Betty Ackah

Betty has diverse research interests which center primarily on communication for social change and subaltern concerns. Her PhD research is on the use of ICT4D in public health interventions for women in rural Ghana. Her research experience spans diverse projects including IDRC’s Open Development evaluation, the Tropical Disease Institute's work on Chagas in Ecuador and UNICEF's Communication for Development division. She has an MA in International Development Studies and another in Spanish Language and Culture, both from Ohio University.

Pippa Adams

Benjamin Anderson

Benjamin Anderson is a PhD student in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University where his research centers on ideology, counter-hegemony, social movements, and alternative media. He is specifically interested in the use of alternative and autonomous media for ideological resistance. He earned his MA at Johns Hopkins University where he researched rhetoric and speech in the American labor and socialist movements of the early 20th century. He lives and works in Portland, OR, USA.

Vincent Andrisani

Vincent Andrisani has both written and lectured on the topics of sound, broadcast media, and the politics of audio documentation in the context of soundscape research. Vincent has produced and collaborated on a range of academic and arts-based projects, including the most recent iteration of The Vancouver Soundscape: a seminal research and archival initiative established at Simon Fraser University during the 1970s. Using the everyday practices of soundmaking and listening, his current work explores issues of urban space, tourism, and collective memory in the city of Havana, Cuba. The sounds of water pipes, peanut vendors, and ice cream carts form the basis of the study. Research Interests: sound studies, human geography, Caribbean studies, cultural anthropology, urban studies.

Alysha Bains

John Bermingham

As a former staff reporter at The Province, I know the importance of getting the story. In my current role as PhD candidate at the SFU School of Communication, and as both academic researcher and sessional instructor, my aim remains the same--to disseminate information for the benefit of all. I am interested in the intersection of corporate, media and persuasive power, particularly the relationship between journalism and PR messaging. My dissertation focuses on the structure and processes of informational power in the Northern Gateway pipeline project, and the resistances of the environmental NGO and alternative media sectors. My recent research work includes involvement in the six-year fossil fuel industry corporate mapping project by SFU, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the University of Victoria.

Sylvia Blake

Sylvia's research interests include: diversity in media / broadcasting; global media and communication policy; cultural trade; global governance in communications; Canadian broadcast policy.

Layla Cameron

Layla holds a Bachelors degree in Journalism and Human Rights (High Honours) from Carleton University, and a Master of Arts in Feminist and Gender Studies from the University of Ottawa. Her Masters research argued in favour of feminist reality television programming and the use of social media as a site for audience resistance and community-building, using Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and the social networking site Tumblr as a case study. Her doctoral research focuses on media literacy, fat studies, and reality television. She is a journalist, photographer and documentary filmmaker, and has worked for various film festivals across Canada. Learn more at

Dylan Chandler

Dylan Chandler is interested in philosophies and critical theories of technology,  information, and artificial intelligence, especially with regards to their impact on society and culture. His doctoral research focuses on affective responses to moments of contention and conflict that arise when using digital, touch based, interfaces. It investigates how conflict arises as a result of competing rationalities of the design and development culture that produces the interfaces and the folk culture of everyday use. The project employs ethnomethodology, ethnography, and phenomenology in order to consider the issue from both cultural and individual perspectives.,Having written his master’s research project on the playful protest aesthetic of Anonymous, Dylan is also interested in hacker culture, activist culture, and their intersection. Dylan is also an affiliate scholar of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology, Dylan holds a B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy from UBC and an M.A. in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University.

Anita Charters

Under the supervision of Dr. Peter Chow-White, Anita conducts and analyses interviews with genomic scientists and clinicians to collect data regarding issues of consent, incidental findings, privacy, and returning research results. Her academic background includes Cell Biology and Genetics (BSc, UBC), Computer Systems (D. Tech, BCIT), and Professional Communication (MAPC, Royal Roads). Her interest in Genomics stems from her professional experience working at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre. As a Computational Biologist, she wrote computer scripts to help solve biological problems under Dr. Steven Jones. She is currently part of the Projects team providing grant facilitation and management to several Genome BC and Genome Canada projects.

Sibo Chen

I am a doctoral student in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. My primary research field is language and communication, focusing on environmental communication, critical discourse analysis, consumer culture, and rhetoric/genre theories. I started my research journey in the field of genre studies (especially promotional genres) and then dived into the world of environmental discourse. See also:

Stacey Copeland

Stacey is a media producer and PhD student at Simon Fraser University in the School of Communication. She received her Master of Arts from the Ryerson York joint graduate program in Communication and Culture where she studied with a focus on radio production, sound studies, media culture and gender studies. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson University with a minor in English and a specialization in audio production for radio, music and film. Some areas of scholarly interest include feminist media, oral/aural histories, sound archives, queer culture, phenomenology of voice, activist communication, and cultural heritage.

Belén Febres Cordero 

Belen is a PhD student in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. Her interest in community media, health communication, and human rights is informed by her experience conducting qualitative research in Canada and different Latin American countries, and by her previous education in Anthropology, Journalism and Liberal Arts.  Belen’s doctoral research focuses on community media and the co-creation of content aiming to improve women´s health in Ecuador, her home country.  Belen believes in the importance of listening to diverse voices and sharing different ideas and perspectives both inside and outside academic settings. For this reason, she works as a research and teaching assistant, freelance journalist, and Community Lead for Global Voices.

Rodrigo Finkelstein Ogueta

Rodrigo Finkelstein is a PhD student and teaching assistant. His research interests include the political economy of safety information, labour health and safety discourse, and Marxism. He has a broad experience on occupational health and safety research acquired during his 10 years at the Chilean Safety Association, where he served as the president of the joint health and safety committee and was fired for advancing a workplace without harassment.

Darren Fleet

Darren Fleet is a writer, multi-media journalist, and third-year PhD student in Communications at Simon Fraser University. In 2011 he was part of the editorial team at Adbusters magazine that launched the #occupywallstreet meme into the world, sparking his current research direction. Prior to that, he completed his MA in Journalism at UBC and worked as a media trainer with Journalists for Human Rights in Zambia. He’s been published in the UTNE Reader, Adbusters, the Vancouver Sun, the National Observer, the Tyee, Al-Jazeera, and the Globe & Mail, and has given numerous public lectures on art and activism, including at the 2013 Istanbul Biennial of Art. He's interested in degrowth economics, climate change, activist art, cynicism, situationism, subjectivity, post-politics, social movements, faith-based activism, energy humanities, and the mythology of finance. He is co-author of "Meme Wars: the creative destruction of neoclassical economics" (2013, Penguin). In 2015 he was the recipient of a not-so-kind letter from Canada's spy agency. He is currently a research assistant on the SSHRC funded project, the Cultural Politics of Climate Change, with Dr. Shane Gunster.

Theryn Fleming

Theryn Fleming is an interdisciplinarian who is interested in the role of storytelling in everyday life and the effect of new technology on how and why we tell stories. Research Interests: print culture and technology, narratology and storytelling, narrative methodology, new media ecology, textual communication, transmedia storytelling, visual and design communication, communication and writing pedagogy, Canadian writing. Dissertation (working title): "Print Culture and New Media: An Ecology of Canadian Generation-X Writers and Writing, 2000-2009." Website/blog:

Julie Frizzo-Barker

Julie Frizzo-Barker (MA, Goldsmiths) is a PhD candidate at SFU's School of Communication, and a research assistant in the GeNA Lab. Her research interests are in technology and society, specifically big data, data-mining, digital technologies, informational risk, genomics, gender, work, and everyday life. Since 2006, Julie has also worked as a project manager for various web agencies in Vancouver.

Amir Ghaseminejad

Amir H. Ghaseminejad is a PHD candidate at Simon Fraser University, School of Communication. His current research is on "Variables Influencing Citizen Engagement in Technologically Mediated  Democratic Systems". His research interests include the Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Collective Decision Making and Control, as well as Process Modeling of  Complex Social Systems, Philosophy of Science and Technology, Technology and Society interrelationships, Systems Analysis, Big Data and Information Management.

Mirjam Gollmitzer

Mirjam came to SFU from Germany to do her PhD. She holds Master’s degrees from the University of Bamberg and the University of Waterloo. Mirjam researches and writes about media regulation in the EU, government policies for creative workers, and media events. Her dissertation explores changing professional identities in the news industry, comparing results from in-depth interviews she conducted with freelance journalists and interns in Canada and Germany. Mirjam is a former freelance reporter and news editor and worked as a policy researcher for national advocacy organizations such as the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

Matthew Greaves

B.A. Hons. (York), M.A. (York and Ryerson). M.A. thesis: The Fetishism of the iPad and its Secrets: Interrogating the Ontology of Labour in Empire. Matthew is a Doctoral Candidate (ABD) in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University and member of the Applied Communication and Technology (ACT) Lab. He has held Sessional positions in both the Labour Studies Program and School of Communication at SFU. Interested in history, political economy, energy, technological change and the labour process, his research is located at the intersection of Marxian critical theory and the philosophy of technology. His dissertation examines technical change in nineteenth-century Vancouver Island coalmines and the origins of industrial capitalism in what would become British Columbia. Matthew's work has appeared in Rethinking Marxism, The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, and New Proposals.

Byron Hauck

Andrew Hillan

Andrew Hillan is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. Before that he received a BA and an MA in Political Science from Western University, and then worked at a software design company while studying its organizational culture. He is interested in cybercrime, data breaches, the dark web, critical theory, and continental philosophy. He also researches the culture surrounding daily vlog channels on YouTube, specifically vloggers who have amassed large followings of subscribers and whose content consists of pranks, parties, and/or excessive luxury.

John Hughes

I began my PhD work in 2014 with a focus on ritual communication, but my research has since shifted to myth and dreams. I did my graduate work in Louisiana, producing a thesis on Hindu altars. My first book, Nobody Rides or Free: A Drifter in the Americas, hit store shelves in 2012. My previous professional incarnations include journalist, bike courier and deck-hand on a gill net boat. Other stuff: I listen to just about any music you won't hear on the radio, from John Coltrane to Slayer. Playing football sometimes happens on select weekends.

Tahmina Inoyatova

Sharon Karsten

Hoyoung Kim

Hoyoung Kim completed her BA (Mass Communication and Sociology) and MA (Visual communication) degrees at Yonsei University, South Korea. Her thesis explores the intersection of cultural identity, emotion, and creative or cultural labour in cultural industries. Her research interests include popular culture, labour, gender and cultural capital.

Taeyoung Kim

Taeyoung is a PhD student in the School of Communication. Many of his previous researches including his Master's thesis have focused on the nation-state's reinterpretation of transnational cultures. He is interested in studying cultural policies, the cultural and creative industries, the revival of nationalism, and the contested status of multiculturalism. Taeyoung received an MA from Yonsei University (Visual Communications) and earned a BA from Kyung Hee University (Journalism and Mass Communications).

Jorma Kujala

Felix Lo

Background: Felix holds a Bachelor and Master degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from M.I.T. He worked as a software engineer in technology research institute for 10+ years on data networking and e-learning projects. He also earned a certificate of diploma from China Graduate School of Theology as a part-time student.

Research Interest: Philosophy of Technology, Science and Technology Studies. I am particularly interested in studying the interplay of technical and social actors that leads to hegemonic controls in new media technology.

Interesting Fact: Felix was born in Hong Kong and studied high school in Toronto. He became a hockey fan there and played league ice hockey for a number of years. He has also played the violin for many years.

Why did you choose this programme?: I was delighted with the opportunity to learn from Dr. Andrew Feenberg. Also, I chose a communications program over STS program which seems too narrow in focus.

Alberto Lusoli

Alberto is a PhD student in the School of Communication at SFU. He completed his Master in Economics of Complex Systems at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Before moving to Vancouver in 2014, he had been as research assistant at the European Centre for Living Technology, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. The research was focused on the analysis of innovations in ICT, in particular with respect to the cascading changes in social organization they bring in their wake. Currently he’s interested in studying innovation in digital environments, with a focus on scale-related aspects. Since 2011 he’s involved in the design and development of technologies for collective decision making.

Margaret MacAulay

My name is Maggie MacAulay and I am a PhD candidate and sessional instructor in the School of Communication. Mostly, I think, write and speak about new media technologies, public health, and gender/sexuality. I have worked with several public health organizations, including the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. A member of Dr. Andrew Feenberg’s ACT Lab, my supervisor is Dr. Peter Chow-White and my SSHRC-funded research investigates the possibilities for HIV prevention among gay men who use location-based sex-seeking apps in cities like San Francisco and Vancouver. Whether it’s Grindr or Tinder, such apps not only introduce an element of chaos into the intimate private sphere, but they also encourage scholars to re-imagine what the internet is and what it does. Find me on the Twitter machine: @magsmacaulay

Graham Mackenzie

My current research interests revolve around contemporary reinterpretations of Karl Marx, Marxist ideology, ideology critique, value critique, and critical socio-political theory. My background is interdisciplinary both by design and according to my interests. I currently pursue my research at Simon Fraser University’s School of Communication. In addition to my research, I am interested in the development of cross-institutional networks and forums in which Graduate students can develop, share, and collaborate on research initiatives.

Tara Mahoney

Tara is a PhD student at the SFU School of Communication and creative director of creative civic engagement agency Gen Why Media, which specializes in producing media and events around socio-political issues. She is also a research assistant on the SSHRC-funded research project, ‘Art for Social Change (ASC!): an integrated research program in teaching, evaluation and capacity-building'. Through the ASC! Project, she is currently leading a field study, Creative Publics, as part of her PhD research into how cultural production can influence new forms of political engagement. 

Tara holds a BA in international relations from University of Calgary and MA in media production from Ryerson University. She has worked in the non-profit sector for Pull Focus (a non-profit film school), the Sierra Club of Canada and Greenpeace at their Headquarters in Washington D.C.

Alicia Massie

Ayumi Mathur

Nawal Musleh-Motut

Nawal is a PhD Candidate and Sessional Instructor in the School of Communication, as well as a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. For her dissertation, she has developed a unique family photograph-based storytelling methodology, which seeks to transcend competing claims of victimhood stemming from contending collective memories of the Holocaust and the Nakba by creating the occasions and conditions of possibility necessary for politico-ethical engagement and witnessing between Palestinians and Israelis currently living in their respective Canadian diasporas. Her publications include From Palestine to the Canadian Diaspora: The Multiple Social Biographies of the Musleh Family's Photographic Archive (2015) and Negotiating Palestine Through the Familial Gaze: A Photographic (Post)memory Project (2012). To learn more about Nawal and her work, please visit .


Oi Yan Ng

BA 2009 Communication, University of California , San Diego.

MPhil 2012 Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Current Research Interests: Political Economy and Global Communication; Chinese Development Model; Chinese Information Communication Technologies; Chinese Foreign Policy

Teaching Interest: Qualitative Design and Methods

Media Experience: The Dialogue (2013), a film project with National Geographic Education, Crossing Borders Films and Michigan State University

Dugan Nichols

Marxism and various contributions of neo-Marxism shape my worldview, as does Stuart Hall et al.’s Policing the Crisis. I’m interested in the book’s focus on how dominant ideas of capital and the state become universalized among all classes, “constantly being made and remade,” in a process that entails the guidance of people’s “common sense” understandings (p. 161). So the issues that inspire me involve dominant ideology as it pertains to contemporary poverty, low-income neighborhoods, and race. Most of my research falls under the critical media studies label and consists of discourse analyses. I’ve also had a long fascination with the labor movement and empire.

Jennesia Pedri

My current research interests include children and youth media cultures, histories of childhood, and discourses and practices around children’s play and development. I am currently a doctoral candidate in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. In addition to my research, I am a contributing writer to the Endnotes column in Geist Magazine. Visit me at

Anis Rahman

I am a Doctoral Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant in Communication at Simon Fraser University, specializing in broadcasting and ICT policies in developing nation-states with a particular interest to Bangladesh – an epicenter of a thriving media system in the South Asia. Currently I am working on a project about public media and digital divide. My research works are broadly in the areas of communication and globalization, regional and transnational television & news, political economy of communication and culture, comparative broadcasting policy, and media reform.

Besides my PhD dissertation area, I am interested in researching the intersections of political economy, postcolonial historiography, and cultural studies. My research interests also include critical study of international communication and development, television coverage of war and conflict; Market-orientation, audience reception, and credibility of media; and television news and documentary production.

Kam Razavi

Kam is a PhD student researching news media and political engagement. He is working to formulate a theoretical and methodological framework using political economy and, perhaps more unusually, the Frankfurt School of critical theory, in order to understand how the mainstream news media create a sense of political engagement or, conversely, fuel a sense of cyncism. Born in Iran, raised in Canada, and having done his M.A. in China, Kam is particularly interested in exploring the relationship between media and society not just in Canada, but globally as well. In addition to his research, Kam is a senior story producer with a major Canadian television news outlet. He has been working in TV news since 2001. He speaks five languages, and is learning a sixth.

Helma Sawatzky

Helma Sawatzky’s interdisciplinary academic background includes undergraduate degrees in music education (The Netherlands, 1991) and visual arts (Emily Carr University of Art + Design, 2009), and an MA in Communication (SFU, 2011). Alongside her practice as visual artist and musician, she currently pursues PhD studies at Simon Fraser University School of Communication.

In both her art practice and graduate research, Sawatzky explores the phenomenological dimensions of media—ways in which various media technologies participate in shaping and transforming the lived experience of time, space and embodied being-in-the-world. Her dissertation research involves an arts-based inquiry into the ‘strange’—as a phenomenon, a concept, a narrative strategy, an intervention, an ‘operation,’ a dynamic—in the context of contemporary art photography.

Itrath Syed

Itrath Syed is a PhD Candidate in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University where her doctoral project involves an analysis of “moral panics” and Muslim bodies in the West. This follows her completion of a Masters degree at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, UBC. Her MA work explored the gendered and racialized construction of the Muslim community in the media discourse surrounding the Islamic Arbitration or “Shariah” debate in Ontario. Itrath is an Instructor at Langara College, a community speaker on a wide array of political and social issues, and a film critic for the Georgia Straight.

Courtney Szto

Courtney Szto holds a Bachelor of Human Kinetics in Sport Management from UBC and a Master of Science in Socio-Cultural Sport Studies from the University of Toronto. Her doctoral research focuses on the intersections of race, citizenship, and sport by exploring South Asian experiences in ice hockey.  Her broad research interests include: media, race, gender, health, sport-for-development and peace, consumption, corporate social responsibility, citizenship, and labour and environmental issues. In Courtney’s volunteer life, she is the Co-President of the United Nations Association – Vancouver Branch and a Graduate Student Representative for the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.  She is the Assistant Editor for Hockey in Society and writes for her own blog, The Rabbit Hole, which focuses on critical discussions around health, sport, and physical activity.  In 2014, Courtney started a social media platform called Offside Plays that seeks to expose everyday occurrences of discrimination in sport, health, and physical activity.  Her writing has appeared in popular mediums such as Interrupt Magazine, Rabble, Delirious Hem, BlogHer, and The All-Rounder.  Courtney is a certified personal trainer, bootcamp instructor, and fitness kickboxing instructor.

Siobhan Watters

Siobhan Watters completed her Master's thesis on the topic of food ontology and distribution at the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario ('14). She is continuing her research on the relationship of food, ethics, capitalism, and technology as part of her doctoral research in the School of Communication. Siobhan is developing a methodology through which to approach the food commodity using media archaeology, communication theory, and Marxist value theory.

Graeme Webb

B.A. Hons. and M.A. (Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan). Graeme Webb is a PhD Candidate (ABD) and Sessional Instructor in the School of Communication, as well as a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. His dissertation, Dissent and the Digital Social Imaginary, examines popular culture, social movements, and the rhetoric of technology.  

Research Interests: Rhetoric, Cultural Studies, Social Imaginary, Technology and Society, Political Philosophy and Modernity, Conceptions of the Public, Utopian thought.

Xiaoxing Zhang

Xiaoxing Zhang received his B.A. in Journalism from Nanjing University. He earned his double master's degrees from the MSc/MA Global Media and Communications program jointly offered by the London School of Economics and University of Southern California. His research interests are directed primarily toward global communication in a variety of interrelated areas. With particular interests in ethnic media and cultural politics, he will concentrate on consolidating and synthesizing the multiple theoretical and methodological approaches that address the issues of diaspora media consumption and civic engagement in the multicultural society.

Peter Zuurbier

Peter is a PhD student in the School of Communication. He is the co-author of Masamune’s Blade: A Proposition for Dialectic Affect Research (2016, Peter Lang Publishing) with Frédérik Lesage, Assistant Professor at the School of Communication. The book synthesizes crucial concepts from Frankfurt School Critical Theory with the work on affect theory by Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari and Brian Massumi. From there ideas developed by Guy Debord and the Situationist International are added to the mix in order to establish affect probe research, which is designed specifically to attend to affect’s particular qualities. Affect probe research involves using creative play to evoke and capture affects while engaging both researchers and participants in reflexive processes. Peter is currently involved in affect probe research with the Art for Social Change (ASC) Creative Publics project.