I completed my BA at the University of Toronto with a double major in Anthropology and Political Science in 2011. My MA research focuses on the surge in tourism to Peru after the period of political violence that affected the nation in the 1980s–1990s. I am interested in the national tourism project which has attracted millions of visitors to Peru, especially the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, and how this project promoted a unified nation in the aftermath of violence. Therefore, I am interested in how Machu Picchu has become a symbol of Peruvian identity as part of a massive post-conflict nation-building project. My research also looks at the transnational encounters that have taken place as a result of this huge increase in tourism to Peru, that involve actors from the local (such as tour guides or artisanal sellers) to the international level (tourists themselves and international agencies). With the naming of Machu Picchu as a new Wonder of the World, I am also interested in the increased monitoring of the tourist site by outsiders, such as agencies like UNESCO, who have recently begun attribute tourism to the increasing environmental degradation of this World Heritage Site. Therefore tourism, which brings to mind leisure and vacationing on the one hand, is also inherent with power relations, which can also help shape the identities of Peruvians as well as influence nation-building projects in post-conflict settings. My favourite Peruvians: Paddington Bear, Mario Testino, and Alfonso Barrantes Ling
I completed my BA in children’s studies (honours) from York University in 2015. My areas of interest include childhood, tourism, volunteer tourism, NGO’s, representational politics, visual culture, commodification and humanitarian discourses. Broadly speaking I am interested in the development of the volunteer tourism (voluntourism) industry and the politics at play between home/away, work/leisure, guest/host and volunteer/child relationships. My MA will focus on the volunteer tourism programs that offer placements for volunteers via teaching and childcare initiatives. I am interested in the ways in which children and childhoods are discursively framed within volunteer tourism marketing material. In drawing on this exploration of representation, I will examine these marketing images and narratives of childhood in order to better understand how volunteers conceptualize their own positions and identities in the context of their volunteer experiences.
After completing my BA in anthropology at York University, I decided to continue my education to further explore the relationship that the imagination has to conceptions of reality with a focus on storytelling. My research is focused on further exploring the emotive and community-centric relationships that emerge from the participation in and/ or attendance of live storytelling events in Toronto, ON.
I completed my B.Sc at the University of Toronto with a double major in Psychology and Equity Studies in 2011. I spent two years as an English teacher assistant in Martinique and two years in London working as a travel writer. My MA research explores the relationships between the Martinicans and Haitians who work and shop at a produce market in Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique. I am interested in Caribbean solidarity and how space and boundaries are implicated in the process of identity creation and re-creation. Through an exploration of identification, boundaries, inclusion/exclusion, and place and space, I aim to contribute to the discussion about the relationship Martinicans have with a group besides the metropolitan French while challenging the assumptions of Caribbean solidarity and bounded, essentialized identities.
I graduated from Dalhousie University in 2014 with a Combined Honours in Social Anthropology and Religious Studies. From an initial interest in Chan/Zen and esoteric Buddhism I became interested in Japanese forms of religiosity more generally, and from there I developed an evolving interest in Japanese contemporary issues. Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011 and the charged activism that has developed in its wake, my interests currently remain broadly located at the junction of environmental anthropology, science and technology studies, and political ecology. Expressly, my current MA project aims to examine the politics of knowledge, expertise, and authority within environmental and antinuclear activism, with a particular focus on the activist work emerging out of those who have been displaced by the effects of nuclear fallout.
I came to York after graduating from Central Michigan University; I earned my bachelor of science majoring in anthropology and history with a minor in political science. My research interest’s focus on medical and psychiatric anthropology and include Attention disorders, comorbidity, syndemics, and mental health narratives. Geographically my fieldwork experience has been located in North America, Belize, and Senegal. My undergraduate research examined both the conception of attention disorders worldwide and how North American university students created daily rituals and routines around the medicalization of these disorders. My current research looks at how psychiatric comorbidity is understood, defined, and used in contemporaneous discourses on mental health in academic literature as well as personal blog posts on social networking sites.
My BA from McMaster University (2014) led me to focus on medical anthropology and the anthropology of techno-science. I have developed a passion for understanding the structure and impact of medical systems cross-culturally, and how medical knowledges are constructed, reproduced, and negotiated across diverse societies. I am drawn to questions that allow me to explore how medical histories are connected to contemporary concerns, and how biomedicine interacts with technology in the 21st century. My MA research focuses on exploring how contemporary neuropsychiatric research conceptually renders the impacts of drug use on the brain. I am exploring the methodical logics, semantics, and symbolic constructions of neuropsychiatric literatures, while critically interpreting how and to what extent the social, economic, and political environments of drug users are implicated in neurological understandings of ‘brain health’ and drug use. I have situated my project within a feminist political economy framework that works to understand the convergence of the neurosciences with the material-semiotic relations of contemporary capitalism. My project will elucidate how the global proliferation and academic intensification of the neurosciences can be understood in relation to the economic contexts from which they intra-act. Moreover, I have broad interests and research experience exploring the relationship between affect and expertise in the context of medical education; end-of-life medical practice; the history of infectious diseases in Canada; bodily epistemologies and the phenomenology of illness; popular and scientific discourses on ‘mental health’; and the socio-economic influences on health policy formulation.
email@example.com After transferring from Capilano University in Vancouver B.C., I graduated with a BA in Anthropology from York University. Through my encounters in travel and specific topics in anthropology, I have become fascinated with visual culture and religion. I am particularly interested in a set of Virgin Mary representations known as the Black Madonnas. In my Masters research I will focus on a few Black Madonnas found in Europe and Mexico. I would like to gather local narratives of miraculous and visionary encounters, and consider the affective dimensions of these experiences. I will also explore how these stories are reinterpreted and reshaped as they get taken up in popular culture and other contemporary forms.
I came to York after graduating in 2012 from Carleton University with an undergraduate degree and a continuing passion for anthropology. My interests are broad in scope and range from issues of diversity, development and subjectivity, to notions of discourse, performance and space, as well as policy. My undergraduate honours project was an ethnographic look at Blueline taxi drivers in Ottawa and the ways in which they construct a sense of community despite the fact that they work in isolation. Moving forward to new research, I am looking at the involvement of individuals from diasporic communities with urban farming in Toronto, and who may otherwise be considered a 'new generation' of farmers. Through the lens of network analysis I seek to investigate the interconnections between individual farmers, crops, farmers markets, and various organizational bodies. I am primarily drawn to the development and transmission of the discourses of locality, sustainability, and organic farming, and the ways they are engaged with throughout the food network in the GTA, in addition to the subsequent effects on the performance of farmers' subjectivity. In my first year at York, I enjoyed a position as a Graduate Assistant with YCAR.
My research considers the intersection of political ecology, science studies and the place of expertise in postcolonial and neocolonial contexts. Broadly speaking, I am interested in the impact of colonial science and imperialism on the cultivation of western and non-western subjects. In particular, my dissertation explores the design and implementation of sustainable development projects in Mauritius, an island-nation in the Indian Ocean, and the influence of colonial-era green imperialism on which these current projects are imbricated. By this I mean to trace how colonial forms of expertise are legitimated and sustained over time—a practice that in turn seems to rely on the continuous (re)production of particular forms of knowledge-making practices. As such, my work is informed by past and contemporary transnational encounters that configure connections between environment, expertise and knowledge exchange. Alongside my doctoral research, I am also a graduate associate of the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR).
Specialized in Queer Anthropology, Anthropology of Sexuality, Indigenous Studies and Anthropology of New Technologies, Nicolas' doctoral project is on the transformation of the models of (homo)sexuality among Maori of New Zealand/Aotearoa and other indigenous communities.
B.A.: Socio-cultural Anthropology at Université Laval (Québec)
M.A.: Sociology at Université Laval (Québec) on Online communities of barebackers
I am a Ph.D. student in Social Anthropology at York University. My research takes place at the intersection of sociocultural anthropology and science and technology studies. Interested in energetic economies, speculation and the materiality of data and virtual technologies. My current research project examines how a large data centre located outside of Paris, France recycles waste heat from computer servers and uses this heat to power an arboretum. Inside the arboretum researchers experiment on plants that are meant to survive climate change thus speculating on future environmental conditions. Prior to beginning my PhD I completed a M.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto.
"My doctoral research sits at the intersection of the anthropology of the state and the anthropology of policy in order to study Canadian immigration policies and practices. I examine what these regulations can reveal about the political subjectivities of policy actors and the state in whose name they act. My research proceeds from the idea that, as a tool of government, policy can also be used as a tool in the study of government. My work examines policy as a discursive practice, where its representation in the form of a document moves from the material into the work of state-making and de/subjectification. My doctoral research explores how the imaginary of “the state” is always under construction, and examines policy as a method and tool by which “the precarious achievement” that is “the state” affects the subject-positions of policy actors and im/migrants. Along with my doctoral research, I am also a graduate student with the Global Labour Research Centre."
I received my M.A in Social Anthropology from McMaster University in 2012 before coming to York to continue my studies in the discipline. My interests are broad and include popular/urban spaces, performance, identity, and play. My M.A research explored the circulation of “politically correct” discourses and its intersection with the growing demand for racially based stand-up comedy in the city of Toronto. Focusing on performers and audience members in comedy clubs, I examined the ways these discourses were discussed, reinterpreted, expressed and consumed and the implications this had for addressing racism within Canada. I am currently interested in further exploring unconventional sites of expression and their capacity for people to create personal and collective feelings of connection. Specifically, I aim to understand how sexual minorities in South Korea use emerging digital technologies, such as dating applications, to carve out spaces of intimacy within Korean society. Through this proposed research I ask whether the affective dimensions of intimacy are being mediated between the online and offline worlds as people perform their sexual identity and what impact will these new platforms provide regarding personal and collective feelings of belonging in Korean society.
For my MA research I examined how both formal and “informal” Afrocentric pedagogy in Bahia, Brazil was, in multiple ways, working to challenge the omnipresent racism and coloniality of knowledge and power in Bahia, and more extensively in Brazil. My doctoral research will be continuing with this engaged anthropological approach, and with my interests in youth and social justice. Towards these pursuits, I am hoping to do research in Kenya on the violence of everyday life in Kenyan slums, and how community youth groups come together to negotiate these violence’s. This project will be building on organizing that I have been part of in Kenya since 2007.
My MA research focused on twice migrancy and second generation youth identity within the context of Canadian Multiculturalism. My PhD research explores in what ways Tanzanian youth use creative expression to construct political identities in an environment of social inequality, particularly through the use of gendered expressive forms. I am interested in asking how Tanzanian youth create alternative spaces to cultivate economic, creative, and political expression and how those spaces become politicized.
My current SSHRC funded research focuses on the role of anti-trafficking NGOs as privileged interlocutors between those labelled as "trafficking victims" and the Canadian government. It explores the development of the anti-trafficking industry in Canada, how certain NGOs have come to hold the privileged positions that they do, how anti-trafficking NGOs actively participate in the construction of the 'trafficking victim,' and the interaction between these NGOs and their target audience. Additional aspects of this research include a focus on the adverse effects that dominant anti-trafficking campaigns have had on local and migrant sex workers, including increased criminalization and tighter border controls, and the goal of increasing transparency among groups, government and non-government, that work with marginalized communities. In addition, this research explores the efforts of anti-trafficking NGOs to work in meaningful collaboration with the marginalized communities that are directly and indirectly impacted by anti-trafficking campaigns.
I completed my M.A. in 2015 at the University of Manitoba, focusing on the ways in which sexual health discourses shaped African newcomer young women’s perceptions and experiences of sex and sexuality in Winnipeg. My current research interests include sexual health, sexual education, HIV/AIDS, risk, morality and citizenship. For my doctoral project, I will be conducting ethnographic research with African newcomer young women in Toronto. I am specifically interested in how youth are simultaneously constructed as both a “risky” group and a group “at-risk” within the context of sexual health. My work will explore the discursive power of sexual education in relation to subjectivity, critically examining how value placed on being “sexually healthy” is imagined in relation to being a “good citizen.”
My work falls within the subdiscipline of medical anthropology, and my research interests lie in the areas of Aboriginal health and well-being, healthcare systems, policy, and the body. My doctoral project takes the form of an institutional ethnography, and explores how Aboriginal medical citizen-subjects are constructed through provincial health promotion programs. I am also deeply invested in the issues of poverty and homelessness within Canada, and have held service and research positions in several Aboriginal-focused organizations that address these topics. Most recently, I held a graduate assistantship with the York University-based Canadian Homelessness Research Network.
I came to York University after completing an M.A. at Université de Montréal, where I focused on the aesthetics of kawaii, an ideal that advocates cuteness and childish behaviour among Japanese women. The overall objective of this thesis was to update the impact of a given visual culture in the formation and construction of a female identity in Japan. My present research project focuses on the Fukushima nuclear disaster. I aim to ethnographically explore how ideas of contamination shape social relations of acceptance, belonging, and exclusion through everyday practices in Japan. In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, I seek to focus on the discriminatory and marginalizing practices towards those Japanese citizens who are suspected of having been affected by radioactive contamination. I wish to examine how discourses and fears of contamination are socially constructed, especially in their relations to politics of minorities in Japan. The formation of discriminative identities and tendancies, which is not merely the result of radiation, provides a rich context to explore how fear of contamination intersects with historically sedimented and culturally constituted politics of identity. My proposed research asks: what is the intent that gives impetus to everyday practices and discourses of discrimination in Fukushima? Drawing from recent scholarship on environmental citizenship, I plan to show how discriminatory practices arise, how they travel and transform, and what can such analyses tell us about the unfolding cultural politics of exclusion, belonging, and citizenship.
During my B.A. (Panteion University, Athens) and my M.A. (The New School, New York) in Social Anthropology my research focus was on different aspects of migration in Greece such as internal and external (national) borders, the politics of European migration policy, humanitarian aid as state of exception and alternative forms of citizenship. Currently, in my PhD research I am focusing on the vertical and horizontal migration of materials and the cross-scale relations between the disconnected subterranean politics and the notions of everyday life. More specifically, in the wake of crisis-driven market reforms and increasing local concerns over environmental conditions in Greece, mines have become political borders through which systems of power redistribute sociopolitical tensions at local, national and international levels. Taking mines as ‘thresholds’ of knowledge, memory and power, in this work I ask: how are political subjectivities and national identities negotiated and contested around gold mining in the forest of Skouries in Northern Greece? Specifically, how are local political terrains reconfigured by mining activities? How do local activists and their networks operate with, within and against this terrain to create political possibility?
Marta Castilho da Silva
I am interested in transnational forms of resistance and solidarity woven by indigenous audiovisual creation. My research includes analyses of spaces of transnational encounters (such as international indigenous film festivals) and participant-observation of a recently formed indigenous cinema collective in Brazil. In particular, I seek to understand how indigenous visual works relate to identity making, memory and resistance in the context of globalization -allowing groups to redefine their socio-political emplacement- and how transnational forms of solidarity take shape within indigenous filmmaking. Concomitantly, I am examining the relevance of the anthropological uptake on new cosmopolitanisms for theorizing on such forms of solidarities. Currently, I am also a Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), a research assistant on the Globally Networked Learning project and on the SSHRC-Funded Project: Evaluating strategic political partnerships: The case of the women’s movement and the state in contemporary Brazil.
More than 200,000 people from 140 countries have applied to go to Mars and never return including almost 7,000 Canadians; some call it a suicide mission, some call it the ‘final frontier’
Although, colonization has a lengthy and contentious relationship within the discipline of anthropology, initially it consisted largely of explorers travelling into the uncharted. Frequently, these expeditions entailed confronting new frontiers within the confines of extreme risk. My research project draws on this and investigates the potential colonization of otherworldly planets such as Mars. This subject is compelling because, following Khun (1962), we are experiencing a paradigm shift brought on by revolutionary new scientific knowledge and technological capabilities. If, as some in the scientific community state, we are close to colonizing inhabitable planets, established worldviews will undergo enormous change further challenging notions of our place within the cosmos. My research interests lie in how the exponential growth of innovative technologies act to alter worldviews and extend place not only globally but also out-worldly in the face of extreme risk. This project extends insights from my master’s thesis which examined how digital technologies act to blur lines between space and place.
My SSHRC-funded dissertation research is an educational ethnography of student teachers in southern France that explores the affective labour of teachers as they learn the laȉque, or secular, education curriculum and enter increasingly culturally-diverse public school classrooms. More broadly, my research interests include European identity, gender/feminist theory, the anthropology of education and qualitative research methods. I am currently a diploma student at the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies and a research assistant on the project The (in) Visibility of Gender in EU Policy.
Maria Jose Yax-Fraser
Inspired by the cross-cultural mothering experiences I had when my first child was born, I enrolled in the inter university master’s program in Women and Gender Studies at Dalhousie University to learn how migrant women negotiated their identifications; their beliefs, values and practices of rearing and socializing children; and how they negotiated the social, cultural, economic and political environment in which they settled. I am interested in expanding upon these questions to unravel how migrant mother’s social and cultural identities are marked, articulated and transformed while crossing national and provincial boundaries; how they, as social agents, negotiate their social, cultural and political positioning as well as their civic participation within multiple spaces as women and as mothers. I am also interested in further understanding the ways in which women’s maternal practice, as a form of bodily performance, may contribute to opening gaps for new forms of individual and groups identities and hybrid cultures.