Nicole Charles

Nicole Charles

Assistant Professor (On Leave through to March 31, 2024)
Historical Studies - Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
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    Please refer to the syllabus and/or contact via email.
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    3359 Mississauga Road, Maanjiwe nendamowinan, 4th floor
    Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6

Areas of Interest:

  • Transnational and women of color feminisms
  • Caribbean feminisms
  • Science and technology studies
  • Black feminist health science studies
  • Affect, care and healing
  • Racialized risk, technoscience and postcolonial biopolitics


Nicole Charles is an Assistant Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga, with a graduate appointment in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Her scholarship has a strong interdisciplinary approach to questions and issues of care, affect, healing, gendered and racialized risk, technoscience, and coloniality in the Black Atlantic.

Her forthcoming book manuscript, Suspicion: Vaccines, Hesitancy and the Affective Politics of Protection in Barbados, is in contract with Duke University Press. It examines the (post)colonial, transnational and affective stakes behind the promotion and refusal of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Barbados. Suspicion argues that hesitancy toward the HPV vaccine—vernacularized in Barbados as suspicion—is an affective orientation produced in the multi-scaled tensions and circuits of the colonial and postcolonial state. By situating acts of (bio)medical and technological refusal in Barbados in longer spatio-temporal, cultural and political genealogies, Suspicion both challenges mainstream media narratives of irrationality that undergird the conception of hesitancy, and contests the racialized, gendered and heteropatriarchal tropes these narratives perpetuate. Suspicion offers new ontologies and entry points into theoretical discussions on racialized biopolitics, neocolonialism, care, and biomedicine within and across the interdisciplinary fields of transnational black feminist studies, medical anthropology, and science and technology studies.

Together with Dr. OmiSoore Dryden (Dalhousie University), Dr. Charles is working on an edited collection entitled Black Technoscience Here which centers transnational and diasporic Black technoscientific praxes and methodologies in an effort to broaden perspectives on what technoscientific thought and method entails, while unearthing the politics of doing so as part of a transnational dialogue.

Dr. Charles is an active member of the international Black Feminist Health Science Studies Collective.


PhD, Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto

Selected Publications:

  • Charles, N. (2020). Suspicion and/as Radical (Care): Looking Closer at Vaccine Hesitancy in Postcolonial Barbados. Social Text (38.1/ 142).
  • Charles, N. (2018). HPV Vaccination and Affective Suspicions in Barbados. Feminist Formations 30 (1): 46 – 70 

Honours and Awards:

  • 2020 Connaught New Researcher Award, Connaught Fund, University of Toronto
  • 2018 – 2020 McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology Working Group, University of Toronto
  • 2018 Research and Scholarly Activity Fund Award, University of Toronto Mississauga