Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

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Alumni Profiles

There are so many exceptional graduates from Cultural Studies. Our alumni work in a variety of fields, from academia to marketing to journalism. Find out where some Cultural Studies alumni have ended up.  

Jobb Arnold Assistant Professor, Menno Simons College

Jobb Arnold is an Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution Studies at Menno Simons College, associated with the University of Winnipeg and the Canadian Mennonite University. He teaches a variety of courses related to the cultural dynamics of conflict with a focus on micro-level group dynamics in times of social change. Arnold is the director of the Careers that Fight Climate Change Network (CFCCN), a collaborative partnership developing experiential learning and mentorship programs to support and develop skills and relationships among inner-city high school youth in Winnipeg, with a focus on understanding and preparing for social transitions related to climate change. The CFCCN's programming seeks to create spaces where youth can both imagine and begin building personally meaningful forms of sustainable social and ecological resilience.  The CFCCN training seeks to embed conflict resolution principles and skills, such as intercultural communication and conflict mediation, into hard-skills training in fields such as renewable energy and food security. Additionally, Arnold co-chairs the Experiential Learning Network at the University of Winnipeg and is involved in numerous grassroots projects in Winnipeg and beyond.

Jaspreet Bal Professor, Child and Youth Care, Humber College

Dr. Jaspreet Bal is a Professor in the Child and Youth Care (BCYC) program at Humber College in Toronto. A community organizer and educator, her CYC practice involves radical youth work with underserved populations across North America. Continuing to build on her research on international children's rights at Queen's, Jaspreet looks at the social construction of childhood as a product of capitalism and colonialism and has a practice that is centered on undoing those processes. Bal serves on the Board of Directors of the Sikh Feminist Research Institute and Kaurs United International. She is also on the advisory board of the Sikh Research Institute and on the research and education committee for Youth in Care.

Jessica Barr Faculty, Bachelors of Arts and Science, Trent University
Jessica Barr
Jessica Marion Barr is an artist, educator, and researcher who completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at Queen's University in fall 2015. She is currently teaching as a member of Trent's University's interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts and Science Program.   Her interdisciplinary practice incorporates artmaking, arts-science research, and pedagogy, focusing on creative and collaborative approaches to issues around climate change, species decline, and social/ecological justice. Jessica has recently exhibited artwork at the Gladstone Hotel (Toronto); World of Threads Festival (Oakville); Wall Space Gallery (Ottawa); FINA Gallery, University of British Columbia (Kelowna, BC); Hart House (University of Toronto); and Union Gallery, The Artel, Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, and the Ban Righ Centre (Kingston, ON).  Jessica's 2013 Nuit Blanche (Toronto) installation project Indicator investigated the concept of indicator species and the suffering of wildlife due to habitat destruction, climate change, and environmental contamination; the project was included in NOW Magazine's Critics' Picks as well as The Grid's "Nuit Blanche Animated" (listen to Jessica's sound installation Indications).  Vernal Pool: A Participatory Project about Place + Precipitation, a collaboration with artist Karen Abel, was the recipient of the 2014 Jury’s Choice Award and the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects/GROUND Award at Grow Op: Exploring Landscape and Place at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto (more on this project, and listen to Jessica's sound installation Vernal Chorus). Jessica is very enthusiastic about teaching, and is looking forward to bringing her interdisciplinary training and creative approaches to the BAS program.Kaurs United International. She is also on the advisory board of the Sikh Research Institute and on the research and education committee for Youth in Care.
Nicole Bedford Project Manager and Communications Coordinator, Carleton University-based CFICE
Nicole Bedford
Nicole Bedford is a director and media artist based in Ottawa, Ontario. An avid storyteller from a very young age, Nicole has paired her artistic expressions with her academic background to explore complex concepts through documentary film. Previous to her work as a filmmaker, Nicole built a lengthy resume of communications and project management-related positions in government, NGOs, and the private sector. She is an MA graduate of Queen's Cultural Studies program where she completed a thesis and a training module for teaching undergraduate medical students how to better communicate with geriatric patients. When she's not busy creating new films, Nicole spends her time watching documentaries, reading science fiction books, or performing as part of a fantasy-inspired improv troupe.




Instagram: @NicoleBedfordFilms

Elena Cecchetto Lecturer, Queen’s University

Elena Cecchetto is a Lecturer of Italian language and culture in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Queen’s University. Elena earned her  M.A. in the program of Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, under the supervision of Dr. Donato Santeramo and Dr. Margaret Little. Her research applied theories of Semiotics, and Gender Studies to analyze spaces and symbols, and their role in the perpetuation of racist, sexist, and classist discourses. Among her interests, Elena is a passionate poet whose creations show a creative interconnections and use of three languages, Italian, English, and French. Before coming to Kingston she was the Intercultural Advisor for the International Spouses group at the University of Waterloo, organizing meetings and helping newcomers to cope with culture shock, and to settle in their new life in Canada. Among her interests: playing the Chinese violin (Erhu), cooking international food, learning new languages such as Arabic, Korean, and much more.

May Chew MITACS Postdoctoral Fellow, Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts, York University

May Chew received her Doctorate in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University, where her research examined the uses of interactive and immersive technologies in diverse museological sites across Canada, and how these facilitate the material practice of nation and cultural citizenship. She is currently a MITACS Postdoctoral Fellow at York University’s Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts. Chew collaborates on Houses on Pengarth, a research and curation project centred on developing a socially-engaged, experimental art lab in Toronto’s Lawrence Heights community. Her recent work appears in the anthology Material Cultures in Canada, and the International Journal of Heritage Studies. Chew currently teaches in the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. She also serves as Managing Editor for the journal, PUBLIC: Art/Culture/Ideas.

Ellyn Clost-Lambert Researcher/evaluator and facilitator, Pathways to Education Kingston
Ellyn Clost-Lambert
Since graduating from Cultural Studies in 2011, I've worked as a freelance researcher on projects as diverse as Indigenous land claims cases; housing and homelessness; human rights; the social impact of documentary film; and community economic development. I'm currently employed full-time at Pathways to Education Kingston, part of Kingston Community Health Centres, as their in-house researcher/evaluator and facilitator of community relations. I spend my time hanging out in the space where youth work, education, poverty, trauma, community development, research and data management intersect. I recently led a year-long program evaluation of the Pathways to Education program in cooperation with our community (Dropbox links below). I directly supervise practicum and placement students (and volunteers) from both Queen's and St. Lawrence College and am deeply interested in authentic, useful community-university partnerships. You can reach me at I've settled in Kingston with my family: my 4-year-old took this picture.


Pathways to Education Canada:


Kingston Community Health Centres:


Pathways to Education Kingston Program Evaluation: Dropbox links


Final Report, part 1:


Final Report, part 2:


Executive Summary:

Elizabeth Diggon Assistant Curator at Esker Foundation
Elizabeth Diggon
Elizabeth Diggon is a Mohkinstsis/Calgary-based curator, writer, and instructor. She is the Assistant Curator at Esker Foundation where she has worked on projects with artists including Jeffrey Gibson, Tammi Campbell, and Kapwani Kiwanga, and is currently working on a major Katie Ohe retrospective. She is also a sessional instructor with the University of Lethbridge. Prior to joining Esker Foundation, Diggon worked with institutions including the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston; and the Glenbow Library and Archives, Calgary. Her writing has been published in the Journal of Curatorial Studies, the Journal of Canadian Studies, as well as in exhibition texts for the ODD Gallery, Dawson City; the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, and the Union Gallery, Kingston. She recently contributed a text to Rita McKeough: Works, edited by Diana Sherlock. Diggon holds a PhD in Cultural Studies and an MA in Art History from Queen’s University, Kingston. Her dissertation examined the mobilization of art as a means of cultural diplomacy in the Canadian context from the mid-to-late twentieth century.

Ian Fanning Director of Student Success and Service Delivery, First Nations Technical Institute
Ian Fanning
Kwey, kwey! (Hello, hello!)
Ian dijinikáz (My name is Ian). As a non-status member of Shabot Obaadjiwan Algonquin First Nation in Sharbot Lake, I identify as Indigenous/settler.
I have had the privilege of working with Indigenous educators and staff at First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. My roles with FNTI included a position as Director of Student Success and Service Delivery, as well as a part-time faculty role. During my time at FNTI, I completed my research and dissertation on the topic of Algonquin Masculinities.
My future efforts include ongoing assistance to my Algonquin community and Indigenous people. I am equally invested in assisting academics and educators in thinking critically about how to decolonize and “Indigenize” their courses and teaching approaches. I live with my partner and our three children near the village of Enterprise. We do our best to live a re-Indigenizing life in a colonized (and colonizing) world.
Jessica Jacobson-Konefall SSHRC-Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto

Dr. Jessica Jacobson-Konefall is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at University of Toronto, in the Department of History of Art, focusing on eco art and ecological citizenship in Canada (2017-19). Her 2017-19 project, "Eco Art in Canada and Ecological Citizenship: Creative Cities, Translocal Protest, and the Expediency of Activist Culture in the Arts," was ranked 5th of 170 proposals. Before that, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Globalization and Cultural Studies, University of Manitoba. Since 2010 she has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Winnipeg. Dr Jacobson -Konefall was one of two Canada 150 Scholars-in-Residence at the 2017 Spur Winnipeg Festival.

Raissa Simone Killoran Doctorate Candidate, Concordia University
Kat Kopiak
Raissa Simone Killoran is currently a doctorate candidate in the Humanities Department at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. Her doctoral work involves Black narratology, theatre philosophy, and post-colonial stagework. She completed her MA in Cultural Studies, focusing on Black spoken word artistry and contemporary Canadian spoken word.  Raissa also continues to be active as an artist and has produced several music EPs since completing her MA in Cultural Studies. She also actively works at poetry and performance shows throughout Canada. 
Kat Kopiak Digital Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Queen's University
Kat Kopiak
With a BAH in Film and Media, MA in Cultural Studies and OCGC in Interactive Marketing Communications, Kat (ArtSci '14 & '16) is passionate about new media and digital communications. She incorporates her love of learning and creativity into providing internal and external digital marketing support to the Director of Marketing and Communications in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
Reena Kukreja Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Global Development Studies, Queens University
Reena Kukreja
Reena Kukreja, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Development Studies, Queens University, divides time between teaching, research, and filmmaking. She has directed several award-winning documentaries on rural women in India and South Asia. Her current research focuses on two strands of South Asian masculinities: the first examines the intersections of xenophobia, Islamophobia, securitization of citizenship, and border controls on undocumented South Asian male migrants in Greece; and the other examines the role of religion, caste, and political economy in shaping contemporary relational male identities and masculinity among lower classes of rural Indian men in contemporary North India. Reena is in the pre-production stage of a documentary on South Asian male migrants in Greece. Her recent article, examining caste discrimination of Dalit cross-region brides in North India has been published by Modern Asian Studies. She is currently completing her book manuscript, Partial Truths, Negotiated Existences: Examining Dispossession of Matrimonial Choice in Cross-Region Marriages in India (Cornell University Press).
A.W. Lee Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Global Social Policy, University of Toronto

A.W. Lee is currently a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Toronto in the Centre for Global Social Policy and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. He researches race and gender policy in Canada and Northeast Asia as well as convenes institutional stakeholders in government and civil society.

Barbara Meneley MITACS Postdoctoral Fellow with Saskatchewan Arts Alliance and University of Regina
Barbara Meneley
Barbara Meneley is a prairie-based intermedia artist whose site-responsive practice engages with colonial structures and contemporary settler relationships to site. Barbara has presented, exhibited, performed and screened her work widely in Canada and the US. Barbara's artwork and writing has been featured in Public: Art / Culture / Ideas, Canadian Art Review, and Lalit Kala Contemporary in New Delhi. A sessional instructor at Luther College, and First Nations University in Regina, Barbara is currently a MITACS Postdoctoral Fellow with Saskatchewan Arts Alliance and University of Regina.

Erin Sutherland Assistant Professor, University of Alberta Augustana

Erin is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta Augustana. She is also a core and founding member of the Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective, an Edmonton-based organization which is committed to supporting the work of Indigenous contemporary artists art in the city, engaging and designers, engage in both local and global contemporary critical dialogue, developing artistic collaboration, and promoting and encourage research, production, and presentation and awareness of Indigenous contemporary art practices. Before completing her PhD in Cultural Studies, she earned an M.A. in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University. She also served as she was a Pre-Doctoral Fellow in American Indian and Indigenous Studies at Michigan State University in 2015-16. She also works as an independent curator and has recently curated the performance series Talkin’ Back to Johnny Mac in Kingston, Ontario in 2015.

Dalia Thamin Senior Manager of Media Relations, Goodwill Industries of Alberta

Dalia Thamin is the Senior Manager of Media Relations at Goodwill Industries of Alberta, a non-profit which provides jobs and career training for Albertans with disabilities. Before that, she was an award-winning broadcast journalist/producer/writer who worked for 13 years in radio, TV, film, and print/online/blogging. Ten of those years were with CBC Edmonton, where she worked on CBC radio’s morning show, Edmonton AM and CBC TV supper hour newscast. Dalia has also worked as an associate producer for CBC Calgary with the number one radio show in Calgary, the " Calgary Eyeopener" and the afternoon show "The Homestretch". She’s worked as a freelance writer and journalist while completing her MA with Cultural Studies.

Shalon Webber-Heffernan curator and doctoral candidate in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at York University
Jessica Barr
Shalon T. Webber-Heffernan is a curator and doctoral candidate in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at York University. Her research examines contemporary site-specific performance projects that address issues surrounding borderlands, disappearance, memorialization, and space throughout the hemispheric Americas. She is currently curator in residence at the Curatorial Lab @ Sensorium and has been independently curating interdisciplinary, live performance events since 2015. She recently worked with Toronto’s 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, and was previously involved as Exhibition Coordinator of a touring project entitled #callresponse at grunt gallery in Vancouver. She has recently presented work at the Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC), Trans-In- Corporados conference (Rio de Janeiro), and Performance Studies international (PSi) in Calgary and just published an article in the journal Performance Matters.
Zaira Zarza Killam Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta 

Zaira Zarza is a Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta, where her research focuses on the emerging creative industries in transitional Cuba. She worked in the Department of Social Research of the Cuban Film Institute, and as is a Programming Associate at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Her book Caminos del cine brasileño contemporáneo was published by Ediciones ICAIC in 2010. Zarza is the founder and coordinator of the project Roots and Routes: Cuban Cinemas of the Diaspora in the 21st Century, a platform for the promotion and study of film and media works by young Cuban artists who live off the island.