, University of Alberta. 2005
  • John M. Kerr Memorial Scholarship, Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose. 2005
  • Professional Development Grant, Graduate Students' Association, University of Alberta. 2005
  • Special Commendation from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research and the Graduate Students’ Association of the University of Alberta for the presentation "Are Catholic secondary schools protecting all their students?", University of Alberta. 2005

Publications

  • Callaghan, T. D., & Esterhuizen, A. (2021). ‘Too gay to teach’: Dismissals of lesbian teachers in select North American Catholic schools. Teaching Education, 32(3), 323-337. https://doi.org/10.1080/10476210.2020.1732340.
  • Callaghan, T. D., & van Leent, L. (2019). Homophobia in Catholic schools: An exploration of teachers’ rights and experiences in Canada and Australia. Journal of Catholic Education, 22(3), 36-57. https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/ce/vol22/iss3/3/.
  • Herriot, L., & Callaghan, T. D. (2019). Possibilities for trans-affirming policy potential: A case study of a Canadian Catholic school. Journal of Catholic Education, 22(3), 58-84. https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/ce/vol22/iss3/4/.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2019, January 17). Homophobia in the hallways: LGBTQ people at risk in Catholic schools. The National Post. https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/homophobia-in-the-hallways-lgbtq-people-at-risk-in-catholic-schools.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2019, January 16). Homophobia in the hallways: LGBTQ people at risk in Catholic schools. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/homophobia-in-the-hallways-lgbtq-people-at-risk-in-catholic-schools-109023.
  • Callaghan, T. D., Wierzbicki, Z. W., & Chevrette-McIvor, H. (2018). Transitive poetry: Arts-based research as a mode for student voice. Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry, 10(1), 90-102. https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/cpi/index.php/cpi/article/view/29.
  • Herriot, L., & Callaghan, T. D. (2018, March 13). Disrupting the trans-versus-Catholic dichotomy: An example from a Canadian elementary school policy. International Journal of Transgenderism, 19(2), 170-183. https://doi.org/10.1080/15532739.2017.1412377.
  • Lorenzetti, L., Wells, L., Logie, C. H., & Callaghan, T. D. (2017). Understanding & preventing domestic violence in the lives of gender & sexually diverse persons. The Cdn. Journal of Human Sexuality, 26(3), 175-185. https://doi.org/10.3138/cjhs.2016-0007.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2016, July 5). Young, queer, Catholic: Youth resistance to homophobia in Catholic schools. Journal of LGBT Youth, 13(3), 270-287. https://doi.org/10.1080/19361653.2016.1185758.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2016, February 1). Create an instructor course in D2L! Werklund School of Education Teaching & Learning Newsletter. http://werklund.ucalgary.ca/tandl/files/tandl/tl_newsletter_2016-02.pdf.
  • Callaghan, T. D., & Surette, T. E. (2015). Controversy in the curriculum: International influences on the silencing of sex education. Teachers College Record. http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=18265.
  • Callaghan, T. D. & Mizzi, R. C. (2015). Educational administration and queer educators: Building relationships of inclusion and diversity. The Canadian Journal of Ed. Admin. and Policy, 173. https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cjeap/article/view/.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2015). Doctrinal disciplining of queer educators in Canadian Catholic schools. The Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 173. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1083423.pdf.
  • Callaghan, T. D., & Mayr, S. R. V. (2015, September). A matter of acceptance: Why gay-straight alliances are essential. Alberta Views Magazine: New Perspectives for Engaged Citizens, 38-41. https://albertaviews.ca/a-matter-of-acceptance/.
  • Lorenzetti, L., Wells, L., Callaghan, T., & Logie, C. (2015). Domestic violence in Alberta’s gender and sexually diverse communities: Towards a framework for prevention [Full Report]. University of Calgary.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2014). Law and disorder: Ontario Catholic bishops’ opposition to gay-straight alliances. Paideusis: Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, 22(1), 28-37. http://journals.sfu.ca/paideusis/index.php/paideusis/article/view/405/211.
  • Lorenzetti, L., Wells, L., Callaghan, T., & Logie, C. (2014). Preventing domestic violence in LGBT communities: Understanding how discrimination, stigma & social exclusion are barriers to healthy relationships [Issue Brief No. 3]. University of Calgary.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2014). Werklund school of education hosts Alberta gay-straight alliance conference. Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, Winter, 9-12. http://www.csse-scee.ca/docs/cacs/Winter_2014_Newsletter_FINAL_VERSION_small.pdf.
  • Lund, D. E., & Callaghan, T. D. (2012). Homophobia. In J. A. Banks (Ed.), Encyclopedia of diversity in education, (pp. 1093-1096). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2010). David versus Goliath: Addressing contradictory Catholic doctrine head on. Journal of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth, 7(1), 85-90. doi:10.1080/19361650903515257.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2009). The policy polka and the curriculum cotillion: How Catholic schools dance away from their obligations regarding sexual diversity. Cdn. Journal for Education, 2(1). http://www.cjnse-rcjce.ca/ojs2/index.php/cjnse/article/view/70/83.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2007). Contra/Diction: How Catholic doublespeak in Canadian Catholic secondary schools furthers homophobia. Canadian Online Journal of Queer Studies in Education, 3(1). https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/jqstudies/issue/view/235.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2007, March 22). Using theatre to dramatize homophobic events in Catholic schools. Tomorrow’s Trust: A Review of Catholic Education, 35. http://www.tomorrowstrust.ca/.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2006). When God teaches sex ed: Applying Foucault’s concept of surveillance & Gramsci’s notion of hegemony to the problem of homophobia in Catholic schools. The Int. Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations..
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2006, November 10). A lesbian Catholic teacher exposes church doublespeak. Tomorrow’s Trust: A Review of Catholic Education, 5(14). http://www.tomorrowstrust.ca/.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2006, March 20). “That’s so gay:” A narrative vignette of one lesbian’s experience in Catholic schools. Academic Exchange Extra. http://asstudents.unco.edu/students/AE-Extra/2006/3/index.html.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2018). Homophobia in the hallways: Heterosexism and transphobia in Canadian Catholic schools. University of Toronto Press..
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2007). That’s so gay: Homophobia in Canadian Catholic schools. VDM Verlag Dr. Müller..
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2016). Religiosity. In N. M. Rodriguez, W. Martino, J. C. Ingrey, & E. Brockenbrough (Eds.), Critical concepts in queer studies and education: An international guide for the twenty-first century, (pp. 341-349). NY: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Ernst, K., Tulissi, A., Moffet-Burima, K., … Callaghan, T. (2015). Report and recommendations on gay-straight alliances in Alberta schools [ISBN No. 978-0-9938984-1-9]. http://www.rmcla.ca/GayStraightAllianceFinalReportRMCLA2015.pdf.
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2014). My real gay agenda: Exposing the holy homophobia of Catholic schools. In G. Walton (Ed.), The gay agenda: Claiming space, identity, and justice, (pp. 223-238). Peter Lang..
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2009). The historical, philosophical and sociological foundations that contribute to the institutionalization of homophobia in Canadian Catholic schools. In J. Nahachewsky & I. Johnston (Eds.), Beyond presentism. (pp. 61-72). Sense..
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2007). Acting OUT: Using Augusto Boal’s theatre of the oppressed techniques to dramatize homophobic incidents in Catholic schools. Unleashing the unpopular: Talking about sexual orientation & gender diversity in education, (pp. 129-139)..
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2007). That’s so gay: A narrative vignette of one lesbian’s experience in Alberta Catholic schools. Unleashing the unpopular: Talking about sexual orientation & gender diversity in education, (pp. 59-62). Assoc. for Childhood Ed. Int..
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2009). Critically queer as praxis: An emancipatory paradigm for freeing sexual minorities from heterosexist oppression in school settings. Queer Issues in the Study of Education Conference Proceedings. University of Alberta..
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2005, November 18). Walking the talk: Homophobia and citizenship education in South Africa. In A. Abdi (Ed.), One Vision – Many Voices Cross-Cultural/Anti-Racism Education Conference Proceedings. Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta..
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2005). Contra/Diction: How Catholic doublespeak furthers homophobia in Canadian Catholic secondary schools. In A. Abdi (Ed.), One Vision – Many Voices Cross-Cultural/Anti-Racism Education Conference Proceedings. University of Alberta. .
  • Callaghan, T. D. (2012). Holy homophobia: Doctrinal disciplining of non-heterosexuals in Canadian Catholic schools (Doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto, Canada). http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32675.

More Information

Media:

  • Woodside, M. (2020). Book Review: Homophobia in the Hallways: Heterosexism and Transphobia in Canadian Catholic Schools. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 66(1), p. 100-102.
  • Quinto, R. (2019). Book Review: Homophobia in the Hallways: Heterosexism and Transphobia in Canadian Catholic Schools. Journal of Catholic Education, 22(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.15365/joce.2203052019
  • Bulatowicz, D. M. (2019). Book Review: Homophobia in the Hallways: Heterosexism and Transphobia in Canadian Catholic Schools. Journal of LGBT Youth10.1080/19361653.2019.1640164
  • Wry, K. (2019, September 7). History of GSAs in Alberta: An interview with Tonya Callaghan [documentary film]. Calgary, AB.
  • Lanera, E. (2019, September 17). Gays and gals: Homophobia in Catholic schools: An interview with Tonya Callaghan [podcast]. Mojo News. Melbourne, Australia:  Monash University Faculty of Journalism. Retrieved from https://player.fm/series/mojo-news/gays-and-gals-a-canadian-talks-homophobia-in-catholic-schools-and-rupaul-robs-a-queen
  • MacIsaac, M. K. (2019, May 3). Are Gay Straight Alliances necessary? UToday. Retrieved from https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2019-05-03/are-gay-straight-alliances-necessary
  • Mastricci, D. (2019, April 18). Defunding Catholic schools could help solve Ontario’s sex-ed woes. Daily Extra. Retrieved from https://www.dailyxtra.com/defunding-catholic-schools-could-help-solve-ontarios-sex-ed-woes-152701
  • Lenti, E. (2019, April 15). Inside GSAs, where kids learn to ‘talk gay.’ Daily Extra. Retrieved from https://www.dailyxtra.com/inside-gsas-where-kids-learn-to-talk-gay-152323#.XLfh-Bw9iFw.twitter
  • Rose, B. (2019, March 26). Potential changes to gay-straight alliances under UCP? Canadian Television Network (CTV) News [televised broadcast]. Retrieved from https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1645152
  • Ferguson, E. (2019, January 3). LGBTQ advocates demand response from Catholic diocese over ‘toxic environment’ in schools. Calgary Herald. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/ybjbgx44
  • Kent, F. (2018, December 15). Alberta investigating Catholic teacher contracts. Global National News [televised broadcast]. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/video/rd/1399069251724/?jwsource=cl
  • French, J. (2018, December 12). Same-sex relationships in breach of teaching contract, Red Deer Catholic teachers told. Edmonton Journal. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/yb8ayztk