Launched in 2014, The Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought at Ryerson University is a laboratory for some of Canada’s most compelling media scholars , artists and activists. Mobilizing knowledge across the city, we organize an exciting yearly roster of symposia, yearly speakers’ series, workshops, and student/faculty research creation outputs. Join us!


Marusya Bociurkiw
Marusya BociurkiwCo-Director of the Studio for Media Activism and Critical Thought
Marusya Bociurkiw is an author, filmmaker and Associate Professor of Media Theory in RTA School of Media, where she teaches courses on the topics of social justice media, feminist media, and documentary production. She is the director of 10 films, and author of 6 books and over 50 scholarly, popular and arts-based articles. Her most recent film, “This Is Gay Propaganda: LGBT Rights & the War in Ukraine” has screened in twelve countries and has been translated into three languages. Her books have won and been shortlisted for several awards including CBC Literary Award, Lambda Literary Award and the Independent Publisher Award. She is one of the recipients of the 2018 Kobzar Literary Award, as well as receiving Ryerson’s Knowledge Mobilization & Engagement Award in 2018. Her current SSHRC-funded research addresses migration and housing through the lens of research creation. In her teaching, writing and filmmaking, she works at the intersection of art, social justice, collaboration, and friendship.
Eliza Chandler
Eliza ChandlerCo-Director of the Studio for Media Activism and Critical Thought
Eliza Chandler works in partnership with art galleries, art councils and community groups in the GTA to change the way people think about disability art. Eliza is a practicing disability artist and an assistant professor at Ryerson University. She sits on the board of Tangled Art + Disability and coordinates Project ReVision’s digital storytelling workshops for women and trans folks living with disability and embodied differences.
Abdi Osman
Abdi OsmanWorking Group
Abdi Osman is a Somali-Canadian multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on questions of black masculinity as it intersects with Muslim and queer identities. Osman’s video and photography work has been shown in Canada and internationally in both group and solo exhibitions. Osman holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, and a B.A. in African Studies from the University of Toronto.
Jonathan Petrychyn
Jonathan PetrychynWorking Group
Jonathan Petrychyn is a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow and PhD Candidate (ABD) in Communication & Culture at York & Ryerson Universities. His research interests are cinema exhibition and distribution, film festivals, queer activism, Canadian studies, and sexuality. His dissertation, “Affective Economies of Queer Film Festivals on the Canadian Prairies” is a historical project which focuses on issues affect, archive, and activism at queer film festivals.
Meera Govindasamy
Meera GovindasamyWorking Group
Meera is a Master’s student in Ryerson’s Communication and Culture program. Her research examines educational podcasting as a form of activist media. Additionally, her research interests include feminist theory, immigration and settlement studies, girlhood studies, and critical race theory. In her spare time, Meera volunteers with FemRadio at CJRU 1280AM, and is a dedicated fan of Masterchef Junior.
 Calla Evans
Calla EvansWorking Group
Calla Evans is a Masters student in the Communication & Culture program at Ryerson University. Her research is firmly situated in Fat Studies and strives to increase the diversity of voices heard within the field. She is also an acclaimed lifestyle and documentary photographer.

Working Group
In 2018, Dr. Cheryl Thompson joined the School of Creative Industries, Faculty of Communication & Design as Assistant Professor. She earned her PhD in Communication Studies from McGill University. Her first book, Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture will be published with Wilfrid Laurier Press in April 2019. Prior to her position at Ryerson, Cheryl was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2018) at the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and in the Department of English and Drama. In 2017, Cheryl gave a TEDx Talk at the University of Toronto Scarborough, titled “Why Positive Thinking is Not Enough.” In addition to her academic writing, Cheryl is a frequent contributor to, and has published articles in the Canadian Theatre Review,, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, GUTS Magazine, and
Working Group
Noor Bhangu is an emerging curator of South Asian descent. She completed her BA in the History of Art and her MA in Cultural Studies: Curatorial Practices from the University of Winnipeg, where she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship. She is based between Winnipeg and Toronto. In the fall of 2018, she began her PhD in Communication and Culture at Ryerson/York University as a Ryerson Graduate Fellow. She is one-third of the instagram-based collective,, which promotes emerging art and creative practices from the South Asia and its diasporas.
Jane Griffith
Jane GriffithWorking Group (On Leave)
Dr. Jane Griffith is an Assistant Professor in the School of Professional Communication. Her SSHRC-funded research analyzes narratives of settler colonialism—in particular, narratives of language, education, time, place, and water. Her book, under contract with University of Toronto Press, uncovers the history of printing presses in Indian boarding schools. Dr. Griffith has presented internationally, and her work can be found in journals such as Studies in American Indian Literatures, Paedagogica Historica, Journal of Canadian Studies, Cultural Studies<=>Critical Methodologies, and Canadian Journal of Higher Education. Dr. Griffith is a past Fulbright Scholar, and in 2016 won an International Council for Canadian Studies award.
Mary Grace Lao
Mary Grace Lao
Mary Grace Lao is a PhD Candidate in the Joint Program in Communication and Culture at York and Ryerson Universities in Toronto, Ontario. She holds an MEd in Social and Cultural Context of Education from Brock University and a BSc in Psychology from the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Her PhD research looks at gender-based violence and rape culture in the context of social media and if/how it affects the ways sexual violence and assault are framed in mainstream media.