Image description: A black and white headshot of Madi who has curly medium length hair, round glasses, and nose ring. She is smiling.
Photo by Renoir Gauvin. 2020. 

Graduate Student & Researcher


Research Interests | Visual Anthropology, Critical Disability Studies, Digital Ethnography, Sensory Ethnography, Accessibility and Public Space, Crip Techno Science, Community Based Research, Public Engagement and Knowledges, Feminine Subjectivities within Religious Landscapes.


Pronouns | she, her, hers

      University of British Columbia | Okanagan Campus | Syilx Okanagan Nation


Madelaine is a MA graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program, (Community Engagement, Social Change, and Equity theme) at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. As an ethnographer and anthropologist, Madelaine studies the intersections of visual, material, and digital culture with an emphasis on sensory knowledges and community-based methods. Her current research "The Collective Margins: Activating Inclusion within Emerging Digital Landscapes" addresses critical gaps in digital accessibility by seeking to understand how individual users and governing institutions are collaborating to develop, improve, and encourage more equitable access and practices for people with disabilities within digital environments.


Madelaine completed her Bachelor of Arts degree (2020) with a major in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. Her work and research is influenced by her previous experience in the early education field supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as speech, language, and developmental delays. Her anthropological undergraduate research titled The Enabled Environment: Understanding Bathrooms as Sensory Inclusive Public Spaces,(Supervisors: Dr. Fiona P. McDonald and Dr. Christine Schreyer, Faculty of Community, Culture, and Global studies at UBC, Okanagan) focused on accessibility and public policy applications, with an emphasis on less visible disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder. This project is an ongoing collaboration with the Okanagan Regional Library and continues to actively respond to federal and provincial accessibility legislation in Canada today. 

Madelaine is a graduate researcher at the Collaborative + Experimental Ethnography Lab and is associated with the Institute for Community Engaged Research at UBC, Okanagan. She is also an active member of the Society for Disability Studies, Canadian Anthropological Society (CASCA), the Society for Visual Anthropology, and the American Anthropological Association (AAA).

While Madelaine is currently non-disabled, she navigates the world with complex trauma and multiple forms of chronic pain that influence her daily physical, mental, and emotional capacities. This embodied lived experience is central in her research, writing, and living. Additionally she recognizes that as a currently non-disabled person, she has the opportunity to address the systems intersections of discrimination, ableism, and inequality within the physical, institutional, and digital spaces that she occupies.

In her free time, you can find Madi in her kitchen with her cat Sage, their many plants, and sourdough on her hands. 

Please contact Madelaine at madelaine [dot] lekei [at] alumni [dot] ubc [dot] ca to request

a copy of her comprehensive academic CV.