Profile: Amina Mire

Profile: Amina Mire

Amina Mire - Assistant Professor

  • Degrees:
    PhD, Major in Sociology, Minor in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE-UT)
    MPhil University of Toronto
    MA University of Toronto
    BSc Chemistry, University of Winnipeg
    BA Philosophy, University of Winnipeg
    Diploma, Assistant Pharmacy, Somali Health Personnel Training Institute
  • Phone: 613-520-2600 x 4476
  • Email: amina_mire@carleton.ca
  • Office: A704 LA

Areas of Research Interest:

Interdisciplinary analysis and critical research in:

• Women and health;
• Racialization and biomedicalization of women’s bodies and skin;
• Anti-ageing;
• Women, science and technology;
• Political thought;
• Sociology of gender;
• Sociology of knowledge;
• Gender and the cinema;
• Anti-racist/anti-colonial research.

Current Research Projects:

Women and Health: Anti-ageing and the biomedicalization of women’s bodies

This current research project uses an interdisciplinary analytic framework to examine the social, ethical, political and pedagogical implications of anti-ageing discourse and practice. The research focuses its analysis on global trends in nanotechnological and biotechnological innovation. The nano and biotech innovations that are they keystones of this industry purport to shield women’s bodies and skin from the harmful effects of ageing, environmental pollutants and bad lifestyles. One of the ongoing research questions for this project is to explore the discursive processes and concrete practices through which ageing in women came to be constituted as pathological. A second research question examines how the biomedicalization of ageing relates to the globalization of the emerging anti-ageing industry, the social imperatives of scientific consumerism, and the wellness lifestyle.

From Anti-ageing to Armoured Women

Another main objective of this research is to investigate the extent to which the female body continues to be a contested site of social investment and regulation. Specifically, this research interrogates societal investments in “shielding” and “protecting” the vulnerable female body. This research seeks to problematize the biomedical discourse of the vulnerable female body in the anti-ageing market by looking at the history of women and war and the dread of the militarized maternal body. The aim is to generate broader theoretical insights and useful methodological knowledge accessible to policy makers, health practitioners and the general public.

Globalization of the Skin-whitening Industry

This research project examines changing skin-whitening technologies by tracing their emergence from colonial encounters in which white skin was accorded social and cultural capital, toward the contemporary global marketing of biotechnology products that promise smooth, brightened and youthful-looking skin to affluent women. It draws upon interdisciplinary feminist and anti-racist analyses to examine medical literature and web-based advertisements by pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies, and to analyze research partnerships between public universities and private corporations. It examines the interlocking discourses of academic capitalism, scientific entrepreneurship and cutting-edge scientific discoveries in molecular biology and the life sciences that facilitate the development and dissemination of new and powerful skin-whitening biotechnologies on a global scale.

Recent and Selected Publications:

2012
The Scientification of Skin Whitening and the Entrepreneurial University-Linked Corporate Scientific Officer. In the Canadian Journal for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education 12(3): 271-291.

2011
Militarization of Somalia and the Geopolitics of War on Sea Piracy in Somali International Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC), The Role of Democratic Governance versus Sectarian Politics in Somalia: 9th Annual Horn of Africa Conference and book project on the Horn of Africa. Ulf Johansson Dahre, ed. Lund, Sweden: Media Printing Center of Lund University, pp 175 – 184.

2009
A Euro Vision of Beauty. The Growing Skin Whitening Industry. In BBC Channel4 series, Race: Science’s Last Taboo. http://raceandscience.channel4.com/media/pdfs/aeurovisionofbeauty.pdf

2007
Ethiopia’s Invasion of Somalia has U.S. Fingerprints. New Internationalist. (March, p. 23).

2005
Pigmentation and Empire: The Emerging Skin-Whitening Industry. In Counterpunch. http://www.counterpunch.org/mire07282005.html

2002
The Genealogy of Witchcraft: Colonialism and Modern Science. Postmodernism, Postcoloniality and African Studies. Zine Magubane, ed. New Jersey USA Africa World Press Inc, pp. 80 – 97.

2001
Skin-Bleaching: Poison, Beauty, Power, and the Politics of the Colour Line. Resources For Feminist Research 28(3+4): 13-38.