Emily Eyles is a Masters student at the University of Western Ontario. She is interested in labor and health; Her thesis examines women and youth working in probiotic yogurt kitchens that supply people living with HIV/AIDS and attempts to provide an income generated project for the workers. She hopes to start her doctorate this autumn.

Emily has always been interested in geography and works feminist theory into her practices. She said, “I appreciate feminist geography’s prioritization of voices which otherwise may not be heard. There is a certain thoughtfulness that I think pervades feminist geography practices that isn’t always made explicit in other work.”

There are two courses in particular that helped Emily grow as a geographer: “Understanding Spatiality,” an undergraduate course taught by Dr. Susan Ruddick and “Qualitative Methods,” a graduate course taught by Dr. Jamie Baxter.

“Understanding Spatiality introduced me to more radical epistemological and ontological concepts which I still employ in my work to this day,” she said, “In Qualitative Methods I appreciated the format of the course. It was a dialogue rather than a class in the traditional format.”

Places and Placelessness by E. Relph sparked Emily’s obsession with place and belonging, though D. Haraway’s Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science also had a strong influence on Emily. She added, “I enjoy all of Linda McDowell’s work, especially Working Bodies, which was one of the first feminist geography books I read as an undergraduate.”

Being an emerging scholar herself, Emily’s advice for future scholars is twofold: Put yourself out there and take every opportunity given to you. “Remember to be thankful to those who give you help along the way, but even if you do get caught up in what you’re doing and forget, you can always seek forgiveness,” she said. “Work hard at what you do and keep reading, even if you’re not writing anything.”

When asked what Emily hopes to get out of the feminist geography conference, she responded, “I hope to meet lots of interesting people. I also would like to see a diversity of standpoints and works, and maybe even participate in some at the conference. I also wish to share some of my experiences with others and get some feedback.”

For more about Emily, check out her professional website here.