Ioan Davies Award recognizes creative research of two York grad students

Image announcing Awards

Two graduate students have been selected as the 2020 recipients of the Ioan Davies Award, which recognizes excellence in scholarly and/or creative research for students in the Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture at York University.

Alexandra Borkowski has won the PhD award for her paper, “Echoic Re-Presencing: Towards a Feminist Media-Archaeological Listening,” and Océane Nyela has won the MA award for her paper “Black Hair is a Technology from the Future: Cornrows as an Interface for Diasporic Transindividuation.”

Alexandra Borkowski.jpeg
Alexandra Borkowski
Océane Nyela.jpg
Océane Nyela

Borkowski’s paper considers the work filmmaker Aura Satz, particularly her film Oramics: Atlantis Anew (2011), which addresses the work of Daphne Oram, a British inventor and composer whose contributions to electronic music have been routinely overlooked. Attending to Satz’s interest in the “unsung pockets of history,” this paper addresses her work in sonic terms, focusing in particular on Wolfgang Ernst’s materialist theories of media-archaeological listening and sonicity, which favour “the technical signifier rather than […] the acoustic or musical signified.”

Nyela’s paper is based on Bernard Stiegler’s “Transindividuation” (2012), and argues for the inclusion of practices such as hair braiding as a way to bridge Black studies and communication studies.

The award is given annually to an outstanding student who demonstrates financial need and a research interest in the topics reflected in the work of Ioan Davies, including:

  • aesthetics;
  • critical cultural theory;
  • culture in the global arena;
  • culture in everyday life;
  • technology and identity; and
  • the culture of cities.

Davies was a professor at York from 1972 until his death in 2000, and helped establish the African Studies Program, the Graduate Program in Social & Political Thought and the Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture. He was also a founder of the journal border/lines.

Students may be nominated by faculty or may apply independently, with awards ranging from $500 to $1,000.

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