Current PhD Students

Sociology PhD Students

Baran (Abu) Fakhri

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

Zhexi Hu

Zhexi entered the PhD program in Sociology in the Fall of 2023

Co-Supervisors: Travers and Michael Hathaway

Clarissa Cecilia Mijares

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

Supervisor: Lindsey Freeman

Mariana Pinzon-Caicedo

Mariana entered the PhD program in Sociology in the Fall of 2023.

Co-Supervisors: Dany Lacombe and Kyle Willmott

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

Madelyn Prevost

Areas of study: economic anthropology; labour; affect; placemaking; sensory ethnography; arts-based methods.

Madelyn entered the PhD program in Anthropology in the Fall of 2019, and recently completed twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. There, she researched fibre artists (spinners, weavers, dyers, knitters, felters, stitchers) with a focus on the relationship between artisanal labour and place, and the ethical projects encompassed by artisanal labour. In addition to writing her dissertation, she is creating an ethnographic vignette quilt that acts as a non-text, material record of the fibre art community on the Sunshine Coast. This, in addition to a number of pieces created by her interlocutors, will be on display at the Sunshine Coast Art Gallery in September-October 2024 for Madelyn’s curated exhibition, Carefully Gathered.

She has worked as a research assistant in the Sociology & Anthropology department (in collaboration with the City of New Westminster) and the Labour Studies Department on projects concerning New Westminster heritage and commemoration, BC labour history, and oral history.

In her spare time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, spending time with her cats, weightlifting, hiking with her partner, and indulging in her artistic hobbies.

Education: PhD Candidate (Anthropology), Simon Fraser University
                         MA (The Study Of Religion), University of Toronto

Supervisor: Pamela Stern
Committee member: Kathleen Millar

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