Graduate Students

PhD Student

Raquel Baldwinson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia with a specialization in Science and Technology Studies. Baldwinson's dissertation, "Global Health Doubt and the Rhetoric of Interdisciplinarity," focuses on the problem of doubt in global health— that is, on how publics began to lose faith in global health's key institutional actors, discourses, and actions. Her work focuses especially on doubt in relation to the complex discourses of interdisciplinarity. Baldwinson's scholarship combines historical analytics with rhetorical inquiry.

Loren specializes in science and technology studies and the rhetoric of health and medicine. Her dissertation focuses on the rhetorics of health awareness and the ways in which health awareness seeps into everyday life to affect ways of being. By combining STS andrhetorical-critical methodologies, she extends her analysis of health awareness beyond campaigns to such artifacts as wearable technologies and life-insurance ads.

Adrian is a PhD candidate in English, specializing in rhetoric and cognitive linguistics. His dissertation attempts to synthesize rhetoric with cognitive linguistics in order to produce a functional theory of cognitive rhetoric, which views persuasion through the lens of cognition. Specifically, his research examines the ways in which emergent communicative phenomena online are yielding novel rhetorical strategies.

Kurian’s primary academic interests are Neo-Victorian studies and STS. He is interested in the distinctions between science and pseudoscience and his thesis will investigate the effects of the rehabilitation of Victorian technoscience in Steampunk fiction. He is also interested in the study of ignorance creation and how the depiction of pseudoscientific technofantasy in Steampunk can be theorized in relation to agnotology.

Sara is a PhD student in English and Science and Technology Studies. Her work in postcolonial theory is grounded in a critique of Western knowledge construction and the socio-medical classifications that hierarchize bodies. Her research explores how intersecting modes of oppression limit people in their physical and rhetorical abilities, as well as how the standardization of medical bodies has been used to reinforce a Eurocentric ideal of health, for both the individual and the nation.

Nathan's  research traces a transatlantic genealogy of poet-farmers from the Romantics (Burns, Clare, Elliott) through often anonymous ex-slaves and sharecroppers to contemporary Americans (Levis, Berry, Soto). He uses their work to examine how agricultural history influences aesthetic values and vice versa, and to analyse contemporary agricultural-aesthetic developments (food waste, extinction, produce standards, food safety legislation, anti-GMOs, organic foods, localism, and sustainability).

Kinley studies the politics of the environmental sciences and the political theory of STS. His dissertation is on the democratization of expert authority, particularly in the context of biodiversity conservation.

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Bianca Crewe is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy. Her interests cluster around epistemology construed as a theory of the conditions under which objective knowledge is possible, specifically in the neo-Kantian tradition in the history and philosophy of science. She works on questions surrounding the conceptual frameworks that structure how we know, as manifested across disciplines, including the history of analytic philosophy, feminist epistemologies of science, and continental and post-structuralist theory.

Aisha is a current PhD student in the School of Kinesiology. She is deeply interested in the history of culture, particularly in medicine and the body. Her current research considers how body classification systems were used throughout the 20th century to ‘make up’ people, to foster specific understandings of human evolution and variation, and quite often to establish discriminatory beliefs about race and gender.

Master Student


Sarah Kamal is an MA student in Science and Technology Studies at UBC.  A former development worker turned budding novelist, her interests span media reconstruction, gender, community resilience, and forced migration.  Of particular interest: how rapid shifts in media technologies and cultures influence social and political cohesion, whether as related to her past research on women's independent radio in Afghanistan or her current focus on digital media policy in Canada.


Leo Chia Li Chu is a second year MA student of the STS program. His interests include the history of ecology after World War Two and its relation to environmental politics in North America. Such connection will be investigated in his thesis through an analysis on the role played by natural as well as social scientists, government, and the public during an urban planning project in the 1970s Vancouver.

Ata Heshmati is an MA student in the graduate program of Science and Technology Studies at UBC. His research interests include historical approaches to the study of science, religion, and the state particularly in the 1980s Middle East. Through a historical analysis of the early stages of Iran's cultural revolution, Ata is examining a range of policies and practices that combine pursuit of an Islamic government with high-level justification for and pursuit of scientific and technological modernization. He is also interested in the relationship between nuclear technology and state in the modern Middle East, and its engagements with Islam, popular culture, and literature.

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Shannon is an MA student in the English Department. She is primarily interested in how scientific discourse is tied to systemic oppression and how both science and oppression are dealt with in literature of the Victorian period.  Shannon also likes movies about superheroes or outer space, books about magic, and earl grey tea.


Thesis: Clarifying the mechanisms by which psychedelics achieve therapeutic efficacy
Supervisor: Alan Richardson
Andrew is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Toronto.

Stefano works full-time in the Gift & Estate Planning team at UBC, Development and Alumni Engagement. He has a Law degree and has already completed a Master’s in International Studies in Italy. His area of interest is the human/nonhuman divide in (settler colonial) liberalism. He has too many “other” areas of interests to list them, but only one big passion: his wife and his little son.

Joey is an MA student in the English department. He completed his BA in English at the University of Victoria and works as a Junior Programmer and consultant for The Map of Early Modern London. His research interests include Indigenous and diasporic literatures written in “North America,” critical theory (affect theory, new materialism, and media theory), gender, race, and social justice, and the digital humanities. His current research project investigates the entanglement of Indigenous and diasporic life, land, and labour in relation to uranium mining and the atomic bomb.

Kejia Wang (王可嘉) is currently an MA student in the department of English, specializing in STS. She received her undergraduate degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests involve the rhetoric of health and medicine, with particular interests in East Asian rhetorics and engineering applications. She is currently planning to write a thesis on postpartum confinement in China. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, creative writing and playing video games.

Gen Cruz is currently pursuing an MA in history – she is interested in historical surrounding the Marine Coral Triangle and the coastal areas of BC. Prior to being on the STS program, Gen completed a Masters in Journalism with the UBC School of Journalism. She is also the current President of the Graduate Student Society.

Katie Powell is an MA student in the History Department where she also completed her undergraduate degree. Her research interests include the history of science and medicine in the nineteenth century, particularly the relationship between natural landscapes, build environments, and the early treatment of mental illness in Britain. She is also interested in public history, museology, and digital collections and works as a photographer in her spare time.


YU Jia (余 佳) joined the STS graduate program at UBC in September 2015. She received her undergraduate degree in Traffic Engineering from Tongji University (Shanghai), and her master degree in History of Science from Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing). Her earlier works focus on the teaching practice of the discipline of psychology in the early PRC period (1949-1966). She is broadly interested in exploring the historical significance of human sciences, especially in the sprouting, hybrid, and nationalistic understanding and activity of science, medicine, and disease in late imperial and modern Chinese society. She is learning German and Manchu at a beginner’s level. In her spare time, she likes gardening, cycling, and playing with sudoku puzzles.



Thesis title: “A Grammar of Animals: Dramatism, Experimental Animals, and the Narrative of Biomedical Progress”
Supervisor: Ian Hill