Biographies of Editorial and Advisory Board Members – 2022
Maya Khankhoje (B.A. English Literature, retired Senior Language Officer, ICAO), has been part of the Montréal Serai team since its inception 35 years ago. Born in Mexico, she was raised in Mexico and India, and settled down in Montréal in 1978. She was a member and juror of the QWF Board, and juror of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Khankhoje has more than 420 publications to her credit: literary and cinema reviews, essays, fiction, and poetry. She has translated two books from Spanish into English and has authored a Spanish/English book for children.
Her work has appeared in diverse publications such as JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) (US), Harper’s (US), Sputnik (USSR), Link (India), Esse (Québec), ICAO Bulletin (Montréal), and Montréal Serai. She has received several awards for her work in French, English and Spanish, and also speaks Portuguese, Italian, Russian, German and colloquial Hindi.
Dr. Kerry McElroy is a feminist cultural historian and writer with a recent doctorate in Humanities from Concordia University, Montréal. Her thesis, entitled Class Acts: A Socio-Cultural History of Women, Labour, and Migration in Hollywood, focused on women in performance systems. She has published articles on cinema, women, history, culture and politics in Irish America, The Independent and Montréal Serai, among other magazines. She holds masters’ degrees from Columbia and Carnegie Mellon Universities.
Founding editor and publishing manager at Montréal Serai, Lisa Foster has a B.A. in Sociology from Concordia University and a B.Sc. in Genetics and Chemistry from the University of Alberta. Lisa has many years’ experience in Serai’s design and layout, grant application processes, project compliance and budget compliance.
Web consultant and advisor to Montréal Serai, Jonathan DeRouchie is an award winning UX designer, coder, and teacher. He is best known for having worked for almost 30 years with organizations and artists at the intersection of news, technology, and music. He is a father and nature lover and loves spending time outdoors, especially the beach.
Samantha-Lee Quinn, better known as Sam, has been part of Montréal Serai from hard print to digital. Her first contribution was a review of Nino Ricci’s book, Testament. She performed with the Serai theatre group in Five or Six Characters in Search of Toronto, and joined the sound crew for The Sulpician Escarpment. Sam is currently keeping Montréal Serai’s energy flowing through cyberspace on social media.
Dave-Lentz Lormeus (more commonly known as DL) is a Montréal writer and event organizer. Racial and economic inequality are running themes in his writing – issues that speak to him first and foremost as the Black son of Haitian immigrants living in Montréal. His writings on topics such as the profit motive behind systemic racism and who benefits from right-wing disinformation can be found over at “The Minority Report” (https://theminorityreport.godberd.com).
Himmat Shinhat is a multidisciplinary artist. His creative expression is based on the interweaving of three disciplines – music, creative writing and performance. A composer and professional musician by training, his work has been featured in solo performances, soundtracks for theatre, film, contemporary dance, and performance art. Himmat is president of Montréal arts interculturels (MAI), where he has served on the board of directors since 2018. He has played a leadership role in building and supporting arts infrastructure in Montréal. He is co-founder and past president of Montréal Serai, co-founder and board member of the Festival Accès-Asie, and past president of the Centre culturel et communautaire Henri-Lemieux in LaSalle. He also has a couple of decades of experience as a professional policy maker with the Public Service of Canada, dealing with issues of human rights, refugee protection, immigration, citizenship, and multiculturalism.
Editor, translator and sometimes journalist, Claudia Itzkowich is particularly interested in history and social and labour rights. Her research and essays on domestic workers have been published in anthologies and newspapers in Mexico and Canada. She was editor of Travesías magazine for 10 years, and writing about places and people is still one of her weaknesses. Her translations include French author Patrick Deville’s La Tentation des armes à feu; A History of Infamy by historian Pablo Piccato; and several titles by Antonin Artaud for a selection of works to be published by the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico this year. She has a master’s degree in History from New School University and is a regular contributor to the UN Women’s New York office.
Jody Freeman is a Montréal editor, translator and writer who has been connected with Serai since the late 1980s and joined its editorial team in 2015. She has been devouring books and longing to lie under open skies since childhood. A deep desire for social justice has been a constant throughout her life. She is a translator in a public-sector union and in her twenties, volunteered in a community group for non-unionized workers while studying history at Sir George Williams University. Jody wrote for Radio Canada International in the early 1990s on special projects, and her poetry has appeared in International Poetry Review, Ruptures: la revue des 3 Amériques, and Montréal Serai. She is currently finalizing a collection of writings and artwork by poet and playwright Michael Morais, for upcoming publication.
Nilambri Ghai was born in India and has a master’s degree in English Literature, with over 30 years’ experience as an educator, writer, and policy analyst. Her career in Canada includes work in the public and not-for-profit sectors in the fields of adult literacy and skills development. Nilambri is a regular contributor, copyeditor, co-editor, and founding member of Montréal Serai. She recently published From Johanne to Janaki: Bringing Vikings to Varanasi about the life of a Danish woman who left Copenhagen for India in 1895.
Pasha M. Khan is an Associate Professor and Chair in Urdu Language and Culture at McGill University. He is interested in tales of wonder in languages such as Urdu-Hindi, Punjabi and Persian, as well as literature more broadly, social justice and queer/trans aspects of South Asia, and South Asian/Muslim diasporic history. Pasha teaches courses on Sufism and South Asian cultural history. He is the author of The Broken Spell: Indian Storytelling and the Romance Genre in Persian and Urdu, as well as several academic essays.
Prasun Lala has been involved with Montréal Serai since the early 1990s and is currently an associate editor. He is a professional musician and actor, composing for and performing and acting in local and international productions. He is a research officer at the École de technologie supérieure de Montréal (ÉTS), where he runs a graduate program for scientific communication. He also collaborates with researchers at McGill University at the Centre for Intelligent Machines as well as the Multimodal Interaction Lab on artificial intelligence and computer vision research. He has worked in technical and research settings for both private and academic institutions in Montréal, New York and Lisbon. He holds a B.Sc. in Physiology and an M.Sc. (Dean’s honour list) in Neurophysiology from the Aerospace Medical Research Unit at McGill. He was previously a doctoral candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill’s Centre for Intelligent Machines, where he studied models of covert attention.
Dr. Rola Harmouche is a Serai associate editor and a Research Officer working in the Simulation and Digital Health section at the National Research Council Canada. Her current work has a growing focus on explainable machine learning in biomedical contexts, which allows users to gain more insight into machine learning algorithms, potentially increasing transparency to tackle bias and improve trust in the system. She obtained her bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from McGill university in Montréal and her master’s and doctoral degrees in Computer Engineering with a focus on machine learning and medical imaging analysis from the Centre for Intelligent Machines at McGill University and l’École Polytechnique in Montréal, respectively. Her post-doctoral research at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School focused on developing and utilizing image analysis and machine learning tools for the characterization of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Dipti Gupta is a teacher, researcher and independent documentary filmmaker. She teaches full-time in the department of Cinema-Communication at Dawson College and part-time at the Fine Arts Department at Concordia University. Dipti worked with Cinemart Foundation (India), a documentary film collective that produced several award-winning social and educational documentaries and short films. She was a festival organizer and director for the South Asian Film Festival in Montréal from 2011 to 2019. She has served as a jury member for the Yorkton Film Festival in Saskatchewan and the Quebec Writers Federation (QWF) for three consecutive years. She currently serves on the board of Teesri Duniya Theatre, a Montréal-based culturally diverse theatre company, and on the Advisory Board of Montreal Serai.
Montréal-based writer, poet, playwright and engineer, Rana Bose has written 11 plays and three novels. He has just completed a 4th novel that will be published in the fall of 2022. He is a founding editor of Montréal Serai and was awarded the Judy Mappin Prize by the Quebec Writers Federation (QWF) for his commitment over 30 years towards bringing Montréal’s English-language arts and culture to the world at large.