Skip to main content
Yeates School of Graduate Studies Communication and Culture


Increase Text Size
Decrease Text Size
 Change Text Size 

Graduate Programme in Communication & Culture
A Partnership of Ryerson University and York University

Faculty Profiles

Michael Prokopow

Area of Concentration

Material Culture, Design History Aesthetic and Cultural Theory, Post-modernity, Museum Practice

University Ryerson University
E-Mail Address &


BA (Victoria). MA (New Brunswick) AM (Harvard)                                                                             

Ph. D. (Harvard)


Professor Prokopow joined the Ryerson University faculty in August 2003.  His areas of specialization include the material cultures of North America and Europe, modernity and post-modernity, comparative colonialism and the history of design and architecture.  He currently serves as the curator of the Design Exchange, Canada’s design center and museum of post -1945 Canadian industrial design. 

Research Interest

Professor Prokopow is working on study of middle class taste in North America between 1940 and 1970.  Interested in questions of aesthetic choice and the tensions between tradition and modernity as modes of styles, this work will explore such questions as why “French provincial” is an enduringly popular style of furniture in middle class homes and why  in the 1970s “avocado green” and “harvest gold” were so wildly popular.

Selected Publications

“Bargains on the Table: The Flea Market and American Culture,” American Popular Icons: The People, Places, and Things that Shaped American Culture, editors Dennis R. Hall and Susan Grove Hall, (Greenwood Academic Press, 2005)


“Deign to be Modern: Canada’s taste for Scandinavian design in the 1960s,” in Made in Canada: craft and design in the sixties, editor Alan C. Elder, (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005), 93-105.

“Deference to Difference: Multiculturalism and Diversity in Canada, 1763-2003,” (with Ruth Sandwell, OISE), in Civil Society: The Experience of West and East, (Vladivostock  /Moscow, 2004) 193-203.

“Material Truths” The Quilts of Gee’s Bend at the Whitney Museum of Art: An Exhibition Review, ”Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of Material Culture, Volume 38(Spring 2003) Number 1, 57-66.

Review of “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend” An Exhibition of African American Quilts at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York City, The Winterthur Portfolio, (Winter 2003).

Bookmark with: Digg Facebook Twitter Newsvine