PhD Students
CaporussoMy 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).

Nicolas Côté-Saucier

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.
Fischer"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.
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.
McFadyenGrounded in ethnographic research on the anti–trafficking, sex worker rights, and migrant worker rights movements in Toronto, ON, Canada, and rooted in activist anthropology research methodologies, my research explores social movements, interactions within and between them, and how human rights frameworks are differentially imagined, produced, and interpreted by them. Drawing on the anthropologies of humanitarianism, ethics, and human rights, as well as the interdisciplinary scholarship on social movements and critical feminist anti–trafficking studies, social movements are conceptualized as ethical worlds wherein the individual ethical orientations and ideological beliefs of movement members contribute to the movement’s guiding framework, with implications for how tensions and conflict are navigated, the activities of movement members, and discursive and in-person encounters between different social movements. With implications for how human rights are conceptualized, deployed, and engaged with by both privileged and differentially marginalized populations in Canada, my research identifies and unpacks the hierarchies of suffering and compassion that sustain them and presents a valuable theoretical framework for investigating the hegemony of some over others.
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.”
PatrickMy 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.
PolleriI 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?
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.
My dissertation research explores the emotional lives of student teachers in southern France. My fieldwork, conducted during the 2014-2015 school year, included working at a the local teachers’ college, visiting primary and secondary school classrooms, and interviewing teachers around the region. More broadly, I am interested in the ideas of state secularism, emotional labour, and citizenship and belonging. I am currently a research assistant with the Globally Networked Learning Project at York, a graduate diploma student in German & European Studies, and a graduate affiliate of the City Institute at York University. I am on leave for the 2017-2018 academic year.
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.