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PhD student biographies

Current Students

Patricia Branco Cornish

Patricia Branco Cornish is a second year PhD student and a part-time faculty member in the Communications Department at Concordia University. Her doctoral research investigates the use of analog video in Latin America between 1960s and 1970s as an alternative medium to foster self-expression for many female artists operating outside the politically censored mainstream museums and television programming for the period. She takes a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses the fields of media, art history, gender, visual culture, critical race and postcolonial theories. She is a member of the Feminist Media Studio and the Media History Research Centre at the Milieux Institute.

She holds a master’s degree in Art History from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, that investigated art production by Brazilian female artists as an instrument for the subversive criticism of the 1960s and 70s dictatorial regime, taboos regarding female sexuality, and as a tool for self-representation. She co-authored the article “Private collections in public museums of art: the case of Cid Collection” that deals with the role of art as a money laundry device. Patricia worked as a curator of Brazilian and British contemporary art in São Paulo, while also running her art gallery.

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.


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 Frizzera completed his bachelor in Social Communication at Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil, in 2006. In the same year he founded a start up company focused in visual communication and interactive digital interfaces. In the recent years he have extensively worked as a programmer, graphic designer, and project manager. In 2014 Luciano received his Master’s degree in Humanities Computing at University of Alberta, with the thesis “Mobile Media: New Mediations in the Urban Space.” During his masters he worked in several projects on information visualization, text analysis, and interactive interfaces, which resulted in published papers and conference presentations. As a doctoral student at Concordia University his research project explores the affordances of mobile and social media for civic engagement, especially in the context of smart cities. Luciano’s background spans a diverse range of disciplines and mediums: media studies, graphic design (print and digital), web design, project management, urban studies, digital humanities, and sociology.

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.

Fanny Gravel-Patry

Fanny Gravel-Patry is a second-year doctoral student working under the supervision of Professor Krista Geneviève Lynes. Her research interests are in visual culture, social media, human rights, affect, and the politics of care. Her doctoral dissertation aims to look at the online visual presence of Black Lives Matter and the Syrian Refugee Crisis from a feminist perspective. Parallel to her academic career, Fanny has been working as a community manager for non-profit cultural organizations in Montreal including Érudit, Occurrence espace d’art et d’essai contemporains and Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal. 

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 PhD student in Communication Studies. She holds an MA in East Asian Studies in which she explored Japanese manga historiography and manga aesthetics. She is interested in the potential of manga to communicate ideas in a way that challenge dominant paradigms as well as the dynamics of the interactions between fans and video games. Her current research focuses on the synergy between indie game designer Scott Cawthon and his fans in the context of the the series Five Nights at Freddie’s.

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, editor, and PhD student who also makes games and music. Her current research focuses on feminist social media practices, "sick women," and vulnerable acts of resistance. She has published on self-imaging, Instagram, online affective labour, and the intersections of media and trauma. For her master's thesis, she created a digital narrative called circuits about the act of narrating sexual trauma within institutional spaces. Eileen also has plenty of experience working in theatre, including an intensive week-long workshop in London, England with ZUUK where she created a project that explored the intersections of performance and games. The same team has also performed multiple experimental shows in Montreal. In 2017, she worked in a team to create a playable art project (Place des ALTs) for Montreal's largest ever public art event, KM3.

Shawn Suyong Yi Jones

Shawn Suyong Yi Jones is an interdisciplinary researcher whose research examines gay East Asian Canadian men and the pornography they consume in relation to their cultural/ethnic/racial identity. His research lies at the intersection of diaspora, cultural, porn, and queer critical race studies. He is currently a research member of the Speculative Life cluster at the Milieux Institute, as well as a contributor and coordinator for the Intersectionality Hub. He holds an MA in International Communications from Communication University of China and an MA in Communications Studies from Simon Fraser University where he has conducted research on gay pornography in both the Chinese and Canadian contexts, respectively. He is currently conducting field research in East Asia.

Katherine Kline

Katherine Kline is interested in links between the psychoanalytic unconscious and nonhuman ontologies, and the intersections of material and immaterial registers. Her research centers on the metapsychology of W.R. Bion, relational psychoanalysis and field theory, in conjunction with materialist, ecological scholarship. She asks how these fields might challenge and transform one another, and whether an ethical praxis might emerge from their encounter. Currently, Kline's research explores human relationship with non-humans entities of all kinds through practices of channeling and mediumship. In addition to her research, Kline is a psychotherapist and makes music in Montreal.

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 

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. 

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:

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.

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.

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.

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 immersed herself in the world of Canadian filmmaking with the start of her MFA studies in Film at York University. A former financial and content analyst with Telefilm Canada and SODEC, Ms. Rafla continues to work as a professional script consultant in both public and private sectors of the local film industry. She is a full time faculty member in the Department of Cinema / Video / Communications at Dawson College in Montreal and is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in Communication Studies at Concordia University.

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 working under the supervision of Krista Geneviève Lynes, a part-time instructor in Communication Studies at Concordia University and Humanities at Vanier College, and holds a Graduate Certificate in University Teaching. She is member of the Feminist Media Studio in Montreal, and her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Her research engages with feminist and queer theory, sexuality and gender, and questions of spectatorship, desire, identity, and identification. Her current project entitled “Queer Crossovers: The Popularization of Queer Sexuality on Television” examines how television’s move toward online-streaming has contributed to the proliferation of programs engaging with queer and trans content (e.g., Orange Is the New Black, Transparent, Her Story). She is co-author (along with Krista Geneviève Lynes) of “Cyborgs and Virtual Bodies” in the Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory, and author of “Orange is the New Black: The Popularization of Lesbian Sexuality and Heterosexual Modes of Viewing” in Feminist Media Studies. Her forthcoming article “Orange Is the New Black: Menstruation, Comedy, and the Unruly Feminine” can be found in the special issue of Demeter Press: Feminist Publishing on Mothering, Reproduction, Sexuality and Family entitled Menstruation Now: What Does Blood Perform?

Maha Tazi

Maha Tazi is a Ph.D. student in the Communication Studies Program at Concordia University. Her research interests focus the recent developments of the feminist movement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where the rise of fourth wave feminism is concomitant with the Arab Spring uprisings. She is interested in exploring how feminist activists in the MENA region are fighting on several fronts today, incorporating aspects of conflict-resolution, good governance, human rights and social justice to women's rights advocacy. Currently, Maha is also teaching (TA) a Media Criticism course at Concordia University.

Previously, Maha studied International and Middle Eastern Studies in Morocco, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, as well as 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, where she helped single mothers learn a new profession and re-integrate into a society that once shattered them. She was also a volunteer writer with Ananke Mag, an online interactive platform based in Dubai and engaging women across the MENA (and beyond) 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.

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 first-year PhD student whose current research interests include anti-racist sonic activism, the ethics of field recording, and intersectional approaches to soundscape studies. His doctoral thesis work will explore the politics of listening and field recording within contested urban spaces and marginalized communities. More specifically, Nimalan will examine audio media creators who record and compose with environmental soundscapes as a counter-hegemonic critique of mainstream news media narratives. Nimalan holds an MA in Media Studies and BFA in Electroacoustic Composition both from Concordia University. As a practicing sound artist, his creative work interweaves hip-hop, dub, and soundscape composition concepts and techniques. He has participated in research-creation and field recording residencies in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and Inukjuak, Nunavik.

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.

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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