Dr. Shayna Plaut has researched and engaged with Romani media, migrant media and Indigenous media in Canada, the U.S. and Europe for nearly 15 years. She is interested in how people represent themselves in their own media, with a particular interest in peoples who do not fit neatly within the traditional notions of the nation-state. Shayna was a Fulbright and Vanier scholar; she has lived and worked in Hungary and the Balkans. She is currently undertaking a year-long research project on refugee youth with the University of Winnipeg and the Government of Manitoba, which was spurred by the Syrian refugees and the influx of asylum seekers crossing the US/Canadian border.
Shayna’s work sits at the intersection of academia, journalism and advocacy. Her academic writing has been published in Racial and Ethnic Studies, Journalism Practice, Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, The European Educational Research Journal, and International Journal for Human Rights, as well as chapters in books published by Routledge, I.B. Tauris and SAGE. She is the Human Rights Editor for Praxis Center––an online resource center for artists, academics and activists, as well as people who identify as all three––where she writes, interviews and solicits work that critically engages the questions of change: rather than focus just on human rights abuses, what are human rights possibilities?
Since 2004, Shayna has developed and taught a large array of courses focused on the framing of social justice and human rights including at Simon Fraser University where she served as the Simons Research Fellow in International Law and Human Security from 2015–2016. Shayna developed the first human rights courses at Columbia College Chicago and the Graduate School for Journalism at University of British Columbia. Shayna has designed and taught courses on: the ethics and methods of human rights work, migration, social inequalities and human rights journalism. As a visiting scholar at Columbia University she spearheaded mixed methods research on journalism and human rights and is the co-investigator for a CMRC-funded research project critically examining the use of “fixers” in global journalism. She is writing a book on how migrants are challenging and changing immigration policy through discourse in Europe.
As an educator, researcher and journalist, Shayna has served as a consultant for the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Amnesty International and a variety of migrant and human rights organizations. Since 2014, Shayna has served as the Research Manager for Strangers at Home, a project of the Global Reporting Centre.