Kanika Lawton is a Cambodian-Chinese Canadian writer, editor, and film scholar.
They are a PhD student at the University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Institute and the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, where they are also a graduate research assistant at the Queer and Trans Research Lab (QTRL). The recipient of the 2021 Atom Egoyan Cinema Studies Scholarship, their research focuses on surveillant technologies, new media, ungovernability, and queer, trans, and racialized modes of refusal. Their scholarly work has been published in Spectator.
Kanika holds a BA in Psychology with a Minor in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia and an MA from the University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Institute. They were the 2021-2022 Film and Media Studies Association of Canada (FMSAC) Graduate Student Representative, an editor with the UBC Undergraduate Film Student Association and The Neutral: Graduate Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, programmed with the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office (SGDO) and the Cinema Studies Graduate Student Union (CSGSU) at the University of Toronto, and volunteered with LGBTOUT, Canada's oldest LGBTQ+ student organization, and the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.
They are the Staff Director of Sundress Publications and a poetry reader for Cotton Xenomorph. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, they have received fellowships from Pink Door, BOAAT Writer's Retreat, and Sundress Academy for the Arts. Their poetry has been published in Vagabond City Literary Journal, Longleaf Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, and Parentheses Journal, among others. Kanika is the author of the micro-chapbooks Wildfire Heart (The Poetry Annals, 2018), Loneliness, and Other Ways to Split a Body (Ghost City Press, 2018), Monster (Girl) Theory (post ghost press, 2019), and Theories on Wreckage (Ghost City Press, 2020).
Born and raised in Vancouver, they now live and work in Toronto. In their free time, they enjoy discovering new coffeeshops, visiting art galleries, and curating playlists for their friends.