PhD Students

Supervisor: Dr. Becki Ross / Dr. Annette Henry

Ine Beljaars is PhD candidate at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. Ine is a feminist, anti-racist cultural anthropologist interested in how power and ideology re/produce difference and inequality intersectionally along the lines of gender, race, class and sexuality within Western popular culture and the cultural industries. Interested in urban performance and the performative mechanisms in which they are embedded, Ine takes the micropolitics of the body and the bodily as points of departure to study the politics of difference. Her main field of inquiry includes Afro-diasporic dance and music cultures, including but not limited to salsa, kizomba, rap, hip-hop and jazz.

Supervisor: Dr. Annette Browne

Taq Bhandal is a PhD Student at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. She is a feminist and anti-racist scholar with a specific interest in women’s health. Her research uses postcolonial feminist and feminist political economy theories to study racialized immigrant women’s health in the context of a neoliberal Canada.

Supervisor: Dr. Dina Al-Kassim

Cate May Burton is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice. She works on poststructural, feminist, and psychoanalytic theory. She is informed by readings of 20th Century philosophy, with an emphasis in political thought. In her research, she takes up the treatment of difference as such. Her doctoral research will deal with the role that the liberal conception of subjecthood plays in political responses to the crisis of climate change.

Supervisor: Dr. Gillian Creese

Amel Eldihaib is a researcher and social activist. Over the last ten years she worked and volunteered with different international and national civil society organizations in Sudan (both South and North), as well in other countries in the Horn of Africa and Yemen. Her work and activism is mainly around areas of social justice, active citizenship, peace building and environment.

Supervisor: Dr. Jan Hare

Cree from Attawapiskat First Nation, she was born in Moose Factory, Ontario where she was raised by her Cree grandparents, and her mother.  She completed graduate school at Ryerson University in Documentary Media; she was awarded an Award of Distinction and an Academic Gold Medal for her thesis Remembering Inninimowin. Her endeavors focus on environmental and Indigenous issues. Jules’ company VisJuelles Productions Inc. will be airing a television show AskiBOYZ on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

Supervisor: Dr. Mary Bryson

A.J. is a third year PhD student with the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. A.J.’s research interests include trans* reproductive experiences, theories of gender corporeality, community-based participatory research, engaged scholarship, queer liberation theory and transfeminisms. Along with other trans*-identified students, A.J. has developed a series of trans-inclusion workshops for faculty members in the Social Justice Institute and the Faculty of Education. A.J. is thrilled to have played an active role in developing trans-inclusive teaching tools for faculty and hopes to inspire more safety and inclusive curriculum in the classrooms and beyond.


Supervisor: Dr. Dina Al-Kassim

Magnolia Pauker is a lecturer in Critical and Cultural Studies at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design on the unceded Coast Salish territories also known as Vancouver, Canada. A doctoral candidate at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, she is currently writing her dissertation entitled, “Philosophy as Radical Journalism: The Public Intellectual and The Rise of the Philosopher Journalist.” Her practice takes up the philosophical interview as a model for critical engagement, knowledge production, and pedagogy. Sketching the edges of philosophy, cultural studies, journalism, and critical media studies she is committed to working in response to contemporary aesthetic and political events. In her ongoing dedication to learning in public, she co-facilitates a feminist free school, Pleasure + Protest, Sometimes Simultaneously! She is co-editor with Anna Street and Julien Alliot of Inter Views in Performance Philosophy: Crossings and Conversations forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan (2016).

Supervisor: Dr. Leslie Robertson

Guldana Salimjan is a PhD Candidate at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. Her research interests include ethnicity and gender in China and Postsocialist Central Asia, women’s history, power and representation, identity, memory, oral tradition, and performance. Guldana has translated for National Geographic and Xinjiang Social Science Journals in Chinese, Kazakh, and English. She is also a visiting scholar at the Institute of Ethnic Literature at the China Academy of Social Science from 2015-2016.

Supervisor: Dr. Sunera Thobani

Sheila Sengupta, currently a PhD candidate and formerly a Visiting Scholar at the IGRSSJ (2011), has a M.Sc in Mathematics from the University of Calgary. Previously a senior corporate executive in India, she is also a professional translator and has published early feminist and autobiographical writings from Bengal. A recipient of several academic honours including the Michelle Lynn Rosa GRSJ award in 2013, she currently researches issues relating to women and Nation-building in South Asia.

Supervisor: Dr. Erin Baines

Beth Stewart is a PhD candidate and Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Issues. In collaboration with The Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) in Gulu town, Northern Uganda, her PhD research examines the everyday lives of children who were born into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). These are children whose mothers (and often fathers) were abducted as children and forced to ‘marry’ into the ranks of the LRA, and subsequently forced to bear children.

Supervisor: Dr. Peter Cole

Peter Wanyenya has roots in eastern Africa and also calls Toronto, Ontario home. He currently serves in multiple student-centred roles at the University of British Columbia and in several local and national organisations that are children and youth focused. Peter is driven by core values of equity, diversity, and intercultural understanding and draws from his deep commitment to these values to work towards passionate and positive social change.