Presenter Bios

PANEL 1A: Relationships, Ethics, & Futures

Michael Leblanc is a graduate student in the theological studies department at Concordia. I am currently researching in my thesis how the Christian Church can take a massive role in combatting carbon emissions and become a leader in the ecological movement. I personally have been vegetarian for three years as a means of boycotting factory farming of animals and lowering my own carbon footprint.

Hanbyul Park is a Ph. D. student who studies Christian theology and ethics of immigration and hospitality in relations to social theories of justice and moral theories of agency. 

Haven Herrin is a queer, trans, white Southerner in the United States whose soul requires dance, visual arts, and connection to the earth. Until recently, they worked for 15 years at Soulforce, organizing against and conjuring healing for LGBTQIA2S people from the Religious Right that is funded and fomented from within the United States. They are now focusing on developing skills in spiritual leadership, connecting to their witchcraft practices, and parsing the relationship between economic systems and religion in order to support movements for disinvesting from empire in our hearts, bodies, and lands. 


PANEL 1B: Literature and Music

Beritz Goetz is a songwriter, musician, and musicologist pursuing a masters in music and religion at Yale Divinity School and Yale’s interdisciplinary Institute of Sacred Music. Her scholarship considers ideology in music; the resources of “secular” artworks for spiritual formation; and the relationship between text and sound.

Jenna Van Donselaar is a student at Yale Divinity School at Yale University where she is pursuing her Masters of Art in Religion with a concentration in Religion and Ecology. She is passionate about social justice, particularly as it relates to the environment, food justice, and theology. 

Steven Tutino is currently a graduate student at Concordia University in the process of completing an M.A. in Theological Studies. He obtained a double major from Concordia as well in Honours English Literature and Theological Studies. His poetry has appeared in The Paragon Journal, Halcyon Days and Perspectives Magazine. His artwork has appeared in The Paragon Journal, The Minetta Review, TreeHouse Arts and Montreal Writes. Steven currently resides in Montreal, Quebec. 


PANEL 1CD: Uses of Land

Heather Elliot has been working to foster right relationships to land for close to two decades, using food and plant medicine as her lens.  She has coordinated a network of collective gardens and worked on peri-urban farms since 2008. Heather has also trained and is working as a community clinical herbalist.

Casarina Hocevar completed the Master of Museum Studies program at the University of Toronto, where she co-curated a project on Toronto’s Jewish community in Kensington Market. She is now pursuing an MA in History at McGill. Her research interests include food history, diaspora studies, and the intersections between private/public heritage; with a focus on food production and gardens amongst Italian settlers in Montreal.

Patrick Brodie & Patrick Smith are both PhD Candidates in the Film and Moving Image Studies program at Concordia University. Their research work addresses the ways in which space, capital, and media interface in the contemporary neoliberal world.


PANEL 2A: Neo/colonialisms

Kanatase Horn is a PhD student at Carleton University in the Department of Law and Legal Studies. His research interests include settler colonialism, settler and Indigenous property relations, urban Indigeneity, Indigenous legal traditions, and decolonization. His family is from Kahnawake and Kanesatake, but has lived most of his life in different parts of Haudenosaunee territory. Kanatase lives in the Ottawa area with his partner, and their son.

Prakash Krishnan is an artist-researcher, writer, and community worker completing a Master of Arts in Media Studies at Concordia University in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal). Their current research involves using collective, anti-authorial, and community-first curatorial practices to engage in archival research that explores how culture is produced within multiply-marginalized communities.

Sophia Gamber holds a B.A. in Religious Studies and Sociology from Ursinus College and is now a Master of Divinity candidate at Yale Divinity School. She grew up in New Jersey in the Quaker tradition and is now a member of the United Methodist Church. Her research interests center around race, religion, trauma, ecology, and post-colonial theologies.


PANEL 2B: Storytelling & Documentary

Devan Morrell is a Montrealer who is currently working towards her Masters in Religions and Cultures at Concordia University. Her research revolves around the secularization, globalization and contemporary interpretations of Greco-Roman themes in street art in Montreal. Her interests include the promotion of repatriation, as well as inclusivity and activism in the museum setting that challenge the traditional Western canon.

Colby Gaudet is currently enrolled in a PhD in Religions and Cultures at Concordia University. A multidisciplinary researcher, their doctoral project investigates colonial encounters between Christian missionaries and Indigenous nations of northeastern Turtle Island, or North America. Colby lives as a guest on unceded Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.

PANEL 2CD: Dwelling Toward the Ecozoic

Matthew Burke is a Postdoctoral Associate with the Leadership for the Ecozoic project at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont. Matthew completed a Ph.D. in Renewable Resources — Environment at McGill University, focusing on renewable energy transition.

Joshua Sterlin is presently a PhD student in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University. His previous academic background includes degrees in cultural and ecological anthropology. He works primarily in the boundary waters of philosophy, anthropology, and ecology seeking to understand the relationship of people to their environment in all their multivalent facets.

Katie Horner is pursuing a PhD in Plant and Soil Science, with a focus on Agroecology. Her research explores different dimensions and scales of agroecological transformation. Important sub-themes of this research include: participatory action research, soil health in grazing systems, and pedagogical innovations within agroecology education. A commitment to addressing ecological degradation and social injustice within agri-food systems undergirds Katie’s research. Katie holds a BA in Environmental Studies with a focus in Policy from Middlebury College and an MS in Food Systems from UVM. Katie is also pursuing certificates of graduate study in Ecological Economics and Agroecology.

Shaun Sellers has an MSc in Ecological Economics from the University of Leeds, and a BA (Hons) in Management from Antioch University. Her research interests are in the foundational philosophies of institutions, the policy applications of social ecological perspectives, and the history of economic thought. She has worked in sustainability consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations in Ontario, and has started her own businesses: a fair trade & organic chocolate company in Maple Leaf, Ontario, and before that, a second-hand bookstore cafe in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. In both consulting and entrepreneurship, her focus on supply chains and fair trade led to an interest in systems of provision and trade governance. Her master’s thesis explored power structures, institutions, and philosophy relevant to envisioning trade policy through an ecological lens, and her current research is in social ecological trade theory. She likes books, her dog, and being in the woods.


PANEL 3A: Movements & Praxes 

Breanne Bandur is a Montréal-based artist currently pursuing my MFA at the University of Saskatchewan. My core intent is to map physical existence in drawing practice. This is focused upon recording this subjective reality in relation to others and in relation to the world in which I have this experience.

Rumana Firdousi is currently completing an M.A. in social and cultural analysis in the department of sociology and anthropology from Concordia University. I have focused my M.A, essay on migration and mobility with a special focus on second generation South Asian migrant youth.


PANEL 3B: Representing Landscapes

Cecilia McKinnon is an intermedia artist from California and New Mexico, currently based in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal. Her research is concerned with entropy, ecology, and landscape representation. She is pursuing an MFA in Fibres and Material Practices at Concordia University, and holds a BFA from the University of New Mexico.

Sean Remz: My History MA research concerns the lived worlds of Hungarian Holocaust survivors through memoirs and several oral sources, with a focus on the (in)stability of interethnic relations in irredentist Hungary’s borderlands. The sequel to this, as a GRP or thesis for Judaic Studies, addresses the survivors’ reception in Canada.


PANEL 3CD: Nations and Nationalisms

Neil Matthews: My doctoral subject is the religious aspect of Third Reich National Socialism. The thesis is that National Socialism was a secular political religion, specifically a modern genocidal idolatry fueled by a groundless antisemitism. My interests include Jewish Studies, Western philosophy, and the critical exposure of contemporary epistemological skepticisms.

Collin Sibley (MA, Religion, UCSB) is a PhD student in Religious Studies at the University of California – Santa Barbara. His work focuses on caste, race, and religion in late-colonial and postcolonial Tamil South India.


PANEL 4A: Politics of Landedness

Alexander McCrae: I am currently a master’s student in the department of Religion and Cultures [at Concordia University], my masters work focuses on the Druze tradition but I am also interested in Islamic studies and the politics of the Middle East. 

Eimear Rosato is a second year History PhD student from Concordia University with affiliation to the School of Irish Studies. Eimear’s research focuses on Irish history, intergenerational memory and oral history within the context of Northern Ireland. 

Tara Atluri has a PhD in Sociology from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has written two books, Āzādī: Sexual Politics and Postcolonial Worlds (Toronto: Demeter Press, 2016) and Uncommitted Crimes: The Defiance of the Artistic Imagi/nation (Toronto: Inanna Publications, 2018). Dr. Atluri is currently writing a third book, Public Feminism in South Asia, that will be published by Cambridge Scholar’s Press in 2020.

PANEL 4B: Memory, Affect, & Place 

Paule Gilbert is currently a MFA candidate at Concordia University. Her research seeks to examine the concept of corporeality along with the material agency of non-human beings and objects in regards to space and time. Taking shape through performance, drawing, fibres and video, her strategies foreground process, structure and materiality.

Reggie Nyamekye is a storyteller, advocate, researcher, poet, photographer, a dreamer and a lover of humanitarian causes. This passionate Ghanaian is also a creative enthusiast, an avid volunteer, known for her humility and thoughtfulness. Reggie’s research explores Ghanaian female agency, historically and contemporary by focusing on women’s movements since Yaa Asantewaa.

Alexandra Sokolow is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her academic interests include examining the relationships between religious acts of mediation, intergenerational memory, and systems of power in contemporary American society. In 2018, she received her M.A. in Religious Studies from NYU.


PANEL 5A: Institutions, Ideas, and Imaginings

Christopher Reid (Nisga’a) is a PhD student in Educational Studies in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University.

John Adams is stubbornly transdisciplinary—beyond integrating many academic disciplines, he is informed by his practice as a therapeutic bodyworker, contact improv dancer, monk, and intersubjectivity facilitator. He got his undergrad from Texas A&M University in ecological restoration, focusing on agroecology.

Shalea Nichols acquired a B.A in Psychology from the University of Calgary and is currently in the Masters in Gender and Social Justice program at the University of Alberta. Her research is centered on sexual violence law and policy in Alberta and the North West Territories.

PANEL 5B: Law, Property, and Policy 

Joanne Murray is a 5th year DCL (Doctorate of Civil Law) Candidate and Vanier Scholar at McGill University under the supervision of Prof. Evan Fox-Decent. Her doctoral research compares the facilitative and constitutive nature of the supervisory jurisdiction over administrative action and trusts administration. 

Angela Tozer: I began my doctoral studies in 2013. My dissertation “Universal nation: The colonial public debt over Mi’kma’ki, 1820-1873” looks at the history of the “Canadian” public debt. This research project has received generous support from SSHRC, the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, and the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill. 

Hannah Darrin: At Yale, Hannah is studying equitable land conservation. She recently worked at the tribal-led Ute Land Trust. Before pursuing her MEM, Hannah spent five years teaching environmental leadership at the National Outdoor Leadership School and three years working on marine conservation in Mozambique. She holds a B.S. in Fisheries Science.