Interdisciplinary Humanities PhD Program

Faculty of Humanities

Interdisciplinary Humanities PhD Program

Current Students

Natalie Azzi

Dissertation: "Sexual Violence and the Lived Experience: Narratives and Perceptions of Women in Lebanon"

"My experiences visiting Lebanon have revealed to me a fundamental lack of social justice for women in this country. With military conflict having touched the country most recently, my personal and academic history has posed questions concerning the relationships between women and power structures within the context of the warzone."

Supervisor: Dr. Ifeanyi Ezeonu


Mark Bishop

Keywords: music; perception; phenomenology; space; time

Work conducted on temporal processes and the perception of music has tended to focus on the perception of what could be considered as a single flow of musical-time in which a unified stream of conceptions and relationships is experienced. My research engages the questions of both the possibility of concurrent temporalities in music, and their simultaneous perception. The spatialization of given musical gestures allows for the simultaneous awareness of multiple temporal modes within a work, leaving open the possibility for the perception of an apparent temporal contradiction within a single synthesized sound scape.

Supervisor: Dr. Matthew Royal


Dan Clemens

Dissertation: "Critical Psychiatry and Cultural Appropriateness"

"My research confronts the Western/Eurocentric values embedded within the dominant psychiatric paradigm while seeking a more holistic and inclusive philosophy of healing, breakthrough, and liberation."


Candace Couse

Keywords: identity; illness/disabilities; visual arts

My research looks at the role that art production has on artists undergoing illness and body trauma and how art production at this precipice may contribute to reorientation after sizeable shifts in understanding. This includes research on embodied identities and the process of reclaiming disoriented bodies by examining subjects who address trauma and illness through art-making.

Supervisor: Dr. Leah Bradshaw



Sonya de Lazzer

"My research pairs the philosophical underpinnings of the Sublime with an in-depth exploration of regional histories, identities and places. My focus is on iconic sites and whether or not the visual and oral pluralities of these places erode the prospect of the Sublime encounter."

Supervisor: Dr. Keri Cronin


John Drew

Keywords: culture and social change; cultural studies; film and television studies; literature; culture and political economy; critical animal studies

My doctoral research involves mapping and analyzing the cultural construction of empathy in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. Interweaving data from film, television, and literature, and enlisting neo-Gramscian theory, gender studies, critical animal studies, and ideas of affect, this project approaches empathy as a social, individual, and multispecies concept that is both represented in these cultural media and encouraged in viewers/readers.

Supervisor: Dr. Scott Henderson


Malisa Kurtz

Dissertation: "Nomadic Transgressions: Globalization, Postcoloniality and Science Fiction"

Keywords: cultural studies; critical theory; science fiction; postcolonialism; critical globalization studies

“My research examines the intersection of postcoloniality, globalization, and technoculture in twentieth century science fiction."

Supervisor: Dr. Martin Danahay



Jennifer Lackey

Keywords: adaptations; reboots; intertextuality; intermediality; cultural economy; comic books; film studies; television studies

What accounts for the recent explosion of instances of the form of adaptation known as the "reboot"? How do practical issues of profitability intersect with audience response, the media convergences of the 21st century, and the specific pleasures of this kind of adaptation to account for this phenomenon? This research aims to offer a broad understanding of why the reboot is so prominent and how it operates in the postmodern climate via a multidisciplinary approach, making use adaptation studies, cultural economy and cultural history to shed light on key, intersecting facets of the reboot phenomenon. For its case study, this research will use the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), a franchise based in Marvel comic books.

Supervisor: Dr. Michael Berman



Malcolm Matthews

Keywords: autism; savant; technology; disability studies

"I am investigating representations of masculinity in the portrayal of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Savantism in popular culture. With sample characters such as Spock, Abed Nadir, and Sheldon Cooper, I engage with Simon Baron-Cohen's assertion of “autism as the idea of the extreme male brain” and Stuart Murray’s contention that “autism as a form of the masculine has led to a metaphorization of the condition” in order to examine the autistic savant as embodied wish-fulfilment for the post-modern man in a technocentric era."

Supervisor: Dr. Martin Danahay


Terrance H. McDonald

Dissertation: "Mediated Masculinities: The Expression and Alteration of Masculinity in Hollywood Cinema, 1990-2010"

Keywords: cinema studies; masculinities studies; posthumanism; film form; Hollywood cinema

"How does an increasingly visual culture impact and mediate our understanding and perception of masculinity? Specifically, my project examines the implications that the amplified film style of turn of the new millennium American cinema (Bordwell 2006 & Buckland 2009) has on our understanding of masculinities. Therefore, my analysis of masculine crisis films, narratives centred on defeated and disempowered male protagonists (Gates 2006), will identify patterns and commonalities in the specific details of scene, shot, and stylistic elements in film form that express masculinity (Bruzzi 2013)."

Supervisor: Dr. Barry Keith Grant



Kevin McGuiness

"My main area of study includes literary and filmic representations of psychopathic and sociopathic personalities, with a particular emphasis on American horror films dating from the 1980s."

Supervisor: Dr. Cristina Santos


Julie Morris

Dissertation: "The Traumatized National Body: (Re)Reading Charles I and the English Nation through Civil War Literature"

"I am particularly interested in social theory, and much of my work investigates theoretical constructs of trauma, performance, the body, and identity. As a researcher in both humanities and education, my scholarly interests take me across a variety of disciplines."

Supervisor: Dr. Elizabeth Sauer



Jill Planche

Dissertation: "The Larger Stage: Performance space and place within the social, economic and cultural realms in South Africa: performance, praxis and potential."

Keywords: South Africa; theatre praxis; space and place; landscape; performance studies; apartheid; cultural hegemony; socio-political environment; globalization

"My proposed project will interrogate the space of performance within South Africa’s complex cultural, economic and social realities. I will explore contemporary theatre praxis in South Africa, and investigate whose voices are being heard"

Supervisor: Dr. David Fancy



Julia Polyck-O'Neill

Keywordsconceptualisms; avant-garde literatures and arts; neo-avant-gardes; archives; Canadian literatures and arts; transnational movements in arts and literatures; institutional critique; critical posthumanism; decolonial movements; geohumanities; interdisciplinarity in avant-gardes; Marshall McLuhan; Vancouver; modernisms

"By focusing on his writings and visual art, I examine and interrogate how Coupland’s representations of Vancouver’s sociocultural landscape distill and intersect with contemporary art world narratives in the city and beyond, with an emphasis on how his work converges with the Vancouver avant-garde and current issues and movements of decolonization."

Supervisor: Dr. Gregory Betts



Terry Trzecak

Dissertation: "The Process of Photography as a Somaesthetic Strategy"

"Employing Richard Shusterman’s somaesthetics as a conceptual framework, my inquiry positions the process of photography as an aesthetic, somatic strategy with implications for veterans returning from deployment as part of a journey towards wellness."


Paul Williams

Dissertation: "Intersecting Differences in the European Union: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Citizenship, Identity and Group Representation"

"I am proposing to put forth the argument that European integration should be understood in the context a politics of difference because although the European Union (EU) has attempted to foster convergence of its member states, it has developed through a process of both cosmopolitanism and communitarianism."

Supervisor: Dr. Ingrid Makus



Grant Yocom

Dissertation: "Engaging Post-Industrial Urban Regeneration: Organically emergent forms of civic engagement in Windsor/Detroit"

"My research focuses on communitarian approaches to ethics.  More specifically, at Brock I am investigating the critical and proposive potential emergent culturally from needs based non-profit community organizations and artist collectives working in the context of the post industrial cities:  Windsor and Detroit.

Supervisor: Dr. Leah Bradshaw