2014 Fellows

Hadi Karsoho is a PhD candidate in sociology and social studies of medicine at McGill University. His doctoral thesis is centered on Carter v. Canada, the ongoing landmark court case that is shaping up to be the most significant legal challenge to Canada’s Criminal Code prohibitions on euthanasia and assisted suicide since Rodriguez v. British Columbia in 1993. By following the unfolding of the series of events and the diverse actors associated with the case, Hadi is able to investigate contemporary questions on death and dying that lie at the intersection of law, medicine, and ethics. One of the most important questions concerns the empirical claims that form the body of scientific evidence in the case. Hadi’s thesis will look at how these claims are constitutive of actors’ moral positions and how they have reshaped the debate over legalization more generally. Hadi considers himself an interdisciplinary scholar having received training in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and from multiple disciplines. Hadi holds a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications from the University of California, Berkeley. From 2011-2013, he was a doctoral fellow in Health Care, Technology, and Place, a CIHR strategic training initiative based at the University of Toronto.


Philippe Messier is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at McGill University and his research explores the technological relationships and mediation processes between workers of the parallel economies in the Information and Communication Technologies sector around the Special Economic Zones of Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, India). In his ethnography, Philippe conducts interviews, participant observation and video filming with computer engineers, stonecutters and small-scale entrepreneurs to understand the significance of skillsets and technological competence in the context of the creation of the new State of Telangana and of changing economic policies. His previous work investigated the relationships between media, technology and social change for ethnic minorities in North Vietnam. He has published on this research in Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power (Messier & Michaud 2012) and Anthropologie et Sociétés (Messier 2012). He holds a MA in Anthropology from Université Laval (2010) and a BSc in Anthropology from Université de Montréal (2007).  In 2013-2014 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Communication at the University of Hyderabad. Philippe’s doctoral research has been supported by the SSHRC-J-A Bombardier CGS doctoral scholarship (2011-2013).


Dylan Mulvin is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies. He studies controversies of measurement in science, technology, and medicine and has published on the histories of video and television. In his dissertation project, "Reference Materials: the People, Places, and Things of Making Measurements," Mulvin studies four reference practices: The metric system’s prototype kilogram, the “Lena” test image, simulated patients, and the cesium-based atomic second. This project poses the question of how we can possibly materialize processes of modeling and commensuration, what happens when we try, and what happens when those processes becoming fixtures in the infrastructures of contemporary life. Reference materials enable commensurability in large-scale, complex systems: the kilogram undergirds mass measurements in nearly every scientific operation on the planet, test images made a graphic internet feasible and aesthetically adequate, simulated patients condition doctors in affective performance, and the atomic second is the basis of world-wide communications systems, including the GPS and high-frequency trading. As the objects of Mulvin’s dissertation show, the Enlightenment logic of the metric system’s reference practices was extended in the twentieth century to encompass everything from aesthetics to affect. In these four practices, Mulvin follows how reference standards are chosen, maintained, and discarded—processes that at times take place through deliberate negotiation and philosophical idealism and at other times through haphazard flukes.

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