Past Research

Completed Research and Projects:

2013 – 2014: “Women’s activism in a drug user union in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.”

Collaborative project with women in leadership roles at the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). An ethnographic community-based qualitative and creative art project with lead researcher Dr. Jade Boyd.

2014: “Drug Prohibition, Addiction and the Regulation of Mothering.”

With support from the Centre for Gender, Social Inequalities and Mental Health (CGSM) at SFU, I organized an all day public forum: Challenging drug prohibition and the regulation of reproduction and mothering.

This project aimed to foster critical dialogue about the intersections of drug prohibition, crime/criminality, women, drugs, addiction, and the regulation of reproduction and mothering. The forum brought together international, national, and local academic and legal experts, program directors and service providers of innovative harm reduction maternity units, and outreach programs for women. The forum was held on May 17, 2014, at Simon Fraser University Downtown campus. The event was co-hosted and coordinated with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.

2011- 2012: “Addiction and Drug Crime: Radio Documentaries, 1920-1969”

The objectives of the “Addiction and Drug Crime: Radio Documentaries, 1920-1969” project was to build on an earlier CGSM seed grant project: “Media Representations on Madness, Addiction and Crime/Criminalization: A Preliminary, Intersectional Analysis of Documentary Films Used for Public Education in Canada.” That project created the foundation for a complimentary pilot project on addiction and drug crime radio documentaries.

The pilot project goals are:

  • Conduct a systematic search and compile a chronological bibliography of radio shows about illegal drugs and addiction used for public education in Canada from 1920s to 1969
  • Develop a literature review on radio educational/documentaries, time line, and investigate and track historical reports and discursive shifts in legislation and broadcasting;
  • Listen to, transcribe and analyze the earliest CBC radio documentaries on the topic.

2007 – 2010: “Media, Methamphetamine and Marijuana Grow-op Project.”

This project examines national, provincial, and local print media, policy initiatives, and criminal and civil responses over a 12-year period in relation to discourses about methamphetamine and marijuana growing operations. This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

2005 – 2008: “Safer Crack Use in an Urban Crack Using Population.”

This project lead by Joy Johnson (UBC), with Susan Boyd, Jane Buxton and Jodie Loudfoot, was a community-based project conducted in conjunction with the Safer Crack Use Coalition of Vancouver. The study provides information about the feasibility and utilization of a specific harm reduction initiative (crack kits) among crack users in Vancouver. It was funded by the Health Canada, Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund, 2005.

2003 – 2006: “Drug Films, Justice, and Society Study.”

This project included a socio-historical inquiry into films, censorship and discourse in 120 films about illegal drugs, produced from 1912 to 2006 in Britain, Canada and U.S. Dr. Boyd’s analysis was situated against the backdrop of criminal justice and addiction narratives. This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the University of Victoria.

2000 – 2005: “Health and Home Research Project.”

This project directed by Dara Culhane (SFU) included an ethnographic study in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver bringing forward the voice of marginalized women to examine wider social factors that shape health and housing. This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Simon Fraser University.