PhD Students

Alexandra.ketchum [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Alex Ketchum)
Department of History

Alex Ketchum is a doctoral student who focuses on the history of feminist restaurants and cafes in the United States and Canada from the late 1960s through the 1980s. She is particularly interested in how these restaurants asserted feminism within businesses that dealt with food and kitchens (which are often labeled as "traditional" places for women). Furthermore her work explores how these restaurants and cafes fostered community building and activism, while shaping and re-shaping woman space and women’s spaces. Her research integrates food, environmental, and gender history. She currently works under the supervision of Dr. Suzanne Morton. 

ayanna.dozier [at] mail.mcgill.ca (​Ayanna Dozier)
Department of Art History and Communication Studies

Ayanna Dozier is a Ph.D. student in the department of Art History and Communication Studies and the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at McGill University. Her areas of study include; Blackness, gender, feminism, sexuality, comics, performance, and cinema. While her current research examines artists’ corporeal disavowal of societal hegemonic markers of being, “signs,” in Black experimental performance art and cinema. She currently resides in Montréal, Québec.

paris.swanson [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Paris Swanson)
Department of History

Paris is a doctoral student in History at McGill University, under the supervision of Prof. Judith Szapor. They hold an MA in History from the University of Alberta (2014) and a BA Honours in History from the University of Victoria (2012). Their work focuses primarily on the image of Empress Elisabeth or “Sissi” and her impact on contemporary Austria, with an emphasis on problems of narration, her relationship to representations of the Habsburg past, and broader critiques of liberal politics. Key areas of inquiry are in material culture, museum and film studies, biography, body politics (especially anorexia nervosa), kitsch, and historical memory. Their previous graduate level work examined Habsburg foreign policy and the Franco-Austrian Alliance from 1756-1792. Paris’ other scholarly engagements include fin-de-siècle cultural history, early modern diplomatic history, First World War studies, and contemporary feminist and queer theory.     

sarah.gelbard [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Sarah Gelbard)
School of Urban Planning

Sarah Gelbard is interested in both how we shape our cities and how our cities shape us. She is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program at McGill University School of Urban Planning and is a graduate of the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University. Her research focuses on informal place-making practices, traditions, and tactics with specific attention on how marginalized and alternative groups operate around, rather than in direct collaboration with, the official and authoritative professional structures of urban planning and architecture. Sarah’s historical-theoretical approach to readings of socio-cultural appropriations and occupations of space draws from feminist and critical-radical theory. 

vanessa.blais-tremblay [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Vanessa Blais-Tremblay)
Department of Music

Vanessa Blais-Tremblay is a professional violinist and a doctoral candidate focusing on the history of women in the so-called “golden age” of Montreal jazz (1925-1955). She is particularly interested in the centrality of black women performers (exotic dancers in particular) in Montreal’s jazz scene, and in the ways in which discourses of vice (i.e. aimed at policing women’s bodies, sexuality, and marriageability) were linked to articulations of Montreal jazz. Her research combines feminist modes of historical analysis (intersectionality and black feminist standpoint theorists in particular), archival research, and critical analysis of selected scores and recordings. She currently works under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Barg.