SAEED AFZAL is currently working as an Undergrad student towards his BA in English Literature at Concordia University. He is presently working with Dr. Darren Wershler and a team of his peers on a research project in motion on the TAG Minecraft server. His interests include video games (J/RPGs, predominantly), webcomics, creative writing, fandom culture, modern secular religions, and Japanese pop culture; he is determined to one day combine all of this into a viable career path.
Much of his free time is spent indulging in and studying the aforementioned topics: his work has taken the forms of freelance writing, editorials, reviews, blogs, fanfiction, and a modest webcomic in the works.
CHARLOTTE FILLMORE-HANDLON is a doctoral student in the Humanities Doctoral Program in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC) at Concordia University in Montreal. Working in and across English, Communication Studies, and Sociology, Charlotte is interested in popular culture, celebrity and fan culture, and media theory. Her doctoral research centres on the study of Canadian celebrity culture. Using Leonard Cohen as a case study, she plans to explore how celebrity personae are constituted through various discourses that circulate through culture via various media channels. Her intent is to investigate what these discourses (and the tension between them) can tell us about the changing constitution of celebrity in Canadian culture and beyond our national borders.
SEAN GALLAGHER is a Concordia University undergrad in the Communications Department. He is interested in video production, advertising, journalism and the emerging video game theory academia. He has explored the concepts of online social media and daily routines, online targeted advertisements and privacy as well as the slow disregard towards printing press in favour of immediate online access. In his spare time, he edits and runs a small blog dedicated to sports and entertainment.
GERSANDE is currently finishing their degree in Creative Writing at Concordia University. They love programming, storytelling, UI design, and doodling. They also have a fondness for wandering across vast expanses of land and jumping into the ocean when it’s raining out.
When it comes to playing and thinking about videogames, they care about empathy games, games that explore safer spaces, issues of consent and mental health, as well as games that tackle oppression and equity issues. Their favourite games are Beyond Good and Evil, Riven, Skyrim, and Minecraft.
MARIE-CHRISTINE LAVOIE is currently completing her last year towards an Undergrad in Honours in English Literature at Concordia. In her spare time, she enjoys doing a wide array of research to further her knowledge and perception of literature. Marie also enjoys reading, sewing, playing video games, and building computers. Presently, Marie is interested in the effects of player limitations in online game servers and how extrinsic rules can lessen the player’s enjoyment of a game. As a part of Darren Wershler’s research group, she expects to widen her awareness of interactions in online communities and begin to form a research question for her Honours Essay.
MICHAEL NARDONE is a doctoral student in the Humanities Doctoral Program in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC), where he writes on poetics, media theory, and sound. He is also the managing editor of Amodern, a new, peer-reviewed, open access online scholarly journal.
WILLIAM ROBINSON is a PhD Candidate in the Humanities Doctoral Program in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC) at Concordia. His research focuses on player creativity, digital labour and aesthetic analytic philosophy, and is funded by the Fonds de Recherche Société et Culture (FQRSC). His burgeoning art practice involves designing experimental boardgames which generate aggressively political procedural narratives from strategic play.
Will currently works under the auspices of the Concordia Research Centre for Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG). In fall 2012, he was hired by the English department to teach ENGL-398D, Video Games and/as Literature, and is currently helping to revise its syllabus.
KALERVO A. SINERVO is currently a PhD student in the Humanities Doctoral Program in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC) at Concordia, where he researches intellectual property, piracy, and transmedia practices in popular culture. In addition to media theory, he’s interested in comics, detective fiction, social, puzzle, and adventure games, and the general debris of pop culture. His approach combines slapdash Actor-Network Theory with haphazard poststructuralism and smatterings of theories from other schools, always looking for the connections that keep objects alive and active. Kalervo also works in the IMMERSe network, where he manages project groups and researches narrative in games. In fall 2014, he began teaching a course on comics in Concordia’s English department, a subject on which he has also authored or co-authored several published works.
SHANNON TIEN is a newly-minted MA from Concordia’s Department of English. Her Master’s Research Project uses the local comics publisher Drawn and Quarterly as a case study to investigate the relationship between contemporary print culture, the small press, and the cultural legitimization of comics as art in Canada. She is currently working on two projects with Darren Wershler and Kalervo Sinervo at the Amplab: one, a history of digital comics, and the other, a study of online comics pirate communities. She also assists Sandra Gabriele in a study of 19th century newspapers. Right now she is interested in questions of materiality, book history, and circulation as they pertain to literary studies and contemporary comics theory, but she is also exploring the relationship between optimism and the circulatory paths of early 18th century print culture.
NATALIE ZINA WALSCHOTS writes about heavy metal, CanLit, speculative fiction and horror, feminism, combat sports and video games for a living. She regularly contributes to National Post, Quill & Quire, The Globe & Mail, Rue Morgue, Game Dynamo, Torontoist and Exclaim!. Her work has also appeared recently in Hellbound, About Heavy Metal, Angry Metal Guy, Toronto Standard, Canada Arts Connect, HuffPost Music Canada, NOW Magazine, broken pencil, This Magazine, Gameranx, Toronto Film Scene, The Coastal Spectator and The Walrus Blog.
Natalie’s second book of poetry, DOOM: Love Poems For Supervillains, was published by Insomniac Press in the Spring of 2012. Her first book, Thumbscrews, won the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and was published by Snare Books in the Fall of 2007. Natalie earned her MA in English Literature and Creative writing from the University of Calgary in 2007, completing a ficto-critical thesis on the unfinished, multi-book cycles of Canadian poet bpNichol and ideas of mourning, play, and the abject in his work. For her Interdisciplinary Ph.D in Humanities at Concordia, Natalie is focussing on video games, gaming communities, and feminist criticism. She can be found online at Natalie Zed, and you can follow her on Twitter @NatalieZed.