Members

Faculty

Kim Sawchuk
Kim Sawchuk is the Co-director of the Mobile Media Lab (MML) at Concordia, Concordia University Research Chair in Mobile Media Studies and is a feminist media studies scholar. Sawchuk has worked in collaboration with artists and scholars who use new media technologies and creative means to document and critically examine how cities such as Montreal systematically protect able-ist architectures. The MML website has a new section on accessibility in Montreal, which is expanding as a part of its mandate. Sawchuk is committed to exploring the intersections between CDS and mobility studies.

Owen Chapman
Owen Chapman is co-director of the Montreal Mobile Media Lab, located in the Communication Studies department at Concordia University, where he is also an Associate Professor in Sound Production and Scholarship. His written works have appeared in The Canadian Journal of Communication, Esse, M/C Journal, Public, Wi: Journal of Mobile Media and Organised Sound. Current projects include AudioMobile (a mobile app for geolocated audio field recording), Echoscape (a virtual audio composition environment) and Audio Toy Box (designing and building communication therapy toys for children with global developmental delay).

Lorrie Blair and Juan Carlos Castro
Lorrie C. Blair and Juan Carlos Castro, from Art Education are considering how disability in art educational contexts is often approached from a therapeutic perspective (eg. art as healing or art as providing the only positive affect in schooling environments). They seek to critically examine this long held perception in art educational practice and believe that it is through interdisciplinary inquiry that we are able to better shift these perceptions and offer new critical insights to the field of art education. Blair’s teaching and research interests are censorship, outsider and folk art, Irish popular culture, and popular visual culture, with a particular focus on the gendered meanings and practices of body modification. Specifically, she interested in the role popular culture plays in teaching women about cosmetic surgery, piercing and tattoos. Juan Carlos Castro’s primary research interest is in how mobile media shifts learning and teaching in the arts. His interest in critical disability studies arises from the broader question of mobility and learning in the arts, while also addressing a significant need to rethink common perceptions of disabilities in art education practice. Both Blair and Castro are involved in the teaching and research of pre-service art educators’ experience of schooling and teaching.

Giuliana Cucinelli
Dr. Giuliana Cucinelli is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Technology Program in the Department of Education at Concordia University, and the director of the Media Praxis Lab (partner lab of the Mobilities Mobile Media Lab), housed in the Department of Education at Concordia University. Before joining Concordia, Cucinelli was a FRQSC Postdoctoral Research Associate for the Comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge), with research affiliations to their Open Documentary Lab, the Center for Civic Media, and the Youth and Media Project in the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and a Postdoctoral Research Affiliate for the Mobilities Lab in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. Cucinelli’s research-creation program explores the areas of digital media theory and production including social media, media education, youth culture and digital media practices, interactive media theory and production, critical pedagogy, teacher education, community/cultural/media activism, emergent media practices, inter-generational storytelling, critical disabilities, ageing and technology, and mobilities. Currently, she is Principal Investigator on a FRQSC’s (Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture) Nouveaux chercheurs program on youth media practices, identity, and online sociability. Curricula and long lasting collaborative platforms are being co-designed and implemented with primary and secondary education teachers, and community groups in Montreal. Additionally, an interactive-documentary about the media practices and themes is being developed, as a follow-up to the initial documentary Our Privacy Matters! Youth, Identity and Online Sociability.

Barbara Lorenzkowski
Barbara Lorenzkowski is an Associate Professor in the Department of History. As a cultural historian of North America, her research interests have straddled both sides of the Canadian-American border. Her first book Sounds of Ethnicity: Listening to German North America, 1850-1914 (University of Manitoba Press, 2010) is an exercise in historical eavesdropping that examines public conversations on ethnicity and modernity, community and nation, public culture and trans-nationalism through the history of spoken language and popular musical life.

Shannon Hebblethwaite
Shannon Hebblethwaite, PhD is Associate Professor in Concordia University’s Department of Applied Human Sciences. Shannon holds Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo, a Masters in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Waterloo and a PhD in Family Relations from the University of Guelph. Her research and teaching focuses on social inclusion and the impact of leisure on well-being in a variety of contexts, including older adults, three-generation families, first-time mothers, and individuals with disabilities. Emphasizing participatory approaches in her work, Shannon’s applied research has resulted in interdisciplinary collaborations with scholars in family relations, political science, and communication studies and she has engaged therapeutic recreation practitioners as co-researchers on a number of research projects. She integrates her research with her teaching in the areas of qualitative research methods, leisure and aging, and therapeutic recreation practice. Shannon is a researcher with the Centre de recherche et d’expertise en gérontologie sociale (CREGÉS), an interdisciplinary, applied, community-based research centre where she leads the Seniors as Social Actors research axis and serves on the executive committee. She is Associate Editor of the Therapeutic Recreation Journal and led the Interdisciplinary Working Group on Qualitative Research Methods at Concordia. She served on the board of Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO) and is a member of the Leisure and Aging Research Group, the World Leisure Organization Committee on Access and Inclusion, and the Alzheimer Society of Montreal Education Committee.

Steven High
Steven High is Canada Research Chair in Oral History and Co-Director of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. His research spans a number of subject areas, including the study of living histories. It is this interest narrated lives, as well as his study of war, genocide and deindustrialization that brings him into this proposal. He is primarily interested in how people themselves live with and understand their disabilities and politically mobilize against able-ism. He is interested in the ways in which mobile media and oral history methodology is being or might be integrated into Critical Disability Studies. Steven has published a number of books including Oral History at the Crossroads: Sharing Life Stories of Survival and Displacement (2014) and Remembering Mass Violence (2014).

Janis Timm-Bottos
Assistant Professor Janis Timm-Bottos is an artist, licensed physiotherapist, board certified art therapist and an interdisciplinary scholar with a sustained research practice investigating the community art studio as a therapeutic site for individual, family and community healing. She is founder of ArtStreet, an art studio with Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless,  OFFCenter Community Arts Project, an arts-based public homeplace in downtown Albuquerque and “Kitchen Table Arts,” which was housed in a thrift store in Nelson, BC and spawned “Children of the Seams” a youth collective that remakes fashion from discarded clothing. A presenter in both local and international venues, Janis advocates for the return of small, welcoming, free community art spaces located between neighbourhoods. She has organized over 65 community art exhibits including: Roses Aren’t Red, The Art of Being Homeless, Hats and Shoes: Community Soul Work, Five and Dime, The Feminist Paper Doll Show, Trust the Hand the Makes it Round and initiated Albuquerque’s annual “We Art the People” Folk Art Festival. Her current research and training sites include a storefront in St. Henri, “La Ruche d’Art: Community Studio and Science Shop.”  Through this venue she intends to teach a therapeutic studio model and encourage a network of art hives to develop throughout the rest of Quebec and across Canada. Janis completed a Ph.D in American Studies at the University of New Mexico, an MA in Art Education/ Art Therapy, and a B.S. Physical Therapy.

Thomas Strickland
Thomas Strickland is a part-time faculty member in the Department of Art History at Concordia University and the Azrieli School of Architecture at Carleton University. He was a fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in 2009 and is an alumnus of the Health Care, Technology and Place, CIHR Strategic Research Initiative at the University of Toronto. His research is broadly concerned with the co-creation of bodies and the built environment, with an emphasis on healthcare settings, exclusionary practices that arise with the production of medical knowledge, and the relationship between urban formations and migration. Connected to this research, Strickland’s artistic and curatorial collaborations explore how small, slow spatial actions can have a big impact on urban politics and design. Currently he is working with Concordia’s Topological Media Lab, McGill University, and the Montréal Children’s Hospital Foundation to develop a new media environment that responds to the experiences of young patients. Recent projects include, a community-based art action, funded by Concordia University and the Darling Foundry, that exposed the injustice of the Griffintown re-development, and a residency with Jiwar Creació i Societat, Barcelona, where he worked with LGBTQ refugees exploring their symbolic and physical appropriation of urban space.

Patrick McDonagh
Patrick McDonagh is a part-time faculty member in Concordia’s Department of English, and is the author of Idiocy: A Cultural History (Liverpool UP, 2008). His research explores the relationship between cultural representations and philosophical and medical notions of intelligence and intellectual disability, with an emphasis on the socio-symbolic labour performed by ideas such as intellectual disability, autism and precursor notions such as “idiocy.” Recent book chapters include “Autism and Modernism: A Genealogical Exploration” in Autism and Representation (Routledge 2008) and “Autism in the Age of Empathy” in Critical Autism Studies (forthcoming, Minnesota UP). He is also a co-founder (& current board member) of the Spectrum Society for Community Living, based in Vancouver, BC.

Mia Cosalvo
 

Shira Avni
(Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema) is an award winning animation filmmaker. Avni’s films Petra’s Poem (2012), Tying Your Own Shoes (2009), John and Michael (2005), and From Far Away (2000) have garnered over 30 grants and awards. Her films address questions of difference and social justice in ways that gently break down the viewer’s habitual barriers. Avni’s current research explores the intersection of disability, identity and independence through a combination of animation and documentary media and collaborative, community-based animation films.

Ann-Louis Davidson
Ann-Louise Davidson uses collaborative action research methods as a means to understand and explain how users experience technologies. In non-educational settings, she studies the impact of digital technologies on the social integration of minorities and marginalized populations. In the past few years she has been involved with several charitable organizations to help adults living with intellectual disabilities develop new capabilities.

Graduate Students and Activists


 
Laurence Parent
Laurence Parent is a PhD candidate in Humanities at Concordia University. She holds a MA in Critical Disability Studies from York University and a BA in Political Science from Université du Québec à Montréal. She lives in Montréal and is passionate about disability activism, disability history and mobility.  She is currently working with the m.i.a. collective. The m.i.a. collective is a collective of researchers, affiliated with the Mobile Media Lab, who are engaged in forms interdisciplinary projects that contain practice-led and theoretical inquiries into the confluences of critical disability studies and mobility studies. Laurence’s doctoral research examines disabled people’s sense of belonging in Montréal and in New York City. She is particularly interested in the use of mobile media technologies enabling the creation of new methods for the critical study of ableism.

Katie Jung
 

Aimee Louw
Aimee Louw is a writer, independent journalist and activist focusing on access and media production that promotes self-definition. Her undergraduate thesis in Political Science at Concordia University explored media and rhetorical approaches applied to gain fence-sitter support for the Idle No More Movement. She has presented her research on social movements at conferences at McGill and York Universities. As part of a multimedia project exploring first-hand accounts of in/accessibility and ableism in Canadian cities she is directing, she has just published a zine called Underwater City I: Searching for the Most Accessible City in Canada. (www.underwatercity.ca) Aimee’s media production interests lie in radio, narrative journalism, and documentary film-making incorporating elements of imagination and images of the ideal. A member of Accessibilize Montreal, Aimee campaigns for accessible transit and cultural spaces, and facilitates workshops relating to ableism, sexuality and moving beyond notions of normality.

Ashley McAskill
Ashley McAskill has a BA in Theatre and Film Studies and English, and a MA in Communications and New Media, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She has experience working in/with the disability community and over the past 10 years has been a theatre practitioner. For her doctoral work, Ashley has brought both these experiences together to explore the current state of “disability theatre” (a name that she also questions) in Canada. Ashley’s main question is: How is the creative work of artists who identify as having disabilities and/or mental illness being recognized, developed and encouraged in Canada? During her time at Concordia, she has been working in both the Communication Studies and Theatre Department as a research and teaching assistant. Other research interests include: ethical research practices, community arts projects, beauty practices, feminist media, and film studies.

Jade Owen

Eric Powell
Eric Powell is a PhD student in the Communications Department at Concordia. His current research examines the interrelationship among space, place, and aural environments, with a focus on creating interactive sound-based maps and new interfaces to enable accessibility for all audiences. He has presented his research in Canada, the USA, Mexico and Europe with a recent article in the Canadian Electroacoustic Community’s online journal eContact! He is co-vice chair of the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology and a founding member of eletricityismagic, a sound and media art collective. Currently, he is developing prototype devices to assist in the education of people with developmental disabilities. He has presented his research in Canada, the USA, Mexico and Europe.

Michele Macklem
Michelle Macklem is a Master’s Student in Media Studies at Concordia. With a background in community radio and arts management, Michelle has worked to encourage underrepresented voices find a place on the airwaves and on the stage. Her new research is focused the intersection between sound studies and critical disability studies through creating a research-creation audio documentary series on adaptive design and technology for disabled people. Michelle is a sound production research assistant on the Alphabet Radio project, led by her supervisor Owen Chapman. In addition, Michelle works alongside Chapman as a teaching assistant for Sound II, an intermediate-level sound production course, which uses Pro Tools and Ableton Live.

Rolando Villamero Jr.
 Rolando Villamero Jr. is a Jeanne Sauvé scholar (PhD level) working on issues related to disability and inclusive education. Rolando Jr.’s passion for inclusive education started when he worked at GPRehab, an organization working with and for children with disabilities. The children’s stories of struggles and determination motivated him to strengthen inclusive education in the province through advocacy, parent’s empowerment, teacher training, and curriculum changes.

Rolando Jr. believes that in order to bring inclusive education forward, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) themselves have to be empowered to fight for their own right to education. This inspired him to found The Outstanding Persons with Disabilities of Negros Oriental Alumni Community (TOPDAC): a group of 35 PWD recognized for their personal excellence, leadership, and social responsibility. In 2012, he initiated a project to increase the capacities of student teachers to accommodate children with disabilities in the classroom. Rolando’s contributions have been recognized internationally, such as by the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative Youth Advocacy Group (GEFI-YAG).

Rolando Jr. was selected by the Erasmus Mundus Program in Special and Inclusive Education to be a student scholar in 2013. The program provided him the opportunity to finish his Masters Degree at the University of Roehampton London, University of Oslo, and Charles University in Prague.

Beth Forrestall
 

Somi Lee
 

Alyse Tunnell

Post-doctoral Researchers and Associates


Arseli Dokumaci
Arseli Dokumacı is a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University, Department of Social Studies of Medicine. She is also affliated with the Mobile Media Lab. Arseli received her PhD degree in performance studies from Aberystwyth University in 2012, following an MA in Film and Communication from Bahcesehir University and a BA in translation studies from Bogazici University. Her PhD was funded by the Department of Theatre, Film and TV Studies and as a doctoral student; she was the recipient of Overseas Research Students Award. In her PhD project entitled “Misfires that matter: Invisible disabilities and performances of the everyday”, Arseli investigated everyday practices in relation to mobility-related pain and impairments. As part of this practice-led project, she created a two-hour ethnographic documentary on the everyday lives of people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Florian Grond
Florian Grond is a postdoctoral researcher at Concordia University, funded by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Research in Greater Montreal (CRIR). He is also an affiliate member of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology in Montreal. He holds an MSc (2002) from the Karl-Franzens University in Graz (Austria). From 2003 to 2007, he worked as a research associate and guest artist at the Center for Art and Media (ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany). He studied at the Cognitive Interaction Technology, Center of Excellence (CITEC) and received a doctorate from Bielefeld University, Germany, in 2013. His work, published in various journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers and exhibited in venues across Japan, Europe and North America, focuses on the intersections between art and science, with a special interest in sound and assitive technology. In 2015, he will begin a FQRSC-funded research-creation postdoctoral project at the Input Devices and Music Interaction Laboratory (IDMIL) at McGill in collaboration with the Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT).

Shauna Janssen
 

Véro Leduc
Artist, activist and community organizer, Véro Leduc is the executive manager or the Réseau québécois pour l’inclusion sociale des personnes sourdes et malentendantes (ReQIS) / Quebec Network for the Social Inclusion of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Persons, former CQDA/QCHI, and co-researcher on the study Communication technologies of yesterday and today: Reflections of Deaf seniors, produced with the partnership of Ageing + Communications + Technologies.
Born and living in Montreal – a unceded Mohawk territory, she has been involved in various activist scenes for the last fifteen years, especially in Deaf, queer, sex workers, feminists, and video-activist collectives/community organizations. Holding a Ph.D in Communication and a Master’s degree in Social Work, she produced a graphic novel as part of her research-creation thesis. Called C’est tombé dans l’oreille d’une Sourde (It fell on Deaf ears), it’s a first bilingual digital graphic novel in Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) and French, and it is based on excerpts from interviews conducted with deaf and hearing people. Author of diverses videos, publications and conferences, Véro co-organized the first seminar on Deaf studies in the frame of the Acfas Congress in 2015, and is interested in contributing to the expansion of Critical Disability and Deaf Studies in the French-speaking world.

Joëlle Rouleau
Joëlle Rouleau is a recent graduate of the Joint Doctoral Program in Communication at Université de Montréal. She was funded through a FRQSC doctoral research grant during her studies. As an activist in queer, feminist and disability communities, she works on the articulation of differences in audiovisual representations for which she develops an intersectional approach. Rouleau is interested in the relationship between cultural representations and social relations where disability often takes on meaning. Rouleau is also the cinematographer and editer behind the Architechtural Ableism videos produced by Kim Sawchuk and Arseli Dokumaci for the m.i.a. collective. She holds an MA and a BA in Film Studies and develops research-creation projects.

Tamar Tembek
An art historian and performing artist by training, Tamar Tembecks research examines representations of illness and/or disability in the visual and performing arts, as well as in new media environments. She curated Auto/Pathographies, a group exhibition shown at the Kunstpavillon (Innsbruck) and at OBORO (Montréal), which was documented in a catalogue published by Sagamie édition d’art in 2014. As a performer, Tamar worked in health care environments (adult and children’s hospitals, as well as long-term care facilities) with the organisation Jovia from 2003 to 2008. Since 2012, she has been working on diverse topics pertaining to media and democracy within Media@McGill, a hub of interdisciplinary research at McGill University.

Jaqueline Wallace
Jacqueline Wallace is a HASTAC Scholar and recent graduate of the Joint Doctoral Program in Communication at Concordia University. Her dissertation, entitled Handmade 2.0: Women, DIY Networks and the Cultural Economy of Craft, focused on gender, creative work and digital economies of cultural production. Her interests in critical disability studies look at questions of design, social media and advocacy for children with disabilities. Wallace is also an advisory board member of the Fembot Collective, a scholarly collaboration promoting research on gender, new media, and technology and publisher of the ADA journal.

Affiliated Researchers and Students

Magdalena Olszanowski, Antonia Hernandez, Jay Dolmage