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May Friedman

Professor
EducationBA, BA, MSW, PhD
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 552525

May Friedman’s research looks at unstable identities, including bodies that do not conform to traditional racial and national or aesthetic lines. Most recently much of May’s research has focused on intersectional approaches to fat studies considering the multiple and fluid experiences of both fat oppression and fat activism. Drawing on a range of arts-based methods including digital storytelling as well as analyses of treasured garments, May has explored meaning making and representation in relation to embodiment and experience. May works as a faculty member in the School of Social Work and in the Toronto Metropolitan University/York graduate program in Communication and Culture.  

Recent publications explore the impacts of fat on pregnancy and reproduction (Fat Studies Handbook, Routledge); intersectionality as a lens for research (“Doing justice to intersectionality in research”, Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies) and a focus on mothers and COVID (“It feels a bit like drowning”, Atlantis 2021). 

  • SWP 950: Fat Studies and Fat Activisms
  • SK 8102: Anti-Oppression Responses to Marginalization, Policy and Practice
  • SWP 341: Transformative Social Work Practice
  • Arts based methods
  • Digital storytelling
  • Fat studies and fat activisms
  • Motherhood studies
  • Digital media
  • Popular culture
  • Life writing

Selected Publications:

  • 2021 Friedman, May. Pregnancy, parenting and the challenge of fatness. In Cat Pause and Sonya Renee Taylor (Eds.), Fat Studies Handbook. New York: Routledge.
  • 2020 Friedman, May, Rice, Carla, and Lind, Emily R.M. A high-risk body for whom? On fat, risk, recognition and reclamation in restorying reproductive care through digital storytelling. Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Health and Politics 4(2), 36.
  • 2020 Andrew, Jill and Friedman, May (Eds.). Body stories: In and out and with and through fat. Toronto: Demeter Press.
  • 2020 Friedman, May, Rice, Carla and Rinaldi, Jen (Eds.). Thickening fat: Fat bodies, intersectionality and social justice. New York: Routledge.
  • 2019 Rice, Carla, Harrison, Elisabeth, and May Friedman. Doing justice to intersectionality in research. Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies, 1–12.