Meet the Faculty
Rod Watkins received his Masters in Philosophy at the Ohio State University in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1995. His Ph.D. thesis investigated the nature and basis of our knowledge of our own thoughts. Driven by the Socratic notion that the purpose of philosophy is, in the end, to decipher how best to lead a flourishing life, Professor Watkins’s research since has focused on the interaction between human nature and social and political institutions, with special attention to the interplay between our nature and institutionalized structures of authority. Professor Watkins teaches first and second year Philosophy in Salmon Arm and Vernon.
Chris Clarkson has a Ph.D. in History from the University in Ottawa (2002). His Ph.D. thesis and subsequent book, Domestic Reforms: Political Visions and Family Regulation in British Columbia, 1862-1940 (UBC Press, 2007), analyzed changes to family property, maintenance and inheritance law in British Columbia, and examined the impact of those reforms both within and beyond the courtroom. Professor Clarkson is currently co-authoring a book with Professor Melissa Munn (Sociology and Interdisciplinary Studies) on prisoners’ experience of mid-twentieth century prison reform programs in Canada. He teaches Canadian, Indigenous, Chinese, and Japanese history at the Salmon Arm and Vernon campuses, and brings expertise on the origins and consequences of resistance, reform, and revolutionary movements to the Resistance and Revolution program.
Amy Cohen is a mother, an activist, an anthropologist, and a long-time resident of the north Okanagan (unceded Secwepemc territory). She has been involved in the struggle for migrant rights in the US and Canada for over a decade and currently organizes with the migrant justice group RAMA. Amy has an MA in anthropology from the University of Toronto—her thesis examined the illegalization and racialization of undocumented men and women in the United States. Her recent research and publications have focused on the Canadian temporary foreign worker program, everyday resistance, border imperialism, and racial segregation in British Columbia.
Dr. Melissa Munn has a PhD in Criminology from the University of Ottawa. For the past 30 years she has been a human rights activist with a focus on Aboriginal people’s entitlements, gender equality, LGBTQ rights and prisoners’ struggles. In addition to local action campaigns, she has sat on national organizing committees and worked with people around the world on specific campaigns. Her experience and scholarship come together in her Sociology and Gender, Sexualities and Women's Studies classes where students study and critically consider resistance and revolutionary movements and their impact on societies. Her most recent publication (with Prof. Chris Clarkson) looked at the strategies of resistance that led to the closure of Canada’s Residential Schools.
Dr. Tim Walters has a PhD in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University—his doctoral dissertation examined radical acts of resistance in contemporary films like Fight Club, The Idiots, and Trainspotting. He is a union activist who writes about Slavoj Žižek, subversive cinema, football, radical politics, and late-capitalism from a Marxist perspective. His recent work has appeared in books like Žižek and Media Studies: A Reader, Football and the Boundaries of History, Football and Communities Across Codes, and on websites such as “Marx and Philosophy” and “Sporting Intelligence.”
Linda Elmose earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from Simon Fraser University in 2011, and has continued to pursue a research program and teaching focus exploring how China and other emerging economies are challenging the dominant neoliberal ideology, institutions and development theories of our day. At Okanagan College her Political Science courses hew to this general theme of resistance –personal, institutional, political, legal, economic—to hegemonic neoliberal thinking and policy. For instance, Introduction to Politics critically assesses youth’s political activism and apathy, the varied causes of revolutions like the Arab Spring, the driving motives for and tactics of social movements, along with forms of resistance to rising inequality, state oppression through surveillance and an emerging police state. Canadian Environmental Policy centres on possible alternatives to our fossil fuel based economy with hopes pinned on the “new green revolution”, “pipeline politics” of dissent, and the university-led divestment movement. Theme of the courses: Resistance is fertile.
Dr. Linda Coates is a psychologist who focuses on violence, social interaction, and language. She is one of the co-developers of Response Based Practice and founders of the Centre for Response Based Practice. She is an activist who challenges taken for granted assumptions about perpetrators, victims, the rape of children, so-called mental illness and much more. Coates’ work is applied in diverse areas including criminal law, family law, women’s shelters, human resources, death reviews, and government policies and practices. Coates will bring to the program a critical focus, a deconstruction of psychologizing people, and a focus on responding to oppression while supporting people caught in “the system”.