Ethics, Intersections, Reflections: C4E Undergraduate Research Conference

This interdisciplinary symposium issue accompanies a conference held online in July 2021 that featured work by undergraduate scholars from across the University of Toronto who engaged with ethical issues, broadly defined, in the spirit of the Centre for Ethics’s mission to explore the ethical dimensions of individual, social, and political life.

Table of Contents

Panel I Ethics in Context

  • Jeffrey Ma, Rearranging Arranged Marriage in Modern India: How Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking Elucidates the Positionality of the Modern Neoliberal Subject
  • Bailey Irene Midori Hoy, My Family’s Haunted Left Stairway: An Autoethnography on Trauma and Memory through the Lense of Haunting Studies, Japanese Folklore and Material Culture

Panel II Ethics in Policy

  • Tsitsi Macherera, Surveillance in Higher-Education and How Campuses Can Resist
  • Maliha Sarwar, It Takes a Village…Or Maybe a Lottery? Contextualizing Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Black Americans
  • Ana Brinkerhoff, Solutions to the Deficiency of Intersectional Female Representation

Panel III Ethics in Theory

  • Alex Heyman, Information Utilitarianism 
  • Ariel LaFayette, An Existentialist Challenge to Karl Marx’s Vision of Jewish Emancipation

Ana Brinkerhoff is a fourth-year undergraduate student at University College. She is completing Majors in Political Science and Sociology. Her research interests include political sociology, intersectional gender studies, critical carceral studies, and unenforced policy. Ana wishes to continue her education at the graduate level in the future and hopes to conduct research on the failures of the Canadian state and how this failure reinforces societal inequalities. Ana is from Vancouver, BC and is excited to return to campus in the Fall. 

Alex Heyman is a former C4E Undergraduate Fellow (2020-21) and a recent graduate from U of T (Class of 2021) with a BSc in Computer Science and Cognitive Science, plus a Philosophy minor. They have been interested in philosophy since being introduced to it by their parents in middle school, with chief interests including ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind. They take a consequentialist approach to ethics, and hope to help integrate ethical and safety concerns into the field of AI research in their future career. Outside of academia, they are an amateur writer of both fiction and non-fiction, as well as a hobbyist designer and programmer of retro-style video games.

Bailey Irene Midori Hoy is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto. A fourth generation Japanese Canadian, she developed an interest in her community’s history while completing a history specialist. This passion, coupled with an interest in fashion, has led to work related to diaspora, feminism, and material culture. In 2020 she was a co-recipient of the Richard Lee Insights Through Asia Challenge, where she conducted research on the relationship between kimono and Japanese Canadian women, currently under review for publication in Re: locations journal. Recently, she finished her senior thesis on Japanese American Beauty Queens. Bailey is currently working as a research assistant, and helping curate an exhibit on origami for the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Other interests include historical reenactment, stand-up paddleboarding, and bubble tea.

Ariel LaFayette‘s research interests are in the phenomenology of religious experience and ethical debates in the philosophy of mind. She is particularly interested in how topics in the philosophy of religion can be re-interpreted to shed light on progressive solutions to contemporary ethical problems. Ariel is also an editor of Pensées Canadiennes—the national philosophy undergraduate journal, and the editor-in-chief of Noesis—UofT’s philosophy undergraduate journal. She is currently in the final year of her undergraduate degree, double-majoring in philosophy and cognitive science.

Jeffrey Ma is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, having completed his undergraduate Bachelors of Arts degree with a major in History and Anthropology in 2021. He is looking forward to pursuing a J.D. at the University of Michigan Law School starting this fall. His academic interests involve topics related to the history of the Asian diaspora in North America, the history and development of cultural foodways, as well as the realities of neoliberalism and globalization in Asia. In his free time, he enjoys baking, listening to podcasts, and a variety of arts & crafts.

Tsitsi Macherera is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto. Their research interests include black feminist thought, urban planning, and more recently surveillance studies. In her free time, she enjoys film photography, jump rope, and finding new music.

Maliha Sarwar (she/her) is pursuing a double major at the University of Toronto in Sociocultural Anthropology and History. Her presentation at the Ethics Intersections Reflections conference examines the institutional medical racism in the United States, and its impact on COVID-19 vaccine uptake in Black Americans. Through her research she hopes to shed light on the importance of working directly with communities to better understand intergenerational medical trauma and create long term solutions for a more equitable future. Maliha is incredibly interested in the intersection of ethics and policy, and enjoys examining contemporary global issues through a historical lens. When she’s not working, Maliha loves to take long walks through Toronto and explore new parts of the city.

The symposium issue was guest edited by Amelia Eaton, who also organized and hosted the conference.