Meet the Studio Working Group
Blurring the lines between media, artmaking, activism and scholarly investigation
The Studio brings together Ryerson students, staff and faculty, as well as faculty, artists and activists from across the GTA and beyond. There are many ways to get involved: proposing ideas, collaborations, and co-sponsorships or volunteering at events. We also welcome new working group members, so if you feel you’ve got some skills/time/ideas to share, let us know.
STUDIO WORKING GROUP
Meera GovindasamyCo-director, The Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought
Critical Thought, Meera works at Learning Support at Ryerson, where she coordinates and facilitates a number of writing programs, including the Social Justice Writing Group. She is presently the Principal Investigator on an RBC Immigrant, Diversity, and Inclusion Project grant, which will use podcasts as a medium for investigating the writing and mental health related experiences of international students at Canadian universities. In 2019 Meera graduated from Ryerson University with a Master’s degree in Communication and Culture; she received the Gold Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies. Additionally Meera holds a BAH from Queen’s University in sociology.
Marusya BociurkiwWorking Group
Marusya Bociurkiw is an author, filmmaker and Associate Professor of Media Theory in RTA School of Media, where she teaches courses on the topics of social justice media, feminist media, and documentary production. She is the director of 10 films, and author of 6 books and over 50 scholarly, popular and arts-based articles. Her most recent film, “This Is Gay Propaganda: LGBT Rights & the War in Ukraine” has screened in twelve countries and has been translated into three languages. Her books have won and been shortlisted for several awards including CBC Literary Award, Lambda Literary Award and the Independent Publisher Award. She is one of the recipients of the 2018 Kobzar Literary Award, as well as receiving Ryerson’s Knowledge Mobilization & Engagement Award in 2018. Her current SSHRC-funded research addresses migration and housing through the lens of research creation. In her teaching, writing and filmmaking, she works at the intersection of art, social justice, collaboration, and friendship.
Miranda CampbellWorking Group
Miranda Campbell is an Assistant Professor in the School of Creative Industries at Ryerson University. Her research focuses on creative employment, youth culture, and small-scale and emerging forms of cultural production. Her book, Out of the Basement: Youth Cultural Production in Practice and in Policy, mapped the changing realities of youth self-employment in creative fields in the 21st century, and was shortlisted for the Donner Prize for the best public policy book by a Canadian. Her involvement with creative communities includes coordination and Board of Director roles with Rock Camp for Girls Montreal, a summer camp dedicated to empowerment for girls through music education, and with WhipperSnapper Gallery, an artist-run centre focusing on emerging artists in Toronto.
Jane GriffithWorking Group
Jane Griffith is an Assistant Professor in the School of Professional Communication and analyzes past and present narratives of settler colonialism—in particular, narratives of language, education, time, place, and water. Her book, Words Have a Past: The English Language, Colonialism, and the Newspapers of Indian Boarding Schools (University of Toronto Press), uncovers the history of printing presses in Indian boarding schools. Dr. Griffith has presented internationally, and her work can be found in journals such as Settler Colonial Studies, Paedagogica Historica, Studies in American Indian Literatures, Journal of Canadian Studies, Cultural Studies<=>Critical Methodologies, and Canadian Journal of Higher Education. Dr. Griffith currently holds a SSHRC Insight Grant. She is a past Fulbright Scholar as well as a winner of an International Council for Canadian Studies award.
Calla EvansWorking Group
Calla Evans is a PhD student in Communication & Culture at Ryerson University (joint with York University). Calla’s research explores fat identity construction and performance, with particular attention to the ways in which fat activist practices enforce boundaries around acceptable expressions of fatness. She is also a celebrated documentary and lifestyle photographer in Toronto.
Lauren CullenWorking Group
Lauren Cullen is a PhD candidate in the joint Communication and Culture program with Ryerson and York University. She currently names critical craft studies as her home; in her dissertation she responds to the history and contemporary culture of Canadian rug hooking and specifically mobilizes art-based research as a method to interrogate and unsettle the ways rug hooking maintains settler-colonial values and logic. Lauren facilitates rug hooking workshops that privilege processes of unlearning and that work towards anti-oppression and anti-racism. When she is not making rugs Lauren can be found eating pizza and hanging out with her two cats.
Axelle DemusWorking Group
Axelle Demus is a PhD student in the joint Communication and Culture program at York and Ryerson University. They hold an MA in Anglophone studies from the Université de Nantes, France, during which they studied the history of activist media production and circulation during the HIV/AIDS crisis in North America. Their PhD dissertation explores the history of queer cable access television in Canada and the intersections of affect, archives, and activism. Axelle Demus’ research interests include queer and feminist media theory and history, television studies, community archives, and alternative media. They also use experimental filmmaking to explore issues of space/place, loss, bodies, activism, and identity; their recent films deal with the disappearance of spaces for queer women in Toronto and the current opioid epidemic.
Pauline NguyenWorking Group
Pauline Nguyen is a photographer and MA student in the joint Communication and Culture program at Ryerson and York Universities. Since graduating from Ryerson University’s BA in Arts and Contemporary Studies with a focus on English and Philosophy, they’ve worked in community and youth work, event coordination, social media and communications, and bookstores. Their research interests include community arts, critical space-making, and queer/BIPOC literary and visual narratives. Pauline also loves to read fiction, memoirs, and essays and bike around Toronto.
Angelica PoverskyWorking Group
Angelica Poversky is a queer non-binary trans Russian-Jewish poet and media activist. As an advocate for justice in media, specifically towards imaginations of queerness, Angelica has performed and facilitated workshops across North America.
Angelica creates work revealing the nurturance in unbound gender. In 2020, they released two debut audio spoken word collections dealing with diaspora, queerness and forgiveness. One of their tracks, “Entropy of Forgiveness” was the winner of the Adobe Project 1324 Inspire Mental Wellness Award.
Angelica has developed programs in partnership with The Museum of Anthropology, Cinevolution Media Arts, Jewish Queer Trans Vancouver and Everybody Is In Downtown Eastside, working in community cohesion through art and media. At the University of British Columbia, they founded the Artivism: Festival of Creative Resistance.
Angelica Poversky is a white settler who grew up on the unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) peoples. Angelicapoversky.ca
Keah HansenWorking Group
Keah Hansen is a doctoral student in the Communication and Culture joint-program at York and Ryerson Universities. Her doctoral research examines the relationship between the growth of finance and changes in public culture, and broadly, her research interests lie in culture studies, critical theory studies, and Canadian literatures. She completed an honours bachelor’s degree in English Literature at McGill University, and a master’s in English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. She has previously worked in education and environmental non-profits, as well as within cultural institutions, and likes non-academic writing in her free time.
Jedidah NabwanguResearch Assistant
Jedidah Nabwangu is a Toronto-based multimedia writer, producer and performance artist. Graduating from McGill University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Minors in Political Science and Theatre, the past few years have seen her embark on a journey of merging these passions and implementing them into her professional life. From writing and sharing performance pieces about her journey in identity development as a black queer woman, to fulfilling coordinating roles in the media industry at high-profile institutions such as the Canadian Film Institute, she has dedicated the majority of work as a scholar-creator to creating the kind of representation and empowerment of marginalized bodies that she did not necessarily see when she was growing up. She is currently working on the completion of her Master’s degree in Media Production at Ryerson University and is thrilled to be serving as GA to the Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought.
Imani Dominique BusbyResearch Assistant
Imani Dominique Busby is an undergraduate student studying Creative Industries at Ryerson University. She aspires to be an art curator with the goal of increasing the representation of BIPOC artists within galleries and public spaces. As she is passionate about social justice, Imani co-founded Toronto’s Manifesto, an Instagram platform dedicated to amplifying the voices of Black and Indigenous communities across Canada through educational and supportive resources. Additionally, Imani is a member of the Ryerson Fashion Zone where she is working with a team of mentors and peers to develop a sustainable and size-inclusive clothing brand. With roots in creativity and entrepreneurship Imani is passionate about the art and fashion industries, representation, and working to build an equitable Canadian society.