Christine Beaudoin


Country of origin

Canadachristine beaudoin

Christine is pursuing a Master’s degree in Anthropology at the School for Sociological and Anthropological Studies, University of Ottawa. She has completed an Honours Bachelor in Psychology at the same university. She is interested in stretching disciplinary boundaries and has done so across her different projects by working with scientists, artists, social scientists and humanities scholars. Her methodological approach is that of deeply immersive exploration to establish new kinds of relationships between humans and non-humans. Prior to doing research at SymbioticA, Christine was an anthropologist-in-residence at the Pelling Lab for Biophysical Manipulation at the University of Ottawa. Christine is also a member of the HumAnimaLab. HAL is interested in developing a pluridisciplinary network of researchers to better understand the anthropos of the Anthropocene and to map the various human-animal relations of this new era. With colleagues, she has participated in the creation of BioTown – Ottawa’s first DIYbio community and lab space – and is currently on the board of directors.

Research Project:

Stretching Cells, an Anthropological Journey

Christine came to SymbioticA to work on her study of the human-cell relationship in laboratories. The term cell is broadly used here. Engaging in mammalian tissue culture, she explored her relationship with C2C12 cells, mouse myoblasts, by organizing a set of experiments with different woods and barks. These woods and barks had been previously subjected to different processes in preparation for tissue culture. Surprisingly, cells were found attached to many of these various woods during fluorescent imaging. Woods and barks also became an axis of movement between various cell types and livings. Christine found herself in the Chooi Lab (UWA) where Physarum Polycephalum, a protist, and various unidentified fungal cultures also became part of the work. Christine is hoping to open up anthropology to non-humans and to find new ways of being with – and becoming with – cells in the laboratory all the while questioning current conceptions of the notion of species.

This work was made possible through the support and generosity of the Pelling Lab, SymbioticA, Cell Central and the School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology and the Chooi Lab.

This work was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies as well as the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa.

Resident: June-September 2016