Carla Rice

Canada Research Chair in Care, Gender and Relationships

Tier 2 - 2011-05-01
Renewed: 2016-05-01
University of Guelph
Social Sciences and Humanities


Research involves

Challenging stereotypes by investigating the power of image and story to transform the way people see difference.

Research relevance

This research has the potential to break down barriers, increase service access, enhance clinical health practices, and ultimately improve health equity and social inclusion for those living with differences.

Using New Media to Envision New Meanings of Difference

Dr. Carla Rice, Canada Research Chair in Care, Gender and Relationships, believes art can change people’s perceptions about disability and difference, and improve the lives of—and the care and services provided to—people with differences.

Rice aims to understand how new technology and artistic techniques can be used to transform the view that the public, policy-makers and health-providers have of people living with differences. Her work focuses on misconceptions and marginalization of women with differences during health- and social-care encounters, and investigates the causes behind pervasive stereotyping and exclusion in systems, institutions and communities.

To tackle these issues, Rice and her team are developing and evaluating the potential of photography, digital storytelling (autobiographical films), research-based drama, and other artistic techniques, to create alternative, empowering representations of people with differences. They are also engaging audiences in examining taken-for-granted responses to images of difference and disability.

She is also establishing the Re-Visioning Differences Media Arts Laboratory—a mobile media laboratory and expressive arts institute dedicated to exploring ways that arts-informed research can create opportunities for communities to transform stereotypes, advance social inclusion and improve quality of care for people with differences.

Rice’s work has the potential to shift stereotypical images and attitudes, and ultimately improve care practices and pedagogies (teaching and learning about differences) in the helping and health-care professions in Canada and beyond.