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

Selected Publications

  • Farley, L; Garlen, J.C.; Chang-Kredl, S. & Sonu, D. (2022). The Critical Work of Memory and the Nostalgic Return of Innocence: How Emergent Teachers Represent Childhood. Pedagogy, Culture, and Society. doi:10.1080/14681366.2022.2063930.
  • Garlen, J.C.; Sonu, D.; Farley, L. & Chang-Kredl, S. (2022). Agency as Assemblage: Using Childhood Artefacts and Memories to Examine Children's Relations with Schooling. Journal of Childhood, Education and Society, 3 (2), 122-138. doi:
  • Sonu, D.; Farley, L.; Chang-Kredl, S. & Garlen, J.C. (2022). Sick at School: Teachers' Memories and the Affective Challenges that Bodies Present to Constructions of Childhood Innocence, Normalcy, and Ignorance. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. doi:10.1080/10714413.2022.2031693.
  • 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.
  • 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:10.1111/chso.12428.
  • 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:10.1080/15240657.2020.1798184.
  • 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.C. & 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:10.1080/1547688X.2020.1731036.
  • 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:10.1080/10714413.2017.1296277.
  • 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:10.1057/pcs.2015.59.
  • Farley, L. (2015). The Human Problem in Educational Research: Notes from the Psychoanalytic Archive. Curriculum Inquiry, 45 (5), 437-454. doi:10.1080/03626784.2015.1095621.
  • Farley, L. (2014). Psychoanalytic Notes on the Status of Depression in Curriculum Affected by Loss. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 22 (1), 117-136. doi:10.1080/14681366.2013.877218.
  • 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). 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:10.2979/histmemo.23.2.5.
  • Farley, L. (2009). Radical Hope: On the Problem of Uncertainty in History Education. Curriculum Inquiry, 39 (4), 537-554. doi:10.1111/j.1467-873X.2009.00456.x.

Selected Presentations

Other Research Outputs

Farley, L.; Sonu, D.; Garlen, J. & Chang-Kredl, S. (2022, July). Nostalgia for Childhoods of the Past Overlooks Children's Experiences TodayThe Conversation, Canada.

Farley, L.; Sonu, D.; Garlen, J. & Chang-Kredl, S. (2022, September). La Nostalgie de l'Enfance Occulte les Experiences des Enfants D'Aujord'hui. The Conversation, Canada. [Translation.]

Farley, L.; Sonu, D.; Garlen, J. & Chang-Kredl, S. (2021, April). How Teachers Remember their own Childhoods Affects how they Challenge School Inequities. The Conversation, Canada.

Farley, L.; Sonu, D.; Garlen, J. & Chang-Kredl, S. (2021, May). Les Souvenirs d'Enfance des Enseignants Influent sur leur Maniere de Lutter Contre Inegalities Scolaires. The Conversation, Canada. [Translation.] 

Research Projects

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

Role: Principal Investigator

Amount funded: $60, 733

Year Funded: 2018

Duration: 2

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

This project was a collaboration across four universities (York, Carleton, Concordia, and CUNY). The research investigated how childhood memory affects educators’ understandings of their role in educating children today, and examined themes of school surveillance, social injustices in childhood, children’s agencies/antics, childhood innocence, and adult nostalgia. Our intent was to explore how cultural tropes of childhood live inside personal memories of having once been a child and how this dynamic relation shapes the ways adults understand meaning of both teaching and childhood 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)

The project was both a theoretical investigation and archival study of clinical efforts to support children’s representations of emotional and social conflict in a time of war (The Wellcome Library, London, UK). The research explored the visual qualities of memory, the meaning and limits of historical empathy, the ethical qualities of witnessing, the interpretive work of representing history, and the role of mourning in teaching and learning from loss.


  • 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
  • Professor of Curriculum, Professors of Curriculum Honorary Society - 2022

Professional Affiliations