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Academic Research

About My Research | Ph.D. Candidate, University of Toronto (St. George) Faculty of Information

Title: "Feeling Between Bodies: The Politics and Poetics of New Media's Queer Embodiments"

Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Patrick Keilty 

Thesis Committee: Dr. Jasmine Rault, Dr. Nikki Cesare-Schotzko, Dr. Zach Blas

From algorithmic theatre (Dorsen 2012) to electronic literature (Carpenter 2017), wearable technologies (cárdenas 2016; Blas 2022) to virtual reality design (Wallis et. al 2021; Dunne et. al 2018), the collision of new and computational media and artistic practice in the early 21st century has radically challenged and transformed existing contemporary art mediums, disciplines, and modes of expression. 

My doctoral dissertation is a critical study of methods by which trans-feminist and queer (henceforth TFQ) creators are using emerging technological tools and techniques within contemporary arts praxis to resist cisheteropatriarchal and colonial-capitalist frameworks of viewing and experiencing. Reconciling conceptual and material modes of exploration, this project is organized into an introduction and four chapters, each highlighting an emergent new media practice bridging the gap between artistic and technological inquiry and taken up in the early 21st century by TFQ artists and designers. These are: (1) live intermedial performance, (2) algorithmic text generation, (3) wearable electronics or “soma” design, and (4) mixed reality design. Methodologically, each of these chapters synthesizes and examines multiple works from discrete practitioners, guided by feminist phenomenology (Sobchack, Ahmed), principles of critical making (Ratto) and design justice (Costanza-Chock), and “reparative” queer and feminist theories (Sedgwick, Muñoz, Keeling), as well as my own research-creation (SSHRC, Chapman and Sawchuck, Loveless). The urgency (Dunne, Munster, Carpenter) of finding new methods of understanding the juncture between the lived body and its mediation and representation within aesthetic experiences occupying hybrid physical, digital, and disciplinary space is particularly felt within TFQ spaces (Cowan, Haraway, Keeling); my project thereby aspires to investigate how these technologies are somatically engaging the polylithic experience of queer embodiment.

My research is all about increasing the capacity of imagining alternatives to the present; what would making look like if it were a deeply humanistic activity, and not organized around progress, economic viability, and adjacent late capitalistic ideologies? What would it mean to let ourselves be transformed by technologies in ways that are creative and not extractivist? How can artistic creation become queer world building or world-making in action? In providing alternatives to technodeterministic futures, I imagine emerging creative design technologies as prospective tools towards the advancement of TFQ futures where human and non-human forms of life can reciprocally thrive, creating new intimacies, languages, spiritualities, environments, and webs of relationality.

This work comes generously funded by a SSHRC Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (CGS-D) Award.

Education History

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Information (University of Toronto, St. George) | 2020 - 2025
    Collaborative Specialization in Knowledge Media Design
    Collaborative Specialization in Sexual Diversity Studies


  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Performance Practice as Research (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) | 2019 - 2020
    Thesis: Intimacy betweenspace/s: Towards a Performance Practice of Digital Intimacy
    Graduated with Distinction


  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Arts and Humanities
    Honours Double Major in English Language and Literature and Theatre Studies
    Graduated with Honours, Western Scholars

Academic Awards and Scholarships - Postgraduate

  • Marcia J. Nauratil Memorial Fellowship | University of Toronto

  • CDHI Critical DH Learning Community Grant | University of Toronto

  • Joseph Armand-Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral | University of Toronto

  • Embassy Postgraduate Scholarship | Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Research Experience

  • Research Assistant, Centre for Culture and Technology (under Dr. Scott Richmond) | University of Toronto

  • Studio Assistant, Centre for Culture and Technology (under Simone Browne) | University of Toronto

  • Studio Assistant, Daniels Faculty (under Dr. Zach Blas) | University of Toronto

  • Research Assistant, Sexual Representation Collection (under Dr. Patrick Keilty) | University of Toronto

  • Research Assistant, Bell University Labs Chair/CAMH (under Dr. Matt Ratto) | University of Toronto

Conference Presentation Experience

  • The 17th Ammerman Centre Biennial Symposium on Arts and Technology | November 2022

  • Digital Research in the Humanities (DHRA) Conference | September 2022

  • International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) World Congress | June 2022

  • Material Selves: Gender, Health, and Performance at University College London | June 2022

  • International Association of Libraries, Museums, Archives, and Documentation Centres of the Performing Arts (SIBMAS) "Performing the Future" Conference | June 2022

  • International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) Student Design Competition | March 2022

  • Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting | October 2021

  • Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) Conference | July 2021

  • Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) Conference and Colloquium | June 2021

  • Canadian Communication Association (CCA) Annual Conference | June 2021

  • Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) | May 2021

  • Communities and Communication International Interdisciplinary Conference and Festival | April 2021

  • International Documentation of Contemporary Dance Education (IDOCDE) Symposium | July 2020

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