Archive/Counter-Archive's Student Researchers network spans across Canada and multiple disciplines. Read more about our Student Researchers and their activities below!
Elisa Arca Jarque
Elisa Arca Jarque is a PhD student in Communication and Culture at York University. She holds a Master's degree in New Media and Contemporary Art from Paris 8 University. She has worked as a project coordinator for ePPA Space/ Platform for Audiovisual preservation, a repository for Peruvian video art. At Alta Tecnología Andina (ATA), she conducted research in media arts with an emphasis on Latin America. She coordinated and contributed to the essay collection The future was now: 21 years of video and electronic art in Peru. As a researcher and consultant, she worked for the Directorate of Audiovisual, Phonography, and New Media at the Ministry of Culture of Peru. She is the general coordinator of MUTA- Festival Internacional de Apropiación Audiovisual, a Lima-based found footage festival. Her current research interests include the use of audiovisual media in religious contexts and Latin American media history.
Kathryn Armstrong (she/her) is a SSHRC Research Fellow and PhD Candidate of Concordia’s Communication Department. Her work examines the Canadian public media system, including Canada’s approach to international media distribution and its handling at the governmental level of content development and digital content platforms. Kathryn specializes in Canada’s international treaty co-production partnerships and how Canadian media producers forge these collaborations. She holds two Master’s degrees from the University of Toronto (Cinema Studies) and Toronto Metropolitan University (Media Production), as well as an Honours Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto’s Cinema Studies Institute. Kathryn's past work in producer advocacy at the Canadian Media Producers Association as well as her management of international director and producer relations for the Toronto International Film Festival continue to drive her research inquiries. Kathryn often attends academic conferences including the Film Studies Association of Canada and the TIFF/Sheridan College’s NextGen Seminar. She is currently working on the 2022/2023 Canada Media Fund Trends report, and has appeared as a media analyst in defence of film and arts support, including her recent spot on CBC’s The National.
Nicholas Avedisian-Cohen is a researcher in film and moving image studies at Concordia University's Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. His area of concern focuses on early archives of war and how moving image practices have come to inform public awareness of imperialism and global violence. He has worked on preservation projects at the Yale Film Archive, the Hugh Hefner Moving Image Archive at USC, and Eye Filmmuseum Nederlands, and is currently overseeing exhibition of a film series drawing from Concordia's film archive. In addition to his background in moving image archives, he has worked as a librarian and educator in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.
Emily's work coalesces at the intersection of queer cinema and the queer archive. Her project seeks to understand if it is possible to build queer community trans-historically through the moving image. Theatre spaces and archives, subject to displacement and precarity, have also been venues of world-building and community creation throughout a queer history. Consequently, Emily is interested in the ways meta-narratives are constructed through these disparate but interrelated spaces. It is their hope that this project will focus on women loving women.
Becka Barker is an interdisciplinary artist and educator of settler ancestry who uses animation, collaboration, and process cinema as key strategies for research and studio practice. Her SSHRC-funded PhD project traces developments in experimental animation through community-based movements over the past quarter century. Becka’s work has been supported by agencies such as the National Film Board and the Canada Council for the Arts. She has presented at venues such as Ottawa International Animation Festival, EXiS Seoul (Winner, Best International Film, 2007), Society for Animation Studies and Universities Art Association of Canada.
Becka comes to York after 15 years as Regular Part-Time Faculty at NSCAD University and five years as Visiting Faculty in the Film/Animation Department and School for Global Education and Exchange at Soonchunhyang University (ROK). She holds a B.Sc. (Hons) from Mount Allison University, a BFA from NSCAD University, and an M. Ed. from University of Calgary.
Marie Bernard-Brind'Amour studies alternative media social movements at Concordia University.
Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte is completing a PhD in Communication at Simon Fraser University with a focus on cultural policy and artist-run visual and media arts organizations. In recent years, she has worked as lead researcher/consultant on various sectoral research and community consultation projects commissioned by visual and media arts service organizations. She has served on the boards of the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (BC) and VIVO Media Arts Centre (Vancouver) and is currently a board member for Aphotic Theatre (Vancouver). Mariane has exhibited artistic and curatorial projects across Canada and has contributed texts to a number of artistic and scholarly publications.
Lara Bulger has a deep-rooted commitment to the arts. With a Bachelor’s degree in Music with minors in Film and English, plus a Master’s Degree in Arts Leadership, she is passionate about the capacity of art to bring about social change. Lara is currently pursuing her PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, focusing on documentary film and its social, political and cultural impacts. She also has been involved with a variety of film festivals, including working as a programmer for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.
Erin Chan is a graduate student in the Master of Publishing (MPub) program at Simon Fraser University. Her research is centred on zines and the zine community of the west coast of Canada, and she is interested in exploring zines as a crucial alternative to traditional publishing in giving space to and embodying marginalized communities.
I am a Ph.D. student at York University Cinema and Media Studies. I am also a multimedia artist and researcher focusing on the liminal relationship between the virtual and reality. I have exhibited works in various locations virtually and physically, including the CICA museum in South Korea, Walter Otero Contemporary Art in Puerto Rico, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, Hunan Museum of Art in China, and many more. I founded a Mixed Reality collective, Chameleon Gallery, in 2017.
Emily Collins is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary researcher, arts administrator and PhD student in Cinema and Media Studies. She has worked across arts organizations in local and international settings, including the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Festival Scope (Paris), VUCAVU (Toronto), PUBLIC Journal (Toronto), and the Toronto International Film Festival. She holds graduate degrees in Arts and Culture from Maastricht University (Netherlands) and Cinema and Media Studies from York University (Toronto). Situated at the intersection of film and media, sound studies, cultural studies and gender studies, Emily's PhD research considers practices of deep listening, sonic epistemologies and embodied soundscapes. Namely, her project examines how sonic intervention and experimentation within audio-visual works can function as tools of resistance, instruments for disruption and modes of trans-sensory knowledge formation.
Jade Courchesne is a student at The University of British Columbia pursuing a Master’s in Cinema and Media Studies. She currently researches the concept of performativity within the Canadian-Chinese diaspora, especially looking at code-switching practices of multiracial individuals. Her published work contributes to the expanding body of anti-racist literary media through discussions of representation, identity and mental health.
Axelle Demus is a PhD student in the joint Communication and Culture program at York and Ryerson University. They hold an MA in Anglophone studies from the Université de Nantes, France, during which they studied the history of activist media production and circulation during the HIV/AIDS crisis in North America. Their PhD dissertation explores the history of queer cable access television in Ontario, Canada from the 1970s to the early 2000s and its intersections with the wider constellation of queer community media and activist networks in the province. Axelle Demus’ research interests include queer and feminist media theory and history, television studies, community archives, and alternative media.
Debbie Ebanks Schlums
Debbie Ebanks Schlums is a multidisciplinary artist exploring themes of Jamaican diaspora, Caribbean archiving, migration, and anti-colonial actions through community engagement, materials, and conversation. She was a founding member of the Out of a War Zone and To Lemon Hill Collectives, both addressing the Syrian refugee crisis. She is a of Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council Visual Arts Grants, and an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Fellowship. Debbie studied Visual and Critical Studies and Fine Art at the California College of the Arts, and holds degrees in Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations. She was Co-Director of the Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film from 2016 to 2020 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Cinema and Media Arts at York University. She resides in Mulmur, Ontario.
Geneva Gillis is a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto studying community museums in Ontario. She holds a MA in History from McMaster University and a MMSt from the University of Toronto where she critically examined the relationships between historiographical practices, memory, and interpretation used for public engagement with community histories in the GLAM sector. Geneva’s current research examines community engagement in small, local museums from the community’s perspective, focusing on how the histories, internal power dynamics, and local relationships of community museums challenge and change the engagement process and moments of transition in the institution. Geneva draws on years of professional experience in the GLAM sector and community-based research practices to inform the future of museum practices from local community perspectives.
Claire Gray is a research assistant to Professor Karine Bertrand in the Arnait Video Productions case study. She has just finished her MA in Film Studies at Concordia University.
Linda Grussani (Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg) is a curator and art historian born and raised in the Ottawa area. Currently, she is working full-time towards completing a PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. Over the last decade, Linda had held the position of Curator, Aboriginal Art at the Canadian Museum of History (CMH); Director, Indigenous Art Centre for Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC); and has worked in the Indigenous art department at the National Gallery of Canada. Linda holds both a BA and MA in Art History from Carleton University and is a graduate of CIRNAC’s Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative (2014-15) and the CMH’s Indigenous Training Programme in Museum Practices (2000-2001). Linda currently sits on the Indigenous Education Council for OCAD University, the Indigenous Collections Symposium Working Group for the Ontario Museums Association, and is a collaborator with the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative.
Mary Hegedus is a PhD Candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at York University. Mary’s research seeks to expand her University of Toronto Master’s in Cinema Studies work on post-apocalyptic film and fungi to find deeper connections between fungal living and its relationship to cinema.
Beatrix is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, studying art history, material culture, and critical theory. She is currently working in the Sexual Representation Collection and is interested in cultural studies and archiving.
Max Holzberg is a Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal-based curator, filmmaker, and researcher whose work engages with documentary film and media. He is presently at Concordia University pursuing his MA in Film Studies. Max’s SSHRC funded thesis “Replaying the Past: Queer Canadian Documentary as Counter-Archival Practice” examines queer Canadian documentary film as a form of counter-archive to question collective memory, identity, and nationality. He has also worked on several curatorial projects such as: FNC: Spotlight on Concordia Fine Arts (2019); Nouveau Cineastes, Dazibao Image (2019); UNAFF TFF (2021); and OPTIMISTA (2021-2023). Max has produced a four-part mini-series for MaTV’s My Curious City (2018); Elspeth McConnell: An Extraordinary Legacy (2019), Ana Banana Breaks Some Bread (2022) – with additional projects currently in development. Max is presently a Researcher in Residence with Concordia’s Public Art Collection (2022) and is also participating in Celine Bureau and CIGALE’s writing residency (2022).
Sarah Irvine is an MA student in the Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management program at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has a History BA from TMU, as well as an MMst in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. Sarah has been a researcher on several archives-based projects, including working with material from the Archives of Ontario, the Toronto Star, and the TMU Motion Picture Lab. Her interests include the history of moving image technology, the corporate development of cultural products, and the preservation of film and video equipment.
Joyce Joumaa is a video artist based in Montreal. After growing up in Tripoli, Lebanon, she moved to Canada to pursue a BFA, Specialization in Film Studies, at Concordia University. She is interested in the intersection of art and politics as a means to translate images from the political climate surrounding the Mena region. Her works examine themes of exile, language, post-war memory, and post-colonial education. Joumaa is active as a programmer at Cinema Politica and as the exhibitions coordinator for Art Matters Festival. She is also currently an invited artist at the Galerie UQO. Her current research focus for a film project revolves around a maritime boarder conflict and the political intentions behind it.
Olive Zeynep Kartal
Olive Zeynep Kartal is an MA student in Film Studies at Concordia University. She received her BA in English (Cultural Studies) and Gender Studies from McGill University. Her previous work has focused on textiles and queer theory. Her research interests include feminist film and literature, spectrality, media studies, and disability studies.
Caroline Klimek is a programmer and a PhD Candidate in Cinema and Media Arts at York University and a recipient of the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. Her research examines the impact current Canadian public funding and policy stakeholders have on Canadian cultural institutions’ new media programs and exhibitions’ practices. She is published in the Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Shameless and forthcoming issue of TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. She helped start the Digital Media at the Crossroads graduate student symposium DM@X-tra, an annual collaborative event focused on key aspects of the digital future of the cultural industries.
Emma Kredl is a graduate student in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, where they also received their BFA in Film Production. Kredl’s current research utilizes autoethnographic and hauntology-based frameworks to discuss how autoethnographic ethics can be applied to spectral, relational investigations of self in the autoethnographic films, For One More Hour With You and The Silences, as well as their own film, Look at Me, Now Look Away.
Luke Kuplowsky’s work is interested in cinema’s radical potential for challenging the way we perceive the world around us. His MA project at UofT explored non-anthropocentric forms of attention and a cinematic fascination for cats in the works of Chris Marker and Kazuhiro Soda. He is a York Elia Scholar and SSHRC research fellow whose current project explores imaginings and philosophies of community in contemporary documentary and fiction film and media, attending to their capacity to give rise to creative forms of attention, care and responsibility. Luke is also a practicing musician currently working on a series of albums that interpret and respond to the poetry of Ryōkan Taigu and Bohdan Ihor Antonych (among others) through a Canada Council Research/Creation grant and the Boris Horodynsky Music Fund.
Zoë Anne Laks
Zoë Anne Laks is a PhD candidate in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University. Her MA thesis, On Longing for Loss: A Theory of Cinematic Memory and an Aesthetics of Nostalgia, explored affective memory representations in film and proposed an original theory of nostalgia and nostalgic aesthetics. In her dissertation she is researching representations of posthuman memory in film and new media, specifically object-memories and their function as imaginative and non-indexical archives. Her current research interests include film and memory theory, posthumanism, object-oriented philosophies, and media archeology.
Cydney Langill is a PhD student in York University’s Cinema and Media Studies program. She holds an MA in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories from OCAD University, with a focus in post-cinematic media and shifting forms of embodiment in the digital age. She has worked in film production and post-production, as well as arts administration. Recent publications include an article in Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities in collaboration with Dr. Selmin Kara. Her PhD research involves an examination of post-pandemic media cultures generating activated archives and new portals for online engagement.
Johanna Laub is a PhD candidate in the research group “Configurations of Film” at Goethe University Frankfurt. After her bachelor and master studies in Art History at the University of Leipzig and Université de Tours, she worked as a curatorial assistant at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt on exhibitions of contemporary and modern art. There, she also collaborated as a co-curator on the screening and artist talk program “Double Feature". Johanna’s PhD project focusses on contemporary moving image art as a site of history production and deconstruction, where film and video challenge conventions of written historiography and develop alternative archaeological and historiographical practices. Her interests as a writer and curator lie in the field of artistic research, media archaeology, philosophy of technology, and decolonial thinking. From August to December 2022, she is an academic visitor at Concordia University.
Daniel is a PhD Candidate at the Cinema Studies Institute and a member of the Collaborative Graduate Program in Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. His SSHRC-funded research explores how a subgenre of online gay pornography featuring heterosexual performers claims authenticity through confession, amateur aesthetics, and on notions of straightness that are coded in terms of race and class. His other research and teaching interests include reality television, the queer archive, and pre-AIDS sexual identities.
Jeanine is a Mi'kmaw epit/woman. She is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton). Her SSHRC-funded research examines the photographic materials and record of Mi’kmaq persons and relations while situating myself as a Mi’kmaw epit/woman in this continuum of kinship relations through photographic self-portraiture. This work is grounded in Indigenous Studies disciplinarity focused on Indigenous feminisms and critical Indigenous theory with a methodological engagement in relationality, situated knowledges, and eroticanalysis. As a Mi’kmaw film photographer, she uses self-portraiture to dismantle settler colonial representations of self (corporeal/body and personhood) and collective nationhood/peoplehood experiences through a critical response to archival images of Mi’kmaq women. This research creation work recognizes Mi'kmaq women’s self-determination and corporeal (body) sovereignty, and points to a continuum of socio-political relationality that has been ignored in the archives. In this work, she acknowledges that, as Indigenous peoples, we are not solitary “objects” or “subjects,” but are embedded in spiritual/religious relations with other humans and more-than-human peoples in storied places, across time and space.
Jennifer LeBlanc (L’nu/Mi’kmaw) is a 3rd PhD student at Queen’s University, with the Faculty of Cultural Studies. Jennifer studies with Stó:lõ sound studies scholar Dylan Robinson. Her research interests include underground ‘heavy music’ including metal, goth, and experimental, affect theory, emotional knowledges, and Indigenous body sovereignty. Her research project asks what underground 'heavy music' does to and for Indigenous bodies, with a particular focus on how Indigenous sovereign bodies feel both heavy and light when engaging musical and affective heaviness in 'heavy music' and what Indigenous bodies do with these affective feelings and encounters.
Treva Michelle Legassie is an interdisciplinary researcher, curator, artist and a PhD Candidate in Communication Studies at Concordia University. Legassie’s doctoral research investigates the impacts of artistic interventions on indeterminate landscapes that hold great ecological and cultural value but are seen by some as disposable. She suggests that curatorial interventions on such sites may allow for the revitalization and rehabilitation of indeterminate landscapes. Engaging in curatorial practice as research-creation, her dissertation explores the potential of emplaced arts to activate public spaces on the fringes.
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.
Elina Lex is an interdisciplinary researcher, media artist, and PhD student in Communications Studies at Concordia University. Working across VR, 360° video, sensory ethnography, interactive documentary and digital archives, she investigates how emergent digital media formats might transform the way cultural information, knowledge, and memory is expressed and exchanged. Her current doctoral research-creation project explores potential applications of VR in the design of future archival interfaces and architectures, examining how they might produce new modalities for diverse communities and audiences to share, preserve, and interpret tangible and intangible cultural heritage material. Elina is an active member of the Immersive Media Lab at the Post-Image cluster located at the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture, and Technology as well as researcher in the Technology: Innovation working group of the Archive/Counter-Archive project.
Angus O Macdonald is currently pursuing an MA in Film and Photo Preservation and Collections Management at TMU. He is interested in the preservation and documentation of expanded cinema and performance art, as well as restoration strategies for new media artwork. He is a Co-President of the TMU AMIA Chapter and sits on the board of directors for the8fest, a small gauge film festival based in Toronto. He has researched and worked in audiovisual collections at the Archives of Ontario and Vtape in Toronto, as well as Public Energy Dance in Peterborough, Ontario.
Corina MacDonald is a PhD Candidate in Communication Studies at Concordia University. She previously completed a MLIS degree in Library and Information Studies at McGill University, where she researched documentary strategies for the preservation of new media art. Her current research interests include knowledge organization, dissemination, and research infrastructures. Her doctoral project focuses on self-archiving practices and platforms as a site of inquiry for understanding changing conditions of academic labour and value regimes within humanities scholarly communication.
Michael Marlatt is a disabled film archivist and current 4th year doctoral candidate in York University’s Communication & Culture program. He has previously worked on archival film related projects with the Toronto International Film Festival, the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, and York University. His research interests centre on the lived experience of disabled students and students with chronic illnesses in archival moving image graduate programs. Michael has previously written on and presented at conferences relating to the experience of the disabled archivist and further disability-centered inclusion in the archival field. Michael is currently on AMIA’s Advocacy Committee of the Board and is an advisor for the AMIA Pathways Fellowship.
Julia Minne is a Phd student at the Département de communication of the Université de Montréal and the Département d’Arts plastiques at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and is also in charge of the initiative Savoirs communs du cinéma, carried out by the Cinémathèque québécoise. She has a master’s degree in film archives from the University of Paris VIII.
Pascaline Morincôme is a French researcher and curator, member of the curatorial team of Treize, an independent exhibition and production space located in Paris. Since a couple of years, She has been leading a research with Sibylle de Laurens with whom she organized, among other events, a program focused on the links between filmed and printed forms, hosted at the Bibliothèque Kandinsky at the Centre George Pompidou. Together, they are now working on a project dedicated to the archives of the independent video space EZTV in Los Angeles in collaboration with the 18th Street Arts Center of Santa Monica. Since 2018, she has also been working with Olga Rozenblum and Julien Laugier on the films of Guillaume Dustan. She is started a PhD in Art History at the University of Saint-Etienne.
Tyisha Murphy (they/them) is a researcher with a focused interest in the relationship between audiences and cinematic exhibition. Their primary scholarly works have been rooted in experimental and independent film, further informed by the preservation practices of filmic physical elements and digital accessibility. Key research projects have previously been conducted at CFMDC [Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre], the SRC [Sexual Representation Collection], and Toronto Metropolitan University. They are currently a first year PhD candidate at Concordia University, where they will continue to expand on their previous work.
Alexandra Nordstrom is an MA student in the Department of Art History at Concordia University. Her current research examines how craft practices and Indigenous methodologies can be mobilized together as agents of activism. Alexandra completed her BA in Art History at the University of British Columbia where she was awarded the Trek Excellence Scholarship for Continuing Aboriginal Students.
Sylvia Nowak is an artist, activist and scholar based out of Toronto. Working primarily in documentary-based media, her work digs into archives to explore radical histories of resistance. She is a Ph.D. student in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University and holds a BFA in Photography and an MFA in Documentary Media (both from Ryerson University). Her MFA thesis film, 206 Carlton, a short archival-based film exploring racism and resistance in the city of Toronto has screened at festivals and conferences. She sits on the advisory collective for Alternative Toronto, a community archive and historical map of Toronto’s alternative cultures, scenes and spaces of the 1980s and early 1990s. As well, she is an active zinester and film enthusiast, volunteering at the Toronto Zine Library and working at Bay Street Video.
Michelle is completing a PhD in the Cultural Studies program at Queen's University. With a background in film and animation studies, her research explores fan-made archives of anime (Japanese animation) and manga (Japanese comics and graphic novels) in a transnational context. Currently she works at the Vulnerable Media Lab at Queen's University as a technical assistant, digitizing analog media "marginalized" sources.
Laura Pannekoek is a Ph.D. student in Communication Studies at Concordia. Her research focuses on political ecology and technology at sites of resource extraction. She received an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam with a thesis that traces a geological index in cultural production and energy policy. Laura is a member of Feminist Media Studio at Concordia and the Grierson Research Group on Media, Environment, and Infrastructure at McGill. She is the founder of Soapbox: Journal for Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam.
Sarah Pollman is an interdisciplinary scholar who works in and around photography. Their current research examines how performance shapes visual cultures of mental health experiences, both in the past and present day. Their previous projects have examined the role of the psychiatric institution in the treatment and burial of anonymous loved ones, and the movement of family photographs through capitalist systems of distribution and display.
Sarah previously taught courses in art history, the humanities and the visual arts at Tufts University, Emerson College, Montserrat College of Art and New England College. Their published works include a book, The Distances Between Us, published by Trëma Forlag, and articles in Art New England and Big, Red & Shiny. Their visual projects have been shown internationally, including solo shows at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Danforth Art Museum, and are held in permanent collections that include the Danforth Art Museum, the SGCI Archives in the Zuckerman Museum of Art and the Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, et al.
In addition to traditional scholarly output, they maintain visual arts and critical-curatorial practices, and are committed to creating a more just educational experience through radical pedagogical practices.
Mikhel Proulx researches contemporary art and digital cultures. His research considers Queer and Indigenous artists working with networked media, and he has curated exhibitions across Canada, Europe and the Middle East. He is a Canada Graduate Scholar and a Jarislowsky Foundation Doctoral Fellow in Canadian Art History. Mikhel is a PhD student in the department of Art History at Concordia University, where he teaches media art histories and Queer visual cultures.
Dhvani is a PhD student in Cinema and Media Studies at York University. Her research and curatorial practice focuses on experimental moving image, particularly attuned to queer, feminist, and speculative archival practices in contemporary exhibitions. Her curatorial interests also extend to sound art, and multi-sensorial experiences more broadly; in 2021 she curated places where sounds turn to dreams…a multimedia group exhibition in Toronto that centred artists who engage with sonic ecologies and world-making in their practices. She is also a graduate research associate at Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology at York University.
Muxin Zhang is a first year PhD student in Film & Moving Image Studies at Concordia University. She had curating experience as a student organizer of “Zoom-In,” a screening series and thesis showcase for Columbia University’s Film & Media Studies Class of 2020. Her MA thesis, “Meeting Women of the World: Hollywood’s Ambivalent Encounters with the Vamp Actresses,” analyzes the intersection of popular cosmopolitanism and the stardom of female performers specializing in playing “vamps” in early and studio-era Hollywood. For her PhD studies, she expects to further examine archetypes of cosmopolitan consciousness in the first decades of Hollywood. The broader concern would be how people of different ethnic backgrounds develop “habits of coexistence,” using Kwame Anthony Appiah’s phrase, and how cinema as a mass cultural institution can be regarded as a space for such negotiations of identity.
I'm a researcher, writer, community organizer, and PhD student interested in archive theory, media archaeology, audio-visual preservation, and the concept of the living archive in promoting elements of care, community, and agency in the archival sphere.
With a deep interest in community building and collaborative programming, since 2012 I managed multiple arts projects while working in various institutions and presented at conferences across Canada and internationally.
Currently, my research explores the preservation of new media, cinematic, and digital art forms and the role of the institution in archiving obsolete technologies, ephemeral art, and collective memories. My theoretical and experiential research interrogates the ways institutional archives are shifting their preservation and conservation methods in order to manage the constant cycles of obsolescence, disposable, and changing technologies. By completing field placements at Vtape, Video Cabaret, Cinémathèque Québécoise, Niagara Artists Centre, and TIFF's Film Reference Library, I have been identifying processes, trends, protocols, strategies, and issues related to media preservation, while considering alternative archival projects and digital community network.
Daniella Sanader is a writer and reader who lives in Toronto. For over ten years, she has been writing about (or, alongside) artists’ practices, contributing texts to a number of arts publications, galleries, and artist-run spaces across Canada and internationally.
She is working towards a PhD in Art History and Visual Culture at York University. Her doctoral research on artists' writing takes Madeline Gins’ early experimental novel WORD RAIN (1969) as a central case study, arguing that through her diffuse, embodied, and occasionally cybernetic approaches to language, Gins performs a dynamic methodology for spectatorship that can impact our definitions of “art writing” today. Daniella's doctoral research is supported by a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, and she holds prior Art History degrees from McGill University and the University of Guelph. She is also currently a graduate research associate at York’s Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts and Technology.
Brianna Setaro is a Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal-based visual artist and researcher who is currently completing her MA in Film and Media Studies at Concordia University. Her research explores regional and community-based archives and the archival practices implemented by said institutions that serve to animate and activate alternative forms of historical and cultural knowledge, specifically from marginalized communities. She worked as a Student Cultural Agent at la maison de la culture Marie-Uguay where she developed and exhibited a participatory timeline, "m[a/i]crohistoire]". She is presently a Guest Editor at Synoptique Film Journal and is serving as Resource and Education Co-ordinator for C.I.A.O Mtl (Canadian Italians Against Oppression).
Hannah Schallert is a media and dance artist and researcher based in Montreal and Toronto. She holds an Honours BFA in Dance and an MA in Cinema and Media Studies from York University, and is currently a first-year PhD student in Concordia University’s Communication Studies program. Hannah’s research interests include animation, special effects, experimental film, Science Fiction, archives and performance, and expanded understandings of dance and choreography in relation to moving image media. Her doctoral research will study animation movement, labour, and technology in the contemporary Canadian Visual Effects industry through the lens of embodied knowledge and performance. Hannah’s previous creative work has spanned live performance, installation, and dance film. Her current practice centres around found footage, collage, and animation, in addition to continuing to create projection-based pieces with dance artists. Hannah’s work has been presented at festivals and galleries in Toronto, including dance: made in Canada and Beaver Hall Gallery. She is a member of Immer and Roses artistic collectives. With Immer, Hannah recently completed 100 Years of Cinematic Solitude in 300 Moving Pieces, a dance film utilizing chronologically organized movement excerpts from the performances of women in world cinema over the past century as a basis for choreography and original video design.
Claudia Sicondolfo lives and works as a guest in Tkaronto. She is a PhD Candidate in Cinema and Media Studies department at York University who held the Vanier CGS from 2017-2021. Her research projects address topics ranging from film festivals, screen publics, youth and digital media cultures, decolonizing research methodologies and affect in the creative industries. Her doctoral research project examines curatorial modes in pedagogy, community outreach, and audience engagement within contemporary digital screen initiatives and film festivals in Canada. Her writing has been published in ESSACHES, Public Journal, and Senses of Cinema, in addition to various book anthologies. Claudia has worked intimately with educational communities across Canada and has published educational companion curriculum for documentaries. Prior to beginning her PhD, Claudia worked with the National Film Board of Canada for almost a decade.
In addition to holding an Assistant Professorship Arts Management Program in the Department of Arts, Media, and Culture at UTSC, she is also a co-researcher in the Archive/Counter-Archive SSHRC Partnership Project, in the Fair Play Connections grant, as well as the Research Associate for York University’s Digital Justice Research Cluster.
Kyla Rose Smith is a PhD Candidate in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University. Her doctoral research is focused on women's consumer culture, domestic exhibitions, and sponsored film media at World's Fairs and the Toronto Canadian National Exhibition. She is currently completing a project which examines the linkages between multi-media art installations and retail merchandising. Kyla is a member of the editorial collective of Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies. As a student researcher for A/CA, Kyla works for Dr. Charles Acland (Communications, Concordia University) on the Canadian Educational, Sponsored, & Industrial Film Archive (CESIF). The project aims to document the wealth of Canadian non-narrative filmmaking which have been neglected in public record, expanding knowledge of Canadian moving image heritage.
Miguel Soriano is a current MA student in Media Studies at Concordia University and holds a BA in International Development from McGill University. His research intersects Filipino-Canadian studies and Diasporic studies to critically theorize the diasporic experience in the context of Canadian policy infrastructures. He was previously an intern at the National Film Board of Canada, where his work sought to counter-archive Canadian Indigenous documentaries to better organize the works based on their true contextual origins. His research also intersects his creative directive work with his research on the Filipino-Diaspora to gain a deeper understanding of how the diasporic experience can be unraveled through artistic practice.
Jess Stewart-Lee is a graduate student in the Film Studies program at Concordia University. After completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in Cinema Studies and Diaspora & Transnational Studies, Jess wanted to continue her studies in film. She is currently pursuing research into the use of archival media in autobiographical documentary films, with a focus on films by people of colour. She is specifically interested in questions of family history, liminality, and depictions of race on-screen.
Ana is a Vancouver-based writer, director, and artist whose films have screened and won awards internationally. She is an alumna of the Canadian Film Centre, WIDC at Banff, the TIFF Talent Lab, and Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
From theatre, visual arts and writing, to experimental filmmaking, her creative projects have been enhanced by adventurous life experiences including a welder’s apprenticeship on the Alberta pipeline, training horses, tree planting, and a brief stint doing phone sex.
Her narrative films have travelled to Spain, Russia, India, Busan, Turkey, Armenia, New York, Iceland, and more, and have been awarded for their tense family relationships and bittersweet dark humour. Her art films have screened at The Polygon Gallery, The Libby Leshgold Gallery, and Paneficio Gallery in Vancouver as well as Modern Fuel in Kingston, Ontario.
Ana has recently completed an MFA degree with a focus on film, is writing her third feature screenplay, and is working on a PhD in film studies at Queen’s University.
Christopher Wolff (he/him; they/them) is a first-year PhD student in the interdisciplinary Humanities program at Concordia University, located in Tiohti:áke/Montreal. Christopher conducts research on contemporary histories of art activism, with a specific focus on queer and transgender communities within North America. He is excited to be working with the Queer Media Database at the Archive/Counter-Archive.
Theo Xenophontos is currently pursuing his PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at York University. He also holds a BA from the University of Toronto, having majored in both Cinema Studies and English, while minoring in History, in addition to a MA in Cinema and Media Studies from York University. His research interests include archive theory, film history, historiography, experimental film and video, and media archaeology.
Natsumi Yoshida is a graduate student in Film and Photography Preservation and Collection Management program at Toronto Metropolitan University. Previously, she has worked in film in Japan, including the National Film Archive of Japan, where she was in charge of public relations.
Student Researcher Alumni
Nak Alariaq is a first year PhD student studying Art History at Concordia University with a focus on Inuit art from Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island Region), Nunavut. She has completed her Master in Arts in Art History and Curatorial Studies from Western University with a focus on Inuit art history in Kinngait, Nunavut.
Hiba Ali is a new media artist, writer, DJ, experimental music producer and curator based across Chicago, IL, Austin, TX, and Toronto, ON. Her performances and videos concern music, labour and power. She conducts reading groups addressing digital media and workshops with open-source technology. She is a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at Queens University, Kingston, Canada. She has presented her work in Chicago, Stockholm, Toronto, New York, Istanbul, São Paulo, Detroit, Dubai, Austin, Vancouver, and Portland.
Don Bapst is a writer and filmmaker whose work explores alternatives in content, form, and style to give a voice to the marginal, the unnoticed, and the forbidden.
Noor Bhangu is a curator and scholar, whose practice employs cross-cultural encounters to interrogate issues of diaspora and indigeneity in post- and settler-colonial contexts. Through curatorial intervention, she hopes to involve politics of history, memory and materiality to problematize dominant histories and strategies of presentation. She completed her BA in the History of Art and her MA in Cultural Studies: Curatorial Practices at the University of Winnipeg. Her curatorial practice includes projects: Overlapping Violent Histories: A Curatorial Investigation into Difficult Knowledge (2018), womenofcolour@soagallery (2018), Not the Camera, But the Filing Cabinet: Performative Body Archives in Contemporary Art (2018), Lines of Difference: The Art of Translating Islam (2019) and Digitalia (2019). In 2018, she began her PhD in Communication and Culture at Ryerson and York University in Tkaronto, Toronto.
Rebecca Cairns is an analogue photographer and a first year student studying in the Photography Preservation and Collections Management program at Ryerson University.
Chris Chong Chan Fui
Chris Chong Chan Fui works with varying materials and moving image formats in the fields of natural sciences, sport, space, and economics. Chong has exhibited at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Palais de Tokyo, Gwangju Biennale, EYE Film Institute Netherlands, and premiered his films at the Cannes' Directors’ Fortnight, Vienna, BFI London, and TIFF. As part of his research process, Chong was also a Smithsonian Artist Research fellow (National Museum of Natural History), an Asian Ford Foundation fellow, and a Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Arts fellow.
Esmée Colbourne is a writer, musician and first year student studying in the Communication and Culture programme at Ryerson University.
Laurel Day is a first year student of graduate studies in Ryerson University's Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management program. She holds a degree in Radio-Television-Film and a certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to her arrival in Toronto, she interned at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, where she designed exhibit cases related to Civil Rights-era photography and time-coded segments of the television news program 60 Minutes for a fiftieth anniversary exhibit. Currently, she is helping Dr. Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof catalog and commemorate Canadian independent filmmakers whose works aired on CBC in the 1960s and 1970s. Through this research, she hopes to highlight the cultural diversity of early Canadian independent cinema and apply such research methods to her own interest: the challenges of preserving works by Eastern European women filmmakers who worked under the Iron Curtain.
Genevieve Flavelle is an independent curator and PhD student in the Art History program at Queen’s University. She is a white settler of Scottish and French ancestry raised and currently living in Tkaronto/Toronto. Her doctoral research investigates the work of contemporary visual artists who are challenging traditional forms of historical research to give voice to underrepresented, forgotten, or imagined histories. Her broader research and curatorial interests include queer theory, queer feminist art histories, contemporary art, archives, public art, and feminist curatorial strategies. She holds an MA from Western University and a BA from NSCAD University, both in Art History. She has curated exhibitions at Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre (Kingston, ON), Younger Than Beyonce Gallery (Toronto, ON), The Khyber (Halifax, NS), and the Anna Leonowens Gallery (Halifax, NS). She has also held the positions of Operation Director at Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre and Programming Assistant at Eyelevel Gallery. Her writing has appeared in C Magazine, BlackFlash, Esse, and various exhibition catalogues.
Naomi Frooman is a 4th-year student completing a Bachelor's degree in Film and Media and Art History at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Naomi likes to combine elements of Art History and Film and Media in her research as well as in her personal and academic projects. She is interested in documentaries, queer theory, and feminist theory and hopes to complete a Master's degree in documentary filmmaking upon graduation.
Shannon is a second year student studying Film Preservation and Collections Management at Ryerson University. Her background in Art History has shaped her current research interests in the preservation of performance art, and will be focusing her research on documentation practices conducted at the Western Front in Vancouver. Most recently, Shannon worked with the Regent Park Film Festival's project Home Made Visible, and has previously interned at VTape and the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.
Rebecca M. Gordon is a film studies scholar and archivist-in-training. She has taught cinema studies and literature at Northern Arizona University, Reed College, and Oberlin College. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Film Quarterly, Reception, and other venues. She currently serves as the Precarious Labor Organization Representative on the Board of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, and is a Masters candidate in the Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management program at X University in Toronto. Her research interest is US National Parks visitor center films and videos, especially in parks that have recently begun to change out audiovisual stories of what the parks mean, which often take for granted a settler-colonialist or "white-environmentalist" approach to the parks and the parks' patrons, for updated media that define the parks at least in part as indigenous spaces.
Marcus Jack is a curator and writer based in Glasgow, Scotland, currently a visiting UKRI-Mitacs Globalink doctoral researcher at York University, Toronto. He has recently submitted his AHRC-funded PhD thesis, “Artists’ Moving Image in Scotland: Production, Circulation, Reception, 1970–2021,” undertaken at The Glasgow School of Art, and is now investigating the work of Scottish-Canadian animator Norman McLaren via the contexts of his political activism, queer identity and participation in transatlantic programmes of cultural nation-building. Jack is the founding editor of DOWSER (2020–), an open-access publication series concerning artists’ moving image in Scotland, and in 2015 founded Transit Arts as an itinerant platform for the support of artists’ filmmaking, working through public screening programmes and experimental publishing. He has written for the ICA, London; Square Eyes, Vienna; Open City Documentary Festival, London; LUX Scotland, Glasgow; and MAP Magazine, Glasgow.
Helen Lee is a writer and researcher, currently pursuing an MA in the Film Preservation and Collections Management program X University. Her research interests include experimental filmmaking techniques, ecology, and the living archive. Helen has a BA from the University of King’s College in Contemporary Studies. She has formerly worked as the Collections Assessment Assistant at Vtape Artist-Run Distribution Centre, and as the Archive Intern at C Magazine. Her writing has been published in MOMUS and Peripheral Review.
Barbara Constance Matthews Wiedmaier
Barbara is a graduate student in the Cultural Studies program at Queen's University. Prior to this she completed her BA at Simon Fraser University in Visual Culture and Performance Studies. In academia her research has focused on film and media, theory and criticism and artists that investigate archives and museums. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Modern Fuel and has held various positions in galleries, artist-run centers and film festivals. Her thesis will explore questions of incarceration and abolition through the audiovisual archives of the P4W, a former women's prison site in Ka'tarokwi/Kingston, ON.
deneige nadeau is a gutter philosopher, an angry dyke and an ivory tower terrorist. s_he recently returned to being an unruly university student in the Cultural Studies Program at Queen's University. As a first generation scholar/activist, s_he is a reluctant product of the academy: a proud dropout of the social justice institute at the University of British Columbia; holding at a distance an MA in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought from the European Graduate School; and a BFA in Visual Art from Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Building on her three previous graduate degrees in Law (Osgoode Hall), Journalism (Western University) and Political Science (Dalhousie University), Noftle brings a truly interdisciplinary approach to her PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s. As an academic and as an artist, Noftle incorporates the use of photographic images and video in creating innovative methods of research into visual cultural identity among Indigenous communities. With a focus on relationship-building through storytelling, Noftle seeks to facilitate communication and increased understanding among different peoples by creating visual bridges across cultures.
Melissa Noventa is a dancer and ethnographer originally from Guelph, Ontario. Throughout her career, she has accumulated a wide range of training, performing, teaching experience. Melissa’s work has spanned across commercial, academic, and artistic settings, traversing a wide breadth of dance genres including: classical, contemporary, urban, West African, Latin, and Afro-Caribbean dance forms. Her work has garnered her an eclectic career, allowing her to present her research internationally and perform alongside a formidable list of distinguished artists from Canada and abroad, including some of Cuba’s premiere folkloric ensembles. Currently a PhD student in Cultural Studies at Queen's University, Melissa's research explores themes related to body politics, identity and embodied knowledge as they pertain to Afro-Cuban folkloric performance.
Alannah Taylor is a student of the Communications and Culture Masters program at both Ryerson and York University. She is currently working on a research project that focuses on the destigmatization and reeducation of sexual health for the public. Holding a Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University in Theatre & Film and Communication Studies, Taylor would like to link these two fields by culminating her research in site specific, testimonial based theatrical work.
Aaron Tucker is currently a PhD candidate in the Cinema and Media Arts department at York University where he is an Elia Scholar, a VISTA doctoral Scholar and a 2020 Joseph-Armand Bombardier doctoral fellow. His dissertation, "The Flexible Face: Uniting the Protocols of Facial Recognition Technologies" examines the intersection of citizenship, the management of mobility, and crisis throughout the histories of facial recognition technologies. Past film studies work includes the two monographs "Interfacing with the Internet in Popular Cinema" and "Virtual Weaponry" both published by Palgrave Macmillan.
In addition he is the author of three collections of poetry and two novels. His most recent novel "Soldiers, Hunters, Not Cowboys" (Coach House Books) comes out in Spring 2023.
Arvin (Yanwen) Zhang is a MA student in Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies at Queen’s University. As a media art student researcher and creator, she has produced short films and still photos, some of which entered film festivals. Her work focuses on the use of technology in media and new materialism. Arvin has been working with the VML on digitization and documentation of the Arnait archives, and she will continue to contribute to the projects.