Julia Gruson-Wood

Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition
  • Ph.D. Science & Technology Studies, 2018, York University
  • M.A. Critical Disability Studies, 2010, York University
  • B.A. Cultural Studies, 2007, Trent University


  • Forthcoming: Gruson-Wood, J. Remaking Therapy, Reshaping Autism: Social Relations and the Governance of Applied Behaviour Therapies. Disability, Politics and Culture Series. (Eds. Orsini, M., Kelly, C). University of British Columbia Press.

Journal Articles

  • Submission Pending: Gruson-Wood, J., Rice, C., Haines, J., & Chapman, C. “The emotional toll of postfeminist fatherhood.” Gender, Work & Organization.
  • Forthcoming: Easton, S., Sheilds, R., Gruson-Wood, J., Gibson, M., Douglas, P., Rice, C. (WI 2021). “Storytelling methods on the move” IJQSE, Special Issue: Critical Autism Studies: Methodological Incursions.
  • Walton, K., Breen, A., Gruson-Wood, J., Jewell, K., Haycraft., E., Haines, J. (2020). “Dishing on Dinner: a lifecourse approach to understanding the family meal context among families with preschoolers.” Public Health Nutrition, 1-11.
  • Douglas, P., Rice, C., Ruswick-Cole, C., Easton, A., Klar, E., Gibson, M., Gruson-Wood, J., Shields, R. (2019). “Re-storying Autism: A Body Becoming Disability Studies in Education Approach.” International Journal of Inclusive Education. Pp 1-18.
  • Gruson-Wood, J. “Autism, Expert Discourses, and Subjectification: A Critical Examination of Applied Behavioural Therapies.” (2016). Studies in Social Justice Journal. Vol 10, Issue 1: 38-58.

Book Chapters

  • Forthcoming, 2021: Gibson, M., Gruson-Wood, J. “Chapter Three: LGBTQI+ Families in Canada.” Canadian Families Today, Fifth Edition. Oxford University Press.
  • Mykhalovskiy, E., Cormer, L., Gruson-Wood, J., Hasting, C., Strang, M. (2020) “Teaching Institutional Ethnography as an Alternative Sociology.” Ed. Luken, P. A Handbook on Institutional Ethnography. Palgrave McMillan.
  • Gruson-Wood, J. “Dead Meat: Horror, Disability, and Eating Rituals.” (2016). Transnational Horror Reader. Eds, Harvey, S & Raphael, R). Palgrave Macmillan: UK. Pp 83-112.
  • Gruson-Wood, J. “Zombies, Disability and Law.” (2011). Braaaiiinnnsss: From A to Z, Academics on Zombies. Ed. Smith?, R. Ottawa University Press. Pp 263-284.

Non-Refereed Publications

  • Opinion Editorial: Gibson. M., Douglas, P., Gruson-Wood, J., Klar, E., McGuire, W. “Arguments in autism debate in Ontario have missed the mark.” (2019). The Record, Hamilton Spectator, Niagara Falls Review.
  • Speech for Legislative Assembly of Canada: Gruson-Wood, J. & Potter, E. (2016). Standing Committee on Social Policy - 2016-Oct-17 - Bill 28, All Families Are Equal Act (Parentage and Related Registrations Statute Law Amendment).

I am an interdisciplinary heath scholar specializing in gender, sexuality and family relations. I orient to research as a tool for understanding social problems in order to contribute to social change. My key areas of focus are: 1) autism clinical cultures; 2) the gendered design and impact of family-based health studies; 3) 2SLGBTQ+ parenting experiences and family wellbeing.

To study these topics, I adopt an intersectionality framework, with a governance-focused orientation offered by Studies in the Social Organization of Knowledge, and an anthropological approach to ethnography focusing on embodiment and culture. I also often incorporate participant driven arts-based methods, such as multimedia storytelling, to create knowledge and disseminate findings.

I currently hold two postdoctoral research fellowships, one is a University-funded position in Gender, Family and Health in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition. For fellowship, I conducted a qualitative study examining how gender relations impact parents’ participation in, The Guelph Family Health Study (GFHS), the largest longitudinal family-based health study in Canada. I interviewed parent-participants and GFHS providers and observed the intervention visits, developing key findings which I am currently working on disseminating with Drs. Gwen Chapman, Jess Haines, & Carla Rice.

My SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship is an arts-informed qualitative research project analysing this fraught political moment of increased 2SLGBTQI+ rights and representation alongside mounting political backlash. This project involves interviewing parents from 30+ 2SLGBTQI+ families across Ontario and inviting them to complete a short video about their parenting experiences through Re*Vision. In addition to contributing new scholarly knowledge about the sexual politics of contemporary forms of family governance, this project engages with dissemination techniques such the mass distribution of an Infographic tip sheet which will draw from research data to provide recommendations for including 2SLGBTQI+ families.

In addition to these projects, I serve as Co-PI for Neurodiversity Matters which studies autism infrastructure and neurodiversity discourse in Ontario. I also serve as a Collaborator for Enacting Autism Inclusion, which partners with Re*Vision to use participatory arts-based methods to intervene on hegemonic approaches to autism services.

  1. Title: Precarious Inclusion: Studying Ontarian 2SLGBTQI+ parents’ experiences childrearing in a post-legal parity framework
    • Agency: SSHRC Insight Development Grant
    • Amount: $73,923
    • Period: 05/19-05/22
    • Role: Principal Investigator
    • Team: Chapman, G., Haines, J., Rice, C. (Co-Investigators), Cherry-Reid, K (PhD RA)
  2. Title: Neurodiversity Matters: An ethnographic investigation into discourse, practice, and identity
    • Agency: SSHRC Insight Development Grant
    • Amount: $65,539
    • Period: 05/19-05/22
    • Role: Co-Investigator
    • Team: Gibson, M (PI), Douglas, P (Co-PI), Sakamoto, I (Co-PI)
  3. Title: Re*Storying Autism in Education: Advancing the cultures and practices of inclusion.
    • Agency: SSHRC Insight Grant
    • Amount: $287,576
    • Period: 7/1/08-12/31/09
    • Role: Collaborator
    • PI: Douglas, P.