Tracy Penny Light
Dr. Tracy Penny Light
Position: Associate Professor
LinksHomepage URL: tracypennylight.com
InterestsMy research focuses on the history of medicine, particularly in relation to constructions of gender and sexuality in 19th and 20th century North America. I am also interested in the history of the media (especially as it relates to gender and sexuality) and in the ways that we teach students to think historically. My educational research focuses on the ways that learners can be engaged and empowered in their learning with electronic portfolios (ePortfolios).
Research InterestsHISTORY OF MEDICINE
I explore the ways that medical/scientific discourses converge with popular/cultural discourses in different periods to shape our understanding of what represents a "healthy" body (particularly related to gender and sexuality) and how this understanding is normalized by medicine. In my work I have explored this phenomenon related to heart disease, cancer, and more recently cosmetic surgery.
WOMEN'S CONSUMPTION OF SEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIAL (SEM)
I work with my colleague, Diana C. Parry (University of Waterloo) to explore the complex interplay of factors including digital technologies and popular culture that shape women's consumption of sexually explicit material (including pornography and erotica) and their understanding of what this consumption means for them and their well-being.
ePORTFOLIOS, STUDENT ENGAGEMENT, INTEGRATIVE LEARNING, and FEMINIST PEDAGOGY
My research in these areas broadly seeks to explore how students learn to think critically and reflexively, how they transfer knowledge from one context to another, and how that learning can lead to responsible citizenship. I am interested in the ways that feminist pedagogy places issues of social inequality and difference at the centre of the curriculum to engage learners in the process of constructing knowledge through inclusive teaching methods. These approaches seek to empower learners to struggle with course material in order to challenge traditional assumptions, to ask critical questions about the world around them, and to make connections between their learning experiences particularly with a view to making change in the world. Allowing students opportunities to take an integrative approach to their learning by making connections between learning that happens in different contexts (academic, workplace, community) is at the heart of my work.
Education1995-2003 Ph.D., Department of History, University of Waterloo
1993-1995 M.A., Department of History, Laurentian University
1991-1992 B.A. (Hons.), Nipissing University (with high distinction)
1989-1990 B.A., York University (years one and two)
Penny Light, Tracy, Jane Nicholas and Renee Bondy (eds.), Feminist Pedagogy in Higher Education: Critical Theory and Practice, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2015.
Penny Light, Tracy, Barbara Brookes and Wendy Mitchinson (eds.), Bodily Subjects: Essays on Gender and Health, 1800-2000, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015.
Penny Light, Tracy, Helen L. Chen and John C. Ittelson, Documenting Learning with ePortfolios: A Guide for College Instructors, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012.
Helen L. Chen and Tracy Penny Light, Electronic Portfolios and Student Success: Effectiveness, Affordability, and Efficiency, Washington: AAC&U, 2010.
ARTICLES and BOOK CHAPTERS
Penny Light, Tracy, "'I can't believe I've never seen that before!': Feminism, the 'Sexualization of Culture' and Empowerment in the Classroom," in Penny Light, Tracy, Jane Nicholas and Renee Bondy (eds.), Feminist Pedagogy in Higher Education: Critical Theory and Practice, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2015.
Penny Light, Tracy, "Moving Forward, Looking Back: Historical Inquiry for Social Justice" in Corey Johnson and Diana C. Parry (eds.), Fostering Social Justice through Qualitative Inquiry, Left Coast Press, 2015: 191-216.
Penny Light, Tracy, "From Fixing to Enhancing: Shifting Ideals of Health and Gender in the Medical Discourse on Cosmetic Surgery in Twentieth Century Canada," in Penny Light, Tracy, Barbara Brookes and Wendy Mitchinson (eds.), Bodily Subjects: Essays on Gender and Health, 1800-2000, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015: 319-346.
Diana C. Parry and Tracy Penny Light, "Fifty Shades of Complexity: Exploring Technologically Mediated Leisure and Women's Sexuality," Journal of Leisure Research, 46, 1 (2014): 38-57.
Penny Light, Tracy, "Consumer Culture and the Medicalization of Gender Roles in Interwar Canada," in Cheryl Warsh and Dan Malleck (eds.) Consuming Modernity: Gendered Behaviour and Consumerism before the Baby Boom, UBC Press, 2013: 34-54.
Penny Light, Tracy, "'Healthy' Men Make Good Fathers: Masculine Health and the Family in 1950s America," in Isabel Heinemann (ed.), Inventing the Modern American Family: Family Values and Social Change in 20th Century United States, Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag, 2012: 105-123.
Penny Light, Tracy, Bob Sproule and Katherine Lithgow, "Connecting Contexts and Competencies: Using ePortfolios for Integrative Learning," in Darren Cambridge, Barbara Cambridge and Kathleen Yancey (eds.), Electronic Portfolios 2.0: Emergent Research on Implementation and Impact, Stylus Publishing, 2009: 69-78.
Penny Light, Tracy, "Reproducing Discourses: Science and Mennonite Sexuality in Early Twentieth Century Canada," Journal of Mennonite Studies, 2 (2008): 31-47.
Penny Light, Tracy, "Making Connections: Developing Students' Historical Thinking with Electronic Portfolios," Academic Intersections, vol. 2 (Spring, 2008).
Penny Light, Tracy, Kathleen Bloom, Dawn Buzza, Barbara Jane Collins, Beatrice Moos and Judy Carey, "First Steps in Developing an Online Learning Community to Facilitate Knowledge-Sharing on Early Literacy Issues," Language and Literacy, 9, 1 (Spring, 2007): http://www.langandlit.ualberta.ca/Spring2007/PennyLight.pdf
Employment HistoryAssociate Professor (History), Department of Philosophy, History, and Politics, Thompson Rivers University, July 2016 to present.
Executive Director, Centre for Student Engagement and Learning Innovation, Thompson Rivers University, September 2014 to June 2016.
Associate Professor, Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies/History, St. Jerome's University, July 2012 to August 2014.
Director, Women's Studies, University of Waterloo, July 2012 to August 2014.
Visiting Professor, McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (MIIETL), McMaster University, February 2014 to June 2014.
Acting Chair, Department of Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies, St. Jerome's University, August 2011 to July 2012.
Assistant Professor, Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies/History, St. Jerome's University, July 2007 to July 2012.
Acting Associate Director, Teaching Resources Office (TRACE), University of Waterloo, January 2005 to April 2006.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Waterloo, September 2003 to July 2007.
Senior Instructional Project Manager (Strategic Innovation Projects), Office of the Associate Vice-President, Learning Resources and Innovation (AVP-LRI) University of Waterloo, January 2004 to June 2007.
Instructional Project Manager, Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology (LT3), University of Waterloo, January 2001 to December 2003.
Courses TaughtAn Introduction to Canadian History
Family History: Memory and Meaning in the Canadian Past
Bodily Subjects: Gender and Health in History
Canada in the Age of Nations
Canadian Women in Historical Perspective: 1850 to the Present
History and the Human Sciences
History of Sexuality
Gender, Sexuality and History in Film
Seminar in Sexuality: Men and Masculinity
History and Film
History of the North American Family
PhD Minor Field History of Medicine
Introduction to Women's Studies
Great Dialogues: Reflection and Action
Introduction to Couples, Marriages and Families
Designing Learning Activities with Interactive Multimedia
Professional AffiliationsCanadian Society for the History of Medicine (CSHM)
Canadian Historical Association (CHA)
Canadian Committee on the History of Sexuality (CCHS)
Canadian Committee on Women's History (CCWH)
Ontario Women's History Network (OWHN)
Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL)
Electronic Portfolio Action and Communication (EPAC)
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE)