Speaking Engagements and Outreach
As an academic, I attend several workshops and conferences each year through which I engage with fellow researchers across all levels. I often like to experiment with forms beyond the traditional academic presentation, by incorporating, among other things, storytelling, and interactive presentations with audience involvement. As an interdisciplinary scholars, I value building community with academics and non-academics of all fields and I am always in the look out for collaborators. Generally, I am interested in getting academic research to reach non-traditional audiences, and for academia to become open to collaborating with non-academic partners as equals and making room for folk methodologies and pedagogies.
As a student representative for the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), I organize the Postgraduate Workshop prior to each year's annual meeting since 2018, and will do so until at least 2020.
In addition to my academic presentations, I sometimes get invited to speak about issues at the nexus of science, technology and society to broader audiences. Most notably, I was invited to speak at the 2017 March for Science in Toronto, and to an Engineering Change Lab Workshop at York University in 2017. I also appeared on Prof. Hannah McGregor's podcast Secret Feminist Agenda talking about science, colonialism and feminism. For a full list of my past speaking engagements, go here.
STS in "Africa" in Formation
In 2018, my friend and colleague Angela Okune, PhD Candidate in Anthropology at University of California, Irvine, and I collaborated on curating both an online digital and gallery exhibition focused on the development of the study of science, technology and society (STS) in the African continent from various traditions. We contended with the difficulty of situating STS as a discipline when other epistemologies, pedagogies and methodologies may have been used, as well as the definition of Africa, loaded with many colonial repercussions, itself as a conceptual and geographic framework from which we based our discussions. Nonetheless, with such nuance and complexity in mind, we showcased the history and contemporary context of a variety of scientific, social and cultural practices based in Africa that form a unique contribution to global knowledge.
The online collection can be viewed here. The STS in "Africa" in Formation exhibit is part of the larger STS Across Borders exhibition, facilitated through the Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography (PECE) and the InfraStrucTureS project.
Chasing Fires, the PhD Dissertation Project
Since 2018, I have been developing my PhD dissertation project, tentatively titled Chasing Fires: Tensions and Materialities in Fire Ecology Research and Praxis. Based on a combination of digital and participant ethnography, narrative methods, historical and cultural analysis, I am exploring what the way fire traverses through disparate landscapes can reveal about the nature of gender, race, coloniality and capitalism about the nature of place and space and how discourse and materialities of landscapes influence the creation and translation of wildfire science across diverse publics. The expected completion date of this project is summer 2020.
Informed by my ethnographic work on fire ecology, I have been thinking through the mediums of fire and smoke. Since smoke is one of the most direct ways climate change is manifest in people's lives and bodies as a result of vast wildfires, it is the topic with I feel there is great potential for exploring artistically. In a series of photographs undertaken as part of a remote residency in the year 2020, I used olfactory experiments to contend with the relationship between the human body and the atmospheres created in the presence of fire. I have investigated sensory methods to experience the nature of fire, mediated by flames themselves. In smoke, the flame gets fragmented and diffracted through the atmosphere, carrying with it particulate matter, and the olfactory properties of what is undergoing combustion. Accordingly, smoke becomes the olfactory messenger that creates a direct relationship between observers of a flame and their internal worlds and organs as it is carried through the nostril through the shared atmospheric space. I want to push this work further beyond the realm of the image, and create poetry based on sensory experiences. To do this, I want to learn more about fire, smoke and atmospheres from climate scientists.