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Julia Sinclair-Palm

Dr. Julia Sinclair-Palm (she/they) is an Assistant Professor in Childhood and Youth Studies in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University. They completed their doctorate in Education in the Faculty of Education at York University. She has an MA in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University and a BS in Psychology.

Her research with young people carries the trace of this interdisciplinary history—across their work, they consider how conceptualizations of children and youth are tied to concerns about violence, risk, and mental health often at the exclusion of other, more complex narratives of identity, gender and belonging.

She examines how young people forge new identities, imagine futures and navigate structural inequalities in the midst of these larger, and sometimes restrictive narratives about childhood and youth. Sinclair-Palm is the co-editor (with Jen Gilbert) of a special issue of Sex Education on “Trans Youth in Education” and is the author of an article titled “’It’s Non-Existent’: Haunting in Trans Youth Narratives about Naming.”

Sinclair-Palm is currently working on two SSHRC funded research projects. In Drawing Queer and Trans Family ($50,000), Sinclair-Palm and Dr. Hannah Dyer (P.I., Brock University) explore the social and emotional worlds of children with queer, trans and gender non-binary parents. This project seeks to evaluate how children understand and aesthetically represent LGBTQ2+ family so that their needs and well-being are better assessed. By eliciting drawings and conducting interviews to supplement socio-legal narratives of queer and trans kinship, the project will create knowledge driven by children’s embodied and affective experiences.

Sinclair-Palm is also the Principal Investigator for a project titled, From surviving to thriving: Trans youths’ lives across national borders ($40,000). This project examines the well­being of trans youth in 2 international contexts: Ireland and Australia. This two-­year study will address a gap in research about the international experiences of trans youth and the way youth internationally are using language to render themselves intelligible. Through interviews with trans youth in Ireland and Australia, the project explores how the names they receive, refuse and choose can expose the challenges trans youth face when narrating their identity formation. Participants will also be invited to create a page in a zine about trans youths’ experiences of re­naming. This zine will bring together art, narratives and educational material about naming and trans experience from young trans people internationally.

Research Interests

  • Queer and Trans Youth

  • Sexuality Education

  • Qualitative Research Methods

  • Theories of Teaching and Learning

  • Inclusive Practices and Policies

  • Community Engagement

  • Youth Activism

Julia Sinclair-Palm
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