Hi, my name is Sabrina Ward-Kimola (she/her). I’m a SSHRC-funded PhD student in Concordia’s Communication program. I am a settler of white descent and a CODA (child of a Deaf adult), raised bilingually in English and American Sign Language. I was born in Vancouver, the stolen land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. I was raised in various colonial towns on Vancouver Island situated on the stolen lands of the Nuučaan̓uuɫɁatḥ nism̓a (Nuu-Chah-Nulth), the Lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) and the Hul’q’umi’num (Cowichan) nations, respectively. I now live in Tiohtià:ke on Kanien’kehá:ka territory as an uninvited settler. I recognize how my white-settler position exists within a matrix of capital and colonization, as well as the role that my participation in colonial knowledge systems maintains continued epistemological erasure of pre-colonial knowledge structures. In stride with the values of AIM, I believe that gratitude and recognition of coloniality is not enough, and for this reason I aspire in my work and community to commit to anti-colonial principles. I also commit to staying open to any mistakes or failures I make in this regard. Outside of my own research, yet related to the transient relationships to cities that academia invites, I am aware of my role in the continued gentrification of Tiohtià:ke; these movements carry direct impacts on the political and cultural relationship of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and its people to the land through continual denial of access. For me, anti-colonialism from the vantage point of a city-dweller is a commitment to resisting rising rent costs, food sustainability and community integrity, among others.
My research interests lie in the relationship between technology, disability, and language, with a specific interest in the appropriation of technology into Deaf cultural contexts. My doctoral research concerns the dynamics of video-teleconferencing appropriation in Vancouver’s d/Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and American Sign Language community. Former research investigated the role of new media in ASL poetry, with a principal concern on how the modalities of language impacts poetic meaning. In sum, my research taps into the histories of ASL media regimes, asking how these histories can be understood as both the continuation of a cultural thread as well as a pre-requisite for the contemporary explosion of video culture(s) decades after the fact.
I also do research with Access-in-the-Making Lab at Concordia University, led by Dr. Arseli Dokumaci, Canada Research Chair in Disability Studies and Media Technologies. Through and beyond my participation in research lab-work, some of my work can be found in The Canadian Journal of Communication, First Monday, Media Culture and Society, Social Media + Society, and The Institute of Network Culture’s INC Reader #15: Critical Meme Research.