2020-2021 Sherman Graduate Residents

Maddie Brockbank

Bio: Maddie Brockbank (she/her) is a PhD student in the school of social work at McMaster University. Maddie has her BSW (2019) and MSW (2020) from McMaster. Her research, practice experience, and community organizing initiatives have been in anti-violence work with men, specifically in exploring the links between sexual violence prevention, masculinities, and engaging men in primary prevention efforts.

Project: Maddie’s project aims to develop an online training for staff, faculty, and students at McMaster University around the Sexual Violence Policy and Protocol. Specifically, Maddie hopes to collaborate with anti-violence services on and off campus to develop a webinar that addresses how McMaster personnel can respond to disclosures, support survivors, develop an awareness of resources for referral, and promote a culture of safety. This project was borne out of the Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey, which found that approximately 61% of McMaster student respondents indicated that they were unaware of campus resources, policies, and protocols in place around addressing sexual violence. Through the integration of anti-oppressive, feminist, and anti-racist principles, Maddie’s project intends to equip staff, faculty, and students with the information necessary to support sexual violence prevention on campus.

Alexis-Carlota Cochrane

Bio: Alexis-Carlota Cochrane (she/her) is a Latinx Queer academic with a dedication to the battle against racism and discrimination. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto with a focus in Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and a Certificate of Digital Communications from Sheridan College. In Alexis’ research at McMaster University, through her Master of Arts candidacy in Communication and New Media, she examines how mass-mediated portrayals of racialized identities are often discriminatory and favourable depictions are dependent on identity. 

Project: Through qualitative and quantitative research taking the form of one-on-one interview discussions, my residency project will work to consider how active social media users see race and identity being portrayed in the online context. This research will work to inquire how mediated portrayals become more favourable the less racialized or intersectional the identity of the person being mediated is. The objections of this project are to: understand how mediated depictions are affected by identity and positionality, the narratives that are a result of these depictions and how racialized BIPOCs view themselves represented in mediated spaces. This research will utilize an intersectional feminist framework.

Linzey Corridon

Bio: Linzey is a PhD student in the Department of English and Cultural Studies. He completed his BA and MA in English Literature at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. An emerging poet, activist and educator born and raised on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, his research explores queer Caribbean and diaspora writings as sites of unexplored formations in counterpolicy and citizenship. 

Project: At present, critical and creative writings about the queer Caribbean and diaspora experience (QCDE) remain scattered, limited, and largely inaccessible for Caribbean and diaspora peoples inside and outside of accepted models in formal education and learning. Linzey’s residency project preoccupies itself with constructing a crucial bibliography meant to curate the rich (hi)story about the queer Caribbean and diaspora experience produced in writing. Through the development of a bibliography of (QCDE) poetry, fiction and nonfiction produced over the past 120 years, which will ultimately provide the necessary data for the construction of an interactive- map database project, he is interested in generating correctives to problems of inaccessibility and censorship of information about queer Caribbean and diaspora life in a fundamentally anti-queer regional and international cyberspace culture. 

Shaila Jamal

Bio: 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.

Project: 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.

Theresa N. Kenney

Bio: Theresa N. Kenney (she/her/siya) is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English and Cultural Studies. Her doctoral research engages with asexual, aromantic, and Asian North American theorizing in order to explore how queerly platonic relationalities are felt, imagined, and enacted within queer Asian North America. Her work theorizes intimate queerly platonic relationalities as alternative political alliances that resist white coloniality and (re)imagine queer possibilities. Theresa can be found on Twitter: @ToPoliticise


Project: My residency project aims to digitally archive the surge of asexualities research and writing by Canadian and/or Canada-based scholars. I am particularly interested in the connections between asexuality and the constructed Canadian national imaginary that reproduces the settler nation-state through white settler sexuality and settler innocence. I question: How might asexuality contribute to, comment on, and/or critique the Canadian settler imaginary? To what extent is the academic, creative, and activist production of asexuality-based discourse tied to the Canadian national imaginary? I explore the intimate, national, geographical, digital, transnational, and archival networks bound to the production of asexual discourse by assembling a public digital archive of asexual research and by analyzing the spatial networks between these scholars to expose the connections between and perpetuated by whiteness, asexuality, and the Canadian settler imaginary.

Luis Navarro

Bio: Luis Navarro (Mexico City) is a PhD student of New Media and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. Luis is creating a computer-music software inflected by musical expressions derived from political resistance and opposition (e.g. Cumbia). He expects this software to be an ideology critique of the dominant computer-music world system. Luis is a member of the McMaster Cybernetic Orchestra, the live coding collectives RGGTRN and Grupo D’Binis.

Project: I will investigate extraction (e.g. of mineral, data) in the Americas and its relation to software. The result of the residency will be a visualization showing the connections between creative/art-oriented software(s) and the raw materials that are used to build computers, and thus enable them. The bibliography of the texts investigated will be made available publicly through a blog entry in the Sherman Centre blog. The intended audience for this visualization and bibliography is people studying humanities and sciences at McMaster and the general public in the Americas. To further the latter, I will translate the visualization to Spanish so it’s available to a broader public. I will also make a two-month talking circle with people from McMaster who are interested in issues related to extraction and computation for them to contribute to the conversation before the publication of the visualization.

Sarah Paust

Bio: Sarah Paust works at the intersection of critical medical anthropology and digital anthropology. As an MA student and Fulbright awardee in the Department of Anthropology, her research interests include global health finance, health disparities, and digital technologies. Her current project explores how provincial public health agencies use social media to reach Indigenous populations, as well as how activists and nonprofits use the same digital platforms to advance, critique, or push back against such interventions.

Project: My residency project investigates the racialized nature of digital surveillance in public health while centering the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Indigenous communities. In addition to a literature review spanning biopolitics, Aboriginal health studies, and surveillance studies, I analyze how local Public Health Units use social media to disseminate COVID-19 messaging and present my findings in a virtual mock course Stored on an open-source website, this course will consist of 5-6 mini-lectures that introduce the work of influential theorists, contextualized with current events and short examples drawn from the kinds of public health social media campaigns that I analyze for my master’s research. My goal with this website is to introduce young people interested in public health or social justice to concepts such as biopolitics, surveillance, and biological citizenship as useful theoretical frameworks for making sense of the ongoing COVID-19 emergency.

Shalen Prado

Bio: Shalen Prado is a second year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University. Her doctoral research focuses on archaeological landscapes and seascapes of northeastern Scotland. Using paleoethnobotanical approaches, Shalen aims to examine human-environment relationships from the Iron Age to the early Medieval period by retrieving sediment samples from archaeological sites in Scotland. These samples contain microbotanical residues that allow archaeologists to investigate foodways, architecture, social interaction, and cultural identity.

Project: Shalen’s project will collate information on microscopic plant remains (e.g., phytoliths and starch grains) retrieved from archaeological contexts (e.g., artifacts, human teeth, and sediment) to create a functional online photographic database. These digital photos of microscopic plant remains are imperative for successful identification of plant species recovered from archaeological sites. Shalen will take photos of modern reference specimens and archaeological specimens processed at the McMaster Paleoethnobotanical Research Facility (MPERF) using a microscope camera. These photos will be organized into an online database which will allow other archaeologists and paleoethnobotanists to identify microscopic plant remains in Northern Europe.

Emily Van Haren

Bio: Hello! I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of English & Cultural Studies at McMaster, where I specialize in the intersection of food, domesticity, and digital media. My dissertation work considers the food blog as an online platform that reworks autobiographical and archival conventions for a neoliberal, creative industries economy, asking how this platform shapes and defines notions of food politics and ‘good’ food. My other research interests include digital identity work, ASMR, and visual culture.

Project: As part of my dissertation work, my 2020-2021 residency project investigates the role of gourmet food institutions in creating, promoting, and circulating narratives of food blog success. By charting the demographic data of food bloggers recognized by the Saveur magazine annual Food Blog Awards, my work aims to: (a) investigate the Awards’ adjudication patterns in regards to the digital food projects of underrepresented groups; (b) better understand the food blog’s reputation as a genre tied to whiteness, traditional femininity, heteronormativity, and upper/middle-classness; and (c) evaluate the role of gourmet food institutions, like Saveur, in framing the food blog as a project of neoliberal creativity. In sum: how are the Awards influenced by a context in which demands for entrepreneurship, networking, and un(der)paid passionate labour are unevenly levied upon various bodies? As an ever-present corollary to these aims, my work is also deeply tied to conversations about digital and social media research ethics.