Priya Rehal is an educator and independent researcher who holds a Master’s in Communication and Culture from York, and Ryerson Universities. Priya facilitates workshops across the Greater Toronto and Montreal area. She is interested in transgressive play, subcultures and feminism and researches cosplay, politics of representation, hip-hop cultures, Sikhism, fandom and accessibility. Her MA thesis was on people of colour who engage in Steampunk as costuming or cosplay, and her past research includes Disney Princesses, Selfies, and ‘gender-bending’ cosplay. Priya currently teaches at College Montmorency.
Industry Expertise (6)
Areas of Expertise (23)
York University: BA, Communication Studies 2014
York University and Ryerson University: MA, Communication and Culture 2016
Media Appearances (3)
Fan Cultures Documentary (Forthcoming 2018)
ARTE TV (Germany and France) tv
I was interviewed by French filmmaker Maxime Donzel, as the industry expert on cosplay for a forthcoming documentary, to be aired on ARTE TV in France and Germany. The film is currently in post-production.
Fake Geek Girls Like Us: Interview with Priya Rehal
Fake Geek Girls Like Us online
'Fake Geek Girls Like Us Interviews features women out in the geek world. June's Interview is with Priya Rehal and we discuss the politics around cosplay!'
Priya Rehal on Disruptive Cosplaying
The interview begins at 11:50 and ends at 29:29
Event Appearances (11)
Navigating Racialization in Academia – The Master’s Perspective
Joint PhD in Communication Studies Conference at University of Quebec Université du Quebec à Montréal
Creative Research Design: Disruptivity in Research and Cosplay
Guest Lecturer for Course FS 8111 “Fashion and Popular Culture” (Master's Elective) Ryerson University
May the Force be with Her Panelist
"May the Force be with Her Launch Party and Q&A Panel" Toronto
Jessica Jones: A Feminist Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences Calgary
“MAJOR KEY” – Transmitting Conspicuous Consumption and Masculinities via Snapchat
“Mediating Popular Music” panel Popular Culture Association of Canada Annual Conference, Montreal
Re-presentations across Media
BEA – The Broadcast Education Association Las Vegas
Disruptive Cosplay: Intersectionality and Original Cosplay
“Creating Culture” panel Canadian Association of Cultural Studies Biennial Conference, Waterloo University
Cosplaying in Colour
Transgressive Spaces: Race, Sexuality, and Feminism Panel 2015 Future Communications Symposium at York and Ryerson Universities
Three Modes of Healing through Colour - Invited Speaker
Activate T.O. Event “Between the Lines: Exploring Boundaries of Creativity and Mental Wellness”, Toronto City Hall
#SelfieNation – A Visual Research Project concerning the Power of Self-Photography.
2014 Future Communications Symposium York University
Cultural Appropriation 101 – Black Media Representation, Appropriation and Identity
Guest Lecturer for, “Power to Be International: The Engaging Girls Program” Ajax
Fandoms and conventions are uncomfortable spaces for brown and black women. I’m not a passive fan: I don’t merely like or enjoy the media I consume, I love it. This love takes shape in the form of cosplay, the fan activity of dressing up as a character from popular culture: film, shows, books… but honestly, you could cosplay a character that hasn’t been “published” in any way. I spend hours researching and planning particular kinds of cosplay representations—from characters that already exist to some that I invent—but this is standard practice in costume play. While I used to cosplay mostly to explore gender, I’ve become interested in using cosplay to challenge the future and the whiteness of the media I enjoy.