About

About

I’m a PhD student at McMaster University, where my work is primarily located in the many intersections of Cultural Studies, Media Studies, and Communication Studies. I’m also pursuing a PhD diploma in Gender Studies and Feminist Research. I’m broadly interested in how popular culture replicates and resists dominant ideologies, particularly those related to patriarchy, white supremacy, heteronormativity, neoliberalism, and capitalism. Because we encounter pop culture so frequently in our everyday lives, I believe that decoding the messages embedded within songs, films, and television shows provides fascinating insights into societal values, fears, and points of contention. Prior to my PhD work, I completed a BA in Cultural Studies at McGill University (2016) and an MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow (2018).

My PhD research interrogates the strategic use of camp aesthetics and performance in North American reality television, with a particular focus on the under-researched field of lesbian camp. I investigate how queer women read the over-the-top performances of straight women in serial, narrative reality television shows and how these readings might function as oppositional acts that partially resist the hegemony of heteronormativity. I am generally interested in the aesthetic, rhetorical, and political strategies of reality television, a genre whose ideological implications are frequently dismissed due to assumptions that it is frivolous and apolitical. Other interests include HIV/AIDS in literature and screen media; representations of female illness; celebrity and star image; ideologies of popular music; and discourses of neoliberalism in popular culture. I have written academically on contemporary queer novels, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Netflix’s Queer Eye, Taylor Swift as a public activist figure, fitness tracking apps, and much more. My work is usually situated within the fields of feminist, gender, and queer studies.

Currently I am working as a research assistant with Monitoring My Mobility, an AGE-WELL funded inter- and transdisciplinary, interdepartmental, multi-year research project at the McMaster Institute of Research on Aging. This project aims to provide older adults with wearable technology used to self-monitor their mobility and increase the ability to predict how health outcomes are correlated with changing mobility patterns. My role mostly involves researching and implementing best practices for inter- and transdisciplinary collaborative research and facilitating communication across departments which often have disparate methodological goals and considerations. I am also an RA in McMaster’s Pulse Lab working on projects which use technology to create social change through feminist and anti-oppression frameworks.

In addition to my RA work, I also work as a teaching assistant in the Department of Communication and Multimedia. Most of my TA experience involves leading tutorial sections and grading work produced in core, required undergraduate courses within the department.

In my free time, I’m an avid reader, rather unaccomplished amateur baker, spin class enthusiast, and devoted cat lover.

Abridged CV

Major Works:

  • “My Body, My Data?: Fitness Tracking, Self-Surveillance, and the Datafied Body as Commodity” (McMaster University, 2020)
  • “Omar Khadr, Discourses of Canadianness, and the Limits of Citizenship Rights” (McMaster University, 2020)
  • “‘Shade Never Made Anybody Less Gay’: Taylor Swift’s Performance of Allyship and the Neoliberalization of Activism” (McMaster University, 2019)
  • Meaning Without Saying: Metaphors of AIDS and Imperialism in The Line of Beauty (McMaster University, 2019)
  • Master’s dissertation: “Men in Dresses on VH1: How RuPaul’s Drag Race Mediates its Contradictions” (University of Glasgow, 2018)
  • “Straight Eye for the Queer Guy: America’s Next Top Model, Queer Eye, and the Gay Male Expert” (University of Glasgow, 2018)
  • “You Are What You Cook: Food as Self on the Food Network” (University of Glasgow, 2018)
  • “Medium Specificity in the Age of the Internet: The Distinction Between Web Series and Television” (University of Glasgow, 2017)

Major Presentations:

  • “Meaning Without Saying: Metaphors of AIDS and Imperialism in The Line of Beauty”, Canadian Congress for Social Sciences and Humanities: Canadian Communication Association, Western University, London, Ontario, June 2020 [Cancelled due to COVID-19]
  • “‘Shade Never Made Anybody Less Gay’: Taylor Swift’s Performance of Allyship and the Neoliberalization of Activism”, Canadian Graduate Caucus, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario [Accepted but did not attend due to medical emergency]

My full CV can also be downloaded in PDF form, here.