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Yukari Seko


Yukari Seko is an assistant professor at the School of Professional Communication and an adjunct scientist at Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Before joining ProCom, Yukari completed a CIHR-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and an SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Guelph’s Self-Injury and eMental Health Lab.

Research interests

My area of expertise is an eclectic mix of transdisciplinary topics, including self-harm, media representations of mental health, disability studies, solution-focused communication, provider-client communication, illness narrative, diasporic foodways, and research ethics. I have been trained in, and taught, qualitative and quantitative methods, ranging from arts-informed research, interviews, focus groups, surveys, narrative analysis, and auto-ethnography. As a researcher-educator, I'm currently expanding my research to the scholarship of learning and teaching to improve the student-supervisor relationship in higher education.

My program of research is grounded on critical theory to address health inequity and advance social inclusion. Much of my work takes a critical narrative approach to inquire the role communication can play in disrupting oppressive systems and in more equitable distributing power.

I am passionate about participatory arts-informed inquiry to harness personal stories of differences and has used improvisational dance, Reader’s Theatre, photovoice, and body & hand mapping in my research and teaching. My current program of research encompasses three broad topics: 1) food shaming in Canadian school food environment; 2) solution-focused communication in clinical and non-clinical education, and 3) representations of mental health in Japanese manga and popular culture. Check Lunchbox Shaming project blog.

Selected publications (also see ResearchGate (external link) )

Listen to Podagogies Podcast (external link)  to know more about this project.

Listen to Psychology of Self-Injury Podcast (external link)  to know more about this article.