Interested in becoming an IRMS mentee? View our application process here.
Alexandria Onuoha is a first-year applied developmental psychology doctoral student at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts working in the Youth Equity & Sexuality Lab. In the lab, she is exploring whether and how sexual violence prevention professionals account for specific threats posed by right-wing misogyny. Alexandria is the Director of Political Advocacy at Black Boston, which is a community organization that strives to prevent racial inequalities and promote solidarity among Black Bostonians. She leads a team that cultivates relationships with government officials and non-profit organizations to help push legislation that will positively impact Black youth in Boston. Her proposed research project is a qualitative study that seeks to understand the impact that far-right and fascist messages have on Black women college students’ development. Inspired by Dr. Crystal Fleming’s presentation at the 2020 IRMS/CRWS joint conference, Alexandria’s work addresses male supremacy and white supremacy by centering Black girls and women who are often left out of conversations.
Alexandria Onuoha is also an Afro-Caribbean and Modern dance artist who uses her art to promote the positive development of Black girls and women and promote social justice efforts. She has performed at the Bates Dance Festival and other concerts.
Amy C. Mack (she/her) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. In her dissertation, she examines the resurgence of nativist movements in Canada and their use of social media as a tool for community building and knowledge dissemination. Through a digital ethnographic approach, she explores how white supremacy and misogyny contribute to ideologies of victimization, erasure, and replacement. Her work has appeared in Collaborative Anthropologies, the Journal of Communication and Media Studies, and the forthcoming edited collection Digital Hate (Indiana University Press). Her work is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Elsa Bengtsson Meuller (she/they) is a PhD Student at the Department
of Politics and International Relations at Goldsmiths University of
London, UK. Elsa’s research explores feminist approaches to
cybersecurity and develops a feminist methodology for researching anti-
feminist online cultures through the use and theorization of emotions and
affect. They strive to bridge Feminist Security Studies and Cybersecurity,
to question dichotomizations of security, and to advance our
understanding of male- and white supremacist organization. Their
project with the IRMS maps security narratives in the Manosphere and
looks at the ways in which traditional framings of cybersecurity facilitate
gender-based violence through the militarization of cyberspace.
Jillian Sunderland is a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto where she explores intersections of privilege and power and how these can produce toxic and violent male environments. For example, she is currently examining media attributions of blame and responsibility regarding a sexual assault incident at an elite all-boys school in Toronto, ON. More specifically, she is addressing how the discourse of “toxic masculinity” absolved the perpetrators of criminal accountability. This research project that she is undertaking as a mentee at IRMS is an extension of her MA thesis funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). This study which involved an online discourse analysis of a popular white nationalist website is currently being prepared for publication. It explores both changes and tensions in white nationalist masculinity that are taking place given the accelerated growth of the alt-right movement and interconnections with other male groups fostered by social media communication. Her expertise in this area resulted in her being engaged by the community organization REACH Edmonton to create a report on countering violent extremism in Canada funded by Public Safety Canada’s community resilience fund. Follow her on Twitter @Socjillian
Kat Fuller is a graduate sociology student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Their research interests include virtual environment, masculinities, and anti-feminism, especially as they connect to far-right terrorism. They are interested in examining how hegemonic masculinity conducts actions in culture and social movements. The radicalization and polarization within social media are growing issues as people risk themselves by the disadvantages of technology, such as the filter bubble and attention economy. Their research interests also include the Men’s Rights Movement; they are currently working on a qualitative project on the history and internet culture of the movement and its relation to white masculinity and Western centrism.
In their free time, they enjoy reading books and watching movies, fiction or nonfiction.
Katie Furl is a PhD student in the Sociology department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is interested in studying the full stratifying potential of the rhetoric and discourse disseminated by members of male supremacist online communities, and the parallels between the language present within these seemingly extremist subaltern communities and the broader social world.
Her MA employs qualitative and computational methods to investigate the ways linguistic themes and strategically employed, gendered essentialist rhetoric facilitate the construction of robust social identities among members of the Involuntary Celibate, or incel, community active on Reddit.
You can follow Katie on Twitter @KatherineFurl
Luc S. Cousineau is a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo in the department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. His research explores men’s rights, Red Pill, and other men’s communities in digital spaces, with a focus on the establishment, building, and maintenance of communities. Currently using Reddit as a research site, he employs digital ethnographic methodologies and writes on the discourses of domination, sex, and superiority within these communities. In addition, he is exploring the ethics of censure and quarantine within private web spaces and their effects on community narratives and perceptions of participation.
Luc is a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholar with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Connect with him on Twitter @LucCousineau.
Maria N. Scaptura received her MS in sociology at Virginia Tech in 2019, where she is earning her doctorate. Her research interests are masculinity, gender, and crime. These areas converge in her thesis project, in which she examines the impact of masculinity threat on attitudes toward guns and aggressive fantasies.
Her current project is on former incels (“involuntary celibates”). She analyzes an r/AskReddit thread that asks ex-incels about their experiences and what drew them to the movement, finding that while respondents do not necessarily identify as incels anymore, they still perpetuate misogyny, objectify women, and blame others for their involvement in the incel community.
Mariel Cooksey holds an MA in Religion, Politics, and Conflict from the University of Virginia. Her thesis on the alt-right and its relationship with Christianity has led her to investigate newer, traditionalist Catholic offshoots of the far-right and how their use of metapolitics has shifted the Overton Window in mainstream conservative circles. Her current research focuses on the overlap between Generation Z internet culture and white nationalism and why teenage women are attracted to this new wave of ultra-misogynistic, religious right-wing populism. Aside from academia, Mariel has worked and researched with members of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, and with the Anti-Defamation League in Washington, D.C.
Meadhbh Park is a MA graduate of Peace and Conflict Studies from University College Dublin, Ireland. Her research interests include masculinity and its relationship to conflict, militaries, and political extremism. She has previously written papers on western foreign fighters in ISIS and militarised masculinity as conveyed through the medium of film in the post 9/11 era. She is currently working on studying the link between masculinity and the far-right and wrote her MA thesis on hypermasculinity and the rhetoric of Gavin McInnes. She is interested in looking at how masculinity is framed in the ‘alt-right’ and how examination of the ‘alt-right’ through the lens of masculinity could bring a deeper understanding as to why men are drawn to the movement. She also volunteers at Life After Hate, an organisation dedicated to helping people leave far-right extremism.
Pratiksha Menon is a doctoral student in Communication and Media at the University of Michigan. After working as a media professional in India for eight years, Pratiksha now focuses on analyzing popular culture from a postcolonial feminist perspective. Her current project explores how humor works as an effective tool to trivialize gendered oppression online, as well as its overall role in normalizing patriarchal ideologies. Her research includes examining how humor contributes to framing gender issues in public debate, how decontextualized free speech rhetoric encourages the spread of humor which disproportionately targets marginalized groups as well as mapping connected histories between white supremacism & Hindutva nationalism through their grounding in male supremacy. She is interested in the intersection of how industry logics, company policy, and regulation work in tandem with profit motives to sustain these forms of communication as well as the critical analysis of these humorous formats.
Rina James is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Arizona. Their research examines the misogynistic narratives employed within the manosphere, with current work analyzing the narratives surrounding race and gender present on incel forums, identifying how male supremacy and white supremacy intersect within these spaces. They are also currently developing a dissertation project that explores ideological variation among male supremacist groups. Using computational and qualitative methods, they aim to analyze how groups such as men’s rights activists, MGTOWs, incels, and pickup artists engage with this ideology, and how this variation contributes to men’s radicalization and shapes the outcomes of participation in these movements.
Sara Abdulla is a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is interested in social science, ethics, and data. Sara has previously written about the ethical implications of neurotechnology on the criminal justice system (in press in Neuroscience and Philosophy, publisher MIT Press) and on burgeoning far-right men’s movements, also known as the manosphere (published with the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan). Her proposed project is a qualitative analysis on the black pill, red pill, and MGTOW movements and their relationships with race and religion. This analysis incorporates well-known ideas about white supremacism (for those familiar with the black pill, also known as “Just Be White” theory), as well as ideas about racial hierarchy in the manosphere and so-called sexual marketplace. She will also analyze the relationship that the manosphere has with religion, particularly Islam, to develop their ideologies and to help them actualize their goals in female submission.
In her free time, Sara enjoys reading, hiking, and exploring local art. She is a Data Research Analyst at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology and lives in Washington, DC.
Ye Bin Won is a junior at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service majoring in International Politics. She conducted independent research this past summer on the racial politics of the incelosphere under the guidance of Dr. Julia DeCook. Currently, Ye Bin is attending classes online in her hometown of Seoul and interning for the George Washington Program on Extremism. As an IRMS mentee, she is working with IRMS fellow Mr. Simon Purdue on expanding her summer project for her senior thesis. When Yebin isn’t signing up for extremism-related webinars (that she often can’t attend anyway due to time differences), you can find her perfecting her tomato sauce recipe.