2021 Sherman Graduate Residents

Cameron Anderson

Cam is a MSc student in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and holds a Bachelor of Music from McMaster University.  His research with the MAPLE Lab explores how composers use expressive cues such as loudness, pitch, and timing to communicate music’s emotional meaning. His project aims to elucidate how music’s complex structure affects its perceived meaning in explorations of historically renowned compositions.

Recent technological advances have enabled analysts to explore music’s historic changes using sophisticated algorithms. Although these quantitative techniques hold potential to clarify changes in musical expression, they often lack theoretical common ground with the qualitative methods of past musicological research. Cam’s project will blend qualitative and quantitative techniques to trace the evolution of a musical language, using interactive data visualizations to communicate his findings. He will analyze special sets of pieces composed since the seventeenth century, examining expressive changes in a long-held tradition. His exploratory analyses will track compositional changes in a widely-studied musical idiom—revealing expressive patterns in works by J.S. Bach (1685-1750), Chopin (1810-49), and Debussy (1862-1918). Interactive applications showcasing his findings will allow readers to perform their own analyses while engaging with the data and musical excerpts examined.

Emma Croll-Baehre

Emma Croll-Baehre (they/she) is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Cultural Studies. Emma completed a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Women’s Studies (2014-2018) at the University of Western Ontario, followed by an MA in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory at McMaster University (2018-2019). Emma’s Vanier-CGS supported doctoral work considers contemporary twin cultural production in the digital era. 

The digital age has seen a greater enmeshment of twins and technology, with the emergence of online twin cultural producers such as twinfluencers. Emma’s research considers the spectacularization of twinship in the digital age, an age characterized by duelling ideological currents of individualism and uniformity, aptly embodied by twins whose qualities of novelty and sameness have imbued them with cultural capital on digital media platforms (i.e. instagram, tiktok, etc.). Twins are ‘hyper-visible’ in part because their intimacies and interdependent embodiment illuminate conditions of our shared vulnerability in uncomfortable ways. Emma’s project will demonstrate how digital media both facilitates consumer capitalism’s cooptation of twinship and enables twins to subvert (‘Western’) hegemonic ideals of embodiment and intimacy.

Duygu Ertemin

Duygu Ertemin (she/her) is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University. She completed her BA in Archaeology at Bilkent University in Turkey, and her MSc in Cultural Heritage Materials and Technologies at the University of Peloponnese in Greece. Her current research explores pottery production practices of Porsuk communities (6th mill. BCE) in NW Anatolia, with an aim to understand social organization and interaction in the region.

Thanks to the well preserved nature of ceramics archaeologists are able to understand pottery production technologies, which provide much information about past societies. Subtle differences in technological steps (forming technique, decoration, etc.) across space and time result in patterns of interaction and knowledge/technology transfer. These patterns allow us to identify particular “communities of practice” within and between regions. During my residency at the Sherman Centre, my aim is to construct a relational database for Anatolia (modern day Turkey) and its 6th mill. BCE pottery technologies. For this proposed project I will first review the literature and digitize any relevant information for my relational database. These data will be obtained from published materials and open access databases. Translation of the literature from Turkish to English, and digitization of the data, will enable non-Turkish scholars to access information and provide opportunities for collaborative work.

Shaila Jamal

Shaila Jamal is a PhD Candidate at the School of Earth, Environment & Society and a Doctoral Fellow of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. Her research interest includes travel behavior analysis, demographic variations in travel, ICT and travel behavior interactions, and active transportation. She has co-authored twelve journal publications and contributed to several research reports while working as a professional and volunteering for non-profit organizations.

The purpose of this project is to conduct a meta-analysis to summarize quantitative studies that explore the influencing factors of mode choice of older (65+) and young adults. The proposed project is part of a SSHRC funded Ph.D. research “Intergenerational Differences in Travel Behavior”. The meta-analysis will focus on North American studies, given the relative comparability between countries. The study will emphasize four travel modes: automobile, transit, cycle, and walk. In terms of influencing factors, the focus will be given on socio-economic characteristics; mobility tool ownership; built environment attributes; and living arrangements. The paper will be prepared as a reproducible document to provide details of the research workflow to ensure transparency and facilitate the reproducibility of meta-analysis. The document will be written as an R markdown file, and all required files, including the data and codes used for the meta-analysis will be available in a public repository.

Angelo Mateo

Angelo Gio Mateo is a Masters of Public Policy in Digital Society student. He has a Hons. B.A. from the University of Toronto. He has experience in government and in the legal field on immigration and refugee issues. He is also interested in big tech platforms collection of personal data and its use to manipulate user behaviour and gain revenue from advertising.

Canada is increasingly using technology and data in government decision-making processes. Current academic literature has discovered that Canada’s immigration and border agencies are using algorithms in the decision-making process, creating a digital obstacle for immigrants and refugees who are not afforded the same Charter and administrative law rights that citizens have. Angelo’s project seeks to answer whether Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada; the Immigration and Refugee Board; and Canada Border Services Agency are using or planning to use private social media data in immigration application decision-making or enforcement. These agencies already use public social media data, such as posts that do not have any privacy restrictions on Facebook or WhatsApp messages between a couple to prove the relationship’s authenticity for a spousal sponsorship. But Angelo seeks to question whether immigration and border agencies are able to access private social media data (or its related metadata), whether it is working with social media companies to access this data, and how this data is being used by these agencies.

Marrissa Mathew

Wachiya! My name is Marrissa Mathews (she/her) and I am Omushkegowuk Cree from Treaty 9. I grew up in Kapuskasing in northeastern Ontario with familial ties to Weenusk First Nation and Moose Cree First Nation. I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University in the Comparative Public Policy stream. Currently, I hold a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship award and I am working on my dissertation that focuses on urban Indigenous youth success and the effects of federal urban Indigenous youth policy in the Friendship Centre movement.

My project for the Graduate Residency in Digital Scholarship is complementary to my dissertation work in that it is the development of a website that houses the research findings to support the knowledge mobilization stage of the work. A part of the dissertation is a comparative policy analysis of two federally funded urban Indigenous youth programs that emerged from the federal government’s Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS). The programs that are being examined are the Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centres (UMAYC) and the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth (CCAY) program. The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC), the organization where I completed their research ethics process for this work, developed a research framework titled the USAI Framework which stands for utility, self-voicing, access and inter-relationality. A website that houses the research findings would support each of the aforementioned tenets which is important to me as an Indigenous researcher.

Adrianna Michell

Adrianna Michell (she/her) is a MA student in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory(2021) at McMaster University and an incoming PhD student at the University of Toronto in the department of English. She previously completed her BA in English & Cultural studies (2020) also at McMaster. Her research concerns futurity and disability, with ongoing interests across the diverse fields of eco-criticism, digital media, and critical health humanities. Outside of her academic interests, she volunteers with organizations working toward sexual violence prevention and education within higher education. 

My residency project is part of my MA research, which argues that through discourse analysis of Covid-19-related posts on the social media site Twitter a dialectic of biopolitical labour is revealed—one that disabled subjects have always contended with—through which Ontario workers rendered “inessential” or “essential” lives through the categorization of “inessential” and “essential” work. Further, I investigate how disability theory might disrupt, disavow, or dispute the categories of “essential” and “inessential” online, as we consider disabled and labouring bodies as made capacitated or debilitated in multiple, perhaps contradictory or compounding, ways. Working through a “cripistemological” (Lisa Johnson and Robert McRuer) frame, I explore how digital discursive interventions such as #PaidSickDaysSaveLives speak to the biopolitical implications of labouring (including immaterial and digital forms of labouring) in/through a pandemic more broadly.

Brianne Morgan

Brianne Morgan (she/her) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University, with a specific focus on biological anthropology.  Her research interests include metabolic bone disease, visualization and imaging of skeletal remains, syndemic theory, and diagnosis in paleopathology. Her current work focuses on the analysis of scurvy and anemia in skeletal collections from various contexts throughout 18th-19th century Quebec.  

Co-creators Akacia Propst, Taylor Peacock and I are developing our project The Null Hypothesis. Thiswill be a science blog where individuals can submit stories about their research process. Our mission in creating this website is to demystify academic research and promote both media and science literacy in an engaging and approachable way. Throughout the Sherman Centre’s Graduate Residency, we will be developing the “Science Tales” section of the blog, where individuals can share funny, personal anecdotes about their research. The purpose of this section is to allow academics to connect with the public, break down misconceptions of what scientific research looks like, and promote greater public awareness and engagement by doing so. In the future, we aim to develop The Null Hypothesis to also highlight the importance of often unpublishable research with non-significant results by creating a space where researchers can share and discuss their non-significant results. 

Gloria Park

Gloria Park (she/her) is a Master of Public Policy in Digital Society candidate at McMaster University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and a certificate in Digital Marketing from York University. On a larger scope, her research examines how technology and public policy intersect together. Specifically, her goal is to demonstrate the growing need for policies in the area of data collection, privacy, and social media.

My project seeks to address how social media apps are permeating user’s personal, social and private life by intrusively storing data. My goal is to explore social media users’ knowledge and comfort levels of personal data being collected. Through the use of semi-structured interviews and surveys, data will then be collected, visualized, analyzed, and presented. Questions surrounding comfort levels of social media, data collection, and frequency of social media usage will be observed. The overarching objective is to ask: how comfortable are we, as users, of data collection?

Akacia Propst

Akacia Propst (She/Her) is a 4th year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University. Her specialization is in bioarchaeology – the study of human remains from archaeological contexts. Akacia’s doctoral research focuses on using new frameworks of analysis to study health and intra-population variation within a late-Medieval population from modern day Osor, Croatia through the multi-variate study of diet, disease, and mortality data.

Myself and co-creators Brianne Morgan and Taylor Peacock are developing our project The Null Hypothesis. Thiswill be a science blog where individuals can submit stories about their research process. Our mission in creating this website is to demystify academic research and promote media and science literacy in an engaging and approachable way. Throughout the Sherman Centre’s Graduate Residency, we will be developing the “Science Tales” section of the blog, where individuals can share funny, personal anecdotes about their research. The purpose of this section is to allow academics to connect with the public, break down misconceptions of what scientific research looks like, and promote greater public awareness and engagement by doing so. In the future, we aim to develop The Null Hypothesis to also highlight the importance of often unpublishable research with non-significant results by creating a space where researchers can share and discuss their non-significant results. 

Jess Rauchberg

Jess Rauchberg is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication and Media Arts at McMaster University. Jess’s research is grounded in critical/cultural communication, crip theory, and feminist media studies. Her doctoral thesis examines North American-based digital disability justice organizing on social media platforms and the tensions emerging from algorithmic oppression and technocultural political change. Jess’s writing can be found in the Journal of International & Intercultural CommunicationCatalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, and Flow Journal. 

Jess will be working on a tentatively titled project, “Bestie Vibes Only: TikTok’s Platform Vernacular and the Problematics of Visibility.” The project assesses the viral micro-blogging platform TikTok and simply asks: how do we talk on TikTok? Jess will assess TikTok’s unique multimodal features (e.g., duets, stitches, #ForYouPage) to determine how communication and content-generation on TikTok are distinct from other social media platforms. Jess’s project additionally seeks to trouble TikTok’s campaign to market itself as a platform for visibility, representation, and social transformation. She will analyze TikTok’s use of shadowbanning and other forms of algorithmic censorship to interrogate the limitations of visibility and representation on social media platforms. The project will be rooted in platform feminisms, critical algorithm studies, crip data studies, and critical digital race studies.