Steering Committee

Note: Cultural Studies is undergoing a review of its governance and the Steering Committee is not currently active. For more information, contact the Co-Directors. 

The Steering Committee is a group of students, faculty, and staff who compose the ultimate decision-making body of Cultural Studies. Any member of the CUST community can sit on the Steering Committee, provided they are willing to make a one-year commitment to attend. A request for members is sent out to everyone once per year.

The Steering Committee and the Program are governed by the Cultural Studies Constitution

 Cultural Studies Constitution PDF document (PDF, 184 KB)

  Cultural Studies Constitution Word document (DOCX, 74 KB) 

Any member of the community can bring a concern or an idea to Steering by requesting that it be put on the agenda for discussion. Please note that those submitting agenda items for consideration are responsible for providing adequate time for members of the committee to look over any documents they would like to be considered. Please send these by email to the Co-Chairs of Steering by the Tuesday prior to the meeting.

Faculty Co-chair 2021-2022: habibe burcu baba (she/they)

burcu baba is a sociologist working in the fields of feminist and queer studies. Her research considers ties of kinship and affinity in the lives of sexual dissidents in Muslim-majority contexts in relation to the racialization of Islam, the rise of authoritarianism and queer liberalism. Her most recent project pertains to the queer and trans community organizing in Turkey as a way of holding onto life through prefigurative politics. burcu teaches in the Departments of Gender Studies and Sociology as well as Cultural Studies.

Student Co-chair 2021-2022: Nisha Patel (she/her)

Nisha, an MA student, is a queer and disabled spoken word artist in Treaty 6. She was the City of Edmonton’s 8th Poet Laureate, and is a Canadian Individual Slam Champion. She focuses on research-creation around disability poetics. Her debut collection COCONUT is available at Glass Bookshop. You can find her at

  • Setting and reviewing goals and priorities for CUST that reflect our Core Principles
  • Advising on guidelines, policies, best practices, and actions in regard to our Core Principle of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity within the program
  • Being a catalyst for new initiatives that will help develop an understanding of, and commitment to, our Core Principles
  • Responding to PD requests for advice in 'fast action' situations.
  • Organizing the self-evaluation and governance review.
  • Advocating for the sustainability and well-being of the program.
  • Approving faculty requests to affiliate with the program.
  • Recommending individuals and/or committees to address unallocated administrative tasks.
  • Understanding budgetary processes.


  • habibe burcu baba (Co-Chair)
  • Jeff Brison (Co-Director)
  • Laura Murray (Co-Director)
  • Ayca Tomac


  • ​Carrie Miles


  • Nisha Patel (Co-Chair)
  • Jacqueline Giesbrecht
  • Samia Khan
  • Darren Zanussi
  • Payton Kennedy-Cowman
  • Melanie Proulx
  • Stefan Strangman
  • Shawn Robinson

Steering Committee Meetings for 2021-2022 will be on the following Fridays, from 9:30am-11:30am (unless otherwise noted), virtually via Zoom:

  • September 17 – Open Meeting
  • September 24 – Consensus Training
  • October 1 – First Steering Meeting of 2021-2022
  • October 22 - Steering Meeting
  • November 5 – Constitution Meeting
  • November 12 – Steering Meeting
  • November 26 – Steering Meeting
  • December 10 – Steering Meeting
  • January 14 – Steering Meeting
  • January 21 –  Constitution Meeting
  • February 4 – Steering Meeting
  • February 18 – Steering Meeting (budget: overview and Q&A)
  • March 11 – Steering Meeting (budget: plans for 2022-2023)
  • March 25 – Provisional Steering Meeting
  • April 8 – Steering Meeting
  • April 22 – Steering Meeting
  • May 6 – Steering Retreat
  • May 13 – Provisional Steering Meeting

  • Please contact the Cultural Studies Steering Committee Co-Chairs
Cultural Studies Steering Committee on Retreat at Elbow Lake
The Cultural Studies steering committee on retreat at Elbow Lake in May 2016.