Distant Intimacies

February 23rd


Arwa Hussain

Concordia University, Religions and Cultures

Staying Connected: The Dawoodi Bohra community during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Arwa Hussain is a second year PhD student at the Department of Religion and Cultures, Concordia University. Her research interests include Fatimid history, issues of gender and agency, community – based women’s religious movements, ethnography and digital ethnography, social media and its utilization by women, and the veil/hijab as forms of resistance by women. Arwa holds an M.Phil. and an M.A degree in History from the University of Karachi, Pakistan.

Alex Grabiner

McGill University, Religion

Points of Contact: A Project in Comparative Theology

Alex Grabiner is currently a doctoral student at the School of Religious Studies of McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. His research is focused on Modern Taiwanese Buddhism, in particular the way certain religious organizations blur the lines between the so-called secular and religious spheres of life. After graduating from New York University with a degree in Non-duality, Alex spent several years travelling around Asia, before settling in Hawaii to work with the Tzu Chi Foundation, a large Buddhist NGO that engages in charitable activities around the globe. After nearly a decade with Tzu Chi, Alex returned to the world of academia, enrolling in Yale Divinity School, graduating with an M.A in Religion in 2020.


Lucie Robathan

McGill University, Religion

Lucie Robathan is a PhD student in Religious Studies at McGill University, and she holds Master’s degrees in Religious Studies from McGill University and in Philosophy and Theology from Edinburgh University. As an interdisciplinary scholar, her work is rooted in feminist theory and praxis, and she was on the founding and organising committee for the First Annual Feminist Research Colloquium at McGill. Her research is engaged with ethics, and looks at the significance of hermeneutics for socio-political justice. Put more simply, she is concerned with how recognition, understanding, and credibility entwine, and what this means for how we understand and assess injustice in our institutions. She has presented her research at conferences across Canada and the United States, and most recently has been invited to present at the CSSR Congress as the winner of the CSSR Graduate Essay Contest (PhD).


Jad Orphée Chami

École universitaire de recherche ArTeC, Paris

INTER-SILENCE: Sharing silence through sonic presence in times of global pandemic

Jad Orphée Chami is a Canadian-Lebanese composer and multidisciplinary artist born in Beirut and based in Paris and that has notably worked on the original soundtrack of Antigone by Sophie Deraspe, chosen as Canada’s official selection for the 92nd Oscars. He has been nominated for the Prix Iris of the Gala Québec Cinéma of the best original score for his work on the film.

A BFA in Music graduate from Concordia University, he is developing a research-creation project which he is presently working on within a Master’s program at the École universitaire de recherche ArTeC in Paris on oral history, testimony-based and auto-ethnographic performances. He is currently working on the oral histories of the families of the disappeared in Lebanon. He is affiliated to the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling of Concordia University.