Lisette Farias Vera

About me

I am Assistant Professor at the Division of Occupational Therapy at Karolinska Institutet, Board Member of the European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education (ENOTHE), and Associate Editor of Journal of Occupational Science. I am also a licensed Occupational Therapist in Chile and Sweden with work experience in both countries. 

Research description

The broad goal of my research is to explore and address structural and social barriers to community participation and the implications of what people do or are expected to do in their everyday life (occupations) for identity, social inclusion, health, and well-being. To advance this intent, my research has mainly applied critically-oriented, dialogical, and collaborative approaches to problematize the possibilities for participation of groups who experience marginalization and co-design possibilities for action among relevant stakeholders. As an example of this, my doctoral thesis forwards a critical dialogical approach and critical reflexivity to enact values such as transparency, partnership, and democratization of the research process. 

Selected publications in occupational science 

Alonso-Ferreira, M., Farias, L., & Rivas-Quarneti, N. (2021). Addressing the gender construct in occupation-based research: A scoping review. Journal of Occupational Science, 1-30. 

Berger, M., Asaba, E., Fallahpour, M., & Farias, L. (2020). The sociocultural shaping of mothers’ doing, being, becoming and belonging after returning to work. Journal of Occupational Science, 1-14. 

Farias, L., & Simaan, J. (2020). Introduction to the anti-racism virtual issue of the Journal of Occupational Science. Journal of Occupational Science, 1-6. 

Asaba, E., Aldrich, R. M., Gabrielsson, H., Ekstam, L., & Farias, L. (2020). Challenging conceptualisations of work: Revisiting contemporary experiences of return to work and unemployment. Journal of Occupational Science, 1-14. 

Stanley, M., Rogers, S., Forwell, S., Hocking, C., Nayar, S., Laliberte Rudman, D., Prodinger, B., Farias, L., Townsend, E., Magalhães, L., Simaan, J., Reid, H., & Pols, V. (2020). A pledge to mobilize against racism. Journal of Occupational Science, 27(3), 294-295. 

Farias, L., & Laliberte Rudman, D. (2016). A critical interpretative synthesis of the uptake of critical perspectives in occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science, 23(1), 33-50.

Veiga Seijo, S., Farias, L., & Rivas Quarneti, N. (2017). Precarious work as situated occupation: Exploratory study of workers' experiences in the context of Spanish economic crisis. Brazilian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 25(4).

Farias, L., & Asaba, E. (2013). The family knot:  Negotiating identities and cultural values through everyday occupations of an immigrant family in Sweden. Journal of Occupational Science, 20(1), 36-47.

Book Chapters

Farias, L & Aldrich, B. (2021). Critical Theory: Resources for questioning and transforming everyday life. In S. Taff (Ed.), Philosophical Foundations for Occupational Therapy Education, Research, and Practice. Slack Inc.

Farias, L. (2020). The (Mis)shaping of Health: Problematizing Neoliberal Discourses of Individualism and Responsibility. In H. Hosseini, J. Goodman, S. C. Motta, & B. K. Gills (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Transformative Global Studies (pp. 268-281). London: Routledge.

Nichols B., Farias L. (2018) Maternal Care in Guatemala: Problematizing Discourses of Development, Transnational Advocacy, and Indigeneity. In: Schwartz D. (eds) Maternal Death and Pregnancy-Related Morbidity Among Indigenous Women of Mexico and Central America. Global Maternal and Child Health (Medical, Anthropological, and Public Health Perspectives). Springer.

Teaching portfolio

I have a strong interest in health professions education and particularly in transformative learning and reflexive education and practice. I teach and supervise at undergraduate/bachelor, master, and PhD levels. My specialization areas in teaching are research epistemologies, qualitative research methods, critical theoretical perspectives, (critical) occupational science, and health promotion. I am also interested in internationalization of the education following equity, decolonization, and inclusion perspectives. I work with internationalization initiatives at the Division of Occupational Therapy at KI, and as a board member of ENOTHE by coordinating and developing courses, webinars/workshops, and educational projects across Europe.

My teaching philosophy is based on a critical and dialogical perspective (Freire, 1970; Shor, 1992) that aims to contest and build on learners’ previous knowledge, integrating their experiences in the learning process. One of the main points of dialogical learning is that it recognizes that people learn both outside and inside the classroom. This means that my teaching constantly attempts to provide learners with opportunities to critically analyze (new) knowledge/situations based on their previous experiential knowledge. Consequently, the learning activities that I use are planned to embrace a problem-posing format to transform learning into a process where learners can construct their own knowledge by critically analyzing it.

Selected publications in critical learning and international collaboration

Aldrich, R. M., Galvaan, R., Gerlach, A. J., Rudman, D. L., Magalhães, L., Pollard, N., & Farias, L. (2021). Promoting critically informed learning and knowing about occupation through conference engagements. Journal of Occupational Science, 1-16.

Magalhães, L., Farias, L., Rivas-Quarneti, N., Alvarez, L., & Malfitano, A. P. S. (2021). Commentary on “The development of occupational science outside the Anglophone sphere: Enacting global collaboration”. Journal of Occupational Science, 1-10. 

Gibson, C., & Farias, L. (2020). Deepening our collective understanding of decolonising education: A commentary on Simaan’s learning activity based on a Global South community. Journal of Occupational Science, 27(3), 445-448.

Magalhães, L., Farias, L., Rivas-Quarneti, N., Alvarez, L., & Malfitano, A. P. S. (2018). The development of occupational science outside the Anglophone sphere: Enacting global collaboration. Journal of Occupational Science, 1-12.


Western University, Canada (2018) - Ph.D. Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (field of Occupational Science)

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (2012) - European M.Sc. Occupational Therapy 

University of Chile (2008) – B.Sc. Human Occupation and Occupational Therapy Degree

Western University, Canada (2016) – Graduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning

Western University, Canada (2014) – Graduate Certificate in Academic and Professional Communication

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Recipient of Swedish Occupational Therapists Scholarship 2019

Recipient of Global Bridges Program for Junior Researchers (Strategic Grants SFO-V, Karolinska Institutet) 2019

Recipient of Ingela Petersson Lies Memorial Fund (NVS, Karolinska Institutet) 2019

Elected a Board member of the European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education (ENOTHE) 2018-present

Recipient of Ontario Trillium Scholarship (Doctoral Fellowship, Canada) 2013-2017

Recipient of Western Graduate Research Scholarship (Western University, Canada) 2013-2017

Recipient of Student Research Grant in Occupational Science from the Society for the Study of Occupation:USA 2016   

Recipient of Great Ideas for Teaching (GIFT) Award (Teaching Award, Western University) 2016

Recipient of Global Opportunities (GO) Award for Health Sciences (Western University) 2015

Recipient of the Canadian Society of Occupational Scientists Student Scholarship 2014

Recipient of the Linnaeus–Palme Scholarship for study abroad (Linnaeus-Palme Foundation, Sweden) 2007

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