Lois Harder is Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science at the University of Victoria. Working with seven highly diverse departments and schools (Anthropology, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology), Lois is committed to advancing UVic’s aims surrounding Indigenization; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; and Sustainability.
As an academic, Lois’ research and teaching focuses on citizenship law, social policy and the regulation of intimate life. Her abiding research question is “Why/how does sex matter to the state?” And while there are many ways to answer that question, it is the relationship between family law and citizenship (the state makes families; families make the state) that has been the focus of Lois’ long term research agenda. She has recently published Canadian Club: Birthright and Belonging with University of Toronto Press (2022). The book examines Canada’s citizenship laws, the Lost Canadians, and the complexities of birthright citizenship.
In 2014, Lois was the Eccles Centre Visiting Canadian Fellow in North American Studies at the British Library and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality in March 2015. She also held a Fulbright Professorship at the University of Hawaii (2008). Together with her former student Michelle Thomarat, Lois was awarded the Jill Vicker’s Prize from the Canadian Political Science Association in 2012 for their paper “Parentage Law in Canada: The Numbers Game of Standing and Status.” This work appears in the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 26.1(April 2012): 62-87. Other recent publications include a co-edited volume (with Catherine Kellogg and Steve Patten), Neoliberal Contentions: Diagnosing the Present (UofT Press, 2023); “How Queer?! Canadian Approaches to to recognizing families in the law” Whatever: A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies 4(2021): 303-328; “‘Maternity Tourism’: Civic Integration and Jus Soli Citizenship in Canada” Revue Europeenne des Migrations Internationales 36.4(2020): 35-54″; and Margot Challborn and Lois Harder, “Sex and the Genuine Marriage: Consummation and Conjugality in Canadian Citizenship” Citizenship Studies 23.5(2019): 407-423.
Before taking up the post of Dean, Lois was Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta, (2018-2021), where she worked with a dynamic team to deliver leadership development opportunities to university students, the university community and beyond. Also at the University of Alberta, Lois served a three year term as Chair of the Department of Political Science (2015-2018), and prior to that, a three year term as the Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Arts (2011-2014). In addition to her academic work, Lois is an avid amateur musician, playing violin in chamber music ensembles whenever the opportunity arises