Graduate Students

Jessica Antonio Lomanowska

JESSICA_ANTONIO_001I am currently a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Waterloo.  My research draws on animal studies, posthumanist theory, and media theory to explore and expand the interconnectivity between species,  particularly within the context of biotechnology. In collaboration with the Critical Media Lab, part of my dissertation research includes the construction of a new media art object that will be used as a generative model for approaching the insect as a vector for potentiality. Following the mandates of applied media theory, “Roach Lab” attempts to emphasize insect phenomenology as a productive “contact zone” between human, animal, and thing. Email:

Adam Bradley

bradleyBA (McMaster), MA (Waterloo). I am a first year PhD student interested in the intersections between technology and traditional literary studies.  My MA research project, titled “Data Visualization and the Avant-Garde Aesthetic” was a digital humanities project completed in conjunction with the English department’s Critical Media Lab and the Computer Science department’s Touchlab. My project investigated whether shifting the aesthetics of a given text can offer new insights into the study of its structure and how the integrity of that text can be maintained within this paradigm. Other interests include ancient rhetoric, classical languages, and modernist literature. Email:

Lauren Burr

0e8f9f27202b3360aa3f1dc1c6f4b706Lauren Burr is a PhD candidate and 2013-2014 HASTAC Scholar in the English Department at the University of Waterloo, studying critical locative and pervasive media. Lauren’s recent collaborative projects include Bonfire of the Humanities, an alternate reality game designed for Congress 2012; Cytopath, an augmented reality necromedia game set in downtown Kitchener; and House of Lexia, a locative hypertext remediation of Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves. She is also a regular contributor to the online publication, First Person ScholarLauren conducts her research with both the Critical Media Lab and The Games Institute at uWaterloo, and continues to collaborate as an adjunct researcher with the Carleton University Hypertext and Hypermedia Lab after completing an MA at Carleton in 2011. Lauren’s work is generously funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Email:

Michael Hancock

MJHI’m a PhD student in the English Language and Literature Department at the University of Waterloo. I did my MA and undergraduate work at the University of Saskatchewan. My area of research is game studies. In particular, I’m interested in three areas of game studies: the social engagements and activities of players, the historical shifts in game design and interpretation, and the formal aspects of videogames, as they present themselves to the players.  My research, in a perfect world, combines all three. My dissertation discusses the use of text-based imagery in videogames, with the argument that the videogame industry is moving away from text-based styles of presentation to styles that emphasize image and sound. What this shift implies and reinforces in terms of people’s digital practices and consumptions is what I hope to explore. I’m also interested in social applications of digital media in general, and how societies adapt to these new technologies. Email:

Jason Hawreliak

HawreliakI’m currently in the English Ph.D. program at UWaterloo. Thus far, my research has focused on digital games in light of their ideological and propagandistic potential. My dissertation will involve conducting a rhetorical analysis of the First Person Shooter genre, as well as an empirical study to support my analysis via Terror Management Theory. I’m also interested in the rhetoric of music and its role in influencing cognitive processes, particularly in digital games. As of today, the weight of the world is yet to crush my naïve belief that wide ranging social improvements can indeed be achieved through the university. Email:

Dani Stock

daniI am a PhD student in the rhetoric and digital media streams of the UW English Department, and I currently work as a Research Assistant at the Critical Media Lab. I completed an Honours BA in English at the University of Ottawa and an MA in Rhetoric and Communication Design at the University of Waterloo. I study interactions between technology and the human body, particularly in the contexts of online health networks, genetic screening and bioengineering, and other medical technologies. My dissertation will employ posthumanist philosophy, digital media studies, disability studies, and medical humanities theories in a qualitative research project that studies how individual patients use online spaces for community formation and disease management. Email:

Amber West

I am a candidate for the MA in Experimental Digital Media. My primary research focuses on the field of game studies, in particular the visual rhetoric of exer-gaming (exercise-based gaming). I am currently working on my major research project, conceptualizing an Ashtangastyle yoga exer-game and a related theoretical paper. I will conceptualize, design, and, with the assistance of programmers, create a game that will apply the concepts of gamification and exer-gaming to the process of taking the gamer through the stages of developing a personal yoga regimen. The game will give the player feedback and update them on their progress (and emphasize safty while exercising) through the use of the XBox Kinect technology. I am looking at texts on visual rhetoric, semiotics, and ideology at play to understand the overall story of a video game amd will engage the works of scholars such as Roland Barthes, Gunther Kress, Theo Van Leeuwen, Jesper Juul and Ian Bogost to analyze existing yoga instructional games. My conclusions will create prototypes of theoretically strong images for my game, using the XBox Kinect technology. Email:

Stephen Wilcox

wilcoxI completed a BA in English at the University of Guelph and an MA in Rhetoric and Communication Design at Waterloo. I am currently exploring semiotics in relation to digital media. More specifically, I am interested in exposing the linguistic substructures of a diverse range of media (from web design to videogames) in order to establish a dialogue with semioticians and poststructuralists. Such research extends the work of media theorist Marshall McLuhan by continuing to explore the transformative capacity of media as linguistic mechanisms themselves. Email:

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