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Priya Rehal - Independent. Montreal, QC, CA

Priya Rehal Priya Rehal

MA in Communication and Culture, Fan Studies Researcher | Independent

Montreal, QC, CANADA

Montreal and Toronto based researcher and educator





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ComCultXCongress 3MC: Priya Rehal York MA Student




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)



Media Production

Media - Online



Areas of Expertise (23)


Race Culture and Ethnicity

Race Gender and Class in Organization Processes

Race Gender and Sexuality

Sexual and Gender Identity

Sex and Power in the Workplace


Comic Conventions

Comics and Culture

Comic Studies


Communication & Culture


Representations in the Media

Colonial India and the Diaspora


Indian Culture and Communication Practices

Punjabi Culture


Fandom and Fan Motivators

Hip Hop and Politics

Cultural and Educational Potential of Hip Hop

Cultural Appropriation

Education (2)

York University: BA, Communication Studies 2014

York University and Ryerson University: MA, Communication and Culture 2016

Languages (3)

  • English
  • Punjabi
  • Hindi

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!'

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Priya Rehal on Disruptive Cosplaying

FemRadio  radio


The interview begins at 11:50 and ends at 29:29

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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


Articles (1)

I Fight White Supremacy By Cosplaying

GUTS Magazine


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.

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