Governing Council


Julia Henderson, University of British Columbia

Julia Henderson (she/her) is Chair of NANAS. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of British Columbia. She is a registered Occupational Therapist, holds a PhD in Theatre, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in communication studies with Concordia University’s Aging+Communication+Technologies Lab. She is an investigator with UBC’s Edwin S. H. Leong Centre for Healthy Aging and its Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia. Her research uses arts-based methods, especially theatre, to work with older adults on projects that seek to redress cultural ageism and promote citizenship. Julia’s work is published in Canadian Theatre Review, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Theatre Research in Canada, Age Culture Humanities, Thornton Wilder Journal, Leisure/Loisir, and Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance.

Nicole Dalmer, McMaster University

Nicole Dalmer (she/her, they/them) is Vice-Chair of NANAS. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Aging and Society at McMaster University. She is also the Associate Director of the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging at McMaster University. Nicole’s work takes up an interdisciplinary, critical gerontological approach as she explores the meanings, expectations, and values of connections (both with people and with technologies) in later life.

June Oh, University of Texas at Tyler

June Oh is the NANAS Secretary and is a Member at Large with NANAS. She is an Assistant Professor of English and Digital Studies at The University of Texas at Tyler. Oh’s first research project traces the history of aging in British literature with a special interest in how age intersects with race, gender, and class. As an international teacher and a digital humanities scholar, Oh is currently working on a project that examines the cultural history of aging in the East Asian digital landscape. Her work has been published in Age Culture HumanitiesThe Korean Society of British and American Fiction, and Studies in Modern British and American Poetry.

Kate de Medeiros, Concordia University

Kate de Medeiros, Ph.D. is a founding member of NANAS, is a former Governing Council chair, and is currently a Member at Large with NANAS. She hosted the first NANAS conference at Miami University in 2014. Although her PhD is in gerontology, she has a B.A. in English literature from Northwestern University and began her graduate work as a student of Tom Cole’s at the Institute of Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where she later earned an M.S. in Clinical Gerontology. As a gerontologist with a strong humanities background, her work often focuses on building bridges across various disciplines interested in later life. Her publications include Narrative Gerontology in Research and Practice and The Short Guide to Aging and Gerontology; Global Aging: Comparative Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course (with F. Whittington and Suzanne Kunkel), Critical Humanities and Ageing: Forging Interdisciplinary Dialogues (co-edited with M. Goldman and T. Cole) as well as 60 peer-reviewed publications and numerous book chapters. She is also the editor of Narrative Works, an associate editor of Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences for qualitative research, and the series editor for the Bloomsbury Studies in Humanities and Ageing series.

Benjamin Gillespie, CUNY

Benjamin Gillespie is a Member at Large with NANAS. He is a Faculty Lecturer in Communication Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY) where he specializes in gender and media studies, performance and theatre studies, and professional communication. He completed his PhD in Theatre & Performance Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY and was awarded the 2022 Monette-Horwitz Dissertation Prize from theCenter for LGBTQ Studies. His research explores the intersection of aging, gender, and sexual identity in modern and contemporary theatre and drama. He is currently editing a critical anthology of the later works of the lesbian-feminist theatre company Split Britches as well as an edited collection titled Late Stage: Theatrical Perspectives on Age and Aging.

Gustavo Morelos Padilla, CETYS Universidad

Gustavo Morelos Padilla is a Member at Large with NANAS and is responsible for the monthly NANAS Newsletter. He has a Doctor of Social Science with a background in Psychology and currently works as a Researcher and Lecturer in the field of Social Gerontology. His interests explore the convergence of objective elements and subjective experiences related to old age, with a particular emphasis on promoting aging as a positive experience. Currently, his research concentrates on the topics of work and retirement. Since 2018, Gustavo has held a full-time faculty position at CETYS Universidad Tijuana, where he is affiliated with the graduate program of Social Gerontology. In 2023, he was recognized as a member of the National System of Researchers in Mexico.

Heunjung Lee, University of Alberta

Heunjung Lee is is a Member at Large with NANAS. Heunjung Lee earned her PhD in Performance Studies from the University of Alberta in 2023. Her research area is the intersections of performance, aging, and dementia. Her articles and reviews have been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals, including Contemporary Theatre ReviewTheatre Research in CanadaPerformance Research, and European Journal of Theatre and PerformanceCanadian Journal on Aging, and Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. She also published her paper in an anthology, Aging Experiments: Futures and Fantasies of Old Age (2023). 

Anita Wohlmann, University of Southern Denmark Odense

Anita Wohlmann is a Member at Large with NANAS. She is an Associate Professor in Contemporary Anglophone Literature at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, where she is a member of the Center for Uses of Literature and the Center for American Studies. She teaches American literature as well as courses in Narrative Medicine. She is co-editor with Aagje Swinnen of the journal Age, Culture, Humanities and a founding member and coordinator of the German Network for Narrative Medicine. Anita’s research focuses on metaphors, age and aging, illness narratives, and life writing. Her newest monograph is Metaphor in Illness WritingBattle and Fight Reused (2022, open access).

Student Representative

Amanda Bull is the Student Representative with NANAS. Currently, she is a PhD student in Social Gerontology at McMaster University where her program of research broadly examines the lived experiences of aging, ageism, and paid work in Canada. Her SSHRC and OGS funded graduate research aims to privilege older workers’ imaginings of future workplace anti-ageism policy and practice.  She holds an HBA from the University of Toronto and an MA in Health and Aging from McMaster University.


Valerie Lipscomb, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

Institutional Member

Sally Chivers is Full Professor of Gender & Social Justice and English at Trent University (Canada), where she is also a Founding Executive Member and Past Director of the Trent Centre for Aging & Society. Along with dozens of articles and book chapters, she is the author of two monographs: on aging in women’s writing (From Old Woman to Older Women) and another on the relationship between aging and disability as depicted in cinema (The Silvering Screen) and two co-edited volumes: one on disability in cinema (Film and the Problem Body) and another on nursing home narrativesShe was honoured by her university with the 2021 Distinguished Research Award in recognition of her prolific scholarship and international reputation as a leader in the interdisciplinary fields of age and disability studies, health humanities, and cultural gerontology. She hosts the scholarly podcast Wrinkle Radio.

ENAS Representative

Linda Hess is a senior lecturer and postdoctoral researcher in American Studies at the University of Augsburg, Germany. She is author of Queer Aging in North American Fiction (2019) and co-editor of Life Writing in the Posthuman Anthropocene (2021). She contributed articles to Critical Humanities and Ageing: Forging Interdisciplinary Dialogues (2022) and a Special Issue on Ageismof the University of Toronto Quarterly (2021). She is also currently the Deputy Chair of the European Association of Aging Studies.  Next to her work in age studies, her current research and teaching interests include questions of grievability in the environmental humanities and the intersection of ecocriticism and humor studies.

Ex Officio Member Representing Age, Culture, Humanities

Aagje Swinnen, Maastricht University

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