I am a PhD candidate in American Studies at the University of Kansas. My doctoral research is a cultural history of personhood and state power. Using critical ethnic studies, critical race studies, queer of color critique, and a number of other lenses, I focus specifically on institutional sites within the state of Kansas like Leavenworth, the Menninger Clinic, and Haskell University to look at how state power works to define the limits of personhood. I am interested also in interrogating the notion that Kansas is a “state” of exception—more conservative or isolated than its neighboring states. When I am not being a graduate student, I enjoy camping, hiking, and forcing other people to have fun.
Ivan Bujan is a doctorate candidate in Performance Studies at Northwestern University. His interests include performance theory, gender and sexuality studies, queer of color critique, and AIDS-related cultural criticism. He holds a master’s degree in Performance Studies from New York University and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Bujan’s forthcoming publication is “Blue Is, Blue Does: A Performance about Truvada in Several Interactions” in HIV and AIDS in Twenty-First Century Theatre and Performance: An International Collection.
Anne Marie Butler
Anne Marie Butler is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Global Gender Studies program at SUNY Buffalo under the direction of Jonathan D. Katz. Her dissertation evaluates the frequent appearance of themes on sexuality and embodiment in contemporary Tunisian art by women and queer individuals, and suggests that their presence is linked to the particularities of the Tunisian state apparatus, as well as what A.M. Butler terms the Tunisian “social-sexual system of hierarchy”. This theory draws heavily on Gayle Rubin’s works in order to describe the relationships between social organization and sexuality. Her text “Fuck Your Morals: Amina Sboui’s Body Activism” is forthcoming (2017) in Bad Girls of the Arab World, edited by Nadia Yaqub and Rula Quawas, and her commissioned entry on queer Tunisian digital artist Khookha McQueer will be included in the Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History. Her scholarship is heavily invested in visual studies, gender and sexuality studies, Middle East North Africa studies, postcolonial and decolonial theories, and critical race theory. Further, she is particularly interested in queer methodologies that engender work at both the intersections and the margins of contemporary academic knowledge production.
Tyler Carson is a PhD student in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. Tyler’s research draws on the theoretical frameworks of psychoanalysis, queer theory, contemplative studies, postcolonial theory, and social philosophy to help make sense of the challenges that many queer subjects experience as they begin the long and arduous journey of learning how to live with their queerness in the social world. Beyond teaching in the academy, Tyler has also been employed as a yoga, tennis, and swim and lifesaving instructor.
Kami Chisholm is a independent filmmaker, video artist, media activist and curator. She holds a PhD in History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MFA in Film Production from York University. Chisholm has made more than a dozen films that have screened at festivals, universities, and events worldwide. Her most recent documentary, Pride Denied (Media Education Foundation and Vtape, 2016), explores topics such as homonationalism and pinkwashing in the context of the 2014 World Pride festival in Toronto. Chisholm is one of the co-founders of the Toronto Queer Film Festival and sits on the board of the Pleasure Dome collective. In the the 2015-16 academic year, Chisholm was an Artist in Residence at Osgoode Law School at York University, where she began working on Citizen, a feature documentary about the contemporary rise of border imperialism in US and Canada.
Yasmeen Chism is a current PhD Student, in Performance Studies, at New York University. Her educational background includes a MA, from the University of Louisville, in Women’s and Gender Studies and a second MA, from NYU, in Performance Studies. Yasmeen’s research interests include Black Feminist Theories, Feminist Jurisprudence, Critical Race Theory, Queer Theory, Critical Theory, and questions concerning the ability of her cats to share whatever meal she is eating. Yasmeen’s [future] dissertation research will examine articulations of dreams by minoritarian subjects, but her [current] research project combines criminal law and Black Feminist theory. When she isn’t on her phone indulging in the hodgepodge of articles she has saved on iBooks or Dropbox, she can be found in an airport terminal preparing to take a flight somewhere.
Fred is a student in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, at York University. He is currently completing his MA in the program of Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies. Fred’s thesis explores fatness and necropolitics. Fred is interested in the politics of death, fatness, Queerness, and trans*. In his personal projects, Fred is exploring Indigeneity, race, and issues around reflexivity. Some of Fred’s recognised works include “Hybridity: A High Breed of Antiimperialist Politics,” “Traversing Travestis: Brazilian Identity, Corporeality Vitalities, and Movement/Affect,” and “Feminist Necropolitics.” Fred enjoys music, hanging out with his friends, and loves cats.
Monica Espaillat Lizardo
Monica Espaillat Lizardo earned an Honours B.A. with “High Distinction” from the University of Toronto in 2013. In 2013 she began a direct-entry PhD program at the University of Toronto. Monica is currently a doctoral student at the Department of History and at the Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. Monica’s dissertation project interjects two parallel sets of questions into the twentieth century history of the Dominican Republic; these are questions pertaining to citizenship and the narratives of Dominican Trans folk. On citizenship the project asks, how did the formalization of citizenship under the Trujillo Dictatorship (1930-1961) function as a mechanism of inclusion/exclusion, and, how have these inclusions/exclusions disciplined access to full citizenship in relation to gender and racial ascription up to the period of legislated denationalization in 2013? The project’s second line of questioning asks, where are the narratives of Trans folk in the Dominican Republic before the turn of the century when publicly recognizable Trans organizing begins, and, if accessed what can these narratives tell us about the limits of the construction of Trujillista and contemporary Dominican citizenship? The purpose of this project is to interrogate the supposed neutrality of citizenship and to assess whether full citizenship was attainable during this period for those whom constitutionally speaking should have had unbarred access to its ‘burdens and privileges’.
Margeaux Feldman is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English and the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto and she holds a certificate in Community-Engaged Learning. Her dissertation, “The Hideosity of Adolescence: Refiguring Intimacy and Sexuality in America,” theorizes hideousness as a psychoanalytic, affective, and aesthetic category that is specific to adolescent girls. As she works to define it, hideosity captures the ambivalent relationship between desire and repulsion embodied by and projected onto the teen girl. Through an analysis of contemporary American literature, film, and internet culture, Margeaux’s dissertation works to show how hideosity is used by teen girls to depathologize the hysteria and narcissism that are often linked to female adolescent sexuality, as well as to create new, non-normative modes of intimacy that include human-nonhuman kinships, ambivalent BFFs, girl gangs, and ugly sexual encounters. Margeaux’s academic and creative work has been published in Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society (2016), Hook & Eye (2015 & 2017), and on her blog floralmanifesto.com. Her writing has been on course syllabi at Concordia University, the University of Toronto, and Selkirk College. Margeaux’s commitment to teaching was recognized by the Department of English in 2015 with the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award and she has had the pleasure of teaching “Queer Writing” at the University of Toronto.
Huan He is a second-year PhD student in American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, where he graduated with high honors with a major in English Literature and a minor in Film and Media Studies. He is the recipient of a Dornsife Graduate Fellowship Award from USC as well as the B. William Hochman 1955 Memorial Prize for American Literature from Dartmouth College. His research interests include Asian American cultural studies, Transpacific studies, queer theory, visual studies, and digital media studies. His larger dissertation project will investigate a postwar American transpacific imagination alongside the rise of forms of hyperconnectivity that dominated and organized capitalist life worlds throughout the mid-20th century to the present. Currently, he is particularly interested in exploring the categories of the “perverse” and the “grotesque” as aesthetic experiences that might limn the workings of global capitalism in the age of cyberculture.
Elliott Jun is a Master’s student at Queen’s University in gender studies and the managing fiction editor for LooseLeaf Magazine. His research interests are in anti-colonial studies, Asian studies, British empire, transoceanic studies, and transnational feminism.
Prathna Lor is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of Toronto and co-enrolled in the Sexual Diversity Studies and Diaspora and Transnational Studies collaborative programs. Prathna is the recipient of a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and is completing a dissertation about problems of identity and refusal in 20th and 21st century avant-garde letters.
Fallen Matthews is a Black, Métis freelance writer as well as sociologist currently studying existentialism and supernatural folklore. She explores intersectional feminism, masculinity, male masochism, religiosity, and reality versus rationality in her writing, in addition to tweeting quite the colorful albeit idiosyncratic stream @KittieFallen. She has been published in Model View Culture, The Coalition Zine, Social Dissonance as well as The Journal of Comparative Media Arts. When she isn’t writing or raving about the futility in systemic oppressions and selections of her syllabi, she writes on her blog and pens erotic novels—acknowledging that whilst her prose may incite the imagination, her sales rank inspires thoughts of tumbleweed.
Currently a Master’s candidate in Gender Studies and Feminist Research at the University of McMaster, Keira Mayo uses arts based methodologies to interrogate the processes by which communication might both be regulated and regulate our future imaginative potential. Specifically, she is interested in the ways artistic work can perform theoretical interventions which would otherwise be impossible using only the traditional scholarly essay. This approach informs her upcoming major research project, The Halt Project, which combines Critical Disability Studies with Philosophy of Language to investigate perceptions of silence and pause in improvised theatre. Graduating from the University of Toronto in 2016 as Women and Gender Studies Specialists and Philosophy Major, Keira’s ongoing work seeks to resist and obscure the boundaries between Philosophy, Gender Studies, Performance Studies, and Communication studies. Recently accepted to the Performance Studies program at the TISCH School of the Arts at New York University, Keira hopes to pursue the affective and epistemological potential of performance within, alongside, and outside of the academy. Her theatrical and theoretical work have been showcased at Queens University’s Undisciplined (2017) and the University of Toronto’s Women and Gender Studies Honours Symposium (2016). Currently, Keira volunteers with the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton where she co-organizes coffee houses for LGBTQ+ young adults.
Casey Mecija is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher. She is currently completing a PhD in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research explores the aesthetic experience of making and encountering sounds that bear the trace of diasporic longing. Her work communicates across the disciplinary fields of queer theory, Filipino/a studies, psychoanalysis and cultural studies. She is also a filmmaker and musician.
Martha Newbigging is an interdisciplinary artist and educator, teaching in the School of Creative Arts and Animation at Seneca College, Toronto. A Masters candidate in Environmental Studies at York University, their research explores queer sexuality in childhood and youth through self-narrative comics and considers the implications for critical pedagogy.
Described as “[one] of Toronto’s finest dancers” (Paula Citron, Toronto Life), Shawn has worked in both commercial and artistic ventures as a performer, choreographer, producer, actor, and director. He has danced for some of Canada’s foremost contemporary choreographers including Sasha Ivanochko, Heidi Strauss, and Matjash Mrozewski among many others. Some of Shawn’s own choreographic works include Three Shades of Mood for idDANSE, FEVER for 3M Dances, and Through My Eyes, which premiered in Shanghai, China. His scholarly research interests are: the cultural and folkloric roots of jazz (particularly Cuban dance forms); dance and performance studies in the contexts of black, trans, Indigenous, and disability studies; and undoing white ableist heteropatriarchy within cultural production. He is completing his PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University (defending August 2017) and his dissertation theorizes spectatorship as a mode of performance that reveals colonial logics across concert dance and activist contexts. He teaches Popular Cultures and Media & Performance in the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s and has previously taught in the Department of Gender Studies. Shawn has also taught in the Department of Dance at York University.
Morgan is a year 2 doctoral candidate in the Department of Cultural Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Her research focused on the embodiment of pain in playful ritual. Her fieldwork is with the BDSM community in Toronto, Ontario.
Watufani Poe is earned his BA from Swathmore College in Africana studies with a minor in Latin American Studies, and is currently a second year PhD student in Africana Studies at Brown University. Prior to pursuing graduate school, Watufani spent two years in the San Francisco Bay Area as an Americorps member, working with various LGBTQ activist organizations whose main goals were to educate and to promote youth activism, especially among youth of color. His research interests include the African diaspora in Latin America, Brazil’s Black social and political movements, Black queer theory, Black Transnationalism, and intersectionality.
Christofer A. Rodelo is a Ph.D. student in American Studies and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. He holds a BA in American Studies and Ethnicity, Race & Migration from Yale University. Broadly, his research interests include theater and performance studies, 19th-early 20th century American literature and drama, Latinx and Afro-Latinx literary and cultural studies, critical race/gender/queer/feminist studies, archival thought, aesthetics and visual culture, and critical theory. Situated between literary studies and performance studies, his prospective dissertation is a critical study of Latinx, Afro-Latinx, and Indigenous performance cultures in the long hemispheric 19th century. It historically indexes 19th century minoritarian aesthetic practices, theorizes the affective and material contours of blackness and brownness, and rubs together the methodological tenets of literary and performance studies for an equally textual and embodied mode of critique. At Harvard, he serves as a co-founder/co-coordinator of the Harvard Race and Ethnicity Working Group, Latinx Studies Working Group, and Theater and Performance Colloquium. He is a graduate affiliate of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.
Rae Rosenberg is a white, Jewish, able-bodied, queer FTM trans person in the third year of his doctoral program studying trans and queer urban geographies in the Department of Geography at York University. He earned his Master’s degree at McGill University in Geography, with a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies through the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies. Rae’s MA research focused on incarcerated trans feminine persons in the United States and their experiences of the Prison Industrial Complex. His current dissertation research concerns the experiences of homeless LGBTQ2+ youth living in Toronto and their relationships to the socio-political space of Toronto’s Gay Village. He is interested in understanding the forms of institutional support and advocacy for homeless queer and trans youth in Toronto, as well as the city’s deficiencies and barriers to access that reinforce poverty, racism, colonialism, hetero/homonormativity and cisnormativity experienced by homeless LGBTQ2+ youth in the city. In his free time Rae volunteers for Egale Youth OUTreach, a mental health and housing crisis organization for LGBTQ2+ youth in Toronto, and the Toronto chapter of the Prisoner Correspondence Project, an organization that coordinates pen-pal correspondence between incarcerated and non-incarcerated LGBTQ2+ people in Canada and the U.S. He also produces a podcast called The Homo Philes, in which LGBTQ people read and respond to lesbian and gay pulp fiction.
Rebecca Salazar is the author of Guzzle (Anstruther), and an editor for The Fiddlehead and icehouse poetry. Her writing has lately appeared in Prism, Minola Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, and Partisan. Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, she is currently a PhD candidate and Vanier scholar at UNB. Research interests include intersectional ecocriticism and the body in literature and creative writing.
Jung Ju Shin
JungJu Shin is a PhD candidate in the department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at University of Warwick. Her areas of interest include critical race and ethnic studies, racism, gender and sexuality studies, im/migration, diaspora and (global) citizenship, dynamics and impacts of globalization and neoliberalism, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism on relational, changing notions of subjecthood. Her current research focuses on racial gendering, or gendered racialization, more specifically of Asian/American masculinity reflected in contemporary Anglophone literary and cultural texts, with a focus on Asian American writers.
Christopher Smith is a doctoral candidate in the Dept. Social Justice Education – OISE/ University of Toronto and New College Senior Doctoral Fellow in Equity Studies. His current project Apprehending Black Queer Diasporas: Transnational Circuits and Emplacements – examines circuits of political and cultural exchange that have shaped configurations of black queer community formation(s) in three global cities. By centering the phenomenon of Black Pride festivals as a counter narrative, this project highlights the complexity of LGBT equality and human rights pursuits in our current era through a queer diasporic analytic. He has contributed to FUSE magazine, the Encyclopedia of Ethnic American Literature, among other publications. He is the author of “How (not) to do Queer Studies in the classroom: Teaching to think beyond tolerance,” in Beyond the Queer Alphabet: Conversations on Gender, Sexuality & Intersectionality, ed. Malinda Smith, which was commissioned by the Canadian Federation of Social Sciences and Humanities, in 2012. In addition, he recently co-authored a chapter on trans-inclusion in sports curriculum and practice with Dr. Heather Sykes (also at OISE/UofT) in Social Justice in Physical Education: Critical Reflections and Pedagogies for Change (Canadian Scholar’s Press), (2016).
Emilie St-Hilaire is an interdisciplinary artist currently pursuing doctoral studies in the Humanities at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Emilie has exhibited her work at galleries and festivals nationally and internationally, and has received grants and awards from organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Edmonton Arts Council. In 2015 Emilie was one of only two artists from North America selected to attend the WARP Contemporary Art Platform International Artist Village at the Brugge Triennale (Bruges, Belgium). In 2016 some of Emilie’s recent work toured Western Canada with stops in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Edmonton.
Alisa Swindell is a PhD student in the Department of Art History at University of Illinois at Chicago. Her primary research interests are the history of photography and other modes of contemporary art with a focus on race and sexuality. Her dissertation will be on the ways art photographers and other artists working in photography created and maintained notions of desire during the height of the AIDS crisis 1985-95. She has curated exhibitions and done art writing independently, presents at conferences and participates on panels as an academic and an activist and is currently the Graduate Assistant in curatorial and exhibitions at Gallery 400. She previously had a career as an arts administrator and has taught art history at several universities in Chicago and the St. Louis area. She received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr in the History of Art, an M.A. in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans and an M.A. in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Claire Marie Urbanski is a PhD student in the Feminist Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz. Her work brings together Critical Prison Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Black Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies to expand and provoke understandings of U.S. carceral power as formulated through settler exertions of place claim and racialized dispossession. As a scholar and social justice activist committed to collective liberation, her work centers on topics of belonging, home, memory, and sexuality to further reveal the ways that settler colonial ideologies of Indigenous dispossession, anti-blackness, capital extraction, and gendered violence structure and inform relationships between place, bodies, identity, and land.
Jennifer Vilchez received her Bachelor of Arts with distinction from the University of California, Berkeley in both Film and Spanish Language and Literature. She completed her master’s degree with distinction at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, as part of the GEMMA Erasmus Mundus Master’s in Women’s and Gender Studies. For the first year of this program, Jennifer attended the University of Granada, Spain. A San Francisco Bay Area native, she is now residing in New Jersey and completing her doctoral degree in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University in New Brunswick . Her work tends to look at film, television, social media and popular cultures. Jennifer’s current research interests include nationalism, psychoanalysis, feminist theory, gender, sex and sexuality.