Participant Bios

  • Dr. Liz Clarke > Assistant Professor in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University. She teaches film theory, women and film, and film history. She previously held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her ongoing project, “Writing Women in Film History,” examines female screenwriters working in the American film industry during the silent and early sound period. She is interested in comparisons between women writers in the silent period and contemporary television.

    Dr. Elena Gorfinkel > Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and core faculty in the Film Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her book, Sensational Bodies: American Sexploitation Cinema’s Scenes of Looking, 1959-1972  is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press in 2016. Her research on exploitation, cult, experimental and marginal cinemas, women’s filmmaking practice, sex, embodiment, temporality, labor, art cinema, and cinephilia have appeared in ScreenDiscourse, Camera Obscura, Framework, Cineaste, LOLA, INCITE and several edited collections.  She is the editor, with John David Rhodes, of Taking Place: Location and the Moving Image, (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and with Tami WIlliams is coediting World Cinemas, Global Networks.

    Dr. Maggie Hennefeld > Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on gender, comedy, and silent film history. Her articles have appeared in Camera Obscura, Discourse, Screen, and are forthcoming in Film Historydifferences, and multiple edited volumes on comedy, feminist theory, and film historiography. She is currently working on a book about slapstick comediennes in early cinema (Specters of Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes), as well as a co-edited volume about comedy and theories of the abject (The Abject Objection: Comedy and Social Protest).

    Dr. Alice Ming Wai Jim (Roundtable Chair) > Associate Professor of Contemporary Art at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, where she teaches on contemporary art, media arts, ethnocultural and global art histories, international art exhibitions and curatorial studies. She is founding co-editor of the scholarly journal, Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas (Brill) and is the 2015 recipient of the Centre de documentation d’Artexte Award for Research in Contemporary Art. From 2003 to 2006, Jim was Curator of the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (Centre A). Recent publications include contributions toThird TextJournal of Curatorial StudiesJournal of Visual CultureAmerasia Journal, Positions, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Triennial City: Localising Asian Art (Asia Triennial Manchester, 2014), Negotiations in a Vacant Lot: Studying the Visual in Canada (2014), Human Rights and the Arts: Perspectives from Global Asia (2014), and Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the 21st Century (2015).

    Dr. Gada Mahrouse > Associate Professor in the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University in Montreal. She teaches and researches in the areas of critical race studies, cultural studies, transnational feminist, and postcolonial/decolonizing theories. She has published articles in International Journal of Cultural Studies, Citizenship Studies, Race and Class, and ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. She also published a book entitled Conflicted commitments: Race, privilege and power in transnational solidarity activism, which focuses on the challenges of solidarity across asymmetrical power relations (McGill Queens University Press, 2014).

    Shelley Niro > Artist currently living in Brantford, Ontario. Niro was born in Niagara Falls, NY, and she is a member of the Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Turtle Clan. Her early life contributed beadwork, soapstone carving and landscape drawing to her artistic practise. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art with honours, received a MFA from the University of Western Ontario and became the Aboriginal Arts Award Laureate for the Ontario Arts Council in 2012. She continues to paint, photograph and make films.

    Dr. Ara Osterweil > Associate Professor who teaches film and cultural studies in the Department of English at McGill University. She is a writer, film scholar, and painter who lives in Montreal and New York. Her book, Flesh Cinema: The Corporeal Turn in American Avant-Garde Film (Manchester University Press, 2014), examines the representation of sexuality in experimental film of the 1960s and 1970s. She has also published numerous essays in journals such as ArtforumCamera ObscuraFilm QuarterlyFrameworksThe Brooklyn Rail, and Millennium Film Journal, as well as in anthologies such as Porn StudiesWarhol in Ten Takes, and Women’s Experimental Cinema.  She has received an ArtsWriters Grant from Creative Capital/The Warhol Foundation, as well as a SSHRC Insight Grant. She is currently working on a book entitled The Pedophilic Imagination: Children, Sex, Movies. Visit her website at:

    Dr. Carrie Rentschler (Roundtable Chair) > Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies and Director of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at McGill University.

    Dr. Gabriela T. Richard > Assistant Professor of Learning, Design and Technology at Pennsylvania State University. She has a PhD from NYU and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work furthers efforts to understand, design and develop equitable and inclusive media and technology. Her research focuses on how learning, diversity and inclusivity are affected by digital media and emerging technologies, as well as how individuals learn through designing, playing, hacking and making. Her research further highlights the intersections of gender, race, sexuality and gender identity in STEM, gaming and technology-mediated learning, as well as the role that protective and supportive communities can play in resiliency formation in the face of bias. She conducted an extensive ethnography of game culture, looking at how intersections of gender, race, sexuality and identity affected perceptions, participation and identification, and is currently extending this work to understand coding and media making spaces, as well as e-sports. 

  • Lisa Aalders > second year MA student in Concordia University’s Film Studies program. She is currently completing her thesis on the video art of Thirza Cuthand, in which she explores questions of indigenous visual sovereignty and intersectionality. She is the recent recipient of a SSHRC research grant and the Letko Brosseau award in Film Studies.

    Margot Berrill > PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago, currently finishing her dissertation “The Host and the Roast: Kitchen Humour in the Art of Julia Child, Suzanne Lacy and Martha Rosler.” Her research involves feminist humour as a social critique in video art from the mid 1970s and as seen in popular culture. She currently lives in California.

    Patricia Ciccone > first year PhD student in the Media Studies Doctoral program at the University of Western Ontario. She is a recent graduate of Concordia University with a Master’s degree in Film Studies. Her research highlights the relations between marginalized subjectivities, storytelling, political economies and new technologies.

    Natalie Greenberg > first year PhD student at Concordia University. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 with a B.A. in English Literature and Cinema Studies, and graduated in 2015 from York University with an MA in Cinema and Media Studies. In March 2014, she presented at the Carleton University Communications Caucus symposium: Screen, whose proceedings have been published. In April 2014, she presented at Process: In Medias Res at Harvard University. She presented at the 2015 FSAC Graduate Colloquium at the University of Regina.

    Sky Hirschkron > completed his MA in Critical Studies at the University of Southern California in 2015. He is a filmmaker, writer and scholar specializing in contemporary television comedy, as well as Argentine and Romanian cinema.

    Angela Joosse > SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. Her research is focused experimental film and media art, and she is currently writing a book manuscript on the cinema of New York avant-garde filmmaker and artist, Marie Menken. Angela completed her PhD in the Joint Program in Communication and Culture at York and Ryerson Universities. Her doctoral dissertation, Made from Movement, theorizes movement in art through phenomenologies of artworks by Michael Snow, Marie Menken, and Richard Serra.

    Caroline Künzle > Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist interested in popular forms of oral storytelling, such as jokes and songs, as a way to engage with questions of representation, language and voice in the context of pluralistic, multicultural society. Her own background (Swiss, French, Judeo-Tunisian and “Franglo”-Canadian) informs her current research and artistic practice looking into the role of humour in cultural identity and intercultural exchange.  She holds an MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute, an MA in Media Studies from Concordia University and a BA in Theatre from the University of Alberta. See for more information.

    Kerry McElroy > PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD in the Humanities at Concordia University, and a feminist cultural historian interested in histories of performance and medias as well as histories of women’s bodies in various cultures and labour systems. She looks particularly to histories of popular culture, film, beauty standards, bodily practices, and fashion in analyzing exploitation of women’s bodies from a historical and labour-oriented perspective. McElroy’s doctoral project focuses on the use-value and exploitation of the actress body in international filmic systems, focusing primarily on Hollywood but also in comparison with other national cinemas. She is particularly interested in the phenomenon of imitation between actresses and female spectators, the emergence of modern celebrity and tabloid culture, and historical beauty standards and bodily practices for women in the public eye. In 2014 she was awarded a Concordia Graduate Student Mobility Award and spent summer 2014 in Los Angeles doing archival work on women in film and interviewing contemporary women in the film industry on their experiences.   McElroy has published two book chapters out of the UK’s Interdisciplinary Press on the actress in early film and has upcoming publications in Celebrity Studies and Alt.Theatre. She has been interviewed for media such as Elle QuebecVice, and Concordia’s Accent on topics relating to women, feminism, fashion, popular culture, and gender equality.

    Cameron Moneo > PhD candidate in the York University Graduate Program in Film, with a research focus on humour in experimental film and video.

    Renée Penney > PhD student in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON. She is also a sessional lecturer in the Women’s and Gender Studies program at the University of Saskatchewan, and program curator of The Scene: Youth Media Festival in Saskatoon, SK. Her Doctoral research revolves around the study of shame and the body in popular media.

    Lindsey Rogers > PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, studying the intersection of feminism and women in stand-up comedy. Prior to this, she taught for several years in Northern Ontario. She lives in Kingston with her ten year old daughter, Hazel, and their two cats where she engages in community theatre and gardening.

  • Copenhagen Game Collective > multi-gender, multi-national, non-profit game design collective based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The collective comprises a network of people including artists, designers, researchers, critics and curators. The efforts in creating a milieu for experimental game development is driven by a belief in the importance of sharing, that creativity breeds creativity. Members include:

    Ida Marie Toft > Montreal based game designer and artist, currently doing a PhD at Concordia University. Their work explores technology’s entanglement with culture, paying particular attention to the physical and material qualities of digital games.

    Andrea Hasselager > Danish artist, digital story writer and game designer. As co-founder of both Game Girl Workshop and Lyst Summit – Celebrating Romance, Sex and Love in Games, Andrea is also an active tenet in the development of inclusive game development milieu in Copenhagen and beyond. Andrea is also co-founder of the game studio The Lovable Hat Cult.

    Sabine Harrer > PhD student at University of Vienna focusing on ways of representing loss in video games. Sabines research, teaching and design efforts are driven by a cultural studies interest in meaning, identity politics and relations of power.

    Raimund Schumacher > Viennese based graphic designer, who works with user experience and interaction design. Raimund holds a Graphic Design diploma from the higher technical school for graphics and communication design in Linz /Austria.

    Erin Gee > Montreal-based artist and composer who is passionate about re-locating boundaries of musical form through technological interfaces. Her work in emotion-driven musical robotics, interactive sonic sculpture/scores and digitally-inspired vocal performances have been presented internationally, and written about in Scientific American, VICE, National Gallery of Canada Magazine, National Post, and La Presse. Gee published an essay on echoes and the digital uncanny in Leonardo Music (2013) and is the creator of futurefemmes, an online blog archived by Cornell University featuring women working in technological culture.

    Kai Cheng Thom > writer, performer, and therapist based in Montreal. She has performed in venues across North America, including the Vancouver International Poetry Festival, the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. She has published articles and poetry widely, both in print and online in publications including xoJane, Matrix Magazine, and Buzzfeed. She is currently a Feature Writer at Everyday Feminism.

    Sophie Houser & Andrea Gonzales > Sophie is a freshman at Brown University and Andy is a senior at Hunter College High School. Sophie is on the club tennis team, enjoys photography, writing, biking and spending time with friends. Andy is the co-captain of her school’s robotics team, a classical pianist and a singer. The two met at a summer intensive program in 2014 run by Girls Who Code, an organization trying to get more girls into tech. They built “Tampon Run” as their final project for the program.

    larose > Video maker, performance artist. Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1986, lives in Brussels. larose uses accessible media (karaoke, television, food, etc.) in the reappropriation of cultural codes, reconstructed under a feminist, queer, activist angle. They completed a BFA in Intermedia/Cyberarts at Concordia University in Montreal and are currently pursuing an MFA at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, Netherlands. Their work has been shown in artist-run centres in Montreal and other places in Canada, as well as in festivals around Europe. Their website:

    Peter Lu & Lea Schönfelder > game designers. They met each other during Lea’s residency at the UCLA Game Lab in fall 2012. Both having developed games in small teams before, found that their skills fit together well. Peter, who studied math and science, programmed Perfect Woman while Lea, who has an artistic background, did all the art. The game design was developed together, and since Lea went back to Germany in January 2013, the production was done via Skype.

    Dayna McLeod > video and performance artist whose work has shown internationally. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University, and is pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD in Humanities at The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture, also at Concordia University. Visit her website at:

    Skawennati > makes art that addresses history, the future, and change. Her pioneering new media projects have been widely presented across Turtle Island in major exhibitions such as Now? NOW! at Denver’s Biennial of the Americas; and Looking Forward (L’Avenir) at the Montreal Biennale. She has been honored to win imagineNative’s 2009 Best New Media Award as well as a 2011 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. Her work in is included in both public and private collections. Born in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Skawennati graduated with a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she is based. She is Co-Director, with Jason E. Lewis, of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists, academics and technologists investigating, creating and critiquing Indigenous virtual environments. This year they launched IIF, the Initiative for Indigenous Futures.

    Kara Stone > art-maker, creating videogames, interactive art and traditional crafts. She achieved an MA in Communication and Culture at a joint program at York and Ryerson University, focusing on mental health, affect, feminism, and videogames.  Her work has been featured in Vice, Wired, The Atlantic, and NPR. It consists of feminist art with a focus on gendered perspectives of affect – but it’s much more fun than it sounds.

    Sucrose Sucrose Brown > musical and podcasting team made up of Rachel Idelson and Vanessa Tolkin Meyer. The two met when they were 12 years old and have been collaborators and frenemies ever since. Rachel is a social worker and tech enthusiast currently working in the area of intimate partner violence. Vanessa is a new media artist whose doctoral research focuses on matrilineal narratives in feminist documentary film and video. SSB aims to open up conversations about how important it is to jam out and make music and videos with your friends, and then occasionally talk into a microphone about things you know almost nothing about. Process is at the heart of this project.

  • Desirée de Jesus > PhD candidate in the Film and Moving Image Studies program at Concordia University. Her research concerns female coming-of-age narratives in films and video games, existential phenomenology, and transnational approaches to feminist theory. Her work has been supported by various grants and awards, such as the Bourse d’étude Hydro-Québec de l’Université Concordia and the Glay Sperling Scholarship in 2013, and most recently by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. She has written on cinemas of displacement and girlhood and has presented research on racialized female labor in the teen dance film and on Luce Irigaray and the maternal melodrama.

    Rachel Webb Jekanowski > PhD candidate in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University, and the Managing Editor of Synoptique Journal. She is also a recipient of the prestigious 2012-2013 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Her dissertation seeks to theorize the natural resource extraction, materialist theories of media, and ecological dimensions of film archives and digital archival media. Other research interests include: Yiddish cinema and digital cultures; posthuman, feminist and critical race theories; the disruptive potential of science fiction/speculative fiction genres; media in rural and agrarian spaces; and women’s labor. She’s also a semi-skilled knitter and vermicomposter.

    Julia Huggins > MA student in the Film Studies program at Concordia University. Her current research, supported by a SSHRC Master’s Scholarship, deals with the intersecting functions of technology, memory, and intimacy in digital film cultures. Her broader research interests include Lacanian psychoanalysis, feminist theory, film and philosophy, video art, and love in cinema.

    Tess McClernon > PhD student in the Film and Moving Image Studies program at Concordia University.  She earned her Master of Arts at San Francisco State University and her BA from Indiana University, Indianapolis.  Her research interests include experimental cinemas, feminist criticism, animal studies, and classical film theory.

    Vanessa Meyer > PhD student in Communication Studies at Concordia University, as well as a video-maker and part-time music-maker. Her research is practice-based and fundamentally interdisciplinary, taking shape at the intersection of experimental film, documentary, autoethnography, feminist philosophy, and critical theory. Her current thesis work is a research-creation project that explores the construction of mother-daughter relationships in self-reflexive documentary and experimental autoethnography. She has worked in documentary production and television in Montreal and New York for over ten years.