Postdoctoral Fellows

Shawn Newman

Shawn is a Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow in Cinema and Media Arts at York University where his research focuses on developing an accessible digital portal for Public: Art | Culture | Ideas, an interdisciplinary journal/magazine hybrid about visual cultures. He is interested in disrupting prevailing publishing practices that reify ableist norms and re-designing Public’s digital footprint. As Managing Editor of Public, and Director of Public Access (Public’s parent organization), Shawn oversees all aspects of the journal’s production as well as two other segments of the organization: Public Books and Public Projects.

Having had an international career as a concert dancer and choreographer, Shawn has worked throughout Canada, across Europe, and produced his first show in Shanghai, China when he was 24. He teaches in the fields of Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, and Cinema and Media Studies with a focus on identity, power, and embodiment. He holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University.

Affiliated Postdoctoral Fellows

Alana Gerecke

Alana Gerecke is a settler dance artist and scholar who pursuing academic and artistic research that coheres around embodied assembly. Gerecke holds a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Theatre where she researches social choreographies of assembly as they are expressed in flashmobs, community-dance projects, and publicly sited dance-based work. Her research—including her current book project Moving Publics—explores the social and spatial lives of subtle and virtuosic choreographies in public spaces. Current publications include a co-edited issue of Canadian Theatre Review (2018), a forthcoming co-edited issue of Performance Matters (2019), and a commissioned article in Susan Manning, Janice Ross, and Rebecca Schneider’s anthology Futures of Dance Studies (Wisconsin UP, 2019). A professional dance artist, Gerecke has performed with various companies and artists, including EDAM Dance, Battery Opera, Projet In Situ (France), Justine A. Chambers, and others. She is also co-founder of the interdisciplinary site-based performance group, Behind Open Doors Arts Collective (2004-2013), and she continues to facilitate and create community-based movement projects. For more, see www.alanagerecke.com.


Zoë Heyn-Jones

Zoë Heyn-Jones is a researcher-artist and cultural worker who grew up on Saugeen Ojibway land in Ontario (Canada) and on Tz’utujil/Kaqchikel Maya land in Guatemala. Zoë holds a PhD in Visual Arts from York University and a graduate diploma in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from CERLAC (the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, York University) where she researched the performance of human rights accompaniment and networks of solidarity activism between Guatemala and Canada. Zoë is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas, where she has initiated the “Resisting Extractivism, Performing Opposition” project that considers performances of (anti)extractivism. She lives and works in Mexico City and Toronto. http://zoeheynjones.com/

 

Past Postdoctoral Fellows

May Chew, Postdoctoral Fellow

May Chew received her Doctorate in Cultural Studies from Queen’s, where her research examined the uses of interactive and immersive technologies in diverse museological sites across the country, and how these facilitate the material practice of nation and cultural citizenship. She currently holds a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Urban Public Space at York, where her work centres on the roles of public art and community engagement in urban revitalization. She collaborates on Houses on Pengarth, a large-scale research creation project centred on developing a socially-engaged, experimental art lab in Toronto’s Lawrence Heights community. May has taught in the areas of culture and technology, multiculturalism and Canadian cinema. Her work appears in the recent anthology, Material Cultures in Canada (2015). She holds an MA in Communication and Culture (York and Ryerson), and a BFA in Film Production (York).


Mitchell Akiyama, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow

Mitchell Akiyama is a Toronto-based artist, scholar, and composer. His eclectic body of work includes objects and installations that trouble received ideas about perception and sensory experience; writings about contemporary art, animals, and cities; and scores for film and dance. Akiyama’s output has appeared in commensurately miscellaneous sources such as Leonardo Music Journal, ISEA, Sonar Music Festival (Barcelona), Raster-Noton Records (Berlin), Gendai Gallery (Toronto), and in many other exhibitions, publications, and festivals. He holds a PhD in communications from McGill University and an MFA from Concordia University.

Personal Website


Mary Elizabeth Luka, Banting Postdoctoral Fellow

Mary Elizabeth Luka was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at York, based at Sensorium in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, and at the Schulich School of Business. Her creative work and research investigates how artistic, civic and business sectors are networked in the digital age, including her current comparison of sites of cultural collaboration in Canada, the U.S.A, the U.K. and Australia, and ongoing research about recent Canadian media and broadcast policy, such as the Let’s Talk TV campaign at the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission. She aims to improve understanding about how creative workers shape their careers and lives, how employers cultivate inspiring work environments, and how governments and universities generate civic and innovative commitments in the digital era. Dr. Luka is current Board Chair for Arts Nova Scotia, and a member of the NSCAD University Board of Governors and the Cultural Human Resources Council PATAC. She is a member of the public art group, Narratives in Space + Time Society, which intervenes at specific sites to engage others in art practices and storytelling, and is an award-winning digital media and television producer-director.

Personal Website


Qi Wang, Postdoctoral Fellow

Qi Wang is a Chinese researcher in the area of documentary. The focus of his work is on the comparison of Chinese and western documentaries, particularly in the new media era. He is also concerned about the impacts of the new technologies on the development of documentary, such as human-computer interaction, virtual reality and augmented reality. Qi Wang is also a director. He had a career in a TV station for several years before he turned to a full-time scholar. Now he is planning for his independent interactive documentary works. He is the member of the Documentary Academic Committee of the China Television Artists Association. He holds a PhD in film from Peking University and an MA in journalism from Communication University of China.