The Collecting Team is responsible for recruiting participants and for the ethical conduct of oral history interviews.
Principal Investigator, The Family Camera Network
Associate Professor, Western University
Thy Phu was born in Vietnam, and grew up in Toronto, where she lives with her family and three cats. Since completing her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, Thy joined Western University in 2005 where she is presently an Associate Professor of English and Writing Studies. She has also held a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, and presently serves as a research associate at the Royal Ontario Museum. Her work focuses on the visual representation of race and gender among diasporic communities, and has received supported by SSHRC Connection, Insight, and Partnership Development Grants. She is the author of Picturing Model Citizens: Civility in Asian American Visual Culture, and co-editor of Feeling Photography, a book that examines our deep emotional attachment to images.
Dan Mishra Curator of South Asian Art & Culture, Royal Ontario Museum
Associate Professor, University of Toronto
Deepali Dewan is a Senior Curator in the Department of World Cultures at the Royal Ontario Museum and an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Toronto, where she specializes on the art and visual culture of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. Her research concerns questions about colonial and modern art, vernacular and hybrid visual forms, art education, and the production of knowledge. Her current research focuses on the photographic image, with a view toward understanding how the practice of photography has shaped contemporary ways of viewing and being in the world. She is the author of Raja Deen Dayal: Artist-Photographer in 19th-Century India (2013, co-authored with Deborah Hutton), Embellished Reality: Indian Painted Photographs (2012), and the editor of Bollywood Cinema Showcards: Indian Film Art from the 1950s to the 1980s (2011). All three were accompanied by exhibitions.
Associate Professor, University of Toronto
Elspeth Brown is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto, where her research concerns the history and theory of photography; modern American cultural history; queer and trans* history; and the history of US capitalism. She is the author of award-winning The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929 (Johns Hopkins 2005) and Sexual Capital: A Queer History of Modeling, 1909-1983 (forthcoming, Duke University Press). She has co-edited two volumes: Feeling Photography (Duke University Press, 2014; Thy Phu, co-editor) and Cultures of Commerce: Representation and American Business Culture, 1877-1960 (Palgrave, 2006). Brown currently directs the The LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory, a five-year digital history and oral history research collaboration that connects archives across Canada and the United States to produce a collaborative digital history hub for the research and study of gay, lesbian, queer, and trans* oral histories (http://lgbtqdigitalcollaboratory.org). She is a founding member of the Toronto Photography Seminar (http://www.torontophotographyseminar.org).
Curator, Royal Ontario Museum
Associate Professor, University of Toronto
Silvia Forni is Curator of African Arts and Cultures at the Royal Ontario Museum. She is also Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Since 1998, she has been conducting research in Cameroon, and more recently in Senegal and Ghana. She has published essays in several journals including African Arts, Critical Interventions, Museum Worlds and contributed chapters to many edited volumes. In 2015 she co-edited with Christopher B. Steiner the volume Africa in the Market, and is currently co-writing with Doran Ross the volume Art, Honor and Ridicule: Fante Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana.
Associate Professor, Western University
Sarah Bassnett is associate professor of art history at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. She is the author of Picturing Toronto: Photography and the Making of a Modern City (2016) and curator of a related exhibition at City of Toronto Archives Gallery (2012-13). Her essays have been published in journals such as History of Photography and Photography & Culture. She co-edited a special issue of Visual Studies on “Cold War Visual Alliances” (2015) with Andrea Noble and Thy Phu, and she is a founding member of the research collective, the Toronto Photography Seminar.
Assistant Curator of Photography, Art Gallery of Ontario
Julie Crooks received a PhD in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. The title of her dissertation is Alphonso Lisk-Carew and Early Photography in Sierra Leone. Her research focuses on historical photography in Sierra Leone, West Africa and the diaspora. Julie has taught numerous courses in these fields at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), as well as Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU, Toronto), University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, and York University (Toronto). She has also held the position of Rebanks Post Doctoral Fellow at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum researching the various engagements of black/African audiences with the African Gallery and the photographic history of Blacks in Canada. She is currently an Assistant Curator of Photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Professor, McMaster University
Donald Goellnicht grew up in Trinidad and came to Canada as a university student. He is a Professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, where he has served as Chair of the Department, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and Director of the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition. For the past thirty years his research and teaching have been in the areas of Asian North American and African American literature and culture with a focus on the intersections of race, gender, and queer sexuality in relation to diaspora and transnationalism. He has co-edited with Daniel Coleman a special issue of Essays on Canadian Writing on "Race" in Canadian culture (2002); with Eleanor Ty, Asian North American Identities: Beyond the Hyphen (2004); and with Stephen Sohn and Paul Lai, a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies on “Theorizing Asian American Fiction” (2010).
Associate Professor, McMaster University
Born in Vancouver to immigrant parents from Britain and Hong Kong, Nadine Attewell is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. She works in the fields of twentieth-century British studies; Asian and Asian diasporic studies; postcolonial, Indigenous, and settler colonial studies; and gender and sexuality studies, focusing on the fate of intimacy, embodiment, and community in places transformed by empire and incorporation into capitalist economies of exchange. Her first book, Better Britons: Reproduction, National Identity, and the Afterlife of Empire, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2014. She is currently writing a second book entitled Archives of Intimacy: Racial Mixing and Asian Lives in the Colonial Port City, which traces early-twentieth-century practices of interracial intimacy and multiracial community-formation in Hong Kong, Liverpool, and London through readings of photography, fiction, scholarship, life writing, newspapers, and state and other institutional records.
Assistant Professor, Renison College, University of Waterloo
Vinh Nguyen lived in Thai refugee camps for three years before immigrating to Canada in 1990. He has taught ESL in Japan and worked as a research specialist for the Aboriginal Health Program at the University of Calgary. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Diaspora Literatures and East Asian Studies at Renison University College, University of Waterloo. His research interests include critical refugee studies, Asian North American literature and culture, and queer migration. His writing can be found in Canadian Literature, Life Writing, ARIEL, MELUS, Looking Back on the Vietnam War, and Migration by Boat.
Sajdeep Soomal is a writer, researcher and emerging curator. They are currently completing a three-year oral history project, “Not a Place on the Map: The Desh Pardesh Project” based at the South Asian Visual Arts Centre and funded by the Trillium Foundation, that investigates the economic conditions, diasporic longing, queerness and racial politics that produced Desh Pardesh – a Toronto-based multidisciplinary arts festival that ran from 1988-2001. Recently, Sajdeep has been busy writing about the student suicide epidemic, telling contemporary diasporic Punjabi folktales, and preparing for the publication of their thesis in a forthcoming anthology with University of Minnesota Press, New Cultures of Remote Warfare: Visions, Intimacies, and Reconfigurations. Out of the office, Sajdeep re-invents their many drag personas – expect more Punjabi boliyan, a few Pakistani pop songs from the 80s and–of course–her laal dupatta.
Assistant Curator - The Family Camera (ROM)
Jennifer Orpana is an Assistant Curator at The Royal Ontario Museum, where she is working with Dr. Deepali Dewan and The Family Camera Network to establish a public archive of family photographs and oral histories at the museum. She is also assisting with The Family Camera exhibition, which is part of the ROM’s sesquicentennial offering (opening May 2017), and contributing to Dr. Martha Ladly's OCADU graduate course: "Digital Futures: Family Camera at the ROM." In 2015, Jennifer completed a PhD in Art & Visual Culture at Western University and her research focused on participatory art and photography. In particular, she examined community-engaged photography projects and Photovoice methodologies. Jennifer has also worked in Education, Outreach, and Development at institutions such as the Art Gallery Ontario, the National Ballet of Canada, and Soulpepper Theatre Company.
Professor, OCAD University
Richard Fung is a video artist/filmmaker and writer, and a Professor in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University. Richard was born in Trinidad and Tobago and came to Canada after finishing high school in Dublin, Ireland. His documentaries and experimental works include Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians (1984) and its redux Re:Orientations (2016), My Mother’s Place (1990), Sea in The Blood (2000), and Dal Puri Diaspora (2012). Many of his works centre on family history in the context colonialism and migration. His essays have been published in numerous journals and anthologies, and he is the co-author with Monika Kin Gagnon of 13: Conversations on Art and Cultural Race Politics (2002). Among other honours Richard is the recipient of the Bell Canada Award for outstanding achievement in video art, the Toronto Arts Award for Media Art and the Kessler Award for significant contribution to LGBT Studies.
Assistant Professor, OCAD University
Gabrielle Moser is a writer, educator and curator whose research focuses on the historical construction of citizenship as a photographable subject. Her current research project, “Citizen Subjects: photography, race and belonging in Canada,” investigates how racialized subjects used their encounter with the camera to make claims for citizenship in Canada around 1947, at the moment that this category of belonging was still being legally defined. Gabby has organized exhibitions and screenings for Access Gallery, Gallery TPW, The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Oakville Galleries and Vtape, and her writing appears on Artforum.com and in Art in America, Canadian Art, Fillip, Journal of Visual Culture, n.paradoxa, and Photography & Culture. Moser holds a PhD in art history and visual culture from York University and has held fellowships at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the University of British Columbia, the Paul Mellon Center for the Study of British Art, the Ryerson Image Centre, and was recently a Fulbright Canada Visiting Scholar at Brown University.
Heather is the Rebanks Postdoctoral Fellow in the Canadian Decorative Arts at the ROM for 2017-2018, where she is working to broaden known stories about the Canadian Decorative Arts Collection, and explore how Canadian diversity – both geographic and ethnocultural – can be represented and understood through objects. Prior to her work at the ROM, she was the Postdoctoral Fellow with the Oral History Cluster of the Landscapes of Injustice Project, a SSHRC Partnership Project researching the dispossession of property from Japanese Canadians during World War II. She worked with Dr. Pamela Sugiman in managing the Oral History cluster’s activities (training students to interview, and archiving collected interviews), as well as exploring her own questions about material culture and meaning. She has a forthcoming paper about this research in Material Culture Review which explores an example of internment camp photography. A practicing oral history researcher for more than a decade, she holds a PhD from OISE-UT in Adult Education and Community Development, and a Master’s Degree in Folklore from Memorial University. She has received grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation for University Women and the Helen Creighton Folklore Society for her work.
Celio was born in Costa Rica to expat parents from Nicaragua and Guatemala. Growing up in 1980s El Salvador he witnessed the violence that forces people to seek refuge elsewhere. In 1990s Toronto, he learnt first-hand of survivors' harrowing experiences making their way to Canada. Celio has worked for universities, TV broadcasters, technology firms and art galleries in Canada, Central America, The U.S., Europe and Japan. He has acquired a unique set of cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, technologicaland multilingual skills to contribute to The Family Camera Network. He is enrolled at Ryerson University's Film+Photographic Preservation and Collections Management MA. Celio is interning with Dr. Deepali Dewan at The ROM, researching critical issues in the management of rare photographic and born-digital media collections.
Blanche Joslin is pursuing her MA in the Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management program at Ryerson University. She previously worked on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a Head Broadcast Technician and as a Digital Content Producer with a photography company in Florida.
Manuela Accarpio is from Genoa, Italy. She obtained her B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Genoa. She studied Anthropology at the University of Caen and University of Paris, during exchange programmes among European Universities. Her studies were fuelled by an interest in other cultures and their collective experiences captured by their storytellers. This progressed into a strong interest in documentary photography. She has worked in participatory-video and theatrical projects for two African NGOs in Kenya and South Africa. She is living as an expat since 2003: Kenya, Panama and South Africa. She is now based in Canada.
Katie Micak is excited to be joining The Family Camera Network team as a videographer! Micak has worked in digital art presentation at The Phillips Collection (DC), been gallery director at Propeller Gallery (Toronto) and Spark Contemporary Art Space (Syracuse, NY), and was on the founding team of curators for Vector Festival (Toronto), which is an annual show exhibiting computational and video game based art work. Micak is a practicing artist and is currently studying at OCADU in the Digital Futures program focusing on ethics and artificial intelligence.