PhD Students

Supervisor: Dr. Dina Al-Kassim

Fabiola Bazo’s research examines the evolution of gender politics in the history of rock and roll made in Lima, Peru. Fabiola became interested in the politics of gender in the course of writing her book Desborde Subterráneo(Underground Overflow) about the 1980s punk rock scene in Lima. The monograph, published by The Contemporary Art Institute (Lima 2017), is based on extensive primary archival research (Do-It-Yourself recordings, printed publications and videos) and over a hundred interviews. Building on her findings about gender issues in punk rock, Fabiola seeks to identify changes and continuities in the Peruvian rock scene with the analytical tools of intersectionality and anticolonial feminist research methodologies.

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

My name is Taqdir (Taq) Kaur Bhandal (English) ਤਕਦੀਰਕੌਰਭੰਡਾਲ(Gurmukhi-Punjabi). I am a researcher in the field of health professions education and menstrual health. My ancestors are from the Punjab region of modern-day India/Pakistan, though I was born and raised in Metro Vancouver on Coast Salish Territory. Outside of my PhD work, I run two social enterprises,@imwithperiods and Overall I spend my days balancing research, teaching, organizing (I love a good planner), dog walks, cooking (and eating of course!), sustainability, and attempts at decolonial, intersectional community involvement.

Supervisor: Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva

Matt Browning is a visual artist and PhD student in the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice. He’s interested in the ways normative and discursive values within art, which are already historically exclusionary on racial, gendered, and cultural grounds, are increasingly expressed in the economic value of artworks. Browning is relatedly interested in how formal abstractions like value and exchange catalyze expropriation and bar access to markets.

Supervisor: Dr. Dina Al-Kassim

Cate May Burton hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and draws strength from the ocean on the East and the West coast. Her research at the Social Justice Institute centres on conjoined critiques of liberalism as cultural supremacy and neoliberalism as evacuation of sociality and public space. Her work engages with critical theory, intersectional feminism, critical race, anti-colonial, and indigenous theories, and aims to intervene in the field of education. Her current PhD proposal is concerned with eurocentrism and cultural supremacy in settler-colonial (Canadian) teacher education, and asks how cross-cultural discussions of values and positionality might enhance non-indigenous teachers’ capacities to move toward transformative integration of indigenous material into k-12 classrooms. She is a member of the Critical Racial & Anti-Colonial Studies research network at the Social Justice Institute, and the Global Indigenous Politics Collective at the Liu Institute. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the Social Justice Grad Student Association, and seeks community wherever she goes.

Supervisor: Dr. Pilar Riaño-Alcalá

Alejandra Gaviria Serna is a PhD Student at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice in the The Memory & Justice Studies (MJS) area of focus. She works at the intersections of activism, art, scholarship and policy, related to society’s rights to truth and memory and the Colombian conflict. Her research seeks to explore how grassroots initiatives that work creatively and artistically with memory produce shared knowledge, contribute to social comprehension, and generate people’s creative ways to survive and live more livable lives and that enable processes of social reconstruction in diverse instances of mass violence and their aftermath.

Supervisor: Dr. Dina Al-Kassim

Maj Britt Jensen is a visual artist and PhD student at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. She lived and worked for well over a decade in Mexico City before moving to Vancouver in 2016. Her professional experience does not only come from making art and exhibiting in galleries, museums and alternative art spaces, but also from collective and participatory art projects carried out in public space; as such her non-academic experience is rich and varied.

Supervisor: Dr. Annette Henry

Adeerya Johnson is a PhD Student at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. Adeerya’s interest includes Hip-Hop feminism, womanism Black popular culture, gentrification and Hip-Hop politics. Her future plans are to be a professor and expand on Hip-Hop feminism in social and digital media while expanding on Black feminist and womanist pedagogies

Supervisor: Dr. Jan Hare

Cree from the ancestral lands of the MoshKeKoWok InNiNeWak, and a band member of Attawapiskat First Nation, Jules was born in Moose Factory, Ontario where she was raised by her Cree grandparents, as well as with her mother in Ottawa. In 2010, she completed graduate school at Ryerson University in Documentary Media where she was awarded an Award of Distinction and an Academic Gold Medal for her thesis documentary Remembering Inninimowin. She is a PhD candidate with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC with a focus on Indigenous documentary practices. Her educational and arts practice endeavours address environmental and Indigenous issues. Jules’ company VisJuelles Productions Inc. has a number of productions in development, and her youth series AskiBOYZ is currently airing on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.  Her first CBC short documentary NiiSoTeWak was released in 2017, and her second documentary OshKiKiShiKaw: A New Day was released in February 2019. She is currently in development for her next short documentary (TBA).  She released her first book of poetry Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths in 2018 with Kegedonce Press. Jules has been working with Indigenous community for many years supporting Indigenous women and children who face barriers. She hopes to continue shedding light on socio-political issues that urban and rural Indigenous peoples face.

Supervisor: Dr. Mary Bryson

A.J. Lowik is a SSHRC-funded PhD Candidate with the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. Their PhD dissertation is entitled “Gendered and Reproductive Becomings: Trans People, Reproductive Experiences and the B.C. health care system.” It explores trans people’s reproductive decision-making processes, and how the B.C. health care system acts as a centre of calculation where knowledges are circulated regarding trans reproduction.

Supervisor: Dr. Leonora Angeles

Wajiha Mehdi is pursuing her PhD at Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at University of British Columbia. Her research interests include Islamophobia, rise of right-wing nationalism, geographies of domination and geographies of resistance. Specifically, her work studies how Muslim women negotiate access to public spaces in India at the intersection of rising nationalism and Islamophobia and how bodies materialize in space through affectual reading by other bodies. Her work exists at the intersection of postcolonial, critical race theory, intersectional feminist work to develop an understanding of Muslim subjectivity in India. At UBC, Wajiha holds the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, IDRC Doctoral Research Award, Graduate Global Leadership Fellowship and Nehru Humanitarian Award.

Supervisors: Dr. John Paul Catungal, Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva

David Ng is a PhD student at The Social Justice Institute at UBC.  He is a queer, feminist, media artist, and co-founder of Love Intersections, a media arts organization of queer artists of colour.  His current research and artistic practices grapple with queer, racialized, and diasporic identity, and how intersectional identities can be expressed through media arts.

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. Ayesha Chaudhry

Lutze Segu is a social worker, social justice practioner, activist, writer, and community organizer whose work is deeply rooted in Black Feminism, Queer Theory, and Critical Race Theory. She loves pop-culture, trap music, and all things Black.

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 Memorial Prize in 2013, she currently researches issues relating to women and Nation-building in South Asia.

Supervisor: Dr. Minelle Mahtani

As a broadcaster/podcaster, instructor, and settler scholar-activist, I rely on critically engaged, anti-racist, and anti-colonial approaches that challenge our assumptions and ways of being in pursuit of significant social change. I draw upon feminist theories and concepts from political ecology (and geography more broadly), environmental sociology, settler-colonial studies, and critical discourse analysis. My research looks at how we talk across difference, whether about race, gender, culture or politics and what they have in common with climate change. I want to understand the science, psychology, cultural and emotional components of conversation to improve how we engage with each other. I hope to identify the triggers, psychological roadblocks and systemic structures and ideologies of these conversational ecosystems that often get in the way of establishing understanding.


Supervisor: Dr. Nora Angeles
Supervisor: Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva

Marika Yeo is a ceramic artist who focuses on connection, art, justice and the Caribbean diaspora. Marika uses her practice and research to think through the possibilities that the arts hold to bring about new rhythms and patterns of interaction that allow space for justice.