Lisa Farley

Associate Professor, Associate Dean Research

PhD - University of Toronto; MEd - York University; BA (Hons.) - York University

Location(s) / Contact Info:

202, Winters College - WC
Keele Campus
Phone: 416-736-2100 Ext. 22843


Available to supervise graduate students
Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers
Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects


Lisa Farley joined the faculty in 2007. Her research considers the uses of psychoanalysis in conceptualizing the meaning of childhood and education. Recent research examines teachers' memories of childhood and schooling, and considers how thinking analytically about such memories is a key part of becoming a teacher. 

Scholarly Interests

Studies of childhood and psychoanalysis; emotional dynamics of teaching/learning; childhood memory and teacher education

Faculty & School/Dept

  • Faculty of Education

Courses Taught

  • Foundations of Education & Theory Into Practice (ED/EDFE 2000)

Selected Publications

  • Garlen, J.C.; Chang-Kredl, S.; Farley, L.; & Sonu, D. (2021). Childhood Innocence and Experience: Memory, Discourse and Practice. Children and Society, 35 (5), 648-662. doi:
  • Farley, L. & Boldt, G. (Eds.) (2021). Welcoming Narratives in Education: A Tribute to the Life Work of Jonathan Silin Bank Street Occasional Paper Series, 45.
  • Farley, L.; Sonu, D.; Chang-Kredl, S. & Garlen, J.C. (2021, April 27). Retreived from The Conversation:
  • Farley, L. & Kennedy RM. (2020). Transgender Embodiment as an Invitation to Thought: A Psychoanalytic Critique of "Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria". Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 21 (3), 155-172. doi:
  • Sonu, D.; Farley, L.; Chang-Kredl, S.; & Garlen, J.C. (2020). The Dreamwork of Childhood Memory: The Futures Teachers Make from the Schooling Past Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 35 (4), 15-27.
  • Farley, L. (2020). Innocence. In F. MacGilchrist & R. Metro (Eds.), Trickbox Of Memory: Essays on Power and Disorderly Pasts. New York, NY: Punctum
  • Farley, L.; Sonu, D.; Garlen, J. & Chang-Kredl, S. (2020). Childhood Memories of Playful Antics and Punishable Acts: Risking an Imperfect Future of Teaching and Learning. The New Educator, 16 (2), 106-121. doi:
  • Farley, L. (2018). Childhood Beyond Pathology: A Psychoanalytic Study of Development and Diagnosis. State University of New York Press
  • Farley, L. & Kennedy, RM. (2017). The Failure of Thought: Childhood and Evildoing in the Shadow of Traumatic Inheritance. Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies, 39 (2), 1210-138. doi:
  • Farley, L. & Kennedy, RM. (2016). A Sex of One's Own: Childhood and the Embodiment of (Trans)gender. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 21 (2), 167-183. doi:
  • Farley, L. (2015). The Human Problem in Educational Research: Notes from the Psychoanalytic Archive. Curriculum Inquiry, 45 (5), 437-454. doi:
  • Farley, L. (2014). Psychoanalytic Notes on the Status of Depression in Curriculum Affected by Loss. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 22 (1), 117-136. doi:
  • Farley, L. (2013). Without Discipleship: A Psychoanalytic Study of Influence for Education. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 21 (3), 361-382. doi:
  • Farley, L. (2012). Operation Pied Piper: A Psychoanalytic narrative of Authority in a Time of War Psychoanalysis and History, 14 (1), 29-52.
  • Farley, L. (2012). An Essay is Being Written: Between Aggression and Just Words. Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, 19 (2), 167-178. doi:
  • Farley, L. (2012). Analysis on Air: A Sound History of Winnicott in Wartime. American Imago, 69 (4), 449-471. doi:
  • Farley, L. (2011). Squiggle Evidence: The Child, the Canvas and the 'Negative Labor' of History. History and Memory, 23 (2), 5-39. doi:
  • Farley, L. (2009). Radical Hope: On the Problem of Uncertainty in History Education. Curriculum Inquiry, 39 (4), 537-554. doi:

Selected Presentations

Research Projects

Conceptualizing Childhood in Education: A Multi-Site Study of Memories, Artefacts, and Cultural Tropes

Role: Co-Principal Investigator

Amount funded: $60, 733

Year Funded: 2018

Duration: 2

Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

This comparative, co-led study examines contemporary conceptualizations of childhood held by those interested in working with, thinking about, and/or teaching children. Working across four neighbourhoods in Montreal, New York, Ottawa, and Toronto, we are interested in how adult memories of having been children encode, repeat, and disrupt major cultural tropes of childhood (including, for example, the beloved child, the innocent child, the child as future, and the child as developmental being). Our intent is to explore how cultural tropes live inside personal memories and how this dynamic relation shapes the ways adults understand what it means to be a child and what teaching children can mean in a range of professional contexts.

Spaces of Memory: Between Tangible Relics and Internal Objects in Learning from the Past

Role: Principal Investigator

Amount funded: $61,111

Year Funded: 2009

Duration: 3

Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Spaces of Memory explores the status of the unconscious in representing historical knowledge. The project turns to the history of child psychoanalysis -- specifically Winnicott -- to consider how this analyst's work with patients' drawings, dreams and fantasies informs understandings of historical representation as marked by psychical conflict.


  • Outstanding Book Award, Curriculum Studies Division B of AERA - 2020
  • Critics' Choice Book Award, American Educational Studies Association - 2019
  • York Research Leader, York University - 2019
  • York Research Leader, York University - 2020

Professional Affiliations