Kanika Lawton is a Cambodian-Chinese Canadian writer, editor, and film scholar from Vancouver, British Columbia who lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.
Kanika is a PhD student at the University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Institute and the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. The recipient of the 2021 Atom Egoyan Cinema Studies Scholarship, their research focuses on surveillant technologies, new media, histories of sexuality, ungovernability, and queer, trans, and racialized modes of refusal.
They hold a BA in Psychology with a Minor in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia and a MA from the University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Institute. Currently, they work as a teaching assistant at the Cinema Studies Institute. Previously, they were the 2021-2022 Film Studies Association of Canada (FSAC) 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 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.
Kanika is the Founding Editor-In-Chief of L'Éphémère Review, Staff Director of Sundress Publications, and a poetry reader for Cotton Xenomorph. They have previously served as a Guest Editor for Glass Poetry's POETS RESIST. A four-time Pushcart Prize and three-time Best of the Net nominee, they have received fellowships from Pink Door, BOAAT Writer's Retreat, and Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA). Their literary work has been published in Vagabond City Literary Journal, Longleaf Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, Parentheses Journal, and perhappened mag, among others. Their academic work has been published in Spectator.
They are 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). In their free time, they enjoy discovering new coffeeshops, visiting their favourite art galleries, and curating playlists for their friends.