Fourth year PhD student Anna Augusto Rodrigues’ research interests include visual activism, adult literacy, informal learning and inclusive educational practices. Underpinning her research is an intense commitment to social justice issues and interest in community-driven scholarship. She is currently working on her dissertation investigating the potential of street art, produced by female artists, to create ‘pop ups’ of informal, public spaces of learning on the street and online, while considering its pedagogical significance as a feminist literacy practice. “While exploring street art’s educational potential, I have also attempted to understand how feminist street art might provide an opening for women to participate in the shaping of community and global conversations, both online and offline,” said Anna.
Anna credits the Graduate Program in Education for enabling her to grow as a researcher by helping her to develop enhanced skills in the areas of doing fieldwork, collecting data and analysis. “I’ve had an opportunity to interview feminist street artists from around the world and to do fieldwork in Montreal and Toronto for my dissertation,” she said. “As well, I’ve been able to document street art through photography, which is something I enjoy doing. I would not have had those experiences without being in the Graduate Program in Education at York.”
Her advice to prospective grad students is to be prepared to work hard and to stay connected to family and friends when you begin your dissertation. “It can feel isolating and overwhelming at times so I’m very grateful for the support of family and friends for helping me continue on this journey when I was feeling tired or started having doubts,” she said.
Anna’s future plans are to focus on projects that explore issues of social justice and to get more involved in more research projects at the college where she has been teaching for the past ten years.
Learn more about the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in the Faculty of Education.