Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

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Current MA Students

As you’ll see from their bios below, Cultural Studies attracts a diverse group of students. Their scholarly work extends beyond the classroom, and into the world. Our students perform hands-on research in Argentina, China and Turkey, to name a few. They are artists who write plays, create works of art, curate museum spaces and use their artistic practices as their scholarship through research-creation. They win the highest academic accolades, including SSHRC, Fulbright and Vanier scholarships. They engage in community-based research, working with Indigenous peoples, artists, students, prisoners and activist groups to bring about social transformation. Get to know a bit about them below!

​Meet Our 2020 Cohort
 
​Baraa Abuzayed
​Supervisors: Jeff Brison, Sarah E. K. Smith 
Dylan Chenier
Supervisor: 
Bio:  Dylan Chenier is a Master’s student in the Cultural Studies program at Queen’s University. Dylan’s research focuses on the relationship between politics and theatre, and how the theatre can be used to facilitate meaningful political discourse. Dylan’s work as a theatre artist often reflects these research interests. Dylan’s first full-length play, Iowa, an exploration into the complex US Presidential primary system, received its first-ever staged reading in January of 2020 and is currently being developed.
Taylor Doak-Hess
Supervisor: Eleanor MacDonald
Bio:  I've moved to Kingston from Abbotsford, British Columbia, where I completed my Bachelor of Arts with an English Honours major and Sociology extended minor at the University of the Fraser Valley. As part of my honours designation for my BA I researched the role of language in the maintenance of structural inequality, specifically within the scope of the large-scale media resistance to the use of singular “they/them” pronouns by nonbinary, trans, and genderqueer individuals. This research was inspired by my involvement in my local queer communities and has since developed into a multidisciplinary interest in discourse analysis, gender politics, sociolinguistics, and the mechanics of social inequality that I hope to continue researching in my graduate studies here at Queen’s. I am also interested in the rhetorical and social value of video games as vehicles for political narratives.
Chris Hemer
​Supervisor:
Scott Rutherford
Bio:  I am a settler scholar, former political staffer, and musician currently pursuing an MA in the Cultural Studies program under the research creation stream. I previously completed my undergraduate degree at Queen’s University majoring in Political Studies and minoring in Indigenous Studies. My research interests are broadly in settler colonialism, commemoration, national mythology, and artistic intervention.
Bryenton Innes
Supervisor: 
Dylan Robinson
Bio:  Bryenton Innes is an Anishnaabe Musician from Lakelands, Nova Scotia. Bryenton comes from a rich musical background as a performer, having being involved with major performances as early as 2014 in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Primarily a tubist, Bryenton has also performed on trombone, euphonium, trumpet, percussion, and keyboard & synthesizer, in a variety of settings including the Pit Orchestra for the Motyer-Fancy Theatre, the National Youth Band of Canada, the Band of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa/Odawa, and the Mount Allison University Symphonic Band, where he received a Bachelor of Music.
Growing up in Mi'kmaki, Bryenton learned about indigenous identity through the lens of sharing across nations. Learning first to drum and sing with the Kitpu Youth Centre in Halifax/K'jipuktuk, and later fell in love with the reclamation of indigenous culture through the arts. Bryenton now works to understand and share indigenous artwork as a staple of identity after 500 years of colonialism, hybridization, and modernization, using research, social media, radio, and beadwork as methods of delivery and promotion of indigenous artists, and contributing to the pool of creators as a performer, composer, tech producer, and beadworker.
Samantha Lall
Bio:  Sam approaches academics with no specific research goals or disciplines in mind. Sam is most interested in creative writing, intersectionality-based practices and Indigenous ontologies. She’s committed to lifelong learning, self-development, embracing uncomfortable and unsettled states, and tackling the radical. Sam completed her BAH in English at Queen’s University in 2020, and brings her well-developed analytical lenses to the 1-year Cultural Studies Masters. Sam has lived in Kingston for 6 years, making it home for her and her cherished dog, Stevie. Sam is excited to be part of the 1-year Cultural Studies Masters, where she can continue to be inspired by and engage with her incredible peers while she figures out her next steps.
 
Clara Langley 
 
Angela Shi 
 
Leah Skerl
 
Brooke Spencer
Supervisor: 
Stephanie Lind
​Meet Our 2019 Cohort
 
Michelle Girouard
Supervisor: Sharday Mosurinjohn 
 
Chloée Godin-Jacques
Supervisor: Thomas Abrams
Niki Kaloudas
​Supervisor:
burcu habibe baba
Bio: My research is on the photography of social movements and the creative ways photography is being used as a tool of resistance to assert sovereignty and fight for social justice. With a particular focus on resistance to extractive projects, my work explores the ways that protest movements produce and disseminate images to mobilize against colonialism and neoliberalism.  
Having been a student of photography for the past 30 years, there are a number of recurring themes in my body of work: the joyousness of childhood, and a love of the magnificent land and water bodies that surround me. As a settler, I constantly struggle with the fact that I live, work and benefit from the unceded Indigenous land which Queen’s University now occupies.  In my professional and volunteer endeavours, I strive to work towards decolonizing and reindigenizing initiatives, and am happy to volunteer my time and energy to projects that fulfil these goals.
As a staff member at Queen's for the last 15 years, I returned to academia late in life and graduated from Queen's with my BA in Sociology in 2016.
 
António Macedo
Supervisor: 
Laura Murray
 
Barbara Matthews Wiedmaier
Supervisors: 
Lisa Guenther, Susan Lord
 
Melissa Morris
Supervisor: 
Tim Fort
Haley Sarfeld
Supervisor:
Glenn Willmott
Bio: Haley Sarfeld is a singer, songwriter, poet, and recovering English major who completed her undergraduate studies at Queen’s with a certificate in Sexual and Gender Diversity. A lifelong chatterbox, her research interests include wordplay, humour, laughter, and subversive methods of communication and community-building. Her Undergraduate Summer Student Research Fellowship focused on modernism, popular music, and private forms of resistance under totalitarian regimes. Her current projects include co-hosting monthly Hot Chocolate Charity Concerts at the Kingston Community House and participating in various collaborations with artists and musicians in the Inner Harbour neighbourhood.
Maïté Simard
Supervisors: 
Dorit Naaman, Sharry Aiken
Bio: Maïté Simard is a multidisciplinary artist, scholar, and community worker. She works through mediums such as storytelling, theatre and visual arts as pathways to self-expression and bridge-building between communities. She started her training in performing arts before pursuing her education in the fields of psychology, migration, Arabic language and Middle Eastern studies. Recently, Maïté has worked as a creative expression interventionist for Park Extension Youth Organisation (PEYO) and the Sherpa transcultural research team with immigrant, refugee and asylum-seeking children in schools and shelters around the Montreal area. At Queen's she is researching the use of storytelling as a mediation tool within refugee communities living in temporary and unstable settings.

Research Interests: Refugees and forced migration, trauma and mental health, human rights, social justice and conflict transformation, Storytelling, theatre, visual arts, and films, transculturalism
Email: maite.simard@queensu.ca

Darrell Simkins
Supervisors: 
Colleen Renihan, Margaret Walker
Bio:  Hailing from the UK, Darrell Simkins is recognized for his versatility and collaborative approach to performance, research, and arts education. Having studied at both Keele University in the UK, and York University in Canada, Darrell specializes in music education, vocal performance (music theatre and classical voice), and conducting. Darrell has built a successful international career as a performer, musical director and educator working across Canada, in addition to appearances in the UK, France, China, and Australia.
Through his energetic and holistic approach to performance, research, and arts education, Darrell’s current research focuses on collaborative compositional practices with community groups. He is interested in the complex relationships between composers, performers, audiences, and music itself.
Darrell is an instructor at Queen's University where he leads the choral program, in addition to teaching voice, conducting, and music theatre. In addition to his work at Queen's, Darrell runs a busy private voice, piano and theory studio, and offers musical consultation, adjudication, performance and musical theatre direction across Ontario.
 
Yiwen Tao
Supervisor: 
Petra Fachinger
 
Serina Timperio
Supervisors: 
Sylvat Aziz, Cristiana Zaccagnino
Isaac White
Supervisor: 
Heather Castleden
Bio: Isaac White is a (white) settler guest and scholar on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory at Queen’s University. He achieved an Honours B.A. in Communication Studies with a minor in Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. His research is holistic and interdisciplinary and concentrates broadly on Indigenous social and cultural justice in the context of Indigenous-settler relations in Canada. Isaac’s current MA thesis research focusses on exploring if and how Geography Departments at Canadian universities are addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The goal of his MA research is to understand the extent to which the TRC’s Calls to Action are understood and operationalized in Geography Departments and the discipline as a whole across Canada, and to identify any perceived barriers to engaging with the TRC’s recommendations in the Department’s curricular, pedagogical, and or administrative spheres. In the context of his research, Isaac is interested in the function of settler colonialism and neoliberalism within universities, the intersections of discourse, power, and knowledge production, as well as decolonizing the discipline and Departments of Geography.
Research interests: Indigenous-settler relations, Settler colonialism, Reconciliation, Foucauldian discourse analysis as a methodology, Decolonizing the academy
Rebecca Wissink
Supervisor: 
Jennifer Hosek
Bio: My Queen's email address is 19rjw@queensu.ca.
I was raised in, and keep returning to, the Fraser Valley of BC, although my dream home is a tropical island with mangos and great wifi.
I completed my BA at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) with a split major - Anthropology and Sociology, and a Media/Communications minor. I previously had a 15-year career in the federal criminal justice system.
I was drawn to Queen's Cultural Studies program because of its interdisciplinary nature. I think the strongest research and arguments bring as many perspectives to the table as possible. But also, because culture, and western popular culture specifically, are my loves.
I am particularly intrigued by the mainstream ideology perpetuated through media and its impacts on identity practices - how our identity is influenced by hegemonic messaging, and how in turn we navigate, understand, integrate, communicate, and contest these influences. My anticipated course of research during this MA will be on the representations of gentrification on Shameless (the American version). I started this research in my undergrad and learned how critical space and place are to identify, and how the socio-cultural displacement of gentrification challenges one's identify. I'm also interested in travel - particularly women's solo travel which I just did a neat research project on, - the craft beer industry, death, tattooing, Zombies, ritual, urban planning, the hero/ine's journey, neoliberal capitalism, feminism, and patriarchy. In short, my interests are all over the map, so I need an interdisciplinary program.
​Meet Our 2018 Cohort
Sheridan Carr
Supervisor: 
Lisa Guenther
Email: sher.carr@hotmail.com
Bio: I am a small town girl from just outside North Bay Ontario. I came to Queen’s for my undergrad in Philosophy to experience the feeling of a bigger town. I felt that a Masters in Cultural Studies would allow me the opportunity to apply the theories I have learned to make a difference in people’s lives. In my research I look at inequalities under the law, specifically within the Justice System.
Antoine Devroede
​Supervisor: 
David Pugh
Bio:  My name is Antoine and I’m originally from Montreal. I completed a BA in Political Science at the Université du Québec à Montréal. In my senior year, I received a scholarship to participate in a one-year exchange program at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris. There, I studied art history and international relations extensively. After graduating, I joined the federal government’s International Youth Internship Program where I researched the Cassava industry in Haiti. Since the beginning of my time in academia, I had the opportunity to participate in diverse professional, educational and international experiences. I feel like every time I stepped into unfamiliar territory, my perspective was enriched and broadened tremendously. I found the interdisciplinary nature of Cultural Studies to be a perfect fit to continue this journey. My research is mainly geared towards intellectual history and the history of political thought. I’m investigating the origins of Fascist ideology and its development since the early 20th century. I am also a research fellow with NACDI where I research cultural diplomacy, and continue to foster my interest for art history and international relations.
Tianna Edwards
Supervisor: 
Barrington Walker, Jeff Brison
Bio: Tianna Edwards grew up in Kingston, Ontario and moved away for 10 years to complete her post-secondary education and begin her career as a journalist. She currently works as the Officer of Direct Response Appeals in the Office of Advancement at Queen’s. She plans to complete her Masters in Cultural Studies, part time. She has a BA degree (Hons) in Media Studies as well as a diploma in Journalism from the University of Guelph Humber. Her undergrad thesis studied the misrepresentation of black culture through black media. Her research interests are race and space and representation. She plans to focus on Kingston’s inclusivity policies as they relate to cities of similar size and demographic. Tianna looks forward to challenging and expanding her ideologies through the creative collaborative efforts of the Cultural Studies program.
 
Vanesa Runions
Supervisor: Jeff Brison
 
Meet Our 2017 Cohort
Emily Harmsen
Emily Harmsen
Supervisor:
Claire Davies
Email: 17eh7@queensu.ca
Bio and Research Interests: Emily has a background in fashion design (Ryerson U) and decided to return to graduate school to deepen her understanding of inclusive and accessible design theory & practice. Since beginning her studies as a part-time student in 2017, she has continued to work full-time jobs which have included some hands-on work within the field of accessibility. She completed the READi program at Carleton U in 2019 which strengthened her alignment with inclusive & empathic design methods. Her research includes developing a design framework that merges aspects of sustainable, inclusive & accessible design theories with the intention of making it easier for small scale designers to ensure more ethical and all around accessible products without compromising their unique aesthetics.