This story is published in YFile’s New Faces Feature Issue 2019, part one. Every September, YFile introduces and welcomes those joining the York University community, and those with new appointments. Watch for part two on Sept. 27.
York University’s Glendon Campus welcomes eight new faculty members: Marc Audette, Myra Bloom, Dan Berbecel, Catherine Lamaison, Stephanie Marion, Catherine Power, Amanda Ricci and Usha Viswanathan.
“These new colleagues are exciting additions to the Glendon community to which they bring new perspectives, strong leadership skills and a high promise of engagement,” said Ian Roberge, co-interim principal of the Glendon Campus.
“Through their scholarship and their teaching, they will have a tremendous impact on our programs, curriculum and, most importantly, in mentoring and supporting our students,” said Dominique Scheffel-Dunand, co-interim principal of the Glendon Campus.
Marc Audette is visual artist, educator and curator. He holds a BFA from the Université du Québec en Outaouais and an MFA from York University. Audette is currently appointed to the Multidisciplinary Studies Department at York University’s Glendon Campus. Prior to that, he taught in the Photography Department at York University. He also taught at the Collège des Grands Lacs, were he co-ordinated the multimedia program. Audette taught photographie-exploration at the Université du Québec à Hull.
Audette was the curator of the Glendon Gallery from 2001 to 2014, and a founding member and first president of the Association of Francophone Visual Artists in Canada. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Labo d’art, Toronto – an organization that supports creation, production and innovation in the media arts sector. Audette’s work has been exhibited across Canada as well as internationally, in New York; Besançon, France; Medellin, Columbia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Kiev, Ukraine. His work is in several collections, including the City of Ottawa, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Bank of Montreal, TD Bank, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and McCarthy Tétrault LLP.
Myra Bloom joins the Glendon English Department as an assistant professor of Canadian literature. She earned her PhD in comparative literature from the University of Toronto. She previously co-ordinated the Composition and Professional Writing programs at Concordia.
Bloom researches modern and contemporary Canadian literature in English and French. She is currently studying the relationship between anglophones and francophones as represented in fictions dealing with historical clashes between these two groups. She is also working on a book about women’s confessional writing.
Bloom is committed to public scholarship and writes frequently for magazines, including the Literary Review of Canada, The Walrus and The Puritan, where she has served as reviews editor since 2017.
Dan Berbecel spent his childhood in Toronto, where he grew up very close to the Glendon Campus. He attended the University of Toronto Schools for high school, and then went on to complete his bachelor’s degree at Harvard College, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in government.
Berbecel recently completed his PhD in politics at Princeton University. He specializes in comparative politics and Latin American politics, and his doctoral dissertation focuses on presidential power in Argentina and Chile. Throughout graduate school, he conducted extensive fieldwork in those countries.
More generally, Berbecel’s research interests include regime politics, state institutions, party systems, democratization and economic development. He is passionate about teaching undergraduate students, and taught at several institutions prior to arriving at York University. He speaks fluent English, Romanian, French and Spanish. Outside of academics, Berbecel loves keeping up with the news, watching movies and TV shows, going to the theatre, spending time with friends, travelling, exploring nature (especially hiking in the mountains), exercising and eating good food.
Catherine Lamaison received her PhD in social justice education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto in 2016. Lamasion was also trained in second language acquisition and teaching, both for French as a second language (FSL) and English as a second language (ESL), and taught both languages in secondary schools, universities and in the private sector in France, the United States and Canada.
Her research interests are in the areas of francophone cultural studies and FSL teaching and learning. More specifically, she is interested in the educational, social and political aspects of African and Caribbean diasporic music, in the development of (inter)cultural competence in FSL, in the influence of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in FSL teaching at the university level in Canada and innovative teaching methods.
She is a member of the board of directors of the national arts service organization ArtBridges – ToileDesArts, a Canada-wide platform of 300-pus organizations in the fields of community arts and arts for social change.
Stephanie Marion joins the Department of Psychology at the Glendon Campus as an assistant professor. Her research interests include social, social-cognitive and forensic psychology, and her favourite subjects to teach include these topics as well as statistics and research methods.
She earned a BSc in forensic psychology from the University of Toronto at Mississauga and an MA and PhD in psychology from Ryerson University. Her doctoral research addressed the reliability of alibi witnesses by examining social and interpersonal factors that increase the likelihood that an alibi witness will lie to protect a criminal suspect. She continued into this line of research while completing an SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship jointly held at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. There, she studied the impact of confession evidence and eyewitness evidence on alibi and other lay witness statements, and best practices for suspect and witness interviewing.
Following her postdoc, Marion worked as a behavioural scientist at a Toronto-based market research firm. In her spare time, you’ll find her with her partner and daughter, hiking, camping, travelling or diving into home renovation projects.
Catherine R. Power joins the Department of Political Science at the Glendon Campus as assistant professor of political thought. Her primary areas of research focus on the problem of political and juridical authority as well as political theology. Her dissertation, Iterations of Sovereignty, Citizenship, and Liberty in Early Modern French Political Thought (University of Toronto) re-examines the political and juridical thought of the French Renaissance, placing the thinkers and jurists, Jean Bodin and Estienne de la Boétie, in dialogue on the themes of sovereignty, human nature and toleration. Sovereignty, citizenship and the construction of the boundaries of inclusion (and exclusion) are at the core of her research program.
In addition to her primary research, Power also works on the history of Judaeophobia and especially the uses of the figure of the Jew in political thought. Her article on the figure of the Jew in the thought of the Marquis d’Argens was published in the Review of Politics this summer and she is contributing a chapter on Judaeophobic tropes and figures for inclusion in a pedagogical volume within the Stead Series, Vol 15, Confronting Antisemitism on Campus (Peter Lang Publishing).
Amanda Ricci is an assistant professor at York University’s Glendon Campus. A specialist in Quebec history, she was a postdoctoral Fellow at the Wilson Institute for Canadian History from 2016 to 2018. After undergraduate studies at Queen’s University, she completed her master’s degree at the Université de Montréal. In 2015, she defended her dissertation on the feminist movement in Montreal (1960-90) in the Department of History at McGill University.
Her current project, entitled “Global Citizens? Canadian Feminists at the World Conferences on Women, 1975-1985,” considers the ways in which Quebecers and Canadians imagined themselves to be part of a global community of women during the United Nations Decade for Women, 1975-85.
Usha Viswanathan is an assistant professor of French with the Language Training Centre for Studies in French at the Glendon Campus. She completed her doctorate in second language education at U of T’s OISE.
Viswanathan is investigating the development of effective FSL teaching approaches for the 21st century. Her research focuses on the use of a genre-based approach in FSL classrooms in Canada. Genres are a vehicle through which members of a linguistic community impart knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviours (Bawarshi and Reiff, 2010). A genre-based approach focused on exploiting authentic oral and written texts enables learners to participate in target linguistic and cultural communities within second- and foreign-language classrooms. She has developed a novel set of instructional materials based on the approach, which are presently being piloted by teachers in the Toronto District School Board.