Research Associates are postdoctoral fellows connected to the Centre, post-PhD fellows without fellowships, York graduate students and post-PhD scholars. Scholars who have completed a PhD may apply (with sponsorship from a Faculty Associate at the Robarts Centre) to become a Research Associate for a two-year term. Research Associates are expected to present their work during their period of affiliation and are particularly encouraged to do so at the annual graduate student conference.
Biographies and Research Profiles
(A)(li)ttle bit of this and that, Ali's interests are in the applications of technology within research and education. Since moving to Toronto in 2006, Ali has worked within a variety of companies dedicated to scaling some application of education technology. Ali is also pursuing his PhD studies in communications and culture. As a side, Ali also enjoys cultural studies and his work with such literature began during his formative years in Dubai when he sought to understand his family's diasporic identity - he engaged with texts from the Middle East, East Africa and the Indo-Pak and crystallized his understandings through a Masters in Sociology. When asked to describe himself, Ali said, "I fear water far more than I fear thirst : my thirst is my own but the water is not. I am in control of what I sip but not of what happens beyond the sip. Once I take a sip, I tacitly consent to be a slave of the water’s desire and at any moment it may choose to do with me whatsoever it may please. I live with and in this fear, a fear that reminds me to respect all that is around me.”
Michael Akladios is a Ph.D candidate in history at York University, working under the supervision of Dr. Roberto Perin. Michael's dissertation examines the transnational, pluricultural, and ecumenical history of Coptic Orthodox Christian immigrants, first in Egypt and then later in the first and largest immigrant communities in Toronto, Montreal, and New York. He charts this groups' immigration, settlement, integration, and associational activities since 1945. In addition to his doctoral research, Michael is the founder and project manager of the Coptic Canadian History Project (CCHP), a non-profit public history and community outreach organization affiliated with the Department of History and the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, York University Libraries.
Research Interests:Canadian History; Immigration and Ethnicity in North America; Middle East Studies; Coptic Studies; Transnationalism and Diaspora; Race and Racism.
Seyedmohsen Alavi is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Faculty of Environmental Studies.
Janice J. Anderson is a PhD candidate in Humanities at York University in Toronto. Her doctoral research, “Being Otherwise: Black Women’s Literary Interventions into Radical Being, Knowledge and Power,” considers self-fashioning and world-making in Black women’s intellectual traditions and literatures in the Americas. This research is supported by a Joseph Bombardier Scholarship. Her areas of research interest include the Black Radical Tradition, Black feminism/womanism, Black aesthetics and Black literatures. “I am grateful to the Robarts Centre for the support and space to examine Blackness in a Canadian context. Here I can further develop a scholarly practice that adheres to Canadian geographer Katherine Mc Kittrick’s admonishments to shift “our analytic frame away from the lone site of the suffering [Black] body” and “toward co-relational texts, practices, and narratives that emphasize black life” (McKittrick 2014). When the weather permits Anderson is an avid skier and member of the National Brotherhood of Skiers the oldest and largest Black ski club in world
Siobhan Angus is a Ph.D. Candidate in Art History and Visual Culture.
Megan is currently completing a M.A. in Health, with a Specialization in Policy and Equity, at York University. She recently completed an Honours BSocSc in Criminology and the Social Science of Health from the University of Ottawa. Megan’s research focuses on the health inequities incarcerated individuals in Canada experience and the systemic health inequities of the criminal justice system fostered by present policies. Megan sees her research as an opportunity to promote human rights and more equitable criminal justice policies.
Research Interests: health equity, criminal justice reform, health policy, health and well-being of incarcerated individuals, human rights.
Building on my training in fine arts (Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin, Strasbourg) and interdisciplinary Masters in Fine Arts, Critical Disability Studies, and STS (York), my research interests revolve around bodies and visual production. Previous and ongoing projects address mobilizations of disabled bodies in contemporary art and aspects of consent in research and in art production. My doctoral work explores the construction of normal and abnormal embodiments through the social and material processes that shape the creation of biomedical visualizations. As a female-dominated field, the invisibility of medical illustrators as agents of knowledge creation contributes to the perception of medical images as unfiltered representations of the scientific truth of bodies. Drawing on archival and ethnographic research in Canadian and US graduate programs in medical illustration, my dissertation, entitled Making Bodies, Making Kin: Story-telling and the Professionalization of Medical Illustrators in North America, examines the role of disciplinary histories, narratives, and kinship metaphors in the training and professionalization of medical illustrators from the 20th century to the present.
Nicole Bernhardt is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at York University, conducting research into the efficacy of systemic equity-driven change efforts within the framework of human rights. She has published peer-reviewed work on the racialized exclusions of the Canadian welfare state and is the 2015 award recipient of York University's Abella Scholarship for Studies in Equity. Nicole has also researched and presented on critical pedagogy; intersectionality and political representation; and Black Canadian identity.
Research Interests: Race and the Canadian justice system; human rights frameworks; feminist political economy; equity and institutions.
Sophie Bisson is a doctoral candidate in Music at York University, where she is the recipient of the Sunnuz Sarah Taheri Graduate Award in the Fine Arts.
She obtained a BA in voice from Queen’s University and an MA in musicology from the University of Montreal. During her undergraduate years, she created the first repertoire of 20th Century Canadian operas, a repertoire she recently updated to include 21st century works. Her MA thesis researched how institutional policies influence the creation of opera in Canada (Intersections 28/1 - 2008). Her current research focuses on the lyrical arts, specifically Canadian opera. Her interests range from digital humanities (challenge and possible solutions of new forms for disseminating large-scale projects such as an on-line encyclopedia of Canadian operas), the construction of gender in Canadian opera, and how ‘the other’ (women, LGBTQ, Indigenous character) is being portrayed and used, politically and financially, in Canadian Opera.
Recent conference presentations include “The Canadian Aria - repertoire, evolution, and thematic” (International Symposium on Singing and Song II, Memorial University, NL), “Re-‘righting’ the wrongs of Louis Riel’s Kuyas” (Niagara Society for Ethnomusicology, Ryerson University), and “Creating Community Alliances - The Suzuki Method” (SEM-MusCan, University of Toronto, Toronto).
Research Interests: Italian and Canadian operas, decolonising opera, alliance studies, lineage, music reception, and music in Canadian internment camps..
Dr. Sarah Blacker is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, and a Research Associate at the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. Her book manuscript in progress, Warding off Disease: Racialization and Health in Settler Colonial Canada, examines how public health and genomics initiatives tailored to racialized communities can exacerbate, rather than ameliorate, health inequities. She is currently teaching SOSC 3121 “Race and Health” in the Health & Society Program at York.
Jessica Caporusso is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at York University. Her research areas of interest include environmental justice, sustainable energy, and discard studies. Specifically, her research examines how “waste” — as an externality and as resource — is defined. Her dissertation investigates the transformation of sugarcane crop residues from “excess” to biofuel feedstock in the small-island developing state of Mauritius. Jessica’s work explores the multiple and contested meanings of waste and value in (post)colonial contexts while also tracking the development of bioenergy as a source of energetic, political, and economic power. She is an active contributor of the Plant Studies Collaboratory, EnviroSociety, and the York U Energy Working Group.
Jean-Philippe Carlos is Ph.D. in History (University of Sherbrooke, 2020). He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at York University in Toronto, where he works under the supervision of Professor Marcel Martel. Specializing in the intellectual and political history of Quebec and Canada in the 20th century, he is particularly interested in the history of ideas in French-speaking communities, socio-political movements, the history of economic thought and historiographical debates.
As part of his postdoctoral project, he studies the integration of economic experts within the high political spheres of the Quebec state during the Quiet Revolution, including their networks, ideas and strategies of influence. From a comparative perspective, he wants to compare the Quebec model to the Ontario model, in order to find out whether the two provinces share similarities in the development of scientific expertise and the deployment of economic technocracy in the second half of the 20th century.
Christopher is an M.A. Candidate in the Department of Geography. He holds a degree in Communication Arts (Journalism) from De La Salle University and took some master’s units in Geography at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, before moving to Toronto. In Manila, he worked for a few years in the non-profit sector, and has written for a number of publications in a freelance capacity.
His current research looks into the post-war history of the Jewish left -- with its base among working class immigrants and refugees from Europe --- and the critical contributions they made to labour, civil rights, and human rights causes within Canada. Jewish dissident identities were forged in the crucible of narratives, networks, and practices of solidarity within and beyond the diaspora community. But such solidarities intersected with, and were reshaped by, broader geopolitical concerns beyond Canada, in the context of the Cold War and events in Israel-Palestine.
Research Interests: labour history, transnational social movements, nationalism, historical geography, critical geopolitics, Jewish studies, peace and conflict studies. Regional: Israel-Palestine, North America, Philippines.
Francesca D’Amico-Cuthbert is a Ph.D. candidate in history at York University, working with Dr. Michele A. Johnson on the history of black popular music in Canada and the United States. Her dissertation, “Welcome to the Terrordome: Black Cartographies and the Discourses of the Dispossessed in the Dawning of American Rap Music, 1979-1995,” examines how black musicians used culture to nurture and render public private and subversive geographies of blackness in order to destabilize and re-configure the balance of power, and ultimately cast culture as immediately relevant to nation state politics. In 2016, Francesca was the recipient of the Canadian Historical Association’s Journal Prize for her article on Canadian Rap music, “‘The Mic Is My Piece’: Canadian Rap, the Gendered ‘Cool Pose’ and Music Industry Racialization and Regulation.” Francesca is also a filmmaker currently working on two documentary projects (and accompanying film curriculums) that focus on mixed race identities in North America and the history of Caribbean-Canadian social and cultural contributions to the city of Toronto..
Nivedita Das Kundu has a PhD from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. She held a Post-Doctorate at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, Washington DC. She is presently affiliated with York University as a York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) Research Fellow, a Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) Scholar, Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS) Fellow and member of the Borealis Council. Her research expertise focuses on geopolitics, geo-economics, foreign policy, and on the strategic dimensions of security including WMD. Her area of study also includes border and forced migration issues and concerns; as well as research on climate change and Arctic issues.
Arshad Desai holds a B.A. in History and the Black Canadian Studies Certificate from York University. As an undergraduate student at York, Ash co-founded the Harriet Tubman Junior Fellows initiative and organized the inaugural “Blackness in the Academy” Symposium.
With an emphasis on oral history, he seeks to uncover the role of Black Canadian activism in Southern African liberation movements in the mid-twentieth century. The role of Canadian Black organizations in the transnational struggle against anti-apartheid is important for its influence on Black activism’s eventual pivot towards combating systemic racism in Canada.
Born in South Africa to a Black anti-apartheid Freedom Fighter, Ash knows the importance of oral history and its necessity in retelling the narratives of Freedom Fighters. He seeks to emphasize the importance of Canadian Black activism both within Canada and in African liberation movements.
Patrick Desjardins is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at York University. Employing a comparative perspective, his dissertation asks, “Why do some federal countries exhibit greater intergovernmental accountability than others”? Focusing on the nexus of representation of federated units in national legislatures and regionalism as a political force, he compares the politics of intergovernmental accountability in Canada, Australia, Austria and Switzerland by relating each country’s intergovernmental accountability regimes to the representation of federated units in national legislatures.
Dissertation aside, Patrick is also interested in Canadian language policy and politics, varieties of federalism(s), federalism and social policy, and the influence of federalism on civil society.
Alana Duggan is a PhD student in Art History and Visual Culture. Her research focuses on settler colonial studies and a critique of 19th-century imperial visual culture and the establishment of colonial cultural institutions in Canada.
Gilberto Fernandes is an academic and public historian of migration, ethnicity, race, and labour in North America, especially the history of Portuguese and other Lusophone diasporas in North America, and the construction industry and its labour organization in Toronto. He is the author of various scholarly articles on these topics, and of the book This Pilgrim Nation: the Making of Portuguese Diaspora in Postwar North America. Fernandes is the co-founder and lead director of the Portuguese Canadian History Project, through which he has delivered an extensive public history program, including archival outreach, online and travelling exhibits, popular publications, public lectures, youth summer programs, walking tours, and others. With the research and public history project "City Builders: a History of Immigrant Construction Workers in Postwar Toronto," Fernandes has produced, directed, and written a documentary and oral history video series; curated a travelling multimedia exhibition; developed and designed a website with multiple digital history features; and oversaw the digitization of close to 3,200 archival photos. The City Builders was the recipient of a Lieutenant Governor of Ontario's Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation in 2019 and has drawn a great deal of media attention. Fernandes has also been a course director in the Department of History at York University.
Research Interests: Migration, ethnicity, and race in North America; Portuguese and other Lusophone diasporas; Portugal's soft power; Ontario's construction industry and its labour organization; Toronto's riot and protest history; public and digital history
Samuel Forrest is a M.A. Candidate in the Department of Communication and Culture, specializing in the stream of politics and policy. He also holds a BA in Film and Media Studies from Queen’s University. His research explores the intersection of myth construction and celebrity in political narratives, as well as the increasing media focus on political leadership over party branding. His Master’s thesis investigates the image construction of Canadian political party leaders as ideological archetypes for Canadian values.
Research Interests: Political communications, myth and cultural studies, news media, film and television narrative, popular culture, celebrity studies.
Karl Gardner is an organizer, educator, and student committed to migrant justice and Indigenous solidarity. He is pursuing a PhD in Political Science at York University, where he engages in research on social movements, citizenship and immigration, and municipal politics in Canada. Specifically, his work focuses on the relationship between migrant justice movements and sanctuary city policies in Canada, and the potential to envision a new local politics of citizenship and solidarity within and against state-defined categories of migrant ‘il/legality’. His side projects touch on theories and practices Indigenous-settler solidarity; settler colonialism and the Canadian identity; and neoliberalism, gentrification, and ‘social mixing’ policies in Toronto.
Research Interests: citizenship and immigration; social movements; sanctuary cities; Canadian politics; municipal politics; settler colonialism; decolonization
Racelar Ho is a PhD student in Digital Media at York University under supervision by Professor Graham Wakefield. She completed her master’s degree of Experimental Art and bachelor degree of Architecture and Landscape Design from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts(GAFA) with prominent achievements on both research and creation and also studied in Sculpture Creation at Sungshin Women University as an exchange student.
As a researcher, she primarily focuses on 'the viability of digital games as an independent genre of fine arts', 'the history, development, and discourses features of computer-generated arts', 'the influence of dialogues methodologies between creators and audiences under infinite virtual environments' and seeks a way to smooth the gaps within science and humanities.
As an artist, to construct a hybrid-infinite world to express her poetic thoughts about Zen dialogues in different dimensions and to explore the idealistic world of transcendent beings are vital aims of her creation. This is the world which separates into four sections - objective realm, subjective realm, transcendental subjective realm, and transcendent objective realm - to reflect and observe the world of life existence.
Anne Jackson is a 4th year PhD candidate in CDS with a research thesis in unconscious biases in film and television towards people with disabilities as portrayed in modern film and televsion. She completed her masters in Inclusive Design at OCADU, 2015 creating a practice based research project; scuba diving with a disability, a documentary film about Tom scuba diving with quadriplegia. She has created more short documentaries on the subject of reducing the divide between able/disable
By profession, Anne Jackson is an IT Accessibility Consultant working in all electronic media to help make the world a more inclusive place.
Azeezah completed a BSc (Hons) at the University of Toronto in Health Studies. She is pursuing a Masters in Health with a specialization in Health Policy and Equity. Azeezah's current research focuses on special education policies and their relation to the school to prison pipeline in Ontario. Throughout her academic career and through her work in the non-profit sector, Azeezah also developed an interest in disability rights, transforming public education, and sustainable, community-based programming. Azeezah uses an intersectional lens to inform her research and aims to do the same in policy and practice, to the best of her ability.
Cassandra Jesik (she/her) is currently a student in the M.A. Art History program at York University. Her current work centres on Canadian artist Joyce Wieland’s depictions of the Arctic during the 1970s and early 1980s. As a researcher, Cassandra is passionate about bringing attention to handicrafts and textile arts, which have been historically neglected from the canon of art history. Interested in exploring ideas of sovereignty, land and politics, Cassandra aspires to work as a curator, envisioning exhibitions as a way to challenge current discourses and amplify underrepresented voices.
Whether in the field of health, human rights, or disability rights, Cindy Jiang's passion is working with people to create community. Cindy conducted research for the Strength in Unity (Vancouver site) project, a national men’s mental health research study looking at how to reduce the stigma of mental illness among Asian men in Canada. While working in the non-profit sector, she co-developed and implemented a social enterprise and skills training program, Threadworks, for people with disabilities in Vancouver. This program empowered participants used their newly learned skills to earn income in addition to their social benefits.
She has worked organizations such as the Centre for Excellence for Women’s Health, Simon Fraser University, Craftworks Society, the Fraser Health Authority, the Provincial Health Services Authority, and York University. Her research interests include social inequities in health, particularly mental health and disability health promotion.
Currently, she is in the first year of her PhD program in Critical Disability Studies at York.
Benjamin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics at York University with a focus in security studies. He is currently supervised by Gabrielle Slowey (Robarts Director) and is researching the use and development of surveillance technologies in the Canadian Arctic within a critical security framework. Specifically, Benjamin is examining how these technologies are expected to contribute to the defence of Canada's Arctic sovereignty and whether they represent a continuation or new defence strategy by the Canadian state.
Research Interests: International Relations; Security Studies; Political Economy; Canadian politics; Labour Studies.
Colleen Kaiser is a fourth year PhD student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, where she studies climate change policy and economics under the supervision of Dr. Mark Winfield. Specifically, her dissertation focuses on climate policy integration in California and Ontario’s road passenger transportation sector as a means of operationalizing a polycentric approach to climate change governance. Colleen also completed a MSc in Environmental Policy in Regulation from the London School of Economics where she received a distinction for her final work, which focused on nuclear energy policy in Ontario. Outside of academics Colleen has worked as an environmental consultant, most recently for the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation where she developed a comprehensive database and subsequent GIS maps delineating water quality monitoring and hydraulic fracking locations in the Mackenzie River Basin.
Shruti is attached to York University’s PhD program in the Gender, Feminist and Women’s studies department. Her training includes an interdisciplinary background in business management and women’s studies. She has over ten years of experience in gender research that includes evaluation projects on social policy and non-profit governance. Shruti’s specific interests include Informal, care work performed by immigrant women and their interactions with multiple stakeholders like family, state, local government and social economy. At York, she teaches in the fields of gender, work and social economy basics, including governance issues of co-operatives, non-profits, and civil society organizations.
Alia Karim is a Ph. D candidate in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. She has a Master of Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University and Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Mount Allison University.
Her research interests include Indigenous labour, Canadian labour movements, labour-community coalitions, labour geography, anti-colonial, anti-racist and feminist political economy, and eco-socialism. She is currently exploring the relations between humans, nature, and economic ‘growth’ in the fields of Indigenous studies, Marxist ecology, eco-feminism, and ecological economics.
In her doctoral research, she will further investigate the ‘hidden’ histories of Indigenous labourers in Canada and their importance in the national economy, relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers, and consider how non-Indigenous people can learn from Indigenous worldviews about the relations between land, production, and all living beings (including non-human beings). She has recently written about the Just Transition movement for an energy transition that protects workers and centers social equity, and how immigrant and racialized women are organizing against precarious work.
In addition to her academic research, she is the coordinator of the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign at York University, and she is VP Campaigns in the York University Graduate Students’ Association.
Ryan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics at York University with a focus on urban governance and politics. He is currently supervised by Karen Murray and is researching the intergovernmental relationship between the province of Ontario and the City of Toronto during the last 25 years of state neoliberalization. Specifically, Ryan is examining how this intergovernmental relationship is used to further depoliticize and de-democratize governance and decision-making processes in the City of Toronto. Most recently, he has explored creative city discourse and critical urban theory in Toronto, resulting in the (forthcoming) article “Morality on Tap: The Production and Consumption of Morality by “’Vegandale’” in the Canadian Journal of Urban Research.
Research Interests: urban governance; political economy; Canadian politics; actually-existing neoliberalism; neoliberalism; democracy; critical urban theory.
Michael is a PhD student is the Faculty of Education. Michael has presented at international and national conferences on issues relating to education, sustainability, politics and housing. He has over a decade of experience in positions of leadership and management, serving as an Executive Director, President, Board Member and Office Manager for various organizations. Michael has been the recipient of over 20 awards and scholarships for his professional and academic work. He is currently completing his dissertation research on environmental education and post-secondary students.
Zainab Khan is a M.A student in the Department of Health, specializing in Health Policy and Equity. She has obtained an Honours B.Sc in Health Studies, with a Pre-Clinical Specialization at the University of Waterloo (2020). Her current research focuses on the impact of Islamophobia on the mental-wellbeing of post-secondary students. She aims to understand the perspectives of students at York University to determine the effect that targeted discrimination has on Muslim minorities.
Evangeline Kroon is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics at York University where her interests include elections and the environment, women and violence within popular culture, as well as gender and its role in Canadian politics. Her current research looks at Green party success in Guelph, Ontario and the political, environmental, and gendered aspects that contributed to this success. More broadly, her research traces the history of Green party success in Canada, Western Europe, and Oceania. Prior to coming to York, Evangeline examined narratives of violence against women in post-apocalyptic pop-culture to earn her MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy at the University of Guelph.
Research Interests: Politics and Government; Elections; Canadian Politics; Environment; Climate Change; Feminist Theory; Gender Issues; European Politics; Violence and Society, Popular Culture
Stephanie Latella is a PhD candidate in Social and Political Thought at York University. Situated in the fields of white settler colonial studies, queer of colour critique, and cultural studies, her work concerns nationalism in Quebec from the 1960s to the present. Her dissertation project examines how narratives of the October Crisis construct race, gender, and sexuality in different political and historical moments from 1970 to the present.
Michael Laurentius is a Doctoral Student within the Department of Science and Technology Studies. Prior to this, they received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Arts in Science and Technology Studies. Their Master's work focused on how Canadian Cold War technological projects redefined and reconstructed the classical modernist narrative though the exploitation of the inherent tensions within said narrative. For their Doctoral work, they are in the preliminary stages of examining shifts and tensions within Canada's atomic cultural history, narratives, and imaginaries during the period that roughly corresponds with America's Early and High Atomic Culture (1942 - 1963).
Research Interests: Atomic cultural history; science, technology, and identity; concepts of modernity; Cold War narratives; technological imaginaries.
Harmony Law is a PhD candidate in the Department of Humanities at York University. She, however, comes from a diverse academic background: an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and World Religions from the University of Toronto; and a Masters of Arts in Translation Studies from the Glendon campus of York University. Currently, Harmony’s interest is in Canadian multiculturalism, particularly from an anti-racist perspective. She is also interested the artistic and literary expressions minority authors and artists have produced, examining them as acts of subjectivity. Thus, her dissertation project focuses on Chinese Canadian life-writing as a lens to examine both the permutations and criticisms of the model minority discourse as a form of privilege. In addition to her own research, Harmony is also a teaching assistant at York University, and has taught classes in both Canadian Studies and Diaspora Studies.
Through diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), design thinking (DT) and critical disability studies (CDS) lenses -- my PhD research focuses on the microeconomic business case for accessibility. Microeconomic data being more down-to-earth, and therefore more convincing to the business-minded than macroeconomic data, my proposed PhD research will produce powerful new ammunition to advance the accessibility cause in Canada and internationally. While qualitative data is very important, especially for interpreting and contextualizing quantitative data, it is quantitative oriented research that provide the critical constituent elements of the business case for accessibility. Therefore, my PhD dissertation will focus on the history of the business case for accessibility.
Signy Lynch is working on her Ph.D in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at York. Her research investigates how direct audience address in contemporary performance can help audience members and performers to negotiate the complexities of inhabiting a twenty-first century globalized Canada. Signy is a member of the Centre for Spectatorship at the University of Toronto and a board member at Cahoots Theatre which has just finished celebrating 30 years of staging diversity in Toronto.
Research Interests: contemporary Canadian theatre and performance, intercultural performance, digital performance, performer-audience relations, popular culture, and politics and performance
Christopher McAteer is a PhD student in Social and Political Thought at York University with research interests in the aesthetics of wilderness and the politics of the Canadian Arctic. He holds a BMus from the Royal Academy of Music, London, and an MA in International Relations from Queen's University, Belfast.
Christopher's interdisciplinary research draws on his academic and artistic backgrounds to radically critique how we imagine the Canadian Arctic. He is interested in the political meaning and uses of the idea of wilderness and how indigenous Northern artists are decolonizing prevalent Arctic imaginaries.
As a composer his work has been performed across the UK and Ireland, receiving awards including the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize (2013) and West Cork Festival Composition Bursary (2014). During 2015, he wrote the libretto and score for a new opera based on the life of Roger Casement, with funding from Arts Council Ireland. He was a Moving on Music Emerging Artist during 2017/18. His music has been performed by ensembles including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, Kirkos Ensemble, and Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra.
Research Interests:Arctic studies; international relations theory; post-colonialism; post-humanism; human geography; politics of wilderness; cinema studies; music studies..
Ola Mohammed is a PhD Candidate in Social and Political Thought as well as an executive member of the Black Graduate Students’ Collective at York University. Her doctoral research uses an interdisciplinary Black studies, Sound studies and Popular Music studies approach to theorize Black sonic practices within Canada. More specifically, her work explores the ways in which tuning into Black sonic Canada[s] informs us of the cultural politics of listening by examining the social production, regulation and surveillance of blackness within the nation-state via everyday, municipal and state level practices of anti-black racism, as well as the tremblings of possibility that Black cultural producers and audiences create to resist and exist despite these muted violences.
Research Interests: Black Studies, Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Sound Studies, Race and Technology and Popular Music.
Michael Molavi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science. His research explores class action policy in Ontario from the perspective of multilayer access to justice, with a particular focus on environmental actions. Within this field, he examines developments in access to justice policy and discourse, third party litigation financing, private enforcement regimes, and the political economy of class actions.
Research Interests: Access to justice; politics of law; class actions; political economy; Canadian and comparative public policy; social reproduction; environmental governance; policy enforcement.
Santina completed a BSc (Hons) in Psychology at Acadia University and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Health Policy and Equity within the School of Health Policy and Management at York University. Under the supervision of Dr. Claudia Chaufan, Santina’s research is focused on Canada’s policy response to public health emergencies and its impact on the mental health of frontline health care workers, with particular interest in the 2003 SARS epidemic and the present COVID-19 pandemic. Santina is an active member of the York University community, mental health advocate, and avid learner who is dedicated to the pursuit of health equity through policy reform.
Research Interests: health policy and equity, mental health, mental health and social inequity, health care working conditions, mental health reform, emergency policy response.
Mara Nagy hold a BSocSc, Hons, from the University of Ottawa, in Conflict Studies and Human Rights. She also holds a BEd and an MEd, both from York University. She is currently embarking on a PhD at York, and her doctoral research is set to take her into areas of migration, memory, education, urban (and suburban) culture, and socioanthropology, as she looks into the demographic shifts in South Scarborough over the last century, exploring the push and pull factors, as well as the social and political impacts these changes have had on the area. She will additionally be looking into R. H. King Academy in Scarborough (the oldest high school in the city) as a case study on how schools adapt to meet the needs of these changes, and especially how the first-generation student's relationship with their family and this cultural intersection is impacted by their schooling. She has previously worked in politics and in education, and hopes to use these experiences to inform her research as well.
Sherkhan Nasim is a graduate student in the Socio-Legal Studies program working towards his MA. He completed an Honour's BA in Sociology with a Concentration in Criminology and Minor in Psychology, for his Honour's thesis he studied drug prohibition and safe injection sites. His current research involves exploring the ways in which the ongoing global refugee crisis has affected Canadian immigration and asylum policies. He came to York University for its highly progressive social science program and critical outlook on pedagogy.
Océane is a master's student from Montreal. She is interested in how Afro-Canadians create and sustain their [dual] identity online.
Joanna L. Pearce is a Ph.D. candidate in history at York University, working with Dr. Carolyn Podruchny. Her dissertation, “Which naught but the light of knowledge can dispel”: Experiencing Blindness in Nineteenth-Century Ontario, examines the experiences of blind people who did not attend residential schools. Her previous research, on the establishment of free education for blind children in Nova Scotia, was published in the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association in 2012. She is a recipient of the 2015-2016 Avie Bennett Historica Chair scholarship for research in Canadian History. She received her Master's degree in history from Dalhousie University. Her MA thesis, titled "Fighting in the Dark: Charles Frederick Fraser and the Halifax Asylum for the Blind, 1850-1915," has been cited twice on wikipedia. Sadly, both articles are stubs.
Pamela is a graduate student working towards her MA in political science and a certificate in democratic administration. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (honours) at Queen's University, graduating with distinction while majoring in political studies and a minor in classical studies. For her honour's thesis she examined the landscape of Big Data and surveillance, comparatively investigating the dynamics underpinning dataification of societies in the US and China. Her current research includes areas such as critical data studies, political economy, political sociology, (new) media, and the ways in which feminist and decolonial thought can inform the production of knowledge and its application in policy and society.
Evania Pietrangelo-Porco is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at York University. Her research interests include twentieth century Canadian history, nineteenth and twentieth century Gender/Feminist history, and North American Indigenous history. She is the recipient of the Women's Canadian Historical Society of Toronto Graduate Scholarship (2021), the Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS-Master’s Scholarship (2019-2020), the CSN-RÉC Best Undergraduate Essay Prize (2019), and the Odessa Prize for the Study of Canada (2018-2019).
Julia Polyck-O’Neill is an artist, curator, critic, poet, and writer. A former lecturer at the Obama Institute at Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz (2017-18), international fellow of the Electronic Literature Organization, and fellow of the Editing Modernism in Canada project, she is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Visual Art and Art History and the Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts and Technology at York University where she studies digital, feminist approaches to interdisciplinary artists’ archives for her project, Potential Archives: Envisioning the Future of the Interdisciplinary Artist Archive in Canada. She is currently developing a monograph based on her SSHRC-supported dissertation, Rematerializing the Immaterial: A Comparative Study of Vancouver’s Conceptual Visual Arts and Writing, which she completed at Brock University. Her writing has been published in Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft (The Journal for Aesthetics and General Art History), English Studies in Canada, DeGruyter Open Cultural Studies, BC Studies, Canadian Literature, Avant Canada: Poets, Prophets, Revolutionaries (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2019), and other places.
Lindsay Presswell is an M.A. Candidate in the Graduate Program in English at York University. She holds an Honours B.A. in English from York University (’15). Her research explores how Canadian poet Anne Carson’s work fits into mythic and occult traditions in literature, and how Carson uses technology and multimedia to transform the way her poetry is read.
Dr. Jen Preston holds a PhD in Social and Political Thought from York University. Her research focuses on oil and gas extraction in Canada and its relationship to settler colonialism. Her research has been published in journals such as Race & Class, Cultural Studies, and Nouveaux Cahiers du socialisme.
Venilla Rajaguru is a Board Director of Science for Peace (Canada), and the Chair of a pan-university research-working group on Ocean Frontiers under Science for Peace. She also serves as an honorary council member of the International Peace Bureau (Geneva); and has previously served as the honorary Chair of ASEAN Secretariat Women’s Wing (ASEAN) 2009-2011. While she is on the last phase of completing her Ph. D dissertation at York University (Canada), she has been contracted as a Course Director at York for undergraduate courses on ‘Science and Technology Issues in Global Development’ (Dept. of Science & Technology Studies) and ‘Natural Resource Management’ (Environmental Studies).
Her educational background is in Science & Technology Studies, International Law and International Development. Her former degrees are from the University of Oxford and Cornell. She is the winner of the 2016 Vivienne-Poy Award for doctoral research on Asia; recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for doctoral research in 2014; and Rhodes Scholar 1992. Her previous work experience spans public communications, radio news broadcasting, community outreach, and corporate social responsibility consulting. After getting back to academia, her research focus is on the S & T of transboundary infrastructure development, particularly those concerning maritime regions, peace regimes, regional and international security. Her publications include a book of poems, research based articles on the socio-politics of Southeast Asia, and on the S & T of artificial island constructions.
Research Interests: Transboundary infrastructure development and transnational/International Relations; Regional, International and Collective Security; Peace Regimes, pacification and global governance; S & T policies entangled with global development and foreign policies; Natural resources governance, sustainable development goals (United Nations SDGs) and multilateral joint development; International Development, and International Law
Steven Rita-Procter received his PhD from the English Department at York University with a specialization in transitional justice and memory studies. His dissertation, “Narratology, Rhetoric, and Transitional Justice: the Function of Narrative in Redressing the Legacy of Mass Atrocities” considered the history-writing aspect of transitional justice reports and the complex ways in which truth commissions and human rights tribunals shape the political, cultural, and ideological contexts according to which national traumas are absorbed into the cultural storytelling process. He has published on a wide and interdisciplinary range of topics, including: impunity laws and the politics of exposing human rights perpetrators, the ethics of extrajudicial human rights activism, the architecture of genocide memorials, the protest art of Kent Monkman and León Ferrari, the poetry of Juan Gelman, and post-atrocity archival practises. Steven has attended several human rights tribunals as both an honourary witness and as a trial monitor and has worked as a testimonial archivist for Residential School survivors.
Siobhan Saravanamuttu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Politics at York University. Her doctoral research examines employment policy and social assistance for intellectually disabled workers in Ontario. More broadly she is interested in the historic and present-day practices of institutionalization and eugenics in Canada and their linkages to contemporary state-funded disability services and programs.
Raj Singh is a guitarist, percussionist, and doctoral candidate in Ethnomusicology in the Department of Music. Raj received her BA Hons. in English, BFA in Music, MA in Music at York University.
Her Master’s research focused on the cajón and its place in Afro-Peruvian music and cultural heritage. Her major research paper explored how the cajón’s cultural impact remains bound to notions of Afro-Peruvian heritage, representation and identity. She also examined the integration and role of the cajón in Spanish Flamenco, and the repercussions it had on Afro-Peruvian musicians as it became the most adaptable and sought after percussion instrument in Flamenco performance.
Her doctoral thesis focuses on Inuit Modernity and how Inuit musicians in Canada innovate and re-contextualize traditional music by incorporating contemporary musical forms to include new realms of lived experiences. Her doctoral work also interrogates notions of tradition in both western and Indigenous thought, gender, identity, language, and issues of race as they relate to communal notions of belonging. Raj conducts collaborative research through the Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage (MICH) SSHRC Partnership Grant.
Under the supervision of Geoffrey Reaume, Kira’s current research explores the experiences of children in Canadian provincial asylums from the period of 1870-1940. Her dissertation, Institutionalizing Mad Children in Canada 1870-1940, will blend both traditional historical narrative styles and fictional writing. Kira received her master’s degree at Carleton University in Public History, where she wrote a novella on patient experiences at the Brockville Asylum and an accompanying reflection. This research has been presented globally at the University of Tampere (Finland), the National Council for Public History (Las Vegas, NV), and the University of New Brunswick.
Kira also works as a historian for both the public and private sectors, focusing on Métis and Inuit histories, and is one of the founding members of the Psychiatric Survivor Oral History Archive, where she works with a collective of individuals seeking to preserve the community’s histories.
Laura Tanguay is a second year PhD student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. In her doctoral research, she investigates environmental histories and repercussions of the DEW Line, which sprawls across the Arctic. Engaging with concepts of environmental justice, militarization, and institutionalized 'othering,' she connects facets of neoliberalism with public complacency in the disruption of natural landscapes for state-driven capitalistic interests.
Patrick is a PhD student at York’s Social and Political Thought Programme. Broadly speaking, his research projects cohere around the structural relation between anti-Blackness and settler-colonialism; the politics of knowledge within settler-colonial epistemological formations (which he analyzes through his concept of necro-epistemology); and the ontology of race. His doctoral research attempts to theorize the biosocial formation of race by situating current research in epigenetics alongside Black and Indigenous theories of temporality and embodiment. Mobilizing epigenetics as way to think through and complicate temporalities of biosocial racialization, his research demonstrates how sites of so-called ‘historical’ trauma epigenetically manifest into and beyond the present, theorizing the body as a bio-temporal accretion enmeshed within (rather than extricated from) the longue durée of settler-colonialism, conquest, and slavery.
Research Interests: settler-colonial studies; Black studies – particularly Afropessimism; biopolitics; science and technology studies; posthumanism; abolitionist university studies; and the history of ideas.
Brent Toye is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics studying the political economy of education and training in Canada. His work focuses on how powerful private interests interact with state institutions and shape public policy. His dissertation research looks at the role of large firms and dominant economic sectors in different subnational jurisdictions and how they influence regional training and labour market regimes. His side projects include a comparative study of fiscal federalism and its relationship to ‘financialization’ and the modern debt state.
Research Interests:Comparative political economy; skill formation; Canadian political economy; comparative federalism; labour market policy; financialization; fiscal federalism; fiscal policy .
Evan Vipond is a Ph.D. Candidate in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York University. Evan’s work is interdisciplinary and engages with trans theory, feminist theory, critical race theory, queer theory, political theory, and cultural theory. Their doctoral project, Trans Liberalism: Trans Rights and the U.S. Military, critical examines advocacy efforts to lift the U.S. military’s trans ban. Evan has conducted both academy- and community-based research with trans and nonbinary people throughout Ontario. Their work has been published in a/b: Auto/Biography Studies (2018), Canadian Review of Social Policy (2017), Gender and Education (2017), Queer Cats Journal of LGBT Studies (2016), Western Journal of Legal Studies (2015), and Theory in Action (2015). Research interests includes neoliberalism, trans rights and politics, and trans representation in mainstream media.
Melanie Wilmink is a doctoral candidate in Art History and Visual Culture at York University, where she is a recipient of a 2014 York University Elia Scholars Award and a 2015 SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. Her research examines the inter-connectivity between spectatorial experience and exhibition spaces, and aims to determine how public art situations act as vehicles for metaphoric and physical transportation. She completed her MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Film and Visual Arts) at the University of Regina, where she was a research assistant on Dr. Christine Ramsay’s SSHRC funded “Atom Egoyan In Media Res” exhibition project, and was awarded a Joseph-Bombardier Canada Graduate Masters Scholarship in 2013. Her ongoing research was developed through her experience as Programming Coordinator for the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers and its $100 Film Festival (an avant-garde Super 8 and 16mm event established in 1992), as a board member of the Toronto-based Pleasure Dome media arts exhibition collective, and her ongoing independent curating practice.
For more information visit: www.mwilmink.wordpress.com
Harshita Yalamarty is a PhD candidate in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York University, Toronto (Tkaronto) Canada. She is an international student from India. Her doctoral work examines the experiences of marriage migrant women from India to Canada, in relation to migration policies, expectations of household and care labour, as well as caste communities in the diaspora. She is also involved in community conversations around migrant workers’ rights, Indigenous rights and settler colonialism and Hindu right-wing mobilization in India and Canada. She is a teaching assistant at York University and has also taught at University of Delhi.
Erin Yunes is a digital artist, entrepreneur, and lifelong student. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art History and Visual Culture. Erin received her B.A. in Journalism at the University of New Hampshire, M.S. in Arts Administration at Boston University, and a Graduate Certificate in International Relations at Boston University, Brussels. She studied European copyright and institutional framework at IDEC at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and comparative cultural policy Goldsmiths College at the University of London. Her work focuses on issues surrounding globalization, technological access, funding, and the prospect of art practices in a digitized society. Erin conducts collaborative research through the Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage project on the contribution of digital media in Inuit cultural preservation, social well-being, and identity in Nunavut.