Presenters and Moderators

Dr. Solon Barocas 

Solon Barocas pic

Dr. Solon Barocas is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. His research focuses on emerging applications of machine learning and the ethical and epistemological issues that they raise. He completed his doctorate in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, where he remains an affiliate of the Information Law Institute. Dr. Barocas also works with the Data & Society Research Institute and serves on its National Science Foundation-funded Council for Big Data, Ethics, and Society.

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Dr. Maude Bonenfant


Dr. Maude Bonenfant is Assistant Professor, at the Département de communication sociale et publique, at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). She holds a Ph.D in semiotics and specializes in online social networks and communities, social web and online communication, mobile technologies, gamification and videogames.

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Dr. Baki Cakici

Baki Cakici pic

Dr Baki Cakici is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London, Department of Sociology, within the ERC funded research project Peopling Europe: How data make a people (ARITHMUS). His research interests include surveillance, classification, and the politics of information and communication technologies. He is specifically interested in the role of algorithms and big data analytics in knowledge production. In his research, he draws on theories from science and technology studies, and surveillance studies.

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Dr. Sami Coll

Sami Coll

Dr. Sami Coll first got a BS degree in 1991 in computer and telecommunication sciences. After several years working as engineer, he started studying sociology and received his PhD in 2010 from the University of Geneva. Then, he spent a couple of year working as visiting research fellow at the City University of New York and at the Surveillance Studies Centre of the Queen’s University in Kingston. He is currently working as lecturer at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lausanne. His main field of research focuses on the production of massive personal data and the risks that involves for privacy, freedom and democracy. He conducted a major research on loyalty cards than can be seen as one of the first empirical studies on big data before the term became popular as it is now. He also worked on social networks and is now conducting a new research which explores how big data can affect our everyday lives in the way it reconfigures the relationship between power and knowledge. 

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Dr. Gilbert Émond

Gilbert Emond

Dr. Gilbert Émond has spent a good deal of his academic career studying homophobia. After he developed a special questionnaire with GRIS-Montreal for high school students, he found last year significant evidence of homophobic abuse in our schools, both physical and spoken. Many students spoke of humiliation and rejection, as well as verbal and physical harassment by their peers just because the victims are, or seem to be, gay or lesbian. Some of these abused teens ultimately moved to other schools or had thoughts of suicide.

Émond is examining this new evidence to understand how what seems like a joke can open doors to physical attacks in schools. Much of this research is done with GRIS-Montreal. GRIS’ mission is to find ways to intervene in homophobia and to demystify homosexuality in schools. Last year Émond also published the book L’Homophobie, pas dans ma cour! (Homophobia, not in my school yard!) with Janik Bastien Charlebois.

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Dr. Martin French

MF Pic_Cropped_hm

Dr. Martin French is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University. His research examines the social dimensions of technology with an empirical focus on communications & information technology and the risks they help to mitigate or aggravate. He is particularly interested in how organizations use surveillance technologies to know and manage the risks they face, and in the potentiality of these technologies to generate unanticipated risks. Dr. French is the Organizer of Concordia University’s Risk Research Working Group, housed within the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture.

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Dr. Henning  Füller

Dr. Henning Fueller

Dr. Henning Füller is currently working as a postdoctoral staff member at the Department of Geography, Humboldt-University Berlin. His research interests are on the conceptual relations of power, space and security.
His on-going book project “Geographies of Biosecurity“ aims to understand the impacts of an emerging diseases world view on the governing of cities and bodies. The discourse of ‘dangerous life’ reinforces the current turn towards of data driven surveillance and algorithmic association with depoliticizing effects.

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Dr. Marilou Gagnon

Marilou Gagnon

Dr. Marilou Gagnon is Associate Professor at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa and Director of the Unit for Critical Research in Health. Her work is underpinned by critical and sociopolitical approaches. Her program of research includes questions related to the body and technology, power and discourse, and social justice. As a member of the University Chair in Forensic Nursing, she has been working on a number of projects on HIV criminalization, HIV-related stigma and discrimination in health care settings, and human rights. Her research interest in big data and risky bodies is rooted in theoretical and empirical analyses of diagnostics (i.e., HIV testing), surveillance data (i.e., Community Viral Load), risk mapping, and surveillance technologies (i.e., technotherapeutics).

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Fergus Gleeson

Fergus Gleeson pic

Fergus Gleeson is an MA level graduate student with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University.

Fergus’s research focuses on two distinct areas: Technology that enables far more anonymity and freedom from the constraints of big data in the use of the Internet such as the Darkweb, the TOR Project, and quantum computing. The epistemological and social implications of the marriage between classical and quantum processes in computing and other areas of science are enormous and worthy of analysis. Secondly, he analyses the socio-economic impact of public international law and how it manifests itself in international trade and investment agreements, with an emphasis on the legal mechanism of Investor-State Dispute Settlements. In particular, he focuses on how the accumulation of capital is facilitated by the displacement of risk and responsibility, especially in the realms of finance and ecology. Using the fundamental concepts of systems theory and cybernetics to examine these patterns of regulation and governance, he is interested in furthering interdisciplinary research methods to highlight the techniques used to enable this displacement.

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Dr. Adrian Guta 


Dr. Kelly Hannah-Moffat 

kelly Hannah-Moffat

Kelly Hannah-Moffat is a full professor Sociology/Criminology and Vice Dean undergraduate at University of Toronto Mississauga and the Director of the Centre of Criminology & Sociolegal Studies. She conducts interdisciplinary research on risk, human rights, gendered justice, punishment and marginalized and diverse populations.  Her work on risk, gender and punishment focuses on how variables such as gender and race interact with seemingly objective risk assessment tools, the experiences of the assessors and the institutional operationalization of policy reforms.  Her recent work-studies specialized courts (domestic violence, Aboriginal, community/wellness and drug courts) and how legal practices such as bail, sentencing, and case processing have collectively changed as a consequence of the hybrid approaches used in various specialized courts.

Hannah-Moffat, K.  (2015) ‘The Uncertainties of Risk Assessment: Partiality, Transparency and Just Decisions’, Federal Sentencing Reporter; (2015) ‘Needle in a haystack: Logical parameters of treatment based on actuarial risk – needs assessments’ Criminology and Public Policy; (2012) ‘Actuarial Sentencing: An Unsettled proposition’ Justice Quarterly; (2010) “Sacrosanct or flawed: Risk, Accountability and Gender-responsive Penal Politics” Current Issues in Criminal Justice. 22 (2): 193-216;  with Justice D. Cole (2007) Sentencing and Risk – Special issue of the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice 49 (4).with P. Maurutto (2012) ‘Shifting and targeted forms of penal governance: Bail, punishment, and specialized courts’ Theoretical Criminology; (2007) ‘Understanding risk in the Context of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.’  Canadian Journal of Criminology. 49 (4):465-491. (2005) ‘Assembling risk and the restructuring of penal control’.   British Journal of Criminology. 45: 1-17;  and (2007) edited with P. O’Malley Gendered Risks, Routledge.

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Dr. Sylvia Kairouz

Sylvia Kairouz

Dr. Sylvia Kairouz is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University. She published extensively in sociology, social epidemiology and public health journals and won the Brain Star Award of the Canadian Institute of Health Research for her innovative work on the role of social contexts in alcohol consumption. She is currently engaged in funded research examining comprehensive multilevel models of determinants of gambling behaviours. She has piloted six large population surveys in Quebec over the last five years and collaborates with scholars and key institutions in Quebec, Canada and internationally. She holds an FQRSC research chair on the study of gambling and is the head of the Lifestyle and Addiction Research Lab at Concordia University.

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Dr. Lisa Lynch

Lisa Lynch

Dr. Lisa Lynch is Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University, past fellow at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy, and an Affiliate at Data and Society.

Her research is situated at the intersection between culture, technology, and political change, focusing on topics including new media, information access, global internet governance issues, and human rights. Her academic writing has appeared in journals including  American LiteratureRadical History Review, and Journalism Practice, and her research has been written about in publications ranging from Kill Screen to Al Jazeera.

Some of her more prominent research has focused on the growth of leaking platforms and their use by journalists. Current  projects include exploring differences in the media response to European ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ legislation, and also comparing public-facing media representations of net neutrality with how the news industry has responded to that issue through lobbying efforts and conversations within professional circles.

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Alexander McClelland

Alex McClelland

Alexander McClelland is an academic, writer and activist who is currently working on a doctorate at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture, Concordia University. His work focuses on the intersections of life, law and disease. His doctoral work is examining the lives of people who have marked institutionally as criminal and public health risks in relation to not disclosing their HIV-positive status to sex partners in Canada. His work is supported through a range of awards, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) doctoral HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research Award.

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Dr. Fenwick Mckelvey

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Lee Mellor


Lee Mellor is a PhD student in Concordia’s INDI program, drawing from the fields of sociology and psychology to study violent offenders. His research has focused mainly on paraphilias, identity, and the implications of these factors in crime scene assessment, linkage analysis, offender profiling, and crime prevention. As a lecturer in Social Deviance, Mellor is fascinated by the role that logical fallacies and group consensus have in obscuring double-standards related to the legitimate and illegitimate uses of violence, belief systems, and mental health assessment. His interest in big data and risk stems from this, as actuarial measures are increasingly used to determine whether human beings will obtain employments, receive healthcare treatment, remain incarcerated, suffer stigmatization, and die.

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Dr. André Mondoux

Andre Mondoux 2013

A sociologist by training, André Mondoux has worked in the world of digital technologies for more than 25 years, either as regional director of a large computer firm (WordPerfect) or reporter / columnist specializing in IT (LaPresse, Les Affaires, Direction Informatique, Info-Tech, MusiquePlus). He completed a doctorate in sociology in 2007 with a thesis on MP3 sharing and became a professor in the School of Media (Faculty of Communication) at the University of Quebec in Montreal in 2009. Founder of GRISQ (Research group on information and monitoring in daily life), his current research focuses on social media and the trivialization of surveillance in contemporary societies; particularly on the integration of geolocation (GPS) (location-based media), as well as data mining (data mining), especially the new circuits of circulation and commodification of information (Big Data) and their impacts on governementality.

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Jessica Percy-Campbell

Jessica Percy-Campbell

Jessica Percy-Campbell is a MA level graduate student with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University. Her research interests include digital sociology, social justice movements in relation to web 2.0 technology, big data mining, surveillance, and hacktivism.

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Matthew Perks 

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Matthew Perks is an MA level graduate student with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University. His research interests focus on the concepts of gamification, game studies, and big data. Specifically in how emerging trends in modern gaming relate to big data and other social phenomena.

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Professor Gerda Reith

Gerda Reith

Gerda Reith is a Professor of Social Science at the University of Glasgow, U.K. Her research focuses on the impact of social and environmental factors on gambling, and on their implications for public health and policy. She has carried out a number of Research-Council funded studies of these issues, most recently a five year longitudinal qualitative study of ‘gambling careers’ and trajectories. Ongoing projects include explorations of the role of crime, debt, social exclusion and resilience on the development of gambling problems and recovery, as well as other risky behaviours over time, and their impacts on individuals as well as their wider social networks.

She has written extensively on the empirical and theoretical issues around these topics, and her book, The Age of Chance: Gambling in Western Culture, won the Philip Abrams Prize for the best book in sociology for 2000.

She sits on the editorial boards of a number of Journals (including International Gambling studies, Journal of Youth Studies and Risk Management), and has advised national and international governments and organisations on issues related to gambling and public health.

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Jennifer Reynolds

Jennifer Reynolds

Jennifer Reynolds, M.Ed, Ph.D (c) is a Researcher at the Responsible Gambling Council, currently heading up the MOHLTC youth gambling study, developing best practices for youth gambling prevention and treatment. Jennifer has worked in the area of youth gambling for over 12 years. Before joining the RGC, Jennifer worked at the Public Health Gambling Project, at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the University of Toronto. She has been Co-Investigator on a number of gambling-related research grants and has authored several peer-reviewed papers on gambling and presented on her work internationally. Jennifer is expected to complete her PhD in the fall of 2015 from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the University of Toronto examining youth gambling on social networking sites, entitled: Youth, Poker & Facebook: Another Case of Candy Cigarettes?

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Dr. Chantal Robillard

Chantal robillard

Dr. Chantal Robillard is the Coordinator of the Research Chair on Gambling and an Affiliate Professor with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University. She is a social anthropologist and has been conducting research on the gambling play experience for the past three years. She has recently obtained a SSHRC Insight Development grant to conduct an ethnographic study of socialization and embodiment in the online video game League of Legends (Riot games). Drawing on her ethnographic research, Dr. Robillard brings to the workshop an empirically grounded account of the ways that disruptive/exemplary behaviours are tracked and sanctioned/rewarded within League of Legends. She traces a distinction between the panoptic, automated, big-data-driven mode of player sanction/reward and the forms of lateral surveillance that the gamer community or players themselves conduct to regulate gameplay. Presented in the Big Data, Risk and Games Session, her paper will help identify unique (emergent) characteristics associated with the use of big data in the regulation of risky gameplay.

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Dr. Amy Swiffen

Amy Swiffen


Assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University.

Amy is a sociologist whose research focuses on the relationship between law and society in new legal contexts, such as human rights, international law and public health law. She is interested in social theories of risk and uncertainty, and how concepts of risk are articulated within sociological theory.

Dr. Lindsay Thomas

Dr. Lindsay Thomas

Dr. Lindsay Thomas is an assistant professor of English at Clemson University. Her current book project, “Training for Catastrophe: Preparedness Media, Speculative Fiction, and the Management of the Future,” argues that the media of the national security state train us to accept disaster as part of everyday life and to expect its perpetual re-emergence. By focusing on the formal strategies and nonconscious effects of governmental print and digital media, the book shows how they produce catastrophic futures in order to manage political imagination in the present. Thomas’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Surveillance and Society, Contemporary Literature, and American Literature.

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Dr. Jennifer R. Whitson


Dr. Jennifer R. Whitson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology & Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo. She is also on the board of the university’s Games Institute and is a Research Advisor for Execution Labs, an accelerator for game studios.  Her work centres on the shifting production models of the global game industry, and tracing how risk management practices, data mining, and digital distribution shape developers’ creative work and the larger cultural role of games.
More generally, she studies digital media surveillance, social influences on software development processes, gamification, and governance in online domains. You can find her writing in a number of edited collections such as The Gameful World, published by MIT Press, in the journals First Monday, Economy & Society, and FibreCulture.

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