Current PhD Students

Sociology PhD Students

Abolfazl (Abu) Fakhri

Abu Fakhri is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Simon Fraser University, Canada. In his ongoing doctoral research, he works with undocumented Afghan migrants (of the Hazara community) in Turkey. Through ethnography, he follows these Afghans in their migration journey from Afghanistan to Iran, Turkey, and Europe exploring their narratives of displacement, mobility, and ‘illegality’. His research areas are ‘irregular’ migration and labour, borders and ‘illegality’, with a focus on memory, refugee (political) subjectivity, and migration temporalities.

PhD candidate (Sociology): Simon Fraser University
MA (Anthropology): University of Tehran

Supervisor: Lindsey Freeman
Committee member: Kathleen Millar

Abigail Franco Vazquez

Areas of study: social enterprise, island studies, sociology of labour, ethical capital

Abigail entered the PhD program in Sociology in the Fall of 2019. Abigail’s research is centred around ethical capital and social enterprise with an interest in the sociology of labour. Her previous research, via an internship, focused on youth engagement with marine resources in a project called “The Heart of Mother Earth,” where she became interested in continuing exploring the phenomenon of social enterprise. Her PhD draws on aspects of her master’s degree in Island Studies which centred around social enterprise and Islandness. Her MA offered an opportunity to better understand people’s experiences with social enterprise, and under what circumstances social enterprise affects the lives of those experiencing marginalization. Furthermore, it explored the effects that levels of inclusion of individuals within island societies have on their communities, and how social enterprise aids their members in improving their quality of life.

Supervisor: Kendra Strauss

Select Publications:

Heart of Mother Earth

Supporting Heritage Enterprise Development: the Island of Chiloe, Chile

Clarissa Cecilia Mijares

Clarissa entered the PhD program in Sociology in the Fall of 2022.

Supervisor: Lindsey Freeman

Anthropology PhD Students

Hannah Couse

Areas of study: psychiatric and psychological anthropology, mental health, gender studies, masculinity, hegemony

Hannah entered the PhD program in Anthropology in Fall 2022. She received her MSc in Medical Anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2020 and her BA in Anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver in 2018. Her doctoral research will focus on men’s mental health in the west, specifically how hegemonic masculinity affects men’s willingness to seek mental healthcare as well as attempting to uncover enabling factors for those who do. She hopes to engage with structural, social, and subjective factors that are built and reinforced by masculine perspectives of mental illness and help-seeking behaviours.

Supervisor: Jie Yang

Linying Hu

Areas of study: psychiatric and psychological anthropology, gender and family, vulnerability, ethics in China

Linying entered the PhD program in Anthropology in the Fall of 2017. She holds an MA degree in Education from Shandong Normal University and a PhD in Ethics from Renmin University of China. She has joined the programs of public health ethics and research ethics in Harvard School of Public Health in 2004 and 2010. She had been teaching ethics and bioethics in Peking University Health Science Centre since 2003. She has been deeply involved in policy advocacy in fields of organ transplantation, mental health and medical professionalism in China. In her doctoral research, she engages the emotional, moral and cultural crisis and conflicts along the gender line through investigating current discourses on postpartum depression in contemporary China.

Supervisor: Jie Yang
Committee member: Cindy Patton

Madelyn Prevost

Areas of study: collective memory and community identity, memory sites, nostalgia, settler colonial museums, (in)visibility and representation

Madelyn entered the PhD program in Anthropology in the Fall of 2019 after completing her MA in the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. There, she conducted fieldwork at a Catholic HIV/AIDS organization. Using the theory of routinization, Madelyn found that the organization's staff and client memories of their charismatic period affected the expectations they had for the organization, their experiences of living with HIV, their daily work, and their interpretation of miracles. In her PhD, Madelyn intends to continue working on memory, identity, and health while studying settler colonial museums and the communities they live in along the St. Lawrence in Ontario. She seeks to complicate ideas of visibility around settler colonialism in Canada, analyze the ways identity is created and maintained in and out of the museums, and explore ideas around inheritance and nostalgia. 

Supervisor: Pamela Stern
Committee member: Dara Culhane

Yuan Wei

Areas of study: gender and sexuality, queer and transgender studies, medical anthropology

Yuan entered the PhD program in Anthropology in the Fall of 2016. He received his MA in Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and BA in International Politics at Fudan University. His doctoral research intends to delve into the medical practices around transsexualism and lived experience of gender variant people in post-socialist China. He is also enthusiastic about integrating social research with activism. Before entering SFU, he had worked in NGO development and gender equality for about two years.

Supervisor: Cindy Patton
Committee members: Helen Leung (GSWS) and Pamela Stern

Xiaowen Zhang

Xiaowen entered the PhD program in Anthropology in the Fall of 2021. 

Supervisor: Jie Yang

Jinglun Zhu

Jinglun entered the PhD program in Anthropology in the Fall of 2021. 

Co-Supervisors: Cindy Patton and Kendra Strauss