Kathy Dobson’s research interests include the datafication of social assistance programs, media framing of marginalized communities, and the political economy of news. Her dissertation (which was awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, and Ontario Graduate Scholarship) is examining how welfare fraud detection programs are used to support misleading media narratives about ‘welfare cheats.’ Kathy is a researcher and member of the ALiGN Media Lab, created by Dr. Merlyna Lim, which includes working with marginalized communities and groups engaged with challenging dominant narratives.
Before starting her PhD, Kathy worked as a journalist for over 20 years, with her work appearing in publications such as the Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Canadian Living, and the National Post, and she was a news stringer and documentary producer for the CBC. Her first book, With A Closed Fist: Growing up in Canada’s toughest neighborhood (Véhicule Press, 2011), has received numerous awards, including the National Post Readers Choice Award and Literary Press Group of Canada Staff Pick for 2012 Award. Kathy has given keynote lectures and addresses at the University of Toronto, Concordia, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the Peter McGregor Lecture at Algoma University. She is a founding member and serves on the board of directors of the LGBTQ Rainbow Umbrella in Montréal.