Graduate Student Interests

PhD Students

William Illsey (Bill) Atkinson

Building on my background as a science writer and sci-fi novelist, I'm investigating the socio-cultural forces that led to the emergence of British science fiction in the late nineteenth century, particularly the 'sensation novel'. My supervisor is Bernie Lightman, York's latest Distinguished Research Professor.

Email: william.illsey.atkinson@gmail.com


Drew Danielle Belsky

Building on my training in fine arts (ESAD-Strasbourg) and interdisciplinary research in Fine Arts, Critical Disability Studies, and STS (York), my research interests revolve around bodies and visual production. Previous and ongoing projects address mobilizations of disabled bodies in contemporary art and aspects of consent in research and in art production. My doctoral work is primarily concerned with the practices, pedagogy, and professionalization of medical illustrators in Canada from the 20th century to the present. I am interested in the relevance of this under-documented predominantly female profession to the production and dissemination of canonical bodies in medicine and broader culture.

Website: yorku.academia.edu/DrewDanielleBelsky
Email: dbelsky@yorku.ca


Matthew Burns

Though my interests are eclectic, I am generally critical of method. Because of this, I tend take greatest interest in works within the philosophy of science. My current research is directed to topics relevant within and around the rationality of science, under determination, realism, prediction, scientific change.

Email: burnsm4@yorku.ca


Anita Buragohain

My interests in STS cluster around the histories and political economies of health, environment, and development, especially within postcolonial states and societies. Building on my previous work experience with international public health organisations, my dissertation traces the political and technical determinants of the 'discovery' of the diagnosis of MDR-TB (Multi Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis) in post-liberalisation India of the 1990s and 2000s. This project is situated within the larger theoretical frameworks of sociology of diagnosis and global health histories, as I trace the conduits by which disease concepts historically 'emerge' to inform global health agendas. I hold the Elia Scholarship from York University, which supports this work.

Email: abgohain@yorku.ca, ergo.anita@gmail.com


Aadita Chaudhury

My research interests are broadly surrounding the anthropology and philosophy of biology and the ecological sciences, cartography, postcolonial and feminist STS, and environmental and medical humanities. My PhD project investigates implications of human-nature interactions as part of ecological research work. I seek to study how ecologists make sense of their field, their relationship with their non-human subjects and what that can tell us about ecologists' epistemological orientation to the biophysical environment, their understanding of ideas about human bodies, the environment, wellness and disease and ecological relationships at large.

Website: www.aaditachaudhury.com
Email: aaditac@gmail.com


Peggy Chiappetta

Broadly, I’m interested in translational science and cancer biology, intellectual property, and the political economics of pharmaceutical development. Specifically, I’m studying the role played by open and proprietary mediating devices in the development of cancer therapeutics in Ontario. Given the continual need for refinements of research practices and the growing demand for novel cancer therapies, it’s worth examining the implications of open versus proprietary IP on the dynamics of research and development, and asking which is most conducive to increasing collaboration and innovation in the context of cancer research.

Email: mec19@yorku.ca


Kasey Coholan

My research focuses on the history of modern technology and how it reflects and influences how we understand, see and seek the self. I consider both primary phenomena of how specific technologies have held particular sway over how we fashion the self, including photography, biometrics and self-tracking applications as well as secondary epiphenomena, for instance, the rhetorical similarities between how we talk about machines and ourselves with notions of potential, failure and objectivity.

Email: kasey@yorku.ca


Angela Cope

My PhD research interests lie in a material which has always been on the periphery of my studies in Environment, Health and Culture, but never in the foreground: Plastic. Plastic is a slippery subject, as it is a diverse and evolving species of material. From the cellophane wrapper found on a pack of gum to the plastic and carbon fibre composites found in advanced prostheses, plastic has a diversity of uses and associations that are unparalleled in human history. Plastic is also, by way of BPA water bottles and can linings, present in most human and non–human bodies, causing largely unknown effects. Plastic is therefore a good material to think with when it comes to the fuzzy boundaries between the human/object; trash/not–trash world. Through theoretical engagements with Actor–Network Theory, post-humanism and the culture of everyday life, I want to document plastic’s fall from grace: from the revolutionary and utopian material of the early 20th century to the reviled and despised material of today.

Email: angecope@yorku.ca


Catherine Duchastel

My research is on online fanfiction communities, more specifically on disabled fans and fanfiction producers who contribute to disability representation and accessibility. My interests in fanfiction and fans have evolved from ongoing work in cultural analysis of disability narrative in popular culture, especially TV shows, to transform into a concern for how they were being taken up by audiences through new media and participatory cultural practices, as well as from my long-time love of fanfiction, as a disabled fan myself. I started my research project during my Masters, and in my doctoral studies, I am further developing it through an examination of how technologies and the development of online community standards around accessibility contribute to the development of disability narratives and identities in fanfiction communities. I use theoretical frameworks and insights from Critical Disability Studies, fan studies and STS to examine the significance of disabled fans and fanfiction producers to developing the presence of disability as subversive political embodiment in digital environments.

Website: yorku.academia.edu/CatherineDuchastel
Email: crip1969@yorku.ca


Einar Engström

My research concerns technoscientific cultures of synthetic sound. Examining the histories, development, and dissemination of electronic music technologies and their attendant practices, I explore the capacities of synthetic sound to influence human and non-human capacities to relate, act, respond, feel, and experience. Such modulations are not limited to the sensorial or aesthetic realm, but propagate through the social, the ecological, and the ethical. My dissertation is methodologically multimodal, availing of ethnographic, philosophical, and practice-based methods.

Email: einar@yorku.ca


Erin Grosjean

My doctoral research contextualizes the development of the ‘Body Farm’ at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and seeks to understand how the public image and media work of William M. Bass, the facility’s founder, has contributed to popular understandings of modern forensic anthropology. Beyond my project I work as the Manuscripts Coordinator for the John Tyndall Correspondence Project.

Email: grosjea2@yorku.ca


Yousif Hassan

My areas of interest are the political economy of technoscience, critical innovation studies, communication studies, postcolonial and indigenous science and technology, and feminist technoscience. My current research is at the intersection of technology and social justice focused on technological convergence and artificial intelligence, Blockchain, and the digital platform economy.

Email: yousifh@yorku.ca


Travis Hnidan

My research interests include anthropology, cultural and media studies, and critical pedagogy. Currently, I am focused on the engineering profession and engineers’ work to regulate themselves, other professionals, engineering businesses, engineering professional bodies, and engineering education institutions in Canada. By focusing on professional regulation, my research captures the wide and varied scope of engineering practice under the singular term “engineering” in a way that clarifies what it is that engineers actually do. My research connects this idea to public perception and understanding of engineering (through film and media studies) and the contemporary reevaluation of Canadian engineering education. Building on my background in civil engineering, I am working with York University’s new Lassonde School of Engineering to complete my research.

Email: hnidan@yorku.ca


Tyler Hnatuk

My research in the history of classification and the human sciences aims to detail the interactions between the built-environment, 'human kinds' and cognitive developments in the sciences. In particular, I am interested in the influence of 'place-based services' on modalities of care in Canada.


Kelly Ladd

My research interests include the history of computer mediated communication technologies and the production of gendered textual bodies; social networking technologies and the ways in which socially networked bodies transgress the material and the virtual divide; and the material effects of the textualization of life.

Email: kladd@yorku.ca


Michael Laurentius

My research primarily examines how the Canadian state, via select research institutions, constructed and deployed technoscientific expertise—in particular, atomic expertise—as a geopolitical force and as a means of identity formulation and state expansion during the early to mid Cold War. How was value in this form of expertise developed and how was it deployed on a domestic and global scale? Secondarily, I am interested in the existence of and shifts/tensions within Canada’s atomic cultural history, narratives, and imaginaries as they present within the Canadian socio-cultural mindset. In addition to being a doctoral student within the Science & Technology Studies program, I am also a Graduate Research Associate within the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. Prior to this, I received an Honours Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Bioinformatics & AI) and a Master of Arts in Science & Technology Studies.

Website: https://mlaurentius.com
Email: mlaurent@yorku.ca


Madelaine Ley

My research investigates how robots are being designed to touch humans in elderly care settings, focusing on how physical contact is used to shape emotional intimacy and affect feelings of loneliness. I draw upon phenomenology, feminist theory, critical design theory, and studies in human-robot interaction.

Email: madley@yorku.ca


Katelyn Wan Fei Ma

My PhD research explores the preventive measures and early detection of cyber financial crimes. The key topics of my research include understanding: cyber-criminology with classical sociological theories; high-risk financial depletion channels such as blockchain and cryptocurrency; machine learning in recognizing fraud trends and attack patterns; fraud losses through artificial intelligence capacities; digital evidence for the policing of cyberspace; recommending effective policies and strategies using applicable cyber-victimology; and mitigating Internet-based risks via cyber-insurance.

Email: mawanfei@gmail.com


Francesc Rodriguez Mansilla

I have quite a few research interests, from history to philosophy to the sociology of science, but most of my work has focused on the relation between science and the rest of society. In the earliest years of my academic studies, I considered the technicalities of participatory mechanisms in science at the institutional level (e.g. science shops). Later, I broadened the scope of my research to investigate, in normative terms, the pedagogical and political implications of these and other forms of knowledge production to the interrelated spheres of nature and society. In my PhD dissertation, I draw on socio-technical and environmental imaginaries to explore the various roles played by science and other forms of knowledge in a controversy over construction plans for several run-of-the-river power plants in southern Costa Rica.

Email: frodrig@yorku.ca


Cameron Michael Murray

I have a broad range of interdisciplinary research interests that combine methodological approaches to media studies, STS, and the anthropology of science. These interests include: large-scale genomics and proteomics research projects in Canada; the use of virtual reality technologies in biomedical research; and the social and ethical implications of Canada's biomedical research funding infrastructures. For my proposed doctoral research, I will undertake a multi-sited ethnography that explores the social, cultural, political and economic contexts in which human bodies, biomedical databases, visualization technologies, and clinical environments are being reimagined and reconfigured by bioinformaticians working in the emerging cross-disciplinary field of translational science. I am particularly interested in exploring how bioinformaticians determine what is worthy of ethical care and attention in diverse sites of translational research.

Email: cmurra@yorku.ca


Jovian Parry

I do critical animal studies, science fiction studies, and material feminist ecocriticism. My dissertation, "Edible Agencies: Meat in SF" (in progress) traces the intra-action of environmental and ethical discourses through representations of comsetible flesh in post-WWII science fiction.

Email: jovian@yorku.ca


Lina Pinto Garcia

Drawing on my background in biology (BSc), biotechnology (MSc), science communication (graduate diploma), and STS (MA), my PhD research focuses on the intersection between biomedicine, public health, violence and the aspirational logics of peacebuilding. Specifically, I ethnographically study the relationship between a vector-borne disease–cutaneous leishmaniasis–and the Colombian armed conflict, and the implications for combatants and civilians coexisting with warfare. My dissertation is situated between two interrelated fields of social research: critical medical anthropology and STS. Across them, three subfields frame my project: (1) Anthropology of the state; (2) Embodiments of war and violence; and (3) Multispecies ethnography of vector-borne diseases. In addition, I am interested in transdisciplinary approaches to science, such as community-based participatory research, aiming to produce scientific knowledge and applications that are attentive and responsive to the needs of marginalized populations.

Website: www.linapintogarcia.com
Emails: lina.pinto.garcia@gmail.com, lbpinto@yorku.ca


Vennila Rajaguru

I am a Board Director of Science for Peace (Canada), and the Chair of a pan-university research-working group on Ocean Frontiers under Science for Peace. Am also serving currently as an honorary council member of the International Peace Bureau (Geneva); and was previously the honorary Chair of ASEAN Secretariat Women’s Wing (ASEAN) 2009-2011. Recently, I have been contracted as a Course Director at York for the following undergraduate courses: ‘Science and Technology Issues in Global Development’ (Dept. of Science & Technology Studies), ‘Natural Resource Management’ (Environmental Studies), and ‘History of the Environment’ (Natural Science). I have also been included as part of a working group member of an international research caucus on Science, Technology and Art in International Relations (STAIR), chartered in the U.S. under the International Studies Association, and also a member of the Extractive Industries Research Network. My educational background is in Science & Technology Studies, International Law and International Development. My former degrees are from the University of Oxford and Cornell. I have received the Vivienne-Poy Award for doctoral research on Asia in 2016, the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for doctoral research in 2014, and the Rhodes scholarship in 1992. My previous work experience spans public communications, community outreach, and corporate social responsibility consulting. After getting back to academia, my research focus is on the S & T of transboundary infrastructure development, particularly those concerning maritime regions, peace regimes, regional and international security. My publications include a book of poems, research based articles on the socio-politics of Southeast Asia, and on the S & T of artificial island constructions.

Email: venilla@yorku.ca


Sheri Repucci

My basic fields of interest are the history of medicine, environmental psychology, and landscape architecture. In particular I study the role of nature and landscapes in western medicine, from the nineteenth century to the present, focusing on patterns of rejection and resurgence in this 150 year time frame in the context of professionalization and boundary-work disputes. My dissertation is currently titled Gardens as Medical Technology: The use of gardens and landscapes as a technique of healing in Western medicine, 19th – 21st centuries.

Email: srepucci@yorku.ca


Emily Simmonds

My research interests include biopolitics; nuclear technologies; feminist theory; classification practices; materiality and identity formation. Working under the supervision of Professor Aryn Martin, my research explores these interests by examining the spatial arrangements and narratives enacted by Canadian nuclear medical infrastructures. As an anthropologist I employ an ethnographic mode of analysis that is attentive to the complex ways in which various groups seize upon scientific results and nuclear bio technologies to advance competing and overlapping goals within shifting political landscapes.

Email: astrajean@gmail.com


Callum C. J. Sutherland

My forthcoming dissertation, “Sockeye at the boundary: Aboriginal knowledge, the Great Divide, and the Calgary School”, explores the precipitous, decades-long decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon in general, and the proceedings of the ensuing judicial inquiry in particular (i.e., the Cohen Commission). These proceedings, I will argue, both reflected and reified the primacy of abstract conceptions of sockeye, while simultaneously acknowledging and discrediting local conceptions of the same. I will demonstrate that, absent these local perspectives, our present understanding of the sockeye salmon crisis is incomplete at best. It is partially on this basis that I will contend, more broadly, that democratization should be treated as an essential component of, and not an impediment to, the development of equitable, judicious, and effective public science policy.

Website: callumsutherland.com

Email: ccjsuth@yorku.ca


 


Back to Top

MA Students

Clarence Hatton-Proulx: after studying Communications and Urban Studies at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), I became fascinated by the technological infrastructures underpinning cities and states. My research interests focus on the history of technology, energy, and cities. My MRP will examine the electrification of Montreal at the turn of the 20th century.

 


 


Back to Top

Graduated PhD & MA Students

Graduated PhD Students

Dorian Deshauer (PhD 2018) "Inventing Psychiatric Drug Maintenance"
Supervisor: Prof Kenton Kroker

Eleanor Louson (PhD 2018) "Never Before Seen: Spectacle, Staging, and Story in Wildlife Film's Blue-Chip Renaissance"
Supervisor: Prof Katharine Anderson

Julia Gruson-Wood (PhD 2018) “I’m a Juggling Robot: An Ethnography of the Organization and Culture of Autism-Based Applied Behaviour Therapies in Ontario, Canada”
Supervisor: Prof Eric Mykhalovskiy

Jordan Bimm (PhD 2018) "Anticipating the Astronaut: Subject Formation in Early American Space Medicine, 1949-1959"
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones-Imhotep

Yana Boeva (PhD 2018) "Break, Make, Retake: Interrogating the Social and Historical Dimensions of Making as a Design Practice"
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones-Imhotep

Jeffrey Wajsberg (PhD 2018) "Nearly Perfect: Notes on the Failures of Salvage Linguistics"
Supervisor: Prof Mike Pettit

Jason Grier (PhD 2018) "Navigation, Commercial Exchange and the Problem of Long-Distance Control in England and the English East India Company, 1673-1755"
Supervisor: Prof Ernie Hamm

Bretton Fosbrook (PhD 2017) "How Scenarios Became Corporate Strategies: Alternative Futures and Uncertainty in Strategic Management"
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones-Imhotep

Nanna Kaaland (PhD 2017) "From science in the Arctic to Arctic science: a transnational study of Arctic travel narratives, 1818-1883"
Supervisor: Prof Bernard Lightman

Duygu Kasdogan (PhD 2017) "Potentiating Algae, Modernizing Bioeconomies: Algal Biofuels, Bioenergy Economies, and Built Ecologies in the United States and Turkey"
Supervisor: Prof Natasha Myers

Alasdair McMillan (PhD 2016) “Mediated Cognition: Information Technologies and the Sciences of Mind"
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones-Imhotep

Benjamin Mitchell (PhD 2016) “Dancing in chains: A History of Friedrich Nietzsche's Physiological Relativism"
Supervisor: Prof Joan Steigerwald

Graduated MA Students

Steven Umbrello (MA 2018) "Safe-(for whom?)-by-design: Adopting a Posthumanist Ethics for Technology Design"
Supervisor: Prof Daniel McArthur

Michael Laurentius (MA 2016) “A postmodern nation?: Reframing the Classical Modernist Narrative Through Canadian Cold War Technological Projects”
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones-Imhotep

Amanda Lee Tully (MA 2016) “How the Athlete Became Post-Human: A Post-WWII History of Cybernetics and Sport at Ohio State University"
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones-Imhotep

Adam Pez (MA 2016) “The Machinery of Freedom: Neoliberalism in Cryptocurrency Infrastructures”
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones-Imhotep

Robert Guay (MA 2016) "Socio-Technical Imaginaries of (Personal) Big Data: Privacy, Regulation, and Commercialization in the USA and EU"
Supervisor: Prof Kean Birch

Nathan Crain (MA 2015) "Essence and Obsolescence: Martin Heidegger’s Outsider Critique of Technology"
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones-Imhotep

Lindsay Small (MA 2015) "Space Museums: Technical and Cultural Considerations"
Supervisor: Prof Steve Alsop

Steve Cornwell (MA 2015) "Vibrant projects, vibrant resistance: Understanding opposition to major energy projects through effective and affective prescriptions"
Supervisor: Prof Steve Alsop

William Atkinson (MA 2015) "Help Thou my Belief:  Roots and Branches of Scientistic Atheism"
Supervisor: Prof Bernard Lightman

Mark Marshall (MA 2015) "Canadian Science Underground: the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Experiment and the 'Missing Solar Neutrino Problem'"
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones-Imhotep

Roula Faraj (MA 2015) "What Did Mathematics Do to Physics? Redux - Constructivist Epistemology, Ontology and the Quantification of Space"
Supervisor: Prof Bernard Lightman

Tyler Hnatuk (MA 2015) "Classification and the Human Sciences in the Early History of the Huronia Regional Centre"
Supervisor: Prof Mike Pettit

Alexis Beckett (MA 2014) "Recalled to life: The afterlife performances of animal specimens in museums"
Supervisor: Prof Steve Alsop

Edward Fenner (MA 2014) “Smashing Atoms and Expectations: Entrepreneurial Science and the Dawn of Publicly Funded High-Tech Venture Capital at Robert J. Van de Graaff’s High Voltage Engineering Corporation”
Supervisor: Prof Katharine Anderson

Alexander Gatien (MA 2014) “From Operations Research to Systems Analysis: The Science of War in the United Kingdom and the United States 1936-1961: The Science of Warfare and the Power of Numbers”
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones-Imhotep

Erin Grosjean (2014) “Intersections at the Body Farm: The Anthropology Research Facility as a Trading Zone”
Supervisor: Prof Kenton Kroker

Serena Naim (MA 2014) “Disabling Bodies: Disabling Normalities”
Supervisor: Prof Eric Mykhalovskiy

Lina Pinto Garcia (MA 2014) “Cutaneous leishmaniasis and the Colombian armed conflict: other shades of violence”
Supervisor: Prof Eric Mykhalovskiy

Adam Taves (MA 2014) “Canadian Scholarly Societies in the History and Philosophy of Science”
Supervisor: Prof Kenton Kroker

Micah Anshan (MA 2013) "Evidence-Based' or Based on Evidence?: Assessing the Debate over Canada's Harm-reduction Evaluations"
Supervisor: Prof Eric Mykhalovskiy

James Fensom (MA 2013) "The Samplescape: the DJ-producer's contributing role of constructing hyperschizophonia in the music industry through a sought-after live performance and digital sampling technologies"
Supervisor: Prof Richard Jarrell

Loren Husband (MA 2013) "Let’s Unmask Mental Illness Awareness Week, Now!
Self-Stigma and Cultivations of Self in Canada’s First National, Mental Health, Anti-Stigma Campaign"
Supervisor: Prof Mike Pettit

Parandis Khavari (MA 2013) "The Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial on Abrahamic Religions"
Supervisor: Prof Bernie Lightman

Callum Sutherland (MA 2013) "The Fraser River: Where Epistemologies Collide"
Supervisor: Prof Richard Jarrell

Michael Bouchey (MA 2012) "Sustainable Space Development"
Supervisor: Prof Kathryn Denning

Brittney Fosbrook (MA 2012) "Locating the Future: Disruptive Technologies and Breakthrough Philanthropy in Silicon Valley"
Supervisor: Prof Natasha Myers

Richard Gignac (MA 2012) "Thomas Szasz and Anti-Psychiatric Sentiment in 20th Century America"
Supervisor: Prof Kenton Kroker

Mohammadreza Nikdehghan (MA 2012) "Expert and Lay Dynamics in Canadian Cancer Research Funding"
Supervisor: Prof Darrin Durant

Douglas Paul (MA 2012) "The Public's Understanding of Technology and the Cell Phone"
Supervisor: Prof Steve Alsop

Shivrang Setlur (MA 2012) "Making India Smart: Regimes of Testing and Technical Education in India's Planned Modernization"
Supervisor: Prof Michael Pettit

David Larocque (MA 2011) "Canadian Health Science: A Contemporary Account of Federal Health Research Strategies Using a Big Science Framework"
Supervisor: Prof Richard Jarrell

Raymond MacKinnon (MA 2011) "Seeing Red: Modern Mythologies of Mars in American Space Exploration"
Supervisor: Prof Kathryn Denning

Christina Mills (MA 2011) "Too Much, Too Little, or Just Right?: How Sex Addiction Discourse Contributes to the Medicalization of Variations in Sexual Desire"
Supervisor: Prof Alexandra Rutherford

Danielle Pacey (MA 2011) "Eugen Steinach's "Kampf der Gonaden" (1919): The Heterogeneity of Kampf Language in the Early Twentieth–Century Central European Life Sciences"
Supervisor: Prof Michael Pettit

Jordan Bimm (MA 2010) "Reliable Bodies, Aeromedical Dreams: A History of American Space Medicine: 1948-1964"
Supervisor: Prof Edward Jones–Imhotep

Aidin Keikhaee (MA 2010) "Hygiene: the Crossroads of Politics, Science, and Religion. A History of Modern Hygiene in Iran"
Supervisor: Prof Kenton Kroker

Amy Teitel (MA 2010) "By Land or By Sea: Splashdown and Land Landings at NASA in the 1960's"
Supervisor: Prof Richard Jarrell


Back to Top