Celebrating Professor Barbara Arneil’s appointment to the Royal Society of Canada

We are delighted to celebrate Professor Barbara Arneil’s appointment to the Royal Society of Canada.

Professor Barbara Arneil is a world-renowned scholar of identity politics, feminist theory, and the history of political thought. Her research has forged innovative and enduring insights into the political consequences of imperialism, colonialism, and liberalism. Her pathbreaking research as exposed discrimination and oppression in Canada and the world by deepening understanding of how and why so many people are excluded from politics based on gender, disability, age, ethnicity, and indigeneity.

Prof. Arneil has made numerous important contributions to our department and to the scholarly community in Canada and beyond. Prof. Arneil served as Department Head from 2016 to 2019 and was elected President of the Canadian Political Science Association. Her latest book, Domestic Colonies: The Turn Inward Towards Colony (2017) argues for understanding colonization as not only a foreign policy for expanding imperial power, but also as a domestic policy designed to target citizens deemed social problems.

Membership in the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) is a rare, prestigious honour, awarded to a small number of distinguished scholars. The fellowship of the RSC currently comprises just over 2,500 Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists, peer-elected as the best in their field. These are distinguished individuals from all branches of learning who have made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life.

During the ceremony, Prof. Arneil delivered a presentation titled, “What is a Colony?” where she explained her research on how “colonies” are conceptualized and understood across disciplines. Professor Arneil argued that we must recognize the existence and legacies of “domestic colonies,” which exist within a colonizing state’s own borders and whose effects are usually felt by systematically marginalized residents of those countries.

Professor Arneil’s RSC presentation is available in this video.
Below, see a gallery of photos from the RSC Ceremony.