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Claudia Mitchell


claudia [dot] mitchell [at] mcgill [dot] ca (E-mail) 
Phone: 514-398-4527 Ext. 09990

Areas of interest

Description of research/teaching activities

My funded research and much of my teaching and community engagement relates to participatory visual work, particularly in the context of university and school-based responses to gender and HIV & AIDS in Southern African (Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Kenya) as well as with aboriginal youth in the Canadian context. This includes research on youth participation and sexual violence in and around schools, teacher engagement through memory work and digital media, and the uses of social media and popular culture in relation to social change more broadly. This is work that is located within the James McGill professorship “Social policy ‘from the ground up’: Youth participation and social change through digital media” and which builds on the research that I have been conducting for more than a decade on the use of visual arts-based methodologies in working with youth in relation to gender and sexuality in the age of AIDS. What has been central to this research has been the testing out of such visual methods as participatory video, photography, and participatory archiving in engaging young people, teachers, and community health care workers, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, in addressing HIV&AIDS prevention and education. This work is also located within the growing body of work in youth studies and youth engagement, which points to the significance of the participation of children and young people in contributing to the official dialogue around issues of concern to their everyday lives. This is an area of significance in Canada and of concern globally. Indeed, there is a growing consensus among those involved in social programming that, unless young people are given a more significant voice in participating in policy dialogue about their own health and well-being, the programs themselves are destined to fail. What has interested me also is the engagement of teachers and others working with youth as central to participatory work. Doctoral and masters students work across a variety of geographic contexts (Canada, Cameroon, South Africa, Mexico, Ethiopia, China), and focusing on school-based and community research related to gender, HIV&AIDS, girlhood, language and teaching.

Affiliated Websites


Youth, the Arts, HIV & AIDS Network

Institute for Human Development and Well-Being

Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Selected publications/presentations

Journal Editing

Mitchell, C. & Reid-Walsh, J. (2008-present). Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal: New York. Berghahn Press.


Milne, E-J, Mitchell, C., & De Lange, N. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook on participatory video. Alta Mira Press.

Moletsane, R., Mitchell, C., & Smith, A. (2012). Was it something I wore?  Dress, identity, materiality. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

Mitchell, C. (2011). Doing visual research. London and New York: Sage.

Mitchell, C., Strong-Wilson, T., Pithouse, K., & Allnutt, S. (Eds.). (2011). Memory and pedagogy. London and New York: Routledge.

Theron. L., Mitchell, C., Smith, A., & Stuart, J. (Eds.). (2011). Picturing research: Drawings as visual methodology. Rotterdam: Sense.

Islam, F., Mitchell, C., Balfour, R., De Lange, N., & Combrinck, M. (Eds.). (2011). School-university partnerships for educational change. New York: Edwin Mellen.

Mitchell, C., & Pithouse, K. (2009). Teaching and HIV/AIDS in the South African classroom. Johannesburg: Macmillan.

Pithouse, K., Mitchell, C., & Moletsane, R. (2009). Making connections: Self-study and social action. New York: Peter Lang.

Moletsane, R., Mitchell, C., Smith, A., & Chisholm, L. (2008). Methodologies for Mapping a Southern African girlhood in the age of AIDS. Rotterdam: Sense.

Mitchell, C., & Reid-Walsh, J. (Eds.). (2008). Girl Culture: An Encyclopedia (2 volumes). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

De Lange, N., Mitchell, C., & Stuart, J. (Eds.). (2007). Putting people in the picture: Visual methodologies for social change. Amsterdam: Sense.

Leach, F., & Mitchell, C. (Eds.). (2006). Combating gender violence in and around schools. Sterling, USA: Trentham Books.

Jiwani, Y., Steenbergen, C., & Mitchell, C. (Eds.). (2006). Girlhood: Redefining the limits. Montreal: Black Rose Books.

Mitchell, C., Weber, S., & O’Reilly-Scanlon, K. (Eds.). (2005). Just who do we think we are? Methodologies for autobiography and self-study in teaching. London: Routledge-Falmer.

Mitchell, C., & Reid-Walsh, J. (Eds.). (2005). Seven going on seventeen: Tween studies in the culture of girlhood.. New York: Peter Lang Associates.

Balfour, R., Buthelezi, T., & Mitchell, C. (Eds.). (2004). Teacher development at the centre of change. Durban: KZN DE.

Weber, S., & Mitchell, C. (Eds.). (2004). Not just any dress: Narratives of memory, body and identity. New York: Peter Lang Associates.

Mitchell, C., & Reid-Walsh, J. (2002). Researching children’s popular culture: Cultural spaces of childhood. London: RoutledgeTaylor and Francis.

Mitchell, C., & Weber, S. (1999). Reinventing ourselves as teachers: Beyond nostalgia. London: Falmer Press.

Weber, S., & Mitchell, C. (1995). That's funny you don't look like a teacher: Interrogating images of identity in popular culture. London: Falmer Press.

Journal Articles

Mitchell, C. & Murray, J. (2012). Social networking practices and youth advocacy efforts in  HIV awareness and prevention: What does methodology have to do with it?. Educational Research and Social Change.1:2

Mitchell, C. (2011). What’s participation got to do with it? Visual methodologies in ‘girl-method’ to address gender based violence in the time of AIDS. Global Studies of Childhood, 1(1), 51-59. doi.org/10.2304/gsch.2011.1.1.51

Mitchell, C., Belew, D., Debela, A., Muleta, D., & Fikreyesus, S. (2011). The Farmer and her husband: Engendering the curriculum in a Faculty of Agriculture in an Ethiopian University. Agenda, 2010, 66-77

Mitchell, C., Dillon, D., Strong-Wilson, T., Pithouse, K., Islam, F., O’Connor, K., Rudd, C., Staniforth, P., & Cole, A. (2010). Things fall apart and come together: Using the visual for reflection in alternative teacher education programmes. Changing English, 17, 1(45-55)

Mitchell, C. (2008). Taking the picture, changing the picture. Visual methodologies in educational research in South Africa. South African Journal of Educational Research. 28(3), 365-383