photograph of Eleanor MacDonald

Eleanor MacDonald

Associate Professor

All Pronouns

PhD (York); MA, BA Hons. (Carleton)

Political Studies

Political Theory, Gender and Politics

Associate Professor

Phone: (613) 533-6234

Mackintosh-Corry Hall, C430

People Directory Affiliation Category

Research Interests

Contemporary political thought, including identity politics, feminist theory, critical theory, postmodern theory, Marxist theory, anti-racist theory, psychoanalytic theory, environmental theory, cultural studies, narrative theory, queer theory, race and sexuality studies, feminism, and transgender politics

Eleanor MacDonald is no longer accepting doctoral students.

Brief Biography

Eleanor MacDonald (B.A. and M.A. Carleton University, Ph.D. York University) arrived at Queen’s in 1990 as a Webster Postdoctoral Fellow. In 1993, she joined the Department of Political Studies as a member of the faculty and subsequently was cross-appointed to both the Department of Gender Studies and the Graduate Program in Cultural Studies. From 2004 to 2007, she also served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. In 1994, MacDonald was a Visiting Scholar in the School of Political Economy at Carleton University, and in 2010, MacDonald was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

The focus of MacDonald’s research and teaching is in contemporary political theory. She has written on identity politics and on the political implications of postmodern and poststructuralist theory. In her current research, she is exploring the concept of property. Recent papers have considered the theoretical grounding of the link between identity and property, and the challenges that environmental concerns pose to the dominant paradigm regarding property ownership.

In 2012, MacDonald received the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Award for Excellence in Teaching. She received the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society Teaching Award in 1991 and was one of four finalists for the Alumni Teaching Award in 2005. In 2010, she was one of ten finalists in the TVO Best Lecturer competition. She has also been a finalist five times (98/99, 02/03, 04/05, 13/14, 14/15) for the Alma Mater Society’s Frank Knox Award for Excellence in Teaching, and was nominated again for this award in 2015/16.


For detailed information about political studies courses and instructors, please refer to the Undergraduate and Graduate pages. 

Service (2023/2024)

  • Departmental Committee
  • Graduate Fellowship Committee (Winter 2024)
  • Workload Committee (Winter 2024)

Selected Publications

Co-editor  with Dr. Abigail Bakan of  Critical Political Studies: Debates and Dialogue from the Left. Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002

"Incredulity and Poetic Justice: Accounting for Postmodern Accounts" chapter for Critical Political Studies: Debates and Dialogue from the Left

"Deconstruction's Promise: Derrida's Rethinking of Marxism" Science and Society, Vol. 63, No. 2, Summer 1999

"Vectors of Identity: Determination, Association and Intervention" Studies in Political Economy,  No. 57, Fall 1998

"Critical Identities: Rethinking Feminism Through Transgender Politics" Atlantis: A Women's Studies Journal, special issue on "Sexualities and Feminisms", Fall 1998