About Us

Our Research Group

Our research group seeks to foster a dynamic and supportive intellectual space where student and faculty researchers can conduct culturally meaningful and politically relevant research. Graduate students are encouraged to work on whatever interests them as long as it is grounded in some form of critical theoretical tradition. Although we tend to work in the single authorship tradition, we undertake occasional collaborative projects including, at present, a study of painkiller use in sport.

Profiles

Andrew Surya

MA Candidate

8aps2[at]queensu.ca

I joined the King research group at Queen’s University in the fall of 2015. I am primarily interested in studying the sociology of sport and the cultural influences that sport has on society. My interest in sports started at a young age playing football, hockey, and rugby growing up. After playing 5 years of varsity football at McMaster University and experiencing first hand how sports can influence culture I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in the sociocultural studies department at Queen’s as a way to combine my love of sports with my academic goals.

My educational background includes an Honours Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, both from McMaster University. During this time I began to seriously pursue studying sport as a social and culture phenomenon. After taking a sociology of the body course during my undergraduate degree and learning about the theories surrounding sport culture, I began to understand how sport can have a profound influence in everyday life and I wanted to investigate this more closely.

My current interests are focused on how athletes’ perception of the current CIS drug policy influences drug violations among university athletes. I am also interested in how the intersection of race, sport, economics, and politics seen in U.S. college football can lead to cultural events challenging racial norms in society. Outside of sport, I am interested in studying masculinity and the body as well as transnational theories of race, gender, and sexuality.

Andrea Phillipson

PhD Candidate

a.phillipson[at]queensu.ca

I am forever indebted to a feminist high school teacher whose Herstory course introduced me to the notion of status quo and the possibility of transformation. Since then, I have become increasingly committed to unsettling and unsettled methodologies and pedagogies, preferring to work outside of my comfort zone while trying to remain mindful that this mode can too easily morph into its own form of complacency. After completing an Honour's B.A. and course-based M.A. in English Language and Literature, I took a research position with an HIV/AIDS project that ultimately brought me to the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

My generally anti-healthism work has focused on fat studies, on the local and global proliferation of mental health campaigns, and on the challenges of integrating critical social theory into public health research and practice agendas. I also enjoy working individually and collaboratively on socio-cultural sports studies, and am particularly interested in projects focused on the current scientific and popular media articulation of athletic ethos, brain injuries, and mental health.

My dissertation will explore the production of the "mental health crisis" in North American higher education, a topic that has been inescapable both during the year I spent as an executive member of the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) at Queen's University, and subsequently as a member of the Queen's Mental Health Working Group and as a student representative on the Ban Righ Foundation Board of Directors.

At an intersection of humanities and social science scholarship, I strive for engaged, eclectic work that can fuel my curiosity and contribute to social justice--or perhaps more accurately, social justices, in all of their particularity and complexity.

Scott Carey

PhD Candidate

r.carey[at]queensu.ca

After joining the King Research Group in 2011, I began asking different types of questions leading me to new and exciting areas of research. I originally entered the program with a general interest in sporting cultures and racial politics, evidenced by my Master’s thesis on Indiana basketball cultures and the “hoosier” identity. These days, I have not so much abandoned sport and race as topics of inquiry, as much as I have begun to think about them from theoretical positions that place an emphasis on the lived body.

Being in a “health” department, it should also come as no surprise that I am interested in embodied experiences beyond sport. For example, I am currently working on two collaborative projects: one interrogating the use of prescription painkillers, and the other examining human-animal relationships and eating practices. In all of my work, I begin from an interdisciplinary and critical orientation that tends to weave Foucauldian, feminist and continental philosophies of the body with a bricolage of qualitative methodologies (including (auto)ethnography, discourse analysis and narrative inquiry).

My dissertation research attempts to bring sociological writing on science, technology, biopolitics and medicalization into conversation with critical, psychoanalytic and phenomenological theories of the skin. Interested in the ways collective forms of identification occur on/through the biology of skin, I examine the skins and lives of acne sufferers to develop a working concept of “dermosociality.” In particular, I direct my attention to the dermatological knowledges, events, practices, and objects that diffuse across the skin to re-assemble its many meanings (i.e. cultural, historical, political) and the social relationships to which it gives rise.

Victoria Niva Millious

PhD Candidate

2vnm[at]queensu.ca

I joined the King Research Group in September 2012 with an MA in Cultural Studies (2012) and a BA(Hons) in Film & Media (2006). Hailing from the Fine Arts and Humanities, I still find novelty in attending lab meetings and identifying as a PhD student in what is largely considered a Kinesiology department. Sociocultural health studies at SKHS is home to the most humane and politically active group of academics I’ve yet to encounter. Like my peers, I am here because of Samantha King.

My research to date engages a wide range of questions, all having to do with health, bodies and cultural studies. Recent projects include: the contemporary ascent of midwifery; lactivism and the neoliberal maternal figure; 3D ultrasound and the return of memento mori (post-mortem) photography; ancestral health movements; critical animal studies, posthumanism and food; and the relationship between scholarship, embodiment and activism. I have presented my work nationally and internationally at a wide range of disciplinary-themed conferences home to Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, and Food Studies scholars. I try to productively trespass disciplinary boundaries.

My doctoral research examines present day Canadian and American breastfeeding practices and breastfeeding scholarship from an anti-healthist and feminist theoretical orientation. My work does not debate the biochemical superiority of breast milk as a food stuff, but rather analyzes the sociopolitical effects that such articulations of milk and motherhood/parenthood produce. Such effects resonate within the lived realities of postpartum women and the commodification of breast milk within a burgeoning tissue economy. I am currently studying ongoing debates within feminist breastfeeding scholarship itself so to better understand the relationships between academic research, feminism, lived experience and embodiment, as well as exploring what posthumanist and disability studies theories offer with regards to (re)conceptualizing lactation, human milk and infant feeding.

Alongside my TA and RA duties, I live and work at Almost Home, a nonprofit organization that provides housing for parents with sick children. As in life, I champion courage, honesty and vulnerability in intellectual engagements and learn daily how to live accordingly.

Adam Ali

PhD Student

14aea3[at]queensu.ca

I joined the King Research Group at Queen’s University in the fall of 2014. Although intrigued by sport sociology when I was first introduced to the field throughout my undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Physical Education and Health at the University of Toronto, my occupational path steered me towards a career in intercollegiate athletics. After working in between degrees for two years at Ryerson University, I moved to Windsor, Ontario to revive my academic vigour.

My master’s thesis at the University of Windsor focused on the migration of Canadian student-athletes to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) through a sociological lens. My master’s work spurred deeper questions for me surrounding the intersection of sport and masculinity, which prompted my interest in pursuing doctoral studies in Sport, Health and the Body. Though only a recent entrant to the King Research Group, I have already begun broadening my understanding of social theory as it relates to sport and beyond.

My current interests include seeking to understand how pain is conceptualized as an affective economy within the male athletic body. Furthermore, I would like to explore how the deployment of pain in male athletes takes on both a discursive, performative currency as well as a silent subjectivity in the production of masculinity. In a slight departure from sport, but certainly not pain, I am also seeking to analyze the affective scripting and framing of terrorist bodies in airport spaces.

In addition to my work done within the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, I have been fortunate to hold a Research Assistantship with Dr. jay johnson from the University of Manitoba. jay and I are currently completing projects that explore the intersection of sport and the environment. Specific papers include: analyzing the impact of climate change on the evolving identity of outdoor hockey in Canada; and bridging the gap between the fields of environmental sociology and sport sociology as a means to better understand the ecological impact of our sport and health consumption.

Kristine Palma

PhD Student

13kp26[at]queensu.ca

Research interests: 1) addressing the interrelated barriers of racism, sexism, and homophobia in women’s sports 2) examining the relationship between scientific articulations of the body and U.S. sports policies

I am a recent Kingston transplant from San Diego, CA. I have also lived in California’s two other major cities—Los Angeles and San Francisco. I grew sick of California’s perfect weather and relocated to Kingston, Ontario in August 2014. I graduated from UCLA with a BA in History and a minor in Society and Genetics. Since the beginning of my academic career, I’ve seen the hard sciences and humanities as parts of a cultural paradigm, co-producers of both truths and myths, oppose to diametrically opposing disciplines. I work from an interdisciplinary approach—finding common threads throughout different disciplines to examine complex questions.

My master’s thesis Who can come out and play? Re-conceptualizing Title IX to address the interrelated barriers of sexism, homophobia, and racism in women’s sports (2013) suggests a multidimensional framework to re-conceptualize Title IX’s goals and enforcement to address the interrelated barriers of sexism, homophobia, and racism.

My current doctoral work focuses on unearthing the complex schema of social inequalities, public policies, scientific articulations of the body, and cultural attitudes that produce hostile environments for queer athletes, particularly those who are women of color. I am also interested in the processes that aim to mask these social inequalities.

Erica Baker

MA Student

erica.baker[at]queensu.ca

I came to the King Research Group in 2014 with a background in Aboriginal sport and health that is situated in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded Coast Salish territories in British Columbia. In these territories, I worked with the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw Squamish Nation and the First Nations Snowboard Team to understand the experiences of Aboriginal snowboard athletes and the culturally relevant methods they employ to reach podium success.

My educational background is in First Nations Studies out of the University of British Columbia where I studied as a Loran Scholar and graduated with a BA. This background has given me the skills and knowledge to understand complex contemporary issues that impact Aboriginal communities. As a settler-ally, my work is concerned with nation-to-nation relationship building and supporting Aboriginal self-determination and resurgence.

My research interests continue to be in the field of Aboriginal sport and health. Currently, I am continuing my research project on Aboriginal snowboard athletes and I am moving towards investigating and supporting more community-based health models. Outside of Aboriginal sport and health research, I am interested in two other distinct fields: issues around food security and local agricultural systems, as well as the intersections between rhinoplasty procedures and identity formation in young women. What pulls me towards these research areas are the forms of boundary-pushing and innovative solutions that these questions call into being.

Fannie Valois-Nadeau

Postdoctoral Researcher

I joined the King Research Group in September 2014 for my postdoctoral research, co-supervised by Dr. Samantha King and funded by the Fond de Recherche Québécois sur la Culture et la Société (FRQSC). During my doctoral degree I developed a particular expertise on the Montréal Canadiens hockey team. My research interests span cultural memories, popular culture, professional sport and ageing within contemporary culture.

My postdoctoral research explores the multiple forms of the public presence of former Canadiens hockey players, including those long retired. Querying particular forms of celebrity and visibility, I seek to understand how new corporate social responsibility trends, “retromarketing” practices and discourses on active ageing are articulated through the lens of the professional sports team. Through this project, I’m interested in the possibilities afforded to former players, and how these opportunities are framed by a sport-spectacle industry and situated in a specific economic and political context. I am expanding my scholarship on ageing and communication studies and am aided in these regards by Dr. Kim Sawchuk (Concordia University), my postdoctoral co-supervisor. I am a member of the Ageing Communication and Technology (ACT) network and of the Lab Culture Populaire Connaissance et Critique (CPCC).

After an MA and a BA in Sociology at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), I have completed my PhD in the Joint Program in Communication at Université de Montréal (UdM). Under the supervision of Dr. Line Grenier, my doctoral dissertation explores the heterogeneous practices of memory that emerged during the centennial anniversary of the Montréal Canadiens in 2009. Situated in the fields of cultural studies and memory studies, my doctoral thesis proposes a communicational approach to memory and a contextual analysis of the ways of “doing memory” about a professional sports team. This project unpacks the importance of the player’s family and the valorization of intergenerational relations are at the heart of many memory practices regarding the Montréal Canadiens. It also points out how doing memory about a sport team intersects new ways of being involved as a fan or as a sport organization, through philanthropic practices as well as consumer activism practices.

Finally, as it might being obvious, I’m also a huge fan of the Montréal Canadiens. Working on this topic is both a manner to understand and criticize my daily life, but also the weight of the popularity of the Montréal Canadiens in the city of Montreal.

KRG Graduates

Dr. Robbie Millington

Doctoral Graduate
r.millington[at]queensu.ca

















Natalia Mukhina

Masters Graduate

13nm82[at]queensu.ca

















Dr. Matt Ventresca

Doctoral Graduate

m.ventresca[at]queensu.ca