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Laura Bisaillon

Photo of Laura Bisaillon seated outside with flowers in the background

Associate Professor

Location: HL 214


I am an interdisciplinary scholar of health and illness specializing in interpretive methods and the social studies of HIV-related policy and medical inadmissibility in Canadian immigration law. The bulk of my work to date has explored immigration medical inadmissibility decision-making and its consequences. “Screening Out: HIV Testing and the Canadian Immigration Experience” is the name of my monograph, forthcoming with UBC Press. Since 2013, I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran and Romania. I am cross-appointed at OISE in Social Justice Education and the Centre de recherches en éducation franco-ontarienne. I teach and supervise undergraduate and graduate students in English and French.


PhD (Ottawa), MUP (McGill), BA (Bishop’s), CEP (Strasbourg III)

Teaching Interests

  • L’ethnographie institutionnelle : pratiques d’une sociologie alternative
  • Auto-Ethnographic Studies of Migration, Health and the State
  • Analyzing Qualitatively in Health and Society Research
  • Institutional Ethnography: Investigating Health and Social Problems in the Everyday


Research Interests

HIV/AIDS, Horn of Africa, immigration policies and politics, institutional ethnography, medical inadmissibility, migration, social organization of knowledge, sociology of health and illness 

Awards & Grants

  • Research Fellowship, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Amsterdam, 2020-21
  • Visiting Researcher, Brocher Foundation, 2020
  • Best Staff and Faculty Award: Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, 2018-19
  • Visiting Professor, University of Bucharest, 2018
  • Visiting Researcher, Brocher Foundation, 2017 
  • Senior Academic Fellow, Comparative Program on Health and Society, 2014-15
  • Connaught New Researcher, University of Toronto, 2014
  • Best Dissertation in Canada, Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, 2013
  • Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal, University of Ottawa, 2012
  • Joseph De Konink Prize, Best Interdisciplinary Dissertation, University of Ottawa, 2012