nancy viva davis halifax

Associate Professor

Locations / Contact Info:

406 Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies - HNES
Keele Campus
Phone: 416 736 2100 Ext. 22115

Email address(es):

Web site(s):

red wagon collective

Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - School of Health Policy & Management


Ph.D. - 2002
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON


i was originally trained as a conceptual artist at NSCAD and this training continues to influence my feminist and crip interest in how we/i/you articulate or make manifest, forms for thoughts. my writing, research, and teaching are oriented toward body/s, illness, disability, and difference, and my ethnographic commitment lies in chasing and waiting for that which lays under/beyond language. i imagine and am curious about life that is not lived as whole, separate and invulnerable but rather as it is lived through tacit presencing that is off-centred, multiple, sensuous. i am an artist and use the arts for sustaining and creating conversations around social change, social auto/biographies, and for engaging communities in social development.

Selected Publications

davis halifax, n. v. (2016). /escaping the word. In A. Cole (Ed.) Professorial paws. Halifax, NS & Toronto, Ontario: Backalong Books

Rinaldi, J. & davis halifax, n. v. (2016). Challenging rhetorical indifference in a cripped poetry of witness. In C. Kelly and M. Orsini (Eds.) Canadian Disability Activism Beyond the Charter: Locating Artistic and Cultural Interventions. UBC.

davis halifax, n. v. (2015). hook. Hugh Maclennan Poetry Series, McGill-Queen’s University Press.

davis halifax, n. v. Mitchell, G. (2013). (nurse): Expressing the embodiment of the ineffable. Qualitative Inquiry, 6: 349-352.

Daiski, I., davis halifax, n. v. Mitchell, G., Lyn, A. (2013). Homelessness in the suburbs: Engulfment in the grotto of poverty. Studies in social justice. 12.

davis halifax, n. v. (2012). Open season. Wordgathering, 6: 3, unpaginated.

davis halifax, n. v.(2012). In S. Thomas, A.L. Cole, and S. Stewart (Eds.) There is more to be done. The art of poetic inquiry. Halifax, NS & Toronto, Ontario: Backalong Books.

davis halifax, n. v. (2012). what is said is: a poetic and oblique re/presentation of disabled women in a Canadian shelter. Journal of the Canadian Disability Studies Society.

davis halifax, n. v. (2011). Scar tissue: Working the in-betweens of teaching and learning in the disability studies classroom. Open Words, 5, 1:73-81.

davis halifax, n. v. (2010). Reading boots, reading difference. Radical Psychology. Special issue: Bodily Difference.

davis halifax, n. v. (2010). Writing inequity and pursuing hope: Testimonies and witnessings from arts-informed research. In (Eds.) C. McLean and R. Kelly Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change (pp. 39-60). Detselig/Temeron Books.

davis halifax, n. v. (2009). from the corner of my eye.  In L. Neilsen, A. L. Cole, & J. G. Knowles (Eds.) Creating scholartistry (pp. 215-223). Halifax, NS & Toronto, Ontario: Backalong Books.

Wong, J., Eakin, J., Migram, P., Cafazzo, J., davis halifax, n. v., Chan, C. (2009) Patients’ Experiences with Learning a Complex Medical Device for the Self-Administration of Nocturnal Home Hemodialysis. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 36(1), 27-32. 7 pp.

davis halifax, n. v. (intimate images) intimacy, disruption, photography. (2008). In L. Neilsen, A. L. Cole, & J. G. Knowles (Eds.) The art of visual inquiry (pp. 3-17). Halifax, NS & Toronto, Ontario: Backalong Books.

davis halifax, n. v., Meeks, J., Yurichuk, F. Khandor, E. (2008). A day in the life: Stories and photos of health and homelessness on the streets of Toronto. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, pp. 129-136.

davis halifax, n. v., Logan, S., et. al. (2007). Tele-management of Hypertension. A Qualitative Assessment of Patient and Physician Preferences. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 23(7): 591-594.

davis halifax, n. v., Yurichuk, F. (2007). Realistic possibilities of passing interest. Reconstructions: Studies in contemporary culture. Special issue: Threatening Bodies.

Winkelman, W., davis halifax, n. v.. (2007). Power is only skin deep: an institutional ethnography of nurse-driven outpatient psoriasis treatment in the era of clinic web sites. Journal of Medical Systems. 31(2): 131-9.


Other Research Outputs

Recounting Huronia arts and research collective. (May, 2016). Installation and performance. Recounting Huronia. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Toronto, ON.
Jackson, K., davis halifax, n. v. MAG/Red Wagon. (October, 2015) Installation. The vibrant inside: Spaces of social abandonment in the gentrifying city. Crossroads Gallery, York University.
davis halifax, n. v. Jackson, K., MAG. (2014). Installation. Unruly Engagements: On the Social Turn in Contemporary Art and Design. Cleveland Institute of Art. Cleveland, MI.
davis halifax, n. v. Jackson, K., MAG. (2013). Installation. Common Pulse Arts and Disability Symposium, Durham, Ontario
davis halifax, n. v., Jackson, K., MAG. (2012). Installation. the art of conversation. Curators Paola Poletto, Liis Toliao and Yvonne Koscielak.
davis halifax, n. v. Jackson, K., and Red Wagon Collective. (2011). Permanent installation; interior and exterior banners. Collection of Evangeline Shelter.
davis halifax, n. v. (2010). Co-producer, Director. Spaces and places of homelessness in Peel. Digital video: 15 minutes. Planet in Focus Film Festival



Canadian Disability Studies Association

centre for imaginative ethnography


Currently available to supervise graduate students: Yes

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers: No

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: Not Indicated

Current Research

nancy viva davis halifax, teaches in the ma & phd program in critical disability studies, york university. she was originally trained as a conceptual artist at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. her research interests and practices are grounded in her long history as a conceptual artist and influenced by the re-enchantment projects that perceive the value of art not as a potential object of consumption, display or investment but as a way in which we may discover the essence and limits of being and becoming.

her research and teaching is oriented by body/s, illness, disability, and difference, as well as a feminist/queer/crip commitment to the articulation of what flickers at the threshold. she lives in a world wherein she embodies disability and illness. she imagines and is curious about life that is not lived as whole, separate and invulnerable but rather is lived through deep connections and ways of knowing that are off-centred, multiple, sensuous. In her research knowledge is returned to public, community space in order to bear witness to the lives that remain unacknowledged across contemporary institutions (Recounting Huronia cabaret, a day in the lifeasleep in TorontoEvangeline Banner Project).

hook, was published by the hugh maclennan poetry series, mcgill-queen's university press. the poems were written alongside her experience and witnessing of homelessness, poverty, disability and chronic illness on the streets and within women's emergency shelters in Canada.

Research Projects

Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life (BIT)
BIT, in partnership with Ontario's leading disability arts organization, multiple community-based organizations, and operating across 12 academic institutions, will set in motion a vibrant creative and intellectual wave of artistic creation, interdisciplinary research, technological innovation, and critical inquiry within and beyond Ontario. By engaging a multi-pronged approach to thinking about access to the arts for art producers/audiences, this project allows for tackling negative representations of people with disabilities alongside considering ways to expand structural pathways for engaging art.
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $249,684
Year Funded: 2016
Duration: 7
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Recounting Huronia
“Recounting Huronia” is a participatory community arts-based research and cultural production project. This project marks a unique partnership between a group of artist-scholars and some key Huronia survivors who have come together to use arts-based methodologies to enable people who lived at Huronia to tell their stories, and to memorialize those who died in the institution. This partnership, established in the spring of 2013, has focused on building a community and fostering a sense of trust between partners.
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $74706
Year Funded: 2014
Duration: 3
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Curriculum Vitae (C.V. file):

CV of Nancy Davis Halifax