Celeste E. Orr Ph.D.
Dr. Celeste E. Orr’s research is situated at the intersection of intersex, disability, and queer studies. Orr explores the complex discursive, political, and embodied connection between intersex and disability as well as compulsory dyadism and able-bodiedness. They ask: how do we understand and reconcile the contested meanings, responses to, and effects of intersex-and/as-disability? Orr interrogates and extends questions of the ever-shifting categorization of body-minds, culturally mandated ways of being, and (the haunting effects of) pathologization, trauma, and violence through an intersectional lens.
Orr’s book manuscript, Cripping Intersex: Exorcisms and Compulsory Dyadism, has been accepted by UBC Press for the Disability, Culture, and Politics Series. Orr is currently finalizing their manuscript for submission. Orr’s research is also featured in Boyhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (2019), Mothering, Mothers, and Sport: Experiences, Representations, Resistances (Demeter Press, 2018) as well as Connecting, Rethinking and Embracing Difference (Inter-disciplinary Press, 2016). Their research will also soon be found in From Band-Aids to Scalpels: Motherhood Experiences in/of Medicine (Demeter Press, forthcoming) and Intersex and the Health and Medical Humanities (Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming). Orr is also in the process of co-editing a Special Issue of Feminist Theory with Dr. Shoshana Magnet, marking the advent of “Feminist Loneliness Studies.”
In 2018, Orr received their Ph.D. in Feminist and Gender Studies from the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa. Their Ph.D. research was supported by The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship, SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Scholarship, Ontario Graduate Scholarship, and the University of Ottawa’s Excellence Scholarship. Orr's Ph.D. dissertation, “Exorcising Intersex and Cripping Compulsory Dyadism,” received the highest distinction and was nominated (finalist) for the Pierre Laberge Prize, best Ph.D. thesis in the Social Sciences. Lastly, Orr was awarded the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Dean’s Scholarship for early Ph.D. completion. Before concluding their Ph.D., Orr received a M.A. in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory from McMaster University, a M.A. in Philosophy from Queen’s University, and a B.A. double majoring in Philosophy and English Literature from McMaster University.
Given the interdisciplinary nature of Orr’s scholastic background and research, the classes they teach draw from a variety of fields: feminist, sexuality, and gender studies; disability, crip, and mad studies; intersex studies; queer theory; femininst philosophy; history; bio/ethics; critical race and anti-colonial studies; feminist science studies. Invested in the belief that learning is an ongoing, mutually constitutive process intended to create a better, more just world, Orr’s feminist, queer, crip, anti-racist pedagogical methods are founded upon a comprehensive understanding of systemic inequity and injustice and a deep commitment to undoing these oppressive structures. Orr’s classes, therefore, provide students with the opportunity to learn about, unlearn, and undermine the everyday power structures that naturalize unjust systems and violent hierarchies through collective acknowledgement, critical understanding, and active resistance.
Ph.D., Feminist and Gender Studies (2018)
- Degree with Highest Distinction
- Dissertation nominated (finalist) for Pierre Laberge Prize for best doctoral thesis in the Social Sciences
M.A., Cultural Studies and Critical Theory (2013)
M.A., Philosophy (2012)
B.A., Philosophy and English Literature (2011)
- intersex studies, disability/mad/crip theories, feminist and gender theories, queer theory, cultural studies and critical theory, women's studies, intersectional and diversity theories, feminist philosophy and (bio)ethics, feminist science studies, feminist media studies, sports studies, reproductive technologies, the processes of medicalization/pathologization, LGBTQI movements and human rights, trauma studies, hauntology
Presentations, Exhibitions, Performances and Published Work:
- Orr, Celeste E. Forthcoming. Cripping Intersex: Exorcisms and Compulsory Dyadism. UBC Press.
- Orr, Celeste E., and Amanda D. Watson. Forthcoming, “‘Usually the mother:’ Dilation and the medical management of intersex children.” From Band-Aids to Scalpels: Motherhood Experiences in/of Medicine, ed. Bannerjee and Mukhida. Demeter Press.
- Orr, Celeste E., and Meg Peters. Forthcoming. "Introducing Mad Intersex Studies." Intersex and the Health and Medical Humanities, ed. Katelyn Dykstra and Shoshannah Bryn Jones Square. Bloomsbury Press.
- Magnet, Shoshana, and Celeste E. Orr, eds. Forthcoming. “Feminist Loneliness Studies.” Special issue, Feminist Theory.
- Orr, Celeste E. 2019. “Resisting the Demand to Stand: Boys, Bathrooms, Hypospadias, and Interphobic Violence.” Boyhood Studies 12 (2): 89-113.
- Orr, Celeste E., and Amanda D. Watson. 2018. “‘We changed her nappies. We saw that she was a girl.’ Caster Semenya’s Femininity and the Power of Maternal Testimony.” Mothering, Mothers, and Sport, ed. Battaglia, Bromwich, & Redela, 15-48. Demeter Press.
- Orr, Celeste E. 2016. “(Liberatory) Reproductive Technologies and (Eugenic) Interphobic Selection.” Connecting, Rethinking, and Embracing Difference, ed. Gambrell, Osborne, and Buttigieg, 87-102. Inter-disciplinary Press.
- Orr, Celeste E. “Racism, Queerphobia, Ableism and The De/Pathologization of Intersex.” Presented remotely (due to COVID-19) at “Lunch and Learn,” Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 3 April 2020
- Orr, Celeste E. “Cripping Compulsory Dyadism and Imagining Intersex Futures.” Presented at the 2019 Feminist-Pragmatist Colloquium: Looking Back to Move Forward, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, United States of America, 15 November 2019
- Orr, Celeste E. “Contemporary Eugenics: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, Anti-Intersex Selection, & Reproductive ‘Choice.’” Presented at Monitoring the Self, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland, 9 November 2017
- Orr, Celeste E. “The (Racialized) Intersex Spectre and the (Temporarily) Non-intersex Body.” Presented at After the Recognition of Intersex Human Rights, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Surrey, Guildford, England, 24 September 2016
- Orr, Celeste E. “Sport Sex Testing and The Intersex Spectre.” Presented at the 1st International Congress: Gender Studies in Debate, University of Lisbon, Portugal, 26 May 2016
- Orr, Celeste E. “The Intersex Spectre and the Colonial Imaginary.” Presented at Gender, Sexuality and Citizenship, 13th Annual Conference in Citizenship Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, United States of America, 31 March 2016
- Orr, Celeste E. “COVID-19: Intersex and ‘Essential’ Medical Care.” Impact Ethics, 15 April 2020, https://impactethics.ca/2020/04/15/covid-19-intersex-and-essential-medical-care/.
- Orr, Celeste E. “Consent, Care, and the Caster Semenya Controversy.” Impact Ethics, 21 May 2019, https://impactethics.ca/2019/05/21/consent-care-and-the-caster-semenya-controversy/.
- Orr, Celeste E. “Sexual Assault in Medical Contexts.” Impact Ethics, 16 February 2018, https://impactethics.ca/2018/02/16/sexual-assault-in-medical-contexts/.
- Orr, Celeste E. “Here’s how the Olympic Games obsess over women’s bodies.” Ottawa Citizen, 12 February 2018. http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/orr-at-least-the-winter-olympics-arent-challenging-womens-sexual-identity.
- Orr, Celeste E., and Erin Leigh Courtice. “Using Inclusive Language Isn’t Enough.” Impact Ethics, 8 March 2017, https://impactethics.ca/2017/03/08/using-inclusive-language-isnt-enough/.
- Orr, Celeste E. “Don’t make the Paralympics into inspiration porn.” Ottawa Citizen, 8 September 2016, http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/orr-dont-make-the-paralympics-into-inspiration-porn-2.
- Orr, Celeste E. “Zika, Ableism, and Reproductive Healthcare.” Impact Ethics, 15 March 2016, https://impactethics.ca/2016/03/15/zika-ableism-and-reproductive-healthcare/.
- Orr, Celeste E. “Justice for Intersex People.” Ottawa Citizen, 7 November 2015, http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/justice-for-intersex-people.
- Orr, Celeste E. “Conversation about rape culture needed as universities welcome students back.” Ottawa Citizen, 10 September 2015, http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/orr-rape-culture-conversation-needed-as-universities-welcome-students-back.
- Orr, Celeste E. “Eliminating intersex babies is not a legitimate use of genetic embryo testing.” The Guardian, 10 July 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/10/intersex-babies-genetic-embryo-testing.
Regularly Taught Courses:
- GNDR103: Gender and Society
- GNDR290: Gender and Feminist Theory
- GNDR4024: Dis/ability, Gender, and Health
- GNDR369: Making Sexualities
- GNDR4036: De/Constructing Sex Differences: Intersex, Health, and Gender
- GNDR4025: Pop Culture, Gender, and Sexuality