Women's Studies and Feminist ResearchWestern Arts and Humanities

Jessica Polzer

MSc, PhD
Graduate Chair
Associate Professor - Women's Studies and Feminist Research and Health Sciences
Office: Lawson Hall 3237
Phone: 519-661-2111 ext. 81576


My program of research focuses on the politics of women's health in the 21st century, with a specific focus on the intersection of discourses on gender, health risk, and biotechnology. My current research projects include a critical discourse analysis of public media accounts of the HPV vaccine in English-speaking Canadian newspapers and health information materials. My doctoral research explored how women with family histories of breast cancer experience their risks for breast cancer, and how these experiences are shaped by the process of predictive genetic testing. I have extensive experience designing and conducting qualitative health research, and my dissertation was awarded the Illinois Distinguished Qualitative Dissertation Award by the International Center for Qualitative Inquiry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006.


Journal Articles

Chapters in Books

Invited Journal Articles

Polzer, J. & Knabe, S. (2009). Good girls do... get vaccinated: HPV, mass marketing and moral dilemmas for sexually active young women. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 63(11), 869-870.

Published Workshop Proceedings

Polzer, J. (2000). Genetic testing, citizenship and subjectivity: Implications for women and health. In The Gender of Genetic Futures: The Canadian Biotechnology Strategy, Women and Health. Proceedings of a National Workshop held at York University, Toronto, Ontario, February 11-12, 2000. Available electronically at: http://www.cewh-cesf.ca/PDF/biotech/gender-wkshop.pdf