Michelle Murphy is the Director of the Technoscience Research Unit. Michelle is a feminist technoscience studies scholar and historian of the recent past. She is the author of The Economization of Life (Duke UP 2017), Seizing the Means of Reproduction: Feminism, Health and Technoscience (Duke UP, 2012) and Sick Building Syndrome: Environmental Politics, Technoscience, and Women Workers (Duke UP 2006), and The Economization of Life (Duke UP, 2017). She is the two-time winner of the Fleck Prize from the Society for the Social Studies of Science. Her current project is called Alter Life in the Ongoing Aftermath of Industrial Chemicals. It explores the infrastructures and decolonial futures of life already altered by industrially produced chemicals, especially endocrine disrupting chemicals. She is currently involved in collaborations with Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, the Endocrine Disruptors Action Group, Engineered Worlds, and the Politics of Evidence Working Group. From 1996 – 2007, she was editor of the RaceSci Website. Michelle Murphy is Red River Métis from Winnipeg. She has a PhD in History of Science from Harvard University and is Professor of History and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto.
Kristen Bos is the Lab Manager of the Technoscience Research Unit. She is a Métis archaeologist-cum-anthropologist, activist, and researcher of Indigenous material culture. She is a graduate of the University of Oxford and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) Doctoral Scholarship and the President’s Award for Outstanding Native Student of the Year. Her research brings Indigenous materiality to bear on questions of colonial, gendered, and environmental violence. She dreams in vivid colours and her goals include advancing Indigenous and non-Western stories, epistemologies, and ontologies.
Nicole Charles is an Assistant Professor in the Women & Gender Studies at University of Toronto Mississauga. She holds an MA in Women’s Studies and Feminist Research from the University of Western Ontario, and obtained an undergraduate degree with Distinction from McGill University in International Development Studies and Social Studies of Medicine. Her interdisciplinary areas of interest include sexuality, claims to citizenship, and the racialization of health, science, and new biotechnologies. Nicole has been awarded the 2013 National Graduate Essay Prize from the Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes, a 2013-2014 Ontario Graduate Scholarship, and, held a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship in support of her research which investigates issues of postcolonial biopolitics and sexuality in the British Caribbean through a transnational feminist lens.
Alessandro Delfanti is a media and science studies scholar working on the political economy of digital technologies. He is the author of Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science (Pluto Press 2013). His current research focuses on cultures and practices of resistance within the digital economy. Alessandro is Assistant Professor of Culture and New Media at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (ICCIT) at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and has a graduate appointment at the Faculty of Information.
Justin Douglas is a PhD candidate in the History Department at the University of Toronto. His research aims to contribute to the existing debates on the history of finance and debt by undertaking a historical analysis of the emergence of the credit card and to try to provide an account of the role that this new technology played in the ‘credit revolution’ in the United States – situating this ‘revolution’ roughly around 1970. Contributing to the history of technology and the growing interdisciplinary scholarship on financial practices, this research treats the credit card as a material device existing within a larger developing financial infrastructure that offers an important entry point into the contemporary history of debt and capitalism. Justin has been awarded a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship.
Nehal El-Hadi is a writer, researcher, and Visiting Scholar at the City Institute at York University in Toronto. Her work explores the intersections between technology, the body, and the city. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Planning at the University of Toronto, where she is researching how women of colour engage online social media in pursuit of social justice.
Bretton Fosbrook is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Gender and the Economy of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. His post-doctoral research builds on his doctoral research that examined how corporate strategies, like scenario planning, formed in response to social and political changes and uncertainties, like the increasing awareness of systemic racial and gender discrimination and catastrophic climate change. Bretton is a member of the Techniques of the Corporation Project.
Vanessa Gray is the lead on TRU’s Environmental Justice research. She is an Anishnaabe kwe from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, located in Canada’s Chemical Valley. As a grassroots organizer, land defender, and educator, Vanessa works to decolonize environmental justice research by linking scholarly findings to traditional teachings. She continues to take part in a diversity of tactics such as direct action, classroom lectures, co-hosting Toxic Tours, and Water Gatherings.
Patrick Keilty is a feminist and queer media and technology scholar. He is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. His primary research interest is the politics of digital infrastructures in the online pornography industry. His work spans issues in visual culture, sexual politics, information studies, critical algorithm studies, political economy, database logic, critical theory, and theories of gender, sexuality, and race. He is the author of more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles, editor of three journal special issues, an edited book, and has delivered more than 40 refereed conference papers and 35 invited lectures. He holds a PhD in Information Studies with a concentration in Women’s Studies (now Gender Studies) from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Sophia Jaworski is a PhD student in the faculty of Anthropology and the Women and Gender Studies collaborative program at the University of Toronto. Her research interests problematize ‘medically unexplained chronic illness’ through investigating the politics and lived experiences of toxins and chemicals in everyday life. Her dissertation examines how symptoms are treated as environment-linked using ethnographic fieldwork and visual methods in a biomedical context. It focuses on the theoretical intersections between inhumanisms and figures of the ‘environment,’ and the tensions in power between biomedicine, mental health and the pharmaceutical dynamics of medicalization. She asks: “how can the integration of feminist understandings of knowledges and affects contribute to an interrogation of the current politics of life and capitalism in Canada?”
Alex Jung is a researcher and incoming graduate student in political science at the University of Toronto. Focusing on current and future scenarios on the Korean peninsula, Alex works on articulating how information is to be mobilised for the public good in environments of historically controlled access to information in source, form, and content. Prior to joining the lab, Alex studied the philosophy of belief and media representation of androgyny at the University of Chicago—and is invested in thoroughly examining the accompanying ethos and teleology that permeate the project.
Erica Violet Lee is a graduate student in the Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She is the nēhiyaw philosopher queen, an Indigenous feminist, and community organizer from inner-city Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. You can find her writing here.
Kira Lussier is a PhD Candidate at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. Her research interests lie at the intersection of histories of psychology, capitalism, and the self. Her dissertation traces the history of personality testing in corporate America in the second half of the twentieth century. She asks how and why psychological techniques, like the widely-known Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory, became so popular among human resources departments, management consultants, business schools, and marketing researchers alike. After completing an Honours BA in History from McGill University, Kira completed an MA in History of Science at the IHPST. At the University of Toronto, she is president of the IHPST’s graduate student union, HAPSAT. She currently serves as production editor of the open-access journal, Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, and as a member of the University of Toronto Scientific Instruments Collection.
Natasha Myers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University, the convenor of the Politics of Evidence Working Group, director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory, and a member of Sensorium. She is co-organizer of Toronto’s Technoscience Salon, and co-organizer of the Write2Know Project with Max Liboiron. She is the author of Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter (Duke University Press, August 2015). Her current research experiments with ways to document the affective ecologies that take shape between plants and people, and among plants and their remarkably multi-species relations.Matt Price works in the areas of digital politics, digital humanities, science and technology studies. He has a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science from Stanford University and is an Instructor in the History Department, New College, and at the Faculty of Information. He leads the coding and technical side of the TRU’s contributions to the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative.
Reena Shadaan is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. Her work looks at the gendered dimensions of environmental justice and environmental health, including activism, and reproductive justice considerations. Much of Shadaan’s work to date examines the largely women-led and comprised justice movements in the aftermath of the Bhopal Gas Disaster (Bhopal, India – 1984). Currently, Shadaan is working with the Toronto-based Nail Technicians’ Network and the Healthy Nail Salon Network in response to nail technicians’ occupational/environmental health concerns (reproductive, respiratory, dermatological, and musculoskeletal), as well as the precarious labour conditions in the industry.
Ladan Siad is a Creative Technologist working at the intersections of art, design and technology to tell narratives about the world that is possible when radical visionary change flourishes. Ladan is a natural born collaborator and has used their skills to teach and help in many community-based projects. Drawing from the imagery of 70s Somali Funk Album Covers, little known black subversive DC history and the sounds of 90s R&B, Siad, who is a self-taught and community supported multidisciplinary creative quilting together global black genres into a visual and audio tapestry of home everywhere. Ladan will be starting at OCAD in the Digital Futures Program (MDes) in September 2018. Ladan holds a BA in Criminology and Psychology from York University.
Sajdeep Soomal is a researcher, archivist and emerging curator based in Toronto, ON. Current projects explore Punjabi agriculture, defences against drones, queer prison abolition, and family photography. Soomal currently works as the Collections and Outreach Assistant at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA), the Communications Coordinator at the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), and a research assistant at the University of Toronto.Shiho Satsuka is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the Unviersity of Toronto. Her research concerns the politics of knowledge, discourses of nature and science, and cultural practices of capitalism. She is interested in how divergent understandings of nature are produced, circulated, contested and transformed in translocal interactions shaped by the global expansion of capitalism. Her first book, Nature in Translation: Freedom, Subjectivity and Japanese Tourism Encounters in Canada (Duke UP 2015), analyzes the way Japanese tour guides translate ecological knowledge in national parks in the Canadian Rockies. The book examines how the guides’ translation of nature is related to the construction of their subjectivity, both as transnational flexible workers and as embodiments of Japanese cosmopolitan desire. She is currently working on her second book project examining the social role of scientists in the emerging global scientific and commercial networks associated with matsutake, a highly valued wild mushroom. In particular, she focuses on satoyama movements that aim to revitalize the traditional agrarian forests that produce matsutake, the politics of translation between expert science and other forms of knowledge, and the emerging discourses of “new commons” that envision alternative social and human-nonhuman relations. This research is also part of a collaborative, multi-sited ethnographic project, “Matsutake Worlds”. She was a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Germany in 2012.
Martina Schlünder is a EU Marie Postdoctoral Fellow. She received her doctorate in the History of Medicine from the Charité, Universitätsmedizin-Berlin having earlier become an MD practising psychiatry and neurology. She has been a research fellow at Justus Liebig University at Gießen funded by the German Research Council and at Ludwik Fleck Center/Collegium Helveticum ETH Zurich. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and as a visiting fellow at the Department for Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University in Montréal.
Sarah Sharma is Director of the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology and Associate Professor of Media Theory at the University of Toronto cross-anointed at the ICCIT (UTM) and the Faculty of Information (St.George). Her research focuses on feminist approaches to technology with a particular focus on temporality and labour. Her first monograph In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics (Duke University Press, 2014) was named the National Communication Association’s Critical Cultural Division Book of the Year. In the Meantime is an intervention in the popular sentiment that the world is ‘speeding up’. Working against this myopic focus on speedup, the book introduces a new approach to time called ‘power-chronography,’ locating the ways in which temporality operates as a key relation of power structured at the intersection of a range of social differences. Professor Sharma is currently working on a new book length project that explores the gendered politics of exit and refusal, or what she terms the ‘(s)Exit’ within contemporary techno-culture.
Nicholas Shapiro is a fellow at the Technoscience Research Unit and at Public Lab. His research leverages interdisciplinary collaborations to interrogate the limits and possibilities of environmental change. His work ranges from collaboratively developing air quality monitoring and mitigation technologies for impacted communities (more [/]here) to working on a utopic art project known as the aerocene. He will join the faculty of UCLA’s Institute of Society and Genetics in July 2019.Emily Astra-Jean Simmonds is a PhD candidate in the department of Science and Technology Studies at York University. Her activist research practice is primarily energized by questions about, consent, exposure and colonial infrastructures, toxic sovereignties and the biopolitics of settler colonialism in the neoliberal present. Currently, her work focuses on how uranium economies and ecologies amplify and produce colonial geographies, and the various ways in which asymmetrical exposures to toxins and radiological hazards are rendered permissible. As a Métis feminist scholar she is committed to actions that support just and mutually considered livable futures. She is also a member of the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR) based in St. John’s NFLD, and the Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory in Toronto, ON.
Shaquilla Singh is an undergrad at the University of Toronto double majoring in Computer Science and the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. She is on Civic Tech Toronto’s steering committee and last summer worked for Code for Canada. She previously served as Design Editor and Managing Online Editor at UofT’s campus newspaper The Varsity.Dawn Walker is a PhD student at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on citizen participation in technology design practices, in particular for environmental advocacy. Sitting at the intersection of the technology design, information practices, and civic engagement, her research bridges socio-technocal design approaches with critical social science inquiry.
Alumni and Graduates