Evangeline Holtz-Schramek (she/they)

Nominated by member scholarly associations of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the 2022 Congress Graduate Merit Awards recognize exceptional graduate students who will be presenting their work at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Photo of Evangeline Holtz-Schramek, CGMA recipient


Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Evangeline ‘Vange’ Holtz-Schramek. I study online mothering at McMaster University’s Department of Communication Studies and Media Arts in the Communication, New Media, and Cultural Studies PhD program where my work is supervised by Dr. Faiza Hirji. 

Which scholarly association(s) are you currently a member of?

  • CCA

At which conference(s) will you be presenting and/or attending? 

Canadian Communication Association 

What is the title of your Congress 2022 presentation?  

“Post-Brelfie: The Limits of Intersubjectivity and Intersectionality in Spring 2020 Virtual Lactation Selfie Culture.” 

How would you describe the research you will be presenting at Congress 2022?

Mothering has increasingly digital resonances. Under COVID-19 especially, with parents facing heightened stressors due to navigating constantly-shifting public health dictums with respect to caring for their children, I look at how these stressors are elucidated on social media platforms. This particular project looks at virtual lactation: online breastfeeding performances and debates. How do new office codes in white-collar virtual worlds offer novel platforms for critiques of working mothers especially as they strive to balance domestic and vocational responsibilities? And how do social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube promote a re-sexualization of breastfeeding that can be understood as a regression of broader feminist mothering?  

How does the research you will be presenting connect with the Congress 2022 theme, Transitions

My research looks explicitly at “matrescence” – a period of psycho-biological transition that occurs when one enters into the stage/role of parenthood – which can have wide-ranging repercussions upon a person’s vocational, social, emotional, and embodied lives. 

What is your favourite part of the Congress experience? 

What a gift to learn directly from one’s academic crushes and mentors. And to find new crushes and mentors. It’s so exciting to see new/in-progress work from so many brilliant and creative thinkers. 

Share your hopes for Congress 2022. 

I’m excited to share my in-progress piece on virtual lactation for the first time with a public audience. I’m on a panel headed by Dr. Miranda Brady, whose work inspires me beyond measure. I’m so looking forward to learning from Dr. Brady about topics we are both engaged in such as mothering affects under COVID-19 conditions.