Joan Simalchik

Joan Simalchik

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream Historical Studies - Women and Gender Studies
Office Location:
MN 4220
Office Hours:
On Leave until June 30, 2021
3359 Mississauga Road, Maanjiwe nendamowinan, 4th floor
Mississauga , Ontario
L5L 1C6

Dr. Joan Simalchik is director of the interdisciplinary Women and Gender Studies Program at UTM and teaches courses on women, social change and experiential learning, history, memory and human rights, and transnational perspectives on gender and cultural difference. 

She graduated with a BA in History (Temple University) and a specialization in Soviet Studies. Her graduate degrees were received from the University of Toronto where her work focused on the relationship between Canadian churches and Chilean refugees (MA) and traumatic historiography of the material culture of the Chilean democracy movement (PhD).

Professor Simalchik was editor and contributor to the Canadian edition of Women’s Realities/Women’s Choices, (Oxford University Press 2017), a textbook for introductory courses in Women and Gender Studies. She has regularly delivered and written papers with themes on representation of historical trauma, diasporic refugee communities, gender violence, and human rights. Most recently she published The Public Dimension of Privatized Trauma: Impact and Response in Where To From Here? Examining Conflict-Related and Relational Interaction Trauma, McInnes and Mason, eds (Brill Leiden, 2019).

Her work as founding executive director of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture and founding board member of the Canadian Centre for International Justice informs her research on the impact (particularly the gender impact) of psychosocial trauma on communities, families and individuals. Professor Simalchik’s current research project involves participation in an invited book-writing workshop on Public Health, Mental Health and Mass Atrocity Prevention of Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights and the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation. She is participating in the Jackman Humanities Institute’s Museums and Public History Quadrant that is partnered with the University of Western Cape. Her ongoing collaboration with Chile's Museum of Memory and Human Rights includes an archival project and the production of video interviews with members of the Canadian human rights solidarity movement circa 1973 to the present.

Feminist praxis forms a significant element of Professor Simalchik’s scholarly activity. In June 2019, she co-organized the Global Conference on Human Trafficking and Trauma at UTM with the Peel Institute on Violence Prevention and Harvard’s School of Public Health HEAL Network and she is a member of the organizing committee for the forthcoming UTM International Conference on Sustainability: Transdisciplinary Theory, Practice, and Action.

In 2007 she received the CCVT Amina Malko Award for Service to Refugee Women and in 2012 received the University of Toronto’s Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize. She is the recipient of Chile’s Presidential Award in recognition of her humanitarian service to the people of Chile (2017). She received the Student Support Award from U of T’s Students’ Administrative Council Equity Commission and the Student Development Teaching Award from the Erindale Part-time Students Union and is recipient of the Dean’s Merit Award for her contribution to teaching and service (2007-2012; 2016-18).


2019-20 Courses:

WGS101HF Introduction to Women and Gender Studies
WGS335HS Women, Migration, Diaspora
WGS435Y WGS Practicum
UTM196HS Building Global Justice


Women and Gender Studies; Migration and Diaspora; History; Memory and Human Rights