Additional Convocation Medal Award Winners

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Dr. Philippa Adams receives Dean’s Convocation Medal

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology, Dr. Philippa Adams is recognized with the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Adams on her outstanding achievements.

June 04, 2024

Dr. Philippa Adams’ doctoral thesis, “Higher further faster: Social media discourses of feminism, misogyny, and Captain Marvel,” examined gendered social media discourses of women in superhero movies using a combination of methods including qualitative framing analysis and computer-assisted sentiment analysis. Adams used cutting-edge big data to mine and code public social media to identify and understand gender social construction in public social media conversations about superhero films. This novel approach incorporated qualitative analysis to thoughtfully (and rigorously) interpret and complement the computational data.

What Adams discovered in the research is that both men and women shared misogynistic messages over social media about the film and the lead actress. However, Adams also illustrated the various ways that misogyny is also challenged and critiqued, often as an invisible norm, as what she calls, “moments of shattering”.

Adams received a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, the Asper Graduate Fellowship in Communication, the SFU Provost Prize of Distinction, a Mitacs Accelerate Internship and SFU Graduate Fellowships.

Dr. Peter Chow-White, Adams’ supervisor, applauds her command of the research and methods she used in her thesis. Says Chow-White, “Dr. Adams traverses this complex terrain with admirable mastery and clarity – a notable achievement in itself, given the complexity and scope of recent developments within it. Her methodological approach is something that should be taught to future graduate students as well as advance scholarly circles.”

Says, Adams, “I am honoured to be recognized with this award from the Dean of Graduate Studies. The support of my Senior Supervisor, Peter Chow-White was instrumental to this work. I would also like to thank the other members of my committee, Frederik Lesage, and Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, as well as my Examiners, Victoria E. Thomas and Sarah Banet-Weiser who helped me to make this research what it is. During my time at SFU I have had the opportunity to learn from so many of my graduate student colleagues and my wider community of faculty, staff, and undergraduate students.”

Adams is a Postdoctoral Fellow at SFU’s Digital Democracies Institute where she is the Program Manager of Wendy Chun’s Mellon-funded Data Fluencies Project and Co-Principal Investigator of its Experimental Algorithmic Futures Working Group. Her research brings together computational methods and cultural studies in communication, media, and critical data studies.