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Bio (Virginia McKendry)

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Virginia McKendry

Virginia McKendry


Associate Professor


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 diverse research on Indigenous/Settler relations, the cultural impact of family values metaphors embedded in political discourses, courageous leadership and the history of women in public relations. She particularly enjoys action research aimed at mobilizing people to collaboratively surface their collective knowledge and use it to effect positive, democratic and sustainable cultural change. She is an advocate for experiential learning that effects radical self-awareness through a program of study that merges 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 culture and gender/postcolonial theory. Her dissertation focused on how British political prints and illustrated magazines published between 1760 and 1860 reflected and contributed to the consolidation of a political culture that perpetuates non-democratic notions of leadership and citizenship.