Student Profiles

Sarwar Abdullah
Received his B.A. in philosophy from Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, NS) in 2009 and Philosophy from Dalhousie University (Halifax) in 2013 where he wrote his thesis on the early Wittgenstein—“TRACTATUS: LOGIC AND THE CHALLENGE OF ETHIC” He also earned an M.A. in Theology and Religious Studies from Saint Mary’s university, 2014 where he wrote his thesis on Simone Weil—“‘Negative Faith: The Moment of God’s Absence’: Simone Weil on Affliction”. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Humanities at York University (Toronto, Ontario).

Stacy Allison
Stacy holds a Honours B.Mus. in French horn performance from Wilfrid Laurier University, a M.Mus. from Duquesne University, and a M.I.St. from the University of Toronto. She is interested in popular music and culture, in particular how the ideas of love and sex work on and through music. Stacy is also a professional librarian and music cataloguer at York.

Her website is available at:

Shahab S. Bayani
Shahab is a PhD student at York University where he has also completed an MA in Humanities.  He holds an MBA and a BA in Economics from McMaster University.  He also holds qualifications in commercial aviation. His research interests are in subaltern masculinity, aiming to better understand inequality and racialization based on essentialist categorizations of non-European masculinity and the ensuing alienation of such male migrants.  He further examines the male identity formation within the context of prevailing neoliberal trends; how traditional forms of masculinity construction are substituted and what this means to male development in more dominant cultures.

As a lifelong motorcycling enthusiast, he draws on parallels in motor culture masculinity, substitute patriarchy, male bonding and camaraderie.

Robert Beghetto
Robert holds a B.A. (Hons) in History and a minor in Religious Studies, along with a MA in Humanities from York University. His research interests include modernist and post-modernist literature, philosophy, and film, as well as the social and political effects of both World Wars. His dissertation will focus on modernity, primarily the city and WWI, and how they relate to the 'modern outsider'.

Bill Blackstock
Bill is a PhD candidate with an interest in critical theory, French philosophy and cultural studies. He holds a BA (Hons) from Queen's University in sociology and history and an MA from Concordia in sociology. His current research centres around Internet subculture and post subcultural theory, spatial relations and social theory.

Jordana de Bloeme
Jordana holds a B.A. in History and Religious Studies from York University and an M.A. in History from the University of Toronto. Her research interests include modern Eastern European Jewish cultural history and Yiddish language and culture. Her dissertation focuses on the creation of a “Yiddishist” youth culture and identity in interwar Poland.

Robert M.W. Brown
Robert holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Carleton University and an M.A. in Environmental Studies from York University. His current research interests include the intersection between modernity and nature in the works of F.W.J. Schelling and Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the methodological development of the eco-critical humanities.

Victor Cirone
Victor holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Literary Studies from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in Communication and Culture from York and Ryerson University. His current work centers on 20th century ‘visionary’ or ‘celestial’ American poetics (e.g. Ezra Pound, H.D., Robert Duncan, Philip Lamantia, Ronald Johnson, Gary Snyder, Peter Lamborn Wilson) and the spiritual ecologies that many of the writers in this tradition sought to build. He is also engaged in the study of East Asian thought as it came to influence and shape facets of contemporary American experimentalism in the arts.

Debra Danilewitz
She is a Registered Social Worker and has a Masters degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and a Masters Degree in Humanities from York University. She has many years of experience working with children and parents both educationally and therapeutically. She has extensive expertise in teaching pro-social skills and works as a School Counsellor. Prior to that she was the School Psycholgist at King David High School in South Africa. She also  lectured at Medical School at the University of Witwatersand  and lectured to psychology students at Rhodes University in South Africa. Prior to that she worked as a Social Worker  at the Johannesburg Hospital in psychiatry and peadiatrics .She is a certified Yoga teacher.

She has written and published 3 books.

  • David goes to play therapy
  • Memories and Reflections of my school years
  • The Treasured Gift

Justin Derry
Justin holds a B.E.S in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and an M.A. in Humanities from York. Current areas of focus include: Ecological Humanities, Science and Technology Studies, Eco-Criticism, Multi-species Ethnography and Anthropology at human/nonhuman border.

Gorcin Dizdar
Gorčin Dizdar was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (at that time, Yugoslavia). He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Modern Languages (German) from Wadham College, University of Oxford and an M.A. in Humanities from York University. His doctoral dissertation focuses on the visual culture of medieval Bosnia, incorporating historiographical, theological and art historical methodologies. Gorčin is currently holding a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Christina Foisy
Christina (BA Concordia University, MEd York University) is a third-year PhD student in Humanities. Her oral history research considers autobiographical narratives of electroconvulsive therapy by both survivors and psychiatrists, and how such narratives represent lives re-routed by shock. She is also interested in sound art, memory studies and medical humanities. Her poetry/sound art has appeared at the Women Made Gallery in Chicago, the Journal of Research on Mothering and POIESIS.

Kathryn Franklin
Kathryn holds a BA in English Literature (McGill), an MA in Humanities (York) and a MiST (Toronto) in Information Studies. Areas of interest include archival research, writers in exile, youth culture and photography. Her current research focuses on the Weimar Republic, Fashion and Glam Rock. She is a co-editor of Descant Magazine and guest-edited Descant 150, Writers in Prison in Fall 2010.

Bessie Goldberg
Bessie’s dissertation, “Essays in Aesthetic Judgment: The Case of Mansfield Park,” examines Jane Austen’s challenging novel in order to clarify the relationship between aesthetic judgments which characters make in novels and aesthetic judgments which readers make about novels. She holds an M.A. in Humanities from York University. In her MRP, “How (the) ‘I’ got into Language” she explored the subject’s entrance into language from the perspectives of linguistics, critical theory, and literature.

For her B.A. in English from Reed College, she completed a thesis titled “Language in Borges, Borges in Language.” Bessie’s research interests include literary theory, aesthetics, and narratology.

Shlomo Gleibman
Serhiy holds an honours BA in Philology, Russian Language and Literature and World Literature from Ivan Franko National University (Lviv, Ukraine) and an MA in Humanities from York University where his major research paper was on the Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22) in rabbinic and early Christian literature. He also studied at the Open University of Israel (Tel Aviv) and at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (New York). His research interests include translation and interpretation of religious texts in Jewish and Christian traditions, as well as relationship between religion, ethics, and identity.

Huda Hassan
Huda Hassan holds a Hon BA from University of Toronto in African Studies, Political Science and Philosophy. She is currently working on a MA in Humanities at York. Her research explores the multidimensional aspects of how second-generation Somali-Canadian adolescents born in Canada occupy space between a particular definition of ‘Canadian identity’ and ‘Somali identity'. Her research interests include bi-cultural identity production, identity performance, children's studies, formation of communal identities, critical race theory and post-colonialism.

She can be reached at

Candace Iron
Candace holds an Honours BA in Art History and Visual Arts from the University of Windsor and a Master's in Art History from York University. Her PhD Research examines 19th-century Canadian ecclesiastical architecture and its value as a social text. Her PhD dissertation will research the Canadian-born architect Henry Langley (1836-1907), the most prolific architect of 19th-century Ontario, and his designs for churches, while paying specific attention to their reflection of social, religious and architectural movements.

Irfaan Jaffer
Irfaan holds a B.A. (hons.) from York university and an MA from The University of Toronto. He is currently a PhD candidate at York University and the working title of his dissertation is Human Rights and the Islamic Wisdom Tradition. His research interests include the Perennial Philosophy, Sufism, Contemporary Islamic Thought, Human Rights and Virtue Ethics.

Matthew Kaufman
Matthew earned his B.A. from Lawrence University in 1989, and his M.H.L. and rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1998. Matthew earned his M.A. in Humanities at York University in 2009, together with a Diploma in Jewish Studies. His MRP is entitled "The Menorah Journal from 1915-1929 and Shaping American Jewish Identity: Culture, Race, and Evolutionary Sociology." He subsequently reworked his MRP into a publication, "The Menorah Journal and Shaping American Jewish Identity: Culture and Evolutionary Sociology," which appeared in Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies (30:4).

Matthew's dissertation, currently underway, seeks to triangulate the fields of the history of science, religion and print culture as a trajectory of inquiry into exploring the conditions of marginality, the limits of secularity, and the creation of self-understanding.

Kris Kobold
Kris holds a Hon.B.A. (English and Mediaeval Studies) and an M.A. (Medieval Studies), both from the University of Toronto. Kris had been enrolled for three years in the Ph.D. programme at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, studying Old and Middle English philology and literature, but left that programme after three years to pursue a B.Ed. (English and History concentrations) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Now returned to Ph.D. studies in the Department of Humanities at York, Kris' research interests include textual criticism (especially medieval English vernacular); the history and development of the English language; and both the reception of Old English in the Early Modern period and the history of the scholarship of Old English.

Jessica Lee
"Jessica J. Lee's work explores the overlap between environmental aesthetics, new materialisms, and critical environmental theory. She focusses on the aesthetics of landscape, specifically in relation to Hampstead Heath. Jessica completed her undergraduate in Contemporary Studies and International Development at the University of King's College and her masters in Humanities and Cultural Studies at The London Consortium. Her masters dissertation was published in Contemporary Aesthetics in 2010."

Catherine Legault
Catherine holds a B.A. (Hons.) English and Cultural Studies, Trent University, and a M.A., Humanities, York University. She has an extensive background teaching and working with youth in educational, social, and religious contexts. Her current research focuses on North American Muslim youths' religious and sexual identities.

Kyah Lloyd
Kyah holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Victoria and an M.A. in Humanities from York University. His research interests include the Marquis de Sade, Georges Bataille and cultural theory.

Brian McCormack
Brian holds a BA in Philosophy and Sociology from St. Thomas University, and an MES in Environmental Studies from York University. His current research looks at the work of the biologist Jacob von Uexküll.

Abid Mirza
Abid earned his honours B.A. in Social Science from York University and is currently in his M.A. in Humanities.  His research interests include religion
and the persecution of minority religious sects in Islam.

Brandon Moores
Brandon Moores is now in his fourth year of studies in the PhD Humanities program at York. He is a native of Montreal and received his BA from Concordia University, with a Major in Western Civilization and Society and a Joint Honours in English Literature and Creative Writing. Following up on this last, he did a MA in Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick, where he produced a new translation of eighty-eight of the Latin poet Martial's epigrams. This has led in turn to his current project, a study of how humour is translated. Other interests include historical linguistics, Ancient Rome and Roman literature, and poetics and stylistics.

John Morden
John earned his honours B.A. from the University of Toronto in Art and Art History and his M.A. from Interdisciplinary Studies at York University. John is currently researching the 19th-century freak, to determine how they used Victorian science, photo-technology and aesthetic theory to construct profitable public personas.

Erik Mortensen
Is a PhD candidate. He received his MA at Wilfrid Laurier University from the department of English and Film Studies with a specialization in Gender and Genre. He received his BA from the University of Guelph with a double major in English & Theatre Studies and History. His dissertation research is focused on exploring the vigilante as a mythic figure within American culture and texts. In particular he is exploring how the narratives constructed in America create lessons which validate and romanticize  vigilante figures - factual and fictional. He is also exploring how gender and race impact the portrayal and reception of vigilante figures, and the different forms of vigilantes which can be found to the right and left of the American political spectrum.

Expanding the definition of a vigilante as one who uses violence - in any form - in the pursuit of "justice" instead of the more narrow view of a vigilante being a figure who takes the law into their own hands - though this does fall under the large framing of the vigilante figure.

Marlee Mozeson
Marlee holds an Honours BA in Political Science from York University, following a year of study in Israel. Marlee spent the last two years working for the Federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Her research interests include Jewish immigration to Canada and the effects of multiculturalism on Canada's Western Jewish communities.

Tanita Muneshwar
Tanita holds a B.A. in English and Caribbean Studies and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies both from York University. Her MA thesis explored how identity is constructed in the novels of contemporary Indo-Guyanese women through themes of education, ethnicity and gender negotiations.  Her research interests include religion and landscape in Caribbean and Latin American literature.

Khyati Nagar
Khyati is working on her PhD titled ‘The Visual Cultures of Science in Early 19th-century Calcutta’, in which she is exploring the entangled socio-cultural ideas of visuality and science. Her comprehensive exam areas were defined as: General Area: The Circulation of Science between Asia and Europe from 1750-1900 and Specific Area: The Visual Cultures of Science from 1750-1900. Her interest in Visual Culture studies goes back a long way when she completed a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts in 1996 from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India, and a Masters Degree in Visual Communication Design in 1998, from IIT, Bombay, India. Her journey toward the Humanities started with her Master’s degree in Digital Humanities from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (2009). She holds three awards at YorkU: a language award from YCAR (2015), the Vivienne Poy award for Asian Research (2015) from YCAR, and the Nirvan Bhavan Fellowship (2015).

Khyati is also deeply engaged in undergraduate teaching at York University and has over 13 years of teaching experience in higher education institutions in India and Canada. In the past two years she has completed three teaching certifications at Teaching Commons, York University: TACT (Teaching Assistant’s Certificate in Teaching), STA (Senior Teaching Assistant’s Certificate in Teaching), both certified by SEDA, UK, and an Instructional Skills Workshop Certification, certified by the ISW network, Canada. She has also worked as a Teaching Commons Tutor (2014-2015), where she mentored other junior TAs at YorkU.

Susan Niazi
Susan is a first year PhD student in Humanities Program. She has a B.A. in English Language Translation from Allame Tabatabaii University in Tehran, Iran in 1997. She is a Literary Translator and has gained translation experience over the past ten years. As a Literary Translator she has built up her professional portfolio by translating a collection of short stories, novels, and literary articles from English into Persian (Farsi) and vice versa, some of which have already been published in her home country. She is also a certified Community Interpreter, and obtained an ILSAT Certificate (Interpreter Language and Skills Assessment Tool).

She considers herself bilingual in Persian/English. She completed her M.A. in Translation Studies at York University, Glendon College in 2010. As a Literary Translator who has practiced translation in both directions between two languages, cultures and literatures, she believes in the intercultural communicative role of literary translation in developing, and reshaping cultures and literatures. This has led her to her research project, that being how literary translation has influenced, and enriched the Persian literary polysystem at the onset of the era of Modernism in Iran.

Other interests: Translation studies, translation and identity, comparative literature, the history of literary translation after the post Islamic Revolution in Iran, theories of world literature and the position of translated literature within it.

Christine Nguyen
Christine holds a B.A. (Specialized Hons) in Humanities from York University. She is currently working on an M.A. in Humanities and her current area of research is exploring the intertextual and interdisciplinary relationship in the works of Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Roger Fry. Her other areas of interests include: Modernism and the Lost Generation of Paris.

Martin Parrot
Martin has a MA from l’École d’Études Politiques de l’Université d’Ottawa where he wrote a thesis entitled 'L'Ébranlement de l'écrit: mouvement de l'existence, littérature, et geste politique dans la philosophie de Jan Patocka'. He also has a MA in Humanities from York University where he developed a critical appreciation of Frances A. Yates’s approach to the study of Hermeticism from the perspective of cultural history. Still at York for the PhD, his research has two main orientations. The first is the cultural history of debates and definitions of the everyday, the familiar, and the ordinary in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The second is the study of expression, imagination, and epistemology in 20th century French history and philosophy. Martin published in Postures: critique littéraire and Trahir: revue indisciplinée d'essais, d'analyses, et de débats. He is presently co-editing a book on the everyday at Cambridge Scholars Publishing. His dissertation will be on the everyday in 20th century québécois culture with a particular focus on spatiality, cinema, and politics.

Sonja Pushchak
Sonja holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in Art and Art History and has undertaken her M.A. at York University in Interdisciplinary Studies. Her research to date has been the social and cultural implications of the Darwinist circle and the possibility that suffering may have been a pretence by which the group demonstrated their right to the most prestigious positions in late 19th-century science.

Jilynn Quek
Jilynn, also known as Jil, is researching how video games work as a storytelling medium. She is studying how stories are told in more traditional media (the written word, voice, performance, film/television, and comic book/graphic novel) in the super hero, western, science fiction and fantasy, fairy tale, and epic genres. The interaction between the player (who is both reader and performer) and text is an important aspect of her research. As a result, she is approaching her project by using narratology, ludology, game studies (gaming theory), film and television studies, and literary theory and criticism to frame her methodology.

She can be reached at

Mina Rajabi Paak
Mina Rajabi Paak is a PhD student at the department of Humanities at York University. She holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from The University of British Columbia where she wrote her thesis on intersections of visual culture and the discourse of philanthropy within the context of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic. Selected as a Trillium Scholar in 2014, Mina is currently continuing her research on the concept and culture of philanthropy and its influence on the praxis of sociopolitical activism.


Susan Rajendran
Susan Rajendran is currently a PhD student in the Department of Humanities at York University. Her research interests primarily focus on the interrogation of modernity in relation to nationalism, hegemony and civil society in the context of Sri-Lanka today.

Given the postcolonial reality of the island, her project also examines Buddhist humanism as a vital aspect in the construction of cultural and national identity - bringing together the  literature of Martin Wickramasinghe and Ediriweera Sarachchandra who gave expression to the tension between modernity and tradition.

Daniel Renton
Daniel Kincade Renton holds a joint BA in English and Philosophy (St. F.X.), a BA in Creative Writing (VIU), and an MA in English with a Creative Writing thesis (UNB). His research interests are continental philosophy, hermeneutics, existential theology, and contemporary poetry in English. Daniel’s doctoral research is on Jacques Derrida’s concept of a “hyper-critical faith,” which haunts the majority of the latter’s corpus—or, at least, Daniel has good faith this is so and intends to undertake a description of this economy as inscribed in Derrida’s more famous conceptual apparatuses. Daniel’s poetry has been published in literary journals across Canada. He was the guest host and organizer of Readings at the Common for the 2014 Winter season. A chapbook is forthcoming with Frog Hollow Press (2014).

Kathryn Roberts
After a lengthly career in financial services, Kathryn returned to school to receive an MA in Humanities from York University. Her MRP was entitled "Reflections of Hume in Dickens" and is consistent with her ongoing interest in the ways in which Victorian literary figures assimilated modern epistemologies of personal identity.

Arun Nedra Rodrigo
Arun’s dissertation “The Sum of all our Solitudes” examines the role political refugees play in our imaginings of multiculturalism, their presence/absences, and possible repairs to both current practice and legislation through the recognition of multiculturalism as a moral endeavor.

Christina Rousseau
Christina holds a BA in History and English Literature as well as an MA in Interdisciplinary Humanities, both from Laurentian University. She is interested in cultural studies approached from a Marxist-feminist perspective, focusing on unwaged housework, social reproduction, and feminist history. Her current research is focused on feminist movements in Italy and Canada.

Fumi Sakata
Fumi is a first-year PhD student and holds a B.A. and M.A. in Language and Communication from Japan as well as an M.A. in Cultural Studies from Queen's University. She is interested in exploring the limitations of the Western critical race theory by focusing on the unique race-thinking manifested in modern Japan.

Megan Sandhu
Megan holds a BA in English/Film as well as an MA in English from the University of Western Ontario. She also holds a Certificate in Creative Writing, from the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on representations of homelessness, both fictional and autobiographical in different media, as well as cinematic propaganda and advocacy. Her future dissertation title will be: "Representations of Homelessness: Negotiating Identities through the Mediation of Lived Experience". Megan is currently enrolled in a diploma program in Refugee and migration studies and conducts research on autobiographical and documentary representations of Refugee experience in Ontario suburbs.

Christopher Satoor
Christopher holds a specialized B.A. (Hons) in Philosophy and a MA in Humanities from York University.  Currently Christopher is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Humanities at York University. The History of Philosophy and Critical Theory are his expertise with a wide range of research interests including: Early Modern Philosophy (Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume ) German Idealism (Kant, and Schelling) 19th, and 20th century thought (Nietzsche, Whitehead & Bergson) French Spiritualism, Panpyschism & Neo-Vitalism (Maine de Biran, Felix Ravaisson, Teilhard de Chardin, Allan Kardec)  as well as Post-Modern Philosophy (Deleuze, Ranciere, Badiou)

His Dissertation will center around  Gilles Deleuze's univocal ontology tying his entire body of work (From Hume to his co-authored works with Guattari) to the concept of the 'political';  thus creating a deep rooted and sophisticated systematic political ontology.

Michael Sherbert
Michael Sherbert earned his BA Honours in Psychology and his MA in Religious Studies at Queen's University. His research interests include theories of religion, transhumanism, developmental psychology, critical theory and deconstruction.

Lesley Simpson
Lesley Simpson completed an Honours BA and MA in English from the University of Toronto. Between her MA and returning to school to begin a  PHD,  Simpson worked as a journalist in Canada for daily newspapers and CBC Radio.

She is in her second year of the PHD program in humanities,  Her research interests include the work of  Holocaust writer Ida Fink as well as Jewish "love letters from the hereafter" sometimes called ethical wills.

Gurbir Jolly Singh
Gurbir’s M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (York University) drew broadly from diasporic studies, literary studies, and feminist ethnographic writing to explore contemporary literature written by “second-generation” South Asian writers in Canada and the United States. He has co-edited two literary anthologies: Bolo! Bolo! Second Generation South Asian Voices (SAPNA, 2000) and Desilicious: Sexy. Subversive. South Asian (Arsenal Pulp, 2003). He has also co-edited Once Upon A Time in Bollywood: The Global Swing in Hindi Cinema (TSAR, 2007), which addresses globalization and postcolonial pop culture. His dissertation, tentatively titled “Postcolonial Transfigurations of the Christ,” draws on classical Christological debates and current postcolonial theory to examine Christ figures in English postcolonial literature.

Joseph Smith
Joseph holds an Honours B.A. in the Humanities – with a minor in History (2011), as well as a B.Ed (2012) and M.Ed (2014), all from York University. His Master's research – supervised by psychoanalyst Deborah Britzman – involved itself with an exploration (both philosophical and psychological) of Carter G. Woodson's concept of "Miseducation." He is currently a Humanities Ph.D., with research interests comprised of, but not limited to, the black Atlantic, biblical studies, psychoanalysis, existentialism,  ancient and modern philosophy and the modern novel. With a particular focus on the relationship between religion, philosophy, and psychology, Joseph is fundamentally concerned with the genesis, narration, and demonstration of the self i.e. what it means to be (become) a self-conscious human being.  Aside from his Ph.D. studies, he is a TDSB history and social science high school teacher, who also runs an outreach program for young adults, called "Generation Chosen," out of Emery Collegiate Institute – his former high school, located in the Jane and Finch community.

Ryan Staples
Ryan Staples holds a B.A. in Sociology and Social and Political Thought from York University. His doctoral research draws from Lacanian psychoanalysis to consider the role of desire in giving shape to epistemic practices in scientific objectivity. His dissertation will examine this relationship in the context of neuroscientific research about dreaming.


Val Strawczynski
Val earned a BA, specialised honours, in Religious Studies and an MA in History at York University. Her interest is in the interconnection between cultures in the ancient world, looking beyond, behind, but especially inside the texts, in order to understand the intercultural context of everything that's been written. Her Master's thesis addressed the pragmatic theology of the Achaemenid Persian kings from Cyrus to Darius II, focusing on their expedient support of cults in Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, and the Levant between 559 and 405 BCE. Her doctoral dissertation will concern the politics of assassination in the Hebrew Bible, addressing such questions as the reason for and goal of assassination, the situation leading to the event, and exactly how the term might have been defined in the ancient Levant prior to Graeco-Roman times.

Stephanie Todd
Stephanie earned a B.A. in English from the University of Toronto in 1984. In 1991 she earned her B.ed. and in 2004 a Master's degree in teaching English from OISE. She is working on an M.A. in Humanities and is interested in the historical development of the role of the artist in society, critical theory, and Shakespeare.

Melanie Tsesler
Melanie obtained her Specialized Honours in Philosophy at York University as well as an Ethics Certificate and Bilingual certificate (York University). She is currently pursuing her MA in Humanities with a specialization in health in different cultures with a focus on Buddhism, specifically as it relates to the mind, body and spirit; namely, what it is to be healthy.

Peter Unwin
Peter Unwin received his Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University, followed by his Masters in Communication and Culture from York and Ryerson Universities. He is currently in the first year of his PhD program. His research examines the biological dimension of communication, the written word in particular, with an emphasis on how paper, ink and ambient light  have provided the written word with its enduring power, and how a digital, virtual communications system re-imagines and re-configures that power.

He is the author of seven books across numerous genres, and his recent story collection Life Without Death, was a finalist for the 2014 Trillium Book Award. His first poetry collection When We Were Old was released this summer by Cormorant Books.

Andrea C. Valente
Title in Progress: Multimodal Rhetoric in Women’s Neuro-Autoethnography:  Building Synaptic Communities

"My research is situated at the intersection of Neuroscience and Humanities, in which I analyse autobiographical narratives across media of six public women that live with brain conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. I plan to identify how they organize and frame their lived experiences within such health conditions. Moreover I am interested in how their narratives and performances, grounded in rhetoric and communication studies, translate the medical discourse into vernacular knowledge  in transmedial contexts such as the Internet, which contributes to the formation of a virtual audience. This dissertation uses digital ethnography as a methodological tool, and it aims to contribute to an interdisciplinary approach within the Humanities."

Mahdieh Vali-Zadeh
Having had lifelong interest in studying languages, cultures, and literature, Mahdieh received her BA in English in Iran. Her desire for teaching led her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language in Iran as well. After her immigration to Canada and with the intention to incorporate her knowledge and experience of teaching with teaching literature, she passed a full academic year on British Romanticism at the department of English of York University where she started doing another MA at the department of Humanities in 2015. Currently, she is working on her masters in Comparative Literature, comparing Persian Sufism and British Romanticism, more specifically, comparing the poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi and William Wordsworth on the matter of ‘The Sublime’.

Angie Wong
Angie is a former Mount Royal University graduate with a diploma in Theatre Performance; she received a Bachelors of Communication and Culture from the University of Calgary primarily working with Dr. Ron Glasberg, and a Master of Arts in the Humanities at York University under the supervision of Dr. Jay Goulding. Angie is a current Doctoral candidate in the Humanities Department investigating Existentialist and Phenomenological impacts on morality, ethics, and the human condition in Western philosophy.

Her Master’s Major Research Paper explored the hermeneutical division between logic in a ‘hyper-industrial complex’ and discourse through what she terms ‘Deep Reality,’ using close textual analysis of Martin Heidegger’s An Introduction to Metaphysics and the Daoist philosophical texts Daodejing and the Zhuangzi.