The Body Politic Final Projects

Final Assignments —

In the course The Body Politic, students have to complete a final assignment of their choosing. The only constraint is that it has to somehow deal with the themes of the course, and that the work involved should be roughly equivalent to a 2500 word essay.

Students are also given opportunities to share their work in different ways. Some of the members of the class in Winter 2021 and in Winter 2022 have offered to share their work here.

Note: some of these projects are password protected and accessible only to students in the relevant class .

Sophia Amstutz (2022) — Homelessness in Waterloo Region: A Policy Analysis

This policy report/analysis interrogates the current homelessness policy in the Waterloo Region through the lens of Hankivsky et. al.’s Intersectionality Based Policy Analysis Framework (2014). It provides an in-depth analysis of the “Five-Year Review of the Waterloo Region 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan“, including recommendations for change. Read it here.

Shaza Elnour (2021)– Happy Feet

In a photo essay, Shaza Elnour “highlights the joyous communion of Black, African and Afro-Caribbean communities” through photographs and a reflection on joy (and dance!) as acts of radical reclamation. The photo essay is no longer at the original link, but you can view the photos at

Ola Idris (2022) — The Hypervisibility and Invisibility of Black Women in Academia

In this insightful documentary, Ola Idris asks five women key questions about their experiences in academia exploring a range of themes including (in)visibility, inclusion, and community-building. The documentary also incorporates a photo series created for the project by Joy Adeyemi in collaboration with Ola Idris. Watch it here.

Robain Imran (2021)– Nazukh Khoon (Fragile Blood)

Nazukh Khoon (Fragile Blood) is an art piece made with graphite on a series of canvasses, with red acrylic, glass, and 24k gold gilding. The work reflects on metaphors of blood in relation to honour killings in Pakistan and its relationship to caste systems. View it here.

Shivani Kaup (2021) — The Strings that Pull Us (password protected)

This drawing and artists’ reflection address themes of invisibility, exclusion, and citizenship through the artist’s memory of encountering a homeless girl while visiting family in India. View it here.

Suruthi Navaretnam (2022) — Far from Home (password protected)

In this striking personal essay, the author explores the relationship between the life and death of a family member and the impact of exile on their relationship and experiences. Weaving together quotations on exile and personal narrative, the essay examines the many meanings of home and the impacts of distance, community, and displacement on the body. Read it here.

Kalki Naway (2022) — we are more than our bodies.

This documentary juxtaposes imagery of people embracing and feeling comfortable in their bodies with audio narratives of them describing their insecurities and what they like about their bodies as well. What emerges are beautiful, personal narratives that present the complex relationship between the body and the self. Watch it here.

Hannah Scott (2022) — Growing up with a sibling with an intellectual or developmental disability: Understanding your positionality in the world as a typically functioning sibling

This essay/literature review, examines what it means for people whose siblings have an intellectual or developmental disability to find their place in the world. Organized in terms of the positionality of “typically functioning” sibiling’s place in relation to their sibling, their family, and the society in which they live, the essay provides a thorough examination of the existing literature on the subject and raises questions about how we make meaning about our lives in relation to those around us. Read it here.