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LA&PS Welcomes New Postdoctoral Fellows

LA&PS Welcomes New Postdoctoral Fellows

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The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) welcomes our new cohort of Postdoctoral Fellowships. Each postdoctoral fellow is working with LA&PS Faculty on compelling and engaging research projects. Since its creation in 2020, the LA&PS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program has provided opportunities for promising young scholars as LA&PS recognizes the importance of postdoctoral training as a critical stage of academics’ professional training.   

"I was very fortunate to have a SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the outset of my career. It gave me the time and support to develop a new project after my dissertation and sustain myself as an independent scholar. Many of our colleagues also held postdoctoral fellowships prior to getting full-time appointments.” said Ravi de Costa, Associate Dean Research and Graduate in LA&PS. He further added; “the Fellowship provides time for emerging scholars to concentrate on their research, with few obligations to teach or to do academic service. LA&PS has been very lucky with the quality of Fellows we have been able to attract to the Faculty through this program.”  

LA&PS Postdoctoral Fellows receive one year of funding to conduct their proposed research under the guidance of a faculty supervisor. Each of them is paid $50,000 over the academic year.

Current Postdoctoral Fellows and their projects:

Kennedy Opande is a doctoral student at the University of Nairobi. Opande will work with supervisor Denielle Elliott, an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Department of Social Science. Professor Elliot is also the Graduate Program Director of Science and Technology Studies. Opande’s project is titled, “An ethnographic study of neuro-technology flows in East Africa.” Opande’s findings from this study will be helpful in designing “culturally relevant” neurological interventions in Kenya and East Africa, as well as understanding global flows of technologies from the North to South. The findings will also contribute to improved policy formulation for culturally sensitive practices in the management of neurological issues in Kenya. Opande’s research falls under a LA&PS initiative  Championing Emerging Black Scholars.  

Mai Ibrahim is a doctoral student at North Carolina State University. Ibrahim will work with supervisor Kelly Bergstrom, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies. Professor Bergstrom is also the co-editor of Internet Spaceships are Serious Business: An EVE Online Reader (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Ibrahim’s project is titled, “A Genre-Based Approach to Toxicity in Online Gaming.”  The project will analyze interview data and draw out categories and terms that elucidate how self-identified toxic gamers explain their toxic behaviors and how these behaviors link with game mechanics, objectives, and other genre-specific features. These insights will provide guidance to game developers, shedding light on how genre and non-representational features might inadvertently foster specific toxic tendencies.  

Juan Carlos Mezo- Gonzalez is a Visiting Scholar in Sexuality Studies, Centre for Feminist Research, York University. Mezo-Gonzalez will be working with supervisor Anne Rubenstein, a Professor in the Department of History, who is also a CERLAC Fellow. Meso-Gonzalez will work on a project titled “Evil Seduction: A Queer History of the Devil in Mexican Popular Culture.” This project examines how the figure of the Devil in Mexican popular culture has been crucial to confront sexism and homophobia, as well as to grapple with the legacies of colonialism, imperialism, and state violence. This research also examines the role of this figure in the formation and transformation of Mexican national identities, including queer national identities, over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  

Postdoctoral Fellows from last year's competition include:  

Tariq Habibyar  

Supervisor: Andrea Emberly, Humanities) 

Project Tittle: “Afghan Migrant Youth in Toronto: Refugees’ Musical Identity as the Heart of the Story of New Canadians” 

Alexandra Mourgou  

Supervisor: Athanasios Gekas, History 

Project Tittle: “Musical Geographies and the Greek Canadian Experience in Toronto. Places, Cultures, & Diasporic Identities” 

Shireen Chang 

 Supervisor: Kristin Andrews, Philosophy 

Project Tittle: “Symbolic Communication in Animals: How Parrots Learn to Speak and Originate Meaning”. 

Anthony Sangiuliano 

Supervisor: Michael Guidice, Philosophy  

Project Tittle: “The Philosophical Foundations of Social Justice Tort Law: Private Obligations, Public Values, and the Separation of Powers” 

LA&PS Postdoctoral Fellows are a vital part of York University’s research community and make critical contributions to York’s strategic priorities and its goal of research intensification.  The Fellowship opportunity will help them demonstrate their status as emerging research leaders in their fields through the impact they have on York’s research centres and programs, and on national and international academic communities.