Organizing Committee / Comité organisateur

Audrey Rousseau
COHDS Student Representative & PhD candidate, Sociology Department, University of Ottawa

I am currently completing my Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Ottawa, ABD, specializing in the politics of memory, indigenous studies, women’s experience of oppression, and oral history.

My doctoral dissertation (Penser le conflit des interprétations: Expériences de remémoration face à l’horizon de promesses. Le parcours de reconnaissance des buanderies Madeleine en Irlande, 1993-2014/ “Thinking the conflict of interpretations: Experiences of remembrance in relation to horizons of expectation. The path towards recognition of the Irish Magdalene Laundries, 1993-2014”) explores the contemporary struggles led by survivors of the Magdalen Laundries and their allies in Ireland. These religious-run institutions (18th-20th century) confined, abused, and forced into labor, girls and women deemed “fallen”. My study examines how the concept of “conflict of interpretations” (in social actors discourses) can be productive in analyzing intimate and collective knowledge about the past. While investigating different aspects of Irish women’s contemporary history, as well as disciplinary techniques of normalizing social discourses and bodies, the core of my research material consist of oral histories (collected by feminist scholars in Ireland), parliamentary debates, and newspaper archives over a period of 21 years. My dissertation makes a significant contribution to the field of sociology of memory, by developing a unique and comprehensive methodological approach to living archives. It can also be considered a pioneering work of feminist history, as no researcher has yet documented this ongoing struggle for justice and redress for the thousands of women and girls who died behind the Laundries’ walls.

My master’s thesis, completed at the Université du Québec à Montréal (2011), addressed the historical, epistemological, and political conditions surrounding the Indian Residential School survivors’ public testimonials, in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (Mémoires et identités blessées en contexte postcolonial : la commission de vérité et réconciliation du Canada / “Wounded Memories and Identities in Postcolonial Context: Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission”).


Katie Hill
M.A. Student, Communication Studies Department, Concordia University

I am a second-year student in the Masters of Arts in Media Studies program at Concordia University. My masters thesis explores how young Indigenous women in Yukon are using social media for two distinct yet related purposes: first, for engaging as community leaders with both their Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities; and second, for reconstructing representations of Indigenous culture and identity, including gender identity. The goal of this research is to elucidate how young Indigenous women and community leaders are using social media as a communication tool and a space for challenging most common media representations of Indigenous women, identity and culture.

By using interviews from young, female Indigenous community leaders from across Yukon, my thesis will add a unique northern and Indigenous perspective to a growing body of academic literature that addresses the potential of social media for community building, and as a space for challenging misrepresentations of groups including youth, Indigenous people and women. Beyond academia, I also intend to create a website where I can display this research and my collaborators’  joint contributions for a wider audience.

My other research interests include digital storytelling and online representations of communities, as well as radio and podcasting.


Piyusha Chatterjee
PhD Student, INDI, Concordia University

I am a first-year PhD student from India. I completed my Master’s degree in English literature in 2004. My interest in oral history began with a couple of institutional history projects in India that allowed me to explore history through the voices of the people. As part of my PhD thesis, I am interested in using oral history theory and practise as a tool to record a social and cultural history of the steel cities in post-independence India.

My PhD thesis will be on the development of steel cities in India after independence. Using oral history theory and practice I want to bring in the voices of the people in the historiography of the period in India. My project would be to record oral histories in Durgapur, a steel city in the state of West Bengal in the eastern part of India, and analyse and interpret these voices to understand the people’s perspective on modernity, industrialization, planning and development in the country. I want to look at how this transformation manifested itself on the lives of the people. How did a rural space comprising largely agrarian and mining communities transform into planned townships and an industrial city; how did an industrial city make the journey from colonization to the post-colonial world; and how have people living here negotiated the changing socio-political dynamics of the country? I would like to explore this journey through people’s memories and stories of their past.


Sara Kendall
M.A. Student, INDI, Concordia University

Sara Kendall is an M.A. student in the Individualized Program at Concordia University, whose research focuses on gentrification, youth organizing, and the politics of representation in the city of Hudson, NY. She is also the Co-Director of Kite’s Nest, a Learning Center for children and teenagers in Hudson. Previously, she’s worked as the Station Manager of WGXC: Hands-on Radio, a small community radio station in upstate New York, and as an Assistant to the Oral History Summer School in Hudson.

Sara Kendall est étudiante à la maîtrise au programme individualisé de l’Université Concordia. Ses recherches touchent les questions d’embourgeoisement, les organisations jeunesse, et les politiques de représentation dans la ville de Hudson (N.Y.). Elle est aussi la codirectrice de l’initiative Kite’s Nest, un centre d’apprentissage pour les enfants et les adolescents de Hudson. Elle a auparavant travaillé comme directrice de WGXC: Hands-on Radio, une station de radio communautaire de l’État de New York, et a été adjointe de la Oral History Summer School à Hudson.


Aude Maltais-Landry
Associate Director, COHDS, Concordia University / Directrice adjointe, CHORN, Université Concordia

Aude a complété en 2014 une maîtrise en histoire à l’Université Concordia, sous la direction de Steven High et avec le soutien financier du CRSH et du FRQSC. Son mémoire, «Récits de Nutashkuan: la création d’une réserve indienne en territoire innu», a été récompensé par deux prix d’excellence. Elle s’intéresse aux possibilités de l’histoire orale pour faire connaître le point de vue des Autochtones sur leur propre histoire, et signait récemment un premier article scientifique, « Un territoire de cent pas de côté : récits de la création d’une réserve indienne en territoire innu au milieu du XXe siècle », dans les pages de la Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française (volume 69, no. 1-2).

Aude a également collaboré à l’Alliance de recherche universités-communautés (ARUC) Tetauan. Habiter le Nitassinan mak Innu Assi: Représentations, aménagement et gouvernance des milieu bâtis des collectivités innues du Québec. Auparavant, elle a œuvré dans le monde du cinéma documentaire et travaillé avec le Wapikoni mobile dans plusieurs communautés autochtones du Québec.

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