Bio (Virginia McKendry)
Associate Professor and Program Head
Communication and Culture
Dr. Virginia McKendry is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work traces the ways cultural systems of meaning are transmitted and (trans)formed through everyday texts, images, conversations, practices, institutions and material objects. Her interest in feminist, narrative, dialogic, semiotic, and complex systems theoretical frameworks connects her various research interests, including: the persistence of monarchy in the British imaginary, women in leadership, the history of women in Canadian public relations, and gender and communication. Her research draws on a range of methods, from textual analysis of archival materials to action research in the service of positive cultural change. As an educator, she has dedicated her career to developing and delivering adult learning experiences that integrate academic, professional and ethical mastery.
Before joining Royal Roads in 2010, McKendry served as a core faculty member at Wilfrid Laurier University and as a contract faculty member at Fanshawe College. Her work outside of the academy has included applied communication roles in web development, public relations, and citizen engagement initiatives, particularly in the area of domestic violence prevention at the community level.
McKendry holds both a Bachelor of General Studies (1991) and a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies (1993) from Simon Fraser University and a PhD in History from York University (1998). Her graduate research drew substantially from the fields of visual communication and cultural studies, critical feminist theories of gender, and social and cultural history. Her dissertation focused on how representations of monarchy in British during a century of political reform (1760-1860) reflected and contributed to the consolidation of a political culture that continues to perpetuate non-democratic, patriarchal conceptualizations of leadership and citizenship.