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PhD student biographies

Current Students

Patricia Branco Cornish

Patricia’s research uses oral history as a research method to investigate how rights violations are experienced and remembered from a gendered perspective. Her investigation focuses on women personal stories who engaged with artistic practices to resist and criticize censorship and rigid societal rules under the Brazilian dictatorship (1964-1985). She combines discursive and visual culture analysis when using art objects as triggers for memories related to dictatorial regimes. This research has a multidisciplinary approach encompassing memory and nostalgia theories from a cultural studies perspective, visual culture, feminism, media and postcolonial studies. She is a member of the Feminist Media Studio, and GradProSkills communications assistant.

Patricia holds a master’s degree in Aesthetics and Art History from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She investigated the art production by Brazilian female artists as a tool for self-representation and to oppose rigid social moral values. She co-authored an article about private collections under museum administration in a case study of financial fraud.

Pénélope Chandonnet

Pénélope Chandonnet is a first-year PhD student in Communication Studies. Her main research interest centres on how girls participate and integrate popular culture in every day life. She is also concerned about ethics and methodologies in girls’ studies. For her M.A. Thesis, she wanted to have a better understanding of the meaning that teenage girls give to a serialized fiction that addresses youth suicide, especially in the context of moral panic. To do so, she focused on the series13 Reasons Why, which was followed by a polemic in the media after its arrival on Netflix. For her PhD Thesis, she is working under the supervision of Monika Gagnon. Pénélope Chandonnet wishes to understand how, from early childhood, girls from diverse ethnic and cultural background make sense of Disney Princesses’ cultural products in their everyday lives, including the movies, series, websites, toys, clothes, etc.

Mengshu Chen

Mengshu Chen obtained her BA and MA in communication at Tongji University, Shanghai, China, and works as a lecturer at the School of Journalism, Yunnan University, Kunming, China. She is currently in her third year of her PhD in communications studies at Concordia University. Her research interests centre around the intersection of journalistic practices and digital technology. Her current research is an ethnographical research into the contested agency of newspaper journalists in China in their daily practices and their shifting role in relation to technological changes.


Scott DeJong

Scott DeJong is a first year PhD student in Communication studies at Concordia University examining serious play, web literacy, and digital cultures. His past work looked at educational game design and online echo chambers. Currently, he is investigating the role of social class within games, the simulation of politics within games, and relationships between age and technology. His work focuses on the role of play in mediating specific discourse and interactions between players and a system or object. He has written some posts around social class representations in games for the Class and Games research blog. He also co-authored Social Justice Games: Building an Escape Room on Elder Abuse through Participatory Action Research (2020) and took a lead role in designing the game that the article discusses. This piece, alongside his Master’s thesis, focuses on blending theory with practice in order to discuss serious social issues. 

Scott is an active member of the Ageing, Communication and Technologies (ACT) project, the TAG (technoculture, Arts and Games) Lab, Scaling liveness in Participatory experiences, the Algorithmic Media Observatory, and the mLab. 


Arwen Fleming

My research concerns the intersections of memory, archival photography, and landscape in the aftermath of urban displacement and redevelopment. Specifically, I consider how archival photographs of Montreal’s Griffintown and Goose Village neighbourhoods signal the ways in which the exclusion and displacement of these neighbourhoods continue to haunt, retroactively, the futuristic visions of Expo 67.

Luciano Frizzera

Luciano is an experienced graphic designer and web developer having produced a number of interactive interfaces and digital platforms for data collection and visualization, semantic text editors, games, and websites.
Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies at Concordia University. His academic background is in Media Studies and Digital Humanities, and my research explores the political and social implications of digital sensors, datafication, and hyper-nudges to understand how algorithmic mediation is mobilized to produce subjects and reorganize life.
Supervisor: Fenwick Mckelvey
Associated Labs:
Machine Agencies
Algorithmic Media Observatory

Sarah Ganzon

Sarah Ganzon is a Phd student in Communication Studies at Concordia University. Her research revolves mostly around the areas of game studies and digital fandom. Currently, she is writing her thesis on Japanese maiden games (otome games) in English, and their players. She holds an MA in English Literature from Cardiff University and a BA in English Studies from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Prior to starting her doctorate, she taught courses in literature and the humanities at the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University. Apart from spending countless hours playing visual novels and RPGs, she enjoys dressing up as a Jedi, watching an unhealthy amount of Let’s Play videos, reading out-of-print nineteenth century novels, looking for well-written fan fiction, and keeping an eye out for disappearing blue police boxes.

Nicholas Goberdhan

Nicholas Goberdhan is a first year PhD student in Communication Studies. His doctoral research draws from critical-Mad, critical-Black and fashion studies, supervised by Canada’s Research Chair for Critical Disability Studies and Media Technologies, Dr. Arseli Dokumaci. Drawing from years of community research, his central area of investigation is on the ways Black creatives mobilize clothing as a site resistance, and why it is often an overlooked, but central aspect to creative protest in expressing emotions and lived racial struggle.

Nicholas is also a Teaching Assistant, and Research Assistant for the Disability and Media Lab (tentative name) being established in the Communications Department. Alongside Concordia University, he is greatly involved in the art community and designs avant-garde clothing. 

thumbnail_Fanny_BW Black and white photograph of Fanny, a dark-haired cis-gender woman, looking at the camera as her head rests slightly on her right hand. She is wearing a flowy blouse and behind her is a white wall.
Fanny Gravel-Patry


Fanny Gravel-Patry is a PhD candidate in the communication studies department at Concordia University. She studies feminist media practices, digital therapeutic cultures, and madness. Her doctoral project, supported by FRQSC, looks at the ways women living with mental illness use Instagram as a tool for care. She has published about digital visual culture, affect, and care. You can follow her on Instagram @phdwithcare where she shares her thoughts and experiences as a PhD student living with generalized anxiety.

Felicity Tsering Chödron Hamer

Felicity Tsering Chödron Hamer began amassing photographs at an early age. Perplexed by her own emotional relationship to these images, she ventures to understand the complex ways in which photographic portraits function as place marker for the absent, extending our relationships beyond physical death. Within this context, Felicity examines the therapeutic potential of photography associated with death rituals and of Victorian-era Spirit Photography in particular. Other research interests include: memory and imagination through photography; emotional relationships to photographs; paranormal, supernatural, magical and miraculous imagery; and intersections of religion and photography.

Annie Harrisson

Annie Harrisson is a researcher and visual artist with a background in illustration and graphic design. She holds an MA in East Asian Studies in which she researched Japanese manga historiography and manga aesthetics. Her current work focuses on the historical construction of the gamer as an imaginary. Through the study of gaming industry’s promotional strategies, retrogaming practices, and Let’s Plays, she explores how this seemingly stable, yet evolving, imaginary shapes power dynamics in gaming communities.

Antonia Hernández

Antonia Hernández is a media artist and SSHRC-supported PhD student. Using a dollhouse as her research device, she is looking at how domesticity and labor are entangled in amateur sexcams. With a BA in Graphic Design and a MA in Media Studies, her professional work mixes media practice and theory, facilitating the communication of research projects. She is a founder member of MAT3RIAL, a collective of researchers, designers and developers.

Maya Hey

Maya Hey is a Vanier scholar (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) and PhD candidate in Communication Studies at Concordia University. She is also a Public Scholar with the School of Graduate Studies, aiming to bridge the gap between academic research, industry professionals, and media makers. Her doctoral research examines fermentation and feminist theory, particularly attending to questions of power, performativity, and material practice. She completed her master’s degree in Food Culture and Communications at the University of Gastronomic Sciences and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Administration. Her work experience spans chemistry labs, culinary kitchens, organic farms, and Trader Joe's, where she has garnered over 12 years of experience facilitating discussions around contemporary food issues. She has developed an array of collaborative projects with audiences ranging from pre-schoolers to health professionals and aims to engage the everyday eater with practical knowledge.

Eileen Mary Holowka

Eileen Mary Holowka is a writer and PhD candidate currently researching the intersections of social media and endometriosis. She has published on self-imaging, Instagram, online affective labour, chronic pain, and memes. She also has experience working in both theatre and games, including research and development of an app for folks living with chronic pain (Play the Pain), and co-creation of a playable art project for Montreal’s largest ever public art event, KM3. She published a digital narrative, circuits, in 2018, which can be played for free online:

Michael Iantorno

Michael Iantorno is a FRQSC-funded PhD student in Concordia University’s Communication program whose doctoral research explores videogame afterlife, fandom, and intellectual property law. His ongoing academic projects involve studying socioeconomic class in games, cataloguing and archiving early home computer technologies, and investigating the production of bootleg Super NES / Super Famicom cartridges. He is currently a student representative for the Technoculture, Art and Games Lab, an active member of Dr Mia Consalvo’s mLab, and a research assistant at the Residual Media Depot.

In addition to his academic work, Michael is also a game designer, radio producer, and writer. His first videogame hack, HyperBound, was featured in Anna Anthropy’s Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, his radio programs have earned multiple honours at the New York Festivals, and his writing has been featured in journals and magazines. To learn more about his work, visit:  

Shawn Suyong Yi Jones

Shawn Suyong Yi Jones is a PhD candidate whose research examines the affective practices of queer East Asian men in Canada in relation to the consumption of gay pornography. His research lies at the intersection of cultural, porn, and queer critical race studies, with a particular interest in affect theory. He is currently a contributor and coordinator for the Intersectionality Hub, as well as a research member of the Speculative Life cluster at the Milieux Institute. He has presented at both international and national conferences, as well as published on topics such as censorship of pornography in East Asia, gay online pornography in South Korea and the role of pornography in Taiwanese and Korean gay saunas. He holds master’s degrees in Communication Studies from Communication University of China and Simon Fraser University where he has conducted research on gay pornography in both the Chinese and Canadian contexts, respectively. You can find him on Twitter @shawnsyjones.

Katherine Kline

Katherine Kline's research is situated between relational psychoanalysis, and materialist ecological theory, exploring unique sites where psychic life and material worlds intersect. These sites include, for example, the work of Wilhelm Reich, dendrophilia, and practices of mediumship. Her supervisor is Peter van Wyck and she is a member of the Feminist Media Lab.

Kline also works as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and musician. Present collaborations include multimedia performance project The Powers with Emily Pelstring and Jessica Mensch, an ongoing visual/textual collage project with Leyla Majeri, and Wire Mother/Cloth Mother, a sonic exploration of maternal space with Sasha Langford.

Kline presently lives and works on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples.

Marc Lajeunesse

Marc’s research focuses on ‘toxicity’ within online communities. His MA thesis “It taught me to hate them all: Toxicity through DOTA 2’s players, systems, and media dispositive” examined DOTA 2 player and spectator perspectives and experiences with ‘toxicity’ through the overlapping spaces of the in-game environment and other online community sites. His current focus is on exploring online toxicity through frames of online community governance, physical regionality as mediated through online game spaces, and overlapping game communities through third party platforms such as 

Elina Lex

Elina Lex is an interdisciplinary researcher, media artist and PhD student in Communications Studies at Concordia University. Working across VR, 360° video, sensory ethnography, interactive documentary, site-specific storytelling, and digital archives, she investigates how emergent digital media forms might transform the way cultural information, knowledge, and memory is expressed and exchanged. Her current doctoral research-creation project explores applications of VR (XR) in the design of speculative archival interfaces and architectures, examining how they might produce new modalities of access and participation for diverse audiences and communities to share, preserve, and interpret cultural heritage material. 

Elina is an active member of the Post-Image research cluster located at the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture, and Technology as well as a researcher in the Technology: Innovation working group of Archive/Counter-Archive. Her creative work can be found at:

Caroline Martel

Caroline Martel is a PhD candidate in Communications Studies (Concordia University, Montréal) and a documentary filmmaker involved in telling historical narratives that incorporate their research in experiential and experimental ways. She has a special interest in archives, invisible histories, and audio/visual technologies and heritage. 

Her work has been presented to critical acclaim internationally (TIFF, IDFA, Rotterdam, on SRC, NHK, and SVT, at MoMA and the Pompidou Centre) and includes: Hold the Line (NFB, 52 min., 2001), the montage essay The Phantom of the Operator (productions artifact, 64min, 2004), Wavemakers (productions artifact/NFB, 96min, 2012) – a feature documentary about the mystery of one of the first electronic musical instruments, the Ondes Martenot – and a solo show at the Museum of the Moving Image (NYC), Industry/Cinema (2012). Martel was one of the featured guests at the 57th Robert Flaherty Seminar and the 2014 Global Visiting Scholar at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (Richmond, VA). 

She is currently involved in research/creation projects related to Expo67 with Dr. Monika Kin Gagnon and the Centre d’histoire de Montréal. Holding a BA in Communications (1996) and an MA in Media Studies from Concordia University (2001), she remains dedicated to integrating theory and practice, and works under the supervision of Dr. Charles Acland on the junction between moving images and technologies histories. 

Amy Mazowita

Amy Mazowita (she/her) is a PhD student in the Department of Communication at Concordia University. She holds a BA in English and an MA in Cultural Studies with a specialization in Texts and Cultures from the University of Winnipeg (Treaty 1). Amy’s current research is situated at the intersections of Communication and Media Studies, Comics Studies, Critical Disability Studies, and Mad Studies, and is focused on representations of mental illness in auto/biographical comics. Her doctoral project considers the specific verbal-visual affordances of the comics medium, explores how graphic texts are used to visually disrupt normative perspectives of stigmatized mental health conditions, and examines how comics readers engage with and respond to mental-health focused graphic narratives. As an activist and advocate for mental health de-stigmatization, Amy is interested in examining how mental health-focused comics might contribute towards critical pedagogies, and seeks to explore how graphic texts may enrich psychiatric treatment plans and systems of both self- and collective care.

Amy is working under the supervision of Dr. Arseli Dokumaci, Canada Research Chair in Disability Studies and Media Technologies and the Coordinator of the forthcoming Access in the Making Lab. Amy is a member of the AIM Lab’s executive board and works as both a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant in the Department of Communication Studies

Carly McAskill

Carly McAskill is a researcher, visual artist and teacher. She is passionate about the arts and culture, intergenerational pedagogies, research-creation, memory studies, motherline research, feminist pedagogy, arts-based methodology, storytelling, disability and age studies. As a visual artist, Carly communicates through intricate mark making using mixed media, drawing, painting and collage. The multi-layered images in her work explore identity through meditation on place, time, presence, and inheritance. Carly believes in the powers of representation through collage: “the fragments are significant as they become a tool to tell a story and reflect a pattern.” Also, the use of flowers in her work act as metaphorical subject matter that addresses emotions and issues around memory, history and identity.

Currently, Carly is completing her Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Studies at Concordia University. She is the recipient of the Ageing + Communication + Technologies (ACT) Doctoral Fellowship (2016-present); ACT Scholarship for Graz International Summer School SEGGAU (2016) as well as Faculty of Arts and Social Science Graduate Fellowship in Ethnic Studies and Social Diversity Award (2016) at Concordia University. For the ACT Project, Carly is the Financial Officer and Student Representative on the Governing Board as well as a past researcher for the InterACTion intergenerational project. She is also a member of the Participatory Media cluster in the areas of Ageing and Media as well as Creative and Critical Disabilities with the Milieux institute. Carly’s research uses her art and research background in memory, identity, storytelling, collage, and drawing to lay the foundation for her PhD research-creation project that focuses on making deeper connections to women, mothers, daughters and dementia. To find out more about her work please go to:

Holly Nazar

My thesis research concerns popular memory, particularly in the context of knowledge transmission within social movements. How do we know what we think we know about history, and how does this affect our worldview and actions? How do activist and political groups pass on their histories and how might these differ from perceptions of the wider public? I am also a research assistant on the SSHRC-funded project Indymedia 2.0: New media activism in the global digital economy. My other research interests include anarchist theory and methodologies and the political economy of postcapitalist futures.

Laura Pannekoek

Laura Pannekoek is a PhD student in Communication Studies, supervised by Peter C. van Wyck. Her research focuses on the political ecology of geospatial analytics. She received an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam with a thesis that traces a geological index in cultural production and energy policy. Laura is a member of Feminist Media Studio at Concordia and the Grierson Research Group on Media, Environment, and Infrastructure at McGill. She is the founder of Soapbox: Journal for Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam.

Kumar S. Pathak

Kumar S. Pathak is a Doctoral Research Scholar at Concordia University. He brings with him more than a decade of experience in academic and policy research, writing and public interventions. Focusing on the issues of nuclear disarmament, nuclear safety, environmental sustainability, alternative media, online democracy, and human rights, Kumar has been writing for journals, magazines, newspapers and many prominent websites.

Kumar has been an Asia Leadership Fellow of the International House of Japan and a recipient of the prestigious Takagi Fellowship for Citizen Scientists. He has done his M.Phil. in Disarmament Studies from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

As a researcher and campaigner, Kumar has been associated with major civil society platforms such as the Nobel-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons(ICAN), Greenpeace India, Indian Pugwash Society, and Asia Progressive., a website founded by him after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, is a major online platform for nuclear-related resources, updates, and public dialogues. DiaNuke is a key partner of the ‘Don’t Nuke The Climate’ campaign, an international coalition of grassroots environmental movements.

Sâmia Pedraça

Sâmia Pedraça is a Brazilian journalist, ex-entrepreneur, ex-reporter, ex-press officer consultant and, currently, a PhD student in the Communication Studies Program at Concordia University. She holds an MA in Humanities Computing at University of Alberta and a BA in Journalism at Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Vitória-Brasil. Her previous research affiliations include GRAV (UFES/Brasil), Edmonton Pipelines Research Group and VITAlab (UofA), and Digital Humanities Initiative (Hamilton College/NY-US). Sâmia’s current research interests involve the procedural manifestation of culture and ideology in digital games. Along with the academics duties, she divide her time with movies, music, digital sculpture and 3d modeling, and video games.

Alexis Poirier-Saumure

Alexis Poirier-Saumure is a PhD student working under the supervision of Professor Krista Geneviève Lynes, and a Joseph-Armand-Bombardier Doctoral Research Scholar through the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). He is co-founder of Minorités Lisibles, the first journal of feminist, sexuality and gender studies at Université de Montréal. His Master’s thesis in Communication Studies dealt with anti-homophobic education and queer/anti-oppressive pedagogies through an autoethnographic exploration of his experience as a community worker involved with teenagers. The organism through which this experience was enabled assumes, in how it does its work, that representations of sameness through intimate narrative are sufficient educational tools to counter oppressive attitudes; the research was led, in contradiction, with a queer approach to pedagogy which posits that the fight against such behaviors is best led by critical reflexive work allowing to unveil structures of oppression and marginalization, and confront our own complicity with them. In continuation with such research interests, and a commitment to critical and self-reflexive modes of knowledge production, his PhD endeavour aims to be an observatory of the new sexual education program in Québec. More specifically, the work will explore issues such as the performance of queerness, whiteness and masculinity in pedagogical contexts, as well as the affective and emotional labour associated with educational practices.

Treva Pullen-Legassie 

Treva Pullen-Legassie is an interdisciplinary researcher, curator, artist and a PhD Candidate in Communication Studies at Concordia University. Engaging in curatorial practice as research-creation, her dissertation tends to the many histories and interlocutors of the River Street Bridge in the Lower Don Valley, Tkaronto/Toronto. With attention to feminist, queer and intersectional theory her practice explores curatorial methods for public art located on dynamic and complicated sites. With the increasing sense of urgency in the face of climactic devastation, Pullen-Legassie’s work asks, how can artists and curators create artworks, exhibitions, and events that engage dynamically with notions of place to propose more just and livable post-Anthropo-/Capitalo-cenic futures.

Pullen-Legassie is one of the co-founders of the Curatorial Research-Creation Collective at Milieux and Assistant Director of the Speculative Life Cluster. Her writing has been published in Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research, PUBLIC Journal, The Senses & Society, InterARTive, JAWS and AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples. She has also curated new media based exhibitions such as Femynynytees (2018), #NATURE (2016) and Influenc(Ed.) Machines and co-ordinated Cheryl Sim’s YMX: Land and Loss after Mirabel.

Myriam Rafla

Myriam Rafla is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies at Concordia University. Her research-creation thesis examines the relationship between narratives of Jewish identity and Arab nationalism in the personal recollections of Egyptian Jews, illustrated through a participatory online documentary. Her research interests are in visual narratology, film and cultural memory studies. Myriam obtained an MFA from York University in Film Production with a specialization in Scriptwriting and launched her career in Québec cinema as a content analyst at Téléfilm Canada. More recently, as a member of the CNCT (Conseil nationale du cinéma et de la production télévisuelle) she was involved in film policy revisions and in implementing the new gender parity policy at SODEC. Myriam is a fulltime faculty member of the Department of Cinema-Communications at Dawson College.

Ryan Scheiding

Ryan Scheiding is a PhD student in the Communication Studies Program at Concordia. He is also affiliated with the Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) research lab at Concordia. Prior to joining the program he received MAs at the University of Waterloo in History and at York University in Communication & Culture and a graduate diploma in Asian Studies from the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). His research is primarily concerned with the collective memory of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as expressed through popular culture and video games. In his past studies he has focused on collective memory practices, legacies of propaganda in media and World War II Japanese history.

Cherry Smiley

Cherry Smiley is from the Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) and Diné (Navajo) Nations. Grounded in Indigenous epistemology and feminist theory, activism, and front-line work, her research works to end male violence against Indigenous women and girls. Using research-creation, she examines the prostitution of Indigenous women and girls as a system of colonialism and the connections between prostitution and other forms of male violence against women and girls. She believes that research must be accessible and extend outside of academia into practical application. She remains active in the grassroots struggle for Indigenous women’s liberation. Cherry is honoured to be a 2016 Trudeau Scholar.

Adam Stangeby

Adam Stangeby is a PhD student in the Communication Studies program at Concordia University. He is interested in transgressive play and cheating in video games. He holds an MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. His Masters internship project was supervised by Dr. Jen Jenson of York University and focused on identification and representation through the cinematic cut-scenes of Epic Games’s Gears of War franchise. He has published a puzzle game for Android devices through his game studio, ReUp Games.

Katerina Symes

Katerina Symes is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University working under the supervision of Professor Krista Geneviève Lynes. She holds a MA in Media Studies and a Graduate Certificate in University Teaching, and she is an instructor in Humanities at Vanier College. She is a member of the Feminist Media Studio in Montreal, and her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). She has been published in the Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory and Feminist Media Studies, and her forthcoming article “Her Story: Educating a Mainstream Audience” can be found in the Peter Lang series Transgender Representations on Film and Television. Her current project “The Pedagogy of Queer Crossover Television” examines how online-streaming platforms have contributed to the proliferation of LGBTQ+ representation (e.g., Orange Is the New Black, Transparent, etc.).

Angus Tarnawsky

Angus Tarnawsky is an artist, researcher, audio engineer and PhD student in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. His research-creation practice focuses on understanding diverse listening orientations to offer generative possibilities for engaging with issues of cultural representation and settler colonialism. For his doctoral project, he is working on site-specific sound installations that productively ‘unsettle’ common spaces in the built environment. Angus is affiliated with the SpokenWeb network and Concordia’s Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance. In these collaborative settings, he facilitates the production of handmade lathe-cut records and online sound map projects. Angus holds a BMus from the University of Melbourne and a MFA from OCAD University. Originally from lutruwita/Tasmania, Australia, he currently lives and works on the unceded Indigenous lands and traditional territories of the Kanien’kehá:ka nation in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal.

Maha Tazi

Maha Tazi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Communication Studies Program at Concordia University. She is interested in women’s creative disobedience in post-Arab Spring North Africa as her research focuses on women’s visual arts, theatre, political cartoons, graffiti, slam poetry and RAPtivism in contemporary Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia. She has previously published articles in the Journal of International Women's Studies and CyberOrient Journal in relation to her doctoral research, in addition to one entry in the International Encyclopedia of Gender Media & Communication.

Maha also actively engages in feminist research-creation. She published an art photography project in Feminist Media Studies to raise awareness about the backlash against women’s rights in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Maha is currently working on an audiovisual production, called “103-13”, to raise awareness on the extent of gender-based violence in Morocco and create a conscious feminist call for action. She currently lectures a course on Media Ethics and Law at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD).

At Concordia, Maha taught a Critical Race Feminisms course at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia and Media Criticism course in the Communication department. Previously, she studied International and Middle Eastern Studies in Morocco, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, and Women’s Studies at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) Paris. She also worked and volunteered with several women's NGOs in the Middle East and North Africa region, such as Association Solidarite Feminine in the city of Casablanca. She was also a volunteer writer with Ananke, an online interactive platform based in Dubai and engaging women across the MENA region on issues pertaining to women’s rights. More recently, she held the position of Program Manager with Empowering Women in the Atlas, a  social initiative  which aims  to engage  rural women  in economic growth and  sustainable development in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, prior to moving to Canada.

Quinn Valencourt

Quinn Valencourt is a first year PhD student (2018) working with Professor Charles Acland in his examination of contemporary live-streaming technology/ screen culture and digital media consumption. As a graduate of the MA program in Popular Culture from Brock University, his research background has traditionally been devoted to understanding cultural theory in its variety of mediated forms. These approaches have informed his understanding of popular culture as expressed through social media, advertising, music, cinema, sport, television, and video games, as well as non-mass mediated cultural forms such as fairs and festivals, food culture, or tourism and travel. In the past two years this interdisciplinary nature has enabled him to complete award-winning work on projects including: ‘“Tastes Like Chicken”: A Food Analogy for Concern, Ambiguity and Exoticism”, “Me, Myself, and (I)dentity Construction Online: Analyzing Self Presentation on Instagram”, and ‘“Oh my God! They Made Fun of Society Again!”… “You Geniuses?”’ South Park and Pop-Cultural Criticism in Today’s Television.” Quinn’s current research project and doctoral thesis work aims to identify a T.V IV era of media content consumption, grounded in ontological depictions of liveness, as they exist on live-streaming platforms such as Twitch.TV, or Facebook and Instagram live.

Chrys Vilvang

Chrys Vilvang is a media artist and PhD student at Concordia University. He is interested in the impact of digital technologies on consciousness and is currently exploring archives, algorithms, photography, and memory through research-creation. Vilvang examines the production of meaning through images and how these processes are being compromised by tools that intervene, remediate, and alter our relationship with our photographic past. 

Chrys has a BA in Cultural Studies from McGill University (2011), an MA in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam (2015), and an MA in Media Production from Ryerson University (2017). His supervisor is Dr. Matt Soar and he currently serves as a research assistant with the Montreal Signs Project. 

Rebecca Waldie

Rebecca's Master's thesis research focused on the horror video game Until Dawn and its representation of masculinity. She examined the interactions of gender, race, culture, and mental illness using an intersectional approach. Her PhD research will expand on this to consider the representation of mental illness and masculinity in video games around the world. Rebecca’s prior research includes the hypersexualization of women in World of Warcraft and virtual identity construction/tourism in open world environments. In her spare time, she loves all things classic Disney and is an avid endurance runner, often combining her two loves to compete at runDisney events in handmade costumes.

Nimalan Yoganathan

Nimalan Yoganathan is a second-year PhD student whose current research interests include anti-racist sonic activism, ethical questions surrounding field recording and soundscape studies, and intersectional modes of listening to everyday environments. His doctoral thesis work will attempt to bridge critical race studies with acoustic ecology in order to highlight the ways in which marginalized communities construct aural counterpublics that center their own listening positionalities and counter-narratives. Nimalan will also engage a politics of listening that studies how sound, noise and quiet can be deployed by BIPOC groups as quotidian tactics of refusal and resistance. 

Nimalan holds an MA in Media Studies and a BFA in Electroacoustic Composition both from Concordia University. He has published articles for The Conversation, Canadian Dimension and Organised Sound. He has presented his research at the International Conference on Arts and Humanities (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), The Politics of Listening Conference (Sydney, Australia) and the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium. As a practicing sound artist, Nimalan interweaves hip-hop, dub, and soundscape composition concepts and methods. He has participated in research-creation and field recording residencies in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and the Inuit community of Inukjuak, Nunavik.

A recent article by Nimalan for The Conversation:

Recent Graduates

Aaron Goodman

Aaron Goodman ( is a doctoral student in the PhD program in Communication Studies at Concordia University. His research and documentary production focus on testimonies of genocide survivors, representations of death and dying, and visual counter-narratives about long-term heroin users. Aaron is a faculty member in the Journalism and Communication Studies department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, B.C. He has over 15 years experience as a multimedia producer, video journalist and documentary maker covering conflict, disaster and critical social issues. He is the founder of StoryTurns (, an organization that facilitates digital storytelling workshops around the world. Aaron holds a Master of Journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia. He received the Award for International Development Journalism from the International Development Research Centre in 2004. He also received a Gabriel Award and Radio Television Digital News Association Award for Best Short Feature, National Broadcast, in 2004.

Patricia (Trish) Audette-Longo

Patricia (Trish) Audette-Longo is a PhD candidate and Canada Graduate Scholar supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Her research focuses on how First Peoples create and negotiate media in response to bitumen extraction and development efforts, and she works with Dr. Lorna Roth. Trish has an MSc in Media, Communication and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa. Before undertaking doctoral studies in 2012, Trish worked as a newspaper reporter for nearly a decade; she has covered crime and justice, Alberta politics, and the environment, and her work has appeared in the Edmonton Journal, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Alberta Views magazine, and the St. Catharines Standard.

Alison Reiko Loader

Alison Reiko Loader applies her interests in old media technology and posthumanist theory to making short animated films and media installations. A lapsed National Film Board of Canada filmmaker that specializes in 3d and digital animation, Loader reimag(in)es connections between apparatuses, representation and spectatorship by applying research-creation and feminist objectivity to media history and archaeology. Installations such as The Inquest of Mary Gallagher andPossible Movements use stereoscopic and anamorphic imagery to re-present the past, while Kinder/Garden and Malacosoma disstria mediate manipulations of plant and insect life. Fascinated by optical technologies and moving images, her doctoral research (in Communication Studies) explores the nineteenth-century founding of the Edinburgh Popular Observatories and Camera Obscura by a mysterious woman named Maria Theresa Short. Funded primarily through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada fellowship, she has also taught in the Computation Arts and Film Animation programs for the Concordia University Faculty of Fine Arts since 2001.

Isabel Macdonald

Isabel Macdonald's research focuses on emerging forms and practices of journalism. Drawing on a range of critical approaches from fields including sociology and cultural studies, her research is particularly concerned with the cultural dimensions of journalism that have long been elided by journalists' standard language about "reporting the facts". She is also very interested in the social and political implications of recent changes in the media landscape, including the rise of digital and online platforms that privilege visual forms of communication, as well as the phenomenon that has been dubbed "big data".

As a PhD candidate in Concordia's Communication Studies program, her current research focuses on an emerging visual media form known as "comics journalism," which combines journalism's standard methods for reporting facts with a medium (drawn comics) that implicitly works to call attention to issues of representation that scholars have long faulted journalists for neglecting. She is particularly interested in the opportunities and challenges this peculiar media form might present for a more self-reflexive journalism approach. As part of her SSHRC-supported doctoral work in Communication, she has been testing out comics journalism's potential as a self-reflexive research methodology, by experimenting with the methods of this emerging visual form of reportage in a camp for people displaced by the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Based on the findings of this research, she is currently writing, illustrating and designing an original work of comics journalism on the issue of displacement in Haiti.


Ashley McAskill

Ashley McAskill is currently in her third year of her PhD in Communication Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. She has a BA in Theatre and Film Studies and English, and a MA in Communications and New Media from McMaster University. For her doctoral work Ashley is researching disability and ethical theatre practices, specifically within mixed ability groups whereby artists with and without disabilities work together. One of her biggest ventures for her doctoral project (and overall artistic hope) will be the creation of a permanent mixed-abilility theatre collaborative in Montreal. Other research interests include gender and beauty practices, the spectacle of public performativity, feminist media studies, and performance art.

Vanessa Meyer

Vanessa Tolkin Meyer is a researcher, video-maker, and part-time music-maker. Her research is practice-based and fundamentally interdisciplinary, taking shape at the intersection of experimental film, documentary, autoethnography, feminist philosophy, and critical theory. Her current thesis work is a research-creation project that explores the construction of mother-daughter relationships in self-reflexive documentary and experimental autoethnography. She has worked in documentary production and television in Montreal and New York for over ten years.

Magdalena Olszanowski

Magdalena Olszanowski (SSHRC/FQRSC Fellow), is a part-time instructor in Communication Studies and Women’s Studies, an artist, and PhD candidate under the supervision of Kim Sawchuk. As a senior researcher part of ACT (Ageing, Communication, Technologies), she incorporates technology and image-based media as an activist strategy in elder communities. In 2013, she participated in the Hemispheric Institute's Art & Resistance course in Chiapas. She has published and created work on gender, sound and image technologies, with a particular focus on the self-image and censorship. Her work can be found in journals such as Feminist Media Studies and Visual Communication Quarterly. Her dissertation is focused on the feminist internet histories of the 1990s. She is also currently working on a documentary featuring women experimental electronic music composers.

Eric Powell

Eric Powell is a PhD candidate, artist and researcher at Concordia University. He is currently working on a project entitled Street Ears which examines the interrelationships among space, place, and aural environments with a focus on creating interactive sound-based mappings, and digital interfaces that challenge the ways in which we hear the sounds of the world around us. His research is funded by SSHRC, and has been heard around the world, with recent presentations in Finland, Hong Kong and Mexico.

Marilou St-Pierre

My principal research interests are journalism, sports, and the place of gender in these two domains. I’m interested in gender studies, feminist studies, and the political economy of the media. I also had the chance to work on the media history in the province of Quebec, a domain I hope I will still have the opportunity to work on in the future. In my thesis, I want to look at the professional practices of female sports journalists who have worked in the field at different moments since the 1970s. This project is a continuation of my Master’s degree in communication, completed at Laval University in 2012.

Celia Vara

Celia Vara is a feminist psychologist, visual artist and PhD candidate at Communication Studies. She has been working as a psychologist in Spain in a pioneering institute about gender based violence. She has participated in numerous research programs and projects on international cooperation, feminism and art in Europe, Canada and the Caribbean. In 2013, her master’s thesis, Early Feminist Video Art in Spain (1970-1980) won the 1st Prize/Award in Gender and Research at Jaume I University in Spain. She has been a practicing visual artist since 2005 and has had international artist residencies and collective and solo shows in Spain, Canada, Cuba and Dominican Republic. She is an active member of a feminist collective in Spain that does research on patriarchal strongholds on different aspects of the self. She also is a member of Feminist Media Studio, Hexagram and La Centrale Gallery Power House (Feminist Artist Run Centre). Her research interests are feminist media and culture, and the transnational dimensions of feminist video, collectives and activism, focusing specifically in Spain and Latin America. Her current project centers on how the strategies of the self in video performance present a possibility not only for self-exploration but for feminist liberation.

Nic Watson

Nic Watson is a second-year PhD student in Communication. He is interested in digital game studies and has a background in anthropology and computer science. His current work focuses on the use of ethnographic methods to study computer game modding, fan content creation, and participatory culture.

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