University of Calgary

Ilyan Ferrer

  • Assistant Professor
  • Advocacy
  • Community Development & Practice
  • Gerontology
  • Immigrant & Refugee Issues
  • Multicultural/Diversity Issues

Research Interests

Critical and Digital Methodologies:

Intersectionality and Life Course:

Social and Critical Gerontology:

Currently Teaching


Ilyan Ferrer joined the Faculty of Social Work as an assistant professor in January 2017. His research focuses on the intersections of aging, im/migration, labour, and care experiences of racialized communities in Canada. Ilyan’s work incorporates intersectionality, oral history, and anti-oppressive social work theory and practice. He was also involved in community organizing, skills and capacity building within the Filipino-Canadian diaspora.

Current Research

Ferrer, I. (PI), Shaw, J., & Lorenzetti, L. (June 2017 – May 2019). Making social work accessible through the airwaves: Developing podcasting as a pedagogical approach for experiential teaching and learning. Scholarship for Teaching and Learning Grant (SoTL).

Brotman, S., Koehn, S., & Ferrer, I. (Co-I) (May 2014 – June 2017). The lived experiences of aging immigrants: A narrative photovoice project. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant (SSHRC-IDG).


PhD, McGill University 

MSW, McGill University

BSW, McGill University

Professional and Community Associations

  • Alberta College of Social Workers
  • Canadian Association for Social Work Education 
  • Canadian Association on Gerontology 


- 2019 Faculty of Social Work Undergraduate (BSW) Teaching Excellence Award

- 2019 McGill University Arts Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences

- Centre de recherché et d’expertise en gerontologie sociale (CREGES) Doctoral Award

- Fonds de recherché sur la societe et la culture (FQRSC) Doctoral Scholarship 

- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Scholarship 

Publications from 2014 - Present

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:

Brotman, S., Ferrer, I. & Koehn, S. (in press). Situating the life history narratives of aging immigrants within a structural context: The intersectional life course perspective as research praxis. Qualitative Inquiry.

Brotman, S., Ferrer, I., Koehn, S., & Delgado, P. (2019). L’isolement social chez les immigrant-e-s âgés au Canada: Une question de droits de la personne. Ligue des droits et libertes, 37-41.

Ferrer, I., Brotman, S., & Grenier, A.  (2017). The Experiences of Reciprocity among Filipino Older Adults in Canada: Intergenerational, Transnational, and Community Considerations. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 60(4), 313-327.

Ferrer, I., Grenier, A., & Brotman, S.(2017). Developing a theoretical framework integrating intersectionality and critical life course. Journal of Aging Studies, 41, 10-17.

Ferrer, I. (2017) Aging Filipino domestic workers and the (in)adequacy of retirement in Canada. Canadian Journal on Aging, 36(1),15-29.

Ferrer, I. (2015). Examining the disjunctures between policy and care in Canada’s Parent and Grandparent Supervisa, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 11(4),253-267.

Brotman, S., & Ferrer, I. (2015). Diversity within family caregiving: Extending definitions of ‘who counts’ to include marginalized communities. Healthcare papers, 15(1), 47-53. 

Ferrer, I. (2014). Aging and domestic work: Exploring the experiences of Filipino domestic workers in Canada, PluriAges Journal, 5(1), 35-40.

Lee, E., & Ferrer, I. (2014). Examining social work as a Canadian settler colonial project: Colonial continuities of circles of reform, civilization, and in/visibility, Journal of Critical Anti-Oppressive Social Inquiry, 1(1), 1-20.


Hulko, W., Stern, L., Brotman, S., & Ferrer, I. (in press). Gerontological social work in action: Anti-oppressive practice with older adults, families and communities. Routledge.

Book chapters:

Ferrer, I. (2018). Combatting racism through the intergenerational life course: Case example of the Filipino community. In D. Este, L. Lorenzetti, & C. Sato, (Eds). Canada without racism: A call to action. Fernwood Publishing, Winnipeg, MA.

Ferrer, I. & Brotman, S. (2018). Remise en question du mythe des soins assumés par la famille chez les immigrants issus des communautés ethnoculturelles minoritaires : les enjeux de la prestation de soins aux aînés au Québec (pp. 265-274). In AM Seguin, P. Marier, V. Billette. (eds.) Le Vieillissement sous la loupe: entre mythes et réalités. QC : Presses de l’Université Laval.

Beauchamp, J., Brotman, S., Chamberland, L., & Ferrer, I. (2018). Contrer le mythe de la famille hétéro-nucléaire dans le soutien et les soins apportés aux aînés LGBT (pp. 257-264). In AM Seguin, P. Marier, V. Billette. (eds.) Le Vieillissement sous la loupe: entre mythes et réalités. QC : Presses del ’Université Laval

Hulko, W., Brotman, S., & Ferrer, I. (2017). Counter storytelling as a form of resistance: Doing anti-oppressive social work with minoritized? older adults and their families. In D. Baines (ed.), Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice: Social Justice Social Work, 3rd edition (193-208). Halifax, N.S.: Fernwood Publication.

Brotman, S., Ferrer, I., Sussman, T., Ryan, B., & Richard, B. (2015) Access and equity in the design and delivery of health and social care to LGBTQ older adults. In Nancy A. Orel & Christine A. Fruhauf (Eds.), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) older adults and their families (pp. 111-140). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. 

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