You are now in the main content area

Research & Creative

"One thing that really stuck with me from my time in ComCult is the invitation to "follow the question" (in the words of Jacqui Alexander) when conducting social research. I found it liberating, and think I did better work, as a result of being encouraged to cross disciplinary boundaries in order to draw on the tools most effective in my line of inquiry, rather than being constrained from the start by a particular set of disciplinary assumptions and methodologies."

James Cairns , PhD Graduate

“The Depths of a Story” Nikole McGregor, Communication and Culture MA

Nathaniel Brunt, Communication and Culture PhD student and Trudeau Scholar, explores how photography plays a role in memory and history.

Emilia Zboralska (ComCult PhD '18) discusses her dissertation "Networks of exclusion in Ontario’s screen media"

“A project like mine couldn’t happen anywhere else”: Communication and Culture PhD candidate Riley Kucheran is exploring clothing and assimilation in Indian Residential Schools and will launch the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Design to support Indigenous artists.

ComCult Scholarship: Examples of Research Abstracts

We are proud of the quality of our student scholarship and academic achievements; Below is a sampling of past student project abstracts. Many of the theses and dissertations are available through Library and Archives Canada>Theses Canada, external link.

Sample Student Abstracts

The Aesthetics of Participation
Tyler Tekatch (2008); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Project-Paper: In this paper I would like to articulate a mode of perceptual participation, primarily an aesthetic mode, whereby humans enter into relation with the natural world around them. In order to elaborate on the mode of this participation I will draw examples from artists and thinkers that I believe have determined to make the notion of 'participation' an integral part of their work. The purpose of this paper is to situate my project in a larger tradition and theoretical framework. Over the last two years of study I have been drawn to a number of artists and thinkers who have influenced me a great deal. The common feature among them, or the relevant feature to me, has been the theme of the interaction between the self and the world, the organism and the environment, to use John Dewey's terminology, and how this interaction speaks of humanity's carnal and perceptual inherence in the world. Among these artists are Charles Olson, Jack Chambers and Stan Brakhage, and I would like to discuss their work in relation to this interactive process of self and world. Nature; aesthetics; perception (philosophy); Dewey, John, 1859-1952; Olson, Charles, 1910-1970; Chambers, Jack, 1931-1978; Brakhage, Stan.

Viewing the Spectacular Body of Modernity: Bourgeois Identity and the Body of the Other
Kathleen Ballantyne (2021); Supervised by Monique Tschofsen

Thesis: This thesis is concerned with the visual culture of the deviant Other—those whose bodies transgressed what was considered normative or natural based on race, gender, sexuality, disability, madness, or physiological difference—in modernity. My research will examine how those who were considered physiologically, mentally, and culturally different became a central object in the cultural consciousness of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by viewing how these bodies were exhibited and engaged across a wide range of discursive domains. Following the theory of the grotesque body set out by Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, I will examine how deviant, or grotesque, bodies were negotiated and displayed in medical discourse, popular spectacles, such as the circus and the world fair, and in transgressive avant-garde arts. Through this multi-textual analysis, I will examine both the cultural significance of these representations and of the relations of viewership that were arranged across these domains.

Stitching the Story of Chinese-Canadian Histories: Quilting as an Archival Medium and Research-Praxis
Holly Chang (2021); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Project-Paper: Stitching the story of Chinese Canadian Histories: Quilting as an Archival Medium and Research-Praxis develops new ways of retelling the stories of Chinese Canadians. This project retrieves photographic material and textual ephemera about Chinese Canadian history from Canadian archives and repurposes/recycles it in a series of quilts. In this project, histories, stories and photographic archives are placed within the space of five quilts. The space of the quilt challenged what we consider history, how we access it and how we can derive meaning through how we access textile media in domestic spaces. This project utilizes research-creation to present history in quilts that are accessible and tangible to Canadian communities and offers an opportunity to learn and engage with the gaps in our historical record. Chinese Canadians, History, Quilting, Archives, Critical Race Theory, Feminist Crafting

Reading Fashion in the Corporate Archive: The Communication, Promotion and Collection of Dress at Eaton's
Myriam Couturier (2021); Supervised by Alison Matthews David

Dissertation: The T. Eaton Co. (Eaton’s) department store operated in Canada between 1869 and 1999. A leading retailer for much of the twentieth century, it played a crucial role in the translation and  dissemination of styles from abroad. This project investigates Canada’s early- to mid-twentieth- century fashion history using a selection of objects and media from the Eaton’s corporate  archive, now held at the Archives of Ontario and the City of Toronto Museum Services. Through an interdisciplinary examination of these artifacts, this dissertation positions the corporate archive as a fashion collection with its own historical value: one that reveals the multiple processes of documentation, promotion, and interpretation that are central to fashion production. Based on a material analysis of garments and accessories, and a close reading of fashion documents and images produced and assembled by Eaton’s, it highlights various intersections of fashion, commerce, and communication within the department store. These corporate artifacts offer concrete evidence of how a prominent Canadian retailer shaped consumption in the country and attempted to define itself as a fashion authority and resource. The garments and accessories collected by Eaton’s—which range from the high-end to the ordinary—contain traces of their often-anonymous former owners and point to everyday forms of fashion consumption that have not been the subject of detailed academic study. A hybrid journal and catalogue published by the company in the 1920s and 30s borrowed the language of middlebrow fashion magazines to sell high-end European designs and their more affordable adaptations, while also deliberately positioning Eaton’s as a cosmopolitan destination in Toronto. Various office files, reports, and clippings illustrate how fashion was promoted and defined by the store, a process that involved multiple behind-the-scenes agents both within and outside the company. Fashion films produced by Eaton’s in the 1950s and 60s employed a visual style that combined the languages of high fashion photography and the department store display window, using specific selling narratives to train its staff and appeal to middle-class female consumers. Studied together, these archival fragments offer a unique perspective on historical fashion production and consumption in a Canadian context—located between the material and the discursive, the aspirational and the everyday. T. Eaton Co.; Canadian fashion; corporate archives; fashion communication; department stores; everyday dress; fashion film; fashion ephemera

Canadian Content: A Survey and Analysis of Canadian Television Policy
Andrew Barnsley (2003); Supervised by Matthew Fraser
Major Research Paper: This paper is an effort to synthesize and analyze the issues and the players that inhabit Canadian content and Cancon's relationship to Canadian broadcasting and economics. Granted, such a survey could be an epic undertaking that would not fit the parameters of this paper. However, the intention is that this document will be a comprehensive study of the topic in its current context. Little attention will be paid to Cancon's historical roots or the specific factors or people/organizations that have moulded Cancon into its current version. A task of such nature goes beyond the scope of this paper"--From the Introduction. Television broadcasting policy, Television, Nationalism, Cultural industries, Government policy

Games as Pedagogy: A Postmortem of Recall of Duty: Modern Empire
Aaron Demeter (2021); Supervised by Paul Moore

Project-Paper: Accompanying the video game ReCall of Duty: Modern Empire, this paper examines the development process to determine if the game effectively communicates its thesis, as well as the usefulness of research creation overall. The game acts as a critique of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise, putting the player in a war simulator to show how Modern Warfare games rely on orientalism to justify war in the Middle East. The paper contextualizes the game within the independent game scene as well as academic literature. The key literature is a synthesis of Edward Said’s orientalism with Ian Bogost’s procedural rhetoric. We dissect the creation process and separate the game into four themes for analysis: Aesthetics, Mechanics/Dynamics, Gender, and the Military Entertainment Complex. The analysis finds that by embracing creative mediums, both the game and research creation as a method are effective at producing engaging and accessible research. Call of Duty; orientalism; research creation; video games; procedural rhetoric

News Personalization: Do Journalism Audiences Prefer Algorithms Over Editors?
Stuart Duncan (2021); Supervised by Charles Davis

Project-Paper: This project-paper explores what motivates news organizations to employ algorithmically driven news personalization techniques and develops a methodology to determine whether journalism audiences have a preference between story lineups determined by an editor or by an algorithm. This work also examines whether news personalization systems meet the information needs of news audiences and works to determine what algorithmic approaches could better meet these needs. Through the creation of a simple online news personalization system, this project has developed a method driven by analytic measurement coupled with a survey approach to determine audience opinions on news recommendation systems. A small user study was conducted that supported the feasibility of the system as a research tool and identified possible improvements to my methodological choices. The research presented as part of this project-paper found that news organizations use news personalization systems for a variety of economic and editorial reasons. This paper also explores the social impacts of news personalization techniques and posits that there is nothing inherent to the design of personalization systems that precludes supporting the democratic and social ideals of journalism. algorithms, personalization, journalism, online news, gatekeeping

The Iconic Muslim Superhero: Muslim Female Audience Perspectives of Marvel’s Muslim Superheroines
Safiyya Hosein (2021); Supervised by Steven Bailey

Dissertation: This dissertation critiques the construction of the American Muslim female superhero where Muslim identity is treated as an intersectional identity. It incorporates critical race theory, postcolonial feminism, affect theory, audience studies, postfeminism, and feminist comic studies. While American Muslim superheroes have existed for many decades, their representation flourished during the War on Terror. I first position the Muslim female superhero in the current social and geopolitical context in the West by discussing the underpinnings of the imperialist project in her construction. In the process, I discuss the ways she emphasizes Western exceptionalism and white male saviorism; and its implications for Muslim masculinities by depicting them as savage oppressors of women in comics written by White, non-Muslim men. I examine the attempts of Muslim writers to rehabilitate these images in the Ms.Marvel comic series, ending with a discussion for the potential of both these gendered representations in my Conclusion. The field of Muslim audience studies has been overlooked in scholarship despite the increase in negative representations of Muslims in Western media. This study contributes to that understudied area with an audience study examining young adult female Muslim perspectives of three Muslim superheroines – Sooraya Qadir (Dust), Monet St.Croix (M), and Kamala Khan (Ms.Marvel). If we analyze the conditions of possibility that led to an influx of American Muslim superheroes during the War on Terror, it becomes clear that the Muslim superheroine has two functions. For dominant audiences, she alleviates white guilt when we consider the increase in state violence committed against Muslims during this war. But for Muslim audiences who are frustrated with Orientalist depictions of them, she provides relief from these depictions, making their reactions an affective phenomenon. Because participants viewed their religious identity in conjunction with their racial, sexual, gendered, and cultural identity, I provide a critique of Arab Muslim femininity through emphasizing Black, South Asian, and LGBTQ Muslim identity. Finally, I discuss gendered Muslim identity in superhero comics through analyses of Islamic wear as costumes, and class representations of Muslim men. Muslim superheroes, Muslim femininities, Muslim masculinities, Muslim feminists, feminist audience studies, feminist comic studies, Western exceptionalism, white saviourism

Generation X marks the spot on shifting Black Culture: What four GenX’ers did to activate and co-create a new kind of Caribbean-Canadian culture in Toronto
Dayo Kefentse (2021); Supervised by Jamin Pelkey

Project-Paper: In African traditions, oral history enables stories to be passed on to future generations. In that spirit, this research/creation documents unwritten stories of “Generation X” individuals who were raised as Caribbean-Canadians in and around Toronto during the 1970s and 1980s. This diasporic group bore witness to a tumultuous era for Black people living in larger Canadian cities. While the stories of their parents are generally well preserved, Gen-X experiences and contributions to Canadian culture from this period are sparsely documented. This paper/project addresses this gap by producing a digital oral history that contributes to the ongoing theorization of diasporas. Drawing on archived material and live interviews, I produced an audio documentary based on the views, feelings, and experiences of research participants from this era. Blossoming before their accomplishments could be tracked via the internet, I show how they were pioneers in creating a new kind of Canadian.

Public and Ordinary Bad Feelings: Neoliberal Depression and Its Art
Campbell Kramer (2021); Supervised by David Cecchetto

Major Research Paper: This paper attends to contemporary literature that looks at depression within wider political, social, and economic contexts. The core scholars examined in this section include Byung-Chul Han, Bernard Stiegler, Naomi Klein, and Michel Foucault. Through a review and critical analysis of their texts, this section of the paper demonstrates that depression should be thought of as a reasonable affective response to neoliberal capitalism. The second half of this paper examines various theories about the relationship between creative practice, art, technology, and neoliberal depression. Authors on this topic include Christine Ross, Ann Cvetkovich, Nicolas Bourriaud, Anthony Dunne, and Fiona Raby. By attending to the intersection of creative practice and neoliberal depression, this paper acts as a survey of the field, thereby uncovering what art can contribute to this vital discourse.

re:TO: Pursuing urban re-imaginaries through an affected ontological inquiry into the Capitalocene in Toronto
Ashley McClintock (2021); Supervised by Natalie Coulter

Project-Paper: This project embraces the more-than-human-turn by building upon two concepts, one from the environmental humanities and one from climate communications: from the environmental humanities, the Capitalocene thesis; and from climate communications, the localisation concept. These two theories are brought together in a praxis project utilizing walking and autoethnographic research methodologies in an affective, ontological inquiry into the researcher's experience of Capitalogenic climate change within her city, Toronto. The hypothesis states that disrupting everyday patterns of city life through critical sensory walking inquiry into place creates potential for localising Capitalogenic conditions, thereby further creating cognitive space to reimagine possibilities within her daily life in Toronto. Hypothesis is guided by three research questions - (1) How does the researcher, a Torontonian, perceive Capitalogenic climate change conditions within the city?, (2) Can walking research methodologies be used for reimagining urban realities during the Capitalocene?, and (3) Can walking-as-localising research be a means to inspire mitigation and adaptation efforts among other Torontonians? Documentation of autoethnographic processes on the website becomes a model for citizen walking research during Capitalogenic climate change in Toronto.

Influencer Marketing Is Not A Way Around the Law: Regulatory Compliance and Law Enforcement in the Canadian Social Media Influencer Field
Ruvimbo Musiyiwa (2021); Supervised by Jenna Jacobson

Thesis: In 2019, Competition Bureau Canada (“the Bureau”) sent letters to approximately 100 brands and marketing agencies that engage in influencer marketing—advising them to ensure that their marketing practices are in compliance with the law. Against this background, this research uses semi-structured interviews to examine the regulatory compliance efforts of 21 influencer intermediaries who liaise between brands and social media influencers. The research assesses these intermediaries’ disclosure practices together with their thoughts on the Bureau’s targeted outreach and law enforcement in the field. Additionally, the research explores how the intermediaries adjust their regulatory compliance efforts to technological innovation on social media platforms. This research contributes four main findings. First, intermediaries consign regulatory expectations for disclosure to a secondary level of importance when working to meet the needs of brands and influencers. Second, there is limited intermediary knowledge of the Bureau’s legal standing and activities in the Canadian influencer field. Third, there are various algorithmic (e.g., algorithmic deprioritization) and non-algorithmic (e.g., lengthy disclosure processes) challenges to maintaining high standards of compliance in evolving digital environments. Finally, intermediaries have access to forms of social, cultural, and technical power that can be maximized to influence high standards of compliance. This research contributes to a growing body of scholarship focused on the perspectives of professionals who manage influencer marketing collaborations. Influencer marketing; Competition Act; intermediaries; disclosures; regulatory compliance; law enforcement

I am Inevitable: Seriality, Nostalgia and The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Renee Proctor (2021); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Thesis: This thesis examines the relationship between nostalgia and seriality by studying nostalgia in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. My primary research question asks whether the nostalgia depicted in Avengers: Endgame, for earlier MCU films, imagines a narrative future by critiquing and examining the franchise’s past. This thesis undertakes a critical textual and narrative analysis of the serialized films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by borrowing frameworks from television studies, film studies, cultural theory and Svetlana Boym’s concepts of restorative and reflective nostalgia. This thesis finds that by applying Boym’s concept of reflective nostalgia to the kind of nostalgia that Avengers: Endgame depicts for former versions of Marvel Studios’ Universe we can see how it allows for nostalgia to be a more critical and productive relationship with the past that makes room to imagine the cinematic universe’s future.

Trans-ing Reproductive Justice: From ‘Private Choice’ to Radical Pluralism
Julia Robertson (2021); Supervised by Anne F. MacLennan

Major Research Paper: Abortion exists within discursive, legal and activist frameworks. As a result, reproductive justice is materially limited by the impact of language, formal legal equality, and provisional collaboration. Trans studies examines systems that administer gender. Reproductive justice works towards dismantling healthcare inequities throughout the life cycle by examining social structural contexts while centering the body. Trans-ing reproductive justice frameworks highlight the prison as an example of a system that administers gender in racialized ways that has been used to colonize and continues to disproportionately impact Indigenous and gender- conforming people's access to healthcare. This project looks at radical pluralism to address the impossibility of consensus on abortion and the potential of the legislative vacuum in Canadian abortion law. This paper hopes to shift antagonistic attitudes between abortion-related activists to increase access to reproductive healthcare, including pregnant prisoner reform and projects that promote social equity.

Before and After Nature: Temporality and Landscape in Toronto's Early Urban Greenspace
Sam Shaftoe (2021); Supervised by David Cecchetto

Thesis: In this thesis, I explore the ways cultural constructions of nature and its temporal valences are represented and employed in the design, use, and development of urban greenspace. This arises from a broader interest in the ways the nature/society distinction has been produced by alongside the environment-making, world-ecological process of capital accumulation. Parks, as nature in the city, foreground tensions between nature and society. They are developed, maintained, and designed with specific representations of nature in mind. In this sense, they can act as an index for shifting images of nature, or what Jason W. Moore would call historical natures. I have chosen to focus on the emergence of parks in Toronto during the 19th century using Allan Gardens as my primary case study. I approach it as landscape to pay particular attention to how images of nature constructed, employed, and practiced in the development and use of the site. Allan Gardens proves to be an interesting case study in the history of urban greenspace due to its relation to the global flows of science, power, and capital inculcated in botanical gardens, as well as its relation to settler-colonial commemorative exercises that utilize the temporal valences of nature to place indigenous peoples in a pre-history of Toronto’s development.

The instruction is to tell someone: disclosures of gender-based violence post #metoo
Jana Vigor (2021); Supervised by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof

Project-Paper: Since its emergence, the #metoo movement has elicited countless narratives. People with experiences of gender-based violence are encouraged to perform their stories for the public or realms of networked publics or counterpublics. This research-creation project is a collaborative investigation into the process of disclosure and how telling a story of violence varies across time and setting, impacting the formation of subjectivity and cultural positions of victim or survivor. The project was installed in an empty city lot as a silent moving-image of the spectrographic data of two voices in dialogue. The artwork displays only visual sonic information like rhythm, timbre, pitch, and harmonics, as well as the space of silence and listening while the narrative content is muted. The piece’s silence enacts a melancholic resistance to the prevalence of survivor narratives that uphold neoliberal ideals of personal expression and effort as avenues for healing and wholeness. It also attends to the importance of dynamic dialogue and to the necessity of an engaged listening partner to a person’s telling. This accompanying project-paper summarizes the project’s methodology, creation, and installation. It engages with theories of sound and listening, trauma, resilience, melancholy, and commitments to ethical engagement with non-violence. This project paper investigates the varied uses of disclosures of gender-based violence under neoliberal white supremacist hetero-patriarchy and how the spectacle of overcoming is utilized to uphold systems of gendered power relations and socio-economic inequality. research-creation, #metoo, gender-based violence, dialogue, listening

ASL Poetics of Practice: Reading and Writing Communicative Bodies into the Media Materialities of Poetry
Sabrina Ward-Kimola (2021); Supervised by Ganaele Langlois

Thesis: Taking up Deaf literary studies, communication and media studies, this thesis conducts a interview-based and qualitative study of the media practices undertaken by poets who use ASL in their work. In addition to expanding prevailing and hegemonic approaches to poetics, central to this investigation are the related concepts of: (1) the communicative body, a term used to describe how the ASL-signing body is enacted as a media technology, and (2) the problematics of interpretation across the materialities that contribute to poetic meaning. Through the insights of a small cohort of poets, this research attends to gaps at the intersection of Deaf and communication studies, highlighting how poetic meaning emerges from the material spaces and accompanying practices of communicative production. ASL poetry, communicative body, communication media, materialities, Deaf culture, moving-imagery, literacy, practice, multimodality, interpretation.

Humanitarians of Instagram: The Western Gaze in a Digital Age
Maia Wyman (2021); Supervised by Anne MacLennan

Thesis: This thesis calls for a pictorial critique of pre-packaged overseas volunteering under the pretense of humanitarianism—voluntourism. By using a mixed-method approach of visual content analysis and semiotics, it endeavors to investigate the visual culture of voluntourism on social media. Through the overrepresentation of racialized children in voluntourism imagery on Instagram, the visual culture of voluntourism reinforces paternalistic narratives about the Global South, objectifies subaltern people, and depoliticizes their struggles. These constitute a digital humanitarian gaze, defined through a fusion of Mostafanezhad’s theory of the ‘popular humanitarian gaze’ and Shakeela and Weaver’s theory of the social-mediated gaze, which situate the imbalanced and objectifying mode of looking between Western viewers and photographed subjects from the Global South within a digital, social media context. The moment of volunteering is transformed into tourism by the instantaneous externalization of images shared at a distance with those at home and prospective volunteers. The hyper-visibility, replication, and repetition of social media images of subaltern children in voluntourism cements the centrality of the networked humanitarian image in Western society.

Designing the XR Medium: Five Rhetorical Perspectives for the Ecology of Human+Computer Networks
Peter Zakrzewski (2021); Supervised by Bruno Lessard

Dissertation: Cycles of invented digital media environments driven by the optimization of feasibility of media technology, from personal computers to social media, while creating efficient systems, have also produced psychological and social side effects including media addiction, depression and anxiety among users, and erosion of privacy and fraying of the social fabric. Escalating blending of immersive technologies with advanced computation allows system makers to produce not only human-computer interaction networks, but advanced, multi-minded human+computer (H+C) systems. The critical shift toward user immersion within systems of digital information and simulation makes the scale of immersive media’s potential impact on human life, culture and well-being unlike that of any previous medium. This dissertation addresses H+C immersion as a multi-dimensional design problem—a Research Through Design (RTD) zone which addresses the question: How can design-thinking-based knowledge system complement the existing human-computer interaction (HCI) invention model to contribute to the creation of more socially desirable and human-centred immersive media environments? The dissertation positions human+computer immersion design as a field of rhetorical influence, which starts with the initial design of the H+C system and continues as a mindful dialogue between system designers and users, once the system becomes active. The dissertation aims to make its contribution to both design and media theory by applying design thinking paradigm to the human+computer immersion problem by proposing a framework of four test and application ready graphical models intended to allow immersive media makers from the engineering backgrounds to adopt a user-centred design approach while encouraging user experience (UX) practitioners from design backgrounds to enter the field of immersion experience design. It leverages the Inspiration-Ideation-Implementation design process to propose the logic model for H+C immersion design. Inspired by Bateson’s call for the ecology of mind, it also offers 35 axioms for the ecology of H+C systems that attempt to pragmatically unite the human and the computer perspectives of socio-technical systems. Additionally, it leverages Gibson Bond’s game design framework to offer the layered H+C immersion design model. Finally, it offers the proposal  for five rhetorics of extended reality experience design (XRX) that blend the discursive and non- discursive approaches to multimodal rhetorical media composition.

The Meaning of ‘Meat’: Boundary Objects in the Promotional Cultures of Plant-Based Meat
Ryan J. Phillips (2021); Supervised by Jessica Mudry

Dissertation: This dissertation interrogates the use of boundary objects in the rhetorical framing strategies of plant-based meat companies. I address the framing, categorization, and boundary work of foods such as ‘vegan’, ’meat’, and ‘burger’ from a Bourdieuian, class-focused perspective. I use rhetorical framing analysis to critically engage with the Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods burger campaigns—including CEO interviews (with Patrick Brown and Ethan Brown), trade journal articles (Fortune and Business Insider), company websites (Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, A&W, and Burger King), Twitter posts (@AWCanada and @BurgerKing), and consumer engagements on Twitter—between 2014-2018. This project contributes to the theoretical refinement of boundary objects by demonstrating how they can be used to rhetorically situate non-dominant social actors within the categorical boundaries of dominant groups. In this case, plant-based meat companies redefine ‘meat’ along chemical and nutritional lines in order to situate themselves and their products within the privileged socio-cultural category of meat. I also enhance the usefulness of rhetorical framing analysis as a method of studying communication by adding agenda-dismissal to the methodological repertoire of agenda-setting theory. I find that, while vegetarianism and veganism have historically constituted anti-consumerist subjectivities, Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and the rhetoric of plant-based meat serve to reinforce a dominant ideological frame of individuals-as-consumers by encouraging people to consume more ‘good’ food. From a class-based perspective, this rhetorical strategy places the consumerist logic of plant-based meats at odds with the conspicuous and distinguished consumption ideals of bourgeois veganism. Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and plant-based meat rhetorics thus perpetuate neoliberal hegemony by emphasizing a nutricentric framing of food products, which dismisses other relevant social, cultural, and economic elements of food. Finally, I use this project as an interjection into the larger field of cultural studies in order to identify and name an emerging sub-discipline of critical analysis: ‘meat studies’. Ultimately, I argue that the rhetoric of plant-based meat companies reinforce rather than challenge both meat’s privileged cultural status and the foundations upon which consumer capitalism exists.

Me-Dérive: Toronto - Remediating The [Ar]Chival Impulse
Ana Rita Morais (2021); Supervised by Anne F. MacLennan

Dissertation: This dissertation is an innovative exploration of the intersections between participatory archiving and augmented reality (AR), rooted in the necessity to engage more fully with Toronto’s diverse and historical cultural heritage. Foregrounded as research-creation, this work describes, theorizes, and disseminates an AR counter-archive— me-dérive: toronto. Mobilizing power away from institutional archives and into the hands of the public, me-dérive: toronto uses the power of locative media in order to provide records of Toronto’s diverse past and present in-situ. A portmanteau of the word ‘mediation’ and the Situationist’s notion of the dérive, the app produces a new paradigm to the archive— one that is simultaneously participatory and techno-informed. With every found photograph and submission alike the project multiples both in volume and vigor to combat the archival injustices that fail to narrativize Canadian immigrant identities. This counter-archive reclaims space through a participatory visual account of history, allowing for a different kind of knowledge—one that is techno-embodied—to emerge and be embraced. As the scope of the records and overall scale of the project amplifies, it engages a layer of complementary principles— the accrual of diverse narratives, the opposition of pre-prescribed history by governing institutions, and the dynamism to employ technology to engage critically with heritage records beyond the confinements of exclusive cultural spaces. Through historical research, precedent scanning, insights into cultural production, participatory and mobile app observation and research-creation projects, counter-archival projects demand that institutions become more inclusive, not only in collection practices, but in dissemination and access practices as well. My research addresses the gaps and omissions that exist in our institutional archives, while making explicit what is needed to make a more holistic, comprehensive archive of Toronto’s diverse narratives. me-dérive: toronto has been developed at the intersection of a series of technological, social and cultural routes: the omnipresence of locative and app-based media; the spatial turn in social sciences; the use of mobile media for supplementary content in cultural archives and museum spaces alike; the critical importance of cultivating marginalized narratives; the political concern of privacy and safety in varying public spaces; and the duality of virtual and real environments that hold the potential to augment space and place.

Contestable Confessions of the Untranslatable: A Worldmaking Project
Lucy Wowk (2021); Supervised by Miranda Campbell

Project-Paper: This research-creation project is an experimental translation of Claude Cahun’s book Aveux non avenus (1930), culminating in an artists’ book of image and text documenting the process. This approach suggests an alternative to biographization of the life and work of Cahun. It seeks to unpack how experimental translation, rooted in affect theory, might offer supplemental modes of interpretation and understanding that complicate, rather than render palatable, the complexity of a persons’ life/work. The emergent genre of female philosophical fiction is simultaneously engaged and interrogated—questions of categorization and transgression become central to the process. The arts-based methodology seeks to unpack and understand genre from the inside out. Ultimately, translation is framed as a metaphor for understanding, and worldmaking emerges as vital to processes of reading and writing.

How Can Instagram Be a Better Space for You?
Meredith Burling (2021); Supervised by Natalie H. Coulter

Project-Paper: The major research questions of this paper and project are: how can Instagram be a better space for young girls? Which accounts and hashtags on Instagram can create an outlet for girls? On Instagram, some women edit their photos where they take in their waistlines and erase their acne; others use beauty filters where their faces are automatically changed to appear more beautiful (Tiggemann, Hayden, Brown, & Veldhuis, 2018). Teen girls aged 14-17 are using Instagram and it is evident that Instagram impacts their mental health. It is also apparent that Instagram can be a great outlet for girls (Li, Chang, Chua & Loh, 2018). However, there is a lack of resource materials for teen girls surrounding this topic (Li, Chang, Chua & Loh, 2018). Based on this reasoning, an infographic tool about how Instagram can be a better space for teen girls accompanies this paper. This paper and infographic will hopefully evoke conversations among girls. I believe that girls should be aware of different hashtags and accounts that are designed to
spread positivity to enhance their experiences on Instagram (Li, Chang, Chua & Loh, 2018). Communication, Women, Instagram, Social Media

To See and Be Seen: a Toolkit for Facilitating Arts-Based Workshops with Refugee Youth
Özge Dilan Arslan (2021); Supervised by Miranda Campbell

Project-Paper: To See and Be Seen is a best practices guideline for those who intend to facilitate an arts-based workshop with refugee youth. By using a critical refugee studies and youth-focused arts-based participatory action framework, the aim of this project-paper is to create an adaptable resource that enables facilitators to critically, ethically, and reflexively execute an arts engagement workshop of their own. The accompanying toolkit translates the six primary subsections (articulating intentions, workshop facilitation, planning considerations, recruitment of participants, workshop preparation, and workshop substance) into an experiential practice-based resource for future facilitators.

It’s Not Just Fashion For Fashion’s Sake: Sustainable Fashion Social Media Influencer Ecosystem
Brooke Harrison (2021); Supervised by Jenna Jacobson

Major Research Paper: Globally we are witnessing the environmental demise of our planet. Simultaneously, consumers have shown a greater interest in shopping second-hand and the sustainable fashion industry is experiencing rapid growth, which is estimated to reach $8.25 billion by 2031 (Businesswire, 2020). This market acceleration led to the exploration of sustainable fashion social media`influencers. Using semi-structured interviews with 20 sustainable fashion social media influencers, the research analyzes the ecosystem of sustainable fashion social media influencers and makes
three unique contributions. First, the research introduces a three-part typology of sustainable fashion social media influencers: 1) sustainable lifestyle influencers, 2) sustainability influencers, and 3) thrifting influencers. Second, the research uncovers how sustainable fashion social media influencers perform vulnerability and sustainability failures in a strategy to portray curated authenticity. Finally, the research identifies “the entrepreneurial dichotomy,” which refers to the challenge that sustainable fashion influencers face when they harmonize their ethos of sustainability and ethics along with their desire to leverage their social media platforms for profit.

The Victorian Origins of Modern BDSM
Jade Hines (2021); Supervised by Stéphanie Walsh Matthews

Major Research Paper: People have always flirted with the ‘darker’ aspects of desire, those ‘kinky’ interests that include sadomasochism, bondage, discipline, and other fetishes, however it was not until the 19th century that these desires became codified. What was unique about Victorian society that caused BDSM to become defined? How did the socioeconomic realities of the industrial revolution impact how such ‘kinky’ desires were felt, and how did it change how they were expressed? This MRP aims to explore the multitude of factors which may have affected the formation and development of BDSM subcultures and practices throughout Victorian England. By doing so help explore aspects of sexuality that have often been overlooked by mainstream research.

Who’s Laughing Now? Survivors of Sexual Violence Joke About Rape
Anna Frey (2017); Supervised by May Friedman

Thesis: Survivors of sexual violence in Canada face a culture that is largely hostile to their voices and experiences. Despite this, some survivors turn to the public sphere to work through their trauma. This thesis presents interview data from seven survivors who have performed stand-up comedy about their own experiences with sexual violence. It weaves together critical and clinical trauma theories, feminist work on sexual violence, and communications theories about humour and joking to offer new insights into how cultural responses to sexual trauma can work to challenge dominant attitudes about rape. This thesis ultimately argues that the cognitive, linguistic, and affective strategies that joking encourages can guide survivors towards reconceptualising the traumatic events they’ve experienced and facilitate the integration of those traumas into their lives. By focusing on a novel aspect of survivors’ affective expressions – their fun – this analysis works to make better sense of peoples’ complex responses to trauma. Rape victims-Mental health, Courage-Anecdotes, Inspiration-Anecdotes, The Comic, Sexual harassment-Psychological aspects.

Airtime: The Public Sphere, The Public Screen, And AIDS Activism In Contemporary North America
Sheila Koenig (2005); Supervised by Jennifer Burwell

Major Research Paper: In response to Habermas, I argue that the public sphere mediated through such screens as the television and the computer/internet, as well as through magazines and newspapers which, as I will explore further, have come to resemble screen media, is not merely a simulation of a public sphere. Rather, it is a complex rearticulation of the public sphere as it has transformed both in response to and in conjunction with changes in social life, public and private space, and technology over the past century or so. While I agree with Habermas' claim that the mass media tend to construct the public sphere toward desired readings, and thus do not support the free and open debate central to Habermas' ideal bourgeois public sphere, I nonetheless contend that the arena for debate has not dissolved but rather has transformed. Screens such as televisions, the internet, and newspapers bring public events into formerly private spaces, albeit in structured formats suited to benefit the interests of the owners and controllers of the media as well as corporate advertisers placing their products alongside marketable packages of infotainment coverage. In direct challenge to Habermas' contention that mass media foster an environment of commodity exchange that tends to transform the rational audience into uncritically receptive consumers, I argue that individuals within media audiences communicate with one another as a public, calling states and corporations to account for their public influence. Furthermore, I contend that publics have indeed come together in complex ways to engage critically with the material with which they are presented via televised coverage, newspaper front pages, or internet sources. I argue that private individuals participating in an audience of a given public event may constitute a public body, even if not a body assembled in a particular shared social space. This is not to say that an audience of a given image event necessarily constitutes a critical public, in and of itself, by mere virtue of the fact that audience members witness the same messages simultaneously. Rather, I am arguing that from this shared audience there may and indeed do arise various publics consisting of private individuals discussing and debating readings of messages they have received across such screens. In order to demonstrate my argument, I will outline some of the ways that activists have responded collectively to image events mediated through the screen fonnats of television, newspapers, and the internet, critically engaging with, challenging, and at times using the very media screens across which image events are initially presented to the audience. Although I will draw examples from a variety of activist movements over the past three decades, I will focus especially on AIDS activism because the crisis of AIDS, although it has a short history, has undergone vast transformations in both the way it has been treated by the media throughout the past few decades, and in how activists have responded in turn to state responses and public mediation of the crisis.  

Me, Myself, and Interface: the Role of Affordances in Digital Visual Self-Representational Practices
Victoria McArthur (2015); Supervised by Jennifer Jenson 

Dissertation: A growing number of digital games and virtual worlds allow users to create a virtual self, commonly referred to as an 'avatar.' Essentially, the avatar is a digital entity which is controlled by the user to attain agency within the virtual world. Avatars are visually customized by users via interfaces, referred to within the body of this work as Character Creation Interfaces (CCIs). CCIs are often framed as tools that are utilized by players to create a desired avatar. In other words, the popular approach is one that is anthropocentric in nature and neglects to take into account the ways in which interface affordances - the action possibilities afforded by an artifact - potentially constrain our interactions with them. In my dissertation, I argue that CCIs co-construct avatars with players. I mobilize Actor-Network Theory in order to re-position these interfaces as actors, rather than benign tools in digital-visual self-representational practices. In order to investigate the interface-as-actor I present an analytical framework: the Avatar Affordances Framework, and apply this framework to 20 CCIs in order to systematically study their affordances. In the second phase of this investigation, I present data on two user studies: the first, a within-subjects study investigating self-representational practices in the Massively-Multiplayer-Onlne-Game (MMOG) Rift (n = 39), the other, a between-subjects study of self-representational practices on the Nintendo WiiU console's MiiCreator (n = 24). Results of these two studies are presented alongside analytical data derived from both interfaces via the Avatar Affordances Framework in order to illustrate how interface affordances are negotiated by players. A final study, an autoethnographic chapter, situates myself within the dissertation as both a researcher and user of the technology, addressing how my own experiences with these games, and my own self-representational practices, have come to shape this research. Data from the aforementioned studies was then utilized in order to generate a list of best practices for game developers. To date, such documentation is absent from game design literature. It is my hope that the practices outlined herein help developers make design choices that invite opportunities for identity play without simultaneously creating socially exclusive spaces. Communication, Cultural anthropology, Design, Digital games, Human-computer interaction, Ethnography, Microethnography, Autoethnography, Actor-network theory, Gender, Identity, Self-representation, MMORPG, Interface analysis, Avatar affordances framework.

Professional second lives: an analysis of virtual world professionals and avatar appearance codes
Victoria McArthur (2010);

Thesis: This thesis presents an investigation of the notions of belonging and community in 3D virtual worlds, and identifies the ways in which "belonging" and "not belonging" are constructed and perceived, especially in relation to so-called employee avatars (i.e., avatars that are representative of those who appear in their capacity of corporate employees). The dimensions of social stigma in this context are explored as well as the utility of the separate categories of outsiders and interlopers for inhabitant characterization. Our motivation for doing so is to determine the degree to which corporate presence can be mediated through the specific mechanism of employee avatar appearance.

Picturing Life Stories in a Biomedical Setting: a Phenomenological Analysis of Neonatal End-of-Life Photography
Sara Martel (2014); Supervised by Stuart J. Murray

Dissertation: This dissertation explores End-of-Life (EOL) photography, a common practice in North American hospitals whereby nurses facilitate photography for families around the death of their newborn. It is based on a qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with 10 parents bereaved by a neonatal death in the last five years, who all participated in EOL photography in the same Canadian neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The focusing research question asked how parents experience this photography within the NICU setting and in their lives beyond the hospital. The study's methodology combines the existential phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the critical theory of Michel Foucault to consider the intersections of lived experience, media technologies and the material structures of power/knowledge. The method is modeled on an interpretive phenomenological analysis approach involving an embodied hermeneutic and integrating photo elicitation, as the participants were invited to bring their EOL photographs to the interviews. The dissertation situates EOL photography within the contemporary NICU, revealing the practice as an experience of living relationships between nurses, parents and newborns in the biomedical setting. It considers how the move from film to digital photography developed the practice from "memento-making" to collaborative "story-telling." New opportunities to construct the newborn's life-story is shown to be integral to the parents' knowing their newborn in life and healing from their death, yet opens complex questions around sharing this life-story within the families' social sphere. The dissertation reflects on these experiences in the context of a broader sociocultural ambiguity around death-in-birth, connecting EOL photography with the politics of biomedical reproduction and end-of-life. The dissertation concludes by conceptualizing EOL photography as a practice of palliative space-time, which works towards presence, proximity, attention, and care into end-of-life in a biomedical setting. Communication, Nursing, Interpretive phenomenological analysis, Media, Photography, Camera, Technology, Visual, Culture, Health communication, Neonatal health, Perinatal health, Biomedicine, Reproductive politics, Death, Grief, Loss, Bereavement, Mourning, Palliative care, End-of-life, Phenomenology, Merleau-Ponty, Embodied hermeneutics, Photo elicitation, Materiality, Feminist theory.

Network Narrative: Prose Narrative Fiction and Participatory Cultural Production in Digital Information and Communication Networks
David Meurer (2015); Supervised by Caitlin Fisher 

Dissertation: In this study of prose narrative created explicitly for participatory network communications environments I argue that network narratives constitute an important, born-networked form of literary and cultural expression. In the first half of the study I situate network narratives within a rich, dynamic process of reciprocity and codependence between the technological, material and formal properties of communication media on the one hand, and the uses of these media in cultural practices and forms of expression on the other. I point out how the medial and cultural flows that characterize contemporary network culture promote a codependent relation between narrative and information. This relation supports literary cultural expressions that invoke everyday communication practices increasingly shaped by mobile, networked computing devices. In the second half of this study, I extend theoretical work in the field of electronic literature and digital media to propose a set of four characteristics through which network narratives may be understood as distinct modes of networked, literary cultural expression. Network narratives, I suggest, are multimodal, distributed, participatory, and emergent. These attributes are present in distinct ways, within distinct topological layers of the narratives: in the story, discourse, and character networks of the narrative structure; in the formal and navigational structures; and in the participatory circuits of production, circulation and consumption. Attending to these topological layers and their interrelationships by using concepts derived from graph theory and network analysis offers a methodology that links the particular, closely read attributes and content of network narratives to a more distant understanding of changing patterns in broader, networked cultural production. Finally, I offer readings of five examples of network narratives. These include Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph's Flight Paths, Penguin Books and De Montfort University's collaborative project A Million Penguins, the Apple iOS application The Silent History, Tim Burton's collaboration with TIFF, BurtonStory, and a project by NFB Interactive, Out My Window. Each of these works incorporates user participation into its production circuits using different strategies, each with different implications for narrative and navigational structures. I conclude by describing these distinct strategies as additive participation - participation that becomes embedded within the work itself - and delineating different approaches that are employed independently or in combination by the authors and producers. Literature, Communication, Multimedia, electronic literature, network culture, network narrative, narrative, information, communication, technology, social practices, the novel, prose narrative fiction, multimedia, participatory culture, cultural production.

Transient Vogue: the Commodification and Spectacle of the Vagrant Other
Aidan Moir (2013); Supervised by Anne MacLennan 

Thesis: As creative director of Christian Dior, John Galliano received substantial press attention in early 2000 when he debuted his haute couture collection portraying models dressed as if they were homeless. Galliano's couture collection is one of numerous 'homeless chic' examples, a trend referring to the resignification of symbols denoting a marginalized social identity into fashion statements by commodity culture. While there has been a re-emergence of 'homeless chic' within the contemporary context, the motif encompasses an extensive history which has not yet been properly acknowledged by the media outlets comprising what Angela McRobbie refers to as the fashion industry. A content and critical discourse analysis of the mainstream news media places 'homeless chic' within its significantly larger social and intertextual context, an element best illustrated through a comparison with its sister trend, 'heroin chic,' and a visual analysis of W's "Paper Bag Princess" photo editorial. Fashion, identity, identity politics, representation, popular culture, advertising & consumer culture, fashion media, John Galliano, fashion trends.

Transnational Divorce: the Violation of Immigrant Japanese Mothers' Rights an the Hague Abduction Convention
Hiromi Noguchi (2014);Supervised by Mona Oikawa

Thesis: As a counterpoint to existing discussions of how Western fathers' rights can be secured in the context of transnational divorce, this study raises the important question of how immigrant Japanese mothers' fundamental rights can be protected. The voices of Japanese women have long been silenced in the context of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Through in-depth interviews with Japanese mothers who returned to Japan with their children (returned Japanese mothers), and divorced immigrant Japanese mothers who reside in Canada, this study analyzes the stories of the mothers in terms of the impact of immigration and transnational divorce on their social locations. Drawing on critical race scholarship, particularly interlocking theory, it critiques the Western construction of returned Japanese mothers as abductors and reveals the ways that their marginalization as non-English speaking, foreign-born women of colour is further entrenched through transnational divorce. Sociology, International law, Gender studies, Transnational divorce, International Parental Child Abduction, The Hague Convention and Japan, Joint child custody, Japan's sole custody, Domestic Violence, Critical Race Theory, Interlocking Analysis, Intersectionality, Racialization, Institutional discrimination, Institutional Racism, Contemporary Orientalism, Flight Risk, Habitual Residence, Grave Risk, Default Judgment, Undertakings, Hague return order.

Turkey's Internal Other: Embodiments of TASRA in the Works of Orhan Pamuk, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, and Fatih Akin
Evren Ozselcuk (2015); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Dissertation: In Turkey, the concept of taşra connotes much more than its immediate spatial meaning as those places outside of the city center(s). Its extensive circulation as a trope that indicates externality to modernity is inextricably linked to the specific configurations of the project of Turkish modernization. In this dissertation, I draw from the insights of postcolonial theory and psychoanalysis to develop a novel conceptualization of taşra, through which I interpret Turkey's complicated relationship to modernity and its status within the new global order. I argue that a close analysis of the dominant discourses on taşra is revealing, for it constitutes one primary site where the predicaments and contradictions of Turkish modernization and national identity-constitution are played out, where collective anxieties around these issues continue to be projected and managed. In my analysis of these discourses, I adopt a deconstructive rather than a corrective approach: my objective is not to reveal what taşra "really" is but what work it is made to do. The contemporary cinematic and literary texts that I engage with in this study are the Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk's memoir Istanbul: Memories and the City (2005), Turkish-German director Fatih Akın's documentary Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul (2005) and three films by the pioneer of the new genre of taşra films in Turkey, Nuri Bilge Ceylan--namely Climates (2006), Three Monkeys (2008) and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011). Through close readings of these texts, I illustrate how each complicates, affirms and/or expands received understandings of taşra that celebrate and/or denounce it as being culturally, spatially and temporally external to modernity. Film studies, Literature, Near Eastern studies, Contemporary Turkish Literature, Contemporary Turkish Cinema, Orhan Pamuk, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Fatih Akin, Turkish modernity, postcolonial temporality, belatedness, mourning and melancholia, taşra, internal-exclusion.

Left Out: a Revealing Look Into the Everyday Fashion Choices of Individuals With Mobility Disabilities
Emma Thompson (2015); Supervised by Anne MacLennan

Thesis: Based on interviews with individuals with mobility disabilities, this thesis argues the lack of mainstream clothing available and the geriatric style of clothing often associated with physical disability is largely a result of the embedded notion that disability is a problem to be solved by the individual - a perspective influenced by the medical sociology of disability. As appearance plays a role in interactions, the stereotypes surrounding physical disability are perpetuated by an appearance that cannot be changed due to the absence of clothing one might desire to wear. Sociology, Design, physical disability, clothing, fashion, appearance, stereotypes, affect, oppression, clothing design, daily practice of getting dressed, creation of self, interaction, able/disable, standing body, body ideals.

The Life Cycle of the Computer: a Study in the Materialities of Risk
Sabine Lebel (2014); Supervised by Jody Berland

Dissertation: The environmental effects of personal computers, from dangerous chemicals used in chip production to e-waste, have largely been ignored in pop culture, mainstream media, and much academic research. In order to take up these questions, this dissertation pursues a cultural study of the personal computer. The life cycle analysis (LCA) is a scientific method that calculates all the resources used in the life of a given object, from resource extraction, production, use, user, to disposal. As partial method for my study it brings an environmental accounting, as used in the sciences, and a structure to my cultural study, which approaches the computer as a cultural artifact. In order to more fully consider cultural aspects from daily personal negotiations to larger political questions, I extend the LCA with assemblage theory to consider the social and representational spaces associated with computers and the environment. What my primary sources have in common is that they represent moments of visibility of these problems. My research sources include documents from news media, policy papers, art practice, management discourse, corporate texts, and activist reports. The relative absence of these topics in academia, the news, and popular culture functions as the structuring absences of this project. A large part of my work has been to follow these fleeting moments in academic and mainstream sources. Because of the emphasis on the visual in our culture, my central problematic involves theorizing the visible, especially in relation to the visual, in risk culture in order to theorize how and why environmental risks remain outside to so many understandings of computers and the information age. I argue that to fully understand the environmental effects of technological culture we need to examine six interlocking factors: notions of materiality and immateriality; the geopolitics of toxicity and risk; the shift from industrial to risk society; cybernetics and the environment; the relationship between visibility and visuality; and risk culture. Mass communication, Environmental studies, Materiality, Environmental media studies, Life cycle analysis, Risk culture, Assemblage, Technology and the environment, Visual culture.

Food, discourse, and democracy: European Union's enlargement and food policy in the Western Balkans
Irena Knezevic (2011); Supervised by Fred Fletcher

Dissertation: In the aftermath of the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, the new Western Balkans states have found themselves in transition from socialist regimes to capitalist economy and representative democracy. European Union membership has became virtually synonymous with this transition. The economic priorities of the Union are powerfully reflected in the transition process, with policy reform heavily focused on economic aspects of governance. This study attempts to assess how that process has played out in the realm of food and agriculture. The core argument presented is that the neoliberal framework of the European Union stands in stark contrast to the local realities of the Western Balkans foodscape. The dominant political and economic agenda has the inevitable result of failing to address food security and food sovereignty as it aims to promote economic dependency of the region on the European Union. Using the method of critical discourse analysis, agricultural strategy documents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia are analyzed alongside European Union documents pertaining to enlargement and agriculture. The study seeks to explore the discursive life of neoliberal 'keywords' such as development, progress, and democracy within the official food and agricultural policy. Parallel to this, identifying the use of such concepts as 'food security', 'food sovereignty', and 'food democracy' within that same discursive structure is a key aim of this study, and the ideological underpinnings of the newly developed policy are contrasted to what are commonly identified as basic requirements for food sovereignty. Conclusions are drawn to suggest that the European Union discourse is largely out of touch with the here observed realities of the Western Balkans' food system. The exogenous directives have failed the Western Balkans in political, cultural, and economic ways, with local needs being marginalized and the few economic benefits being distributed unequally. As a result, a flourishing informal food sector is in place that further suggests the disconnect between the European Union's agenda and the local needs and food sovereignty. Alternative considerations for food policy in the region are also discussed.

Pathways to the Eighth Fire: Mapping Indigenous Knowledge in Toronto
Jon Johnson (2015); Supervised by Joseph Sheridan & David McNab

Dissertation: A considerable body of scholarly research now accords with long-held Indigenous prophecy in affirming the ongoing importance of Indigenous knowledge for the health and wellness of contemporary Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and their environments. Yet, while much research has examined Indigenous knowledge and traditions in more natural or rural contexts, there has been to date very little examination of the presence and character of Indigenous knowledge and traditions in more urban contexts. This dissertation redresses this gap in the research via an analysis of Indigenous knowledge, traditions, and storytelling in Toronto and their prophetic implications for contemporary Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The analysis is based on a comparative literature review of Indigenous knowledge, traditions, and community as they have been practiced in urban and non-urban locales, long-term participation within Toronto's Indigenous community particularly as a tour guide for the highly-regarded community-based Great 'Indian' Bus Tour of Toronto, and in-depth semi-structured interviews with a small group of Anishinaabe Torontonians regarding their perceptions of the city and the practice of urban Indigenous knowledge and traditions. These lines of investigation revealed that land-based urban Indigenous knowledge and storytelling traditions are practiced in at least some cities like Toronto in ways that exhibit significant similarities and continuities with those practiced in non-urban locales. Land-based stories of Toronto's Indigenous heritage shared among Indigenous Torontonians portray Toronto as a traditional Indigenous territory, promote life - and land - affirming connections to places in the city and the development of a cosmopolitan ethics of place that may constitute a significant pathway to the Eighth Fire of Anishinaabe prophecy. Native American studies, Canadian studies, Communication, Indigenous, Indigenous knowledge, Aboriginal, traditions, Eighth Fire, prophecy, urban, Toronto, Canada, North America, story, storytelling, health, healing, land, cultural integrity, First Story, community, cosmology, epistemology, colonialism, history.

Framing Quebec's film policy, 1960-1975: an archival exploration
Constance John (2008); Supervised by Joy Cohnstaedt

Dissertation: This dissertation establishes the various federal, provincial, and private factors that led to the creation of Quebec's Loi sur le cinéma in 1975. It was the province's first 'loi-cadre' on film, bundling all aspects of film activity into a single bill: production (both private and government sponsored), distribution, exhibition, classification. Having been close to the film industry from 1970 onwards, I wanted to see whether my hypothesis--that private individuals and organizations were the engine behind the legislation--would be born out by the archival record. It was. The Ministry of Cultural Affairs had been created in 1961 and, in the first years, ignored filmmaking entirely. The province, however, authorized a five-volume economic study on cinema in 1963, launching the quest for a ' loi-cadre'. It took 12 more years to pass this law, and that long period is the subject of this study. Because this inquiry tracked the first 15 years after the death of Duplessis, it also tells the story of rising nationalism, of critical attention being paid to language, and of the tension between elitist conceptions of culture and the idea of culture in everyday life. It concludes that the cultural turn inward as articulated by 'le peuple québécois' eventually negated the chance for Montreal to become the dominant headquarters of a bi-lingual Canadian film industry. Provincial government archives, those kept by the Cinémethèque québécoise and at the producers' association, coupled to media reports, formed the research base. I looked at the personal fonds of deputy minister of Culture Guy Frégault, government film commissioner Sydney Newman, and chair of the Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC) Gratien Gélinas. Because of their pivotal roles, I interviewed former CFDC executive director Michael Spencer, former minister of Cultural Affairs Jean-Noël Tremblay, filmmaker Arthur Lamothe, and producer/distributor André Link. The theories of Pierre Bourdieu, containing his notions of 'habitus ' and field, were used to understand how the industry grew, and how individuals dealt with each other and with legislation. The dynamism of his theoretical concepts well matched the ever changing expansion of the industry during this period.

Individualized Environmentalism(s): the Deadly Sins of Environmental Organizations
David Hibbs (2015); Supervised by Stephanie Walsh-Matthews

Thesis: This study utilises the theories of Harold Innis to discern how environmental organisations in Toronto, Ontario are impeded by consumer capitalist biases toward mechanisation, individualisation, quantification, and the price system. It develops a preliminary knowledge base of the environmental organisation community in Toronto. Seventy-two environmental organisations were surveyed and the content on their websites was analyzed using a discourse analysis. Organisations appeared to be highly influenced by the biases of consumer capitalism, exhibiting tendencies towards sway by funding sources; individualisation of environmentalism; describing their actions hubristically; incentivisation and recognition of environmental action; and promoting simple and passive environmental actions. Few organisations escaped these problems, but those that did tended to adopt democratic structures, social justice ideals, and strive for inclusion of unheard voices. The conclusions drawn from this analysis point out ways environmental organisations can and must change to be better mediators of environmental change and challenge anti-ecological identities. Environmental studies, Environmental movement, Environmental organizations, Environmental communication, ecological morality, organizational structure, sustainability, discourse, ecological crisis.

Cultural Heritage and Representation in Jamaica: Broaching the Digital Age
Abigail Henry (2015); Supervised by Rosemary Coombe

Thesis: This thesis discusses Jamaica's cultural heritage management in the 21st century and questions how the country's cultural heritage is represented in today's digital age. Tracing the development of Jamaica's cultural policies since the late-colonial period (beginning in the late 1930s), I consider the ways in which the state has managed cultural heritage historically and connect the evolution of theoretical understandings of heritage to explore evolving ideologies of policy and management. I then examine three digital cultural heritage projects in Jamaica to question their representation of heritage material to the local population and the wider world. I argue that these presentations of Jamaica's cultural heritage illustrate a 21st century neoliberal interplay of cultural heritage, nationalism, and economic development. The projects put forward a restricted and exclusive form of heritage knowledge which re-inscribes historical inequalities. I conclude that cultural heritage organizations and policymakers must incorporate participatory methods to leverage digital technologies to ameliorate ongoing issues of hegemonic representation. Caribbean studies, Cultural resources management, Cultural Heritage, Jamaica, Cultural Policy, Nation Branding, Digital Technologies, Representation, Cultural Studies, Digital Cultural Heritage.

Abandonware, Commercial Expatriation and Post-Commodity Fan Practice: a Study of the Sega Dreamcraft
Scott Deeming (2013); Supervised by Bruno Lessard

Thesis: This thesis explores the nature of digital gaming platforms once they have been expatriated from the consumer marketplace and have been relegated to obsolescence. In this state, abandonware becomes a site for creative interventions by active audiences, who exploit, hack and modify these consoles in order to accommodate a range of creative practices. As part of the digital toolkit for fan production, the Sega Dreamcast has become a focal point for fan based video game remix practices, whereby fan creators appropriate imagery and iconography from popular media to create new works derivative of these franchises. These fan practices subvert the proprietary protocols of digital platforms, re-contextualizing them as devices for creative intervention by practitioners, who distribute their works and the knowledge necessary to produce them, through online communities. Multimedia, History, Intellectual property, platform studies, fan practices, hacking, modding, abandonware, Sega Dreamcast, videogame studies, fan studies, commodity, intellectual property, open source, freeware.

This Project can be Upcycled where Facilities are Available: an Adventure Through Toronto's Food/Waste Scape.
Michelle M. Coyne (2013);

Dissertation: At the intersection of food, regulations, and subjective experiences is a new way of understanding the intersection of wasted food--a new category of edibility. This project investigates the reasons for, and impacts of, politically-motivated dumpster diving and food reclamation activism in Toronto, Canada. The research incorporates ethnographic participant-observation and interviews with politically-motivated dumpster divers in Toronto, as well as that city's chapter of Food Not Bombs. The project primarily asks how so much quality food/waste is thrown away and becomes, at times, available to be recovered, reworked, and eaten. My research constitutes a living critique of the hybrid experience of food and waste where the divisions between the two categories are not found in locations (the grocery store or dumpster), but rather in the circulations of actions and meanings that dumpster divers themselves re-invest in discarded edible food products. My research objectives are: (1) to document the experience of dumpster divers in Toronto as connected to a broader movement of food/waste activism around the world; (2) to connect this activism to discussions of food safety and food regulations as structuring factors ensuring that edible food is frequently thrown away; (3) to contextualize contemporary food/waste activism within a history of gleaning, and in relation to enclosure acts that have left Canada with no legal protections for gleaners nor recognition of the mutually beneficial social relation between gleaners and farmers; (4) to explore dumpster divers' work as part of the circulation of urban culture within media networks. Ultimately, I isolate alternative gift economies as central to dumpster divers' critique of industrial food distribution within the commodity systems of global capitalism. This gifting relation proves to be, in part, a nostalgic view of an idealized past. Nonetheless, the gifting relation becomes an ideal linked to broader anarchist communities that allows divers to create communal subject identities that exist outside of market relations, made global through communication networks of independent and self-published media. By connecting globally, the small-scale, local actions of Food Not Bombs chapters around the world allow surprisingly few individuals to spread a politic with the potential to impact beyond their limited political circles. This project is theoretically situated at the junction of studies of material culture, food and food waste, and new social movements; I connect political experience in local communities to the circulation of food and waste through urban environments and media networks. For the dumpster diver, edibility is delinked from purchase price and is instead imbedded in systems of power and active resistance. Environmental studies, Waste studies, Food studies, Cultural studies, Urban studies, Food waste, Cultural practices of food, Sustainability, Anarchism, Activism, Utopia, Gift economy, Ethnography.

Authenticity and hybridity in alienation: national identity in the Palestinian diaspora
Ghina Al-Dajani (2013); Supervised by Daniel Drache
Thesis: This study investigates the space in which Palestinian identity in the diaspora is formed and where moments of plurality emerge. By focusing on the Palestinian community in Canada, this study interrogates the processes of national identity formation and the achievement of belonging. The study utilizes empirical research in the form of interviews as well as the existing literature on the study of nationalism and identity to conduct a qualitative analysis of Palestinian national identity in the diaspora today. It thus demonstrates that the Palestinian identity is one that is intrinsically dual, with both essential and plural identities that are constructed and negotiated within a social matrix, and that incorporate national ideologies, collective memories, and cultural identities in the creation of a Palestinian nationality. In doing so, the study addresses a lack of scholarship on the identity formation in third generation Palestinian exiles, and illustrates the parameters of the ongoing Palestinian condition of statelessness. Palestinian, Stateless, Diaspora, Nationalism, National identity, Cultural identity, Nakba.

Making Up A Drug Epidemic: Constructing Drug Discourse During the Opioid Epidemic in Ontario
Travis Sidak (2020); Supervised by Stephan Muzzatti

Thesis: The current opioid epidemic has resulted in growing rates of overdose across the province with the introduction of fentanyl into illicit drug markets. What barriers are preventing policy makers from enacting emergency measures to save lives and how have those affected by the epidemic been categorically ignored? The following research critically analyzes drug discourse relating to the current opioid epidemic in Ontario and discusses why government responses to the epidemic have been delayed, and why they offer inferior measures to prevent growing mortality and morbidity. Using Ian Hacking’s theory of dynamic nominalism, the work systematically deconstructs drug discourse through a number of perspectives in order to identify stakeholders and manifest relations of power that drive policy deliberation and designate key figures of authority. Research has shown that opioid dependent users are infantilized and demonized due to a history of negative perspectives on drug use that persist today in drug discourse.

Canadian International Non-Governmental Organizations: Holding Discursive Strategies to a Higher Standard
Jordan Kroschinsky (2020); Supervised by Sandra Jeppesen

Thesis: Ethical engagement and visual representation have been a central challenge for international NGOs and development communications. However, there is a call to be attentive to the discursive strategies used by Canadian INGOs, and the representations of developing countries emulated to Western aid supporters. This study conducts a critical discourse analysis on three Canadian INGO websites: CARE Canada, International Federation of the Red Cross, and Oxfam Canada. By exploring the discursive frameworks that represent, categorize, and by extension establish sets of relations between INGO audiences and aid receivers, this study gauges the shifts of hegemonic discourses within the context of INGO messaging. An autoethnography is included with each case study, reflecting on my own experiences working with non-profit organizations. Canadian INGOs, online representations, critical discourse analysis, Canadian aid supporters

“I Would Do Anything to Not Call This Place Home”: The Black Pill, Involuntary Celibacy, and the Neoliberal Male Grasp in Digital Incel Communities
Anthony Burton (2020); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Thesis: Drawing from gender studies, critical theory, media studies, and anthropology, this thesis examines “involuntary celibacy” and the links between neoliberalism, masculinity, digital community, and misogyny. Based on an analysis of the webforum, it chronicles the development of the “incel” identity, situating it as a reaction to contemporary social hierarchies and cultural norms, including the infringement of neoliberal market logic onto social relations and gender stereotypes. The “incel identity” is framed as a site wherein these norms meet and contradict each other, leading to the construction of a group epistemology that attempts to explain the incel’s oppression. This group knowledge, dubbed the “black pill”, is an alternative set of norms, behaviours, and social truths rooted in masculine supremacy and supported through the usage of positivist, scientific claims. This project explores the rationality and sentiments of the black pill, especially as they relate to expressive traits of the body. At its core, this thesis argues that “incel” ideology exposes a contradiction between the neoliberal marketization of the self and contemporary masculinity, and it draws upon this contradiction to formulate a way of understanding the process and practice of digitized community. incel, masculinity, blackpill, involuntary celibacy, forum, phenotype, program, ideology, neoliberalism, gender, red pill, platform

The Post-Digital Pensive Image: Reclamation of Subjectivity Within Communicative Capitalism
Cody Rooney (2020); Supervised by Shannon Bell

Project-Paper: This paper/project theorizes an epistemological rupture between the scopic regimes of Cartesian Perspectivalism and the “Post-Digital” and how these influence conceptions of reality, identity, and subjectivity. Through an analysis of the progression of perspectivalism from the 15th century to the digital image, the photograph is theorized as operating concomitantly with realism and positivism, and through digital mediation, as having been commodified and weaponized by capitalism for the purposes of subjugating its subject. This subjugation is theorized as producing a pervasive dysphoria, as the simulacrum of reality engendered by digital visuality causes the semiology of reality to dissolve. The “post-digital,” then, serves as a negation of this subjugation through a reflexive and hyper-mediated visuality that employs surrealist strategies to ground the spectator in their own subjectivity. The photographic component is an inquiry into how I, as a digital subject, utilize aesthetic strategies in order to ground my own subjectivity within this paradigm.

My Master’s Thesis, But It’s a Podcast (About Podcasts)
Olivia Trono (2020); Supervised by Jamin Pelkey

Project-Paper: Podcasting is a medium that has become embedded in the everyday lives of millions, increasingly rivaling other forms of media—and yet, research has not kept pace with the proliferation of podcasts. In particular, podcast literature infrequently prioritizes the perspectives of podcast creators and listeners. In My Master’s Thesis, but it’s a podcast (about podcasts), I interview creators and listeners in an effort to identify some of the ways in which podcasts shape individual lives, and broader communities and cultures—and to understand how podcasts serve “to make our selves feel oriented” (Weiner 2014). This 8-episode podcast strives to explore these ideas in a way that is accessible, yet still academic. The research and interviews focus on three overarching (and intersecting) purposes that podcasts serve: allowing for new/renewed forms of storytelling; enabling accessible, creative, and engaging forms of learning-education; and providing listeners with meaningful forms of companionship and community. podcast, podcasting, new media, audio media, accessible media, media studies, research creation, experiential learning, podcast companionship and community, podcast storytelling, podcast learning-education, podcast intimacy, youth and podcasts

Small Town Creative Communities of Conviviality: a Case Study of Sackville, New Brunswick
max cotter (2020); Supervised by Miranda Campbell

Project-Paper: This project uses Sackville, New Brunswick as a case study for small town creative communities, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of small towns for cultural workers, also offering insight into what draws artists to these communities. A tension exists between cultural producers and urban life, as the rising cost of living in cities jeopardizes affordable rent for arts venues and housing for cultural workers. The town of Sackville is home to a liberal arts university, artist-run centres, galleries, music festivals, and many urban expat artists, with a cost of living well below that of cities. Engaging Sackville’s artist population to collect oral histories, this project identifies themes regarding their reasoning for seeking out a small town community. Culminating in an hour-long audio documentary, this project addresses how smaller communities foster creativity, collaboration, and conviviality, and how a lower cost of living and rural landscape impact the cultural producer.

Horses in the Back: Negotiations of Black Identity Through Cowboy Symbolism in American Popular Culture
Brigid Savage (2020); Supervised by Susan Driver

Major Research Paper: In 2019 Lil Nas X released a country-trap song called “Old Town Road” that challenges the traditional boundaries of American popular music. This research paper examines the creation, maintenance, and subversion of myths in American popular culture through the lens of the song “Old Town Road.” With Roland Barthes’ work on mythologies as the theoretical framework, this research asks the following question: How does Lil Nas X, a young queer Black man, reshape the popular American iconography of the western cowboy in order to reconstruct mainstream popular culture representations? The research draws upon critical theory from a range of fields, including subculture, postcolonial, and intersectional feminist theory. This study finds that Black Americans have been marginalized by American history through racial stereotypes and strict social boundaries. However, through self-representation in music and style Black creators work to actively rewrite the myths of American identity. American cowboy, Black popular culture; hip hop; country music

The Cinematic Subterranean: Investigating the Cultural Significance of the Underground Through Film
Nicole Payette (2020); Supervised by John McCullough

Major Research Paper: Representations of the material underground are dominated by infernal imagery and vast catacombs, fantastic wizards and mythical beasts, sleek climate-controlled bunkers and modern transportation. As a lived space, the underground is home to labourers, socially ostracized populations, revolutionaries, treasure, toxic waste, and dead bodies. The multifariousness of the underground marks the space as a powerful location through which countless narratives, characters, and meanings are manifested. This Major Research Paper provides an initial step in understanding the underground’s cultural significance by primarily focusing on the representations of the subterranean in film. This research begins by determining three main characteristics of the space: marginalization, interment, and utopianism. These characteristics are subsequently analyzed through the genre of horror, specifically Jordan Peele’s Us (2019), which utilizes the monster figure as the embodiment of the repressed/Other to distinguish the underground as a marginal, interring and utopian space. Underground, Space, Film, Horror, Monster, Marginalization

An Exploration of Suicide Reporting in Canadian Newspapers
Siena Maxwell (2020); Supervised by May Friedman

Major Research Paper: This paper explores how two large Canadian newspaper outlets cover and publish cases of suicide over the past 41 years. Utilizing a mad studies lens, this research employs critical discourse analysis to illuminate how a medicalized and individualized model of mental illness has dominated the way we view madness. As a result, the coverage of mad individuals who choose suicide consistently pathologizes and blames them, while reinforcing the notions that mad people are violent, criminal and in need of medical control. Also missing from the dialogue is a discussion and recognition of the role of the social, political, cultural, and economic context in which people become mentally distressed. More recently, self-reflexivity on the part of the journalist has grown, impacting the way cases of suicide are covered and discussed. Suicide, Mad Studies, Neoliberalism, Medical Model, Journalism

The Designer’s Contribution to the 3d Knit Ecosystem
Kirsten Schaefer (2020); Supervised by Charles Davis

Dissertation: The term 3D knitting is used in popular media and marketing to describe textile products knit in a single, shaped piece, without seams. 3D knit products provide: increased comfort in wearable items, greater product integrity, new design possibilities, reduction in manual labour, and new opportunities to integrate “smart” fibres. Due to the complex machinery and software used for this type of fabrication, designers engaging with 3D knitting require a different mindset compared to traditional cut and sew or knit design processes. This research was framed by the question: What role do designers play in the current 3D knit ecosystem? A secondary question asked: What are the opportunities and challenges in expanding designers’ skills for 3D knitting? Qualitative inquiry was used to examine designers’ experience in the 3D knit ecosystem in Canada and the United States from the perspectives of three primary stakeholders: designers, software technicians (programmers), and production managers (manufacturers). Modified touchstone tours including semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants (n=18) from the three key stakeholder groups at companies (n=10) across Canada and the United States. Thematic analysis was used to identify and organize key themes from the data. Results indicate that 3D knitting provides benefits in five categories: consumer/product, manufacturer, design and development, business strategy, and sustainability. Challenges and roadblocks were identified in four categories for all stakeholders: costs, education and employment, design and development, and communication. Challenges identified by one stakeholder group were frequently mirrored by or connected to the experience of another group. Results suggest that tacit knowledge contributes to the communication bottleneck in the 3D knit ecosystem. As access to 3D knitting increases, designers’ responsibilities and the scope of their considerations in the design and development process must expand. Designers who understand the goals and priorities of the other stakeholder groups are better equipped to successfully navigate the 3D knit design and development process. This research has implications for current practices in textile and apparel production as well as for higher education institutions preparing design students for careers in this evolving industry.

Voter Privacy and the Openness Principle: an Examination of Political Party Privacy Policies in Canada and the United Kingdom
Priyana Govindarajah (2020); Supervised by Jeremy Shtern

Major Research Paper: Canadian political parties have failed to communicate basic privacy protections to their data subjects in their privacy policies. In order to retain the trust and confidence of the electorate and preserve the integrity of elections, parties must clearly communicate their data practices in their privacy policies and the measures they take to protect personal information. A content analysis is employed to examine the openness principle of privacy policies of federal political parties in the United Kingdom and Canada to assess compliance with an international privacy standard, the OECD privacy framework. This study is timely as protecting personal information and addressing privacy vulnerabilities pertaining to data subjects is vital in the electoral context. Information mismanagement can distort the political and democratic process, as well as interfere with a citizen’s ability to make informed political decisions, hence the need for stronger data protection legislation pertaining to political parties in Canada. Privacy; Privacy Policy; Voter Surveillance; Transparency; Microtargeting; Voter Privacy; Elections; Openness Principle

Girls Gotta Give Sex and Relationship Advice: Post-Feminism, Intimacy, and Self-Governance in Podcast Culture
Danielle Collado (2020); Supervised by Susan Driver

Major Research Paper: This paper explores the ways in which episodes of the Girls Gotta Eat podcast represent a conflict between the rhetorics of choice and autonomy and the hosts’ presumed authority. A critical discourse analysis found that lack of credibility and recognition of the listeners’ autonomy complicated the hosts’ authoritative status, oversimplifications of success and disregard for rules and regulations highlighted the hosts’ unacknowledged privilege, and the promotion of self-management and self-surveillance threatened the empowering messaging that the hosts had initially strived for. Each of these findings contribute to broader discourses around intimacy, neoliberalism, and post-feminism. The discussion focuses on productive ways for the hosts to incorporate a variety of perspectives into their advice and to acknowledge their trusted positions as a responsibility. Podcast, Intimacy, Advice, Neoliberalism, Post-Feminism

Mors Naviculam: the Globalization of Canadian Fashion Through Trade, Policy and Regulation
Mark O'Connell (2020); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Dissertation: Canadian Fashion in its current modes of design, production and distribution is deeply integrated into globalized production chains that segment various aspects of manufacturing into disparate locations scattered around the globe. At best, these globalised operations provide jobs and revenue for developing economies, at worst the unregulated sites of production are left wide open for labour abuses that can spell disaster for the workers employed there, and the local environment. The goal of this research is to use the knowledge gained from the close study of fashion objects to illustrate the negative consequences of contemporary fashion production, a manufacturing model that is currently undertaken at the detriment of both workers as well as the environment. Utilizing an object-based research method, one that auto-ethnographises garments and their impacts, the full scope of the impacts of these processes are explored. Research also details the history of how these production models came to be and includes an examination of innovations that are aiming to counter these destructive modes of production as well as possibilities for amelioration. Sustainability (fashionable or otherwise) as a goal is not an ambition that can be achieved in a vacuum. The processes that create an unsustainable environment for manufacturing and production are directed and mediated by various social actors, they range from consumer preference, economic directives, as well as access to retail, manufacturing and labour markets. All of the actions of these competing mediating forces are synthesized into public policy. Governmental regulations on how production is undertaken locally, and the parameters for import and export are all set according to the general public will. It is this will (for good or ill) that will shape the future of Canadian fashion manufacturing. Fashion sustainability; Canadian fashion economy; Canadian fashion history; Globalization of fashion manufacturing

Mediated Landscapes: Technology and Environment in Recent Canadian Cinema
Daniel Browne (2020); Supervised by Monique Tshofen

Dissertation: A central defining feature of the contemporary era is an environmental crisis that has been triggered by the relationship of human-developed technologies to the natural world, which is leading us towards conditions of increasing collapse that will impact all future understandings of our era’s cultural production and experience. This crisis has led many to propose that the planet has entered a new geologic epoch, the “Anthropocene,” in which boundaries between humanity, nature, and technology have become blurred and no longer viable. In this dissertation, I explore this ecological crisis as a manifestation of mythological and perceptual frameworks that structure contemporary modes of experience, by examining how Canadian filmmakers are responding to such conditions through their artworks. Drawing on Marshall McLuhan’s notion of art as a “counter-environment” that, in its most potent capacity, acts as a “liaison between biology and technology” ([1973] 2003a, 207) or “Distant Early Warning system,” I explore how many recent Canadian films prioritize process, hybridity, decay, and transmutation to reveal the environmental status of media, developing new myths and metaphors that address the crisis of imagination that I argue is at the root of the environmental crisis. Through these approaches, the binaries between humanity, technology, and nature are revealed as false dualisms that have always been united within a greater ecological matrix—an insight that reflects the holistic study of media developed by the Toronto School of Communication. The environmental crisis cannot be resolved through any singular response, but rather necessitates a proliferation of new forms of critical thought, empathy, and modes of experience. Accordingly, in this study I explore a range of aesthetic approaches to interrogate forms of critical visuality in cinema that articulate the environmental invisibility of media, including narrative, documentary, and experimental works. These examples are united by a framework that seeks to cultivate perceptual sensitivities through revelatory forms over discursive approaches. By revealing the strong affinities between Canadian art and critical theory, I demonstrate how cinema can provide a fertile terrain for critiquing technological environments and their influence upon notions of embodiment, the natural world, and the shaping force of language.

The Virtual Capriccio: the Semiotics of Architecture in Digital Games
Garbriele Aroni (2020); Supervised by Bruno Lessard

Dissertation: Digital games are among the most popular media on the planet, and billions of people inhabit such virtual worlds daily. Most of these worlds are made of virtual buildings, roads, and cities that players travel through. This dissertation aims to fill a gap in the game studies literature regarding the architecture of digital games, in terms of both its aesthetic aspect and its symbolic role as they relate to gameplay. It strives to answer the following questions: how does the design of virtual architecture influence gameplay and storytelling through its communicative aspect? How does digital architecture relate to real architecture? Where does the inspiration for digital games architecture come from? In order to answer these questions, this dissertation examines how architecture is used in digital games, how players interact with it, and what it communicates. The dissertation thus analyses the architecture of digital games through the lenses of semiotics and architecture theory, mainly the research pursued by Umberto Eco as regards the semiotics of architecture and by Brian Upton with his theory of “anticipatory play.” It presents case studies of digital games grouped in three categories: reconstructive, fantastic, and visionary. Reconstructive virtual architecture, as evidenced in Assassin’s Creed II (2009), aims to recreate existing locales, be they from the present or the past, with the intent to immerse the player in a simulated environment that is as close as possible to reality. Fantastic virtual architecture, represented by the Japanese game Final Fantasy XV (2016), is the category that arguably encompasses the vastest number of digital games, as it comprises the type of architecture designed to appear, if not realistic, at least plausible, and bears resemblance to real-world architecture. Finally, the category of visionary virtual architecture, as found in the independent game NaissanceE (2014), while still representing plausible and not completely abstract features, is meant to be perceived as an “impossible” construct. Through these case studies, the dissertation outlines how architecture plays a central role in digital games design, and proposes a semiotic framework for the analysis of virtual architecture that can be applied to the vast majority of digital games.

Ambiguity and Irreconcilability: A Critical Look at Reconciliation Discourse in Federal Land Claims and Self-Government Political Communications
Rebecca Hume (2020); Supervised by Paul Moore and Julie Tomiak

Thesis: Can reconciliation be meaningful when it is at once a journey, a path, a milestone, a framework, a tool of economic development, a spirit, and a process? In this thesis, I use a multimethod approach to problematize how reconciliation discourse is employed ambiguously in both policy and practice in order to maintain settler colonial occupation of stolen Indigenous lands. I first conduct a policy review of federal land claims and self-government frameworks before turning to a Critical Discourse Analysis of public communications to illustrate the limitations of these state-led processes of reconciliation. My analysis elucidates the ways in which these processes are instantiations of settler governmentality that continue to exist as common sense (Rifkin, 2013) within a discursive framework of state-led reconciliation politics. As such, my work demonstrates that in order to work towards the bigger project of decolonization and resurgence, reconciliation must move from purely aspirational terms to substantive, treaty-based responsibilities with the repatriation of Indigenous land as its overarching, incommensurable purpose. Keywords: reconciliation politics; settler colonialism; Crown-Indigenous relations; critical policy studies; critical discourse analysis.

Kazimir Malevich: Approaching the New System
Irina Lyubchenko (2020); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Dissertation: This dissertation examines Kazimir Malevich’s art and writing with a view to establishing that they combine a strain of strict methodological reductionism with an equally well-marked esotericism. It strives to prove that although this feature of Malevich’s work was common among vanguard artists and thinkers, there are also highly idiosyncratic qualities in the way Malevich reconciled these two threads. An ensuing goal of this work is to propose how to complete an unfinished 1927 film script by Kazimir Malevich titled “Artistic and Scientific Film—Painting and Architectural Concerns—Approaching the New Plastic Architectural System.” The question regarding the confluence of science and mysticism in Malevich’s work— the primary concern of this dissertation—requires tracing in the artist’s art and writings the presence of ideas belonging to these worldviews traditionally considered to be antithetical to each other. This dissertation establishes Malevich’s relationship with mysticism and strains of thought that resemble scientific content and approach. Among the latter, this work investigates Malevich’s interest in the geometry of the fourth dimension, draws parallels between the artist’s concern for visualizing infinity and the problems of set theory, and examines the role of imaginary numbers in Malevich’s worldview. To complete the analysis of Malevich’s exploration of the concept of space prominent in the aforementioned mathematical themes, this dissertation examines the artist’s interest in investigating the space of the cosmos. It also establishes that Malevich’s ideas were not only influenced by the scientific advancements in electromagnetism but also by the theories of thermodynamics, which together with the former relay a view of the world where all processes, organic and inorganic, are understood as the product of the transformation of energy. In Cubism and Futurism: Spiritual Machines and the Cinematic Effect, R. Bruce Elder draws attention to the early twentieth-century thinkers’ view of cinema as an electromagnetic machine. This dissertation examines Malevich’s relationship with the cinematic art and its reception in Russia during Malevich’s most productive years. This work concludes with having satisfied its larger objective: to envision a possible scenario of how Malevich’s unfinished script could unfold. It contains the copy of the original script, its proposed finale, and an essay that outlines how my investigation of Malevich’s intellectual landscape informed the decisions involved in inferring the concluding shot sequences of the artist’s only cinematic work.

Toronto’s Little Shop of Horrors: a Cultural Criminology Examination on Serial Killer Bruce McArthur and the News Media
Emma Margaret Smith (2020); Supervised by Stephen Muzzatti

Dissertation: Contributing to the dynamic and interdisciplinary field of cultural criminology, this project works to emphasize the destructive, modern forces of consumerism and violence within Toronto’s crime-news industry. The paper fuses the canonical and emerging methodologies of content analysis, discourse analysis, and liquid ethnography, to evaluate the framing and editing techniques used to relay the story of Bruce McArthur’s predations in The Village (over the 2018 news year). A sample of 365 articles, retrieved from five print media sources, are methodically examined to understand both the local and national agenda-setting strategies of contemporary journalism. Actively contributing to the transformation of human suffering and violence into mass-market pleasure, a carnival of crime model (Presdee, 2000) serves as a primary lens for evaluating the hyper-sensationalized reporting styles of modern news makers. Weaving theoretical contributions from the fields of sociology and media studies, the embeddedness of heteronormative, racialized, and ethnocentric tropes common to the news and crime-infotainment industries is also critically evaluated towards raising greater political and social accountability. Crime-centric podcasts are further identified as a leading technological medium for fueling public obsessions with murder and transgressions. Formed by enthusiastic hobbyists and motivated journalists, the producers of podcasting content hastily straddle the realms of entertainment and information sharing. As such, this research calls for immediate awareness and tending to the neoliberal symptoms of boredom and fear existing in our modern world, building on Stanley Cohen’s (1972) moral panic theory. Keywords: cultural criminology, serial killer, news media, crime infotainment, McArthur

#neverenough: Social Comparison by Young Women on Instagram
Bailey Parnell (2020); Supervised by Anatoliy Gruzd

Thesis: As social media use continues to rise, studies have linked high social media use with rising levels of depression, particularly in young adults. This narrative has pervaded, yet in the research thus far, there is no general consensus as to causation or direction. What remains constant is that when mediators such as ‘comparison’ and ‘envy’ are introduced between social media use and depression, there is a negative correlation. In a qualitative study, I examine the connection between social comparison, Instagram use, and envy in young women. I conducted semi-structured interviews with a group of 10 female university students between the ages of 18-24. Interviews were analysed through qualitative descriptive analysis. Overwhelmingly, subjects engaged in frequent social comparison offline, which translated to frequent social comparison, made worse, on Instagram. As a result, participants admitted to feeling envious as well as other feelings like frustration, loneliness, anger, and overwhelm. However, users also reported positive experiences such as inspiration, humour, motivation, and happiness, when they are on Instagram. Offline affect proved to be the biggest moderators and indicators of comparison and the positive or negative experiences of the participants. This research may suggest future care in this area should focus on offline affect rather than the social networks themselves.

Single Motherhood, Media, Methods, and Messiness: Exploring Virtual Reality as a Tool for Autobiographical Expression
Katherine Womby (2020); Supervised by Matthew Tiessen

Project-Paper: This research/creation project documents my experiences of living as a single mother with minimal financial, family, and social support. Since research suggests that virtual reality (VR) can generate heightened empathetic response in users, I chose to develop my story using VR as the primary creative tool. This study required engagement with the creative and methodological approaches of arts-based research—a process of learning-by-making that prompts questions and reflections on ethics, techniques, aesthetics, value, and subjectivity. The finished project, then, is an exploration of my journey not only as a single mother, but also as a researcher exploring emerging technological affordances and their capacity to engender empathy and serve as tools of autobiographical expression. In this way, the work could further be understood as contributing to the emerging field of autotheory, in which the researcher’s subjective and embodied experience is integrated with theoretical and philosophical approaches.

Lingo-Entrainment: the Natural Language Surveillance of Smartphone Users
Nicholas Fazio (2020); Supervised by Steve Bailey

Thesis: This thesis examines the neuro-cultural implications of: (1) language capture and commodification; and (2) neurological entrainment, two processes that I contend have coextensively emerged with the development of smartphones in a way that is profitable for major smartphone manufacturers and privileged third parties. The phrase “neurological entrainment” in this context refers specifically to the smartphone’s ability to exert affective behavioural control over smartphone users by altering their neurochemical states. I aim to situate this established neurological phenomenon alongside a less scrutinized transformation: that of the smartphone into a site of language-capture. By “language capture” I refer to the intake, collection and brokering of smartphone users’ natural language data and metadata. The goal of this thesis is to contextualize the interfusing of these entrainment and capture processes that cunningly form lucrative linguistic relationships between smartphone users and their devices. This study, through a comparative content analysis of data policies, privacy protocols, and privacy related promotional material pertaining to two major smartphone manufacturers (e.g., Apple and Samsung), substantiates the claim that the foundational documents of each device openly permit this productive union, with its doubled effect of neurological pacification and linguistic divestment. It also situates these findings within the grander lingo-entrainment systems that influence the future of our living language, and that coincide with Deleuzian premonitions about societies of control.

Competition in the Canadian Telecommunications Industry: Past, Present and Potential Ways Forward
Kevin Hudes (2020); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Major Research Paper: Undoubtedly, the Canadian telecommunications industry is at a critical juncture with respect to competition. Telecommunications services are becoming increasingly essential for Canadian citizens to effectively participate in the economy, democracy and society more broadly. As such, it is critical to explore the various policy mechanisms that can deliver all Canadians an affordable and high quality experience as mandated in section seven of the Telecommunications Act. The study focuses on potential ways to cultivate a meaningfully competitive telecommunications environment that can better represent public interest. Drawing on a litany of international and domestic regulatory decisions, both past and present, in conjunction with academic journals, Candian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) regulatory proceedings and contemporary news articles, the paper demonstrates that the lack of meaningful competition in the Canadian telecommunications industry is limiting positive outcomes for Canadian citizens in regards to affordability, choice and coverage.

Performed Realities and Intertextualities: The Commodification of Everyday Life and the Celebrification of Everyday People in Modern Televisual and Digital Cultures
Karen Aagaard (2010); Supervised by Elizabeth Podnieks

Major Research Paper: This paper, while firmly rooted in Dyer's star image system, will also incorporate several narrative (of course, non-fiction) "scenes," based on my own experiences working with a Toronto-based documentary crew. The documentary, Peep Me, which has been produced by Chocolate Box entertainment for CBC Television, focuses, primarily, on peep culture and reality programming. Peep Me also features The Peep Diaries' author and public intellectual Hal Niedzviecki, documenting, among other events, his attempt at creating a "lifecast," and his three-day reality TV boot camp adventure in Simi Valley, California. Needless to say, my six-month internship provided me with invaluable insights into all things "peep," including reality programming, reality performers, and the Internet's answer to the reality star. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Canadian documentary; celebrity; fan culture; fandom; Hollywood; narrative non-fiction; popular culture; reality celebrity; reality programming; television programming; Toronto. Media and Culture

The Role of Canadian National Print Media in Fostering Positive Public Opinion Towards the Legislation of Same-Sex Marriage in Canada
Amanda Piche (2020); Supervised by Art Blake

Dissertation: Since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms emerged in 1982, Canadian national print news was central to the complex networks in the establishment of same-sex marriage in 2005. Newspapers framed marriage equality as a human rights’ issue, within conventions for balance and objectivity. However, LGBTQrelated issues have not consistently been approached this way by the media, which have traditionally created and regulated boundaries of gender and sexuality (Rubin 2007). This dissertation explores why Canadian mainstream press oscillated between anti-queer and pro-LGBTQ approaches in a post-Charter Canada and its effect on public opinion. I show how news reporting is symbiotically implicated in Canadian public perspectives through public sphere theory (Habermas 1989; Fraser 1992). Frame analysis demonstrates how the issue was ideologically positioned in print (Goffman, 1974; Entman 1993; McCombs 2004; Scheufele 1999, 2000). A content analysis of over 2,000 national newspaper articles published between 1982 and 2005 reveal the frames used in stories about marriage equality. Semi-structured interviews with journalists and activists contextualize the analysis. Responses determine how media frames may have implicated understanding and support of the issue, and why and how certain frames were decided by journalists. This work informs the history of LGBTQ rights in Canada by exploring how the national news industry contributed to the framing of marriage equality. Analyses of news coverage of marriage equality remains largely US-centric (Brewer 2002 & 2003; Tadlock, et. al, 2007; Liebler et al., 2009; Li and Liu, 2010; Pan et al. 2010). Research on framing marriage equality in Canada focuses on litigants (Smith 2007), courts (Matthews 2005), and newspapers in 2003 and 2004 (Bannerman 2012). Despite several studies concerning the politics of sexual diversity in Canada (Hogg 2006; Kinsman 1996; Kinsman and Gentile 2010; Pettinicchio 2010; Rayside 2008; M. Smith 2008, 2012), marriage equality has not been studied extensively.           

Hijabi vloggers: Muslim women’s self expression and identity articulation on YouTube
Nur Shazlin Abdul Rahman (2015); Supervised by Paul Moore

Thesis: The hijab is often cited as a manifestation of Islam’s patriarchy. The advent of mobile technology and social media platforms gave an antidote to this problem. Particularly, vlogging trend among Muslim women lets them disrupt problematic narratives about themselves, speak in their own voices to a global audience and demonstrate their agency. However, the women’s focus on fashion puts them at the mercy of cultural and profit-driven norms. Their use of YouTube also means the vloggers are unconsciously conforming to prevailing trends. This research applies a feminist CDA to illuminate ideologies that shape the women’s articulation of their identities in relation to their ethno-religious communities. The small stories approach of interviews with Muslim women vloggers unearthed this trend’s liberative qualities and pitfalls. Since digital self-representation among marginalized identities like Muslim women is new, this research calls for further research into the utility of digital platforms as tools for identity articulation. Hijab (Islamic clothing) -- Social aspects; Muslim women; Identity Media and Culture

Italian Television in Toronto: Nostalgia, Community or Commodity?
Annamaria Aceto (2007); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Thesis: This thesis is a case study of the use of third-language television by members of the Italian diaspora in Toronto and considers current Italian television programming on Telelatino, a local broadcaster in Toronto, as well as RAI, a transnational broadcaster. Using a partial structural analysis of both stations (which considers ownership, financing and station-goal-setting) in conjunction with critical cultural analysis (based on surveys and four in-depth interviews), this thesis demonstrates that in addition to the formation of cultural identities, diasporic media provides opportunities for the development of community dialogue and participation in media production. In essence, this project suggests that watching third-language television is not simply about long-distance nostalgia or entertainment; rather it is about the desire to remain an informed citizen and comparatively reflect on how customs and cultural narratives—in what they consider to be their homeland—are evolving alongside their current lifestyles. Cultural anthropology; Mass media; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Ontario Media and Culture

From Ghetto To Glam: Representation Of African American Male Identity In Television Sitcoms
Johan Anthony Adams-Persaud (2017); Supervised by Jeremy Shtern

Major Research Paper: In an attempt to identify what influences comedies and Black male comedic characters have on society and viewers whose likeness are reflected in these portrayals, this Masters Research Paper (MRP) will closely examine a selected set of television shows that not only influenced my individual identity, but whose content and characters I believe clearly have villainized and dehumanized African American men through the heavy use of stereotypes. The television show Amos ‘n’ Andy (1951-1953) will be examined in regards to its portrayal of African American males as unintelligent, feeble minded, and objects of mockery when paired with Caucasian characters, while Diff’rent Strokes (1980- 1986) and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1990-1996) will be used as examples of sitcoms that use the practice of pairing Caucasian males and obedient Black males with ill-mannered inner city Black men in order to alter their negative traits and turn them into civilized gentlemen, suitable for a predominantly white audience. The reference to All in the Family (1971-1979) will examine how the series’ use of comedy to confront racism overshadows it’s re-enactment of colonial practices. Lastly, the current popular Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015- present) will analyse the use of the African American gay male body to reinforce the historical narrative of the hypersexual Black man and the Black male sexual predator.  Media and Culture

"Strictly for Men": Representing Masculinity and Consumer Culture in Esquire Magazine
Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite (2014); Supervised by Markus Reisenleitner

Major Research Paper:  advertising; American cultural history; consumerism; consumer culture; Esquire (magazine); gender and sexuality; gender rolls; masculinity; masculine identity; mass communication; men as consumers; popular culture; visual culture of advertising. Media and Culture

The media-foreign policy relationship: Pakistan's media image and United States foreign policy
Hanan Mian Ahmad (2005); Supervised by Fred Fletcher

Dissertation: The relationship between the news media and foreign policy is complex and controversial. According to one school of thought, the media serve the interests of the dominant class, functioning as a "government propaganda machine". The key argument here is that the government sets the agenda on foreign policy issues as a result of a set of structural factors: (1) media project and protect the interests of ruling class, (2) media reliance on government sources, (3) corporate influence on media, (4) government's media management strategies, (5) government regulations, (6) secrecy or denial of access to information, (7) automatic attention to statements by president and administration officials. The contrary school of thought maintains that the news media are an independent force, serving as a critic/watchdog or fourth branch of government. According to this argument, the media have considerable power to influence government policies (both domestic and foreign) by criticizing the weakness of policies and influencing the policy agenda. This perspective is reflected in studies of the "CNN effect", which conclude that media play significant role in setting the public agenda and policy options. The thesis of this study is that the media's role is best seen as "contributor" in the policy making process: (1) the media provides useful information, suggestions and criticism that help in shaping policy; (2) policymakers need media to organize public support for their policy line; (3) media influence sometimes itself was the consequence of official actions; (4) media positions on foreign policy are taken more seriously by American policymakers after the fall of Soviet Union, because post cold war foreign policy decisions has no longer been taken in the context of the global containment of communism; (5) the new communication technologies have enabled media to cover event or crises in real time, putting more pressure on policymakers to respond to issues promptly for organizing public opinion in the favor of the government policy line. In addition, the globalization of communication flow and the advance of communication technologies have increased the interaction between media and policymakers. Thus, government and media influence each other in the policymaking process. Political science; Mass media; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Foreign policy; Media; News media; Pakistan Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

Political communication and the emergence of democracy in Bangladesh : a case study of press regulations, 1972-2003
Abul Ahmed (2006); Supervised by Fred Fletcher

Dissertation: The focus of this dissertation is on the nature and operation of laws and regulations in Bangladesh that have been used to limit press freedom from 1972 through 2003. Through a legal and political analysis of the evolution and use of these laws and regulations by successive governments in Bangladesh, the study provides an important perspective on the struggle for democracy in that country. This examination includes, in particular, an analysis of the reasons for the failure of successive governments to fulfill political pledges to reform, repeal, or amend laws and regulations that constrain freedom of the press. The study examines not only laws and regulations that limit press freedom directly, but also those that curtail access by journalist to government information that, in a liberal democratic regime, would normally be public information. The dissertation reviews the origins of various laws and regulations in the colonial period and reasons for their persistence. History; Journalism; Law; Mass media; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Bangladesh; Democracy; Political communication; Press regulations Politics and Policy

The diffusion of text messaging: a comparative perspective
Jeongmo Ahn (2004); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Major Research Paper: Because very few studies that examine the case in U.S. and Canada have considered the differences in cultural/social context and the different patterns of people's perceptions of the new and emerging technologies, this paper will attempt to demonstrate two different approaches - diffusion theory and cross-cultural perspective - to the adoption and diffusion of mobile telephone and apply them into the adoption of text messaging service in Canada. In regards to the cross-cultural approach, the similarities and differences in regards to young people in both Korea and Canada will be provided as a means to address the relationship between cultural variables/obstacles and the rate of text messaging adoption in Canada"--From Introduction page 3. Text messaging; Korea; Young adults; Diffusion of innovations; Technological innovations; social aspects

In the slumber of the interactive: digital interactive technology and the myth of empowerment in consumer culture
Emma Jo Aiken (2002); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Major Research Paper: "Paying special attention to the development of Interactive Television (lTV), in part one I will examine DIT development in order to construct a framework for understanding how technology, as both object and agent, is implicated in the persistence of consumer culture. In part two, I will broaden my perspective so I can address the notion of interactivity in general. By taking a deeper look at the notion of interactivity, I will examine the ways that DIT impacts upon the agency of its users. Through my object/agent framework I will challenge the taken-for-granted assumptions about technology that emerge through the discourses of consumer culture, and analyse the impact of DIT on human agency. I will argue that in many ways, the experience of technology within consumer culture is that of a dream where one believes they are awake. In other words, our experiences are those of a culture trapped in the slumber of the interactive"- From Introduction page 3. Internet advertising; Technical innovations; Consumers; Effect of technological innovations on; Interactive television; Social aspects; Consumerism (Economic); Communication and technology

Broken Record: Madness and Epistemological Agency
Alison Aird (2019); Supervised by Art Blake

Major Research Paper: “Broken Record” is a Masters Research Project in which I explore my experience in an adolescent psychiatric institution using an arts-informed autoethnographic method. The final project is a 200-page artistic exploration of language, meaning, identity, and psychiatry. This component of the research outlines the critical objectives of the project and grounds the work in a body of existing literature. The primary contribution of the paper is its presentation of Madness as Method, a distinct approach to autoethnographic research on madness and psychiatric survival that mobilizes mad subjectivity to generate knowledge from a place of embodiment, distress, memory work, and academic research. I outline this methodology at length, identifying and exploring its four stages: unravelling, integration, narrative, and reckoning. I conclude this paper by situating my Masters Research Project in the context of my Masters training and my professional goals beyond the academy.  

Green-Pine resurrected: Film genre, parody and intertextuality in Turkish cinema
Ali Akser (2010);

Dissertation: This study shows the shift in meaning generation across time in Turkish cinema by comparing genre films of the 1960s of the Green Pine (Yesilcam) cinema and parody films of the new televisual production regime in Turkish cinema of the 2000s. At the intertextual level, popular Turkish film parodies of the twenty-first century expose and ridicule a discourse of modernity by creating a critical intertextuality with classical Turkish film genres of the 1960s and popular Hollywood cinema in the new millennium. The use of critical intertextuality can be essential as a discursive tool to reconstruct a national cinema's genres and to understand its changing viewer modality through a historical perspective. Through looking at how film parody reinterprets genre films this study also identifies a new mode of film and media production in Turkey. The new televisual production regime replaced the old Yesilcam production regime of the 1960s that aspired to be like the American cinema but failed to do so due to financial, organizational and technical reasons. Today Turkish cinema is thriving with parody films and through these parody films new Turkish cinema wants to show off its newfound technical proficiency and by doing so expose and reverse the intertextual power relationships between Turkish cinema and American cinema. Turkish film parodies act as important discursive vehicles for representing aspects of modernity in their narrative. In this capacity two processes that of domestication and repatriation were identified. Communication and the arts; Film genre; Intertextuality; Parody; Turkey; Turkish cinema

Online Public Shaming and Judicial Law
Sujana Alahari (2017); Supervised by John McCullough

Major Research Paper: My research will explore criminal law and criminal psychology theories on public shaming and crime, and it will analyze how these theories are applicable to the social media context. Determining the viability of online public shaming sanctions is important because of the economic and ethical implications it poses. I hope to determine this through exploring the appropriate criminology and psychology theories, examining past cases of

public shaming and analyzing recent online shaming cases and practises. public shaming and crime; reintegration; punishment; behavior; penalties; victim Politics and Policy

The revolution will be televised: articulation of open alternatives through teleSUR
Tania Alvarez (2007); Supervised by Amin Alhassan

Thesis: Bolivarianism, as both populist political practice and political re-articulation of democracy, development and identity in Latin America offers a new vision of the world that resists globalization and encourages participation, popular empowerment, Latin American integration and independence. The thesis employs discourse analysis to examine the newly launched teleSUR, an international public broadcasting network (the first of its kind) conceived as an alternative media text to American and private television and as a medium of political change. Specifically, I apply my analysis to the news and testimony genre as particular moments articulated together within a wider discourse of Bolivarianism emerging out of Venezuela today. An attempt will be made to uncover the key signifiers in the broadcasts and identify the strengths of the links regarding discursive constructions of supra- and plurinationalism, political participation and national sovereignty. alternative media; democracy; identity; national soverignty; neoliberalism; plurinationalism; political participation; public broadcasting; private broadcasting; supranationalism; teleSUR; Venezuela Media and Culture

Women Building Peace: Participatory Development Communication, Strategies and the Peacebuilding Commission in Burundi: A Case Study
Brianna Ames (2009); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Thesis: This thesis considers the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in Burundi. Specifically, the research is founded upon the tenets of gender mainstreaming as contained in UN Security Council Resolution 1325 which demands women's equal participation in the peacebuilding process. A feminist political economy theoretical framework is utilized in order to advance that the post-conflict reconstruction phase in Burundi offers the potential to overcome barriers that have traditionally prevented women's involvement as meaningful participants and decision-makers in its political institutions and social and economic life. This theoretical framework is used to advocate for the adoption of an overarching feminist, grassroots, participatory development communications strategy by the PBC. Such an initiative is necessary if the PBC is to harness the disparate peacebuilding programs being conducted throughout Burundi and to achieve the PBC's mandate of securing long-term peace and security. Womens studies; Political science; Mass communications Politics and Policy

Canadian Forces Deployments: A Family Experience
Karla Amirault (2008); Supervised by Brenda Longfellow

Project-Paper: Physical absences and deployments are a vivid reality for Canadian Forces (CF) members and their families. Whether for training, course work or overseas deployment, CF members can be absent from their families for weeks, or several months at a time as required for military service. My thesis documentary video, Canadian Forces Deployments: A Family Experience provides a glimpse of military families' experiences of deployment of a CF member to Afghanistan. The objective of this video is to provide a representation of the subgroup of military families that differs from the common mainstream media representations of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan who have been or are absent. The basis of this project is ethnographic research, conducted through interviews with spouses of Canadian Forces' members who are either currently deployed in the overseas mission in Afghanistan; who have recently returned; or who are awaiting deployment. This project provides an overview of the military lifestyle of members and their families and the general context for deployments. In comparison to past CF missions, greater concern and risk accompanies current deployments of Canadian Forces members as Canada is engaged in a combat role in the politically unstable country of Afghanistan. Through on-camera interviews with spouses of CF members, this documentary provides a representation that is different than commonly found in mainstream media where military families are often depicted solely in grief and mourning. This project stems from my personal acquaintance with the Canadian Forces and military lifestyle, growing up with my father who was an officer in the regular force. The film is supplemented by this paper, which will develop the theoretical framework and provide a synthesis of the responses of the interviewees. Ethnography; Families of military personnel; Canada; Social conditions; Canada; Armed Forces; Afghanistan; Afghan War; 2001-; Participation; Canadian

Creatures of Artifice: Rodney Brooks and the Bioethics of Animated Machines
Nicholas Anderson (2011); Supervised by Stuart Murray

Dissertation: Renowned robotics engineer Rodney Brooks has built a career engineering behaviourally intelligent machines for scientific research, military-industrial applications, and domestic service. Drawing lessons from biology and ethology, Brooks designs embodied, responsive robots that he provocatively calls "artificial creatures." He has also been vocal about the broad implications his research carries for the future, making bold predictions about a technological society increasingly shaped by ecologies of animated machines. This dissertation examines a number of popular and academic texts in which Brooks discusses his artificial creatures, his design methodology, and his futurological speculations. Focusing on key moments from these texts, I discuss how he constructs a rhetorical and narrative framework through which he ascribes a sense of "life" to his robots in order to probe the distinction between the living and the nonliving and deliberately unsettle the bounds of the biological and the technological. As he highlights the lifelike qualities of his robots that raise them to the status of creatures, he simultaneously emphasizes the machine-like qualities of human beings, leading him to charge people with "overanthropomorphizing" themselves. I argue that these contrapuntal shifts call into question models of subjectivity derived from modern liberal humanism, insofar as they destabilize traditional relations between machines, animals, and human beings. In order to develop the broader theoretical implications of Brooks' work, I engage in comparative readings that place him in dialogue with philosophers such as Martin Heidegger, Bernard Stiegler, Jacques Derrida, and René Descartes, early cyberneticists Norbert Wiener and W. Grey Walter, and an offbeat video game called Chibi Robo! These readings afford opportunities to challenge modes of thinking and acting that assume human mastery over nature and technology, and subsequently to reevaluate our intimate connections to nonhuman beings that make human life livable in the first place. Ultimately, I endeavour to lay the groundwork for a bioethics that is responsive to redefinitions of life by technological means, one that eschews anthropocentrism in order to suggest a concern for different ways of living and belonging between humans and nonhumans, rather than for the lives of human beings alone. artificial creatures; bioethics; cybernetics; humanism; human/nonhuman relationship; Rodney Brooks; technology. Technology in Practice

The Feminine, the Poetic, and the Sacred in bpNichol's The Martyrology and Journal
Natalya Androsova (2012); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Dissertation: My goal is not to analyse the sacred – to analyse it is to kill it. The objective is only to explore different ways of approaching the sacred through looking deeply at the nature of poetic language. In our contemporary society, the sacred is the other. And so is the feminine. Our culture often rejects these modes of experience, but poetic practice gives them both a time and a space. My overall argument is that poetic practice creates an approach, a site and a possibility for the sacred to manifest itself phenomenologically by breaking through from the other realm into human experience. Poetic practice holds an intention, creates a direction, a dimension, a state that can approach the experience of the sacred and honour it, be open to it, invite it and allow the subject to suspend the habitual control and instead adopt a surrender mode. Thus, poetic practice itself becomes a sacred activity that teaches us about different kinds of knowledge, experience and insight and invites us to experience a different mode of being in the world, in language, with ourselves, and with each other. Instead of detachment and alienation that permeate our culture, instead of separation from and the resulting objectification of nature, poetic consciousness offers us a more primal mode of being that pre-modern man used to call sacred. bpNichol; communication; feminine; human experience; language; otherness; perception; phenomenology; poetic; poetic consciousness; poetic practice; self; subjectivity; the sacred. Media and Culture

The Transformation of Network Neutrality in Canada
Natalie Andrusko (2011); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Major Research Paper: Telecommunications technology has dramatically transformed an individual's ability to access information. Internet surfers are often unaware of the ways in which their Internet services are being managed, and even fewer are familiar with the term Internet neutrality. As a growing trend, more Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Canada are intervening with the infrastructure of the Internet by utilizing traffic management practices, such as bandwidth 'throttling'1, which hinder a user's ability to quickly access certain types of content online. Internet traffic management practices (ITMP) are a means for ISPs to control their 'congested'2 networks, with the aim of optimizing or improving their network's performance, or they can often aid in increasing usable bandwidth (Lithgow, 2011). Traffic management practices ultimately allow one kind of 'packet'3 to be delayed over another; for example, ISPs often use a program called Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), which is a program that can identify forms of traffic online, meaning it can target specific applications. Since ITMPs can target specific 'packets' online, smaller interest groups, and businesses became increasingly concerned that network neutrality policy principles, such as 'common-carriage'4 was not being enforced by the CRTC. This paper will identify the main concerns of utilizing ITMP on broadband networks, and will illustrate that ITMP can and should be connected to the discussion regarding network neutrality in Canada Canada; Canadian access to media; Canadian internet users; Canadian Radio Television Commission (CRTC); communication policy; internet neutrality; Internet Management Traffic Management Practices; public policy. Politics and Policy

The Role of Community Radio in Enhancing Identity Formation and Commmunity Cohesion Among Caribbean Canadians in Toronto
Neil Armstrong (2010); Supervised by Charles Davis

Major Research Paper: This paper examines the important role that two community-based campus stations - CHRY 105.5FM and CKLN 88.1FM -- play in community cohesion and identity formation in the Caribbean Canadian community in Toronto. The research questions are: What roles do community media play in the lives of Caribbean-Canadians in Toronto?; How do Caribbean Canadians access these media to tell their stories or hear their voice?; How do these media outreach to the large Caribbean Canadian community in Toronto?; How do they describe the relationship that they have with CHRY 105.5FM and CKLN 88.1 FM; and, Do these media affirm the marginalized status of Caribbean Canadians, or are they sites of transformation for Caribbean Canadians daring to contest their exclusion from mainstream radio? These radio stations readily accommodate people, including many on the margins, who are not represented in mainstream media - the public broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), or private commercial radio stations. They are the employers of many immigrants, mainly volunteers, who face barriers because of their Caribbean accents, lack of a Canadian accent, and the lack of "Canadian experience". The 'othering' of these immigrants has pushed/pulled them to these community-based campus radio stations where they find a voice to challenge oppressive systems from outside and within. These are community enhancing spaces where the Caribbean diaspora will hear familiar genres of music - reggae, soca, calypso, ragga, zouk - and accents/languages (Spanish, French, Creole) of the multicultural and multilingual Caribbean diaspora in Toronto. Canada; Canadian broadcasting; Caribbean; Toronto; community radio; campus radio; identity; identity formation; immigrant; multiculturalism; radio broadcasting. Media and Culture

Museum Renaissance? Revisioning ‘publicness’ at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
Susan Ashley (2011);

Dissertation: Contemporary museums are repositioning themselves in society, seeking new roles, new audiences and new activities, but in their search for new purpose, the 'public' nature of their institutional role appears to be in retreat. This dissertation critically examines the multi-layered concept of 'publicness' in relation to museums as communicative public institutions, using as a case study the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) a museum of natural history and world cultures in Toronto, Canada. It interrogates how the public nature of the ROM is changing as it completes a multi-million dollar 'Renaissance' architectural project and adopts a new vision of 'public engagement' with the museum as 'agora'. This dissertation argues that the new public vision for the ROM is a rhetorical one, a case of 'in public' celebrity that has promised relevance and engagement, but that has not has been implemented in practice. The research presented here closely inspects the mission, structure, corporate positioning, and public exhibitions and programs of the ROM today, documenting how 'publicness' is reflected in attitudes and behaviors of management, staff and visitors. It assesses how the architectural and operational changes during the Renaissance project have reshaped museum and visitor practices. A confusion of attitudes and priorities regarding the museum's public mission and communicative activities was discovered within the organization. Boundaries were found to persist between ideas of 'publicness' that served corporate interests and practices, and the needs and concerns of 'the public', a divide argued to be the very essence of celebrity publicness. Particular attention is paid to understanding whether publicness in the sense of democratic acts and social change is part of the vision of 'public engagement' promoted by the ROM. Evidence was found in marginal locations, outside of formal museum practices, of engagements that emphasized dialogic relationships and material interactions — in stranger sociability, in interactive volunteer practices, and in small displays and activities with external collaborations. This dissertation argues that achieving 'publicness' in the sense of bridging, dialogue and democratic encounter would require internal not superficial change to the ROM's organizational culture, the removal of boundaries between rhetoric and deeds, between management and workers, and between inside and outside. Organizational behavior; Mass communications; Museum studies

Negotiating the other: museum exhibition and the construction of heritage in marginalized groups
Susan Louise Ashley (2005); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Major Research Paper: How heritage messages are conceived and presented at museums, and how people make sense of and debate these messages is an overarching concern of this paper. For the purposes of this report, heritage is defined as the cultural legacy, including tangible and intangible histories and practices, that is handed down from the past within a community, and which is an essential element of an individual's and a community's sense of identity. Museums operate as sites where people experience and learn about their heritage. But a central concern is how these public institutions encompass marginalized groups within this construction of heritage, identity and community. The focal point of those interactions between museums and people is their exhibitions. This essential communicative tool of museums, this media of production and consumption of meaning, is the point of interest for this paper. As the place where the interests of both sides of the communicative exchange converge, exhibitions reveal the tensions within the system, and the process by which changing ideas about heritage and community are negotiated. Exhibits can be seen as texts anchored in the contexts and processes of their production and reception. Or they can be seen as the dialogic space in which a political relationship unfolds. This paper offers insights into how the political nature of communicative practices underlying the production and consumption of museum exhibitions affects the heritage of marginalized groups. How exhibitions come into being - their modes of production - how they communicate as texts and how they are used or read is illuminated, using as a case study a particular museum exhibit about African-Canadians entitled The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Freedom. Developed by the Department of Canadian Heritage to be displayed in Toronto, the exhibit was installed at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2002 and is currently on view at Black Creek Pioneer Village. The research encompasses the circuit of communication as it relates to the conditions surrounding the conceptualizing and negotiation of this exhibition: what is presented, why it is presented, how it is presented, to whom, and how it is received. Museum exhibits; Social aspects; Minorities; Museum exhibits; Ontario; Toronto; Case studies; Museum exhibits; Public opinion

Fact and Fiction: Representations of Prostitution in Contemporary British News Media and Novels
Kristen Aspevig (2011); Supervised by Wendy Cukier

Dissertation: Prostitution remains a controversial issue in the United Kingdom. The period of 2000 to 2009 saw a range of disparate solutions, from legalization to abolition, debated by policy makers and feminists and covered extensively in the news media. The debates raised questions about the public's rights, the treatment of prostitution as a legitimate form of work in the liberal economy, the limits on women's choice to enter sex work, and the extent of violence and harm experienced by sex workers. Definitions of prostitution are enacted via a complex relationship between legal and cultural discourses. The media uses certain tropes that create discursive boundaries in the debates. The first principal research question is, "How are competing discourses of prostitution conveyed in contemporary British news media?" The project provides an empirical analysis of the competing constructions of prostitution in British news media over the last decade, focusing on the depiction of sex workers, clients and the phenomenon of prostitution generally. Previous operationalizations of Habermas' theory of communication suggest that it is an effective approach for revealing distortions in media discourses. The study operationalized the validity claims of Truth, Sincerity and Legitimacy and systematically applied them to a sample of 342 articles from The Daily Mail and The Guardian, theoretically representing both the popular political right- and left-leaning framings of issues. Key findings of this project were that many media discourses are distorted compared to empirical realities, and that they are often expressed in dualisms and dichotomies. Media constructions of prostitution also reflect long-standing cultural themes. Nineteenth-century discourses of prostitutes as "fallen" -- simultaneously doomed victims and immoral seducers -- also appeared in many of the media characterizations of sex workers today. Finally, the dissertation argues that the neo-Victorian novels of Michel Faber and Sarah Waters consider prostitution with particular attention of the persistent historical cultural tropes. A second key finding of the project is that literature provides alternative ways of conceptualizing questions of "choice" and "harm." By including an examination of literature, the dissertation explores alternative, more nuanced perspectives that may allow superior understandings of the phenomenon than many of the "factual" media accounts. British news media; feminism; literary criticism; literature; media representations of prostitution; Michael Faber; Neo-Victorian novel; prostitution; United Kingdom; Sarah Waters; sex workers; Victorian age. Media and Culture

Diasporic community, cultural identity and the Internet: A study of diasporic Nigerians in Toronto
Olukayode Ayankojo (2011); Supervised by Alan Blum

Thesis: As fluid and deterritorialized cultural identity and diasporas may be, this thesis found that diasporic subjects have devised ingenious ways of invoking and expressing their originary and authentic identities. In digital technologies of globalization like the Internet, they have found the space and channel of expression even as they negotiate belonging in the host community. Among others, this qualitative study found that the subjects have converted the Internet into a tool of seeing and re-creating the homeland, no longer as a place that inhabits the dreams, fantasies and imaginations, but a place that can be experienced in real time though devoid of physical presence. With transnational merchandizing at the core of this process and anchor of the re-created virtual homeland, this thesis argues that distance and dislocation are increasingly inconsequential when diasporas are determined to maintain their fixed and originary cultural identities. Cultural anthropology; Web Studies; Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Ontario Media and Culture

Traditional Medicinal Knowledge, Recognition And Regulation
Nicole Aylwin (2006); Supervised by Rosemary J. Coombe

Major Research Paper: As a number of global legal and political institutions grapple with ways to recognize and integrate TMK into their institutional frameworks, how traditional practices are 'recognized', and what work 'recognition's being asked to do become key questions. Three international frameworks that play a key role in recognizing TMK in the international arena are the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Health Organization. By examining the way in which these three bodies have recognized and integrated TMK into their respective regimes, while and drawing on the scholarship of anthropologists, critical legal scholars, intellectual property experts and legal and policy literature, I will argue that the recognition of TMK in the international legal and political arena has led to the creation of complex legal and political spaces where recognizing traditional medicinal knowledge has fragmented it, siphoning off the social, cultural and spiritual aspects of it that remain incompatible with the current neoliberal paradigms. Simultaneously, recognition and integration have been used to co-opt traditional knowledge in order to extend governance regimes that integrate TMK and its holders without challenging the basic, outdated and highly unequal and unethical power relations on discourses of recognition are based. Traditional medicine; Cultural property; Indigenous peoples; intellectual property; Convention on Biological Diversity Politics and Policy

A Moral Jester? David Foster Wallace and Infinite Jest's Hidden Moral Heart
Michael Bacal (2011); Supervised by John Caruana

Thesis: In this thesis, I explore the frequently overlooked moral dimensions of David Foster Wallace's seminal novel Infinite Jest. I seek to propose, in spite of the commonly cited iconoclasm of the text, an alternative reading of it as an old-fashioned bildungsroman concerned with the possibilities of moral and spiritual growth. In particular, I illuminate the unconventional way Wallace reimagines classic narratives of redemption and salvation under the surface of the novel, and I develop a framework with which to understand their centrality. Furthermore, I address how this belongs to his larger attempts to reconcile many of the traditional thematic concerns of the novel with several of the challenges presented by the postmodern avant-garde. I argue that, in its efforts to do so, Infinite Jest helped to renew, in many powerful and unexpected ways, the classic story of redemption and offer a profound meditation on many larger ills plaguing society today. bildungsroman; David Foster Wallace; infinite jest; postmodern avant-garde; redemptive narrative. Media and Culture

An Exploration of Lara Croft: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Laura Bacigalupo (2011); Supervised by Jennifer Burwell

Major Research Paper: In this paper, I explore the character Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider game and affiliated film series through the lens of several feminist theories. The interpretation of Croft by the game's player as either a positive or a negative role model is challenging and presents an opportunity to participate in a continuing debate concerning the expected social behaviours of gender. While my focus will be on feminist theories, I also include an exploration of George Herbert Mead's play stage and its relevance to the reception of video games by their audiences. I will use Laura Mulvey's concept of the male gaze, Judith Butler's thesis of gender as a performance, as well as Donna Haraway's concept of the cyborg to answer the question of whether Lara Croft is a benefit or detriment to the progression of women in the video game industry. cyborg; feminist theory; film; gender; Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; male gaze; performativity; popular culture; representation of women; sexuality; social behaviours; women in video games; video games. Media and Culture

Racing after the Hurricane: Changing Perceptions and Design of the Early Automobile
Tanya Bailey (2018); Supervised by Jamin Pelkey

Thesis: Before World War I, American automobiles were given nicknames like “The Green Dragon” and “The Flying Death” (Helck 1975: 38) which reflected the fear many people felt toward cars. Adoption of the automobile was challenged by unfamiliarity and unwillingness to share the roads. Automobile races helped increase familiarity and popularity of the automobile. Additionally, racing offered economic benefits to communities wishing to attract investment or tourism. I theorize that automobile races held from 1909-1913 in Galveston, Texas after a category-four hurricane, improved the local economy, subsequently improving attitudes of acceptance toward the automobile. Through a mixed-methods approach, my study looks at the period of early automobile rejection and adoption. I examine historic materials, films, and conduct a case study on the Galveston Beach races. I view my findings through the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) Theory of Trevor Pinch and Wiebe Bijker (1996) in order to understand the timing and reasons for the gradual transition from rejection to adoption.  

Teaching the educator: studying the de:commodifying self
Paul Baines (2002); Supervised by Doborah Barndt

Project-Paper: To center this discussion, I want to be clear about my spiral of action, reflection, and reaction or in popular education terms, the dynamic relationship between theory and practice, or praxis. For many years I focused my academic and activist life around critiques of consumer culture and advertising. For me, this cultural matrix and its voice-piece tore at the fabric of what I considered loving, sustainable, democratic, and just social relations. Up until this year, I was articulate yet fractured in this critique and was able to use my Masters to look for new directions. I began to focus on how consumerism connects with local and global political struggles for human rights and also on the construction and privileges of my perspective. This examination included many readings, but also educational workshops in media and cultural literacy and several creative projects. The mixture of this reflection and action has helped reconnect my interest in consumer culture and advertising in ways I never could have imagined or learned second-hand. Rather than just thinking my way into new ways of living, I've tried to design a Project that encouraged me to start living my way into new ways of thinking. Rather than using popular education pedagogy to change the way I study advertising, it has changed me. This new knowledge helps me validate the possibility for personal development and the hope for social transformation. -Page 1. Critical pedagogy; Consumption - Social and Political aspects

Public Sphere Disruption: Public Service Broadcasting and the CBC at the Digital Crossroads
Scott Baird (2019); Supervised by David Skinner

Major Research Paper: Public broadcasting is traditionally thought to be an essential element to public spheres. This paper charts how this relationship is formed, and then demonstrates how it is threatened in the Canadian context. Canada’s public broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, has digital policies like Strategy 2020: A Space for Us All which suggests CBC is pivoting away from its relationship with the public sphere, and in some ways weakening the

Canadian public sphere. Accordingly, this paper looks at the claims charged about this policy, particularly from Taylor (2016), and considers how it and similar digital policies affect the CBC as an element of the Canadian public sphere. While the paper finds CBC digital policies benefit the public sphere, the majority put into action hinder CBC’s relationship to the Canadian public sphere. Overall, this MRP highlights the importance of considering the

philosophy of the public sphere when developing public media policy.  Politics and Policy

The uses of personal communication devices in corporate environments
Robert Bajko (2014); Supervised by Deborah Fels

Dissertation: The rise of smartphones in the past decade has created situations in which individuals use them in public and private domains. More recently there has been an increase in the adoption of smartphones by corporations; what is not very well understood is their use within meetings. In this dissertation I present quantitative and qualitative data from two online surveys conducted two years apart on the type of smart mobile devices used in meetings, and the attitudes and behaviours of meeting participants towards their usage. The results from the two surveys included four key findings: (1) meeting participants believed that multitasking with a mobile device was a commonly adopted activity; (2) participants took a more accepting attitude towards using certain mobile devices (specifically laptops) in meetings; (3) it was somewhat acceptable to make work-related calls or send text messages regarding work-related emergency matters using smartphones during meetings; and (4) individuals in management tended to think that making important work-related calls during meetings was acceptable. Furthermore, from a list of six types of departments, the operations department tended to rate texting important work-related messages during meetings as acceptable compared with other departments. After reviewing the data from surveys I and II, it was determined that more detailed data were required to observe people’s actual behaviours in live meetings. As a result, a study was devised to simulate a meeting scenario in which one individual would receive and send text messages. Eight video recordings of meeting participants were captured and analyzed to assess their resulting attitudes and behaviours. In four of the meetings text messages arrived in two clusters (i.e., five text messages at the beginning and three at the end of the meeting), while for the remaining four meetings text messages arrived evenly distributed throughout the meeting. The data from those meetings suggest that the participants in the evenly distributed text messages group of meetings interacted with their mobile devices more often but on a less obtrusive level by checking their phone status. The participants in the clustered grouping of text messages group of meetings tended to produce more negative comments (verbal and non-verbal) regarding the actor and their own phone usage. When the actor received a text message, participants tended to give a negative non-verbal gesture, such as gazing at him, or when participants used their own mobile phones they tended to provide a verbal justification of their own use. Smartphones; Organizational behavior; Human behavior; Employees; Attitudes; Cell phone systems; Social aspects

Seeing for the first time: Cinema spectatorship, the public sphere, and the articulation of the Cuban revolutionary subject
Nicholas Balaisis (2010); Supervised by Michael Zryd

Dissertation: My dissertation examines the role of cinema spectatorship in Cuba after the revolution of 1959. I argue that the film spectator has been a major trope in post-revolutionary Cuban discourse and expresses both the political urgency to "see" the nation through "revolutionary" eyes, as well as the difficulties and contradictions inherent in coming to terms, visually and consciously, with such a radical social transformation. Using theories of the public sphere, national cinema, and psychoanalysis as theoretical frameworks, and employing discourse analysis, textual analysis and reception study as research methods, I argue that Cuban film and film discourse are sites of revolutionary "excess" that reveal the promises and contradictions inherent in the revolutionary subjects articulated by the Cuban revolution. My first case study examines the expansion of Cuba's cinema-going public through the mobile cinema campaign in the 1960s, and specifically, the rhetoric of primitivism that dominates the discourse on the campaign. Through close readings of articles and editorials in the revolutionary film journal Cine Cubano, I argue that mobile cinema and its so-called primitive spectators serve as stabilizing figures that help to negotiate the discursive transition that Cuba underwent following the revolution, straddling both "First World" and "Third World" cultural aspirations. My second case study examines one of the iconic short films of the 1960s, For the first time (1967) by Octavio Cortázar. Reading the film as a discursive and historical archive, I argue that the film reveals some of the paradoxes inherent in this ambition: the fact that a revolutionary subject (identified with the state) is in conflict with the modern subject desired by many Cuban intellectuals and filmmakers, a subject constituted by critical reflexivity, distance and irony. My final case study examines the publicness of cinema in the Cuban Special Period through a close reading of Honey for Ochún (2001). I argue that the film offers an aesthetic public space through the filmic mise-en-scene offered to the Cuban spectator. Through these case studies I show how discourses, representations and appeals to the film spectator constitute an important site of public discourse in post-revolutionary articulations of Cuban national identity and revolutionary subjectivity. Latin American history; mass communications; Film studies; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Cuban revolution; Film viewership Media and Culture

Constructing and representing identities of criminalized populations: An ethnographic study of three community arts events
Jennifer Ball (2007); Supervised by Wendy Cukier

Thesis: This project examines how members of criminalized communities are framed by the public and the media attending three art-based events. It examines how those same individuals frame themselves, and how they perceive themselves to be framed by others. The study is framed by the theories of representation and difference advanced by Stuart Hall and the theories on the social construction of criminality advanced Michel Foucault. It applies ethnographic techniques combined with interviews and questionnaires of 94 artists and members of the audiences. The data are analysed to explore themes relating to public perceptions of criminality and/or imprisonment. The study reveals that the public, the media, and criminalized individuals hold perceptions and opinions about cnminalization, imprisonment, and about the perceptions of these things. It contributes to a greater understanding of who, what—and most importantly why—the criminal "is". Fine arts; Families & family life; Personal relationships; Sociology; Communication and the arts; Social sciences Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

Can koudnet help reclaim community? : an ethnographic research of using the Goodwill reunoin social network in Dominica's 2010 Goodwill Reunion Koudmen
Brenda Bannis (2012); Supervised by Caitlin Fisher

Thesis: French philosopher, Henri Lefebvre claims the importance to examine the non-philosophical realities of the everyday to understand life's ambiguities and expose vital creative intricacies. I am expanding Lefebvre's ideal: development of society, by embarking on a concept in Dominica that is central to community building: koudmen. Derived from the French term donner un coup de main à quelqu'un, this Creole term means people collaborating to accomplish something. Currently, the lack of self/cultural appreciation are critically affecting Dominican youths and evident in increased youth violence. With over 200,000 Dominicans at home and abroad, how then can we connect to reclaim our community? Maybe the answer could be a koudnet: fusing koudmen with content management system (CMS) through a social network. This thesis traces my work in Dominica and the Diaspora for a four-year period and analyzes the development of the Goodwill Reunion Social Network in executing the 2010 Goodwill Reunion koudmen. Cultural anthropology; Mass communications; Educational technology Politics and Policy

Canadian content: A survey and analysis of Canadian television policy
Roger Barnsley (2003); Supervised by Matthew Fraser

Major Research Paper: This paper is an effort to synthesize and analyze the issues and the players that inhabit Canadian content and Cancon's relationship to Canadian broadcasting and economics. Granted, such a survey could be an epic undertaking that would not fit the parameters of this paper. However, the intention is that this document will be a comprehensive study of the topic in its current context. Little attention will be paid to Cancon's historical roots or the specific factors or people/organizations that have moulded Cancon into its current version. A task of such nature goes beyond the scope of this paper"--From the Introduction Television broadcasting policy; Cultural industries; Government policy; Canada Politics and Policy

Homeless on the range: Masculinity and the orphan myth in the American Western, 1950–1990
Ann Barrow (2005); Supervised by Seth Feldman

Dissertation: The iconic American cowboy operates in American culture as a self-protective persona mutating to reflect the socio-economic changes within the historical United States. Modernity and its media have capitalized on the ideology and mythology of the cowboy in search of maturation because his struggle parallels the seductive quality of the repetition compulsion to resolve the paradoxes of modern life and gender constructs. American culture has produced the Western, a genre about masculinities, that offers an excellent vantage point from which to examine this male subjectivity. The fight for the orphan myth's antihero exists in proving himself a worthy son to his remote father. The lack of a paternal relationship impacts negatively on the son, who becomes confused over the definition of his own masculine role. This dissertation examines a series of instances in the American Western in which this struggle for masculinity is particularly evident. John Wayne, as the iconic cowboy, is the heroic defender of capitalism, of hegemonic America, of community, and of the orphan. In the book, Horseman, Pass By (1961) and Hud (1963), the film made from that book, the cowboy becomes the antihero, who embodies radical individualism and marketplace greed. Midnight Cowboy (1969) depicts the iconic westerner in terms of marketplace masculinity, traditional masculinity, hyper-masculinity, and homosexual masculinity. In Little Big Man (1970), the protagonist is an unlikely antihero, who maintains a tenuous hold on his sanity and life as he desperately tries to survive frontier masculinities' egocentrism and cruelty that unleashed their power to destroy whatever or whoever came in their path. Unforgiven (1992) presents an avenging antihero, who embodies a primal masculinity that satisfies the viewer's hunger for revenge and judgment upon societal injustice as well as a nurturing masculinity that includes the ability to offer paternal care. In the end, the iconic cowboy or outlaw remains an index to what never existed: a unified, non-paradoxical, construct of traditional masculinity. American studies; Motion pictures; American literature; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Language; literature and linguistics; Arthur Penn; Clint Eastwood; Eastwood; Clint; John Schlesinger; Larry McMurtry; Martin Ritt; Masculinity; McMurtry; Larry; Orphan myth; Penn; Arthur; Ritt; Martin; Schlesinger; John; Western Media and Culture

Growing in the Dark: Algorithmic Books and Possibilities for the Contemporary Manuscript
Reginald Beatty (2013); Supervised by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra

Project-Paper: This essay documents a generative bookwork of mine called Growing in the Dark. It responds to the challenges of current thought including object-oriented ontology (Levi Bryant and Ian Bogost), the dark ecology of Timothy Morton, and the vibrant materialism of Jane Bennett. It also asks how the contemporary artist's book might be studied as a set of procedures, and then "grown" from that code. dark ecology; digital humanities; digital gothic; generative art; nonhuman; object-oriented ontology; software structures; vibrant materialism. Media and Culture

The Legacy of Pope John Paul Ii: A Discourse Analysis of Toronto Newspapers
Katherine Bell (2006); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Thesis: The mass media coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005 was planned for months, even years, in advance. This rare luxury of time in daily news production allowed for a fresh glimpse at the factors that influence coverage. A discourse analysis of three Toronto newspapers was used to explore the media’s role both in constructing myth and in providing a critical forum for discussion of an important figure’s legacy. Specifically, I asked the following questions: What were the main themes of the coverage?  How was Pope John Paul’s legacy portrayed? What voices were prominent? Were some legacy issues absent? What were the main narratives used to capture the story? What role did journalistic objectivity play?  Were there major differences in the coverage provided by the three papers? Did the pre-planned nature of the news event inflect coverage? I argue that the coverage was limited by journalists’ conceptions of the story, which were rooted in a hero narrative. It was constrained by internal culture and a lack of consideration for the pope’s position of power. The media did provide critical coverage of John Paul’s legacy, but only on narrow questions of internal Church doctrine. They ignored his role as a world political leader on important questions such as the AIDS pandemic in Africa. I argue that they were limited by ideological and cultural constraints rather than by external pressures, even though the coverage attempted to provide critical discussion while it also retold a standard myth. Journalism; mass media

The Artel: Collectivity and Identity (A Film)
Alexandra Berceanu (2016); Supervised by Robert Latham

Project-Paper: Early negotiations surrounding what would later be named “The Artel” began the Fall of 2005 with a conversation between the son of a local real-estate developer and Jennifer Snider, Program Director of Modern Fuel, in Kingston, Ontario. An arts collective housing co-operative was subsequently formed and granted the status of a non-profit arts organization in February of 2006, with an agreement involving the property management company Keystone Properties, and the artist-run centre Modern Fuel. Hal Foster describes the artist-as-archivist as retrieving lost or displaced historical information and making it physically present (“Archival Impulse” 5). This project is not about providing an overview of The Artel’s constantly shifting internal structures, policies, and politics. Instead, it explores an under-represented aspect of “intangible” cultural heritage which lies outside dominant institutional and government narratives. The project offers an approach to archivization which ‘gives’ something to a memory by raising more questions than it answers, and allowing the process of ‘smoothing over’ the past to unfold on-screen through the participants themselves rather than through the mode of storytelling. -- from the introduction.  Technology in Practice

Policy wonk or revolutionary?: the potential of policy intervention in efforts to defend and foster public interest
Juana Berinstein (2004); Supervised by John Shields

Major Research Paper: The research question driving this paper is: What opportunities and limitations exist within the policy process to defend and foster public interest media? The paper is divided into two major sections. Chapter One examines the theories of critical political economy and policy networks and argues that these two approaches offer useful analyses of power that reveal opportunities for progressive interventions. Chapter Two examines the CRTC's 1998 radio review, paying particular attention to the attempts of various actors, representing both economic and noneconomic interests, to influence the CRTC's policy on radio ownership. Using critical political economy and policy networks theory, a detailed and contextualized picture of how power is exercised in the policy process is provided. In conclusion, it is argued that institutionally based policy intervention is an important tool for the left, but not adequate in and of itself, in efforts to defend and foster a rich and diverse public interest media"--From the Introduction page 4. Public broadcasting; policy; Canada; Communication; Economic aspects; Power (Social sciences); Public radio; Canada; Case studies; Right and left (Political science); Canada Politics and Policy

Domestic supply to global demand: reframing the challenge of Canadian English-language television drama
Irene Berkowitz (2016); Supervised by Charles H Davis

Dissertation: As online TV delivery disrupts conventional TV broadcasting and unbundles TV cable channels, allowing consumers to choose programs and TV brands more directly, hit content is “king” more than ever before. This dissertation offers a new analysis of Canadian English-language TV drama content’s failure to mature into a popular genre or robust economic sector since its introduction in the 1960s, and suggests ways that the Canadian English-language TV drama value chain might be strategically adjusted in response to global market disruption, by strengthening the development phase. The problem is approached with two methodologies: value chain analysis and qualitative field research. Findings identify weak links in the value chain and propose that the Canadian English-language TV drama content model is structurally flawed and has inhibited maturation of the sector. The study theorizes a TV drama value chain composed of 3 functional segments (develop, produce, distribute) and identifies the root of the Canadian drama problem as the creation phase, known in TV as development, analogous to the R&D phase in other industries. The theorization explains why decades of policy attention and subsidies targeted to the production phase have not substantially improved domestic or global market performance of Canadian English-language TV drama. Moreover, the reframing reveals that development and distribution are functionally linked, while the production phase is the most separate. Theorization and field research concur that a strong imperative for financial returns is essential for successful creative results, from the earliest moments of development. Conversely, a weak link to monetization negatively impacts asset creation, impairing the development phase and, in the case of Canadian English-language TV drama, inhibits its capability to compete effectively in a 21st-century drama attention economy that increasingly rewards creative excellence. Interviews with stakeholders occupying elite development positions in the Canadian and Hollywood TV drama industry confirm an urgency to upgrade development to foster transformation of Canada’s TV drama model, from one purposed for domestic supply to one driven by global demand, and in so doing, future-proof Canadian TV drama for the digital age. Against the backdrop of Canada’s unique geo-cultural position vis a vis the U.S., characterized by brain drain of high-performing Canadian TV drama creators to Hollywood and attempts by Canadian English-language TV drama to compete with Hollywood hits, this research contributes to debates on cluster upgrading, local-global linkages, and economic diasporas that focus on value capture of highly skilled professionals who seek career acceleration in global escalator regions. Findings are applicable to any nation upgrading domestic creative industries which, like TV drama, are characterized by an imperative for innovation excellence in R&D-intensive global value chains.  

The Search for Bin Laden: Post 9/11 Terrorism and the Representation of the Other in Mainstream American Television Media
Farzana Bhatty (2009); Supervised by Stuart Murray

Major Research Paper: The media are crucial to our worldview, thus, this paper will demonstrate how American television news media was used to present and define an enemy immediately following the events of September 11. Furthermore, this paper will problematize the stereotypes associated with the enemy, and bring into the forefront the reasons for and consequences of establishing and maintaining an enemy "Other," specifically questionable political actions by US President George W. Bush and his administration. As the violent events of one day became showcased in the media, this facilitated the implementation of restrictive and pervasive laws and legislation, which were part of a larger initiative by the Bush administration to incite fear and apprehension surrounding a new enemy. 9/11; American television; Islam; Islamic terrorism; mass media; news media; Orientalism; terrorism; United States; War on Teeror Media and Culture

Repackaging Japan: An Analysis of Japanese Television Exports
Nathalie Claire Bick (2016); Supervised by Steven Bailey

Major Research Paper: I will conduct an analysis using existing literature and a case study of a Japanese cultural export Pokémon franchise, and examine the methods in which Pokémon was localized marketed to audiences and supported with consumer products and merchandise; and, why this combination allowed for a successful and highly profitable, global entertainment franchise. In addition, that these programs could be funded by toy and game industries, which existed symbiotically with the television programming. In undertaking this case study this paper beings by reviewing the industrial landscape in which globalized television exists, as well as the symbiotic relationship between Japanese hardware and North American cultural products; as well as the aesthetics of some of Japanese television characters and how this aesthetic can be marketed to younger audiences, appeal to parents, and is good for branding overall. From there, I examine how children often consume product as identity, and how the toy and ancillary merchandise have evolved to complement the television products they are promoting, but also how they are highly consumable (where one is not enough). Lastly, I examine localization process and examples using Pokémon as my case study, as well as how toys and merchandise actively support the production process and drives the viewing and production of the television shows. -- from the introduction  Media and Culture

Mapping Home: Literary and Filmic Representations of Multi-scalar Dwelling
Aleksandra Bida (2014); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Dissertation: In this dissertation, I investigate the overlapping individual, relational, and social scales of home in contemporary literary and cinematic texts, drawing on Martin Heidegger’s writing on dwelling (as the essence of being human), Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of liquid modernity (particularly the commitment avoidance that its “fluidity” fosters), and Jacques Derrida’s work on hospitality (both the welcoming and hostile social practices that this term encompasses). I explore these ideas and scales of home in international and multi-medial texts, which include Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves (2000), Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere (television series and novel 1996, graphic novel adaptation 2007), M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village (2004), Nicolas Dickner’s Nikolski (2005, trans. 2008), Lars von Trier’s Dogville (2003), and Wolfgang Becker’s Good Bye, Lenin! (2003). My corpus of texts demonstrates that a traditional understanding of home as a distinct location is incompatible with the realities of liquid modernity, and, moreover, sheds light on new modes of constructing home as a composite of locations and scales—a complex, multi-scalar, geocultural map of identity and belonging. Together, these texts show a dual pattern that makes visible the need to rethink the notion of home: an inclusive map of home on various scales helps home-makers to integrate the various places and people who populate their understanding of home, while the inability to conceive of home in this multifarious way nurtures social fissures, conceptual homelessness, and even psychoses. My main objectives are to challenge neutral, utilitarian conceptions of space, place, and home, and to demonstrate the possibility of what Heidegger calls “poetic dwelling” in liquid modern times and an increasingly inhospitable, market-driven social landscape contemporary cinematic texts; contemporary literature; dwelling; hospitality; identity; Jacques Derrida; liquid modernity; Martin Heidegger; Zygmunt Bauman. Media and Culture

Rhythmanalysis of Critical Mass: A meeting place
Andrew Bieler (2009); Supervised by Janine Marchessault

Thesis: Critical Mass is a globally amorphous celebration of bicycling in public space that started in September 1992, in San Francisco (Carlsson 2002a, 5-6). The movement has been celebrated as acting on local and global scales to ameliorate sustainable transportation, as a momentary alternative to our temporal enslavement to the automobile, as a performative critique and as an act of resistance, project building and legitimation (Blickstein and Hanson 2001; Carlsson 2002a; Furness 2007; Horton 2006). This thesis is a case study on Toronto's Critical Mass. It describes the social spaces of Toronto's ride from a Lefebvrean, rhythmanalytical perspective and situates the ride's creation of access to roadways in relation to John Urry's theory of network capital. Finally, it shows how the mass performance of rhythmic intervention benefits the network capital of the Toronto cycling community by creating access to roadways for festive celebrations of the public qualities of the bicycle.  Media and Culture

Rhythmanalysis of Critical Mass: A Meeting Place
Andrew Bieler (2014); Supervised by Janine Marchessault

Thesis: Critical Mass is a globally amorphous celebration of bicycling in public space that started in September 1992, in San Francisco (Carlsson 2002a, 5–6). The movement has been celebrated as acting on local and global scales to ameliorate sustainable transportation, as a momentary alternative to our temporal enslavement to the automobile, as a performative critique and as an act of resistance, project building and legitimation (Blickstein and Hanson 2001; Carlsson 2002a; Furness 2007; Horton 2006). This thesis is a case study on Toronto's Critical Mass. It describes the social spaces of Toronto's ride from a Lefebvrean, rhythmanalytical perspective and situates the ride's creation of access to roadways in relation to John Urry's theory of network capital. Finally, it shows how the mass performance of rhythmic intervention benefits the network capital of the Toronto cycling community by creating access to roadways for festive celebrations of the public qualities of the bicycle. Sociology; Transportation planning; Social sciences; Ontario

Technologies of Perception: Miyazaki in Theory and Practice
Susan Bigelow (2006); Supervised by Janine Marchessault

Thesis: The Western popular fascination with Japanese animation can be understood in relation to the proliferation of digital technologies and their alteration of human perception through an expanded and interactive aural and visual sense experience that also expands the Western notion of reality. This dimension of reality is articulated in Eastern philosophical notions of pre-reflective thinking and interrelatedness, what Marshall McLuhan called 'comprehensive awareness.' Jean Baudrillard has observed the inability of Western theory to keep up to this 'higher logic' in technologically driven economic globalization. But his lament for the death of theory, leads us to the place where theory lives in the convergence of Eastern and Western philosophical traditions. The projections of McLuhan materialize in the East-West nexus of Miyazaki Hayao's anime. By showing us how we reach an ethical state of communication in the theoretical vacuum left by the relativities of the postmodern, Miyazaki also demonstrates that Walter Benjamin's gamble with cinema is in play. Communication and the arts; Hayao Miyazaki; Japan Media and Culture

Social Networking Use and Environmental Engagement: The Case of One Million Acts of Green
Jeff Biggar (2010); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Major Research Paper: The increased attention to environmental issues of sustainability and green consumerism in the media has been accompanied by a rise in citizens' interest 'to do their part' for the environment. At the level of the consumer, 'going-green' has become a popular trend aimed at curbing environmental impact by using less and living in more responsible ways. To support this, there are an increasing number of content providers (e.g. web sites) that are combining green lifestyle tips, carbon calculator options, and community forums through interactive platforms. These measures are based on the belief that signing up with these sites and adopting environmentally sustainable behaviours will have positive influences on improving our environment (e.g., lowering green house gases). However, there have not been comprehensive studies to examine this proposition. Research efforts examining the ways in which networked communication and information technologies can foster environmental participation online are nascent, and there remain significant knowledge gaps as to how individual involvement with environmental initiatives can be leveraged by interactive technologies found on the web. This Major Research Paper (MRP) illustrates a case study that aimed to encourage positive environmental outcomes through online support initiatives. It assesses the influence of the Internet as a tool for engaging people in environmental issues of emissions reduction, sustainable lifestyle choices, ecologically-friendly products, and consumer responsibility in the 'going-green' marketplace. This is illustrated through a review ofliterature and a qualitative case study. Research perspectives from environmental communication, psychology and climate

change (behavioural and social psychological orientation), and Internet studies (Information and

communication technology (lCT), new media theory, web 2.0 (the network society) are reviewed. Further, this paper maps dimensions between these knowledge areas, discuss sites of engagement, and recommends future research questions based on the current research environment. The case study explores user motivations, barriers to participation, and member experience in Cisco-CBC's One Million Acts of Green (OMAoG) campaign. environmentalism; environmental communication; climate change; consumer responsibility; green consumerism; information and communication technology; internet; social networking sites; Web 2.0. Technology in Practice

Hiding in delight: transgression, irony and the edge of Vice
Ryan Bigge (2007); Supervised by Jennifer Burwell

Thesis: This study examines a Montreal-based underground magazine and its use of "edge" as a strategy of retaining subcultural capital and limiting its readership, thus creating a narrow but profitable niche market that extends Thomas Frank's work on rebel consumption. Vice, through its content, tone and business strategies, unites a series of diverse but related issues including subculture, transgression, cultural intermediaries, the political economy of magazines, the audience commodity, the politics of pleasure and how media texts constitute audiences as consuming subjects. Through a combination of interlocking discursive and aesthetic strategies that involve transgression and irony, Vice is able to minimize aspects of the audience commodity as described by Dallas Smythe while foregrounding its subcultural capital. In this way, it is able to convert subcultural capital into economic capital while remaining a relevant and authentic underground publication. Subculture periodicals; Vice; Canadian periodicals

Bodybuilders As Cyborgs: Considering The Actor-Network-Theory Parallels
Carrie-Ann Bissonnette (2008); Supervised by Jean Mason

Major Research Paper: As a registered female athlete with the Ontario Physiques Association (OPA), I have first hand knowledge of bodybuilding at the non-competitive level. I have attended various figure, fitness and bodybuilding competitions and continue to participate in an ongoing dialogue with competing female bodybuilders. I believe that my first hand knowledge and experience allows me, as a member of this community, to provide a unique and in-depth analysis of the culture of female bodybuilding more profoundly than those outside of it.


Adopting the role of participant-observer, I will explore the connection between the female bodybuilder as a cyborg and ANT. I will present my study as a micro-ethnography with autoethnography elements framed as a kind of case-study that incorporates both primary and secondary research. In conjunction with relevant academic literature, my analysis will be informed by my ongoing journal and an analysis of popular bodybuilding literature. I hope to understand how my own decision-making process as well as that of other female bodybuilders is subsequently enculturated into a cyborg's mindset.


This study does not consider the ethics of building a body to unnatural proportions. I will not debate whether the choices made by a female bodybuilder are right or wrong. All persons shape their bodies in some way, through the food they decide to eat, the cigarettes they smoke, the tattoo or piercing they acquire or the hair colour they select for this season. I will focus only on the ways we may regard a female bodybuilder as a cyborg and show how ANT may help us better understand this phenomenon. It is, however, important to first understand the history and culture of bodybuilding. Women; Identity; Actor-network theory; Cyborgs; Women bodybuilders

Managing the Mosaic: Diversity of Voices and Deliberative Policy Making in English Canadian Media
Sylvia Blake (2011); Supervised by Charles Davis

Thesis: This study investigates viewpoints on policy for diversity in media subsequent to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)’s 2007-5 diversity of voices proceedings and subsequent CRTC 2008-4 regulatory changes. The policy proceedings were designed to aggregate and act upon the many policy preferences and conceptions of media diversity within Canada’s complex media mosaic. Research reported here uses Q methodology, complemented with conventional survey questions and open-ended qualitative questions, to identify and interpret the plurality of subjective viewpoints surrounding the diversity debate and the CRTC’s deliberative policymaking processes. Research identified four principal viewpoints regarding policy for media diversity, based on concerns about minority representation, industry consolidation, Canadian cultural expression, and a comprehensive marketplace of ideas. It also considers various stakeholder viewpoints on the CRTC’s 2007-5 deliberative proceedings, and the extent to which the Commission’s deliberative processes meet the four deliberative democratic pillars of inclusiveness, equality, reasonableness and publicity. Canada; Canadian broadcasting; Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC); deliberative democracy; media diversity; minority representation; multiculturalism; policy; regulation. Politics and Policy

The Use Of Animation To Improve Art Education
Andrew Bohart (2008); Supervised by Michael Murphy

Major Research Paper: In this major research project, I explore the ways in which animation can be developed to improve art education. I developed an animated short film titled The Art Collector as an educational tool that incorporates computer animation technology with art theory, to educate about art theory and art history in a unique way through paintings from three different surrealist artists: Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and Max Ernst. I also provide some background information as to how this animation project came to be, including the development of the script, the main character, and the animation itself. I draw upon several studies that illustrate the ways in which animation can be used successfully as an education tool to motivate student learning. Computer animation; Art; Study and teaching; Educational technology; Animated films; Interactive multimedia

What Do We Learn When We Change the Way We Play? Augmenting the Computer Gameplay Experience
Nis Bojin (2005); Supervised by Jerry Durlak

Thesis: Non-portable video games are conventionally played on one of two technological platforms: the console and the personal computer. Yet, the latter invites us to change the hardware and software elements of the platform, granting the ability to change the way that we experience and know the games we play and effectively permitting a reconstruction of the narrative that players develop about their gameplay experiences. Through the use of pilot focus group research, this paper inquires as to what a player learns by interfacing with the computer one is playing a game on via the use and mandatory and voluntary manipulation of a computer's hardware, software and other interstitial elements; effectively looking at video game research from a functional perspective that has yet to be dealt with at length in current ludological research. Educational software; Computer science; Recreation; Social sciences; Education; Applied sciences Technology in Practice

The New World Information and Communications Order and Canadian official development assistance
Anna Bolton (2003); Supervised by Donald Gillies

Major Research Paper: A review of the literature on the non-aligned movement for a New World Information and Communications Order (NWICO) reveals that many of the central concerns which fueled the historical movement remain unresolved. There persists, in particular, an extreme imbalance in the global flow of information, with multinational corporations from the Western nations dominating the production and dissemination of information. The majority of the world's population is still lacking the "basic tools of modem communication, information and knowledge", as a result of the increasingly hierarchical structure of ownership and influence over the emerging communications and information technologies (Mowlana 60).


First tracing historically the NWICO movement itself, the paper will argue for the continuing relevance of the movement not only to our time, but will assert that the NWICO demands speak directly to central issues of Canadian communications. While Canadian officials were not prepared to side with the non-aligned proponents of the NWICO, Canada has clearly struggled with issues closely related to those facing less developed countries (LDCs) in the existing world information and communications order. This paper will consider Canada's position on the movement in the context of its own domestic policies, attempting to shed light on the logic driving the official Canadian response to the movement. Despite the coincidence of interests between Canadian leaders and leaders of the nations promoting the NWICO, our policy stance historically has been aligned with the Western world, blocking any real transformation of the New World Order. As a result of the opposition of capitalist liberal-democracies, it would appear that the highly politicized movement of the non-aligned countries has been abandoned. Yet the issues raised by the NWICO continually re-appear, fragmented and de-politicized, in various forums including debates over the inclusion of the cultural sector in free trade.


Explored most intensively here will be the ways in which Canadian official development assistance (ODA) in the field of communications may be seen as a Canadian response to the demands for a NWICO. While Canada's policy stance in the debate within UNESCO may have been relatively straightforward, the ideologies underpinning development initiatives must be teased out. The paper will look both at the intent and the impact of Canadian ODA in order to assess the extent to which these initiatives have met any of the demands put forth by the NWICO, or whether ODA has simply exported Western capitalist models.


It will be argued here that while historically, Canadian communications policy suggests a similarity between the concerns of the Canadian state and those expressed by the proponents of a NWICO, ODA efforts reveal an unwillingness to support any radical re-ordering of world communications promoted by the non-aligned nations. Canada's alignment with opponents of the NWICO, and its ODA in the sphere of information and communications, have both been driven by a concern with maintaining a competitive position in the world economy. In effect, our ODA efforts have defended the very globalizing commercial world system identified by the NWICO as perpetuating inequalities in information and communications. Communication; International cooperation; Economic assistance; Canadian; Canada; Foreign relations; New World Information and Communications Order; Canadian Official Development Assistance Program; International economic relations

The Teaches of Peaches: Rethinking the Sex Hierarchy and the Limits of Gender Discourse
Christina Bonner (2010); Supervised by Jennifer Brayton

Major Research Paper: The goal of this Major Research paper is an exploration detailing how Canadian Electro-Pop artist Peaches Nisker transcends normative gender and sex politics through performance and frames the female erotic experience in a way that not only disempowers heterosexuality but also provides a broader more inclusive sexual politics. Through this analysis I focus specifically on three distinct spheres; performance, fandom and use of technology to argue that her critique of sexual conventions provides an cxpansive and transgressive new definition of female sexuality. Musical performances by female artists, particularly icons such as Madonna and Britney Spears, have demonstrated popular culture's inability to legitimize queer and non-compulsory heterosexual practices. These performances often function as limiting representations of the sexual female. Queerness in popular music culture is often showcased as

non-traditional and used as a form of spectacle. The appropriation of homoerotic imagery has traditionally served the purpose of appeasing the mass patriarchal pornographic gaze. I argue that Peaches embodies the essential queer spirit, presenting a politics that builds upon a more fluid sexuality. She reconfigures queer and heterosexual imagery using the language and framework that has been provided by compulsory heterosexuality, to shatter the foundation so often used against women and thereby presenting a new female erotic. Canada; Canadian music; Canadian Electro-Pop; gender and sexual politics; performance; popular culture; popular music; queerness; spectacle. Media and Culture

The Challenge For Change At 50: Reimagining Canadian Activist Participatory Documentary At The National Film Board
Zechariah Bouchard (2017); Supervised by Art Blake

Major Research Paper: In 1967, Canada arrived at its Centennial, marking a significant milestone for a relatively young nation. While the anniversary meant celebration to many, it also encouraged a moment to pause, a moment to meditate and reflect on the past century –and the centuries of history before Confederation. The Canadian Centennial was a moment to look back and ask who we were then, who we are now, and who we will become in the future. The National Film Board of Canada, long used by Canadian artists to explore those same questions, conceived of a project in this year, the Challenge for Change (CFC), to pose these questions in a new fashion. The CFC ran across Canada from 1967 to 1980. An activist documentary project, the CFC attempted to address poverty and provoke social change in disadvantaged sections of the Canadian population.1 The CFC utilized participatory filmmaking techniques to help promote constructive discussion in these disadvantaged communities. In this activist vein, the CFC produced over 200 films exploring Canada from the East Coast to the West, featuring French Canadians, rural Canadians, urban Canadians, and Indigenous populations. Now, in 2017, we have reached Canada’s Sesquicentennial and find ourselves much in the same position as we did at Canada’s Centennial. Looking back at the past 150 years, the same questions are posed – who were we then, who are we now, and who will we become? I believe that with an updated CFC model, one that has minimized the weaknesses and reinforced the strengths of the original project, improved the participatory process through Participatory Action Research methods, and developed a new strategy of media outreach, a new CFC project is better able to investigate those questions. My vision of the CFC project is more adaptable and self-aware than its predecessor, and thus able to be applied more equitably across Canada. This re-imagined Challenge for Change project is equipped with an improved methodology to better explore the needs of Canadians and develop solutions to poverty through the investigative power of documentary filmmaking. (from the introduction  Media and Culture

Mind & Matter: A Durational Performance Using Visualized, Sonified, and Other Data Translation from Portable EEG Technologies In Mental and Physical Training
Nene Brode (2019); Supervised by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof

Project-Paper: In the moment of complete engagement in any activity, we function without conscious thought—referred to as ‘the zone.’ Digital technologies, from mobile devices to the Internet, can be a constant source of diversion; however, can digital tools help us get into the zone more quickly rather than simply distract us? Using open-source software and hardware, I have developed a real-time data visualization and sonification that have been recorded as performances on the website Mind & Matter, the project accompanying this paper. The performances are filmed in different locations and the visualization geolocates these locations, comparing them to the cell towers within the area. The project seeks to show waves within and around our body that are normally invisible. Each performance seeks to train both my brain and body to find stillness within. The paper is informed by the communications theorists and artists studied throughout the Communications and Culture program. I seek to answer Catherine Malabou’s question of “What We Should Do with Our Brains,” and how we might find agency in our brain plasticity though technological extension.  

Framing the debate : how scientism in the language of the law binds public-biotechnology engagement
Kelly Bronson (2013);

Dissertation: This is an analysis of the politics of science and of expertise for farmer and governance—corporate, regulatory, and legal—knowledges in disputes over genetically engineered (GE) seeds in Canada. I highlight the differential value placed on corporate, "scientific," and local-ecological knowledges and articulations of GE in the ongoing struggle over biotechnology's knowledge-power structures. This struggle is taking place across scientific and legal institutions and daily lives, though the bulk of this study's analytic focus is on two highly visible (internationally followed) court cases: [1998] Monsanto v. Schmeiser and [2002] Hoffman et al. v. Monsanto . Other studies of these cases treat the law straightforwardly, as an arena in which to challenge intellectual property rights over seeds (c.f. de Beer 2007; Garforth and Ainslie 2006; Muller 2006). I draw inspiration from science and technology studies and treat the law as a mediating institution between biotechnology and publics that through its discursive processes gives shape to biotechnological culture. In this view, legal discourse reinforces particular "scientific" claims through the articulation of what counts as valid "science" in controversial legal disputes. Using ethnography and critical discourse analysis I set activist articulations of science and biotechnology against legal ones. Western Canadian farmers describe GE tome in a wide range of social and cultural implications in which I trace a history of environmental political ideas stretching back to the late 20th century's public reception of Silent Spring. Activist risk discourses find no epistemic space in the current scientistic regulatory regime, and farmers are using legal activism in order to open up biotechnological governance—specifically the politics of regulatory science—to broader participation and scrutiny.


Ultimately, my analysis shows that the courts reaffirm the scientistic assumption, one constructed in the routines of governance culture, that biotechnology is a technical risk issue. The courts exclude alternative ways of communicating about harms to humans and the environment and limit the social import of biotechnologies. This case study therefore suggests something of broad relevance: that courts may be an unsuitable venue for integrating local knowledges and ecological risk assessments into authoritative biotechnological discourses. Cultural anthropology; Food Science; Sociology

Codes of the North: difficulty in the origins of the Canadian avant-garde film
Stephen Broomer (2015); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Dissertation: This dissertation chronicles the formation of a Canadian avant-garde cinema and its relation to the tradition of art of purposeful difficulty. It is informed by the writings of George Steiner, who advanced a typology of difficult forms in poetry. The major works of Jack Chambers (The Hart of London), Michael Snow (La Region Centrale), and Joyce Wieland (Reason Over Passion) illustrate the ways in which a poetic vanguard in cinema is anchored in an aesthetic of difficulty. Such aesthetics enclose the various forms of avant-garde cinema, from the lyrical to the structural film, and signal work of an enduring radicalism. SImultaneously, this dissertation charts the origins of these artists, the circumstances that formed their aesthetic themes, and their maturation. In doing so, it attends to their individual origins and sources, and consequently, the individuation of their artistic activity. This research fills gaps in the literature of Canadian cinema by explicitly linking the origins of a Canadian avant-garde cinema to the forms of purposeful difficulty in modernism. Additionally, it offers new commentary on the idea of difficulty in art, and specifically, the resonances of difficult modern art in vanguard cinema. This study champions progressive poetic form in avant-garde cinema, identifying aesthetic strategies that have analogues in other art forms such as music, painting and poetry. Experimental films; Canada; History and criticism; Experimental films; Canada; Chambers; John; 1931-; Snow; Michael; 1929-; Wieland; Joyce; 1931-1998

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf: examining attacks on Canada's federal centre-right political parties in the televised negative political advertisements between 1993 and 2006 using propaganda analysis
Mark Brosens (2008); Supervised by Fred Fletcher

Thesis: This thesis uses a triangulated methodology of focus groups, semiotic analysis, and content analysis to categorize and analyze the televised negative political advertisements aired during the Canadian federal elections between 1993 and 2006. How these attacks made against the conservative parties during this timeframe were interpreted by mothers of adolescent children receives particular considerations. The findings demonstrate that during this period the Canadian debate between individualism and communitarianism was prevalent in these political advertisements. It is argued that propaganda methods, namely the name calling technique, were used effectively by the left-wing parties to emphasize specific ideological traditions in conservatism and to link the conservative parties to the United States of America for strategic purposes. The author contends that political advertisements are complex expressions of a party's ideology and goals, thus this campaign tool ought to be studied more by Canadian academics. Television in politics; Canada; Negativism; Advertising; Political

The serial killer's cinematic sister: Representations of the female serial killer in contemporary film
Roberta Brown (2006); Supervised by Suzie Young

Thesis: The 1990s had a rise in the number of serial killers in film. Specifically, 1992 shared two significant moments for the female serial killer and her cinematic representation: Aileen Wuornos was convicted for five murders, all carrying a death sentence, and was mistakenly called America's first female serial killer; and the March release of one of the best known female serial killer films---Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven). The extreme difference between the two female serial killers is representative of the difference between real and film female serial killers. This thesis explores the differences between real and film female serial killers and between male and female serial killers. The research includes over thirty films that span from 1944 to 2005. In addition to attention on the female serial killer, the final section of the thesis examines the role of the female profiler and how she functions within the narratives of the films. Womens studies; Motion pictures Media and Culture

The Fecund Interval: Visualizing acoustic space in Canadian experimental cinema
Daniel Browne (2012); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Project-Paper: In this paper, I seek to develop an analysis of an aesthetic framework in which my filmmaking practice is situated, through Marshall McLuhan's ideas concerning acoustic space and their resonances within the avant-garde cinema. This may sound at first to be an inherently contradictory formula, given that a visually predominant medium such as the cinema may not be considered to impart experiences beyond this realm, with the exception of its acoustic components. (Sound cinema, similarly, is generally assumed to evoke sense impressions that exist merely in support of the fidelity of its 'realistic' image). However, I seek to demonstrate how the visualization of acoustic space forms a centrally unifying aesthetic strategy within the Canadian avant-garde cinema and many of the perceptual investigations conducted by film artists working during the time of Mcluhan's writings, resulting in a tradition of works which aim to translate visual experience beyond a fragmentary, visually-abstracted field, thus embodying aspects of kinesthetic vision and tactile/acoustic spatial experience. begin by examining the reception of Mcluhan's scholarship from within communication studies, suggesting the most fruitful reading of his often controversial figure as an artist-mystic rather than strictly as a theorist. I will then examine the varied influences from literary and cultural traditions that shaped his unique approach to media analysis and the development of his model of acoustic space-which Richard Cavell proposes as the primary feature that "connects a multiplicity of elements in Mcluhan's large and diverse oeuvre" (2003: xiii)-and consider the relationship of the cinema to Mcluhan's project of a history of the human sensorium. anti-environmental aesthetic; avant-garde cinema; filmmaking; kinesthetic vision; mainstream media ecology; narrative cinema; Marshall McLuhan; momento mori;; sensory existence; visualization of acoustic space. Technology in Practice

Constructing the Water Works, Constructing the Narrative
Katherine Bruce (2010); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Thesis: The first decades of the 20th century were a great period in urban municipal politics that gave rise to the modern theory and practice of public health. In Toronto, the iconic R.C. Harris Filtration Plant (1941) stands as an emblem of modernity and the marvels of hydraulic engineering that assured every citizen of the social right to clean water. We no longer celebrate the material networks of water supply such as R.C. Harris and his public works department fought to achieve; filtered H20 has become another commodity with no reference to the production process. In this thesis I explore the local, historical specifics of water issues embedded in this site and suggest ways that they might contribute to the renewed visibility of hydraulic infrastructure; a re-imagined materiality that might in turn inspire a more sustainable, collective water citizenship. citizenship; neoliberal policy; political economy of water; Toronto; water commodification; water issues; water rights; water supply. Politics and Policy

A Photographic Study of Kashmir’s Insurgency
Nathaniel Brunt (2016); Supervised by Don Snyder

Project-Paper: #shaheed (2014-2016) is an intimate photographic study of the insurgency in India’s Kashmir Valley, the young local men fighting in it, and the changing nature of the visual representation of war in the early twenty-first century. The project is comprised of a combination of collected materials such as mobile phone and social media images created by Kashmiri civilians and the militants themselves (an archive of over 600 images), as well as my own photographs. Utilizing this material, the project seeks to challenge simplistic contemporary understandings of militancy in the Islamic world. Ultimately, #shaheed’s goal is to create an uncomfortable intimacy between the viewer by using photographs, both collected and produced, in order to provoke difficult questions about the commonality and humanity of these young militants. The project was first exhibited at the Ryerson Student Gallery (March 28th-April 8th 2016).  Technology in Practice

Laws of air and ether: Copyright, technology standards, and competition
Ren Bucholz (2009); Supervised by Rosemary Coombe

Thesis: At the dawn of each new technological era, it is common to hear how the most recent development is so powerful and novel that all social, political, geographic, and economic constraints will evaporate in its wake. This paper examines how the mythology of openness—a product of infrastructure-centered telecommunications policy—developed and continues to influence policy in the digital age. Section II explores this dynamic in the realm of network neutrality. Section III introduces "overlay networks" of control, which can operate even on "neutral" networks. Section IV explores the history of new, private standards organizations and their role in the deployment of overlay networks. It includes a case study of the Digital Video Broadcasting project (DVB). Section V explores the substantive problems with private techno-legal policy regimes and identifies shortcomings in strategies for addressing those problems. Specifically, competition law is identified as a promising but inadequate tool. Law; International law; Mass communications; Information science; Communication and the arts; Social sciences Politics and Policy

Viral culture(s): An investigation into the cultural lives of computer viruses
Roberta Buiani (2009); Supervised by Janine Marchessault

Dissertation: This dissertation examines the cultural discourse that viruses embody and promote, as well as the way in which this discourse informs and is simultaneously transformed by them. One of the key arguments grounding this dissertation is that the entanglement of computer viruses with the historical tradition on infectious diseases, the technologies used to analyze and map them and the communities they affect and by which they are affected makes their study as separate objects or as products of a single instance of culture (e.g. the products of Information technologies or life sciences) unfeasible. Affinities between computer and biological viruses have been detected by drawing connections between a variety of contexts (i.e. professional and academic ambits, and popular culture) and the intertwining of different disciplinary realms (i.e. life-scientists borrowing methods from computer analysts and vice-versa), locking all viral instances together in a individual viral discourse, which emphasizes issues of threat and security. However, if viruses are only able to cause apprehension and negative reactions, why has the epithet "viral" been promptly applied to not-so-negative phenomena known as "viral videos," "viral marketing" and "viral tactics"? Why and how, with the dissemination of computer viruses (and worms), and infectious (or viral) diseases, have these phenomena that do not necessarily have much in common but which do carry the attribute "viral" emerged? Little has been done to find other ways to assess the above intersections and combinations. I argue that they might be interpreted as the product of what I call the "creative" potential of viruses, which unfolds through the very tensions and contradictions that emerge from their study, dissemination, and manifestation. It is thanks to these very tensions that more creative attempts ensue to understand the structure of viral agents and to creatively appropriate their qualities. By focusing on the technologies used to map and visualize viruses, on scientists and computer experts' conceptions of viruses, as well as on their interpretations and re-elaborations by the creative industries, I plan to shed light on the major role these tensions play in the diffusion and the transformations of viruses. Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Computer viruses; Cultural discourse; Cultural anthropology; Web Studies Media and Culture

Poverty and the media: mainstream newspaper coverage of anti-poverty activism
Kate Butler (2006); Supervised by John Shields

Major Research Paper: In the twenty-first century, the mass media is increasingly seen as having a very pervasive influence: the extent and reach if it simply cannot be ignored. In communities large and small, and in countries all over the world, the mass media has the ability to set agendas and influence public opinion. In North America, the mass media is particularly ubiquitous; from television, to the internet, to newspapers, it has become difficult to avoid mass media products. Poverty; Press coverage; Press and politics Politics and Policy

"The Cashtro Hop Project" Hip Hop Music And An Exploration Of The Construction Of Artistic Self-Identity
Chris Cachia (2006); Supervised by Jennifer Brayton

Project-Paper: While Hip Hop culture has regularly been legitimized within academia as a social phenomenon worthy of scholarly attention (witness the growing number of studies and disciplines now taking Hip Hop as object for analysis), this is the first Hip Hop-themed project being completed within the academy. Indeed, academic and critical considerations of one's own Hip Hop-based musical production is a novel venture; this project, as a fusion of theory with practice, has thus been undertaken so as to occupy that gap. The paper's specific concern is with how (independent) Hip Hop recording artists work to construct their own selves and identity (as formed primarily through lyrical content); the aim here is to explore Hip Hop music and the construction of artistic self· presentation. I therefore went about the task of creating my own album - my own Hip Hop themed musical product - in order to place myself in the unique position to examine it critically as cultural artifact, as well as to write commentary and (self-)analyses concerning various aspects of (my) identity formation. The ensuing outlined tripartite theoretical framework is to serve as a model through which other rappers/academics may think about, discuss, and analyze their own musical output, their own identities, their own selves. Rap (Music); History and criticism; Self-presentation; Rap musicians

From social celebration to politics as usual : newspaper coverage of the Legislative opening in Ontario, 1900-2007
James Cairns (2008); Supervised by Gene Allen and John Shields

Dissertation: This dissertation analyzes twentieth century changes in the representation of political authority in Ontario. It does so by conducting narrative analysis and framing analysis of newspaper coverage of the ceremonial Opening of the Legislature. In contrast to standard political science approaches to this key civic ritual, the dissertation builds upon cultural theory that views news as central to the social construction of reality and addresses three research questions: In what ways has the meaning of the legislative opening been represented in mainstream Ontario newspapers? How have mass mediated processes of ritualization changed over time? And what do answers to the first two questions suggest about the development of popular conceptions of political legitimacy in Ontario? Textual analysis demonstrates that social knowledge about the legislative opening has changed significantly between 1900 and 2007. During the first half of the twentieth century, journalists approached and described the Opening of the Legislature as a Social Celebration: a popular festival at Queen's Park that was also a break from routine policy discourse and partisan battle. By contrast, by the 1970s coverage was organized around the Speech from the Throne. Increasingly aggressive journalistic tones and techniques represented the ritual as a performance of rationality--a special iteration of Politics as Usual. Once a celebration of social order centred around Ontario High Society, the legislative opening is now depicted as a debate among competing interests in Ontario society. While remaining critical of the emergent ritual of liberal-pluralism for its part in normalizing systems of inequality, the dissertation argues that changes in newspaper coverage both reflect and reinforce the rise of what Smith calls "electoral democracy", a conception of politics in which extra-parliamentary actors are legitimized as participants in government. At the level of scholarly practice, the study makes an original contribution to recent debates in media anthropology by using longitudinal textual analysis to study the ritualization of civic ritual; and shifts in news coverage are used to advocate further interdisciplinary studies of legislative politics in Canada. Legislative bodies; Press coverage; Ontario; Press and politics; Discourse analysis; Narrative

Dancing masculinity for Hollywood: The American dream, whiteness and the movement vocabulary within Hollywood's choreography for men
Darcey Callison (2009); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Dissertation: This dissertation analyzes fourteen germane Hollywood choreographies for white men in order to understand the gendered and racial codes that Hollywood constructs and disseminates throughout North American as fundamentalist masculinity. Asking what Hollywood's male dancers communicate about masculinity, this study provides detailed readings of fourteen popular choreographies for men and finds that there are three physical codes Hollywood's male dancers utilize to dance white masculinity. The first code requires the male dancer's gestures stay within their personal kinesphere; the second code expects men's torsos to appear stable and strong; the third code has men emphasize gravity's pull on their body's weight and danced activities. As this dissertation discovers, these three physical codes combine to create recognizable and understandable gendered codes for dancing masculinity in North America and allow Hollywood's male stars to participate in what is generally understood as a female activity (dancing). Also, the three physical codes metaphorically maintain the male dancer's identity as patriarchs and do so by maintaining the illusion that male privileges are the inevitable outcome of the differences between men and women: differences that this dissertation maintains are socially and culturally constructed illusions. An important outcome of this research was discovering that white male dancers dance masculinity and simultaneously promote and maintain the relationships and images of ‘white’ as the dominate and ‘ordinary’ racial condition of living the American Dream. What is surprising is that Hollywood's white male dancers maintain the images of white privilege and domination while borrowing heavily from the movement vocabulary and aesthetics of African American social and theatrical dance. To explore the complex relationship between white masculinity and African American dance vernacular this dissertation provides a short history of ‘blackface’ dance in order to understand the netlike web of African American traces that infuse Hollywood's white danced masculinity from turn of the century Vaudeville to the recent Hollywood hit Napoleon Dynamite.


Many of the observations this dissertation discovered are summed up in the concluding pages that suggest our gendered and racial commonalities are ultimately more important than the physical codes Hollywood male dancers' perform in order to construct white danced masculine identities. Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Choreography; Hollywood; Masculinity; Movement vocabulary; Whiteness; Dance; Gender studies; Film studies Media and Culture

Affective News: A Case-Study of the Work of Emotions in News Coverage of the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti
Anna Lisa Candido (2010); Supervised by Nima Naghibi

Major Research Paper: The study of affective discourse in the news is critical for understanding how world events become meaningful to audiences, and important in light of the fact that the profession of journalism maintains problematic ideas of the role of emotions in news texts. Within the ideals of journalism are notions that emotional narratives and affective discourses are secondary, or even degrading, to serious news stories. Other journalistic ideals view emotions as a kind of necessary evil to the selling of news. Lastly, in scholarship around the democratic potential of human

interest or soft news stories (typically narrated using emotive language), there is an idea that soft news stories are only meaningful in so far as they act as a gateway to serious news issues. These theories of serious news degrade the role that the affects play in news texts. This paper suggests that emotions and the deployment of affective discourse in news texts can be understood as meaningful beyond their work in selling news stories or acting as a gateway to serious issues. This paper is interested in the ascension of "serious" news, and the way in which emotion in the news became regarded as trivial and unimportant. More specifically, I examine the division between serious, factual, objective news and dramatic, emotional human-interest stories, and their associated classificatory terms "hard" and "soft" news. This paper attempts to problematize the characterization of serious news as non-emotional, and non-serious news as emotional, by demonstrating how the press's commitment to the public sphere is an affective commitment predicated on the idea of "care." As this paper argues, the press's commitment to the public sphere, though, is vague and ambiguous. The effect of ambiguity around concepts of the public sphere and regarding ideas of care is that the press envisions care in differing ways. The differential alignment of the press with humanitarian goals, thus, works to privilege certain sites and methods of care over others. In this way, news coverage reflects a politics of care that operates through the alignment of public sympathies with pre-existing authorities of aid, relief and assistance. In order to demonstrate the affective work of the press, this paper examines news coverage of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. affect theory; Haiti; human-interest stories; global audience; journalism; natural disaster; news media; news organizations; objectivity; politics of care; public sphere; world events. Media and Culture

Out For A Stroll: Game Design, Narrative, And Affect In Walking Simulators
Alex Chalk (2017); Supervised by Jennifer Jenson

Major Research Paper: In the study of videogames, the growth of the medium is often measured in terms of numbers of consoles per household, hours spent playing, or profit margins – all of which, indeed, only seem to be increasing. What these statistics do not capture, however, is a diversification of game design, an expansion of videogame production into new audiences and, accordingly, new expressive territories. This paper examines a relatively new current in game design: the pseudo-genre known informally as the ‘walking simulator’. This term, often used derisively, refers to games where the play centers on characters walking in a simulated environment; that is, videogames where the protagonist does little besides explore a space. Its derisive uses issue from a perception that such games are purposeless and thus boring, as the player is not able to intervene meaningfully in the narrative situation. Indeed, certain critics are quick to deny walking simulators’ status as games.  Media and Culture

Personalia and women’s spatial practices in the routine office
Lynn Chalmers (2015); Supervised by Janine Marchessault

Dissertation: Office design is a contemporary cultural discourse, where space is conceived in abstract terms. Organizations mission and purpose are translated into the spatial design of workplaces. In the most dominant sectors such as finance and banking neoliberal organizations operate around the space of flows, generated by globalization, technology and postmodernity (Castells, 2000). The space of flows is also manifest in the spatial design of the workplace shaping employees’ working identities and behaviours. The dissertation asserts that there are two classes of office workers evolving in the workplace: the professional knowledge workers who are increasingly mobile and autonomous; and the routine clerical workers who are captive in a hegemonic system that keeps them doing clerical work with little prospect of promotion. It is significant that the clerical class is composed mostly of women. Personalia and Women’s Spatial Practices In The Routine Office examines the head offices of Investors Group in Winnipeg, Canada, in terms of how the company’s offices both reflect and generate spaces of flows. Women’s participation rates have grown from being a small minority in the 1900s to approximately 70% of the clerical workforce in the 2000s. Through microanalysis of previously unexamined personalia, or personal objects at the desk, the dissertation finds work spaces are expressive of women’s lived experiences of work. By conducting interviews and photographic studies of the workspaces of 11 women at Investors Group the research uncovers the ways women use the personalia at their desks to reappropriate the everyday spaces of the office. The identification of the term personalia becomes a key concept in the work and a contribution to the study of the close environment of the office desk. Social networks with co-workers, past and present are honored in the personalia at the desk; and tactics such as repurposing office supplies as gifts, along with numerous individual and heterogeneous behaviours demonstrate that routine work spaces are not neutral spaces, but are open to the expressive practices which de Certeau calls operations. The ways that women make space for themselves and push against the hegemony of the neoliberal organization are specific and instructive. They reflect women’s values and the identities crafted for public and private consumption. The research closely examines the practices of women in the financial services industry through the filter of Lefebvre’s trialectic for the analysis of space (1991), de Certeau’s ways of operating and tactics (1998), and Franck’s interpretation of Women’s Ways of Knowing (1989; 2000). The research demonstrates how personalia in the contemporary workplace reflects women’s values, and how women’s values have influenced the design of the workplace.  

Quadreria: High Noon In Hetrotopia: The Cyborg Meets The Cybernaut
Bryn Chamberlain (2008); Supervised by Steve Bailey

Thesis: The film and accompanying paper is an analysis of the conditions and language of the Internet. Through a filmic representation of the accepted communication theories of the Cyborg and Cybernaut, the film explores the emerging semiotics of electronically mediated discourse and the boundaries altered by the emergent technology of the Webcam. communication theory; cyborg; Cybernaut; digital imaging; evolution of language; film; internet language; text-based messages; webcam. Media and Culture

Imaginary soundscapes : electronic music culture and the aesthetics of the virtual
Sara Chan (2003); Supervised by Monique Tschofen and Jody Berland

Thesis: This study is an exploration into how dance music cultures (better know as "rave" or "club" cultures) find ways to straddle the divide between human and machine through their incorporation of both of these oft-competing elements. Electronic dance music and its digital modes of production, performance and consumption within this paradigm require alternative ways of thinking about originality, creativity, and authenticity. While I do look briefly at issues of consumption and performance within dance music cultures, I focus specifically on how electronic music producers are bound by a unique vision of musical authenticity and creativity, borne out of their "technological imagination" and the sonic possibilities enabled by digital technology. To use the concepts employed within my paper, I contend that dance music cultures make evident what Michael Punt calls the "postdigital analogue"--a cultural condition in which the decidedly more "human" or "analogue" elements of felt experience and authenticity coexist and converse with the predominance of the digital technologies of simulation and artifice. Dance music cultures are an emergent social formation, to use Williams' term, revising and questioning the typical relationships understood between digital and analogue. This postdigital analogue manifests in a number of ways in the cultural, aesthetic, and technological principles promoted by dance music cultures. In terms of production in particular, signs of digital and analogue coexist in a form of virtual authenticity, as the sound of the technological process engaged to make electronic dance music bears the mark of musical creativity and originality. This study reveals the unique manner in which dance music cultures incorporate both analogue and digital principles, bridging a sense of humanity with the acceptance of the technological. Electronic music; Underground dance music; Rave culture; Virtual reality; Cultural anthropology; Music

Losers Winning: Identity, Status and Difference in Glee
Emilie Charlebois (2014); Supervised by Susan Driver

Major Research Paper:  belonging; homophobia; Glee (television show); It Gets Better Campaign; identity; neoliberalism; status; popular culture; television; teenage experience; youth culture. Media and Culture

Community Food Assessments: Combining Community Action And Policy For A More Just And Sustainable Food System
Erin Charter (2008); Supervised by Deborah Barndt

Major Research Paper: This paper is concerned with the conception of a solution to food insecurity in Canada. I will begin by reviewing the two dominant approaches to food security, the antipoverty approach and the sustainable food systems approach. I will argue that in order to establish a food secure Canada, community action to increase food access and address concerns about production, distribution and consumption needs to happen in conjunction with policy action that seeks to reduce inequality and to promote a more just and sustainable food system.


To examine this premise, I will discuss two Canadian Community Food Assessments, which will provide insight into how the food system is playing out in two communities, and what is being done to create a more balanced food system for local residents. I will also provide a discussion of the assessments' recommendations and how they see change coming about in the food system. What needs to happen in order to create food security in Canada? And with who and where are these changes to take place? Food security; Canada; Evaluation; Food security; Government policy; Sustainable agriculture; Canada; Sustainable agriculture; Citizen participation Politics and Policy

Netspeak in China: features and impact on standard Chinese language
Yiying Chen (2005); Supervised by Colin Mooers

Major Research Paper: In order to explore the impact of Netspeak on the modem standard Chinese language, this study investigates the features and sources of Netspeak and then examines two anxieties that prevail around Chinese society: (1) Can the English elements in Netspeak be regarded as a sign of "English Invasion" and destroy the purity of Chinese language or even blemish Chinese cultural sovereignty? (2) Can "Netspeak confuse people's perception of what standard Chinese language should be so as to have negative impact on Chinese language? Related literatures both in China and in the western countries are examined. Some linguistic theories are applied or verified. Quantitative research method is used to verify my hypothesis that Netspeak will not have a deeply negative impact on Modem Standard Chinese in the long run, although it has already become a popular social dialect in the China"--From introduction, page 4 Linguistic change; China; Internet; Linguistics; Language and the Internet; China

Super Girls in China: The Performance of NeoLiberal Values, Desire and Alternative Temporalities
Kiera Chion (2009); Supervised by Ken Little

Thesis: In May 2005, Li Yuchun/Chris Lee, the winner of the Chinese singing competition, The Mongolian Sour Cow Yoghurt Super Girl Contest, became the catalyst for a national debate on issues ranging from democracy to standards of feminine beauty to the visibility of a queer national identity. Using critical discourse analysis of news reports and surveys with heads of local and diasporic fan clubs, I investigate the culturally performative aspects of Yuchun's image by interrogating the particular sociopolitical-virtual space that she occupies as both a new moral and cultural reflexion for the performance of an alternative Chinese temporality. I explore how her image connects with the dislocated and globalizing forces of gendered national identity by locating the role of Yuchun in the boundaries of the Chinese digital imaginary—an imaginary that is driven by new modes of consumption, desire, and fantasies of locales within Asia and beyond. Cultural anthropology; Womens studies; China

Explorations in community and civic bandwidth: A case study in community wireless networking
Hanna Cho (2006); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Thesis: The main purpose of this research was to gain insight into the recent proliferation of urban Community Wireless Networking (CWN) groups. What is their social impact? Who participates in them? Why? What do they have to do with "community"?" The thesis uses an ethnographic, case study approach and interviewed volunteers of one CWN group, Wireless Toronto. Findings showed that volunteers are part of a demographic suggestive of an emerging "creative civic core". In addition, it found diverse notions of community were central parts of volunteers' discourse, especially when attempting to understand their overall rationale for provisioning free (public) wi-fi. A conceptual framework including social capital, community networks, community informatics, and visions of technology is used throughout. In all, the thesis argues that these urban CWNs are hybrid social and civic networks whose immediate social impact is practical (i.e. local community participation) and long-term impact, symbolic-ideological (social constructions of technology and community). Social structure; Mass media; Communication and the arts; Social sciences Politics and Policy

Theatre of the mind: podcasting and public health communication - a pilot project
Martin Chochinov (2006); Supervised by Jean Mason

Project-Paper: This project explores how podcasting could be developed as a strategy for narrative self-representation as a means of exploring the broader sociocultural context of specific health issues such as HIV/AIDS or methamphetamine addiction. The aim of the project is to understand how podcasting can be used to aid health agencies in determining the social context of behaviors that in turn can inform strategic communication programs. community; health agency; health communication; HIV/AIDS; podcast; public health; public spaces; self-representation; strategic communication programs; storytelling. Media and Culture

Fetishizing the fembot: sex, technology and the perfect woman
Emily Chou (2005); Supervised by Jennife Burwell

Thesis: This thesis examines the fembot, or female robot, as a cultural site of complex signification in Western society. As a combination of woman and machine, the fembot functions as a metaphor for male desire and fear. I will explore the fembot archetype through film and advertising, analyze the relationship between women and machines, and attempt to understand the common themes that have become tied to the fembot: sex, technology, fetishism, death, dismemberment, and comedy. Archetype (Psychology); Women in popular culture; Women in advertising; Women in motion pictures; Sex role in mass media; Robots; Social aspects; Women; Effect of technological innovations on

Remaking KM6: an authoethnographic and photographic journey to Santa Cruz Bolivia
So Jin Chun (2009); Supervised by Don Snyder

Project-Paper: This paper examines the process of autoethnography and photographic study within the context of hybridity and diasporic cultural identity. For this project, ReMaking KM6, I returned to my childhood home of Santa Cruz, Bolivia creating representations of this city in the context of Latin America. Through the lens of hybridity, I look at my own process of autoethnography and documentary photography. The concept of hybridity resonates in my personal narrative, which illustrates the meeting between Korean, Bolivian and Canadian cultures. As a result, the visual evidence gathered demonstrates a specific perspective and contributes to the pool of Latin American images available in North America. The photographs gathered during my fieldwork illustrate the day-to-day lives of Crucenos (people of Santa Cruz) that disrupt notions of Latin America as static, and exotic providing an alternative to stereotypes of this region. In order to illustrate specific examples of this process, this essay will refer to the seventy-page book titled ReMaking KM6: Childhood Memories of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, that outlines this journey through the combination of visual evidence and narratives. Canada; cultural identity; documentary photography; hybridity; hybrid identity; Latin America; memory; Santa Cruz; self-representation; subjectivity. Media and Culture

Rated M for misogyny: reimagining gender assessments for film
Vanessa Ciccone (2017); Supervised by Charles Davis

Thesis: Employing gender theory and political economy, this research interrogates the feasibility of creating a reliable assessment of gender in film, and explores multiple uses for such an assessment. It contributes to communications literature on industry and policy responses to biased portrayals in film.  

Reflections on Immediatism and Aesthetics
Victor Cirone (2014); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Major Research Paper:  This paper considers the aesthetic and political implications of Hakim Bey’s (also known as Peter Lamborn Wilson) Immediatist project. The paper begins with a discussion of the cosmogonic notions of Chaos and nothing that Bey adopts in his work and explores the ways in which these notions are foundational to his concept of Ontological Anarchy. It is then explained how, through indiscriminately drawing on a variety of mystical and magical traditions (from those of Pagan Greece and Ancient India to the contemporary Western Occult world) Immediatism aims to establish an experiential foundation for the reality of interdependent non-dual wholeness. In order to advance Bey’s critique of ‘the sleep of Order’, pathological (calculative) reason, and Western technological development, his work is brought into dialogue with that of schizoanalyst and philosopher Felix Guattari. The final part of this paper discusses the implications of Bey’s Immediatist project for contemporary artistic practice, with special emphasis placed on musical forms and the possibility of reviving Occidental sacred musical traditions. Hakim Bey, Peter Lamborn Wilson, Felix Guattari, Chaos, Nothing, Ontological Anarchy aestheticism; chaos; identity; immediatism; nothingness; ontological anarchy; musical recordings; unnatural. Technology in Practice

Skilled play: positioning the player at the centre of the digital game
Chris Clemens (2008); Supervised by Jennifer Jenson

Thesis: This thesis argues that a focus on the player and the skill sets required to play video games - a player-skill perspective - provides a productive framework from which to examine and address many contemporary 'problem areas' within game studies. Familiarity, social performativity, and material mastery form three crucial, interlocking junctures where skill and mastery are framed as essential components for understanding games. The game controller is positioned as a 'gatekeeper' between player and game; a precluding factor in engaging with the medium. Participant responses from original qualitative research, which places a primacy on female voices, are framed within a gaming climate of historically increasing complexification of game genres and material components, and point to several trends in how women can (and do) contend with gendered technology. Women; Computer games; Video games

Weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and regime change: Political linguistics and the 2003 invasion of Iraq
David Clifton (2008); Supervised by Daniel Drache

Dissertation: The U.S. administration's use of language during the 2003 invasion of Iraq was an attempt to control public discourse, and through it, public opinion. Words and phrases like weapons of mass destruction, regime change and coalition of the willing were designed to rally a global public consensus behind the war, and extend the goodwill that many western nations offered the U.S. after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This dissertation examines the role of strategic lexicons in the framing of television coverage on Fox News, CNN, ABC and PBS in the United States, and on CBC and CTV in Canada. As Entman's (2004) 'cascading activation' model suggests, although political elites tend to be the originators of foreign policy news frames, they cannot ensure that their frames will be used consistently, sympathetically or coherently. The active role that journalists play in mediating framed messages to their audiences is as important as the messages themselves, and too often overlooked.


This dissertation explores the different ways that six North American broadcasters reacted to the lexical framing of the U.S. administration and the anti-war movement. The image of the war presented by American cable broadcasters was found to be much more faithful to the administration's communication strategy than were any of the other broadcasters, and the Canadian newscasts differed most significantly in that they tended not to cover the Iraq story in the context of terrorism and they tended to show less vitriol to Saddam Hussein and his forces.


The findings in this dissertation are significant because they lead us to rethink the relationship between news management, propaganda and framing. While the administration was somewhat successful in shaping journalistic language during the Iraq invasion, it was not successful in winning over skeptical and dissenting publics in the U.S. or elsewhere. Although the use of framing language may be an effective short-term strategy, it leads to opinion change that is neither durable nor predictive of real political action. More significantly, communication strategies such as this are detrimental to the public sphere because they work to undermine intelligent discourse and marginalize dissent. Communication and the arts; Language; literature and linguistics; Invasion; Iraq; Political linguistics; Regime change; Terrorism; Weapons of mass destruction; Rhetoric; Composition; Mass media Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

Negotiating precarious cultural work : freelance writers and collective organization in media industries
Nicole Cohen (2013); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Dissertation: Commentary on freelance work in the cultural industries suggests that freelancers are autonomous "free agents" who enjoy fulfilling work and control over their careers. Yet empirical research demonstrates that freelance media work is becoming increasingly precarious. This dissertation is a case study of the working conditions of Canadian freelance writers, the political economic and cultural context in which they work, and their efforts to organize collectively to address challenges they face. The dissertation examines the underlying processes, practices, and power relations that shape the work of freelance writing to argue that freelancers' experiences flow directly from the capitalist logic of the corporate cultural industries in which they work. In this view, freelance writing has been transformed from being primarily a strategy of resisting salaried labour by journalists—an effort to gain some control over the terms of commodification of their labour power and autonomy over their craft—into a strategy for media firms to intensify exploitation of freelance writers' labour power through two primary strategies: the exploitation of unpaid labour time and control of copyright to writers' works. Drawing on Marxist political economic analysis, a survey of Canadian freelance writers, and interviews with freelance writers' unions and organizations, the dissertation examines how exploitation is obscured in freelance cultural work and how it can be confronted through collective organization. The dissertation examines Canadian freelance writers' current organizing efforts: a professional association, a union, and an agency-union hybrid, arguing that the models freelancers favour tend to reinforce notions of professionalism and a preference for service-based organizations, which has not given freelancers the power required to effectively defend themselves against corporations' changing business practices. The dissertation outlines the challenges writers' organizations need to overcome, not least freelance writers' ambivalence toward their status as workers. Finally, the dissertation foregrounds labour processes as central to understanding media, suggesting that continual downloading of the risks of journalistic labour onto precarious workers will have implications for the future of freelance writing as an occupation and the media content produced. Journalism; Labor economics; Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Social sciences Politics and Policy

Massive media: theories and practices of large-scale projections and public data visualizations
David Colangelo (2015); Supervised by Janine Marchessault

Dissertation: This dissertation describes, historicizes, theorizes, and deploys “massive media,” an emerging subset of technical assemblages that include large outdoor projections, programmable architectural façades, and urban screens. Massive media are massive in their size and subsequent visibility, but are also an agglomeration of media in their expressive screen and cinema-like qualities and their associated audio, interactive, and network capabilities. This dissertation finds that massive media enable and necessitate the development of new practices of expanded cinema, public data visualization, and new media art and curation that blend the logics of urban space, monumentality, and the public sphere with the aesthetics and affordances of digital information and the moving image to support a more participatory public culture in which we identify and engage with collective presence, memory, and action through information, architecture, and the moving image. Through historical research, case studies, conversations with cultural producers, participant observation, and creation-as-research projects, large-scale public projections are shown to represent a new monumentality that can be better understood and evaluated using analytical tools from cinema studies, namely superimposition, montage, and apparatus/dispositif. Low-resolution LED façades, while sharing some of the functional and theoretical characteristics of projection, are shown to uniquely support an emerging practice of public data visualization and represent a more consistent embodiment of a hybrid and relational public sphere through a tighter coupling of information, architecture, and context. Programmable architectural façades, more than projections, embody the development of supermodernism in architecture where data-rich public spaces of identity, congregation, and contestation seek and find appropriate and consistent outlets in highly visible spatial assemblages of architecture and media. Finally, a curatorial approach to massive media is crucial in order to create suitable spaces and opportunities for the development of massive media as a legitimate art form. This requires the sustained provision of technical support and coordination as well as an ongoing negotiation with corporate, institutional, and civic owners and operators. While massive media exists primarily as a highly commercialized phenomenon, it can also be pressed into service, through coordinated curatorial and artistic efforts, to critique or co-opt commercialization, and to re-envision the role of urban media environments in shaping collective identity, historical consciousness, and public display culture.  

Acting in the name of culture?: the participation of organized labour in the Canadian broadcasting policy process
Amanda Coles (2005); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder and Liora Salte

Thesis: The thesis examines the role, efficacy and influence of the five national English-language independent film and television production sector unions in the Canadian broadcasting policy network. While labour is typically classified as a civil society organization within policy networks studies, this thesis will examine the blanket applicability of this typology in analyzing labour's engagement with issues that involve both their vested economic/industrial interests as well as broader social/cultural goals, using the unions' engagement with the issue of Canadian dramatic programming from 1998 to present as a case study. broadcasting policy; Canada; Canadian broadcasting; Canadian content; Canadian unions; English-language films; labour organizations; policy network studies; television; unions. Politics and Policy

Immigrant Teenagers: Rebellious and Free Or Occupied With Responsibilities?
Natasha Collishaw (2015); Supervised by Natalie Coulter

Major Research Paper: Popular culture representations of teenagers often associate them with freedom, which typically means the pursuit of pleasure, consumption and rebellion against adult authority. Implicit in these representations is the assumption that teenagers often avoid taking on responsibilities for others. However, these representations likely do not reflect the life experiences of many teenagers, in particular immigrant teens, who may take on many responsibilities for their families and for their society. Building on a participatory methodology, this paper explores the experiences of four immigrant teenagers, asking how immigrant youth negotiate mediated popular culture representations of teenage freedom in relation to their responsibilities to others. This paper will argue that immigrant youth negotiate popular mediated representations of individual freedom in relation to their responsibilities as individuals, family members and members of a society. This research contributes to the fields of youth studies and youth culture studies and to the subfield of communication that examines immigrants’ interactions with media systems. First, this paper interrogates two dominant assumptions that are present in cultural representations of the teenager: (1) Being a teenager is a time of freedom, and (2) Teenagers avoid taking on responsibilities for others. This study also contributes to filling a gap in the research on the experiences of immigrant youth in youth culture studies as well as contributes to a small body of research on immigrant youths’ interactions with popular culture.  

Come Out or Remain Silent: Sport and Gendered Homophobia
Francesco Collura (2019); Supervised by Nicole Neverson

Major Research Paper: This Major Research Paper explores the sporting environment and the impact certain sport spaces can have on lesbian, gay or bisexual athletes. Through an in-depth analysis of the literature, I explore how key scholars have critically examined themes of masculinity and femininity in sport. This was done in order to understand how coming out differs for athletes depending on their gender identity and the sport that they participate in. I engage with the theories of intersectionality, queer theory, ideology, cultural hegemony and gender performativity to enhance this analysis. I also developed original research by interviewing six male- and female-identifying athletes. Their experiences help explain why certain sporting environments are more or less accepting of sexual minorities in sports. This body of work is important because it provides readers with the opportunity to fully grasp and understand the hardships lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes endure in sports. Team-Based Sports; Single-Person Sports; Sexuality; Gender; Intersectionality; Race; Class; Identity Politics; Queer Theory; Ideology; Hegemonic Masculinity; Orthodox Masculinity; Cultural Hegemony; and Gender Performativity.

Fun with Freire: Grassroot Soccer, Participatory Learning, and HIV and AIDS Prevention in South Africa
Emma Colucci (2010); Supervised by Amin Alhassan

Thesis: This thesis focuses on the universality of soccer, and participatory educational methodologies as tools to combat HIV and AIDS through a case study of Grassroot Soccer (GRS). GRS is an organization that empowers African youth with the knowledge, skills and support to combat the HIV and AIDS pandemic. This thesis specifically explores GRS's work in Port Elizabeth (PE) South Africa. The role of sport, specifically soccer, as a form of Entertainment-Education (E-E) is explored in order to exemplify the value of an otherwise overlooked avenue of positive social change. Paulo Freire's notion of participatory learning is used to analyze the GRS methodology in order to establish the ways in which the program uses interactive learning structures through soccer as a tool to enhance the GRS student's sense of self-efficacy and overall knowledge about HIV and AIDS. This thesis substantiates the effectiveness of GRS's participatory learning structure made possible through sport. HIV/AIDS; participatory learning; Paulo Freire; self-efficacy; soccer; South Africa; sport; youth. Media and Culture

Diversity in Non-Diverse Classrooms: New Brunswick Teachers' Experiences with Multicultural Education and Practices
Krysten Connely (2013); Supervised by Marnie Binder, Jason Nolan

Major Research Paper:  diversity; education; multicultural education; pedagogy; rural communities; teacher training. Media and Culture

The gendered experience of voice in Canadian radio and beyond: Toronto, Canada
Anastasia Copeland (2017); Supervised by Anne MacLennan

Thesis: Feminist media scholars have historically centered gender and identity on the body and visual texts, with the voice exercised as metaphor - immaterial or interpreted solely as the words spoken. Representative of agency, the voice gets defined as what is being said rather than how one is saying it. My thesis addresses this gap through an earoriented analysis of women’s voice within the Canadian radio and podcasting industry. Centred on the experiences of individual women in Toronto’s broadcast soundscape, I bring a feminist phenomenological approach to my work to explore the intersection of voice as both material sound -an extension of the body and thus individual identities- and the weight of the women’s voice as politically and historically coded. I aim to expand my work beyond the individual experiences of the women within the broadcast industry and into the broader discourse surrounding gendered representation for the future of our Canadian media soundscape.  

The state of Canadian dance and dancing with the state from 1967-1983
Kate Cornell (2008); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Dissertation: This dissertation chronicles an important time in Canadian dance history but also offers a framework to analyze Canadian identity in dance. Cultural policy on dance offers insight into the nature of Canadian identity from 1967 to 1983. This dissertation uses dance as a lens to examine communities within the nation. Five choreographic works from the period are analyzed and represent Canadian western theatrical dance: Rose Latulippe (Macdonald), Baroque Suite (Earle), "The Brick Series" (Adams), Marie Chien Noir (Chouinard) and Joe (Perreault). This dissertation also uses cultural policy as a vehicle to analyze the State from the Centennial of Confederation to the publication of the Applebaum-Hébert Report. Writings by Leslie Armour, R. Bruce Elder, Alan Filewod, Northrop Frye, B.W. Powe, Grant Strate and Pierre Trudeau inform the research. Ultimately, the relationships between individual artists, the dance community and the State illustrate the complex development of Canadian choreography. My research is driven by a desire to first, fill some of the gaps in the literature on Canadian dance, and second, examine dance through cultural policy. This dissertation begins in 1951 with the Massey Report, but primarily focuses on the period from 1967 to 1983 including the "dance boom era." This research is an important contribution to the field because it compares the development of Canadian dance to theatre, literature, visual art, music and film from 1967 to 1983, to place it within a broader context. This dissertation argues that Canadian choreography embodies the dialectic of the traditional and the contemporary, of the Francophone and Anglophone, and of the individual and community. Dance; Canada; History; Choreography; Choreographers; Arts; Canadian; Government policy; Cultural policy. Politics and Policy

Seeing the whole man: a visualist analysis of artificial limbs at the end of the nineteenth century
Constance Crompton (2006); Supervised by Jennifer Brayton

Thesis: The thesis uses the central concerns of visual culture studies to investigate the shift towards artificial limbs that imitate the body as identified by Steven Mihm (2002). Drawing on a modified, less utopian, form of critical discourse analysis, which recognizes the sociocultural power of the visual, this thesis interrogates the promotional literature that the A.A. Marks Company, an artificial limb manufacturer, produced between 1888 and 1920. This thesis critically analyzes the techniques used by the company to assert their authority to frame their relationship to their clients. In addition, this analysis interrogates the company's use of the technologies of vision to champion visually imitative prosthesis. The goal of this analysis is to determine how the company deployed the turn towards the imitative, and what was at stake for the producers, and consumers, as well as the wider culture in the use of imitative limbs. Marketing; History; Amputees; United States; Social conditions; Artificial limbs; Visualist Analysis

Print Culture in the Digital Era: The Publishing Industry in the 21st Century
Shannon Culver (2010); Supervised by Ruth Panofsky

Thesis: This thesis provides an examination of the impact of new technologies on the book publishing industry and literary culture; analyzing the ways in which digital technologies like the eBook and eReader are changing reading practices and the conception of the book as a physical object and cultural artifact, as well as the way in which the internet, and Web 2.0 applications in particular, are being used to create new literary communities. I posit that the communications circuit described by Robert Darnton is disrupted and reconfigured by new technologies that facilitate novel forms of communication between authors, publishers, booksellers and readers, but that these changes are an extension of existing practices within literary culture. Further, in significant ways, these changes signal a recuperation of collaborative forms of production and reading practices that predate the print era, and herald an era of renewed collaboration and communication amongst literary communities. book as cultural artifact; book as physical object; book publishing industry; ebook; eReader; literary culture; new technologies; production and reading practices; Web 2.0 applications. Media and Culture

Schadenfreude, Villainy, and Empathy: The Ideological Repercussions of Media Representations of "White Trash"
Trevor Cunnington (2013); Supervised by John McCullough

Dissertation: This dissertation examines some media representations of the class fraction designated in everyday discourse as "white trash." Its main themes are the intersection of race and class in North America's popular and unpopular cultural products, the presence of history in narrative forms, the politics of representation, authenticity, ideology, and eugenics. My objective is to show how depictions of "white trash" have become a form of psychological compensation for structural economic inequality, as well as an ideological justification for this inequality. I explore the affective dimensions of these different products and identify three main affects these artifacts encourage: schadenfreude, empathy, and anxiety. Schadenfreude is usually the affect encouraged by comedic depictions of "white trash," empathy for the situation of poor whites tends to be elicited in less popular cultural artifacts, and anxiety is evoked by portrayals of "white trash" as threats to the social order. I construe "media representations" broadly to include literature, photography, film, television, and journalism, and genre plays a major role in which affect the content encourages. I do detailed analyses of particular artifacts as case studies of how class and race operate in cultural production. A major consideration of this project is how "white trash" have historically been denied access to self-representation in different media, how this has changed, and why literature has been more accessible to this class fraction as a means of self-representation than others (in the United States, at least). Content is the most important focus of the case studies, although audience considerations and production ephemera play a supporting role in some of the chapters. This is an interdisciplinary work through and through. Its methodological modus operandi is mosaic. While discourse analysis is the scaffolding that structures the overall project, I also use semiotic analysis, quantitative content analysis, and new historicism. My rationale for this methodological diversity is that different media require different methods, and also that the strengths of some methods can make up for the weaknesses of others. The theoretical framework I use to build up to the case studies is dialectic, synthesizing aspects of cultural studies and critical theory, and to a lesser extent, the sociological approach of symbolic interactionism. This project is innovative not only for its methodological diversity, but also for its use of the findings of empirical psychology to support the ongoing relevance of the study of ideology. Furthermore, while other authors who work in the field of "white trash studies" have used boundary theory (Wray 2006) and figurative sociology (Hartigan 2005), I cleave to an unabashed Marxist approach, one informed by the aforementioned synthesis of early cultural studies and critical theory.  

Play/counterplay: The cultural politics of digital game modification
Albert Curlew (2011); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Dissertation: The modification of pop culture by its users happens with such frequency that the output of these practices, as well as the emerging cultural politics attached to them, should not be ignored. This dissertation explores the cultural politics of the modification (or "modding") of digital games by their users in applying a contextual triangulation of cultural studies, political economy and critical information studies to several relevant case examples that identify, analyze and interrogate how user modification of digital games is affecting and being affected by interactions and confrontations between media users, corporate producers, and wider social and political forces. The concept of modding offered here, broadened from existing conceptions by emphasizing not only the structural alteration of game code but also the potential alterations of conceptual influence (via the borrowing and re-expressing of ideas, themes and subject matter from existing sources), is tied to user creativity as expressed in the concept of participatory culture, itself theorized here as animated by play and playful experimentation within spaces of possibility. Framed in this way, modding is positioned not as a recent gaming phenomenon, but one bound to the entire history of video games as technological forms and to a wider socio-cultural history of playing with cultural forms in general. As such, attempts to contain, regulate or commercially exploit user behaviour (by erecting boundaries of play) are challenged by modification's links to play and playful experimentation that appear both cultural and natural, manifesting in what I call counterplay , the oppositional or disruptive practices of some creative users. From the nuanced perspective offered by disciplinary triangulation, modding is rendered as a multi-dimensional cultural practice, bound both to forces of user empowerment offered by socio-technical change and to forces of user exploitation present in existing socio-economic structural realities. Ultimately, what becomes clear is that how modders negotiate this contested terrain works to persistently redefine the role of media users and expected user behaviour in the popular cultural environments they play in, play with and play against.  

Death and the Virtual: Memorialization on Social Networking Websites
Sarah Curtis (2011); Supervised by Shelley Hornstein

Major Research Paper: The shift towards online communication has impacted many aspects of our lives, in that we increasingly use the internet in ways that have a lasting impact on our lived experience. One of the ways this impact occurs is through the virtual manifestation of phenomena related to death. Customs related to death - such as funerals and memorials - are being remediated on the internet in ways that are varied and complex. Remediation, a term introduced by Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin, involves the reinvention of previous forms of media using new media technologies. In this way, every form of media is understood to be a new version of a form of media that already existed. Looking at sites of memorialization of all kinds through the framework of remediation illuminates the ways that the manifestation of issues related to death and memorialization on the internet has and will continue to both complicate and enhance the ways these sites are experienced and conceptualized by those that visit them. While traditional physical memorial sites have always existed - and will continue to exist - sites of remembrance that appear on the internet are emerging as a complementary medium of memorialization. cyber studies; death and photography; Facebook; internet; memory; memorial sites; memorialization; social networking sites; user profiles; virtual memorials. Media and Culture

"A Big Beautiful Mess": Collectivity, Capitalism, Arts & Crafts and Broken Social Scene
Ian Dahlman (2009); Supervised by Rob Bowman

Thesis: The aim of this thesis is to critically examine the emergence of new forms of collectivity in Canadian independent popular music. A case study was conducted centring on the Toronto-based collective Broken Social Scene and its label Arts & Crafts, and original interviews were conducted with Stuart Berman, Charles Spearin, Jason Collett, Jeffrey Remedios and Brendan Canning. An analysis of the major labels and a history of the sensibilities of independent artists establish the habitus of an independent artist at the end of the 1990's. The particulars of Toronto's music scene show the organic origins of the band's collectivity to be in process-based composition and performance. Broken Social Scene's political economy and internal dynamics suggest that Arts & Crafts acts as an aegis for the group's membership and processes. Finally, Broken Social Scene's metaphorical self conceptualization reveals the important structuring role the paradoxical affect of love plays for the group. Broken Social Scene; Canada; Canadian music; independent artists; music industry; music label; political economy; popular culture; Toronto. Media and Culture

The Pedagogy of Participatory Video
Stephen D'Alimonte (2010); Supervised by Judy Rebick

Project-Paper: he primary objective of my project is to examine the possibilities of fostering a critical sensibility amongst Toronto urban youth by use of popular education activities and then to put these critical skills to work in the form of documentary production. I was able to perform this practical aspect of my project as part of a field placement in the Spring and Summer of 2009. During this placement I was able to provide youth (aged 14-19) in the Lawrence Heights community of Toronto, Ontario, Canada (colloquially known as "Jungle") with both the critical and technical skills necessary to create a documentary about their community and the issues that exist therein. Having these videos in hand, I am now able to reflect on both the process and the theoretical grounding of my fieldwork (which is done in this paper) as well as create an interactive and virtual home for the videos created last summer and any more that, in the future, might come ·out of the model that I implemented ( With my primary objective in mind, the greater, long-term, goal of my project is to help youth become more engaged with their community and begin to ask questions about their, and other, so-called "at-risk communities". I do not intend on this project '· being the final say on such an objective. Rather, it is only the beginning of a larger objective to help foster a positive sense of community in neighbourhoods negatively portrayed in the media and to help these residents become more civically engaged in order to create social change. community; documentary; education; media communication; marginalized populations; mass media; Paulo Freire; pedagogy of the oppressed; social change; Toronto; urban youth. Media and Culture

Walking the map & tracing the territory
Patricio Davila (2009); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Project-Paper: "Walking the Map & Tracing the Territory" is a locative media project created to investigate the relationship between the visual representation and aural/physical experience of space through the roles of mapper and walker. Both forms of knowing a space have biases that privilege certain aspects of space. While visual representation on a map totalizes space and emphasizes the spatial relationship between objects, aural/physical experience emphasizes the evanescent quality of walking and narrative. This exploration has led to the idea that space is physical but also represented, experienced and recreated constantly through its use. The project has drawn on the work of various locative artists such as Janet Cardiff and Rimini Protokoll to understand the way that story, listening and walking can inform one's perception of space. The work of Michel de Certeau has also been used to understand how one creates space through the subjective negotiation of place. Finally, the creation process ofthe installation, using consumer electronics, open-source software and programming languages has also been used as a way of looking at how space is articulated through this technology and how it mediates the mapper's and walker's perception of map and territory. Space perception; Geographical perception; Installations (Art); Geography; Social aspects; Visual communication

Absence as the mechanized dreamwork of colonial landscapes
Heather Davis (2005); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Thesis: This thesis examines the links between national identity, in the context of invader-settler society, and landscape photography. Focusing on Western Canada in the late nineteenth century, I analyze the history of photography in relation to landscape and nationalism. This particular historical period is important as the settlement of the West and subsequent nationalist projects were occurring at the same moment as photographs of the West were beginning to be taken. This context allows for a particular evaluation of the linkages between landscape, photography, visuality, colonialism and nation building. Examining the photographs from an aesthetic, psychological, ideological and affective relation with the invader-settler nation, I bring to light the importance of vision and land to a colonial context. Using an interdisciplinary approach allows me to examine the broad context of the photographs and the larger discourses that they form. As well, I textually analyze each of the six photographs in my corpus. The photographic landscapes which I chose as my corpus form a discourse of Canadian nationalism which is overly determined by the concept of wilderness and the subsequent denial of colonialism. Communication and the arts; Fine arts Media and Culture;Technology in Practice

Fashion, Subversion, and Social Change in Modernist Salons
Madeline Davy (2017); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Major Research Paper: Fashion is an integral part of the human experience. More than merely reflecting social, economic and political realities, the pervasive and viral nature of fashion can actually change the cultural realities by challenging the values embedded in certain trends. This is especially true during periods of heightened social upheaval, such as the early twentieth century and the interwar years, when sartorial and social change were promoted by cultural trendsetters such as modernist salonnieres. This Major Research Paper explores the ways in which fashion accrued symbolic meaning in the interwar years as the result of being harnessed by modernist salonnieres such as Natalie Barney, Gertrude Stein and A’Lelia Walker as a vehicle for social change. I do so by drawing on fashion and salon theory and in doing so contribute to discussions in Fashion Studies, as well as Modernism and Gender Studies.  

Ethnographic Journalism and the American Urban Crisis
Juan Miguel De Villa (2011); Supervised by Paul Moore

Major Research Paper: The historical role of racial prejudice in the development of black ghettos by the I990s has been a source of contention in urban studies. This paper contends that works of ethnographic journalism such as Alex Kotlowitz's There are no Children Here, David Simon and Ed Bums's The Corner, and Leon Dash's Rosa Lee are critical texts for gaining an informed understanding of the urban crisis because they allow one to make connections with both the empirically observable facts and the shared social experience of the black underclass. By revealing the importance of viewing positivist and interpretivist understandings of the American city as complementary rather than oppositional, these works provide a multifaceted, rather than mutually exclusive, framework for understanding the American urban crisis. This approach allows us to avoid the ontological shortcomings present in traditional methodologies for examining urban poverty-shortcomings that take root in discursive tensions regarding the nature of prejudice in municipal development. Ethnographic journalism evokes the empathy necessary to view urban squalor as a practical concern rather than a spectacle. African American culture; critical realism; epistemic reflexivity; journalism; popular culture; urban crisis. Media and Culture

Affective Potentialities of Queer GIFs on Tumblr
Frank DeGregorio (2016); Supervised by Susan Driver

Major Research Paper: Since the early 1990s, the Internet has been a site for exploring and sharing queer identities. In a return to the earlier years of queer users participating on the Internet, Tumblr has become a site for exploring identities through the graphics interchange format, or “GIF.” Drawing from GIFs gathered and circulated on the Tumblr page, this major research paper discusses the affective potential GIFs produce through the content, structure, and emotions they share. This paper looks at the history of the GIF file format, earlier uses in popular culture, and its transformation into a means of sharing queer representations in the media. It highlights the format’s potential to produce affect through Sara Ahmed’s The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2004). The paper concludes by discussing the ways in which queer discomfort generates space for creativity while working with heteronorms.  

Male parody, sketch comedy and cultural subversion: the work of Scott Thompson, Rick Mercer and Steve Smith
Danielle Deveau (2006); Supervised by Dennis Denisoff

Thesis: Male Parody, Sketch Comedy and Cultural Subversion is a Master's thesis that analyzes the male performances of Canadian comedians Scott Thompson, Rick Mercer and Steve Smith. Queer and feminist scholars suggest that subversive gender performance techniques such as camp can destabilize compulsory heteronormativity and binary gender constructions. Through the study of sketch comics Thompson, Mercer and Smith, it is evident that a range of masculine performances, both implicitly and explicitly in support of queer politics, are supported within popular comedy and Canadian maninstream media. The diverse comic techniques used by these actors prove effective in critiquing aspects of patriarchy, masculinity and heteronormativity as well as questioning essentialist assumptions behind social notions of hierarchy and marginality. Comedians; Canada; Masculinity; Male homosexuality; Gender identity; Political satire; Canadian; Parody. Media and Culture

Twenty Years of Unnecessary Forward Slashes: Towards a Post-Ontological Critique of Tim Berners-Lee's Evolving Aspirations for the Web and the World Wide Web Consortium from the Cultural Studies Perspective
Michael Dick (2010); Supervised by Michael Murphy

Major Research Paper: Since it was first formally proposed in 1990 (and since the first website was launched in 1991), the World Wide Web has evolved from a collection of linked hypertext documents residing on the Internet, to a "meta-medium" featuring platforms that older media have leveraged to reach their publics through alternative means. However, this pathway towards the modernization of the Web has not been entirely linear, nor will it proceed as such. Accordingly, this paper problematizes the notion of "progress" as it relates to the online realm by illuminating two distinct perspectives on the realized and proposed evolution of the Web, both of which can be grounded in the broader debate concerning technological determinism versus the social construction of technology: on the one hand, the centralized and ontology-driven shift from a human-centred "Web of Documents" to a machine-understandable "Web of Data" or "Semantic Web", which is supported by the Web's inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, and the organization he heads, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); on the other, the decentralized and folksonomy-driven mechanisms through which individuals and collectives exert control over the online environment (e.g. through the social networking applications that have come to characterize the contemporary period of "Web 2.0"). Methodologically, the above is accomplished through a sustained exploration of theory derived from communication and cultural studies, which discursively weaves these two viewpoints together with a technical history of recent W3C projects. As a case study, it is asserted that the forward slashes contained in a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) were a social construct that was eventually rendered extraneous by the end-user community. By focusing On the context of the technology itself, it is anticipated that this paper will contribute to the broader debate concerning the future of the Web and its need to move beyond a determinant "modernization paradigm" or over-arching ontology, as well as advance the potential connections that can be cultivated with cognate disciplines. communication and cultural studies; end-user communities; internet; online environments; ontology; Semantic Web; technology; social constructions of technology; web studies. Media and Culture

Micro-blogs and macro-brands: How Canadian party leaders use Twitter during the prewrit period
Alexandra Digioseffo (2015); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Major Research Paper: Employing a multi-stage, practice-based theoretical approach, the leaders’ tweets (in English) were examined for the months of February and March 2015. This time period was selected for convenience—the tweets were collected in real time. This period also coincided with the resumption of the House of Commons session, the last one before the election scheduled for the October 19th 2015. The first stage of analysis measured the presence or absence of indicators that corresponded to five categories: informing, connecting, involving, mobilizing and personalizing. This initial stage of analysis determined the tweets’ basic identifying features (informing), use of interactive logics (connecting), employment of outreach (mobilizing) and traditional campaign tactics (involving), and incorporation of popular culture (personalizing). In the second stage of analysis, the findings were further refined and subcategorized to reflect the distinct traits and themes inherent within each account. This stage sought to uncover greater nuance in use between the accounts. A combined total of 5482 leader tweets were coded and analyzed: 135 for Harper, 180 for Mulcair, and 223 for Trudeau. Overall, the findings build on the verdict of Small (2014) and conclude that the leaders’ tweets are used to propel advantageous ideas rather than act as a medium for dialogue. Predominantly managed as forums of political promotion, the accounts: affirm and project established political brands, support party policies, and deflect/ anticipate negative portrayals of each respective leader. More strategic than social, the accounts ultimately serve as campaign vehicles. (from the introduction) Social media; Twitter; political campaigns; democracy; hybrid media systems; mediatization; political branding. Politics and Policy

The "sell-out girl" in contemporary Hollywood cinema: training future generations of capitalist consumers
Anne Dollack (2006); Supervised by Murray Pomerance

Thesis: Contemporary Hollywood teen films are laden with ideological themes that advertise socially appropriate behaviours for young women. The following study, using a theoretical foundation in Marxism, presents a critical examination of the naturalized codes of consumerism, femininity, and adolescent subcultures found within the medium of film. The study of "alternative" female characters in Clueless (1995), 10 things I hate about you (1999), She's all that (1999), Ghost world (2001), Thirteen (2003), Mean girls(2004) and The perfect score (2004), reveals some of the hegemonic processes of capitalism that commodify potential forms of social opposition while reinforcing dominant norms about gender expectations, class status, and conspicuous consumption. Teenage girls in motion picture; Capitalism; Femininity in motion pictures; Consumption (economics)

"Feeling" in Modern Dance Print Media: Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, and Maud Allan
Emma Doran (2014); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Dissertation: Between 1890 and 1920, modern dancers such as Isadora Duncan, Loïe Fuller, and Maud Allan presented a new performative aesthetic in dance. Breaking from the narrative storytelling that dominated nineteenth-century vaudeville and ballet, these dancers advanced non-narrative movement, thereby encouraging a new aesthetic engagement from the audience, namely, one that was rooted in notions of corporeal sensation rather than narrative telos or (melo)dramatic pathos. These new responses, this dissertation argues, are reflected in the new tactics for writing the dancing body, which at once render problematic the putative objectivity of journalistic criticism and reveal the limits of traditional dance criticism’s focus on intricate technique and plot line. This dissertation pursues its argument by studying over 300 print reviews of dances performed by Fuller, Duncan, and Allan between 1890 and 1920 culled from North-American archives and representing a spectrum of print media—from mainstream national media, such as The New York Times, to regional newspapers, to more specialized theatre magazines—to reveal compelling insight into hermeneutic entanglements of language and movement. Informed by the work of recent performance studies (e.g. Phelan; Schneider; Taylor), this

dissertation approaches this body of dance reviews from an inverse perspective from that represented by traditional dance history scholarship. That is, instead of reading reviews as documentation in order to understand these dances, the study explores how reviewers perform criticism, thus framing our understanding of modern dance in specific ways. Modern dance; Dance; Reviews; Dance criticism; Dance critics; Dance; Philosophy Media and Culture

Theme and structure: key elements in the criteria for excellence in journalism
Anna Dorbyk (2007); Supervised by Abby Goodrum

Major Research Paper: Journalism it is often claimed, is a social instrument that is the chief means by which citizens become informed and equipped to be active participants in democratic life. As Kovach expresses this point "the role of the press since its beginning has been to help the people overcome the scarcity of information upon which they could make thoughtful and informed decisions" (Kovach http://www.concernedjournalists.orglnode/492). The higher the standard of journalism, therefore, the more effectively it can fulfill its role. However, questions arise of precisely what is meant by standards of excellence in journalism and furthermore, what are the criteria by which it can be measured? As an area of research, criteria for journalistic excellence remain difficult to define and challenging to measure and quantify. Since industry awards programs devoted to recognizing the best in journalism would reasonably be expected to stipulate their understanding of excellence, they would appear a logical place to begin the task of investigating what constitutes journalistic excellence. Shapiro et al., however, have reported that "many [awards] programs simply don't have judging guidelines, while others consist mostly of lists of terms, without explanation or illustration".


Without evidence of excellence criteria being available from those industry programs and institutions whose professional role it is to recognize excellence, scholars have had to broach the subject in different ways. Some studies devoted to the goal of naming concrete characteristics of excellence have sought to define "excellence" by interviewing judges, journalists and newspaper editors. These have resulted in individually subjective answers. Other research initiatives have measured journalistic writing by equating quality with conformity to traditional journalistic standards such as "accuracy" and "impartiality" (Bogart 45). Like the subjective opinion of industry professionals, any list of standards in journalism is potentially elusive because of the manifold variables that influence conclusive final judgment. For some industry professionals though. These references to the more enduring standards of the profession "would be seen ... not as criteria of excellence ... but as bare minimum requirements" (Shapiro et al. 6). Shapiro et al. advanced the understanding of "excellence" by reinforcing the presence of these traditional journalistic standards, and by demonstrating that the weighting each judge placed on these criteria was subject to individual preference. While the weighting of criteria of excellence may be subjective, this study's findings indicate that there are indeed commonalities among award winning articles, and these relate to two main variables: theme and structure. Journalism; Canada; History; Journalism; Awards; Canada; Excellence; Journalism; Objectivity

Creative Exploitation: Intellectual Property as a Form of Neoliberal Cultural Policy
Yacine Dottridge (2012); Supervised by Rosemary Coombe

Major Research Paper: Until relatively recently, intellectual property (IP) has largely gone unnoticed as a subject deserving of widespread public interest and scrutiny. In the past twenty-years, it has garnered increasing attention from a growing number of academics across a range of disciplines and from an ever-growing number of stake-holders in society. Several interrelated factors have contributed to this spark in interest in IP. The rise of digital technologies and the internet through the 1990's created a "networked society" (Castells 1996) that has brought greater attention to the exchange and control of knowledge and culture in a range of human activities. 1 The push towards global neoliberalism, reflected in the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its control of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), has resulted in a phenomenon that Toby Miller (1996) dubbed the "new international division of cultural labour" (NICL), which is marked by the shift towards the production of intangible or informational goods as a key driver of industrialized economies. Also, the increasing overlap between culture and the economy in postmodern society, in what Frederic Jameson calls "the cultural turn" (1998) focused attention on the commodification and consumption of culture in everyday life. access; cultural diversity; cultural labour; capitalism; cultural policy; digital economy; education; global labour; intellectual property; intellectual property rights; internet; neoliberalism; political economy; public policy; social policy. Politics and Policy

Representations of Female Obesity in Contemporary Cinema
Katie Drummond (2008); Supervised by Michael Prokopow

Major Research Paper: This essay will look at a particular aspect of the ongoing identity politics surrounding the representation of women and how fat females are commonly represented in Hollywood film in the late twentieth century. Although films are constructions that aim to reflect or depict reality, they often provide flattened characterizations of fat people, particularly fat women. Because no artistic production can escape the culture within which it is made, Hollywood movies, as well as independently funded and distributed "art house" films, often embed popular stereotypes or misconceptions in the characterization of marginalized people, including the obese. There are many ways to "represent" fatness in film: through the script, cinematography, plot, and the whether it uses a real fat body or a rubber suit. This paper will investigate how one might negotiate representations of obesity in a society that perceives fat as a social evil and fat individuals as "agents of abhorrence and disgust" Body image in women; Body image in motion pictures; Motion pictures and women; Obesity; Social aspects; Motion pictures; Influence Media and Culture

Popularizing pedagody: An exploration of popular culture as critical pedagogy in Barbados
Candice D'Souza (2006); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Thesis: This thesis is an exploratory study examining how popular culture functions as a form of critical pedagogy in Barbados. As such, the findings of the focus group research conducted with Barbadian secondary school students were analyzed according to three central features of Freire's model of critical pedagogy: dialogue, critical thinking/consciousness-raising, and praxis. As a case study of the Barbadian context, then, the present study considers how past and present forms of oppression illustrate the salience of a popular culture pedagogy in this Caribbean nation, specifically discussing how issues of power and hegemony are implicated in the history, popular culture, and schooling of Barbados. Communication and the arts; Education; Library science; Secondary education Media and Culture

Driving without direction: The meanings, materials and spaces of automobility
Gregory Dubé (2007); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Thesis: This thesis explores the "problem of the car" though the lens of automobility—an overarching socio-technical system comprised of relationally-constituted discursive and material processes. Though it has shaped societies in multiple ways, it is argued that automobility is best described as a regime of spatial production, generating the spaces of (especially) the city in ways that multiply presuppose its continued operation. Culture, though often overlooked in such discussions, interacts with the automobilised production of space in ways that both support automobility and generate contradictions. Five ambiguous "cultural ecologies" of automobility are explored—progress, privacy, identity, democratic mobility and autonomy. Finally, this thesis considers the dynamics of reflexive and radical transformations of our regime of mobility and the spatial contexts through which social life, more generally, operates.  Media and Culture

Communicating the public interest: a case study of SaskTel
Devin Dubois (2004); Supervised by Joy Cohnstaedt

Major Research Paper: Saskatchewan presents a worthy study of the public interest in communication distribution policy, as it was the last province in which telecommunications became federally regulated; it is the last province in which the incumbent communication carrier, SaskTel, is fully owned by the provincial government,' and it is a geographically large province with a relatively small population-many of whom still live in rural communities. Since its inception, the provincial government has worked to ensure that its sparsely distributed residents have access to the best communication services possible through the crown-owned SaskTel (formerly Saskatchewan Government Telephones). However, what was once a provincially owned and regulated monopoly has now been subject to federal regulation which favours competition in all sectors of the communication industry. The federal government adopted competition in the name of public interest, yet little has been done to assess the effectiveness of this claim. The current climate of uncertainty regarding new communication technologies, federal regulation, and the tide of provincial politics, have spoiled what was once an effective path for SaskTel and Saskatchewan citizens. It is clear that SaskTel's ability to meet its public policy goals is now threatened by the limitations of competition and federal regulation. Telecommunication policy; Saskatchewan; Internet; Government policy Politics and Policy

Starving for Justice: Teen Action Heroines and the Logic of Anorexia
Emma Dunn (2019); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Dissertation: Marshalling evidence from critical feminist studies of eating disorders (Bordo; Malson and Burns; Warin), including Leslie Heywood’s concept of anorexic “logic,” this dissertation theorizes how anorexic rationality and subjectivity are expressed through the popular figure of the post-feminist action heroine, specifically within young adult (YA) speculative fiction franchises. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels (2005-2008), Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series (2008-2010), and Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy (2011-2013) serve as the primary, and I argue ideal case studies for this investigation. Emerging as top-selling YA series in the post-Harry Potter era, all three franchises feature teen girl protagonists with post-feminist “sensibility” (Gill), and with their mass appeal, have given rise to global fandoms. Hence, this project also examines reader responses to the series under discussion through a selection of online fan fiction in which female-identifying youth rewrite their protagonists as anorexic. Although media studies scholars have analyzed the gendered discourses surrounding contemporary female action heroes (Inness; Brown; Wright), and feminist literary scholars have explored how motifs of weight, starvation and consumption function within certain narratives (Daniel; Ellmann; Karlin; Meuret; Silver), the correlation between anorexia and action heroine texts has yet to be systematically studied. This investigation is all the more crucial given Parliament of Canada’s 2014 report, Eating Disorders Among Girls and Women in Canada, which notes that eating disorders have the highest mortality rates of all mental illnesses. Responding to the report’s call for increased research on media messaging aimed at youth, this dissertation focuses on mass media franchises targeted at girls and young women, the largest demographic of eating disorder sufferers, arguing that contemporary teen action heroine mythology reflects and reifies a problematic value system that mutually constitutes conceptions of starvation and justice, and informs the social construction of ideal femininity. This research thus forges new pathways between theories of girlhood, body image studies, and YA literature to offer a theoretical framework for reading female heroism that places the corporeal matrix of gender, consumption, and embodiment at its centre.  

Reprogramming the lyric: A genre approach for contemporary digital poetry
Holly Dupej (2008); Supervised by Kate Eichhorn

Thesis: Reprogramming The Lyric: A Genre Approach for Contemporary Digital Poetry explores the consequence of reading contemporary digital poetry with lyric genre theory. Using theories of posthuman and digital subjectivity (Haraway; Hayles) and studies on digital culture (Turkle; Benkler), the readings in this thesis generate a distinct version of the lyric subject, reflecting the realities of existing in the digital age. Building an analysis based on both close textual readings and broader considerations of creation and reception, each chapter focuses on a text or small group of texts in which digital technologies have contributed to the writing process. The works addressed include Rachel Zolf's Human Resources, Michael Magee's My Angie Dickinson, Bill Kennedy and Darren Wershler-Henry's Apostrophe, Patrick Herron's Proximate and William Poundstone's "White Poem." By combining literary theory and digital studies, this thesis proposes an approach to recognizing the lyric tradition within digital innovation. Language; literature and linguistics; Canadian literature;

Both Sides: Archiving The Found Family Photo
Sara Edwards (2017); Supervised by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof

Project-Paper: Both Sides: Archiving the Found Family Photo master’s project consists of an interactive digital archive created in Klynt, which houses digital versions of the found photographs, and a public archive-inspired exhibit that was held at Ryerson’s Image Arts gallery from June 25th to July 13th, 2017. The project is an exploration in creating a web-based archive inspired project, as well as an aesthetic interpretation of found photographic materials that are stripped of their original context and meaning. This paper will discuss the theoretical framework that guided my project, the various archive-inspired artists who have influenced my work, and my creative process and the obstacles I encountered along the way. As will be made clear in this paper, the nature of archives is fragmentary and constantly changing; so it follows in logic, that there will be no totalizing view of archives and their conceivable potential. Situating myself as an artist, collector and curator, my master’s project has two main goals: that of investigating the processes involved in the creation of an online archive-inspired project and in curating an exhibition of a personal collection and of art inspired by its contents. I address these goals through a critical interpretation of the concept of an archive while reflecting on the practice of collecting vernacular photographs.  Technology in Practice

The Projector's Noises: A Media Archeology of Cinema through the Projector
Kelly Egan (2013); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Dissertation: This dissertation provides a media archaeology of the film projector, concentrating on the conceptualization and use of projector noise through the lens of the modernist and contemporary avant-garde, that offers new ways of understanding cinema, interpreting embodied cinematic space, and extending the discourse on audiovision in general. Looking toward the projector allows us to see how it is a productive labourer in the construction of cinematic experience. Listening to its noises— which have been framed as insignificant and/or unwanted—allows us to understand the way cinema is in fact a performative art with a certain kind of liveness. Part One of this dissertation traces an alternative history of cinema focused on the projector beginning with the pre-cinema technologies of the camera obscura, the telescope and the magic lantern. Part Two analyzes how the avant-garde has engaged with the projector-as-instrument during three major technological transitional moments in cinema: first, early cinema and the rise of the Cinématographe by looking at the Italian futurists, specifically Arnaldo Ginna and Bruno Corra’s interest in the projector-as-instrument and the relationship between the Cinématographe and Luigi Russolo’s intonarumori; second, the advent of sound-on-film technology and how it was used to produce synthetic noises by Oskar Fischinger, László Moholy-Nagy, Peter Kubelka and the author; and third, at the moment of the digital transition filmmakers like Bruce McClure and Karl Lemieux who have returned to explore the performativity and materiality of the projector in their artwork. At a time when the discourse of cinema is rife with rhetoric proclaiming its death (under threat of the digital revolution), this dissertation serves to establish that film is far from dead; through the projector-as-instrument, the future is bright… and very noisy. audiovision; avant-garde; cinema; cinematic space; cinematic experience; film projector; media archeology; projector noise. Media and Culture

The Myth of Agelessness: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Agelessness in North American Anti-Aging Skin Care Advertisements
Kirsten Ellison (2011); Supervised by Isabel Pedersen

Thesis: In both myth and metaphor, the search for the fountain of youth has become a profitable metaphor in the mantra of a multi-billion dollar anti-aging industry that pervades the North American consumer market of the 21st century. Drawing from a collection of over one hundred and sixty North American print advertisements for anti-aging skin care products from January to December of2009, my thesis examines the discourse of agelessness, a concept which has come to fruition over the past three decades. As a continuation of the semiotic project of the study of rhetoric and the motivated sign, my analysis moves beyond the basic level of signification to how agelessness is ordered, placed in hierarchical relation to our experiences of aging and age itself, where agelessness is accepted as a way out and transcendence of age. Through the use of advertisements as a reflection and reinforcement of the larger culture of anti-aging and resulting discourse of agelessness, my work functions to uncover, unpack, and understand the underlying order that moves through our everyday experiences and interactions with age and aging, to illuminate upon our current vision(s) of agelessness, illusively staring back at us from the reflective surface of the mythic fountain of youth. Linguistics; Rhetoric; Mass communications; Marketing

Photographic ritual: visual conditions of behaviour and definitions of self
Lyuba Encheva (2009); Supervised by Don Snyder

Thesis: The present paper studies consumer digital photography as a cultural and social phenomenon contributing to the formations of contemporary identity. By examining the processes of production, characteristic style of representation and practical uses of both digital and analogue photographs, the study attempts to establish the qualitative distinctions between traditional and present-day photographic media and evaluate their effectiveness as modes of self-representation. Specific issues discussed include: the depreciation of the photograph as a commemorative object; intervention of digital photography into life experiences; digital photography as common behaviour or interactive ritual; and photographic theatricality as identity forming process. commemorative objects; digital photography; consumerism; identity formation; interactive rituals; life experiences; photographic theatricality; self-representation; traditional photographic media. Media and Culture

Gamification: the magic circle of technology
Lyuba Encheva (2017); Supervised by Isabel Pedersen

Dissertation: In recent years gamification has emerged as a design trend in customer relationship management, marketing, education and governance. It promotes the use of game design principles in the organization of every day environments, tasks and interactions. As an offspring of advanced communication technologies, gamification relies on the unhindered use of networked devices that transforms every experience into a user experience. Borrowing on the ubiquitous popularity of video games, the premise of gamification is the technologically enabled relationship between virtual causes and real-life effects, and its promise - a mutually beneficial coordination of corporate and personal interest. This dissertation outlines the socio-political implications of the concept of gamification through a critical examination of its content and intended meanings. The unpacking of gamification as an aspiration and a worldview reveals that as soon as we take for granted the equality of the sign and the signified, we also accept that life experiences do not exceed the signs we use to describe them. Therefore, to play life as a game, as gamifiers urge, is to live life by design. The definition I coin considers gamification from the perspective of political consequences, rather than practical application and mechanics. I work towards this definition by focusing on the rhetoric of gamification as an expressed intention that constructs motives and renegotiates beliefs. Hence, the theoretical model I apply draws on the work of two major theorists. American rhetorician and philosopher Kenneth Burke offers a theoretical apparatus for the study of the form and rhetorical devices of addressed messages. French semiotician and social theorist, Jean Baudrillard, informs the deconstruction of the claims gamification makes. The treatment of language as intention and action that is necessarily subjective and interested, offers a liminal stand-point from where the vision of a gamified world can be seen as an ideology which normalises itself by rhetorical means. Thus, I propose that the concept of gamification, whether applied in practice or not, is a political act. It constructs an ideology that seeks to reconcile the myth of the sacrosanct freedom of the Western individual with the constant imposition of corporate and government demands for compliance, accountability and efficiency.  Media and Culture

The Potemkin Corporation: Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Relations and Crises of Democracy and Ecology
Simon Enoch (2009); Supervised by John Shields

Dissertation: This dissertation examines the historic relationship between corporate social responsibility, public relations and corporate power. Using a qualitative historical analysis and the theoretical tools of Marxism, this study argues that CSR and corporate public relations need to be viewed as modes of corporate power that have been historically deployed to re-assert and defend corporate hegemony in periods of democratic challenge and popular agitation. However, while originally deployed in tandem with corporate public relations, CSR has emerged in our current conjuncture as a profound source of corporate legitimacy in its own right. The success of CSR as a new mode of corporate legitimation is premised on its ability to constrain democratic pressures both discursively and materially; discursively through the ideological representation of the corporation as a benevolent and even democratic institution capable of regulating itself in the public interest; and materially through the promotion of corporate-inspired policies and regimes of corporate governance that allow for the private appropriation of previously public goods and functions of democratic government. This duality of CSR is most manifest in the corporate response to environmental crisis, which has strained not only the legitimacy of the corporation but also that of the capitalist system of production. This study investigates the tactics through which CSR has enabled business to transform itself into the preeminent environmental steward while simultaneously advancing policies that further corporate interests while circumscribing avenues for popular participation in issues of environmental concern. Therefore, CSR should be viewed not only as a strategy to curtail democratic opposition to corporate power, but also a means to expand and deepen corporate power as it is used to grant ever-greater autonomy and authority to corporations over areas previously deemed the sole purview of the democratic state. corporate power; corporate public relations; corporate social responsibility; environmentalism; environmental crisis; democracy; ecology; Marxism. Politics and Policy

Media Education: Rethinking The Role Of Photographic Representation In Public Education
Kris Erickson (2006); Supervised by Murray Pomerance

Major Research Paper: This essay investigates both the pedagogical and communicational roles of photography and education in contemporary society. Assuming that photography and education not only show people their world, but that they also offer them the means to help create it, this essay explores the various ways that social forces have kept people from the democratic possibilities such institutions offer. Indeed, since they are typically controlled by state and corporate interests, photographic institutions and public education systems, as well as their specific representations and practices, typically reinforce a hegemonic order rather than challenge it. Through these institutions such forces have shown and taught us only a limited version of what constitutes our lives by structuring and ordering the material conditions and symbolic spaces of our world, including many of our own thoughts, actions, and experiences. This essay suggests that the critical tendencies of the few alternative photographic and popular educational practices that challenge this order continue to collaborate and develop systematic practices designed to challenge depoliticizing forces, particularly by investigating the spaces most immediately accessible to a large portion of the population: the public school classroom. Photography; Education

Seeing and envisioning: camera-based practice, democratic praxis, and socially engaged arts in Toronto
Kris Erickson (2015); Supervised by Alan Sears

Dissertation: This project explores the varied ways cameras have become integrated into contemporary socially engaged arts practices. The emergent, participatory, and inclusive characteristics of these diverse practices are increasingly common in contemporary art and culture, with cooperative processes, community activism, formal experimentation, and public involvement being regarded, now more than ever, as legitimate strategies for developing artistic form and content. This project considers the innovative uses of cameras in these practices, arguing that such uses are not simply convenient or instrumental, but are often critical mediations between visual realism and cultural expressivity. The dissertation begins to address a gap in research on material practices in the cultural production of art by elaborating a theory of socially engaged camera arts. Drawn from ethnographic research in the Toronto community arts/socially engaged arts ecology, this theory begins to describe how camera practices seem to be moving beyond traditional image production practices in order to support and even help envision broader repertoires of practice in processes of social and cultural action. The dissertation develops three interrelated theoretical frames - expansion, organization and pedagogy - to insist on the key place of socially engaged camera arts, and camera arts in general, in the iterative, activist-led revitalization of community cultural infrastructures. Cameras in art; Art and social action; Toronto Technology in Practice

Ediciones Cordillera: A study of Chilean literary production in Canada
Gabrielle Etcheverry (2005); Supervised by Ruth Panofsky

Thesis: This thesis is a case study of Chilean small-press production in Canada, focusing on the literary production of an editorial collective, Ediciones Cordillera, founded in Ottawa in 1978 by Chilean exiles living in Canada. The study begins with an overview of some of the existing literature on ethnic minority writing, including Canadian book history, postcolonial criticism, and Canadian ethnic studies. It then goes on to examine the mode of literary production employed by this small press, following Hamid Naficy's elaboration of the interstitial mode of production. The study next engages with the content of some of the publications produced by Ediciones Cordillera focusing on general themes and genres. Language, hybridity, and the particularity of exilic experiences are discussed throughout this study. Language; literature and linguistics; Chilean small-press production in Canada Media and Culture

Inviting the Infinifat Voice to the Fatshion Conversation: An Exploration into How Superfat Women Access Fashion
Calla Evans (2019); Supervised by May Friedman

Thesis: This thesis explores how self-identified “infinifat” people, defined as those larger than a US woman’s dress size 32, access commercially available fashion and how their lack of access to clothing shapes the performance of their fat identity. Through semi-structured interviews with infinifat subjects and a secondary discourse analysis of “superfat” narratives in popular texts, this research finds that a lack of clothing options reinforces the stigma and discrimination experienced by those at the largest end of the fat spectrum. Particularly, the lack of clothing available to superfat and infinifat people restricts access to social spaces and economic opportunities. While this research draws attention to ways in which my infinifat participants are “hacking” fashion to suit their needs and using social media to advocate for inclusion, the fashion industry’s unwillingness to create clothing options for superfat and infinifat people, supports the perception that being really fat is really bad.  

Recipes for belonging: The role of food in identity and membership
Mojgan Fay (2016); Supervised by Mustafa Koç

Major Research Paper: One cup currants. One teaspoon saffron. Two cups of rice, cooked as per instructions. Ingredients and method are what we follow when cooking a recipe. The narrative of a recipe, however, is much more than ingredients; it’s packed with meaning. This paper is an exploration of recipes as cultural artifacts, cooked in the kitchens of two immigrant women. Interview and cooking sessions with these women prompted memories of cooking with their mothers, placing them geographically between old and new homes and generationally between their mothers and children. From currants to saffron, through a collection of their recipes, this study provides a means of enriching our definition and understanding of recipes, as well as the modes of identity construction embedded within them. recipes; identity; family food practices; culture

Ecological consciousness and the limits of the Academy: a case study approach to ecohealth training and research
Mathieu Feagan (2015); Supervised by Alan Sears

Dissertation: This dissertation explores the concept of ecological consciousness through a case study approach examining recent attempts to use graduate training and research to better address issues of ecological sustainability and human health. Since the 1970s, there has been a growing number of graduate training programs designed to equip a new generation of graduates with the kind of awareness necessary to address the global ecological crisis. Despite these efforts, the crisis on the whole continues to worsen. Although scholars have pointed to the challenges that ecological consciousness poses for graduate training and research, few studies have examined these challenges from the point of view of graduate students themselves. To better understand the opportunities and constraints of graduate training and research, this dissertation uses the framework of ecological consciousness to analyze the experiences of an international group of twenty-six graduate students and professionals trained in ecosystem approaches to human health (ecohealth) in Canada, West and Central Africa, and Central America. Drawing on systems thinking, Indigenous knowledges, and historical materialism, I argue that ecological consciousness means using different ways of knowing to challenge the disciplining tendency of academic knowledge production and open space for a wider ecology of knowledge to develop and express itself. Methodologically, this project is informed by institutional ethnography, building on the diverse experiences and insights of interviewees to make sense of the layered contextual frames of the university, the state, and international development research projects. Despite an orientation toward transformative practices, interviewee experiences reveal strong pressures to fit within top-down, disciplinary processes already governing the administration of training and research, thereby limiting the possibilities for ecological consciousness. I conclude by offering certain theoretical possibilities for how ecological consciousness can support collective action upon the disciplinary employment structures, which graduate students and professionals have a key role in transforming. Environmental health; Research; Human ecology; Health aspects; Human beings; Effect of environment on; Environmental management

Non-Profit Brand And Corporate Sponsorship In Performing Arts Organizations
Leila Fenc (2008); Supervised by Joyce Zemans

Major Research Paper: This purpose of this paper is as follows. First, it will investigate Thompson and Stegemann's theory that suggests that for performing arts organizations, brand and brand equity are contributed to by a number of different sources, each of which may have their own brand and brand equity ("Brand Equity and the Cultural Event: The Amalgamation of Multiple Brands for a Unified Marketing Communications Performance", 2). The multi-faceted composition of brand equity will be examined with a specific application to potential impact on corporate sponsorship. Each of the key elements that contribute to brand equity will be examined with specific reference to the potential benefits and hazards they may bring to a corporate sponsorship relationship. Secondly, this paper will propose the addition of four additional sources of brand equity to those proposed by Thompson and Stegemann. These sources will also be evaluated for relevance to corporate sponsorship. It is hoped that this paper and further studies into non-profit brand will balance the brand equation in arts sponsorship relationships, where traditional emphasis has been placed on the brand of the donor. This may, in turn, work to pave the way for a more equitable and mutually beneficial sponsor relationship or partnership between corporations and arts organizations -- Page 2. Arts Marketing; Performing arts sponsorship; Branding

For lack of a better word: neo-identities in non-cisgender, non-straight communities on Tumblr
Christine Feraday (2016); Supervised by Susan Driver

Thesis: Non-cisgender and non-straight identity language has long been a site of contention and evolution. There has been an increase in new non-cisgender, non-straight identity words since the creation of the internet, thanks to social media platforms like Tumblr. Tumblr in particular has been host to many conversations about identity and self-naming, though these conversations have not yet been the subject of much academic research. Through interviews and analysis of Tumblr posts, this thesis examines the emergence of new identity words, or neo-identities, used by non-cisgender and non-straight users of Tumblr. The work presents neo-identities as strategies for resisting and challenging cisheteronormative conceptions of gender and attraction, as well as sources of comfort and relief for non-cisgender/non-straight people who feel ‘broken’ and excluded from mainstream identity categories. This thesis also posits that Tumblr is uniquely suited for conversations about identity because of its potential for self-expression, community, and anonymity.  

Democracy, Power and Decision Making: A Study of Ontario Municipal Board Decisions for Downtown Toronto 2000-2008
Karen Fernandes (2009); Supervised by Liora Salter

Thesis: This thesis is an examination of the decision-making rationale of the Ontario Municipal Board. Focusing specifically on decisions relating to the downtown in the City of Toronto between the years of 2000-2008, 31 Board decisions are examined in order to assess the role that the OMB has come to occupy in recent times. The findings are presented quantitatively and qualitatively in order to analyse how the OMB should proceed if it can continue to play an effective role in the planning process. The research attempts to answer the question of who tends to benefit in the process, given the way the OMB has come to operate. The community power debate of Steven Lukes and Robert A. Dahl is examined in order to reflect upon a normative account of how democratic decision-making principles can be applied to the Board's actions fundamentally. Geography; Law; Mass communications; Urban planning; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Dahl; Robert A.; Lukes; Steven

Prisoner of the televisual gaze: A pyschoanalytic model of television
Gregory Flemming (2005); Supervised by Kevin Dowler

Thesis: To date, television remains a black box that acts upon human experience without our explicit knowledge of how. Using Lacanian psychoanalysis as politicized by Slavoj Zizek, television is here described as the formal frame of desire of Western nationalism and consumer culture, its role in ideology and consumer capital accounted for. This is accomplished by surveying the myriad descriptions of television in its modalities and content in cultural and communications theory of the last thirty years. Television is herein described as the kernel of the Lacanian Real that draws people of the West into the fantasy of social relations that are the consumer society as Western Subjects. Herein is suggested that television is a social form that can only be challenged through the struggle for the official acknowledgement of contradiction and for the corresponding changes in policy. Mass media; Communication and the arts Media and Culture

Globalization, postmodernism and public space: A visual study of Yonge-Dundas Square
Matthew Flisfeder (2005); Supervised by Jody Berland

Thesis: The intersection at Yonge and Dundas Streets in Toronto is one of the most important cultural spaces in the city. This intersection is at the centre of Toronto's retail and entertainment district and, as such, has been labelled "The Heart of Toronto." In 1998, plans began to redevelop the corner of Yonge and Dundas. The redevelopment of the area was part of an ongoing plan to revitalize Toronto's downtown core. Yonge-Dundas Square opened in 2002. What began as a project to improve the image of Toronto has resulted in an environment of images which resembles Times Square, and the Los Angeles of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982; Director's Cut, 1993), more than anything else. The redevelopment project at Yonge and Dundas relates to broader economic, political and technological shifts currently taking place as part of the process of neo-liberal globalization and, through these initiatives an essential aspect of Toronto's local culture has been lost, buckling to the commodification of public space. Drawing upon the commercial image space at Yonge-Dundas Square, this work questions how the ideology of neo-liberalism in the new global economy corresponds to the restructuring of urban public space, and, conversely; how postmodern image space structures the imagination of the citizen/consumer for the benefit of the emerging neo-liberal political and economic powers. This study employs a broad range of cultural theory and a method of visual analysis to investigate the kind of social control that has been built into the cultural environments of cities such as Toronto. This approach is based upon the Marxist notion of Phantasmagoria which stands as a metaphor for the way in which the relationship between knowledge and action blinds individuals from the social impact of ideology. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Cultural anthropology; Globalization; postmodernism and public space: A visual study of Yonge-Dundas Square Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

Between the Symbolic and the Sublime: Slovoj Žižek in Film Studies… And Out
Matthew Flisfeder (2010); Supervised by Colin Mooers

Dissertation: The following dissertation examines film theory' s contribution to the Marxian theory of ideology. I argue that while early film theorists sought to develop a theory of film, film theory better serves the study and critique of ideology. I claim that the study of film and spectatorship can add to knowledge of ideology and subjectivity. To this end, I examine the relevance of the Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst, Slavoj Žižek, for contemporary film studies. I locate Žižek's place within film studies through a debate between himself and the prominent American film scholar, David Bordwell. Bordwell is well known for his advocacy of cognitive and middle-level research in film studies, and for his criticism of film theory (or, 'Theory'). He is one of the leaders of a movement in film studies known as post-Theory. I take up the debate between Žižek and Bordwell, and argue that the post-Theory rejection of Theory is an ideological effect of the class struggle. After carving out a place for Žižek in film studies, I examine the relevance of his psychoanalytic interpretations of cinema for a critique of ideology. Žižek is known for using examples from films as tools of exegesis for an interpretation of Lacanian psychoanalysis. However, I argue that while this is true for some of his writing on film, Žižek also practices a psychoanalytic interpretation of cinema that reveals something about the function of ideology. Referring to Žižek, I also argue against early film theorists who thought it possible to interpellate political subjectivities through alternative or avant-garde cinema. In contrast, I argue that the work itself in not powerful enough to interpellate political subjectivity. It is, rather, the interpretation that politicizes the work. I claim that films do not create subject-positions, as early film theorists argued; rather, they reproduce the already existing subject-positions of the spectators by reproducing pleasure or desire. However, without rejecting the efforts of early film theory, I conclude, against Bordwell and other post-Theorists, that Theory is still important in film studies, particularly in the area of political critique, and that Žižek's work is exemplary of the kind of political criticism needed in film studies. avant-garde cinema; David Bordwell; film theory; ideology; Jacques Lacan; Marxism; Post-Theory; psychoanalysis; spectatorship; subjectivity; Slovoj Žižek. Media and Culture

Being and Technics: Humans, Hybrids and the Ontology of Machines
James Forbes (2009); Supervised by John Caruana

Thesis: This paper discusses the possibilities of mechanical life. A non-dual methodology borrowed from Martin Heidegger combines the materialist media theory of Friedrich Kittler with Bernard Steigler's teleological philosophy of technics. This perspective is employed to analyze the literature and film of science fiction, and in particular, the recent television series, Battlestar Galactica. This analysis permits the elaboration of a communications ontology that at once highlights the individual (human) and systemic (material) aspects of the life world, and ultimately delivers an articulation of Being that is systemic and individual. It attempts to transcend traditional subject object distinctions and to naturalize the theoretical progression from biological to technical life by suggesting that human being is always already hybrid technical being, and that technological being is not only a logical, but also perhaps necessary product of Western cultural progression. Battlestar Galactica; Bernard Steigler; communications-based ontology; film; Friedrich Kittler; literature; Martin Heidegger; materialist media theory; mechanical life; philosophy of technics; science fiction; television. Media and Culture

Invigorating the Public Body: A Case Study of HIV/AIDS Activist Confrontations Against Big Pharma for Access to Medicines
Karen Forhan (2010); Supervised by Daniel Drache

Thesis: Using 'illness as metaphor," critical communications theory, citizenship studies and critical political economy, this thesis presents a case study of the confrontation between "Big Pharma" and HIV/AIDS activists concerning access to HIV/AIDS medicines; a confrontation that spilled over into the World Trade Organization (WTO) causing worldwide public outrage. The timeline starts in the 1980s, but focuses on confrontations between these actors during the 1990s and early 2000s. By making HIV/AIDS 'public and 'political', activists: battled stigmatization; revealed the politics of medicine; made Big Pharma more socially responsible; influence the WTO's and global health agenda; and stirred dissent against a neoliberal globalization, exposing power relations between the global rich and global poor. This is about antiBody (HIV/AIDS activists) targeting a dangerous site of infection (Big Pharma) and combating the spread of two illnesses (HIV/AIDS and neoliberalism which invigorated the 'public body' in terms of public health and debate. citizenship studies; communications theory; HIV/AIDS medicine; HIV/AIDS activism; illness as metaphor; neoliberalism; political economy; politics of medicine; public bodies; World Trade Organization. Politics and Policy

The connected transient: the effect of network communication technologies on global flows, home and belonging
Andrea Foster (2005); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Major Research Paper: Since its conception, cultural theorists have charted the rise of virtual culture and the differences between computer-mediated communication (CMC) and face-to-face (F2F) interaction. Cybercommunication throws into discord traditional notions of space, place, locality, local culture and social interaction. Internet study reveals new webs of meaning as network technologies affect our behaviour and our way of thinking. It is now widely believed among theorists that new communication technologies can alter social interactions and social structure" From introduction. Online social networks; Belonging (Social psychology); Information technology; Social aspects; Globalization; Home

‘We are all connected’: Internationalism, communication and Canadian identity
Naomi Fraser (2007); Supervised by Jody Berland

Dissertation: 'We are all connected': Internationalism, Communication and Canadian Identity examines the intersections between foreign policy and culture in order to re-evaluate concepts of national and global citizenship. This research investigates the uses of internationalism within dominant cultural discourses on national identity, asking "how have Canadians become supportive of internationalist values in principle, but conflicted regarding how to ground them in practice?" The research contributes an understanding of how governing frameworks constitute, and invest in particular representations, images and narratives, largely missing from the contemporary theoretical dialogue on cosmopolitan citizenship. Using the concept of governmentality, the research looks at internationalism not only as a constellation of inter-state relations that include peacekeeping, multilateralism and humanitarian assistance, but also as an ensemble of meanings, texts, rules, practices and institutions that shapes citizens' relationships with orders of "global connectivity." Through policy analysis, discourse analysis and the critical reading of cultural texts, I establish that meanings and practices of global citizenship emerge from within the nation state, exposing their limits as well as their status as practical sites for contestation. Canadian studies; Mass media; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Communication; Global citizenship; Identity; Internationalism Politics and Policy

Water Logged Mona Lisa: Who Is Mary Sue, and Why Do We Need Her?
J.M. Frey (2017); Supervised by Jennifer Brayton

Project-Paper: Theorists suggest that participatory readers create mainstream-based texts - fan crafts - in order to address the ways they are 'hailed' by the themes and subject positions offered by a text by becoming textual re-writers (Jenkins, 1992,2003 ; Busse & Hellekson, 2007; Chander & Sunder, 2007; Willis, 2007). Re-writers force their personal position or opinions into the centre by creating fanworks based in and on established media texts. The 'Mary Sue' is a self-gratifying fan-crafting trope centered on an idealistic authorrepresentative character, a wish-fulfillment device for the re-writer that bridges the re-writer's reality and that of her favoured fiction. This paper is a comprehensive summarizing of the 'Mary Sue' and its precedents. It asks how they can be deployed as Meta Sues to actively investigate the self or marginalized subjects in media texts. It is accompanied by four examples of my Meta Sue prose, which further illustrate my arguments. fan; fan fiction; fandom studies; fanthropology; Mary Sue; media texts. Media and Culture

The radio of the future redux: Rethinking transmission through experiments in radio art
Anna Friz (2011); Supervised by Steve Bailey

Dissertation: This dissertation reconsiders radio in order to rethink questions of communication, affect, and historical artistic practices in wireless media. I displace avant-garde preoccupations with radiation, speed, time and space overcome, disembodiment, ghosts, and schizophonia; tempering them with ideas of resonance, slowness, hearing distance and experiencing time, technology as embodied aggregate circuits of humans and things, transception, and minor media. By expanding Bertolt Brecht's notion of transception through a critical theory of technology as a central concept for re-theorizing transmission, communication and media culture, I consider which alternate radio territories might emerge if the utopian desires to exceed our current capacities through wireless technologies are set aside in favour of embodied, transceptive relationships with others, human and non-human. Through the creation of three new radio art installation and performance works You are far from us, Respire, and The Joy Channel (created with Emmanuel Madan), I consider how bodies remain present and affective in wirelessness through choices of circuit, performance strategies, and compositional elements; theoretically and practically reconsidering radio in terms of transmission ecology and minor media. I propose and begin to test the notion of a resonant rather than radiant paradigm for transmission by emphasizing micro-radio narrowcasting and interference in radio art creation, drawing upon contemporary notions of Hertzian space in which humans and things serve as radiogenic actants.


This dissertation considers creative practice as research, in which radio art/works function as experiments that aim to generate and contribute to theoretical knowledge. These works, which were variably narrowcast and broadcast multi-channel radio transmissions, 'performed installations', and live radio theatre, repurposed very common technology (terrestrial FM radio broadcasting) and reframed the relationships in which transmission takes place. This simple appropriation of technology undermines the broadcast model of radio that has been naturalized for the past century, while providing opportunities in which to imagine future circumstances which could deepen circuits of relationship If radio to date has largely acted as an accomplice in the industrialization of communications, art radio and radio art continue to destabilize this process with renewed explorations of radio and electromagnetic phenomena, and the softly subversive potential of reverie. Fine arts; Art history; Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Installation; Performance art; Radio art; Transmission ecology

Threads of Jewish Identity in Salon Culture: Rahel Varnhagen and Florine Stettheimer
Rachel Frohlich (2009); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Major Research Paper: Florine Stettheimer's painting Soiree (1917-19), which serves as the frontispiece to this essay, depicts what may be considered a self-portrait of sorts: a scene representing a social gathering at the Stettheimer salon on the Upper West Side. As depicted in the painting, habitues of differing social, political and artistic backgrounds have come together to socialize with other artists, enjoy the food displayed in the foreground, and view the new work painted by their hostess; in fact, Florine herself is represented in the nude in a large canvas in the centre of the painting with the guests delicately turning their backs to the painting. This ironic painting of a live salon scene at the Stettheimers allows viewers a glimpse into a social, cultural, and artistic institution that has remained somewhat under researched in the ways in which it defies some of the rules of mainstream society. Sociability, evoked in the epigraph, was also the focus of Rachel Varnhagen's early nineteenth-century salon in Berlin, a space in which racial and gender boundaries were crossed. Located in the private domestic space of somebody's home, the salon was an influential social institution and a vehicle that ultimately empowered women as this essay will document by exploring Rahel Varnhagen and Florine Stettheimer's important careers as salonieres. As this essay will argue, the salon especially empowered doubly marginalized Jewish women and allowed them to overcome limitations of the traditional roles considered appropriate for Jewish women who were able to claim strong intellectual, social, and artistic identities by using the salon as their vehicle. Florine Stettheimer; gender and sexuality; Jewish identity; Rahel Varnhagen; racial barriers; salon; salonière; salon culture; social change; women artists. Media and Culture

Stars in their eyes: magazines and celebrity content
Victoria Fulford (2005); Supervised by Ruth Panofsky

Major Research Paper: The purpose of this research paper is to examine the celebrity phenomenon as it relates to consumer magazines produced in the United States. Boorstin's definition of the term celebrity is a broad one, encompassing all persons who are known simply for their "well-knownness," regardless of vocation (Boorstin 57). For the purposes of this paper, this classification will be abridged, focussing solely on well-known persons or celebrities engaged in the dramatic arts. George Simmel, a first generation German sociologist whose work has had a seminal influence on the development of modern philosophy and sociology, addresses the role of the actor in shaping public opinion and, in turn, reality. More recently, scholars across a diversity of fields from sociology to film studies, such as Alberoni, Dyer, Gamson, Kellner, and Moran, have examined the influence of celebrities on societal values and culture. Film critic Richard Schickel has gone so far as to call celebrity "possibly the - most vital shaping (that is to say, distorting force) in our society" (xi). American culture; audience; celebrity; consumer culture; communication studies; consumer consumption; dramatic arts; journalism; journalistic integrity; magazines; news media; popular culture. Media and Culture

Building and fostering a sense of community : a case study of the ComCult weblog
Linda Gagatsis (2007); Supervised by Catherine A. Middleton

Thesis: In this thesis, I set forth to examine and explore a blog's ability to build and foster a sense of community, to construct and maintain a collective identity within this community and its effectiveness as a method of communication. I launched a community blog for the Communication and Culture program, of which I am enrolled as an MA student, to address the following questions; 1) Do blogs encourage a sense of community? 2) Do blogs help to construct and maintain a collective identity within this community? 3) How is a blog more or less effective than previous online communication mediums? Key findings include the blog's small-scale success in fostering a sense of community for the group of students that participated on the blog, and the ComCult community's need to focus on encouraging face-to-face interaction in order to foster a stronger sense of community and a stronger collective identity. Electronic villages (Computer networks); Graduate students; Blogs; Group identity

Learning Through Weblogs: Students' Perspective And Learning Evidences
Claude Gagne (2008); Supervised by Deborah Fels

Major Research Paper: The study reported in this paper examines students' perception of the use of weblogs as learning tools; it also explores evidence of learning within blog postings. Two Ryerson University courses in Information Technology Management that require students to use weblogs are taken as examples. Twenty-two students from these two courses participated in an online survey concerning their blogging experience. The participants had very good computer knowledge - most of them had previous experience using blogs. Most of them thought that building and maintaining a blog was an easy task. However, the research shows that students' perception concerning the use of blogs as educational tools was neutral-students also perceived the impact of using blogs on their ability to learn the course material as neutral. The study shows a lack of clear communication between instructors and students, which could have had a negative impact on students' learning experience. Furthermore, the study indicates that most students perceived the content they posted in a somewhat negative way. A content analysis performed on 22 blogs demonstrates that that the objectives of each course played a significant impact on the evidences of learning apparent in students' blogs. Students in group B demonstrated more evidences of learning then students in group A. Overall, the study shows that the use of blogs as learning tool in university classrooms is promising. Providing students with clear goals, objectives and expectations could help them to build and maintain their blogs in a way that could be more beneficial to their learning experience. Internet in higher education; educational technology; effect of technological innovations on blogs

Frozen Out: Audience, Affect and Women's Hockey
Donna Gall (2019); Supervised by Jean Bruce

Dissertation: Every four years, millions of Canadians watch women play hockey during the Olympics. Yet when it comes to regularly scheduled professional games, that audience dramatically decreases. In 2019, low audience numbers led to the closure of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and put the future of professional women’s hockey in jeopardy. As with many women’s sports, broadcasters argue the cost of production is too great, the value of airtime minutes too high to take the financial risk of televising the women’s game without guaranteeing viewers for advertisers. Activists and athletes argue that the audience must be built through broadcaster investment. While scholars have examined hockey for its representational power to define national and gendered identities, there has been shockingly little research into the hockey audience. This mixed method audience reception study seeks to explore the viewing inconsistencies of the audience for women’s hockey. Quantitative results from an online survey (n =685) provided data about viewing habits, perceptions and knowledge. This data informed qualitative focus groups (n = 25) that in turn provided contextualization and reasoning for the quantitative data. Mixed method analysis intersected grounded theory with audience reception, sport media, feminist studies and affect theory to identify a persistent discursive strategy framing women’s hockey as “pure” for resisting the crass commercialization, incessant violence and individualistic star system of professional men’s hockey. I argue that women’s hockey becomes the manifestation of the Canadian myth of hockey; men’s hockey as it used to be. As a nostalgic placeholder devoid of context, contemporary women’s hockey functions within a double bind; virtuous and elevated yet non-viable as a commercial enterprise. This ensures that the sport remains precarious at best. “Pure” women’s hockey also functions as a postfeminist essentializing discourse that solves the gender risk of hockey’s hypermasculinity while disavowing women’s physically aggressive play and sport media’s affective currency. Whereas Olympic women’s hockey relies on patriotic pride for audience affective engagement, professional women’s hockey is framed by cognitive contradictions, “pure” but commercial, gender normative but transgressive. Confused and disconnected from the game and players, audiences are left unaffected.  

The success prospect of a Canadian foreign language international radio service
Wasim Ghani (2002); Supervised by Donald Gillies and Joy Cohnstaed

Thesis: Canada's international image needs to be recast and enhanced. There are indications that her image does not reflect her achievements in science, technology and industry. Outdated and inaccurate perceptions of Canada in the world can have negative implications for her economic well-being as well as her ability to effectively participate in world affairs and international development. The thesis considers whether Radio Canada International (RCI) can help in producing an appropriate image of Canada and serve her national and international objectives. It scrutinizes the organization, present state and past performance of RCI as well as contextualizing the broadcaster within certain social and political trends in the country. The thesis concludes that RCI can help Canada in realizing her potential as a valuable player on the world stage and suggests that it should be assigned additional broadcasting responsibilities to this end. Radio Canada International; International broadcasting; Radio broadcasting; Canada; Foreign public opinion. Media and Culture

We Speak for Ourselves!: The Art of Self-Publishing, Alternative World Making, And Muslim Feminisms, A Case Study
Ronak Ghorbani Nejad (2012); Supervised by Nima Naghibi

Major Research Paper:  AQSAzine; feminism; feminist artists; gender and sexuality; Michael Warner; Nancy Fraser; Muslim women; public sphere; self-publications; transgender; women’s representations; zine; zine making. Media and Culture

From Here to There: Mythmaking and Cartographies of Quilting
Julia Gingrich (2014); Supervised by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof

Project-Paper: This paper is a reflection on the artwork Block Two, which uses the technologies of quilts and maps to explore colonialism and the myth of the noble settler. The paper focuses specifically on Mennonite settlers in Waterloo County—an area that was promised to the Haudenosaunee of the Grand River Territory in the 18th century. The Mennonites carry a complicated legacy including migration to North America due to persecution, and at the same time contribution to the colonial national project by virtue of being there. Through an examination of Roland Barthes’ theory of myth, Sara Ahmed’s sticky objects, Doreen Massey’s concepts of space, and Susan M. Hill and Reginald Good’s research on Haudenosaunee of the Grand River/Mennonite relations, this paper explores the relationship between culture and place, and asks what it means to reveal histories that have been altered or forgotten. quilts; settlers; migration; myth Technology in Practice

See Me, Hear Me, Talk To Me, Exploring The Transformative Potential Of Participatory Video With Street Involved Youth
Sarah Glen (2008); Supervised by John O'Neill

Project-Paper: Very few interdisciplinary participatory video research projects have critically assessed how an individual first engages and then continues Freire's "conscientization" or the transformative process toward civic agency, and the role participatory video plays in this process. See Me. Hear Me. Talk To Me. is a participatory video research project that aimed to break new ground in professional participatory video practice by focusing on the individual transformative processes of a small group of at-risk, street involved youth engaged in a participatory action research (PAR) video project. This participatory video research project aimed to gain a small, but specific insight into the transformative processes of at-risk, street involved youth by exploring their experiences and personal perspectives before, during and after the project. In doing so, it intended to add to the current, but very limited research in participatory video projects with street involved youth in order to encourage further interdisciplinary study, as well as the development of some preliminary reference tools to help governments, non-profits and other interested organizations critically engage street involved youth today. at-risk youth; conscientization; communications; education; health; identity; marginalized populations; Paulo Freire; Participatory Action Research; participatory video project; reflexivity; youth. Media and Culture

Facing Canada: Portaits in Toronto
Abigail Godfrey (2007); Supervised by Jody Berland and Ken Little

Project-Paper: This paper discusses Facing Canada: Portraits in Toronto. This project is both an investigation of the visual representation of culture and a methodological exploration of ways to visually speak out and speak together, in multiple collectivities, about: Canada, national identity, self-identification, belonging and multiculturalism. The photographs are at the nexus of a web of official and remembered histories that have been represented overwhelmingly through official or nationalistic imagery and through the (re) use of colonial, often ethnographic, photographs and stylistic conventions. The vehicles of this exploration are photographs and the photographic process. Moving beyond the usual photographer-subject relationship, I experiment with a photographic engagement that recognizes "subjects" as research partners whose contributions are integral to the content and impact of the resulting image.  Canada; Canadian colonial history; multiculturalism; nation building; national identity; photography; visual storytelling; Victorian portraiture. Media and Culture

Authority in Canadian news: an examination of the voices, perspectives and interests favoured by Canadian broadcasters
Elizabeth Godo (2009); Supervised by Abby Goodrum

Thesis: While the mainstream new media can be said to play a variety of roles, what is certain is its potential to inform public opinion and our understanding of the world we live in, both on a national and global scale. One of the ways this is accomplished is through the use of authority; the active decision by media outlets to invoke the trust we have in certain voices while reflecting and shaping our notions of the roles of others. When given the choice between experts, political leaders, victims, etc., all genders and cultural backgrounds, whose voices are heard in mainstream media, and as a result, whose influence is reflected in the public's understanding of the world; an understanding so crucial to a functioning democracy? Filing in the gaps in this under researched area, this thesis explores the issue of how authority plays out in the Canadian national context. Broadcasting; Canada; Journalistic ethics; Mass media; Journalism;  Objectivity. Politics and Policy

Lost in translation: new media, performance, and identity in Quebec
Daniel Goldberg (2003); Supervised by Elizabeth Trott

Thesis: A descriptive exploration of the impact on contemporary Québécois performing arts by new media and communication technologies, the thesis provides a historical and critical evaluation of 'multimedia theatre' in Quebec. Drawing on Turner's theories of performative ritual and Armour & Trott's writing on culture and the Canadian mind, as well as the work of Benjamin, Ellul, Grant, Heidegger, Innis, and McLuhan on technology and cultural production, and the issues of time and space raised by the work of Gilles Maheu, Josette Féral, Patrice Pavis, and Robert Lepage, among others, this thesis argues that while prior research has located Quebec's arts culture in provincial drives for sovereignty and cultural recognition, it might better be understood as a narrative of a people in search of self-identification, offering new perspectives by which to understand an interlinked development of technology and artistic endeavour that has long been in need of critical examination. Theatre; Cultural anthropology; Mass media; Technology and the arts; Performing arts; Québec. Media and Culture

The hero's journey: tracing the history of the myth to the celebrity
Lisa Goldberg (2009); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Major Research Paper: The terms "hero," "heroism," and, more recently, "heroine," are broad, wide ranging, and contested terms prominent within academia yet there remains a general consensus that heroes are, historically, an essential component to society. This paper will identify that there are diverse Western cultural conceptions surrounding the hero. It is therefore important to trace the meaning behind the concept and draw conclusions as to whether or not the hero narrative has developed or shifted over time. Through an intensive review of the literature on the "hero," this research paper critically identifies the historical constructions, empirical observations, and theoretical analyses in order to explore and understand how the hero narrative has changed or retained timeless qualities of meaning or myth. As the hero developed from the Classical times to the present, through the periods of oral tradition to electronic media, those who are identified as a "hero" became more and more far-reaching. This paper constructs several empirical tables that identify similarities and differences concerning how Western society's classification of heroes has developed. By taking into account the different types of heroic figures that have existed across time, including Greek gods, soldiers, community workers, and celebrities, this paper establishes whether or not the conception of the "hero" changes depending on war, gender, race, popular culture, historical time period, and changes in communication technology. celebrity; communication technology; community workers; electronic media; hero/heroine; hero narrative; gender and sexuality; myth; oral tradition; popular culture; race.

Awkward Comedy and Performative Anxiety
Alanna Goldstein (2011); Supervised by Jennifer Burwell

Major Research Paper: As more and more of our daily social interactions are mediated and experienced through the screens of communication technologies, face-to-face moments of unmediated sociality has become the terrain for "awkward," unedited encounters, fraught with the potential for misunderstanding and communicative breakdown. Text messaging, instant messaging and social networking sites are increasingly replacing embodied forms of communication as the preferred method for building and maintaining even the most intimate of relationships. The ability to manage one's performance within these regulated and highly-edited communicative spaces consequently emphasizes the vulnerability of the embodied social self, engaging in real space and time. The potential for failure inherent to any embodied social interaction is increasingly prevalent as a theme across a variety of entertainment media, suggesting that concerns with embodied communication performances are widespread. In this paper I will illustrate how representations of this communicative breakdown and the resulting moments of "awkward" silence form the basis for a new sub-genre of television comedy that includes both the British and American versions of The Office, Peep Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Parks and Recreation and Modern Family, among others. I contend that the popularity of these programs is a function of their adoption of unique aesthetic elements that reflect and address anxieties surrounding changing communicative norms specific to life in a highly-mediated social environment. American television; awkward sitcom; British television; comedy theory; Curb Your Enthusiasm; Modern Family; Parks and Recreation; Peep Show; performance of communication; popular culture; social life; television comedy; The Office. Media and Culture

Spectrum Regime Governance: A Critical Exploration of the Canadian 700 MHz Mobile Broadband Spectrum Auction
Paul Goodrick (2016); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Major Research Paper: This paper explores the Canadian wireless telecommunications industry conditions in the 2008-­‐2014 period, which saw the development of the 700 MHz spectrum policy that was auctioned in early 2014. Taking a political economy approach, the paper provides an introduction to spectrum governance and, using the Policy Objectives of the Telecommunications Act and the goals for using auctions as a spectrum allocation method, analyzes the outcomes of the 700 MHz auction. It argues that neoliberal policy preferences by the governing party were ineffective at producing a more open and objective process or achieving significant social and cultural gains, and increasing, if not maximizing, auction revenues came at the expense of alternative options that may have better served the public good through increased rural coverage and more affordable services. While changes within the policy environment did contribute to an evolution of spectrum assignment policy by Industry Canada between the 2008 AWS and 2014 700 MHz auctions, it was the ability of the ruling Conservative’s to claim economic populist reforms that was the main outcome, not smart telecommunication policy.  Politics and Policy

Legal Education Podcasting for Newcomers to Ontario
Meera Govindasamy (2019); Supervised by Marusya Bociurkiw

Project-Paper: Due to the high cost of legal advice, language barriers, and other matters of social inequality, newcomers to Canada often have difficulty accessing legal information and resolving their legal problems. My Participatory Action Research (PAR) project aims to better understand the barriers newcomers face to accessing their legal rights, as well as to improve access to workers’ and tenants’ rights through the creation of Rights Bites, a legal rights audio podcast. Each podcast episode features interviews with newcomers, community workers, and lawyers, who share personal experiences and practical legal rights information about common housing and employment law problems. By applying affect theory as a lens for examining the podcast interviews, as well as the PAR process more broadly I argue that the complex expressions of anger, fear, distress, and pleasure displayed by my immigrant interviewees is a form of cultural citizenship, which reimagines belonging as a contested and ongoing project.  

Lost and Unfounded: Revealing Disappearances in the Art of Oscar Munoz
Amanda Graham (2005); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Thesis: In order to explore aesthetic, philosophical, psychoanalytic, and political notions and ramifications of disappearance I turn to three conceptual photo-based artworks by Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz. Through elucidating the hermeneutic possibilities of Muñoz's Narcisos, Aliento, and Re/trato I demonstrate the communicative value of visual art, and point to how and why Muñoz initiates disappearance metaphorically and literally, through materials and symbolic content. With my critique of each of the three works I argue that Muñoz's disappearances begin a discourse about the self and other, the artist and audience, the inner and outer, myth and reality, about what we see at first and what we see afterward. Communication and the arts; Colombia Media and Culture;Technology in Practice

But is it art? the construction and valuation of illustration in Victoria's Island Illustrators Society
Jaleen Grove (2006); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Thesis: In Canada, illustration, commercial art, and conservative, traditional art are often spoken of as separate from and opposite to "non-commercial", "contemporary art", a division I argue stems from the older distinction between art and craft but one that can be subverted. Using concepts from Gowans, Greenhalgh, Mortenson, Shiner, and Bourdieu's theory of the field of cultural production, this thesis traces the sociology and art history of the division between traditional and modern art that led to the formation of the Island Illustrators Society in 1985 in Victoria, British Columbia. I argue illustration is an original, theoretical art form indistinguishable from but alienated by contemporary art, that conservative art is neither static nor irrelevant, and that non-commercial contemporary art is a misnomer. I find the Society challenged the definitions of art and illustration by promoting illustrative fine art and by transcending binary oppositions of conservative and contemporary, commercial and non-commercial. Commercial art; Art; Illustrators; Island Illustrators Society Technology in Practice

Can Ya Dig It? - Music, Fashion, and Cross-Cultural Consumption
Daniel Guadagnolo (2013); Supervised by Art Blake

Major Research Paper:  audience; black representation; Blaxploitation; commerce; dandyism; fashion; fashion trends; masculinity; mass marketing; niche marketing; niche marketing practices; racial and cultural difference; socio-economics. Media and Culture

Globalization And The Direction Of The Canadian Publishing Industry
Casey Gurfinkel (2007); Supervised by Ruth Panofsky

Major Research Paper: Since the merger of Indigo and Chapters in 2001, and the bankruptcy of Stoddart Publishing and General Distribution Services in 2002, the Canadian publishing industry has faced perilous times in an already troubled market sector. In addition to the problems specific to the Canadian publishing industry- for example, federal and provincial funding cuts to the industry; the monopoly of the book retail market by the chain outlet Chapters-Indigo; the difficulty and expense of book distribution within Canada; competition from multinational publishing companies; the lack and expense of traditional marketing opportunities- the growing global market for books presents further difficulties for an industry that is struggling to retain its "Canadian" focus. This study considers the recent impact, both positive and negative, of globalization on the Canadian book industry, with a specific focus on publishers as the key figures in this industry. By surveying three publishing houses that represent specific segments of the industry- large multinational, mid-size, and small presses- I examine different approaches to surviving in the current book market and offer several conclusions about the future of Canadian publishing, most notably that the larger the publishing house, the less it is troubled by challenging market conditions. Publishers and publishing; globalization

Internet privacy in Canada: a public interest perspective
Julie Gustavel (2002); Supervised by Michael Burke

Major Research Paper: Issues about informational privacy have emerged in tandem with the escalating increase in nformation stored in electronic formats. Data protection is a pressing issue not only because files of personal information are being kept in greater detail and for longer periods of time, but also because the data can be retrieved and compared or matched without delay, regardless of geography. While defenders of information technology cite efficiency and safety among the countervailing benefits, concerns from an increasingly tech-savvy public have introduced a sense of urgency to demand tough legislation. Although many studies have provided evidence of online privacy concerns, few have explored the nature of the concern in detail, especially in terms of government policy for our new online environment. Bill C-6, Canada's recent legislative action, has provided a practical basis from which to appraise governments' role in privacy protection. With this in mind, the paper will be divided into two parts. Part one will be undertaken to: (A) evaluate the arguments of critics as well as defenders of contemporary record-keeping practices and the philosophical conceptions of privacy, which underlie them; and, using these themes (B) provide a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of Bill C- 6, examining the ways in which policy makers have begun to treat privacy as both a commodity and a secondary adjunct to business activity. Part two of the paper, purposes a series of recommendations or, more specifically, a framework for Bill C-6 that would, more effectively, protect individual privacy from private entities, who collect online data. Internet; Law and legislation; Canada; Electronic records; Electronic data interchange; Privacy; Public records. Politics and Policy

Narratives of quality and conflict: Media studies in the Ontario secondary curriculum
Stephanie Guthrie (2010); Supervised by Donald Gilles

Thesis: To look at curriculum through a human lens requires an examination of the values guiding knowledge selection. Catherine Marshall, Douglas Mitchell and Frederick Wirt name quality as a key value guiding educational policy, defIning it as a vaguely "instrumental" value, a means to achieving whatever goals one assigns to the education system: economic, civic, or personal. The present study examines the interpretation(s) of quality contained in the Ontario Ministry ofEducation's curriculum for Media Studies, a grade 11 stand-alone course and a strand (or learning area) in all compulsory English courses. It also aims to illustrate how these interpretations may be facilitated and/or constrained by the professional backgrounds of curriculum developers and the policy contexts of curriculum development. It will do so through hermeneutical analysis of the curriculum in relation to curriculum developers' narratives about media education, and about the process in which they were involved as writers or coordinators. Secondary education; Educational technology; Curriculum development

Brand Jane - Finch: A critical discourse analysis of print media discourse on a Toronto low income community
Haide Hall (2008); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Thesis: The theoretical frameworks of critical discourse analysis (CDA), framing and branding are fused in this study to create a variant framework through which news discourse on Jane-Finch, a low-income community in Toronto, Canada is filtered. The approaches of CDA, framing and branding intersect around language and power and are therefore beneficial for combining in any analysis that seeks to identify the socio-cultural influences on the text, such as the reiteration of dominant discourses within the text. This research examined news articles selected from The Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, two mainstream Canadian newspapers with the highest circulation. The news articles show that Jane-Finch is portrayed in a negative and stereotypical way by both newspapers. These findings support the view that news discourse is as ideologically-bound as other forms of discourse, despite claims to its objectivity. As a consequence of being ideologically-bound, a fundamental attribution error is enacted in news coverage on Jane-Finch, as coverage repeatedly attributed the problems in Jane-Finch to race and immigrants (internal factors) and ignored the more substantive contributing factors of discrimination, structural constraints, poverty and joblessness (external structural factors). More generally, the analysis shows that news about Jane-Finch tends to be negative and therefore obscures any positive developments in the community. Sustained repetition of the same news stories brands the community with a negative reputation and promotes a false stereotype of its residents. Not only is news capable of agenda-setting (bringing certain issues to the forefront), but in repeatedly showcasing issues the same way all the time, a ‘branding effect’ (similar to the process in corporate branding) is enacted. A ‘domino effect’ results in that negative branding of Jane-Finch affects property values, prevents educational and job opportunities for its residents and reduces economic development of the area. Ultimately, this can cause misrecognition of the ‘real’ problems affecting the community, preventing the development of effective community and policy responses to these issues. The thesis not only contributes knowledge in the area of branding and the news but also contributes in the area of policy-making related to low-income communities and the poor. Policy-makers need to address external structural factors affecting these areas and pay less attention to the ‘sensational’ areas showcased by the media. For example, because of the focus on crime in the news media, policymakers may think more stringent crime laws are needed when if other issues, such as ensuring jobs for the young, are addressed, youth crime would lessen. Canadian studies; Ethnic studies; Mass communications; Discourse analysis;

News media; Low income groups

In the Woods: Pathways of Perception
Michelle Hannah (2013); Supervised by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof

Major Research Paper: In the Woods: Pathways of Perception is a companion piece to my MA project (a series of photographic collages of trees) which was presented as a solo exhibition at the I.M.A. Gallery in July 2012. This paper examines the disconnection between human beings and the natural environment. It argues that this disconnection is caused by the importance the Western culture accords rationality over other, more intuitive modes of perception and experience. My project aims to remedy this problem by targeting perception and reworking it through a more demanding of the audience approach in my compositions. The all-over composition of my photographic collages encourages the eyes to scan around the entire image. This scanning of the image, I strongly believe, disrupts the dominant mode of visual perception in the modem Western world, in which the figure is viewed as a distant isolated object that can be grasped immediately rather than engaged with and contemplated. I argue that this scanning attention encourages unconscious participation, allowing viewers to find their own connections and visual paths through the forest I have created. In this way the viewer is given space for contemplation and reflection; an experience that is often undervalued in our society. This paper asserts that by employing unconscious scanning attention, visual perception can be retrained, thereby destabilizing the dominant modes of thinking and experiencing. I argue that the unconscious modes of perception, intuition, and imagination play a key role in the re-connection to nature, for when we are unable to connect and empathize with the natural environment, our capacity to connect and empathize with others also diminishes. Therefore, the path towards a more ethically aware society is through the arts and the unconscious. This paper emphasizes that the desire to regard, contemplate, empathize, and love another living being, whether human or non-human, is the path towards a more peaceful, connected world. arts; creative process; empathy; human and nonhuman; natural environment; photographic collages; visual perception; Western culture. Media and Culture

International Radio Broadcasting and Post-Conflict State-Building: The Case of Canada's RANA FM
David Harmes (2012); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Dissertation: International Radio Broadcasting (IRB) has been used as a mass communication tool of the state since its inception in the early 1920s. Following its historic use in programs of propaganda, public diplomacy, psychological operations, and international development communication, the practice of IRB can also be found in a number of post-conflict statebuilding operations that are not well documented. Through a case study methodology this dissertation examines the nature of, and motivation for, the use of IRB in post-conflict state-building, as experienced by Canada’s Rana FM in contemporary Afghanistan (2006 – 2011). Using primary research from structured interviews with IRB practitioners and personal observation of IRB operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Afghanistan, this study draws on information from directing staff, management, producers, on-air presenters, and technical staff; as well as a variety of sources including internal content analyses, opinion polling, and unclassified government documents. Using the strategic communication frameworks of propaganda and development communication, this study found IRBs to function as a form of ‘defensive propaganda’ that aims to reinforce the institutions of the developing state during the process of democratic reconstruction. IRBs in post-conflict state-building can be seen to function in a surrogate capacity that aims to become a creditable source of news and information, in order to maximize audience share and provide a platform for public discussion. This dissertation presents new empirical information on Canada’s IRB in Afghanistan, Rana FM, which operated from January 2007 to July 2011. Afghanistan; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Canada; developmental communication; international radio broadcasting; Kosovo; mass communication; news media; propaganda. Politics and Policy

On Serial Killers: The Collective's Search For Understanding
Robyn Harper (2009); Supervised by Alan Blum

Major Research Paper: I will begin by examining the term serial itself and its importance in the notion of the serial killer. What does the term serial say? It draws on series - a term often used in reference to novels, films and, quite literally, the television series. Series carries notions of multiple segments that are all linked in some way. There is an ongoing nature to the series - when one segment ends, another begins. The series creates anticipation, anxiety of what is to come and a hope for closure. As "serial killer" is a relatively new term it becomes possible to trace its inception and examine what is being revealed in this naming process. I then go to illustrate how this term serial is what sets serial killing apart from other forms of multiple murder (such as mass murder, spree killing, terrorism and assassination). I will explore the features of the serial killer that appear to make it unique to the collective by developing the language of the accounts of understanding the serial killer: the profiling account, the study of numbers, facts and statistics as a way to apprehend and comprehend the serial killer; the logical extension of society account, where the serial killer is a reflection of society from concerns with the individual to celebrity and consumerism; and the serial killer account, where the serial killer explains his own motivations. In looking at these accounts it becomes possible to see the cliches that are used to discuss the serial killer and how these reveal thoughts and fears of the collective, rather than providing the insight on the serial killer that the accounts are seeking. assassination; celebrity; communication and culture; consumerism; film; individualism; mass media; mass murder; news media; novels; serial killers; storytelling; television; terrorism. Media and Culture

Hollywood and terrorism
James Harrison (2008);

Thesis: Having produced nearly one hundred films on the subject, Hollywood has a fascination with terrorists. A staple of the action genre, terrorist films share a common fundamental plotline wherein evil terrorist schemes are thwarted by American heroes. Through fantasy, these films provide an allegory for affirmations of American national mythology, demonstrating the triumph of American values and virtues over various challenges. This study examines the Hollywood terrorist film throughout its history in terms of its melodramatic and mythological qualities, analyzing both the “Terrorist” and “Hero” characters as expressions of fantasy in America. Examining the terrorist films that followed 9/11 reveals the effects of the representational challenges that Hollywood faced in regards to terrorism, American mythology, and fantasy as a result of the impact of this event on American culture. American studies; American history; Film studies; Communication and the arts; Social sciences Media and Culture

Gendered networks of play: Regulating digital games and technological subjects in the home
Alison Harvey (2013); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Dissertation: This dissertation explores the domestication of digital games in the home in order to ask how access to and experiences of play may be constrained or enabled by gendered notions of ludic technologies and their uses. Empirical methods including semi-structured interviews with ten families and observations of play were mobilized to get a sense of how game play is gendered in everyday life. The results demonstrate how parental and youth practices can serve to reaffirm gendered associations between technological proficiencies and pleasures and masculine and feminine subject-positions. Such relationships are articulated through two mutually constitutive regulatory systems – the rule systems put into place by parents about time for, content of, and spaces dedicated to digital play activities, alongside the disciplinary system of normative gender performance that perpetuates an association between technological mastery and masculinity while troubling any such relationship between feminine subjects and tech savvy. The participants in this study engaged with the pressures of an increasingly neoliberal ethos in everyday life, particularly visions of the opportunities offered by these technologies as well as the potential risks underlying certain forms of engagement. Parents and children alike regulated play, thus challenging and reaffirming hegemonic configurations of legitimate forms of digital play linking to essentialized conceptions of gender. Womens studies; Individual & family studies; Mass communications; Information science; Social sciences; Communication and the arts; Digital games; Game play; Gender; Home; Technological subjects

Google's affair with Open Source Software: From browser wars to mobile information
Lisa Hayes (2012); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Major Research Paper: Daily communication is facilitated by digital technologies through Web sites and social media, and accessed via computers and mobile devices. The computer has "transformed the way we live, work and play". Communication devices are driving the development of technology standards that are very powerful for consumers, but even more powerful and profitable for the companies that control them. A battle continues for control over the way we access information online via Web browsers on computers and mobile devices. The owner of the most popular interface has an advantage because it can influence how the public sees information, favouring some content over others. But more importantly, it profits from selling access to these viewers to advertisers and it can choose who it will allow to advertise and who it will block. advertising; Android; cell phone; cell phone browser; Google; Google Chrome; marketing; open access; open source software; web browser. Technology in Practice

From having to appearing: identity, abstraction, and commodification in online social networking sites
Brennan Heath (2008); Supervised by Steve Bailey

Thesis: The purpose of the present study is to explore the effects of social networking/'sticky' sites, such as on traditionally held conceptions of subculture. Having been initially limited to text, the now ubiquitous setting of social networking sites allows us to digitally reconstruct ourselves through a pastiche-like approach. Through the abstractive processes outlined by Guy Debord, the modern online subcultural subject is able to create a digital 'self' th[r]ough a series of pictorial, textual, and multi-media (music, and video) based inclusions. In doing so, these inclusions become abstracted into 'spectacular' representations of self, where mere appearance becomes key. In presenting the processes that take place in the MySpace setting to abstract subcultural identity, it will be shown that the interconnected and instantaneous nature of the modern communicative landscape negates the possibility of online subcultural groups in their traditional form. MySpace; Online social networks; Internet; Subculture; Group identity Media and Culture

Popular materials: late-Victorian illustrated magazines and the technological imagination
Alison Hedley (2017); Supervised by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra

Dissertation: How did the multimodal aesthetics of popular illustrated periodicals shape late-Victorian reader engagement? How did these terms of engagement relate to the role magazines played in emerging mass culture? My dissertation investigates these questions using evidence from four popular periodicals between 1885 and 1918: the Graphic, the Illustrated London News, Pearson’s Magazine, and the Strand. Readers possessed a print media literacy through which they could interpret the material traces of production that were part of a periodical’s aesthetics and situate a print object in its real and imagined socio-technological contexts, a capacity I describe as the technological imagination. Print media literacy also enabled readers to attend to how a physical print object mediated culture, which I describe as medial awareness. Combining close reading with historical contextualization and a media archaeological emphasis on materiality, I analyze aesthetic characteristics of these four illustrated magazines that influenced reader engagement by invoking readers’ technological imagination. At the turn of the century, the Illustrated London News and other popular illustrated magazines underwent what Gaudreault and Marion would call a “second birth,” repositioning themselves within the era’s new media milieu. The increasingly visual and multimodal aesthetics of these periodicals engaged readers’ technological imagination and drew their attention to mediation itself. Using de Certeau’s theory of strategy and tactic, I argue that periodical producers strategically invoked the technological imagination to acquire cultural authority, but readers could use their medial awareness to poach producer techniques, becoming critical and productive agents of mass culture. In news weeklies such as the Illustrated London News and the Graphic, advertisers encouraged readers to conflate reading and consumption, but readers could appropriate advertising strategies using curatorial and hyper-reading tactics. In monthlies such as Pearson’s, population journalism prompted readers to conceptualize themselves using a “biopolitical” rubric of normalization, in Foucault’s sense, but this genre’s spectacular strategies created space for readers to exert tactical agency. In “Curiosities,” a participatory feature in the Strand, readers used the technological imagination to appropriate multimodal magazine production and contribute to what Flichy terms the “socio-technical frame of reference” for the hand camera. As “Curiosities” demonstrates, late-Victorian illustrated periodicals influenced the terms of user engagement for twentieth- and twenty-first-century mass media.  

Circle Of Aunties: Fostering Co-Conspiratorship With Families Of MMIWGT2S In The Resistance of Settler Colonial Violence
Laura Heidenheim (2019); Supervised by Lila Pine

Project-Paper: This paper details the co-research creation project “Circle of Aunties” outlining our processes, contributions and key learnings. The paper will begin by locating the author and the project’s approach and move to detailing our process - exploring the Circle of Aunties toolkit and the co- research creation process. The paper will then outline the contribution this project makes to educational tools that create awareness around racialized gender-based violence in Canada and its relationship to existing literature regarding co-conspirator work. Co-conspirator/accomplice work are “alternative framework(s)” to allyship which call for “white scholars and activists to act as accomplices, working in solidarity with people of color within social justice and anti-racist movements” (Powell Kelly, 42). This paper explores our process of co-conspiratorship, bringing our project into conversation with contemporary anti-colonial efforts and calling for the prefacing of relationship in anti-colonial projects. Co-conspiratorship; Accomplice; MMIWGT2S; Racialized Gendered Violence;

Settler Colonial Violence; Settler Colonialism; Curriculum

"Leni Riefenstahl simply will not go away:" an analysis of the media discourses about Hitler's filmmaker
Kirsteen Henderson (2003); Supervised by Bruce Elder

Major Research Paper: This paper examines the media's enduring fascination with Riefenstahl by analyzing articles devoted to the filmmaker's life and work that have appeared in Western newspapers, popular journals and on the Internet over the course of the past three decades. Riefenstahl; mass media; motion picture producers and directors; Germany; national socialism and motion pictures Media and Culture

The transition to high definition in English Canadian broadcasting: challenges and opportunities in a changing media environment
Laura Hepes (2007); Supervised by Michael Murphy

Major Research Paper: This Major Research Paper sets out to provide an overview of the transition to High Definition television broadcasting from a Canadian perspective using a variety of research methods including interviews with executives from Canada's top media companies, policy research and case studies. This paper will illustrate how the transition to digital television and High Definition (HDTV) technology will fundamentally change the way a television program is produced, broadcast, distributed, and viewed by the audience. It is anticipated that this changeover will significantly alter the economic business models of broadcasters, producers, and broadcast distribution undertakings. It will also affect programming services, while completely restructuring the technical infrastructure of the industry. Therefore, the significance of this changeover has been compared by many as being similar to the switch from black and white to colour television in the 1950s (Brace, 2007; Brinkley, 1997; Galperin, 2004; Hart, 2004; Heidendahl, 2007). High definition television; Television broadcasting; Technological innovations; Television; Transmitters and transmission; Television; Receivers and reception; High definition television; Government policy Politics and Policy

The Voice And The Void: The Scream In 1950s American Science Fiction Film
Melissa Hergott (2010); Supervised by Murray Pomerance

Major Research Paper: In the United States, science fiction film rose to prominence as a critically recognized genre in the 1950s, a decade fraught with cultural complications and contradictions and also inspired by optimism and upward trajectory. Warren Susman characterizes the period as one marked by a "dual consciousness," a time when "the fulfillment of our sweetest desires [led] inevitably to the brink of danger and damnation"; the fifties, he writes, was an age of anxiety as much as it was a time of abundance, freedom, and possibility (30). For historian David Halberstam, while a retrospective examination of the decade suggests to some a "slower, almost languid" pace, social ferment "was beginning just beneath this placid surface" (ix). Throughout the decade, notions of national security played out in conflicting ways that traversed both the public and private spheres. Science fiction, a genre that coincided with massive industry changes that saw the development of a sizable low-budget, teen-oriented independent sector, resonated deeply with such opposing and anxiety-laden articulations of both public and private security. While most previous discussions of the genre tend to focus on such concerns in their public dimension (particularly as related to political unease during the Cold War), what follows will address sci-fi' s depiction of anxieties in that other, more private realm of American society, particularly in relation to the expression of gender, sexuality, and desire. Cold War politics, the postwar consumer boom, re-entrenchment of family values and suburban home life, and industry upheavals in Hollywood are all important for understanding what is now thought of as the golden age of American science fiction film. These socio-political factors contextualize the genre's rise to prominence, its defining stylistic and thematic characteristics, and its treatment of gendered subjectivity. As we will see, while some science fiction films of the 1950s engaged or challenged cultural rhetoric related to expected norms of gendered behaviour, for the most part these films upheld the era's return to more traditional gender roles for men and women, an observation which has been taken up in the critical literature, particularly within feminist film scholarship. However, within this body of films exists a common and recurring convention that has been largely neglected by science fiction film scholars, one that warrants further study due to its implications for understanding the return to domesticity in the American postwar period. This filmic convention is the scream, a visual and aural articulation of fear expressed mostly by women (but also, and just as importantly, by men). Far from being a mere cheap gimmick employed by filmmakers alongside special effects and insatiable monsters, the scream provides valuable insight into the domestic ideologies that prevailed during the 1950s. American film; cinema; domesticity; domestic ideology; feminism; feminist film studies; film; gender and sexuality; gender roles; Hollywood; popular culture; mass media; postwar American culture; science fiction; theatre; video. Media and Culture

Memory, Personal Trauma, and Social Media: Writing The Cyber-Body
Victoria Hetherington (2016); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Thesis: This project explores the formation of women’s autonoetic consciousness through the use of social media: what is the phenomenological experience of women performing, writing, and consistently monitoring very public, very detailed personal narratives via digital media tools? Using Twitter, this project involves writing a 10,000-word Twitter auto-fiction piece, based on a traumatic series of autobiographical events experienced as a teenager. Utilizing an automated tweeting tool, the piece unfolds in a stream-of-consciousness manner characteristic of the medium, exploring the phenomenological reality of individuals writing the rich novels of their lives over social media. Thinkers like Macej Cegłowski warn that the internet maps poorly on concepts of how human memory works, as binary memory percolates up into the design of online communities. This system of forever-memory, in which any comment and photo can be screen-capped and stored, works against how individuals prefer to remember – especially, perhaps, very young people, millions of whom live their “embarrassing teen years” in public, and in stunning detail.  Media and Culture

Intangible culinary heritage: France and Mexico's construction of symbolic closure on UNESCO's list of the intangible heritage
Sarah Hewitt (2011); Supervised by Mustafa Koç

Major Research Paper: In this work I argue that UNESCO intangible heritage inscriptions discursively root fluid and moveable food traditions in place. The nomination forms for the French gastronomic meal and Mexican traditional cuisine reign in the symbolic meaning of their food traditions through the process of definition and description, connecting them to territory, national history, and kinship in order to promote fixed and essentialized national culinary identities. Through an examination of the nominations submitted by each respective Member State, I show how the intangible becomes tangible and how this tangibility serves to assuage anxieties over contamination, the dissolution of the nation state, and the fading away of historical narratives. Embedding and fixing these traditions within place portrays the nation as a site of agency with a unique (and, more problematically, fixed) cultural identity. Taking on solid form, these traditions also come to narrate collective pasts, providing a place for those in the present as cultural protectors and propagators. Canada; cultural identity; food cultures; food production and consumption; food studies; food traditions; national culinary identity; nationalist history; Toronto; UNESCO. Media and Culture

The impact of vlogging on deaf culture, communication and identity
Ellen Hibbard (2015); Supervised by Deborah Fels

Dissertation: This thesis presents a framework representing research conducted to examine the impact of website based online video technology for Deaf people, their culture, and their communication. This technology enables American Sign Language (ASL) asynchronous communication, called vlogging, for Deaf people. The thesis provides new insights and implications for Deaf culture and communication as a result of studying the practices, opinions and attitudes of vlogging. Typical asynchronous communication media such as blogs, books, e-mails, or movies have been dependent on use of spoken language or text, not incorporating sign language content. Online video and website technologies make it possible for Deaf people to share signed content through video blogs (vlogs), and to have a permanent record of that content. Signed content is typically 3-D, shared during face-to-face gatherings, and ephemeral in nature. Websites are typically textual and video display is 2-D, placing constraints on the spatial modulation required for ASL communication. There have been few academic studies to date examining signed asynchronous communication use by Deaf people and the implications for Deaf culture and communication. In this research, 130 vlogs by Deaf vloggers on the mainstream website YouTube, and specialized website Deafvideo.TV were examined to discover strategies employed by Deaf users as a result of the technology’s spatial limitations, and to explore similarities and differences between the two websites. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 Deaf people as follow up. The main findings from this research include register of vlogging formality depending on website type, informal on Deafvideo.TV while formal on YouTube. In addition, vlogs had flaming behaviour while unexpected findings of lack of ASL literature and use of technical elements that obscured ASL content in vlogs. Questions regarding the space changes and narrative elements observed have arisen, providing avenues for additional research. This study and more research could lead to a fuller understanding the impact of vlogging and vlogging technology on Deaf culture and identify potential improvements or new services that could offered. Video blogs; deaf culture; Identity (Philosophical concept); internet videos; telecommunications devices for the deaf

Reel to Relic to Revival: The Future of Celluloid Film Projection
Katherine Marie Hill (2015); Supervised by Bruno Lessard

Major Research Paper: As movie theatres replace film projectors with digital to comply with digital production and distribution, it raises the question: What does this mean for film? This research paper aims to address this question, with primary focus on the impact of digital conversion on 35mm film projection, the established standard for motion picture film, and the potential ramifications for both the medium and film culture. This will include an overview of the contemporary debate over which medium is best for production, distribution, and, most significantly, exhibition, which will involve the opinions of prominent filmmakers on either side of the debate. In addition, the impact of digital conversion on film exhibition, projectionists, and independent theatres will be examined closely. Particular focus will be on the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and its central facility in downtown Toronto, the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and its cinemas. Little scholarly research has been conducted pertaining to TIFF and its response to the digital revolution, which is a striking omission considering that TIFF is one of the largest, most prominent film festivals and cultural organizations in the world. As such, focus on the significance of TIFF’s emerging status as a modern-day cinematheque or art house in its acquisition and exhibition of celluloid films as well as digital is of particular interest. TIFF serves as an important example of how theatres can remedy the divide between celluloid and digital film exhibition through continued use of film projectors. Contextualized within TIFF’s dedication to protecting the medium for the preservation of film history and tradition for future generations, this research paper will analyze how 35mm film reels and projectors are becoming objects of nostalgia and artistic value due to their rarity and the intensifying dominancy of digital media. In spite of recent widespread conversion to digital projection in movie theatres, celluloid film will not become obsolete in the process, but persist as a medium of nostalgia and exhibition.  Technology in Practice

Creating content, influencing democracy: situating corporate political communication between marketing and activism
Stephanie Hill (2017); Supervised by Jeremy Shtern

Thesis: This thesis investigates the commercial backlash to a contentious piece of legislation in North Carolina and considers the implications of commercial incorporation of political content on public service communications. Commercial actors have high social standing and a privileged relationship with the social platforms used to disseminate much of commercial speech. In their pursuit of direct relationships with consumers, unmediated by publishers and free of the distrust of advertisement that has often characterized consumer-marketer relations, brands have cultivated content marketing practices based on serving consumer interests. Access to analytical tools allows companies to evaluate the success of content, eventually creating an environment in which most companies feel comfortable taking political stands in a way they did not before the widespread adoption of social media. Closer examination of political speech by commercial entities reveals strategies of communication that undermine avenues for public exchange and short-circuit non-market means of protest.  

A tangled web: Public reason, web 2.0 and a new definition of action for participatory technologies
Jaigris Hodson (2013); Supervised by Daniel Drache

Thesis: As web 2.0 technologies gain popularity, theorists are divided about whether these new communication tools are a social and cultural blessing or a hegemonic curse. Through case studies of four different websites, this thesis looks at the ways people are using specific web 2.0 tools to show that rather than being either a revolutionary or refuedalized technology, web 2.0 is a fluid place, where action and distraction occur on a continuum of commoditization and cultural creation. This tangled web challenges propaganda models of communication because it helps turn the measure of public opinion from a push process to a pull process. Under this new paradigm, public reason is found in the interactions between websites and online and offline life, equally as much as it is found within the dialogue on individual sites. And though these tools provide a voice for the elite to assert their dominance, they also result in a decline of deference to experts, and new ways for citizens to add their voices to public conversation. Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Social structure; Mass communications Politics and Policy

Coding for the Commons: The Emergence of Free and Open-Source Software for Disaster Relief
Lisa Hoffman (2014); Supervised by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof

Major Research Paper:  digital commons licensing; digital participatory culture; disaster relief; free and open-source software (FOSS); FOSS movement; humanitarianism; mobile technologies; peer-to-peer sharing. Technology in Practice

How Digital Media Entrepreneurs Talk and Think about Value Creation: A Study of Commodification
Ian Hofmann (2010); Supervised by Charles Davis

Major Research Paper: Recent scholarship in the discipline of the political economy of communications, specifically on the topic of digital media, has called for further incorporation of theory from other fields. This study takes up this line of reasoning and contributes to the literature by incorporating the concept of customer value from marketing studies and the concept of opportunity recognition from entrepreneurial studies to examine the process of commodification. Drawing upon the customer value framework devised by Brock Smith and Mark Colgate, this study employs qualitative research to examine how entrepreneurs at the Ryerson Digital Media Zone talk about value. The results of this study demonstrate that the digital media entrepreneurs interviewed do in fact favour certain values over others lending credence to entrepreneurial studies theory that opportunity recognition is a result of specific cognitive frameworks and political economy theory that social and institutional policy and practices impact on media content and behaviour. business incubator; Canada; commodification; consumer value; digital media; entrepreneurs; institutional policy; marketing studies; political economy; Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ); Ryerson University; social policy; Toronto; value creation. Media and Culture

Canadian Ethnic Media and Social Capital Development: Examining the Relationship Between Broadcasting Policy, Multicultural Programming and Sociocultural Integration and Cohesion in Canada
Erika Hogerwaard (2011); Supervised by Charles Davis

Major Research Paper: Using Canada as a case for analysis, this research investigates the potential for ethnic media, which are mandated to deliver content directed to "racially and culturally distinct" (CRTC, 1999) groups that are not English, French or Aboriginal, to act as an integrative tool for allophone communities, and to stimulate intercultural exchanges amongst all Canadians that can lead to the development of social capital. Given Canada's extraordinary demographic heterogeneity, the mechanisms in place to encourage the development of networks between and among ethnic communities are increasingly important for supporting social solidarity in the broader population (Putnam, 2006). Canada's Broadcasting Act, §3(1)(d)(iii) (1991) and related policies which the Act initiates, including the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy, provide a policy framework for the creation and distribution of culturally and linguistically diverse content" to Canadian audiences, demonstrating official support for the potential social benefits associated with the national availability of ethnic media. By developing culturally and linguistically diverse content aligned with the demographic realities of the Canadian population within a supportive policy environment, ethnic media can provide, an important platform for sharing information and ideas across vast geographic or sociocultural divides, as well as a venue for fostering community building, civic involvement and an active dialogue amongst Canadians of all backgrounds. This research seeks to explore and develop theoretical linkages between the existing policy framework governing ethnic broadcasting in Canada, the broadcasting sector's methods of compliance with existing regulation, and the development of social capital. broadcasting policy; Canada; ethnic broadcasting; ethnic media; multiculturalism; OMNI Television Group; social capital; state governance. Politics and Policy

Stolen glances: heist cinema and the visual production of deception
Nathan Holmes (2004); Supervised by Murray Pomerance

Major Research Paper: The capacity to deceive figures into cinema's history in a number of interesting ways. For Melies, motion pictures allowed the technical production of deception and illusion for his "trick" films, and in popular mythology, frightened spectators fled an exhibition of Auguste and Louis Lumiere's L'Arrivee d'un train en gare de la Ciotat (1895) fearing the imminent arrival of the train at the theatre itself. While this latter story has been roundly discredited, it holds an important place in cinematic lore. In the various efforts of documentary filmmakers to negate the idea of objective truth, whether through direct cinema/cinema verite, the use of reflexive gestures, or subjective positioning, there is a sense of an imminent threat of deception in film's mediation of truth. As Tom Gunning (2004) and Rachel O. Moore (2000) have recently argued, even critical explorations of cinema, quite as much as filmmaking practices themselves, have held the medium in deep suspicion. In the screen theories derived from Lacan and Althusser that dominated 1970s film studies we see film scholars move towards a conception of film that sees deception and trickery - otherwise called "ideological mystification" - as an innate feature of the cinematic apparatus.


Despite, or perhaps because of, these ongoing concerns, there seems to be a civic-mindedness among critics, theoreticians, filmmakers, and film-watchers alike which holds that film should be able to present at least some verifiable truths and that filmmaking should still be able to provide a reliable document. However, since film is always a mediation of something else, the direct path to these truths - as the debates about documentary filmmaking and realism have shown - will always be complex, and, indeed, contingent upon the culture in which they find purchase. What is at stake then, is not so much what is real and what is not, but the conditions under which verisimilitude - the experience of reality - can be taken to occur and be produced. This paper is about some of the pleasures to be found in watching a cinematic depiction of theft. Theft is something we do not ordinarily see. In cinematic depictions of theft we are shown something that occurs underneath the surface of our everyday reality. Just as much as cinema is deceptive, therefore, so too can it penetrate and explore deceptive phenomena. Caper films; Fraud in motion pictures; Deception in motion pictures; Theft in motion pictures

The cult(ure) of charity and the myths of Free the Children
Jeannine Holwill (2010); Supervised by Amin Alhassan

Thesis: A Canadian charity with global reach, Free the Children claims to be the "largest network of children helping children" in the world. What began as a grassroots advocacy group for children's rights has evolved into a complicated empire that mixes international charity with 'socially responsible' private ventures. In the fifteenth year of operation Free the Children, along with its administrators Marc and Craig Kielburger, has thus far eluded substantial academic investigation. However with 350,000 youth participating in Free the Children programs and 19.6 Million dollars raised in 2008 alone, the influence of this charitable organization demands exploration. Through a critical analysis of texts produced by Free the Children; with support from Mauss' understanding of the gift, Barthes' mythology and Kertzer's discussion of ritual; what follows is an exploration of this charity's considerable ability to impact the cultural and ideological constructs of both the Canadian and international community. Cultural anthropology; Public policy; Social sciences Politics and Policy

Framed: Mainstream media coverage of anti-globalization protesters in Seattle and Miami
Megan Humphrey (2005); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Thesis: In tracing a moment in the life course of the anti-globalization movement, this thesis focuses on how protesters at trade meetings---as a complex group of social actors---have been represented or 'framed' in mass media. This 'movement of movements' is uniquely positioned to battle the forces of global capital from its own 'fluid' territory, however, while protesters converge on the streets, ostensibly under the same collective identifier---anti-globalization---their interests are instead diverse, their goals multifaceted and their identities fluid, underscoring the complexity when attempting to represent this movement in mass media. Media's increasing concentration and orientation as a profit driven business poses particular challenges to a movement opposing capitalism. Media, as a site of resistance, a public sphere and as a tool of social change, is approached as a hegemonic and ideological apparatus that reflexively defends the status quo and chastises would-be challengers. By examining how this movement is subordinated through a frame analysis of media content, this thesis demonstrates one intervention into the role of media in the practice of dissent, and concludes that media's tendency to marginalize protesters suggests the need to reorient movement targets and focus on shifting policy and changing the state. Communication and the arts; Florida; Washington; Mass media Media and Culture

Shaping policy discourse in the public sphere: evaluating civil speech in an online consultation
Anna Hurrell (2004); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Thesis: The ability of the Internet to function as a public sphere, where citizens can come to public agreement and make recommendations that affect government decisions, has recently come under question. The aggressive style of discourse so prevalent in online discussion has been cited as a significant barrier to the deliberative and open discussion necessary for a effective public sphere. This paper focuses on web-based discussion in a online policy consultation called the Canadian Foreign Policy Dialogue, and examines specific discourse features to evaluate whether the moderated online policy discussion was civil, and whether that civility promoted meaningful interaction among citizens, and between citizens and government. The study results revealed that citizen participants in the dialogue were successful at developing, maintaining, and enforcing norms of civil discourse, and that these norms helped to promote understanding, tolerance, and consensus-building. The study also cautions that civil dialogue alone cannot ensure effective communication between governments and citizens. Political participation;  Computer networks; Civil society; Internet; Political aspects; Democracy Politics and Policy

Robo Ludens: Conceptualizing Robots As Playmates And Playthings
Mathew Iantorno (2015); Supervised by Jamin Pelkey

Major Research Paper: In the twenty-first century, socially proficient robots are entering homes, hospitals, and businesses for the first time. Contrary to the aspirations of roboticists, the average person has greeted these autonomous machines with skepticism and anxiety rather than futurist enthusiasm. This paper proposes that these tumultuous early human-robot interactions can be eased by acknowledging an unsung ancestor of these machines: the toy. Common dolls and action figures share the caricatured form and synthetic components of robots yet have routinely been embraced as cherished objects and companions. A critical analysis of toys and the general concept of play consequently offers a template to improve the design and ease the acceptance of these intimidating new automata. This analysis begins with an historical review of how icons of the human form have been conceived of in ancient ritual, modern childhood, and science fiction. The latter half of the paper advocates an embrace of the latent toy-like qualities of robots in order to better human-robot interaction using methods drawn from the fields of cultural anthropology and play theory. These methods are grounded by the author's own practical experiences operating the NAO robot developed by Aldebaran Robotics in a research setting. The robot-as-toy metaphor forwarded throughout this paper is tentatively offered as an alternative perspective to the engineering-based solutions that often dominate the field of robotics.  Media and Culture

Mapping the Biopolitical Mind: The Rhetorics of Neoliberal University Networks
Andrew Iliadis (2010); Supervised by Stuart Murray

Thesis: This thesis will begin by sketching a brief history of neoliberal governmentality in relation to the contemporary university before showing how this interconnectivity legitimizes itself inside an institutional framework where the university's role shifts away from the guardianship of national culture to the production of biopolitically charged bodies enmeshed in the rhetoric of excellence. I argue for a rereading of the development of urbanization that is contemporaneous with the increased practice of a long-term neoliberal university planning for potential growth whose stakeholders would include the university, the city and the corporation. The imminantization of capital in the "digital economy" collapses traditional notions of space-time and in the shift from national culture to biopolitically charged studentship there is a shift away from a labour power that produces capital to a new type of human capital; I argue against sociologists of education and in favour of the concept of thought as alienation. biopolitics; cultural studies; digital economy; higher education; national culture; neoliberal governmentality; university; urbanization Media and Culture

Post-Communist Romanian Cinema: Context And The Turn To Realism
Dana Iliescu (2009); Supervised by Janine Marchessault

Major Research Paper: "Romanian cinema needs to start again from scratch. It has to regain a sense of everyday reality and it has to rendertruthfully an important slice of recent history which has been horribly falsified. A blast of Neorealism is practically a moral obligation for our cinema at this time in its history."- Eugenia Voda, film critic, 1995. Romanian film critic Eugenia Voda has made this nearly prophetic statement only five years after the end of Romania's communist regime. Yet more than prophetic, her remark was an appeal to filmmakers, and their conscious as well as conscientious sense of truth. Although more than ten years have passed since, her words often resonate in close association with recent Romanian films and their honest representation of social reality, unique in the history of Romanian cinema. But to what extent is recent Romanian cinema a national cinema? Given the Western history of analysis of foreign cinematic productions, any current examination of non-Western films within a Western theoretical context must be carried out in relation to the prior theoretical developments, debates, and conclusions within the national cinema framework. Benedict Anderson's concept of the "imagined community' resides as foundation in the process of defining what is national (Anderson, 1983). When speaking of nationalist media, Anderson claims that while a nation is portrayed as a community, it is only an imagined one. Members of a nation do not all know each other, "yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion" (Anderson, 1983, p.6). From this perspective, cinema's popularity and ease of distribution has led to films becoming part of mass communications, and thus it can easily play a role in disseminating both national and nationalist ideals. persisted as a theoretical framework during the development and establishment of film studies as a Western academic discipline. Motion pictures; Romania; Realism in motion pictures Media and Culture

The monstrous feminine and the structure of transformation: Art, language, technology, magic
Cecilia Inkol (2018); Supervised by Steve Bailey

Thesis: The structure of art is an architecture of transformation. This thesis is a meditation on the notion of art or aesthetics as technological, arguing that art or aesthetics in its highest aspect can foment revolution or transformation within oneself, or in the material world. The power of art to invoke change, I define as magic, a means of effectuation that exists outside of the confines of a materialist or scientistic imaginary. Such a mode of effectuation is also linguistic, and connected with meaning. These ideas find their inspiration primarily in the works of Heidegger, Deleuze, Lacan, Kristeva, Schelling, and Slattery. This thesis also acts as a practical, exegetical exercise in aesthetics to render an interpretation of my own artwork, a praxis of art-based research.  

Dialectics of Exclusion/Inclusion and the Naturalization of Bonded Labour: Media Representations of Migrant Workers in Canadian Mainstream Media
Brenda Inouye (2007); Supervised by John Shields

Thesis: This research examines the ways in which migrant workers are represented in mainstream Canadian news print press. In particular, representations of domestic workers and farm workers are the focus of analysis. This analysis is helpful in revealing the extent to which Canadian nation-state interests, including neo-liberalism and nationalist multicultural sentiment, are articulated within the discourses of the mainstream newsprint media. Emphasized is how neo-liberalism operates within a nation-state where the dominant discourse of multiculturalism is predominant. Overall this research demonstrates that the acceptance of migrant workers is conditional. This type of acceptance is characterized by their limited existence as economic participants in the Canadian economy, and their especially oppressed experiences as social and political participants. Overall this research demonstrates that within the mass media, as one component in the larger discourses of neo-liberal capitalism and multicultural tolerance, the subjectivity and agency of migrant workers goes hugely unrecognized. Canada; Canadian media representations; identity; migrant workers; multiculturalism; neoliberalism; neoliberal capitalism; newsprint media; tolerance. Media and Culture

Captioning Prosody: Experience as a Basis for Typographic Representations of How Things Are Said
Casey Irvin (2012); Supervised by Jan Hadlaw

Thesis: This project explores a potential framework for expressing prosody in typefaces used for captioning video. The work employs C. S. Peirce’s triadic form of the sign, specifically the icon and index; Theo van Leeuwen’s exploration of the semiotics of typography and the voice; and George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s idea of experiential metaphors to form a theoretical underpinning that explains the meaning of speech and typography in terms of physical, bodily experiences. Seven typefaces were designed to show shouted, whispered, quick, slow, tense, relaxed, and trembling ways of speaking respectively. A series of three focus groups with deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing participants were held to evaluate the usefulness of these typefaces and, based on the results of a questionnaire and group discussion, alterations were made to the designs after each focus group. Bodily experience is found to be a potentially suitable groundwork for showing prosody in video captions. bodily experiences; disabled; experiential metaphors; hard of hearing; semiotics; speech; typeface; typography; video captions; voice. Technology in Practice

Does Modernizing Mean Westernizing? Western Views Of New China's Graphic Design 1998-2008
Catherine Ishino (2009); Supervised by Michael Prokopow

Major Research Paper: This paper seeks to describe the Western visual hegemonic discourse surrounding the graphic design of what is now called 'the New China' in the two decades prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the current global economic crisis. I will make the case before 2008 and the Peoples Republic of China's (PRC) triumphant Olympic Games, China's design was of being seen as a 'subaltern visual object.' from the perspective of the Western design profession. The latter's stance lags far behind the prevailing counter-hegemonic narratives of the long-standing postcolonialists' theories and theorists of the 1970s - 1980s. So in taking up the postcolonialists' counter-hegemonic narratives, I contend the Western designers' narrative of China was envisaged when the 'Occidental' hemisphere, perceived itself as reigning supreme over the 'Oriental' hemisphere, at a time when Euro-American capitalism was at its apex during the 19th and 20th centuries. The latter deemed their industrial and information revolutionp as justifiable affirmations of their international imperialistic power. The Westernized hegemonic capitalism and image-driven consumer ethos became globally pervasive. However, following the visual tour de force of the 2008 Olympics and the West's dramatic economic instability in late 2008, I believe the subordinate view of the New Chinese graphic design, held by the West, merits and requires a second look. Graphic arts; China; Commercial art; China; Visual communication; China

Abu Ghraib and the commemorative violence of war trophy photography
Joey Jakob (2017); Supervised by Paul Moore

Dissertation: The photographs from the Abu Ghraib scandal are horrific, but they are also understandable. Simply put, the Abu Ghraib photos are purposeful compositions that highlight victory over the enemy Other in war. The photos illustrate sexual and racial violence, founded upon postcolonial narratives, but this is only a starting point for their significance. I address how meaning is made for the U.S. military personnel who took photographs of naked Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib, by looking backward to soldiers’ photography from WWI and II, and by considering soldiers’ online sharing of photographs in the present, examining roughly fifty photos total. The relationships between photographic materiality, emotional and gestural communication, and the production of cultural memory, disseminated via networked circulation, all shape how soldiers’ wartime photographs come to be regarded. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, this research draws upon war photography; visual culture and communication; sociology of groups and ritual; sociology of emotion; combat histories; memory studies; and online photo sharing practices. In so considering, the Abu Ghraib photos are not unique, and are instead grouped within the greater concept of the “war trophy.” I expand on this concept by defining “war trophy photography” as the entwined practices of war photography and trophy collection, rooted in ritual and group solidification. Staged to depict the violent conquering of the enemy, I argue that war trophy photography recognizes war efforts through the construction of a visual record, one that reproduces relations of dominance and submission. I call this representation “commemorative violence,” a central concept I develop to define the war trophy photograph. In addition to grounding the Abu Ghraib photos historically, I review their visual semiotic, cultural significance, such as with the “Doing a Lynndie” meme, which features civilians gesturing in thumbs-up toward a downtrodden individual, copying the same gesture as often used in the images from Abu Ghraib, and the now defunct site “Now That’s Fucked Up,” which briefly allowed soldiers in 2005 to trade gruesome war trophy pictures for pornography. The conclusion reflects on war trophy photography with the topical consideration of drones, ultimately suggesting that drone warfare photos are expressionless because of the overt absence of people.  

Keitai Shousetsu: A Cultural And Technological Study Of Japanese Cell Phone Novels
Jack Jamieson (2014); Supervised by Jan Hadlaw

Major Research Paper: In the mid-2000s, keitai shousetsu [cell phone novels] became so popular in Japan that many rose to the top of the nation’s best-seller lists. Both written and read on keitai [feature phones], the narrative form of these novels is shaped by the affordances and limitations of cell phone technology. Keitai shousetsu make use of computer mediated communication conventions, such as emoticons, unconventional punctuation, and blending spoken and written linguistic styles (S. Coates, 2010). In this study, I describe how a variety of social, cultural, and technological factors created an environment that supported the emergence of keitai shousetsu in Japan in the 2000s. Mizuko Ito (2004) described technological tools as “embodiments or stabilizations of social relations and cultural meaning” (p. 2), a conception that motivates my investigation. In brief, why were adolescent girls in Japan writing novels on their mobile phones in the 2000s? To what extent can keitai shousetsu be described as distinctly Japanese, and what are the reasons for this localized success? And how does the practice of writing and reading keitai shousetsu embody social relations and cultural meaning? (from the introduction)  Media and Culture

Constructing Identities through Music Videos: A Case Study Analysis of Tegan and Sara's Music Videos
Jovana Jankovic (2013); Supervised by Jennifer Brayton

Major Research Paper: "I believe that our music does not have sexuality," proclaimed Sara of Tegan and Sara, in an interview for The Advocate (200S). This paper argues that Tegan and Sara's music videos do in fact contain elements that reflect their sexuality, and examines the extent to which these videos demonstrate their public identity. In order to understand the composition of music videos and the nonverbal signs related to gender and sexuality within them, I draw upon theories of performed identity, music video genres, settings, and lyrical analysis. In examining three of Tegan and Sara's music videos, "The First" (2000), "Back In Your Head" (2007), and "Closer" (2012). I present a narrative structure of their musical career, and outline how their approach and portrayal of their sexual orientation has evolved over the thirteen years they have been together as a band. The results show that Tegan and Sara have increasingly embraced their gender and sexuality over time. gender and sexual politics; music; music videos; popular culture; public identity; sexuality; Tegan and Sara. Media and Culture

Older patient-physician communication: an examination of the tensions of the patient-centred model within a biotechnological context
Catherine Jenkins (2016); Supervised by Steve Bailey

Dissertation: Drawing on existing theoretical work, as well as field research, this dissertation examines the impact of medical imaging technologies on communication between physicians and older patients when diagnostics often privilege disembodied data over the patient voice. Current diagnostic trends are contextualized within the history of medicine, from Ancient Greece to the present, including the development of imaging. Since the 1970s, advanced medical imaging technologies (e.g., ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging) have become the diagnostic norm in Western medicine. The rapidity of this shift, which renders the human body as flattened data, can outstrip considerations of the implications of applying such technologies to living patients. Focusing on older patients, who may be less technologically savvy than younger patients or medical professionals, the field research begins with semi-structured interviews of patients over age sixty-five, exploring their encounters with medical imaging equipment and professionals. This data is interrogated qualitatively using Foucauldian discourse analysis drawing on Andrea Doucet’s model of slow scholarship, and informed by Arthur Frank’s notion of letting stories breathe; themes were allowed to surface from the patients’ narratives, rather than imposed by the researcher. Information emerging from the data considers patients’ emotions, unexpected physical sensations, communicative strategies and rationalizations, as well as Foucauldian allusions to power. Observational research was also conducted during encounters between physicians and simulated patients in the presence of medical images; these encounters were followed by reflective exit interviews. Research indicates that although physicians are increasingly trained in patient-centred communication, it is not always optimally practised. Physicians are sometimes more comfortable with the medical discourse of disease than with the emotional, metaphoric language of the patient’s illness experience. Since the development of modern Western medicine in Europe of the late 1700s, physicians have been trained to seek pathology, with the increasing aid of medical technologies, rather than listening to their patients. For older patients, who may experience multiple co-morbidities, the lack of communication around advanced medical technologies can increase their sense of vulnerability and anxiety. The dissertation concludes with recommendations for both patients and practitioners to improve communication in the medical context.  

Mapping the Canadian landscape : the performing arts and experiential perspectives
Christine Johns (2003); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Thesis: The author investigates landscape aesthetics through performance art, by analyzing how three artists - choreographer Davida Monk, director Paul Thompson and composer R. Murray Schafer - link human experience to the landscape through dance, theatre and orchestral music. Landscapes; Performance art; Aesthetics; Thompson; Paul; Schafer; R. Murray; Monk; Davida Media and Culture

Consuming Figures: A Comparative Study Of Visual Conventions In Fashion, Advertising, And Pornography
Jennifer Johnson (2009); Supervised by Jennifer Brayton

Thesis: This thesis is concerned with the complex relations between consumerism, visual representations, and sex evident in the comparison of pornography and mainstream fashion advertising. Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Playboy are the primary materials used to identify representational tactics unique to, and common between, pornography and fashion magazines. Multiple methods are used to analyze and engage with the visual conventions found in examples of each genre's source materials. Claims of diffusion between the genres are assessed through quantitative content analysis, which is in turn examined through semiotics, and ultimately interpreted through artistic practice. This is in order to gain general insight into how desire and meaning are transmitted through the photographic imagery popularized by each genre. The purpose of this study is to illuminate how sexualized images are reproduced and manipulated to stimulate, satiate, and direct desire for divergent commercial purposes. Visual communication; Philosophy; Visual sociology; Consumption (Economics); Social aspects; Fashion; Social aspects; Pornography; Social aspects; Advertising; Social aspects

Racism and Classism in Mexican Advertising: An exhibition of visual messaging
Carl Jones (2016); Supervised by Catherine Schryer

Thesis: Since before its inception as a nation state, Mexico's population has been plagued with the polemics of class and race. This division continues today through the Mexican ruling class' appropriation of advertising. Having worked in Mexican communications for over eighteen years, I am of the opinion that its ruling class, made up of a few families of European descent, have been able to maintain their power and money through the appropriation of communication. I am interested in the functions and systems in place that allow this to propagate and how meaning is being reproduced unperceived by the audience. My thesis question asks, What are the visual representations of the power relationships in Mexico's political economy as reflected through the appropriation of advertising? To answer this question, I perform a semiotic analysis of branded advertising messages created by the companies Bimbo, Palacio de Hierro and FEMSA, owned by the Mexican ruling families Servitje, Bailleres and Garza respectively. Each television commercial is examined for signs, cultural codes, gestures, gaze and word tracks. These signs are decoded, and the conclusion is expressed through "An Exhibition of Visual Messaging", designed to inform the Mexican public of how messages are constructed and received, empowering the viewer to interpret and challenge the meaning behind the communications they are receiving through the metamedia. Semiotic analysis; advertising; Mexico; Visual Culture Media and Culture

Writing intellectual disability: glimpses into precarious processes or re/making a cultural phenomenon
Chelsea Jones (2016); Supervised by Anne MacLennan

Dissertation: We make each other mean through precarious processes of engagement. This dissertation posits intellectual disability as a modernist subject category characterized by un-belonging and a presumed lack of normative expression. The author takes a hesitant, interpretive, and phenomenological approach to confronting the question of what it means to re/make intellectual disability as presence and process rather than as problem. The researcher engages with intellectual disability by introducing expressive writing as method under a feminist post structuralist framework of exploratory, relational ethics. In doing so, this project introduces the concepts of wonderment and triple-labelling to the fields of cultural studies and critical disability studies. This work advocates for a reorientation toward meaning-making and research-based engagement with intellectual disability as cultural, contextual, and relational phenomenon that remains unsettled as it situates researchers at a perceived limit of knowledge. This dissertation privileges process over resolution. The writing launches from an affect-laden epistemology of wonderment, and thus struggles to resolve its own ethical and methodological uncertainty as it attempts to center intellectual disability without (completely)privileging normative ways of un/knowing. This approach allows that the body is implicated in uncertain discursive processes that re-construct and circulate meanings about the body, the self,and the Other. Then, relying on Foucault’s conceptions of power and knowledge and Snyder and Mitchell's cultural location of disability framework, the study describes Western cultural memory: processes of mind/body splitting and subject-category building traceable through esoteric pre-modernity, eugenic modernity, and the post-identity politics of Davis’s dismodernity. A discussion of research ethics follows, which challenges rational methodological conceptions of intellectual disability that rely on preconceived notions of vulnerability. Before describing expressive writing as a primary research method, the author also makes a case for engaging with triple-labeled people (those labeled disabled, vulnerable, and incompetent) by writing in-relation-to, privileging silence and absence over “giving voice,” engaging in unfamiliarity and untranslatability, and attending to “the space between” the self and the Other.This writing uses reflexive vignettes and critical analysis to lead readers toward the researcher’s final phenomenological reflections on experiences with triple-labeled people writing in a Toronto day program.  Media and Culture

Zones of political power: cell phones and group formation in Kenya and the Philippines
Mark Jones (2006); Supervised by Amin Alhassan and Ed Slopek

Thesis: This thesis proposes a way to examine the form of connection between cell phone use and the formation of groups that demonstrate for political change in developing countries. It uses two political events -- the People Power II demonstration in Manila, Philippines in 2001, and the national election in Kenya in 2002 -- as case studies to test a framework that draws from articulation theory and actor-network theory, informed by a history of development communication. People in developing countries have been fast adopters of cell phone technology. Popular media reports describe people's use of the cell phone as an instrument for the organization of potent political resistance in the digital age. The paper strives to ground assumptions of the "power of texting" in a robust examination of the factors that lead to the formation of social groups. The thesis argues that cell phone network coverage maps are useful tools in the study of social and cultural phenomenon. These maps may be read as zones of political power, enabling those with access to the technology to promote their political agenda, while those without access may be disadvantaged. Political participation; Philippines; Kenya; Cell phones; Power (Social sciences); Text messages. Politics and Policy

Made from Movement: Michael Snow's “That/Cela/Dat”, Marie Menken's “Arabesque for Kenneth Anger”, and Richard Serra's “Double Torqued Ellipse”
Angela Joosse (2012); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Dissertation: Made from Movement works towards a theory of art that is grounded in movement. Thinking through movement allows for consideration of the temporal presence and experience of artworks, and enables an approach to art that crosses aesthetic boundaries. This study is carried out through close hermeneutic studies of three distinct artworks: Michael Snow's video gallery installation That/Cela/Dat (2000), Marie Menken's 16mm film Arabesque for Kenneth Anger (1958 – 1961), and Richard Serra's steel sculpture Double Torqued Ellipse (1997). Movement in these artworks does not appear merely as change over time or change of place, but rather as something that is coherent and consistent with itself but does not conclude itself, something that is in continual flux but does not try to achieve an end point, and something that holds forth and protects potent encounters with otherness. Movement, grasped in this way, is irreducible, generative, and tensile. The particular approach to this study is drawn from Samuel Mallin's phenomenological method of Body Hermeneutics. The method continues Heidegger's focus on singular artworks, and accepts that any particularly strong work of art is as worthy of careful study as any noteworthy work of philosophy or theory. Furthermore, drawing on Merleau-Ponty's philosophy, the method works from a conception of human consciousness that includes our affective, moving-body, perceptual, as well as cognitive integrations with the world. All four of these distinct, yet overlapping, regions of consciousness are embodied, and thus require physical situatedness with the phenomena to be described. Hence, the phenomenological descriptions in the dissertation are developed from writing done in the presence of the artworks, and the themes of movement are drawn from the phenomena shown by the artworks themselves. Through its embodied approach, and by working itself out through themes of movement encountered in three distinct works of art, Made from Movement contributes insights into topics of temporality, technology, language, femininity, perception, cinema, and art. In addition to offering critical writing on artworks by Snow, Menken, and Serra, the three hermeneutic studies also contribute philosophical reflection on the work of Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, Irigaray, and Wittgenstein, among others. Aesthetics of Movement; Hermeneutics; Art; Philosophy.

State Intervention, Videogames and the Public Sphere: A Critical Political Economic Analysis
Daniel Joseph (2012); Supervised by Daniel Drache

Thesis: This thesis illustrates, using political economy, the ways in which governments increasingly play a large role in developing, or encouraging the development of, videogames, and how these games then circulate and interact as political texts in the public sphere. This is achieved in four parts: two on history and theory, and two case studies. The theoretical chapters have two main foci: the first is by finding value in videogames as meaningful cultural artifacts that play a role in the ongoing maintenance of the state and civil society. This is achieved through a literature review and discussion of the contemporary theoretical parameters of the public sphere, which draws heavily on the work of Habermas (1991), Warner (2002) and Drache (2008). In the second chapter this discussion is located inside the field of game studies, drawing heavily on the work of Bogost (2007), whose theoretical frameworks about the persuasive potential of videogames is investigated through their unique status as computational objects. The two second chapters each conduct a political economy through commodification, spatialization and structuration (Mosco, 2009) on the development of videogames who have a direct link with state intervention: The United States Army recruitment videogame America's Army (which was funded entirely by the Pentagon) and the Toronto developed iOS videogame Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, which was the recipient of a small-scale cultural industry grant from the provincially owned Ontario Media Development Corporation. America’s Army (video game); Canada; cultural artifacts; game studies; government; political economy; public sphere; state intervention; Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (video game); Toronto; United States; video games. Technology in Practice

Distributing productive play: A materialist analysis of Steam
Daniel Joseph (2017); Supervised by Jennifer Jenson

Dissertation: Valve Corporation’s digital game distribution platform, Steam, is the largest distributor of games on personal computers, analyzed here as a site where control over the production, design and use of digital games is established. Steam creates and exercises processes and techniques such as monopolization and enclosure over creative products, online labour, and exchange among game designers. Stuart Hall’s encoding/decoding framework places communication at the centre of the political economy, here of digital commodities distributed and produced by online platforms like Steam. James Gibson’s affordance theory allows the market Steam’s owners create for its users to be cast in terms of visuality and interaction design. These theories are largely neglected in the existing literature in game studies, platform studies, and political economy, but they allow intervention in an ongoing debate concerning the ontological status of work and play as distinct, separate human activities by offering a specific focus on the political economy of visual or algorithmic communication. Three case studies then analyze Steam as a site where the slippage between game-play and work is constant and deepening. The first isolates three sales promotions on Steam as forms of work disguised as online shopping. The second is a discourse analysis of a crisis within the community of mod creators for the game Skyrim, triggered by changes implemented on Steam. The third case study critiques Valve Corporation’s positioning of Steam as a new space to extract value from play by demonstrating historical continuity with consumer monopolies. A concluding discussion argues Steam is a platform that evolves to meet distinct crises and problems in the production and circulation of its digital commodities as contradictions arise. Ultimately, Steam shows how the cycle of capital accumulation encourages monopolization and centralization. political economy; digital labour; Steam; platforms; play; distribution; games Technology in Practice

Arranged identities: Second-generation South Asian Canadians on
Naveen Joshi (2011);

Dissertation: This study explores the ways a new genre of transnational interactive digital media shape second-generation Indo-Canadian identity. Drawing on interviews with 30 second-generation Indo-Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area, I examine how they use, self-represent, and are represented on a popular online matrimonial website,, the world's largest online South Asian matrimonial service. I further interrogate what such representations might mean for their understandings of themselves, their cultures, and relationship formation and development.


I consider how these young adults use the construction of their personal profiles to negotiate generational values and desires. They enter searching for a symbolic resource to define their identity and, more specifically, the symbolic boundaries of Canadian and Indian. Although is a space enabling research participants to imagine Indian values, it also frames this imagination by the marketing images of brides and grooms on the main page and the categories on their application form. Together, along with the ideologies users come online with, forms a quality single ideal, outlining standards of desirability, which are markers of authentic Indian-ness. The standards of desirability are cues of attractiveness around gender, sexuality, race, and class, aiding users' representations and how they read the representations of attractive profiles in the limited space of self-disclosure. This study also investigates how the values that encapsulate the website set the tone for the formation and development of relationships, as is one element in an integrated communication system that research participants use to negotiate community and build relationships.


This study reveals the importance of women in defining and interpreting national and ethnic identities. I posit diasporic consciousness as a prevalent theoretical construct in understanding how second-generation Indo-Canadians define and negotiate identity, and form and develop relationships. Family honour and legacy activate diasporic consciousness during important life choices. The negotiations around homeland orientation and boundary maintenance illustrate the importance of stable locations for identity in the second-generation and beyond. Ethnic studies; Web Studies; Mass communications; Social identity; Generations; Asian Canadians; Web sites; Digital broadcasting; Indo-Canadians; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Arranged identities; Matrimonial Web site; Second-generation immigrants;; South Asian-Canadian

Ivona Jozinovic (2017); Supervised by John McCullough

Project-Paper: I will begin the project paper by introducing the untranslatable as a concept, as it is redefined in both my paper, and project. The paper will then delineate the genesis of the project, my artists’ book, and the intentions behind its creation. The process of its making, and its shortcomings, these too, will be under consideration. The creation of the book will be followed by case studies that ruminate, and expand on, aspects of the untranslatable. These case studies will assist in defining the untranslatable and provide a context for its theoretical framework and relevance; in particular they will show the variety of theorists who have also considered the untranslatable, simply in different terms.  Technology in Practice

Embodied Nostalgia
Kimon Kaketsis (2011); Supervised by Paul Moore

Project-Paper: By looking at the history of snapshot photography from the Kodak Brownie until today's iPhone, the qualities of digital snapshot photography will be measured against its analogue past. Through this critique, I will illustrate how highly valued cultural objects like the photographic print and the family album have been replaced by hypermediated transactions of images stored online via social networking websites. Specifically, I will explore why our contemporary society looks back to its past, and at the same time yearn for the future. Smart-phone developers tap into the niche market of this nostalgic trend and created, for example, the Hipstamatic application to give us images that capture moments that look unique, old, and most importantly, one-of-a-kind. The nostalgic qualities associated with analogue snapshot photography-aged prints, exposure flaws, soft focus, and light leaks-are mimicked by contemporary digital images, creating the illusion of historical uniqueness. Snapshot photography is about memory, time, ritual, and nostalgia; the digital is about hypermediated, immediate and constant social online photo posting. The snapshot photograph finds itself at an interesting point of transition, competing to be one step ahead of the newest technology and at the same time, imitating yesterdays technology by striving to look authentically as if from the past. The new and the old have become intermingled. analogue media; digital photography; family; memory; nostalgia; photographic print; ritual; snapshot photography; social media. Technology in Practice

Mediating Poles: Media art and critical experiments of the Polish site, 2004–2009
Aleksandra Kaminska (2013);

Dissertation: This dissertation is a case study of the Polish media artist in the context of post-socialist and European re-imaginations of the Polish site during the years 2004-2009. Though it has been suggested that we have entered a post-national era defined by hyper-mobility and global interconnectivity, it is argued here that there is an ongoing need to think critically about locality, specifically through the concept of the site to ground negotiations of identity, political solidarity, and citizenship. The site is not only defined geographically but exists as the result and embodiment of particular historical, socio-political, and economic conditions. With this as a backdrop, I suggest that critical artistic practices function as experiments in the continued re-imagination and reclamation of the Polish site, and argue that media art is an important tool in processes of self-enfranchisement. I frame these practices through a theoretical exploration of media art and media theory, and through a Polish archaeology of experimentation that includes the Constructivists of the 1920s-1930s, the Workshop of the Film Form in the 1970s, the public performances of the 1980s, and the neo-expressionism of the 1990s. I then turn to the work of nine contemporary artists (Rafał Jakubowicz, Aleksandra Polisiewicz, Hubert Czerepok, Grzegorz Rogala, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Aleksandra Wasilkowska, Dominik Lejman, Izabella Gustowska, and Piotr Wyrzykowski) as examples of critical and experimental media art practice, and suggest that their work can be interpreted as a negotiation of one of three aspects—or ecologies—of the Polish site: the past, democracy, and mediation. I propose that such artistic practices intervene in these ecologies by enabling the pluralization of history and memory, the emergence of public spaces of appearance and communication, and the demystification of the processes of mediation of life and self. I propose therefore that critical media art practices can be understood as site-specific experiments within the ecologies of site and act as provocations or challenges to current political and economic ideologies and hegemonies. In this way they provide a particular opportunity for re-becoming political, critical, and engaged with the broader issues that define and shape the Polish site of this particular period. Art history; East European Studies; Social sciences; Communication and the arts; Artistic practice; Media art; Poland Media and Culture;Technology in Practice

Debating the Niqab: Citizenship and Canadian Values in the 2015 Election Campaign
Amanda Kaminski (2017); Supervised by Ratiba Hadj-Moussa

Major Research Paper: The purpose of this Master Research Paper (MRP) is to examine the niqab issue in the 2015 Canadian Federal election and the debates it produces. Both the terms ‘niqab issue’ and ‘niqab debate’ will be used interchangeably throughout the MRP. The questions that guide the study are: (1) How is the public use of Muslim religious veils in Western societies conceived of? (2) How do Canadian political leaders’ speeches and debates view the use of the niqab during the 2015 Canadian Federal election? (3) How do editorials in The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star re-compose the niqab issue in response to politicians’ discourses? These questions will guide my study. They are articulated to the MRP’s overall and larger research question: How is Muslim woman’s citizenship defined by politicians in relation to their own conceptions of a particular type of citizenship?  Media and Culture

The rhythms of soundspace: Technology, space and the social organization of aural experience
Lewis Kaye (2010); Supervised by Kevin Dowler

Dissertation: The experience of sound cannot be easily separated from the experience of the space through which sound comes to be heard. Both are influenced by technological practices that serve to organize sound in space, an organization that is both material and historical in nature. Describing this relationship requires a conceptual vocabulary sensitive to the theoretical complexities of technology, space and experience, and how they implicate social relations at every level of human aurality. To this end, this dissertation develops the concept of soundspace as a means of exploring and analyzing the spatial relations of sound and aurality. It proposes this concept in place of the generally accepted acoustic ecology model of the soundscape, arguing that the latter is problematic in terms of its understanding of the historical diversity and cultural heterogeneity of aural space, and that its conceptual formulation is too narrow for an adequate understanding of technologically mediated aural space. The idea of soundspace rejects the traditional and problematic dichotomies the soundscape depends on, such as divisions between nature and culture, human and technological, urban and rural, and music and noise. At its core the concept of soundspace proposes that all sound is culturally resonant, that sound is socially inflected by the spatial organization that inevitably frames its production, presence and experience. The notion of soundspace is elaborated in terms of three overlapping and interlocking technological registers, environmental, architectural and electronic, which together provide a renewed conceptual framework for analyzing the relationship between technology, space and aural experience. Fine arts; Music; Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Aurality; Sound; Spatial organization Technology in Practice

Vertiginous Pleasures
David Kerr (2006); Supervised by Murray Pomerance

Major Research Paper: In the opening lines to his unique collection of cinematic art, Italian Movie Posters, Dave Kehr reminds us that "in the final analysis, movie posters are advertisements-in other words, promises made to be broken. But what glorious promises they make" (9)1 In large part this text is dedicated to exploring these very promises, not so much to celebrate the grandeur and bombast of the film poster but to understand the complex processes of interaction that exist between a film, its posters, and their audiences. Of course, the promises that Kehr is referring to are the more or less straightforward ones posters make when they implicitly offer us the chance at experiencing the films they promote as glamorous, adventurous, terrifying, and seductive. In this respect, film posters, like all forms of advertising, seek to create audiences by attaching a fixed social identity to a product that is by its nature polysemic, representing too many things to too many people to be completely represented by any single combination of text and image. Unlike most consumer products however, films are ephemeral in nature, disappearing from view the minute they have been consumed, and like dreams they are only half-remembered by those who have consumed them. Consequently, the relationship between the film and its poster is not quite the same as the relationship between a tangible consumer product and the advertising imagery that sells it. The intangibility of films, in that they are seen only temporarily in the dark and quiet confines of the theatre and our living rooms, make them especially in need of a body, a corporeal vehicle with which they can circulate in the world. In a consumerist culture such as ours, where social relations are structured through the fetishization of commodities, ephemeral products such as films leave consumers needing a tangible emblem, either because they crave owning a piece of what they love or simply to see for themselves whether or not a film is in fact "my kind of movie." Alfred Hitchcock; audience reception; cinema; consumer culture; cultural studies; David Kehr; DVD; film poster; film publicity; Hollywood; movie poster; semiotics; social identity; Vertigo (movie). Media and Culture

Comprehending Privacy in Hindsight
Anja Kessler (2011); Supervised by Wade Rowland

Major Research Paper: In this paper, I will focus on reinvigorating a sense of what privacy is, tracing its cultural significance from an interdisciplinary perspective, culminating in a renewed definition of privacy in the digital age. I will add a brief examination of the Canadian legal context to ground what is predominantly a theoretical exploration. This paper is not primarily concerned with the actual scope of the loss of privacy, although it is based on the assumption that recent online developments are harbingers of the near total erosion of privacy. The premise of this paper is the curious paradox of living in a society that had had, until September 11, 2001, unprecedented levels of privacy protection, while at the same time undergoing rapid devaluation of privacy rights, seemingly voluntarily sacrificed by citizens/ consumers in aid of market advantages through globalized networks. body politics; Canada; Canadian law; community; Hannah Arendt; Jürgen Habermas; privacy; public sphere; social network theory; surveillance. Politics and Policy

Amplifying Action Oriented Media Pedagogy: Identity, access and social change in community radio
Sharmeen Khan (2010); Supervised by David Skinner

Thesis: Training and outreach models in Canadian community radio stations are rarely studied. As many view community radio as spaces that give "voice to the voiceless," the author examines how two community radio stations implement outreach and training in their stations. By interviewing staff and volunteers at CFCR 90.5FM in Saskatoon and CKUT 90.3FM in Montreal, the author investigates the processes for media education and participation. Using a training model called Action Oriented Media Pedagogy as a lens with the theoretical contributions of bell hooks, Clemencia Rodriguez and Raymond Williams, the author explores the promises and limitations of community radio in media pedagogy. Canadian studies; Mass communications; Pedagogy; Social change; Training;

Models; Community; Radio stations; Social identity; Public access; Communication and the arts; Social sciences Media and Culture

The digital story: Binary code as a cultural text
Grant Kien (2002);

Thesis: This thesis analyses digital code for both its literal technical significance and its connoted philosophical meaning, arguing that the rhetoric built into the code is intended by its inventors to bring about some specific changes in the way we know and understand the universe. Rather than a popular notion of Cartesian dualism, digital code conveys the monistic philosophy of Leibniz. Computer circuitry reflects this logic, creating a digital text based on movement and instability rather than the definitiveness of text that Western society has been accustomed to. This technology was intended to serve humanity as a reasoning tool. As an android, it is meant in some ways to replace the human mind. However, where humans find meaning through analog experiences, computers and the code they operate with are digital, meaning they cannot approach what we might define as actual thought. Based on the prototype of the human brain, even the most sophisticated digital technologies can at best mimic human activities. Above all, the authors of the programs (or the rules the machines must follow) are humans. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Mass media; Computer science; Philosophy; religion and theology; Communication and the arts; Applied sciences Media and Culture

Art Hacks And Mash-Up Play: Introducing BitFlows
Robert King (2008); Supervised by Michael Murphy

Thesis: A new software tool called BitFlows has been developed to support creativity, collaboration, performance and innovation in New Media. New Media practitioners already have a diverse range of tools at their disposal. This range of tools is constantly growing fueled by hardware and software hacks, which allow individuals to creatively use and abuse consumer products in ways not intended by their original creators. Software such as Ableton Live, MaxiMSP and VVVV give creators the ability to perform and demonstrate works in a live setting. Influenced by Csikszentmihalyi's concept of Flow in creative work (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996) and Shneiderman's suggestion that creativity can be aided by smoother flow between applications (Shneiderman, 2000a), BitFlows provides a simple means for users to mash-up the data-flows from all of these diverse pieces of hardware and software, over the network, in single or collaborative settings. Mashups (World Wide Web); Application software; Development; Digital media; Technological innovations; Creation (Literary; artistic; etc.); Technological innovations

Beyond the Marked Woman: The New Sex Worker In American Popular Culture, 2006-2016
Lauren Kirshner (2019); Supervised by Ruth Panofsky

Dissertation: This dissertation argues that between 2006 and 2016, in a context of rising tolerance for sex workers, economic shifts under neoliberal capitalism, and the normalization of transactional intimate labour, popular culture began to offer new and humanizing images of the sex worker as an entrepreneur and care worker. This new popular culture legitimatizes sex workers in a growing services industry and carries important de-stigmatizing messages about sex workers, who continue to be among the most stigmatized of women workers in the U.S. These new representations challenge stereotypical portrayals of sex workers – as immoral criminals or exploited victims – that support conservative and patriarchal ideologies. Drawing upon feminist theories of sex work, labour theory, and feminist media studies methodology for exploring the nexus of gender, sexuality, and popular culture, this dissertation examines feature films, TV series, and TV and online documentaries that depict five sex work occupations – erotic dancers, massage parlour workers, webcam models, call girls, and sex surrogates – to illustrate the new figure of the sex worker as entrepreneur and care worker under neoliberal capitalism. By emphasizing sex workers’ agency to choose their work, dignifying their skills, underscoring sex work as a means of economic mobility, and highlighting the positive contributions sex workers make to their clients’ lives, these popular culture representations challenge the anti-sex work position espoused by conservative patriarchal ideology and prohibitionist feminists. Some of these new representations, however, intertwine with a neoliberal post-feminist sensibility that frames empowerment as realizable through individualism and the market alone, rather than in collective ways, and pose few concrete solutions to the challenges faced by sex workers today, namely criminalization. Even so, this dissertation argues that these emerging twenty-first century representations of the sex worker as entrepreneur and care worker are progressive and mark a growing social tolerance for the idea that, for some women, sex work is legitimate work.  Media and Culture

“Will the establishment finance the revolution?”: Canadian arts advocacy groups, the federal government, and development of arts policies, 1963–1972
Gregory Klages (2008); Supervised by Liora Salter

Dissertation: A founding principle in Canadian public interventions in the arts sector is that the government's ability to influence how its support is used should be limited. It could be expected that this principle might be grounded in, and thus reinforce a mutually respectful, if not cooperative relationship between the government and the organizations claiming to represent the sector. In practice, Canadian public policy-making addressing the arts has not always corresponded with these expectations. Between 1963 and 1972, in particular, public support was used to direct the activities of independent or semi-autonomous organizations concerned with the arts in Canada, and to advance public policy goals that at best indirectly related to the well-being of the Canadian arts sector.


Between 1963 and 1972, federal interventions in the Canadian arts sector fundamentally changed. One aspect of this change is the evolution of the federal government's relationship to other prominent organizations active in the arts sector. Two of these leading groups are the Canada Council and the Canadian Conference of the Arts. The Canada Council was created in 1957 as a semi-autonomous federal agency to support the arts and letters through the interest on a public endowment. The Canadian Conference of the Arts (founded as the Canadian Arts Council) dates back to 1945 and is a voluntary advocacy agency representing arts groups across Canada. By the mid-1960s, the majority of both organizations' revenues were supplied through annual federal grants that were often tied to implicit or explicit conditions or directives regarding their use.


This study examines the evolution of the objectives and behaviour of the Canada Council and the Canadian Conference of the Arts in the context of changing federal government goals and practices between 1963 and 1972, and seeks to assess the extent to which political goals intruded upon the operations and objective-setting of these organizations. Records of the Council's and the Conference's operations indicate that their operations and program were effectively re-shaped and re-oriented by federal intervention during the 1960s and early 1970s. Canadian history; Art history; Political science; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Arts advocacy; Federal government; Finance; Policies Politics and Policy

“Life as it is” A renovation of the project of the city
Helmut Klassen (2011); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Dissertation: The renovation of the project of the city critiques the utopian character of the modern city project in order to reconfigure our capacity to creatively imagine different possibilities of what ought to be in relation to the alienating theoretical and historical conditions of modernity. Critique is focused on the technological foundation of the modern project that narrowly co-determines thinking and making as an instrumental calculus of production. While technology has enabled us to dominate the material world and transform both human nature and the city it has also resulted in our alienating loss of contact with reality and diminished the possibility of imagining reconciliation of the city with "life as it is." Renovation strives to recover the creative function of possibility within the city project through the dialogical examination of two 1920s avant-garde experimental city projects: Dziga Vertov's "Man With The Movie Camera" and André Breton's Nadja. Renovation is grounded in a theoretical and historical genealogy of the modern city project, from Plato's Republic through Renaissance ideal cities to the critical dissolution of traditional forms and meanings of architecture and the city within the emerging conditions of modernity. Simultaneously, the genealogy also recovers forgotten meanings and configurations of the project upon the anamnesis of the limits of knowledge, the measure of life, ideas of space, and the visibility of art. Delimiting the modern utopian imperative, this other knowledge is a prologue to the dialogical articulation of the form and character of the renovated project through the detailed examination of Vertov and Breton's avant-garde projects. Reflecting fundamental contrasts within a persistent modern dialectic of imaginative consciousness between knowledge and affect, consciousness and the unconscious, representational picturing and imaginative vision, the juxtaposition of Vertov and Breton's projects articulates the renovated project upon the mediation of the modern gap between technological production and creation based in the recuperation of the dark, spurious origins of creative knowledge in Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" and the reconfiguration of a project in terms of the work of art in Heidegger's "The Origin of the Work of Art."  

Interrogating the One Laptop Per Child project
Ya-Yin Ko (2009); Supervised by Amin Alhassan

Thesis: This thesis uses discourse analysis to interrogate the ideological underpinnings of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project and how it articulates the development subject. Led by MIT Media Lab co-founder Nicholas Negroponte, OLPC sells a nonprofit laptop in mass quantities to governments of developing countries, which then distribute the laptops free of charge to children between the ages of six and twelve. My analysis begins with three privileged signs, or nodal points around which other signs have organized in the discourse surrounding OLPC: technology, development, and education. I demonstrate how certain concepts such as leapfrogging development and constructionism have been mobilized to market a product under the banner of philanthropy. I argue that the project propagates a discourse that defines the "Third World" child as a generic blank slate that ought to be transformed by the marvel of a "First World" machine. Mass communications; Educational technology; Information science; Communication and the arts; Education

The Coat Check Interactive Augmented Reality Installation in Perspective
Aysegul Koc (2013); Supervised by Caitlin Fisher, Michael Zryd

Dissertation: Technological Displacement: The Coat Check Interactive AR Installation in Perspective is a two-part dissertation that involves the research/creation of an augmented reality installation and a textual critique of displacement both as a socio-cultural phenomenon and a technology-driven status quo. Digital technologies involve a series of displacements from data storage and transfer to creating global networks. Going hand in hand with human mobilities technological displacement affects our lives and interactions deeply. Multimedia and digital overlaying of information and interconnectedness (mobile devices, tracking technologies, the internet...) make up our quotidian in various degrees, impelling us to be ‘present’ in time and places we actually are not. Technological displacement may be viewed as an extension of physical displacement of individuals and communities in that the need to reconcile, re-invent and innovatively market proximity becomes more and more an underlying theme of contemporary lives. Nowhere the reorientations of presence is more accentuated than ‘augmented space’, as described by Lev Manovich, “ a physical space overlaid with dynamically changing information, multimedia in form and localized for each user.”(219) It may be argued that our sense of reality is already ‘augmented’ by digital stimuli in many ways. Here I make the case that in an augmented or digitally enhanced environment we are displaced multiple times, or “multiplaced”. Augmentation is superimposing multimedia to real space, blurring the boundary between the real and the virtual, creating a heterogeneous space defined neither by the standards of the virtual nor the real but the coexistence and cooperation of both. Augmented reality functions on the principle of multiple displacements in that iv real space is not a backdrop to multimedia: it is indispensable to the overall embodied experience. I created The Coat Check in 2011 using motion tracking technologies (Intersense IS900), specialized cameras (Point Grey 360° Spherical Vision Camera), screens (FogScreen), software (Max/MSP), tools and applications (Snapdragon AR). The conceptualization of The Coat Check is based on an analogy between digital technologies and coat checks that are both storage, retrieval and displacement systems. The Coat Check also raises questions on identity and history as it refers to belonging, temporality, and mobility. This project is inspired by the work of Mona Hatoum and Kutluğ Ataman. Both artists’ installations focus on the dialectics of the interior and exterior, past and present, memory and amnesia. This research originates from questions of identity, mobility and memory and evolves towards an understanding of technological displacement. augmented reality; augmented space; belonging; data storage; data transfer; history; global networks; identity; installation; memory; mobility; motion tracking technologies; technological displacement; temporality. Technology in Practice

Communication as mobilization: The development of newspaper -based political parties in Upper Canada, 1820-1841
Duncan Koerber (2009); Supervised by Gene Allen

Dissertation: This dissertation examines the emergence of political parties in Upper Canada in the 1820s and 1830s, discovering that newspaper communication was vital. On a practical level, newspapers facilitated the communicative connections between partisans and the public. This dissertation shows how editors and politicians created newpaper networks with nodes managed by partisan agents across the colony, the first political party communication system.


On a more abstract level, editors and politicians used the pages of newspapers to characterize their groups symbolically to attract members. This dissertation examines thousands of newspaper pages printed during elections to understand the ritualistic article forms and structures of language that constructed these new 'imagined communities.'


Over two decades, editors and politicians, regardless of side, valorized a certain kind of party as essential to politics, contrasting it with another type of political organization, the 'faction.' The faction was symbolized as unprincipled, violent and secretive, an association based on old associations, bribery, and personal ambition. In the pages of newspapers, the new political party was portrayed as peaceful, rational, and welcoming. While citizens were addressed as individuals and encouraged to make voting choices rationally, they were also encouraged to join these new political communities rather than remain unconnected to others. Thus the political party is a modern political community and culture brought together by and within the newspaper. Canadian history; Political science; Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Communication; Mobilization; Newspaper-based; Political parties Politics and Policy

The Rise Of A Media Empire In The Former Communist Space. A Case Study Of Central European: Media Enterprises
Monica Kohlenberg (2009); Supervised by Charles Davis

Major Research Paper: During the transition from authoritarian regimes to democracy, media have changed along with the other components of social and economic life. They have evolved from propaganda vehicles to real business entities that are functioning in free markets. However, relations between the media, state, society, and market have led to the development of unique dynamics of media systems in the ex-communist countries. Among all media groups that have formed in the ex-communist space, there is one company that stands out. Central European Media Enterprises (CME) - a Bahamas-based American-owned company was the first to bring Western marketing and management styles, along with American programming. CME knew how to commercially exploit the market's underdeveloped potential and consumers' thirst for information and entertainment. This paper looks at CME mainly from a business perspective. It attempts to document and explain the company's strategies and decisions, and the way in which they were influenced by politics. The theoretical framework of the paper builds on the Splichal's concept of "political capitalism" and on Doyle's and Mosco's theories of media economics. The conclusion is that CME's financial success has been highly influenced - though not totally determined - by factors that have nothing to do with a normal, healthy business environment. Mass media; History; 20th century; Mass media; Political aspects; Corporations; Europe; Central; Central Europe; Cultural policy Politics and Policy

What is the Food Network feeding us?: questioning the Food Network's representation of the food industry
Sarah Kornik (2007); Supervised by Kate Eichhorn

Thesis: Today, the television Food Network is one of the most popular sources of food knowledge. Although it may be perceived simplistically as a recipe resource for aspiring home chefs it represents much more. Through analyses of the Food Network programming this work examines the network's representations of our food ways. More specifically, portrayals of the food industry are explored. It is argued that the network is steeped in nostalgic longing for a traditional value system which emphasizes family and home. This focus on family, community and small scale food preparation eliminates problematic aspects of our food production, distribution and consumption systems. community; family; food consumption; food industry; Food Network; food production; food studies; nostalgia. Media and Culture

Disneyland in the Living Room: Disney Infinity and the Commodification of Mixed Reality
Andreas Koustas (2016);

Major Research Paper: This paper examines the impact that a new genre of digital video games, known as “toys-to-life,” has had on the development of marketing strategies of media corporations. Disney Infinity is a leading developer and marketer of this type of game. For this reason, it serves as a case study in the paper. The analytical framework of the paper is based on two theories that are extended to the realm of digital video games: Magaudda’s (2012) re-materialization and Olson’s (2004) environmental simulacra. This hybrid theoretical approach is intended to highlight the ways in which Disney Infinity’s “Toy Box” model reflects a mixed-reality extension of Disney’s cross-promotional initiatives. Disney Infinity’s effectiveness in commodifying play in both the material and virtual domains affords it all the advantages linked to environmental synergy. The paper explores the notions of synergy and the development of commercial supertexts within the context of digital game production. It was found that, in line with the work of Murray (2003) and Blevins (2004), Disney’s digital game development history has demonstrated that the firm is not omnipotent in its ability to leverage cross promotion. The study of Disney’s history shows an initial inability to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions due to digital convergence. Disney Infinity’s subsequent success as a mixed reality platform, rather than being inevitable, was probably the result of advantageous market conditions associated with the commercialization of the "Internet of Things" and the emergence of the “toys-to-life” model.  Technology in Practice

Maadaadizi (To Start A Journey): Strategies For Indigenous Luxury Fashion Designers
Riley Kucheran (2017); Supervised by Ben Barry

Thesis: Maadaadizi is the beginning of my journey towards deeper understanding of Indigenous peoples’ relationship to fashion, here understood as the modern systems of clothing production and consumption. Fashion wields great power because of its size and ubiquity: nearly all of us participate in the trillion dollar fashion industry. The most dominant fashion system has been a ‘Western’ model that is heavily reliant on resource extraction, manufacture, and social inequality, while the study of fashion has also been dominated by ‘Western’ knowledge traditions. Though Western is a murky concept, it helps define Indigenous modes of making clothing and thinking about fashion through opposition and resistance to the mainstream. It enables imagination of Indigenous fashion systems that honour Indigenous knowledges and worldviews.  Technology in Practice

Globalization and media imperialism : a case study of the Slovak Republic's television media structure and content
Katarina Kuruc (2006); Supervised by Kevin Dowler

Thesis: An increase in the global circulation of symbolic commodities allows for both new and older forms of mass media to re-construct the ways in which individuals identify with themselves and with their own cultures. The goal of this project was to employ former communist Slovakia as a case study in order to examine the global circulation of symbolic commodities, specifically television programmes. This paper outlines Slovakia's television media structure and its development from the communist era to its current form. Secondly, it employs content analysis and articulation theory as methodologies in order to place Slovakia's television into context with two cultural theory theses; the media imperialism thesis and the globalization thesis. It was found that the [sic] as a result of several historical and political changes, the current conjuncture of Slovakia's television media includes a large number of American entertainment programmes, some domestic productions and a European structure of broadcasting. American television; American entertainment; European television broadcasting; identity formation; media imperialism; Slovakia; Slovak television; symbolic commodities; television programs. Media and Culture

Ledgibility in the liminal: challenging the symbolic order, an exhibition of drawing
Joseph Laevens (2006); Supervised by Steve Bailey

Project-Paper: "Amidst the 'Glossary of Commonly Misused Words' in the Writers Digest Grammar Desk Reference, the adverb hopefully is demonstrated in its proper usage with a fortune cookie message that reads: 'It is sometimes better to travel hopefully than to arrive'. (Lutz, 332) This paper takes its character from a similar elaboration from within its purpose. In the most simple way, that purpose is to formulate a critical explanation of the studio works as

surveyed and documented. As explication, it imbues its meaning as a manner of traveling hopefully upon the arrival of the action of the project. This might seem simple enough but in order to contextualize both the studio works and the explication the reader will be required to play the double game of both conceptually traveling and perceptually arriving. Though it may seem arbitrary, there is no other way any higher possibility of agreement between text and object could be arranged. To argue on behalf of the studio works would prioritize perceptual

arrival over the viewer's experience and to realize art about theories is easily a misuse of the word hopeful"--From the introduction, page 3. aesthetic receptivity; art; cultural spaces; logarithmic figurations; picture spaces; postmodernism; pragmatism; studio production; visual modalities. Media and Culture

Citizen Videojournalism in Professional Online News Media as a Vehicle for Democracy
Susan Lai (2010); Supervised by Don Snyder

Major Research Paper: This paper focuses on how the integration of user-generated content (UGC), in news stories as a vehicle that provides voices for citizens in a democratic movement. The usage of UGC in news institutions has changed traditional journalistic practices in terms of their news value, standard and quality. Essentially, editors of the news media determine which images captured by citizen journalists will be used, and they also decide the messages that they want to send to the public through framing and editing techniques. Previous research on editorial practice has identified various standards about newsworthiness that serve as selection criteria. However, there is a limited amount of research available on how UGC has changed the traditional journalism model. Through qualitative interviews with seven image editors, five news companies, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CTV, Macleans, Rabble and The Toronto Star, this study sheds light on the editor's perceptions about citizen journalist videos and images in news content online. Three Canadian case examples are examined for their visual content analysis: the immigration ex-judge sex bribe case, the Vancouver police tasering of a Polish man, and Victoria police manhandling two young men at a nightclub. Through analysis of the interviews and case studies, this study finds that editors feel that UGC has not altered their traditional news standards. However, upon closer examination of news report cases, it does appear that UGC, which often consists of low quality videos with information entertainment content, has in fact affected the practices of quality journalism. The news media have adopted UGC content styles, which tend toward being more sensational, graphic, raw; these styles can make "hard news", which conveys investigative in-depth information, appear similar to "soft news", such as sensational infotainment. Notwithstanding that professional news organizations use public content in their news stories, they have not provided a platform of partnership to allow citizens to have a democratic voice through their media broadcasting; CBC; CTV; democracy; internet; journalism; Macleans; media ethics; news media; online news sites; participatory journalism; photojournalism; Rabble; Toronto Star; user-generated content; video journalism. Technology in Practice

A critical review of agenda -setting methodology and the evaluation of a media -centric model
Andrew Laing (2010); Supervised by Fred Fletcher

Dissertation: Agenda-setting ranks among the most studied phenomena in communications research. A factor behind its popularity has been the nature of its research design that incorporates both media content and public opinion in a manner that yields an observable and empirically testable effect. Despite the model's importance, there has been little systematic evaluation of the underlying research design and, in particular, the role of media within the media/transfer of salience/public opinion equation. How media should be conceptualized within the research design has growing importance to the broader study of media effects due to the divergence of media sources and the erosion of mainstream media influence.


The thesis addresses these issues by first conducting a meta-analysis that focuses on the research designs in agenda-setting research published in the last 25 years in major journals. The meta-analysis supports the hypothesis that media is often underconceptualized in research designs, and offers a new approach—the media-centric model—that addresses key weaknesses concerning the proximity of media to audience/respondents and other factor that undermine research design validity. The media-centric model was tested over a five-month period in the Waterloo region of Ontario. The model includes formulas for weighting of media content based on market research and other audience demographic data.


The study confirmed the presence of an agenda-setting effect, and also confirmed the importance of proximity of news content and, in particular, the importance of local news media coverage that is often overlooked in agenda-setting research. The presence of the agenda-setting effect was not significantly strengthened by the application of audience demographic data, but other factors from the model that enhanced proximity of content did indicate significant results, but were qualified by the nature of key news events. The results provide an important contribution to conceptualizing the role of media not only in agenda-setting research designs but also in other areas of study into primary media effects within the context of an expanding universe of mediated sources of news and information. Communication and the arts; Agenda-setting; Media-centric model; Mass communications

Online journalism and the public sphere: A discourse analysis of three newpaper websites
Ganaele Langlois (2004); Supervised by Fred Fletcher

Thesis: The central interrogation is about the extent to which online journalism redefines and actualizes the concept of the public sphere as developed by Habermas. In order to examine such relationships, this thesis engages a discourse analysis of three newspaper websites—Le Monde, Guardian Unlimited and the New York Times—and their coverage of the 2003 World Social Forum. The examination of three newspapers that have made the transition from print to online provides the ground for reassessment of the notion of the Internet as a democratic medium and shows there is a development of hybrid models that mix some of the characteristics of Internet-based communication with mass media communication.


The discourse analysis proceeds by analyzing the interplay between multiple levels of discourse—the textual level, the hypertextual level of internal and external links, and the interactive level of readers' participation. It is not only the discourses produced and the ideologies they carry that are analyzed, but also the ways in which those discourses embody the shifting relationships between journalists and audiences in the emerging online public sphere.


Not only do journalists define specific ideological representations of an event inscribed within the globalization/antiglobalization debate, they also use hyperlinks to both reinforce their discourses and to open them up to readers' scrutiny. As such, hypertext does not simply create multiple discourses, it also allows journalists to map the construction of their representations. The new relationships that are established with audiences through interactive debate point to the redefinition of the hierarchy between journalists and readers, with a gradation as to the extent to which readers can participate in building and interrogating the media representations. To conclude, this thesis suggests that the online public sphere could benefit from developing models of news communication that are more open to self-reflection about the representations they carry. Mass media; Journalism; Communication and the arts

The TechnoCultural dimensions of meaning: Towards a mixed semiotics of the World Wide Web
Ganaele Langlois (2008); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Dissertation: This dissertation project argues that the study of meaning-making practices on the Web, and particularly the analysis of the power relations that organize communicational practices, needs to involve an acknowledgement of the importance of communication technologies. This project assesses the technocultural impact of software that automatically produces and dynamically adapts content to user input through a case study analysis of and of the MediaWiki software package. It offers an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that borrows from communication studies (discourse analysis, medium theory, cultural studies of technology), from new media studies (software criticism) and from Actor-network theory and Felix Guattari's mixed semiotics. In so doing, the research defines a new methodological framework through which the question of semiotics and discourse can be analyzed thanks to an exploration of the technocultural conditions that create communicative possibilities.


The analysis of examines how the deployment of tools to track, shape and predict the cultural desires of users raises questions related to the imposition of specific modes of interpretation. In particular, I highlight the process through which user-produced meanings are incorporated within software-produced semiotic systems so as to embed cultural processes within a commercial imperative. While is an instance of the commercial use of dynamic content production techniques on the Web, Wikipedia stands as a symbol of non-commercial knowledge production. The Wikipedia model is not only cultural, but also technical as mass collaborative knowledge production depends on a suite of software tools - the MediaWiki architecture - that enables new discursive practices. The Wikipedia model is the result of a set of articulations between technical and cultural processes, and the case study examines how this model is captured, modified and challenged by other websites using the same wiki architecture as Wikipedia. In particular, I examine how legal and technical processes on the Web appropriate discursive practices by capitalizing on user-produced content as a source of revenue. Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Meaning-making; Semiotics; Technocultural; World Wide Web

Representation of interracial couples on mainstream television: confining identities of race and gender in Heroes
Sarah Lasch (2007); Supervised by Jennifer Brayton

Thesis: Using textual and discourse analysis and a semiotic, narrative approach to television texts, I explore representations of identity, specifically interracial couples. I use three interracial couples on the popular mainstream television show Heroes to analyze and explicate the ideological portrayals of gender, race and their interplay as shown on television. Taking into account historical gender and race representational studies on television, I analyze Heroes as a multiracial, current mainstream television show in the contemporary comic book genre to understand the ways interracial couples are represented. Heroes (Television program); Interracial dating; Race relations on television; Sex role on television

I Fluctuate Between Chubby and Curvy: Shame, Affect, and the Fat Body in The Mindy Project
Dominique Lauf (2015); Supervised by Susan Driver

Major Research Paper: Affect theory, although a relatively new theory, helps to explain Kaling’s character in The Mindy Project in a complex way that acknowledges the character’s flaws and faults, while also addressing her relatability and fatness beyond representation and tokenism. Affect theory provides space for new ways of thinking of issues of fatness that are more encompassing, emphasizing the subjective experience of fat embodiment. It is the portrayal of the subjective experience of fat embodiment that makes the character, Dr. Mindy Lahiri, relatable to any individual affected by constant messages of current cultural standards of beauty— messages of ideal body weight and shape. Analyzing The Mindy Project, specifically Kaling’s character, through Affect theory, opens new space for thinking of fat subjectivities and valuing fat embodiment as equal to any other subjective experience of embodiment. (from the introduction)  Media and Culture

Sharing Dance: A Participatory Action Research Project in Online Community Dance Education
Julia Lefebvre (2013); Supervised by Christopher Innes

Major Research Paper: As a dance and movement workshop leader for over five years I have seen the benefits that dance education offers students first hand. While on tour across Northern Ontario with the Cree language opera Pimooteewin: The Journey, I had the opportunity to share creative dance workshops with students living in remote locations. These students had limited access to dance education and most schools I visited had no integrated dance curriculum. I found this surprising since the inclusion of dance in Ontario public schools is a requirement. Dance was incorporated into the 1993 Common Curriculum and the 1998 Ontario Curriculum (Ministry of Education). Many teachers I spoke with while on tour mentioned they did not have access to high quality, free dance education materials, and did not feel comfortable teaching the subject. This experience drew me to develop an applied research project with Canada's National Ballet School's (CNBS) community outreach initiative, Sharing Dance. Unlike other online dance education organizations, such as the Council for Ontario Dance and Drama Educators (CODE) that works on a subscription model, Sharing Dance offers teachers easy access to dance education materials for free, potentially overcoming location and socioeconomic obstacles. community-based action research; dance; dance education; online communities; participatory action research; Sharing Dance Media and Culture

Agent of social change: a history of Canadian University Press
Käthe Lemon (2004); Supervised by Gene Allen

Thesis: Canadian University Press (CUP) is a co-operative national student news group that produces a news service and unites student newspapers across the country. Since its establishment in 1938, CUP has brought campus newspapers from across the country together to share news and information as well as training with one another. From 1965 to 1991 CUP's policies stated that the major role of the student newspaper was to "act as an agent of social change." During this time CUP and its members took on an educative and active political role. Using CUP as a case study of a politically engaged press organization that saw its role as an active participant in the events it reported, this thesis illuminates the factors that can encourage a politically engaged press taking into consideration both theory and practice. This study examines the factors that made it possible for CUP to act as an agent of social change, how that role was interpreted, and the changes that resulted in the organization moving away from that role. Canadian University Press; Journalism; Social change; Student newspapers and periodicals Media and Culture

Images on the Street: Fashion, Personal Style, and The Sartorialist
Meghan Lengyell (2011); Supervised by Paul Moore

Thesis: Drawing on urban modernity and subcultures, the street photography of the online site, The Sartorialist, is interpreted within a history of everyday style on the streets (or "streetstyle") since the mid-twentieth century. The paper argues that, as a digital archive of streetstyle, The Sartorialist creates a convincing portrait of the mythic notion of self-invention through fashion by tying style to a variety of elements of the real. Through a distant reading of the archive and semiotic analysis of the images, the underlying structures of meaning-making on the site are revealed. Through a condensation of Nancy's theory of the image and Benjamin's conception of the wish in the dream, I argue that The Sartorialist both validates and highlights the ultimate limitations of the urban project of fashion and encourages a particular way of looking at the world. blogging; everyday fashion; internet; online; self-invention; semiotics; street photography; subcultures; The Sartorialist; urban modernity. Media and Culture

From crowdsurfing to crowdsourcing: User-generated concert videos, and the practices of music fandom
Yee-Man  Leung (2008); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Thesis: This thesis focuses on examples of fan-produced concert videos. Through an analysis of YouTube, I have gathered a range of performance footages captured and uploaded by fans who have attended the Broken Social Scene concerts at Toronto's Olympic Island Festival and Chicago's Lollapalooza in the summer of 2006. From this sample, I will evaluate how the immediacy, aesthetics and content of fan-produced concert videos enable music fans to leverage their cultural capital and to attain a sense of self-identification. Music; Mass media; Communication and the arts Media and Culture

"Conversations that fly:" the Little Review and modernist salon culture
Ron Levy (2010); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Major Research Paper: Margaret Anderson (1886-1973), the American writer, editor, publisher, and impassioned promoter of avantgarde forms of expression, defined great art as a struggle for communication (Anderson, Little Review Anthology 11). She ardently believed that the exchange of ideas is a sometimes difficult but vital component of the creative process. It is because of this belief that she launched a magazine called the Little Review in 1914, which quickly established itself as the leading avantgarde magazine of its era. The Little Review was launched on the eve of the First World War, a period when widespread tensions manifested themselves in the arts as well as in political and social realms. It was therefore a time when Modernism - a revolutionary movement in the literary and visual arts that began in the late nineteenth century in response to traditional discourses of rationality and reached its apogee in First-World-War and post-war era- established itself with a broad array of new cultural expressions (Tew and Murray 11). Modernist experimentations were spearheaded by its avantgarde, a group of radical artists and writers representing an aggressively antagonistic spirit and revolting against the old systems of order and bourgeois institutions of art, as theorist Renato Poggioli (8) has described the historical avantgarde of the early twentieth century. As we shall see, the Little Review was an important member of a vanguard that helped create a cultural revolution by casting off, and inventing entirely new, literary and artistic conventions. United States; Intellectual life; Aesthetics; Modern; Literature; History and criticism; Periodicals; Publishing; History

Terms of Restriction
Benjamin Lewis (2009); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Major Research Paper: An examination of how online media cover the debate about commercial control of the Internet and the possibilities of the public spheres online. Initially developed by universities and the military, the speed at which the Internet was embraced by the general public during the mid-nineteen-nineties took governments and commercial interests by surprise. It allowed for a new form of discourse, where anyone could log-on and, at no additional cost, enter into conversations and debates with millions of other Internet users. This new medium for communicating information allowed individuals to overcome existing financial and spatial barriers and thereby engage in new forms of critical political dialogue. Internet communities have flourished and existing corporate media companies, experienced at producing and distributing content to audiences of consumers, have had to adapt to audiences that increasingly demand the right to create and distribute content themselves. Many governments, Canada included, have chosen to leave the Internet and its infrastructure largely unregulated, believing that existing legislation would suffice (Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission. CRTC Won't Regulate the Internet). In contrast to traditional media enterprises already dominated by commercial interests, the Internet seemed to be a medium where commercial and public interests could successfully coexist, and where individuals could engage in critical dialogue, share ideas, and shape discourse and opinions offline as well as online.-from the introduction. Technology and state; Online journalism; Social aspects; Electronic commerce; Internet and society Politics and Policy

"We Do Not Live For Material Things:" Indigenous Culture And Food Security In Brazil, The Case Of The Cinta Vermelha-Jundiba Village
Rita Liberato (2009); Supervised by Amin Alhassan

Project-Paper: This project is based on a qualitative analysis of the opinions of key actors involved in the construction of the indigenous village Cinta Vennelha-Jundiba (CVJ) in Brazil. The CVJ village represents a unique case in Brazil: for the first time in history, an indigenous group from different ethnic backgrounds got together and bought their own land. The research question that guided the analysis is in the context of the creation of the CVJ village: Does food play a role related to cultural reinvention and ethnic reconstruction? The purpose of this project is to explore how food has the communicative function of a bridging mechanism between the Pankararu and the Pataxo cultures in the CVJ village. The conclusions of the analysis show that the interaction between the CVJ's inhabitants is characterized by profound cultural reconstruction and ethnic reinvention, and food production and consumption are key factors in these processes. Cinta Vermelha-Jundiba (Brazil); cultural reinvention; cultural studies; ethnic reconstruction; food; food production and consumption; food security; indigenous people. Media and Culture

Rerouting networks: promise and impediment in virtual social capital models
Kevin Libin (2004); Supervised by John Shields

Major Research Paper: It would be inaccurate to suggest that the societal amalgam created when democracy and media combine is something novel, or for that matter that it has ever truly been novel. Democracy and civil life, as the modem conceptualizations of those notions are typically understood, are bound to the idea that there exists not merely the functional devices of citizenry actively participating in the selection and implementation of governing, but that there also be a formidable, effective and widespread medium of one sort or another - or more than one - present. A product of society and culture, democracy cannot feasibly exist on an individual level, but only in a community and community, in tum, must be tethered together by commonly shared communicative threads (Van Benschoten 2000). Democracy, theoretically understood as it is based on the notion of citizens making informed decisions and choices about which manner and by which policies they themselves wish to be governed, must therefore thrive only on a framework which includes the allowance for a technology which provides for the effective dissemination of ideas to the citizens. In any other model, democracy would necessarily be undermined. There would exist a gap in the education in the abilities of different citizens to participate: those democrats fortunate enough to live in proximity to the major population centers, particularly those with real political relevance, would be more likely to directly have access to information about politicians and candidates, while citizens distanced from political centres by geographic barriers (agricultural workers would obviously be a predominant segment of just such a group) would similarly be distanced from the political process, bereft of any reliable means with which to equip themselves with the information they arguably need to make the educated electoral choices that are critical to the process of civic membership. This is particularly true, not only as it pertains to electing representatives - in which case candidates can often originate within regional proximity to voters, as is the case with Canadian members of parliament, and therefore will campaign regionally -- but additionally it is vital that citizens are kept abreast of the issues of the day and the performance of their elected officials once they are given power. Governmental responsibility is, if not a direct function of citizen proximity, then necessarily a function of citizen access to reliable channels of mass communication. Democracy; Mass media; Political participation; Social capital (Sociology); Social networks; Internet

Lyrebirds: A Concept Album Exploring Catachresis In Popular Music Styles
Michael Lisinski (2018); Supervised by Jody Berland

Project-Paper: This essay describes the theory and practice behind the creation of my accompanying concept album Lyrebirds. The concept album’s main focus is the implementation of catachresis – a traditionally linguistic or poetic trope which operates as an ‘abuse’ or ‘extension’ of metaphor – into popular music composition. I use Derrida’s (1982b) work on catachresis’ irruptions of meaning and Lakoff & Johnson’s (1980; 1999) work on conceptual metaphor to argue that music is both experienced metaphorically and capable of engendering catachresis. Building on this, I adopt Chrzanowska-Kluczewska’s (2011) dissection of catachresis into three basic types. I then use Fauconnier & Turner’s (2002) blending theory in order to ascertain the specifics of what may happen mentally when catachresis is experienced, and how composers may draw upon these mental processes when writing music. The final section of the essay describes my creative process based on these findings and the catachrestic compositional strategies I developed in order to write the music for Lyrebirds.  Technology in Practice

Xstreamulator: A Rich Media Webcasting Application For Lectures And Events
Jeremy Littler (2008); Supervised by Michael Murphy

Project-Paper: Xstreamulator is a .NET based web casting application that utilizes the Microsoft Windows Media Server to broadcast classroom lectures and events. Uniquely, the application supports the synchronized delivery of captured bitmap content (slides), which are displayed in an ASPIHTML based cross-browser viewing environment. At present, Xstreamulator supports bitmap slide capturing from PowerPoint presentations, computer desktops, images, web pages and external VGA sources. Additional capture capabilities are currently in development. Although Xstreamulator has been used extensively for live webcasting, it can also be employed to record webcasts for distribution through ondemand delivery or removable media. In contrast to commercial solutions, Xstreamulator's live webcasting functionality is not constrained to traditional academic settings (i.e., classrooms). Indeed, many instructors at Ryerson University have successfully employed Xstreamulator to web cast lectures from their office or home. In addition, Xstreamulator has been employed effectively in the delivery of events, lectures, symposiums and conferences. Webcasting; Technical innovations; Podcasting; Ryerson University; Lectures and lecturing; Universities and colleges

Book Publishing in Canada, 1945-2010: Ownership and Control of the Canadian Market
Jordana Lobo-Pires (2011); Supervised by David Skinner

Major Research Paper: This essay sets out to trace the structure of the Canadian publishing industry in light of the policies that have allowed and enabled the survival of an indigenous Canadian publishing industry. Specifically, it explores the history of government intervention in the Canadian publishing industry through the Investment Canada Act in its three formualations: Federal Investment Revenue Agency Act (FIRA), enacted from 1974 to 1985; the Baie Comeau policy, from 1985 to 1992; and the Revised Investment Canada Act, from 1992 to the present. The Investment Canada Act in each of these formulation was the crucial policy designed to protect and encourage Canadian ownership of the publishing industry. This study then assesses the impact of these policies on the ownership and size of Canadian publishers. book industry; book publishing; Canada; Canadian publishers; global capital; ownership; political economy; public policy; publishing regulations. Media and Culture

From Facebook to 'Placebook': A Critical Approach to Mobile Network Labour
James Loney (2012); Supervised by Tuna Baskoy

Major Research Paper: This paper puts forth a critical interpretation of Facebook Inc.'s mobile growth strategy within a present mobile network society. Using Facebook's own promotional and platform policy texts - many authored at a time when the company prepared for public trading - a promotional rhetoric inviting mobile users to actively partake in the site's 'engaging experiences' will be surveyed. The analyst adopts a view that engaging Facebook on mobile devices can be interpreted as an emerging form of hyper-mobile net work generating surplus value filtered towards particular interests (network 'nodes'). I argue that Facebook's source code can be likened to a worksite, albeit a highly decentralized one that, through mobile, bridge virtual influence to physical spaces. To meet such a task, end-users' mobile-specific technical rights will be discussed so far as they interface with other revenue-generating actors. Using a critical discourse analysis framework, this paper explores a grammar of interests portrayed at a key point in Facebook's company history, connecting Facebook's imagined mobile landscape to its initial public offering period. Facebook; Facebook Mobile; mobile network society; network labour; property rights; social media; technical rights; Web 2.0. Technology in Practice

Covering the coup: Canadian news reporting, journalists, and sources in the 2004 Haiti Crisis
Isabel Macdonald (2007);

Thesis: This thesis tests Herman and Chomsky's propaganda model on the Globe and Mail and National Post's coverage of the 2004 coup d'etat that overthrew Haiti's elected government. A content analysis supports the model's predictions; the press placed greater emphasis on alleged crimes by the elected Haitian government than on the documented human rights crisis under the Canadian government-backed regime installed in the wake of the coup. Interviews with journalists and sources cast light on the news production processes, source strategies and media-source relationships that contributed to this pattern of coverage. Sources from the Haitian elite-led political movement seeking the elected government's ouster owned much of Haiti's private media, and benefited from US, Canadian and EU government financing and training. Interviews with Canadian and wire services journalists suggest that professional practices, organizational routines, and social barriers contributed to the access that these sources enjoyed in the Canadian media. Journalism; Political science; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Haiti Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

Producing the public past: Canadian history on CBC television, 1952–2002
Monica MacDonald (2008);

Dissertation: Canadian history has been a feature of CBC English television since television began in Canada in 1952. Non-fiction history, in documentary and docudrama form, has been a particularly important source of authoritative information on the Canadian past. The aim of Producing the Public Past is to document the general characteristics of this programming as it has evolved over the first fifty years of CBC television and specifically, to assess the role of its production environment in shaping these characteristics. The establishment of historical lineage has long been in the service of building nationalisms, and Canadian history programming has proven to be an important tool in supporting the nation-building aspect of the CBC mandate. Throughout the study period CBC officials consistently promoted it as proof that in this respect, the national public broadcaster was doing its job. Canadian history was also valuable in upholding the public service aspects of the CBC mandate. During the 1950s and 1960s especially, this was connected to the educational role of public broadcasting, and to the perception of public broadcasting as a provider of quality television. This changed as the provinces exercised their jurisdiction over educational broadcasting, as the CBC became more commercial, and as the Canadian broadcasting system moved towards an industrial model of production.


Also evaluated in this study is the role of historians in CBC Canadian history programming. In the beginning this relatively small group of scholars was vital to the corporation as advocates of public broadcasting. As important was that they were advocates of an interpretation of the Canadian past largely shared by CBC producers. In general, these versions stressed national themes articulated from a centralist viewpoint, often with the (white, male) individual as the prime agent of past events. While Canadian historiography eventually expanded and diversified from this position, CBC histories did not, suggesting an ideology that in the end was separate from scholarly work. Canadian history; Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Canadian Broadcasting Centre; History programming; Television Media and Culture

Consumption and culture in Toronto's urban soundscapes
Susie MacDonald (2007); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Major Research Paper: The multifaceted acoustic environments found in Toronto's urban centres are often unseen as part of the city's cultural landscape. Toronto's ambience is a direct product of the cultural fertility created in downtown communities however, certain consumptive practices are encroaching on a vulnerable soundscape. Technology is changing the cityscape, not only visually but acoustically as well. As a result, consumer culture is adapting. In the past, consumption revolved around the visual realm. Now a change is occurring, consumerism is evolving, and soundscapes are facilitating a new era of consumer culture. It is essential that we realise this shift and that we do not remain passive observers in what is considered to be an evolution from a literary to aural society. acoustic environment; aural representation; Canada; consumerism; consumptive practices; multiculturalism; Toronto; urban soundscapes; visual representations. Media and Culture

"Playtime's over, now sit down and shut up": wrestling spectatorship & the cruelty of its pleasure
Shannon Mack (2013); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Major Research Paper:  audience; entertainment; ideology; masculinity; media violence; social power; World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE); wrestling entertainment; wrestling spectatorship. Media and Culture

Culturally sustainable development: Maya cosmovision, El Centro Pluricultural para la Democracia, and the idea of development
Timothy Macneill (2011);

Dissertation: Since the official end of Guatemala's civil war in the mid 1990s, an indigenous run organization, El Centro Pluricultural para la Democracia has been undertaking grassroots projects under the moniker of culturally sustainable development (CSD). This idea of development has been created from the ground up in interaction with indigenous communities of the country's Western highlands. The demographic nature of these communities has necessitated that CSD be formulated within the foundational frame of Maya cosmovision. This research attempts to understand the meaning of CSD as it is articulated at El Centro, and it asks what this idea may have to teach those who are more versed in mainstream "Western" theories of international development. CSD, it is argued, is an idea that is both old and new. It is not modern or "traditional" but rather transmodern. The incorporation of CSD logic into international development discourse would not be difficult where streams of thought related to cultural political economy are concerned. Development theory that is based in neoclassical economics, however, would require a major transformation if CSD were to be incorporated into its rubric. Cultural anthropology; Social research; Latin American Studies; Social structure; Social sciences; Centro Pluricultural para la Democracia; Cosmovision; Culturally sustainable development; Guatemala; Maya Politics and Policy

Resurrecting the body: affect and agency in Artaud's theatre of cruelty, contemporary performance and immersive virtual space
Sabrina Malik (2007); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Major Research Paper: I am interested in exploring Brown's conception of a resurrection of the body through creative transgressions and Sontag's notion of an erotics of art. Beginning with Antonin Artaud's conceptualization of a "theatre of cruelty", I propose to examine artistic embodiments of transgression and erotics in the works of performance artists such as Karen Finley and Vito Acconci, as well as in the virtual art of Char Davies. Transgression and erotics in popular culture will be explored through the performance style of Jim Morrison and The Doors. Using Nietzsche and Brown's discussions of the Apollonian and Dionysian conditions or states of artistic consciousness, I argue that a return to the senses or to the romanticist notion of the "deep interior" is required in order for the process of social healing and unification to begin. Virtual reality in art; Art and technology; Interactive art; Theater; 20th century; Multimedia installations (Art); Psychological aspects; Performance art; Psychological aspects Media and Culture

Information and Communication Technologies in Networks of Non-Profit Organizations
Eli Malinsky (2005); Supervised by Wendy Cukier

Thesis: This thesis explores the recursive interaction among technology, human action and institutional properties in three networks of nonprofit organizations. The aims of the research are two-fold: to make a theoretical contibution to literature on organizations and technology by applying concepts of institutionalism and the structurational model of technology to a unique organizational form; and, to make a practical contribution to the nonprofit sector by improving knowledge of how networks of nonprofit organizations interact with information and communication technologies.

The research process involved 13 interviews, 44 qualitative surveys and copious document and website analysis. The findings indicate that technology is not institutionalized uniformly within the network structures but instead comes to assume different roles within different parts of the networks. This leads to an extension of the structurational model of technology and also highlights the importance of flexible technologies that can be adapted to the variable circumstances of a single network structure. Nonprofit organizations; Information technology; Canada; Communication in organizations; Organizational sociology; human interaction; information and communication technologies; institutionalism; nonprofit networks; nonprofit organizations; structural models of technology Technology in Practice

Discourse, Difference, And Dehumanization: Justifying The Canadian Japanese Internment, 1940 – 1949
Alexandra Marcinkowski (2018); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Thesis: This thesis argues Canadian Members of Parliament used the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour as an opportunity to enforce a dominant “us versus them” narrative in order to justify the internment of approximately 22,000 Canadians of Japanese ancestry. National and local newspapers reinforced this narrative through uncritical and biased reporting which

negatively framed the Japanese against a more idealized and white “Canadian” identity. Critical discourse analysis was applied on several debates in the House of Commons and news articles in the Daily Colonist and the Globe and Mail between 1940 and 1949, to examine the articulation

of social relations – in this case, race and ethnicity – with the goal of uncovering the power relations embedded within the discourse. The findings reveal a clear “us versus them” narrative,whereby Canadians of Japanese ancestry were constructed as “yellow,” “bad,” and “unwanted,”

as opposed to white Canadians who were “good” and “loyal.”  Media and Culture

Regulatory theatre: the disappearance of the 'public' from the CRTC public process
Danijel Margetic (2007); Supervised by David Hogarth

Major Research Paper: The Broadcasting Act of 1991 lays out the Policy Objectives for the Canadian Broadcasting system. It defines it as a single system, owned and controlled by Canadians, comprising private, public and community elements, "which provides a public service essential to the maintenance and enhancement of national identity and cultural sovereignty"l Contrary to both the U.S. model where the broadcasting system was initially conceived as a purely private enterprise, and the European model where the broadcasters were government controlled entities; the Canadian system in its earliest stages evolved into a public-private system with both economic and cultural goals. broadcasting policy; Canada; Canadian broadcasting; Canadian content regulations; Canadian programming; Canada Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC); Canadian Television Fund (CTF); public broadcasting. Politics and Policy

The implications of the Internet on civic identity in Kosovo
Hana Marku (2011); Supervised by Daniel Drache

Thesis: This study provides a starting point for investigating the Internet as a new factor in understanding the Republic of Kosovo's public sphere. The social and political implications of a public in the online realm destabilizes and redefines the role and identity of the "citizen" in Kosovo, providing a place for Kosovars in global cultural flows with regards to progressive social causes. The recent history of Kosovo's media and a review of the literature on Kosovo's existing public sphere, when paired with distinct case studies from Kosovo's online landscape, provide new ground for discussing the role of the citizen in Kosovo. The emergence of an active "counterpublic" in Kosovo's online realm creates conditions for meaningful democracy, as well as entry into the arena of global social issues.  

Between panels: Nostalgia in the work of Daniel Clowes
Daniel Marrone (2009); Supervised by Colin Mooers

Thesis: This thesis investigates the tendency of comics toward longing for the past. An understanding of sequential art as a unique system of signs undergirds attentive description of instances of nostalgia in the distinctive but wide-ranging work of Daniel Clowes. Despite great variations in tone, this work shares a sense of ambivalence, an expectation of careful reading, and a corresponding proliferation of gaps, all of which is in some way tied to longing. In each of the books examined, longing is emphasised by the formal particularities of comics: the prevailing suggestion of this thesis is that the fundamental operation of sequential art mobilises and makes space for narrative interpolations in a way that is not only comparable to but in a certain sense mimics the historical interpolations of memory. It is the space between panels—which acts as a tangible analogue of memory—that makes comics uniquely suited to nostalgic stories. Modern literature; Comics; American literature; Language; literature and linguistics

Transformative politics in consumer-capitalism: Critically constructing the political subject
Sara Martel (2003); Supervised by Colin Mooers

Thesis: This work explores ‘being political’ in the current North American consumer-capitalist system. To ‘be political’ is seen here as a subjective position. The theories of Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser and Michel Foucault are used to inform an approach to subjectivity and explain how social and cultural environments relate to how one understands power relations, identity, and one's place in the world. The author puts forth a political model termed “transformative politics,” which entails critical resistance and cultural production. It is argued that although this model works against oppression and social injustices by bringing politics out of a singular bureaucratic process and into the cultural world, it is near from absent in consumer-capitalism, and neo-liberalism specifically. Transformative politics is not fostered in consumer-capitalism due to the individuation, market public, and commercial culture characterizing this latter system. The current mass media system is presented as the preeminent vehicle for commercial or mass culture, and therefore its political economy and cultural place is considered. Specifically, the news and commercial media coverage of the events of September 11th, 2001 are analyzed based on the public narrative that was constructed to speak to a public subject, at the risk of marginalizing many political identities and dissuading cultural production and critical resistance. The thesis concludes with a brief look towards change in the future, involving struggle for both cultural and structural transformation. Mass media; Political science Politics and Policy

Avatar interaction: Online identity and the effects of visual technologies
Jennifer Martin (2005); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Thesis: Identification with an online self is regarded as an important aspect of beneficial online interaction. Identifying with and engaging in identity play through an online character can provide the individual with psychological and social benefits. The potential to create a character, or avatar, that can be identified with is the initial step in engaging in identity play. This process has changed significantly with the advent and development of visually oriented games. Through participant-observation conducted in World of Warcraft, textual analysis of online forums associated with the game, and questionnaires, this thesis investigates the ways that visual elements of online games affect the process of identifying with an online self. It argues that although interacting in a virtual environment where everything is immediately visible can ease the identification process, limits on character appearance, movement, and interaction imposed by visually rendering the game simultaneously compromise this benefit. Communication and the arts Media and Culture

The benefit's place in cultural-political imaginings
Maryann Martin (2002); Supervised by Rosemary Coombe

Thesis: The proliferation of large-scale benefits over the last thirty years has led to debate about the place of the benefit in cultural and political spheres. Acknowledging that cross-cultural flow takes a number of forms, that politics and culture increasingly intermingle, and that the West has a long history and geography tied to exploitation and occupation of other countries, this project discusses four benefits in relation to ideas about myth, narrative, celebrity, and memory. Such benefits as the Concerts for Bangladesh, the Sun City project, Freedomfest (The Nelson Mandela Seventieth Birthday Tribute), and America: A Tribute To Heroes, are explored in relation to cultural-political movements and Western imaginings of Bangladesh, South Africa, and Afghanistan. In so doing, the positional superiority of the West is necessarily reconsidered. Benefits are directional pointers through which music narrates storied sociality, mapping the beats of particular histories and geographies. Emphasizing the importance of hearing, and thereby challenging the visual focus of Western culture, readers are encouraged to hear the maps that benefits project through the traces they inevitably leave in popular landscapes. Benefit performances; Popular music; Social movements; Musicians; Mass media; History Media and Culture

The end(s) of analogue: access to CBC/Radio-Canada Television Programming in an era of digital delivery
Steven May (2017);

Dissertation: This dissertation studies the political economy of public television access in Canada as manifest in the country’s 2011 digital television/télévision numérique transition. Specifically, this dissertation scrutinizes the provision of access to television programming offered by Canada’s national public broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada (CBC/Radio-Canada), and how CBC/Radio-Canada’s response to Canada’s 2011 digital television transition corresponds with its mandate under the Broadcasting Act to ensure that its programming is “made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose” (Canada, 1991). Drawing from research interviews conducted with disconnected analogue over-the-air (OTA) CBC/Radio-Canada television-viewing households and members of CBC/Radio-Canada Management involved with the public broadcaster’s response to Canada’s digital television transition deadline, this dissertation finds competing accounts of how public television delivery is linked to the provision of access to the public broadcaster’s television programming in the digital age. While interviewed members of CBC/Radio-Canada Management describe an inefficient analogue OTA public television delivery system that would be best superseded by more efficient modes of digital delivery, OTA CBC/Radio-Canada television-viewing households describe an analog OTA CBC/Radio-Canada television service that had been providing access to CBC/Radio Canada television programming and describe a digital disconnect following CBC/Radio Canada’s digital television transition. This dissertation questions the post-analogue public television delivery operations of CBC/Radio-Canada; mainly that public television delivery cost savings achieved as a result of CBC/Radio-Canada’s response to Canada’s digital television transition deadline have resulted in gaps in access to CBC/Radio-Canada television programming by some Canadian households as articulated through this dissertation’s Public Media Access Puzzle Sieve (Public M.A.P.S.) model. The Public M.A.P.S. model offers a means by which to both anticipate and assess levels of access to public media based on the model’s elements of access related to cost, availability, functionality, opportunities for à la carte service, and access to locally relevant feed(s). In the case of CBC/Radio-Canada, gaps in household access to the public broadcaster’s digital television programming as identified by the Public M.A.P.S. model help to underscore deficiencies in Canada’s post-analogue television system, the information communication technology (ICT) sector, and domestic spectrum management practices.  

Notes from the field: Translation, inscription and the materiality of communication in silvicultural practice
Robin C. McCullough (2009); Supervised by Jody Borland

Thesis: The chapters of this thesis follow the technoscience of industrial forest renewal, as the prescriptions of this practice are shifted from abstract representations in the world of paper, to material re-inscriptions in the world of things. Between the two-dimensional symbols of the future forest unit, and the newly planted trees in the ground, stands the labour of the silvicultural workers—the supervisors, crewbosses, tree deliverers, quality assessors and treeplanters—whose work of translation and re-inscription is the explicit focus of the following investigation. My project here traces the textual, graphic, conversational and performative operations by and through which the abstract prescriptions of industrial forest renewal are made material. Cultural anthropology; communication; labour relations

Fractals of art and life: the Arensberg Salon as a Cubist space
Erin McCurdy (2010); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Major Research Paper: From Cubist Wunderkammer to Open House "Hosted during the World War I and postwar era, from 1915-1921, the Arensberg salon served a generative function, welcoming bohemians and intellectuals from different nations and economic standings to convene and engage in conversation, chess, revelry, and collaborative projects. In addition to acting as the physical nucleus of New York Dada, the Arensberg residence, with its "super pictures" adorning the walls, served as an impressive domestic exhibition site incorporating art objects, decorative arts, and artefacts from disparate origins. Its hosts were Walter Arensberg, a poet, journalist, and literary scholar, and his wife Louise, a musician who came from equally wealthy stock. Together the Arensbergs used their sizeable inheritances to become influential collectors and patrons of the arts. Cubism; Salons; Arensberg; Exhibition techniques; Arts and society; 20th century

Where flesh meets bone: dance in the modern art museum
Erin McCurdy (2017); Supervised by Sophie Thomas

Dissertation: Dance has recently taken up an increasing presence in major modern art museums as core curatorial programming, occupying galleries throughout exhibition hours. Although time figures prominently in emerging literature addressing this trend, spatial analyses remain fragmentary. Yet, dance is distinctive from other time-based media because of its heightened relationship with space. This raises an important question: how does dance’s newfound presence ‘re-choreograph’ the spaces of modern art museums? Extending the work of Henri Lefebvre, this dissertation adopts an expanded definition of museum space encompassing physical, social and conceptual domains. Dance, an art concerned with the shaping of space, is examined as a transformative force, productively intervening with the galleries, encounters, objects, and historical narratives comprising modern art museum space. In this study, purity and atemporality are identified as the preeminent principles organizing modern art museum space, and dance, an ‘impure’ and process-based art, is theorized as a productive contaminant, catalyzing change. Using this theoretical framework and Using this theoretical framework and evocative descriptions of Boris Charmatz’s 20 Dancers for the XX Century (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 18-20 October 2013), dance’s unique collaboration with modern art museum space is analyzed. Socially, dance’s multisensuality pollutes museum goers’ ocularcentric experiences with art. Conceptually, dance diversifies understandings of objects and the androcentric history they uphold. Physically, dance is carving out new spaces, with performance venues being incorporated into the ‘bones’ of high profile institutions. Interspersed between these analytical chapters, evocative descriptions of Spatial Confessions (On the Question of Instituting the Public) by Bojana Cvejić and collaborators (Tate Modern, London, 21-24 May 2014) introduce observations beyond the analytical scope, opening up the liminal spaces of this document to ongoing inquiry. This dissertation contributes a sustained analysis of dance’s spatial impact on modern art museums. By investigating how dance intervenes with the limitations of the white cube, it critiques this supposedly ‘blank’ space, questioning its continued supremacy within these institutions. Moreover, as dance is ushered into performance venues within the museum’s expanding domain, this dissertation interrogates the modern propensity for specialization and master narratives pervading the spaces of these institutions, despite decades of interventional artistic and curatorial practices.  

Screening the war: The exhibition and reception of newsreels and topical films in Toronto during the First World War
Brenda McDermott (2007); Supervised by Gene Allen

Thesis: WWI has served as the basis for many discourses ranging from Canadian national independence, Canadian identity, to Canadian culture, all of which intersect with regional and local communities. By studying newsreel exhibition in Toronto, a similar web of understanding unfolds as coherent national war support, local difficulties, and international footage, influence and form a distinct film culture. This study explains the sudden development of Canadian newsreels during 1917, the development of Canadian editions of pre-existing international newsreels in 1918, and the overall increasing screen time occupied by Canadian soldiers in official British War Office films. It also follows the important role the cinema played as a space for negotiation of local experiences, national identity and imperial heritage. Motion pictures; Communication and the arts; Ontario Media and Culture

The meaning of e-: Neologisms as markers of culture and technology
Lucinda McDonald (2005);

Thesis: New words or neologisms have a natural capacity to mark the historical and cultural changes of a community by recording the new ideas, thoughts and inventions that are introduced into society. Technology and the Internet are the most prolific sources of neologisms. In particular the prefix e- has spawned a seemingly endless supply of new words such as e-mail, e-commerce, e-vite, etc.


This MA thesis considers what the prefix e- means, how productive it is, how we are using e-words and what these words signal about our attitudes towards computers and technology including the influence of the boom and bust on our language. This research uses combined methodologies from lexicography, corpus linguistics, communication studies, English and cultural studies.


The results support the key finding that our attitudes towards technology (as reflected in our use of e-words) have changed from positive to negative associations after the crash. Language; literature and linguistics Media and Culture

Globalization, networks and audiovisual spaces: Shifting representational relations in Canada, Mexico and Argentina
David McIntosh (2005); Supervised by Brenda Longfellow

Dissertation: The contemporary master myth of globalization is deconstructed and the realities of its impact on three national audiovisual spaces are analyzed by applying network theories. Cybernetic, Internet and Actor-Network theories are synthesized in an innovative network analysis framework based on three fundamental network models---oligoptica, agency and actor-networks---and their respective structures, powers and purposes. This network analysis framework is employed to identify shifting distributions of representational power through global networks and to evaluate the role of networks in enhancing or inhibiting self-representational agency. The thesis investigates distributions of representational power in two forms: political-economic representation, involving the representation of subjects as citizens by states and as consumers by markets; and, cultural-communicational representation, involving the encoding of the phenomenological world of objects and experiences in symbolic forms of film, video and digital media. The analysis moves from the broad field of network theory to a detailed examination of contemporary theories and practices of political-economic representation in networked state-market-subject relations and of the growth of oligoptical global market power over states and subjects. This focus narrows to examine the construction of cultural-communicational representation in three divergent national audiovisual space networks---Canada, Mexico and Argentina---and their traditions, structures, institutions, laws, constituent media and artifacts as they are integrated into global market networks through neo-liberal structural adjustment programs. The analytical focus narrows to examine contemporary instances of insurrectional self-representational subject agency in film, video and digital formats to combat the concentration of representational power in oligoptical global market networks in each of the three globalized audiovisual spaces. The thesis determines that the panoptical global information and communications networks have converged with oligopolistic transnational state-market institutions to produce a singular, expansionist, self-reproducing, hierarchical and paradoxically centralizing and decentralizing globally networked oligopticon that tends to absolute command and control, and that wages war on self-representational distributed subject agency networks. This war gives rise to an oscillatory and escalating mimetic dynamic between incommensurable oligoptical and agency networks. The thesis concludes with a synthesis of the implications of the war between oligopticon and agency networks for future struggles for self-representational political-economic and cultural-communicational power. Communication and the arts; Argentina; Audiovisual spaces; Canada; Globalization; Mexico; Networks; Representational relations; Motion pictures Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

The code and politics of Drupal and the Pirate Bay: alternative horizons of Web 2.0
Fenwick McKelvey (2008); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Thesis: Code politics investigates the implications of digital code to contemporary politics. Recent developments on the web, known as web2.0, have attracted the attention of the field. The thesis contributes to the literature by developing a theoretical approach to web2.0 platforms as social structures and by contributing two cases of web2.0 structurations: Drupal, a content management platform, and The Pirate Bay, a file sharing website and political movement. Adapting the work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe on articulation theory, the thesis studies the code and politics of the two cases. The Drupal case studies the complex interactions between humans and code, and addresses how Drupal functions as an empty platform allowing its users to reconstitute its digital code. The Pirate Bay case demonstrates how a political movement uses code as part of their political platform. Not only does the group advocate file sharing, they allow thousands of people across the world to share information freely. At a time, when most web2.0 platforms act as forces of capitalism, the two cases demonstrate alternative, commons-based structurations of web2.0. articulation theory; capitalism; code politics; Drupal; humans and code; political movements; The Pirate Bay; Web 2.0; Web 2.0 platforms as social structures. Technology in Practice

Internet Routing Algorithms, Transmission and Time: Toward a Concept of Transmissive Control
Fenwick McKelvey (2013); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Dissertation: This dissertation develops the concept of transmissive control to explore the consequences of changes in Internet routing for communication online. Where transmission often denotes an act of exchanging information between sender and receiver, transmissive control theorizes transmission as the production and assignment of common times or temporalities between components of a communication system. Transmissive control functions both operationally according to how computational algorithms route Internet data (known as packets) and systematically according to how patterns in these operations express temporalities of coordination and control. Transmissive control questions how algorithms transmit packets and how transmission expresses valuable temporalities within the Internet. The concept of transmissive control developed as a response to advanced Internet routing algorithms that have greater awareness of packets and more capacity to intervene during transmission. The temporality of the Internet is changing due to these algorithms. Where transmissive control has been made possible by the Internet’s core asynchronous design that allows for many different temporalities to be simultaneous (such as real-time networks or time-sharing networks), this diversity has taxed the resources of the Internet infrastructure as well as the business models of most Internet Service Providers (ISPs). To bring the temporality of the Internet back under control, ISPs and other network administrators have turned to transmissive control to better manage their resources. Their activities shift the Internet from an asynchronous temporality to a poly-chronous temporality where network administrators set and manage the times of the Internet. Where this turn to traffic management has often been framed as a debate over the neutrality of the Internet, the dissertation re-orientates the debate around transmissive control. Tactics by the anti-copyright Pirate Bay and Internet transparency projects illustrate potential political and policy responses to transmissive control. The former seeks to elude its control where the latter seeks to expose its operation. These components as well as the operation of transmissive control will be developed through a series of metaphors from the film Inception, the demons of Pandemonium, the novel Moby-Dick and the film Stalker. Each metaphor cooperate to provide a comprehensive discussion of transmissive control. algorithms; anti-copyright; Inception (movie); internet routing; internet service providers (ISP); Moby Dick (novel); online communication; Stalker (movie); temporality of the internet; The Pirate Bay; transmissive control. Technology in Practice

Making out on the Internet: Interpreting popular photographs on
Caitlin McKinney (2010); Supervised by Susan Driver

Thesis: This thesis considers how staged magazine photographs of the actresses Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore kissing are interpreted by users of, a popular website aimed at lesbian and bisexual women. Using methods of critical discourse analysis, the text-based comments of users are analyzed to demonstrate that online dialogue is a critical process through which queer women receive media representations that they consider appropriations of marginal sexuality as style. Drawing on work by Teresa de Lauretis, Amy Villarejo, José Esteban Muñoz and Rosemary Hennessey, the author advances a theory of disidentificatory interpretation, in which users articulate psychic pleasure in seeing same-sex desire represented in the mass-mediated public sphere, despite the inherent problems they find in these representations. This mode of reception is situated in the political moment of queer liberalism, where the promise of media presence as an entry to rights-based social and political gains is troubled by user critique. Womens studies; GLBT Studies; Web Studies; Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Social sciences

Shaping Toronto: Female Economy and Agency In The Corset Industry, 1871-1914
Alanna McKnight (2018); Supervised by Alison Matthews-David

Dissertation: In amplifying the contours of the body, the corset is an historical site that fashions femininity even as it constricts women’s bodies. This study sits at the intersection of three histories: of commodity consumption, of labour, and of embodiment and subjectivity, arguing that women were active participants in the making, selling, purchasing and wearing of corsets in Toronto, a city that has largely been ignored in fashion history. Between 1871 and 1914 many women worked in large urban factories, and in small, independent manufacturing shops. Toronto’s corset manufacturers were instrumental in the urbanization of Canadian industry, and created employment in which women earned a wage. The women who bought their wares were consumers making informed purchases, enacting agency in consumption and aesthetics; by choosing the style or size of a corset, female consumers were able to control to varying degrees, the shape of their bodies. As a staple in the wardrobe of most nineteenth-century women, the corset complicates the study of conspicuous consumption, as it was a garment that was not meant to be seen, but created a highly visible shape, blurring the lines between private and public viewing of the female body. Marxist analysis of the commodity fetish informs this study, and by acknowledging the ways in which the corset became a fetishized object itself, both signaling the shapeliness of femininity while in fact augmenting and diminishing female bodies. This study will address critical theory regarding the gaze and subjectivity, fashion, and modernity, exploring the relationship women had with corsets through media and advertising. A material culture analysis of extant corsets helps understand how corsets were constructed in Toronto, how the women of Toronto wore them, and to what extent they actually shaped their bodies. Ultimately, it is the aim of this dissertation to eschew common misconceptions about the practice of corsetry and showcase the hidden manner in which women produced goods, labour, and their own bodies in the nineteenth century, within the Canadian context.  Media and Culture;Technology in Practice

The Hand of A Dead Woman: Textile Illuminations and the Invisible Labour of Women in LateNineteenth Century Astronomy and Culture
Kathleen Marie McLeod (2015); Supervised by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof

Project-Paper: An Exhibition of visual textile art. Women are underrepresented in the remembered histories of science and technology, but this is not a negation of their many contributions. “ The Hand of A Dead Woman : Textile Illuminations and the Invisible Labour of Women in LateNineteenth Century Astronomy and Culture” examines the role of women in astronomy through the Harvard Computers' annotations of photographic astronomical glass plates in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In consultation with the Harvard College Observatory’s Digital Access to a sky Century at Harvard (DASCH) project, digital reproductions of annotated photographic plates were obtained and subsequently transferred onto large pieces of silk, with the Computers' annotations ‘ illuminated' by means of phosphorescent embroidery. This paper explores the use of traditional women's crafting technologies in contrast with the scientifically valuable information that the photographic glass plates contain, and provides a meditation on the way women's labour, particularly in the sciences, was both valued and perceived. By providing an analysis of the late nineteenth century culture surrounding women, the cosmos, modernity and technological mediation, this paper examines the history and erasure of women in late nineteenth century astronomy.  Technology in Practice

RE:FORM: Becoming Visible
Joseph Medaglia (2007); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Project-Paper: RE:FORM: Becoming Visible, external link explores the tensions between visibility, representation and identity; in particular as it relates to queer subjects. The video explores how the invisibility of queer sexuality becomes visible through technologies of representation and manifests as coherent identity through the body. The mythic figure of the monster, a figure that embodies difference and otherness, is appropriated as symbol for the queer body. In RE:FORM; Becoming Visible the monstrous body erupts from a green coloured field and constitutes a visual pattern while at the same time the visual pattern constitutes the body. This relationship symbolizes the paradox of visibility, as the visual structure exists only through the display of bodies. In culture, the representation of identities exists through the visibility of identities, yet identities are limited by naturalized representations that replicate dominant ideologies. The visual pattern is intended as a metaphor for structures inherent in representation that attempt to reproduce dominant ideologies. By subjecting the representation of the monster to the visual pattern, tensions between dominant ideologies and subjects are explored. The growth and collapse of the monstrous body denotes the possibility of resistance to structures in representation. RE:FORM: Becoming Visible resists the efforts to limit identities and explores the possibilities of open, incomplete subjectivity. New forms are created through resistance. The result is a display of growth, collapse, beauty, desire, sexuality and embodiment.  avant-garde; embodied subjectivity; gay and lesbian studies; gender and sexuality; lesbian visibility; performance; queer identity; queer visibility; surveillance; video; violence; visibility. Media and Culture

Promoting CanCon in the Age of New Media
Christopher Mejaski (2011); Supervised by David Skinner

Major Research Paper: Canadian broadcasting policy has long pursued the belief that content produced by and for Canadians holds cultural value for its domestic audiences, in addition to economic significance for Canada's media industries. As the capabilities of wireless and mobile technologies have developed to allow consumption of content traditionally broadcast on television, stakeholders have questioned how to ensure culturally-rich, domestically-produced content is available for Canadian audiences by such means. As industry stakeholders have debated the potential value of Canadian content in an increasingly globalized media landscape, technologies have continued to advance, and Canadians have increasingly turned to new media to be informed and entertained. With a lengthy history of media regulation, this paper will demonstrate how the Canadian government's slow, uncoordinated response to developing new media policy effectively perpetuates inhibiting tensions between cultural and economic goals. Questions that frame this enquiry include: What role does Canadian content play as a reflection of Canadian culture and support of the production industry within Canada's traditional broadcasting system? Is regulation of new media important to maintain traditional policy goals? If so, what kinds of regulation might be implemented in this new context? And to what degree does current new media policy succeed in pursuing cultural and industrial goals historically common to Canadian media regulation? In pursuing these questions, this paper will draw conclusions regarding the benefits of federal new media policy, and how the government can better advance domestic digital media production, as technologies continue to evolve. Canada; Canadian audience; Canadian broadcasting policy; Canadian content; Canadian government; domestic digital media production; federal new media policy; media regulation; new media; policy; television. Politics and Policy

In Defense of Traditional Knowledge: The Cat of BT Brinjal and Challenges to the International Intellectual Property Agenda
Edward Millar (2012); Supervised by Tuna Baskoy

Major Research Paper: Theories on the globalization and harmonization of intellectual property law tend to take a state-level approach when discussing the impacts of large-scale harmonization of patent laws on developing countries. This paper uses a case study of the Indian experience of adapting to international treaty mandated changes to domestic patent law and the 2011 announcement of an IP lawsuit over the alleged biopiracy of genetic material from a traditional Indian plant variety, and connects the experience of an individual country to the wider body of research and theory that exists on the relationship between IP and development for non-Western countries. The paper also provides a discourse analysis of the public reaction, as covered by English-language Indian newspapers, to the lawsuit launched against Monsanto, the Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company, the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharward, and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University by the governmental organization the National Biodiversity Authority over the development of the transgenic Bt brinjal crop. activist counterpublics; biopirarcy; commercialization; global economy; Government of India; intellectual property; intellectual property rights; Monsanto Corporation; privatization; publics and counterpublics; public knowledge. Politics and Policy

The Remasculation Film: Themes and Variations
Adam Miller (2012); Supervised by Murray Pomerance

Dissertation: During the late 1980s and early 1990s, a discourse of masculinity crisis precipitated the appearance of a number of what Susan Jeffords describes as “rearticulations of screen masculinity,” which influenced the production of a group films whose narrative diegeses reaffirmed the heteronormative, hypermasculine façade onscreen. These films are identified and defined in this dissertation as remasculation pictures, or narratives that showcase the hero’s oscillation between two oppositional expressions of screen masculinity. In the rhetoric of the remasculation film, the protagonist’s emasculation initiates a quest to remasculate by reaffirming the dominance and authority of the hypermasculine archetype. Further, in a few key performances (Red River [1948], The Searchers [1956], The Wings of Eagles [1957]), John Wayne exemplifies the ultra-conservative values, imposing physicality, staunch heterosexuality, and capability of this heteronormative, hypermasculine archetype. However, Wayne’s image has been employed only as an exemplification of this façade, since this project does not suggest that the remasculation hero’s victory marks his appropriation of Wayne’s masculinity, only the archetype with which many of his performances have been associated. The remasculation picture is part of a film cluster, and not a genre because films of this category are primarily linked by similarities in narrative structure and their glorification of this hypermasculine figure. Further, to illustrate some of the themes of the remasculation picture, this dissertation features three chapters that focus on as many distinct expressions of the remasculation formula. The first of these chapters draws on Unforgiven (1992) and Law Abiding Citizen (2010) to furnish a discussion of judicial emasculation and remasculatory vigilantism. The second case study chapter looks at remasculation through pugilism with an examination of Payback (1999) and Get Carter (2000), while the final section focuses only on The Company Men (2010) to illustrate emasculative redundancy and the reacquisition of purpose as the final variation discussed in this project. While films of the remasculation cluster glorify the hypermasculine image, one cannot assume that the filmmakers responsible for their production aim to either disseminate ultra-conservative values or impose them on the audience. Similarly, the relative popularity of remasculation films does not necessarily indicate the presence of an audience seeking narrative diegeses showcasing the reaffirming triumph of the hypermasculine man. The continued production of the remasculation picture signifies only the appearance of a trend in contemporary film that is attributable to the destabilization of the normative masculine image at the end of the twentieth century. cinema; film masculinity; heteronormativity; hypermasculinity; hypermasculine archetype; remasculation films; pugilism; vigilantism. Media and Culture

Digital activism: Free the Children and youth online
Tamara Miller (2008); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Thesis: Few studies have examined what young people want to see in non-governmental organization (NGO) websites in order to be inspired to take action; specifically what design features, informational resources and tools do youth want to see in order to be engaged? This thesis will focus on Free The Children (FTC), an international NGO that has incorporated digital technologies to achieve their traditional development goals. The objective of this study is to explore how youth are using Free The Children's online resources and how FTC can further enhance their web services to engage youth to take action for positive social change. Interviews and surveys were conducted with youth between the ages of 17-21 in two different public high schools in Toronto. Findings from this study aided Free The Children in redesigning their website by providing concrete evidence and recommendations based on what young people wanted to see in FTC's online resources. Educational software; Information systems; Communication and the arts; Education Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

In limited release: the political economy of the Canadian motion picture distribution system.
Nicholas Mills (2009); Supervised by Charles Davis

Thesis: Canadian motion pictures face a unique challenge when it comes to reaching a domestic theatrical audience. In fact roughly 96 percent of the annual screen time of Canadian theatres is occupied by foreign-produced, mostly American, films. This thesis recognizes that the motion picture distributor in particular the Hollywood studio firm, holds the balance of power in the Canadian film industry. Using a political and economy framework, this thesis identifies five unique channels of distribution within the Canadian motion picture distribution system and through historical analysis, investigates the political and economic motivations behind their formation. The results of this analysis reveal that because the industry's distribution structure was negotiated between political and corporate actors under asymmetrical conditions of power, it places limitations upon the exchange of cultural resources across and within borders, restricts intra-industry firm-level negotiations, and perpetuates the dominant market preference for Hollywood films and the underperformance of domestic films within the Canadian marketplace. Motion pictures; Government policy; Canada; Motion picture industry; Canada; Motion pictures; Production and direction; Government policy; Canada; Motion pictures; Economic aspects; Canada Politics and Policy

The state of cultural imperialism
Tanner Mirrlees (2008); Supervised by Colin Mooers

Dissertation: Over the past six years, scholars have explored the economic, political, and military dimensions of the "new imperialism." Working with and against the grain of older theories of cultural and media imperialism and newer theories of cultural and media globalization, this dissertation examines the current "state of cultural imperialism." It builds on and bridges political-economy and cultural studies approaches to the state, the cultural industry, international relations, imperialism, ideology, hegemony, and popular media-culture to illuminate the governmental and corporate structures, institutions, policies, practices, mediums, and texts that articulate the geopolitical imperatives of the U.S. foreign policy establishment to the economic imperatives of the U.S. cultural industries. A political-economy and textual analysis of the multiple points of concrete and discursive convergence between the U.S. foreign policy establishment (the U.S. state Department, the U.S. Department of Defense, and other agencies) and the U.S. cultural industries (Hollywood, news corporations, and video game corporations) highlights a complex and contradictory symbiotic (as opposed to inherently antagonistic) U.S. state-capital complex of cultural production. Though this dissertation mainly focuses on the new characteristics, practices, and products of the state-capital complex in the post-9/11 conjuncture of the U.S.-led "war on terrorism," it also emphasizes the historical antecedents of this state-capital form. The U.S. cultural industries depend on strong state support to facilitate and legitimize their local and global economic expansion. The U.S. state, in turn, attempts to mobilize the informational and image powers of the cultural industries to legitimize its foreign policy ideologies and actions in national and international spheres. Communication and the arts; Mass communications; Cultural imperialism; Foreign policy; Political economy Politics and Policy

Inheriting Memory: Family Archiving and Collective Memory
Caela Moffet (2014); Supervised by Elizabeth Podnieks

Major Research Paper:  archival studies; archivization; Blackstock family; collective history; collective memory; cultural heritage; familial identity; family; family archiving; identity; materiality; memoir; objects; photography. Media and Culture

Living through made-up girls: A case for media life-skills in the 21st century
Ravindra Mohabeer (2007); Supervised by Abby Goodrum

Dissertation: This dissertation offers a critical examination of media literacy that the author perceives as the dominant model in North American media education. The main problem in media education today is that it has evolved out of a text-based focus and has been ill equipped to adequately address issues that transcend a direct relationship with discreet media texts and systems of production. Given that this is a problem, a case study approach was used to explore what employing a media education curriculum with a group of teenaged girls involved in an existing life-skills program might suggest as an alternative point of intervention, rather than the critical examination of media texts or the contexts of their production and reception. This study was concerned with what could be learned about both media education and communication theory by de-centering the focus on textual analysis and replacing it with a focus on life-skills that address how media are implicated in our lives far beyond textual experiences. What this work contributes to the literature is a way in which a contextual rather than transactional model of communication can be used to identify a different way of considering the dynamics of our interdependent and ecological relationship with media. This research provides an opportunity to think about how our experience of media is not just a meeting of discreet and separate actors, but is an interdependent and ecological relationship. What was found is that girls do not simply 'read' media; they live through media by taking up what they experience through media texts, transposing it into the narratives of their lives, extending it, and making it 'real.' It is by addressing these processes of living through media that a media education life-skills model is proposed. Mass media; Communication and the arts; Girls; Living through media; Media life-skills; Twenty-first century Media and Culture

Will The Real Auteur Please Stand Up!: Authorship And Product Placement In Film
Margaret Mohr (2009); Supervised by Jean Bruce

Thesis: This thesis investigates issues of product placement in Hollywood cinema as seen through the lenses of theories of authorship and cultural economy. Feature films, with their captive audiences and finely-tuned marketing machines, may seem like ideal venues for advertisers to present goods to consumers in the form of placed products, yet even here the effects of economic and cultural synergy cannot be guaranteed. The thesis argues that while we live in a commodified environment where the consumer spectacle is woven into the fabric of everyday life, the meanings we derive from mass-produced products is not strictly limited to the interests of corporate capital. By providing a history of product placement in Hollywood cinema and three recent films as case studies, this thesis explores the impact of product placement on the creative agency of writers, directors, designers and audiences. The thesis employs textual analysis to link theoretical issues concerning the commodification of culture and authorial expression. Product placement; mass media; Advertising; Moral and ethical aspects; subliminal advertising; marketing

Managing Contradictions of Multiculturalism: Narratives of Belonging and Being Canadian Among Canadian Middle Eastern Women
Niki Mohrdar (2019); Supervised by Sedef Arat-Koc

Thesis: This thesis investigates experiences of belonging and being Canadian among first-generation Canadian Middle Eastern women through one-on-one interviews with 13 women. Since the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2015, Canada has recommitted to bolstering discourses of multiculturalism. There have been, however, lasting impacts from mainstream discourses that followed 9/11, which positioned Middle Eastern women as imperiled and Middle Eastern culture as backward. Additionally, liberal multiculturalism in Canada has done little to address systemic racism, and instead encourages a superficial level of acceptance. Contradictions of multiculturalism can be found in the narratives of these women, who sometimes repeat discourses that do not benefit them. Conversely, women who have access to discourses that position multiculturalism as ideological, have a difficult time expressing a Canadian identity and display a critical understanding of their experiences. These narratives are considered in a wider context of how race and racism structure Canada today.  

Getting Real: Reality Television and Queer Identity
Jeffrey Mokler (2004); Supervised by Dennis Denisoff

Major Research Paper:  identity formation; MTV; popular culture; primetime television; queer identities; queer representation; queer theory; reality television; The Real World; visual theory. Media and Culture

Unfabulous? Alternative media and the politics of representation
Marcos Moldes (2009); Supervised by Jean Bruce

Thesis: In the last thirty years gay bodies have had an increased presence in all forms of media representations. In print, entire magazines and newspapers devoted to queer issues have appeared and lesbians star on popular television shows. Developments such as these are something that was unthinkable not so long ago. The Internet is another medium that has emerged at the same time as queer culture has come of age. This new medium is full of gay bloggers, podcasts and web sites all devoted to queer issues. These are just a few indications of what can be considered the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians in North America. However, mainstream gay representation is not so straightforward that it can be seen as an entirely positive development. Although the emergence of mainstream gay media is often discussed as being an encouraging step forward for the gay rights movement, representations of gays and lesbians on television and in print are not necessarily a sign of universal acceptance for members of this community. Instead, they often represent the assimilation/co-option of a small segment of the ideal imagined gay and lesbian community, those who mirror in many ways the straight world of consumer subjects. Inclusion into the dominant culture as consumers is not a complete step forward for the gay community, for it does not indicate a broader enfranchisement into mainstream culture. Images that glorify the gay consumer are often promoted as being progressive solely because they contain representations of gay bodies. Cultural anthropology; Social sciences Media and Culture

Women in the Margins: Media Representations of Women's Labour in the Canadian Press, 1939-1945
Tracy Moniz (2012); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Dissertation: During the Second World War, women’s participation in Canada’s ‘total war’ effort meant increased domestic responsibilities, volunteering, enlisting in the armed forces, and joining the civilian workforce. Women’s labour force participation more than doubled throughout the war, with more women working alongside and in place of men than ever before. This created a situation that could challenge the traditional sexual division of labour, and so women’s labour became a subject for discussion in the public sphere. Through a comparative content analysis of the commercial and alternative (labour) press, this study examines representations of women’s labour in wartime in the context of women’s mobilization into the war effort through to subsequent demobilization near war’s end. It first considers the theoretical and methodological issues involved in the historical study of news media and women and then offers original empirical research to demonstrate that when women’s labour did emerge as a subject in the Canadian press, gender, not labour, was prioritized in the news. This was symbolically and systematically leveraged both within and across the commercial and alternative press, which reinforces stereotypical values about women and their labour and upheld the patriarchal status quo. In the end, while there were surface-level changes to the nature of women’s paid labour during the war, the structures of female subordination and exploitation remained unchallenged despite women’s massive mobilization into the workforce. By setting media representations against the wartime realities of women’s labour told through archival records and secondary literature, this dissertation argues that news media generally presented a ‘history’ of women’s labour that did not reflect the lived reality or the political economic and social significance of women’s labouring lives. This not only coloured how women’s labour was represented in the news, but it can also shape the history that scholars construct from the newspaper. In contributing to feminist media and media history scholarship, this dissertation offers empirical evidence that challenges dominant ways of thinking about women’s history in terms of the domestic sphere and furthers an understanding of women’s wage labour as a provocation to such historical public-private divisions. This may, in turn, inspire histories that more fully and equitably capture women’s experiences. Canada; Canadian press; commercial and alternative (labour) press; feminism; feminist media; gender and sexuality; news media; sexual divisions of labour; women’s history; women’s labour; women’s media representations; World War II. Media and Culture

Comparative electoral hortatory language 1993-1994: Jean Chretien and Silvo Berlusconi
Andrew Monti (2013); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Thesis: The thesis is a comparative analysis of the political languages endorsed and utilized by Jean Chretien in the 1993 Canadian Federal Election electoral campaign, and by Silvio Berlusconi in the 1994 Italian Political Election electoral campaign. The research collects all the subjects' utterances of political language in a period of 90 days before their respective election dates, in selected print and television media. Once the sample is freed of its redundant parts, two content analyses are carried out on the two corpi of material: a de-contextualized content analysis (single word count) and a contextualized content analysis (categorized sentence/phrase count). The contextualized content analysis produces categories of EHL, and three categories per subject are examined to test published generalizations about their "main messages" present in the scholarly literature. A comparative analysis underlines the similarities and differences in the subjects' respective electoral hortatory languages. Finally, the significant theoretical notions pertaining to the field of political language are applied to the quantitative and qualitative findings, and the conclusion presents suggestions for further research. Communication; Political science; Mass communications; Social sciences; Communication and the arts

Surfing under palm trees: The Internet and everyday life in Barbados
Samantha Moonsammy (2006); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Thesis: This thesis is an exploratory study examining the Internet and everyday life in Barbados. The questions I addressed were concerned with finding out how Barbadians use the Internet in their interpersonal relations, the type of activities they participate in and I briefly take up the issue of civic participation and the Internet. Furthermore, focus was placed on what Barbadians find in the Internet, what they make of it and their opinion on the representation of Barbados' culture online. The methods of data collection combined quasiethnographic interviews and surveys of 32 participants in 10 households. This research represents an effort to start understanding the integration of the Internet in everyday life situations of users who connect to it from their homes. This thesis poses a simple question: How is the Internet part of the practice of everyday life in Barbados? Mass media; Communication and the arts Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

Superheroes Through Time And Space: Intersecting Representations of Nation, Hero, And Masculinity In Superman And Doctor Who
Katherine Louise Moore (2017); Supervised by May Friedman

Thesis: This thesis provides a glimpse at how ideas of nation, hero, and masculinity intersect within English speaking Western culture, and how representations of these concepts have shifted over time in the United Kingdom and United States. This study examines and compares film and television samples of Superman and Doctor Who from the 1970s, 1990s, and 2000s/2010s. Conducting a discourse analysis of these samples, coupled with historical research, it compares how the title characters of Superman and the Doctor align with familiar masculine superhero screen ideals of their affiliated nations, and investigates how their representations have shifted alongside their socio-cultural contexts. This multifaceted discussion illustrates that these superheroes, as Western figures, remain similar in their thematic concerns with justice, interpersonal relationships, and threats to the status quo, while it also highlights how they present imagery particular to their own national contexts and screen tropes.  Media and Culture

New Media Technologies and the Transition to Personal Public Spheres: Exploring the Circuit of Mobile Device Use Model
Ana Morais (2012); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Thesis: Rooted in the foundational idea that new media entities or mobile devices like the Apple iPod, alongside Smartphones are omnipresent in modern society, this exploration attempts to situate these devices and uncover their place (or lack thereof) in our public sphere. Through a series of qualitative interviews with Toronto mobile device users between the age of 18 and 34, this study uncovers a variety of explorations through the integration of the Circuit of Mobile Device Use Model. It examines the ways in which mobile device operators use their technologies; the primary places of use; how these technologies have negotiated place – primarily public spaces; and the dependability on the devices.  

Technology, Culture and Industry: Canadian Communications Regulation and Digital Policy
Zoe Morawetz (2010); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Major Research Paper: Such matters related to digital technology, communications policy and converged media have recently incited much debate in Canada, eliciting various perspectives on strategies to meet a digital future. These debates include publicly conducted national discussions about copyright, net neutrality and the nature of broadcasting. Many proposals are informed by Canadian industries' integration into an increasingly globalized digital economy, national government engagement with the jurisdictional difficulties of the Internet and the increasingly fragmented content universe but technologically converged daily experience of the information worker or digitally literate citizen. Unequal opportunities to access this digital world have made the construction of a national, universal and inclusive digital network infrastructure a common concern. broadcast policy and regulation; Canada; Canadian communications; copyright; digital economy; digital policy; federal government; internet; privacy; national digital strategy. Politics and Policy

Racism, The Press, And Canadian Society: Laying The Groundwork For Contemporary Study
Rebecca Morier (2004); Supervised by Gene Allen

Major Research Paper: As its national anthem proclaims, Canada is indeed "glorious and free," especially with the trope of a harmonious cultural mosaic as a defining characteristic of this fundamentally democratic nation. As Prime Minister Jean Chretien asserts, egalitarian values have always been at the basis of Canadian society: "Throughout the course of our history, we Canadians have built our society on the principles of fairness, justice, mutual respect, democracy and opportunity" (Department of Canadian Heritage, 1997). However, there also emerges from Canada's history a legacy of racial prejudice, discrimination, and disadvantage. As numerous studies have shown, racist attitudes and beliefs persist in Canada, even though they are not always apparent to those unaffected by their direct repercussions. This tension begs the question: how does a society that upholds liberal democratic values, prohibits overt discriminatory practices of ethnic group dominance, and defends its tolerant and humanistic character simultaneously perpetuate racism? Racism in mass media; Journalism; Objectivity; Canada; race relations

Shared Bodies: Motherless Daughters And Autobiographical Perfromativity Through Memorial Tattoo Art
Natalie Morning (2016); Supervised by Elizabeth Podnieks

Major Research Paper: In her iconic work Maternal Thinking Sara Ruddick (1980) speculates that “it is because we are daughters, nurtured and trained by women, that we receive maternal love with special attention to its implications for our bodies, our passions and our ambitions” (p.107). What happens then when daughters lack this maternal presence? Motherless daughters are girls and women who have experienced the loss of their mother at an age that defies the natural human experience of parent loss prior to adulthood, generally in their early 30s or much younger (Edelman, 1994). This study seeks to address how women maturing without maternal presence are recontextualizing their identity as motherless daughters through memorial tattoo art. ‘behind-the-ink’ is an online forum created by social worker Nancy Perlson for individuals to share the stories behind their memorial tattoos. Regarding her tattoo, motherless daughter Melissa asserts “it’s been almost 6 months since I got the tattoo… a stack of books. Three books. Two closed. One open. Her story ended. My story ended, the part of me that died with her. A new story begun, the motherless daughter who remains” (Perlson, 2015, para. 8). [from the introduction]  Media and Culture

James Stewart: The Trouble With Urban Modernity In Vertigo And Liberty Valance
Alex Morris (2009); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Major Research Paper: (from the introduction) Ultimately, even though Dark Stewart was born in the skies over war-torn Europe, as stressed above, the actor did not automatically inflect his postwar screen personality with gloomy undertones. It took a radical perceptual shift in the postwar national consciousness, a shift that saw everyday American people questioning their faith in some of the fundamental truths about the American way of life and their security in a rapidly changing world, to press Stewart into bringing to life on screen a more mature yet psychologically bruised self. At any rate, the more nefarious aspects of urban modernity fuelled the visions of a handful of prominent Hollywood directors mid century, and it is the concern of the following two essays to confront how in two of those director's pictures one made by Hitchcock, the other by Ford and each starring James Stewart some of the unique anxieties associated with this socio-historical period are animated. Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) is the focus of the first chapter. Released during the height of Cold War Hysteria, the film has been the object of much critical scholarship for its grim attention to modernity's more unsavory offerings. The nastier side of the modern impulse is at the centre of Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), the focus of chapter two. This chapter is similarly attached to the theme of urbanization. But instead of "reading" the cues in multiple aspects of the film's visual architecture, my meditation on Liberty Valance engages predominantly with the embodied features-that is, the movements, sensorial aptitude and gun-slinging prowess-Stewart's performance in the film's leading role as Ransom Stoddard. Alfred Hitchcock; audience; celebrity; Hollywood; James Stewart; John Ford; masculinity; popular culture; post-war anxiety; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; sensory experiences; urban modernity; Vertigo; visual architecture; World War II. Media and Culture

Making the brand: exploring the role of branding in popular music
Jeremy Morris (2005); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Thesis: Music artists and their products share attributes with other branded commodities but are rarely discussed as such. Using Hirschman's "Culture Production System" model in conjunction with literature from popular music, communication and cultural studies, this thesis considers whether music artists and their products can be considered as brands? If so, how are music brands created? To explore these questions, I present case studies of marketing materials from albums by Keane, Radiohead, U2 and Wilco. Branding reveals itself as a process that creates expectations among consumers, critics and others. Expectations can hinder artist creativity and result in increased standardization of the music product. However, brands may offer artists a level of control. This investigation has implications for all parties involved in the business of music and provides cultural industry researchers a unique way of analyzing the impact of marketing and branding on commodities while accounting for the complexities presented by the consumption of cultural goods. Popular music; Marketing; Branding (Marketing); Music trade; Marketing

The security-rights dilemma and communications surveillance in Canada
Karen Moses (2010); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Major Research Paper: This paper explores the issues of balancing freedom and privacy rights with security. It also acts as a primer for debate about related government responsibilities and explains why the security rights dilemma-or how the threat of terrorism-may suspend the rights of Canadian citizens. Specific attention is paid to communication-related rights such as privacy and how the threat of terrorism allows due process and other checks and balances systems to be bypassed through various intelligence practices. This paper will identifY why risk appears to trump rights in the current security environment and explain why security cannot be privileged over rights as rights are an integral part of public security. The state appears to view security as purely, or at least primarily, physical, however, if the state concentrates counterterrorist efforts on physical security, then this ignores the social aspects of security and therefore does not provide an adequate level of protection for its citizens but only advances the interests of the state. There are several ways in which the need for state security and desire to preserve democratic freedoms and values can be balanced without sacrificing one over the other, but this must begin with dialogue between the state and its citizens. Canada; Canadian citizens; Canadian policy; communications technology; civil rights; Communications Security Establishment (CSE); counterterrorism; government surveillance; illegal surveillance; privacy rights; surveillance technology; terrorism. Politics and Policy

Struggling with Simulations: Decoding the Neoliberal Politics of Digital Games
David Murphy (2016);

Dissertation: As a creative industry currently rivalling film and television, digital games are filled with a variety of political tensions that exist both between and within particular works. Unfortunately, internal discrepancies are often dismissed as indicators of political ambivalence, or treated as formal flaws that need to be overcome. To address this gap, this dissertation draws from game studies, media studies, and political economics to investigate the contradictory relationships between popular games and neoliberalism, specifically in relation to playful forms of resistance and critique that emerge during gameplay. Part I develops this study’s methodology by drawing from corresponding uses of assemblage theory, specifically articulated in Ong (2006, 2007), Lazzarato (2012, 2015), and Gilbert’s (2013) control society approaches to neoliberalism and Taylor (2009), Pearce and Artemesia’s (2009) digital ethnographic approaches to play. Derived from the French agencement, assemblage theory emphasizes heterogeneous relations in constant states of becoming that are understood as being real. Part II implements the aforementioned methodology by examining some of the most popular gaming franchises produced to date, with each demonstrating emergent political correlations and dissonances springing from relationships between different ludic and narrative components. BioShock (2007–2013) and Red Dead Redemption (2011) are narratively structured by neoliberal discourse, yet each storyline fails to correspond with the resistant political logic embedded in their respective rule systems. Conversely, Call of Duty (2004 – present) attains a high level of political cohesion that does not result in a better playing experience, as much as it contributes to conflicts amongst publishers, developers, and fans. Finally, Minecraft (2009–present) provides a fascinating example of a game that representationally reinforces neoliberalism while simultaneously affording the creation of new digital objects, including objects that give players the opportunity to understand and appreciate the computational infrastructures that a neoliberal emphasis on source code takes for granted. This dissertation, as a result, charts the growing connections between emergent gameplay and new forms of resistance and critique—connections that contribute not only to game studies, but also to the study of digital media and the interdisciplinary study of neoliberalism.  

Growing An Edible Campus
Sean O’Brian Murray (2018); Supervised by Stéphanie Walsh Matthews

Thesis: An Edible Campus can be broadly defined as the production of food on a post-secondary institution’s campus. This research contributes to the creation of a Canadian Edible CampusDatabase (ECD) that can be used as a network for future collaborations within the campus sustainability community, thus creating opportunities for education, research and community engagement. The database contains information about practices, size, and origin of EdibleCampuses across Canada. The database also creates a participant pool for a survey aimed at understanding the diversity of Edible Campuses. Edible Campus team members were asked to respond to questions regarding the goals, barriers and benefits for their food production initiatives. It is the finding of this research that Edible Campuses often exceed beyond ‘greening the school’ by demonstrating sustainability through the physical structure, teaching practice,research, and relationships with people and nature.  

Theorizing kineticism in cyberbodies: Embodiment and sexuality in the technological culture of cyberspace
Samita Nandy (2003); Supervised by John O'Neill

Thesis: Contemporary literature in cybernetic culture reveals a rise of technological beings of cyborgs and disembodied selves as post-gender bodies on the Net. While Donna Haraway defines the "cyborg" as a hybrid of machine and organism and, hence, a gender-free entity in cybernetic culture, human beings interacting during online communication are often conceived as disembodied selves, thus devoid of any gender identity. The problematic condition of the negation of gender is, however, an oversight of the nature of 'sexuality' and sexual 'subjectivity' of human beings in cybernetic culture. Nevertheless, images in science fiction films and chat forums in Internet communication not only reveal diverse sexual identities, thus challenging the absence of gender in cyberspace, but manifests kinesthetic features in the embodiment of cybersexuality.


In this thesis, I theorize and inaugurate 'kineticism' as the structural condition and state of existence of human body and sexuality, and its subversive potential for sexual emancipation in cyberspace. The word 'kineticism' is intended to suggest the system of ideas and condition of 'motion' that denote the 'structure' and 'mode of existence' as manifested in the 'choreography' and 'tectonics' of cyberbodies. To support my point of view, I will be drawing upon the theoretical perspectives of postmodernism and cyberfeminist theory. For the purpose of conducting this research, I will be employing a qualitative methodology of critical discourse analysis. As for the sources of this research, I would be using theoretical texts as found in both print and online publications as well as images in cyberpunk films and digital art in new media culture.


Deconstructing ideological notions of fixed sexuality and gender in human society, this research discovers and affirms a kinetic sexuality in cyberbodies. Introducing 'kineticism' as the 'structural condition' and 'mode of existence' of embodiment and sexuality in cyberspace, this thesis will not only contribute an original theoretical knowledge of sexual subjectivity and emancipation of human bodies in digital culture but offer a critical advancement of contemporary social and feminist theory as well. Cultural anthropology; Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Social sciences Media and Culture

Leslieville: A Neighbourhood In Transition, A Community Divided Understanding The Changing Politics A/Space In A Toronto Neighbourhood.
Jessica Napier (2009); Supervised by Joy Cohnsteadt

Major Research Paper: This paper aims to tell the story of Leslieville, a small neighbourhood in Toronto's east end, from its early settlement in the 1850s to the present. Looking back at the area's progression from farming village, to working-class industrial centre, to gentrifying creative hub, provides the historical context for a further consideration of the current challenges and conflicts that are impacting the community today. In 2008 a land dispute over a proposed big-box style retail development divided the community and instigated a yearlong battle at the Ontario Municipal Board between Toronto city council and private developers. In tracing the historical growth of Leslieville and analyzing the current development issues, this study examines how urban development and cultural policy have influenced the transformation of this unique Toronto neighbourhood. An application of the theoretical literature on gentrification and photographs are provided in order to supplement the analysis. By identifying Leslieville as a neighbourhood in transition and examining it as a case study in the process and impact of gentrification and neighbourhood change this research contributes to a further understanding of the nature of urban space and how it should be developed to serve the interests of Toronto's diverse population. Canada; community; cultural policy; developmental issues; gentrification; Leslieville; photography; retail development; Toronto; urban development; urban space. Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

From marketing to meaning: Toward a reconceptualization of social marketing
Janice Nathanson (2008);

Dissertation: The discipline of social marketing has yet to reach its fullest potential. Dedicated to using communication as a means of bringing about positive social change, it nonetheless privileges a consumer-oriented, behavior-driven approach based on marketing principles and a rationally-based, individual decision-making paradigm. Such an approach is overly reductive, neglecting the cultural and structural forces that impinge on our social relations.


This dissertation aims to enhance social marketing's capacity to serve as a tool for social change by incorporating a cultural dimension that also accounts for structural concerns. It introduces the work of John B. Thompson who, in his extensive work on culture and ideology, argues for the primacy of meaning and its impact on the material conditions of our lives. But Thompson acknowledges that analysis is not enough. Creating positive social change depends on the active reconstruction of meaning. This is where framing theory comes in. It provides an entry into the struggle over meaning and its power to effect social change.


Yet framing theory itself is underdeveloped. The empirical research in this dissertation, therefore, attempts to explore some key framing issues. Conducted through an ethnographic study within a social marketing agency, a number of key questions were addressed. What are the conceptual methodological parameters for developing frames? What are the rules and routines? Who is involved in creating frames? Who has authority? Is there a particular discourse around framing? Where is ideology embedded and how is it manifested? Because the scholarship has not explored these questions, we do not know what it takes to construct a frame that will motivate social change. We do not know how an effective frame gets developed. The findings are new to the field given that, to my knowledge, no one has previously looked at the internal operations of an agency as it prepares its clients' work.


The end result is a reconceputalized model of social marketing in which meaning—in the form of frames—is put front and centre. In this framework, social marketing might be employed as a cultural means of influencing change through the construction and reconstruction of meaning and representation. Communication and the arts; Framing; Marketing; Meaning; Social change; Social marketing

Sense of the past: historic house museums in Toronto, Canada, as forms of an urban heterotopia
Alevtina Naumova (2017); Supervised by Paul Moore

Dissertation: Historic house museums allow for reconceptualization of the meaning of tangible objects around us. We establish this new relationship with materiality through our sensory bodies. We conceive of ourselves differently and allow ourselves to move and behave in ways that are not acceptable in the world outside of the museum. We perform our new selves with permission granted by the sense of place that cannot be understood other than through embodied experience–of things, of selves, of the environment that brings it all together. In the coming together of all these elements in the immediate, intimate present, the notion of the past is defined as cultural heritage as mediated through the historic house museum curatorial work and space. I approach historic house museums as socially created and lived kinds of spatiality and sites of social practices and focus on the experiences of people that spend considerable amounts of time there–the museum staff. As a researcher, I have inserted myself within the environment of a historic house museum and attempted to open it to social inquiry through various ways of being within it–observing, writing, interviewing, interacting, sensing, entering it and leaving it. I have carried out a form of phenomenological ethnography, which included a two-year autoethnographic study at the Mackenzie House Museum, in Toronto, Canada, where I volunteered in the position of an interpreter and a historic cook; 24 participant observation visits to other historic house museums in Toronto; and 13 in-depth unstructured interviews with museum staff from various historic house museum sites in the city. The three methods addressed the key conceptual clusters–emplacement, materiality, and performance, which form three analytical chapters of the dissertation. The dissertation positions historic house museums as forms of heterotopia that function as contestations of the accepted spatial, social, and temporal norms within an urban environment. These museums come forth as attempted reconstructions of anthropological places, in the form of domestic sites that assert significance of material manifestations of familial relations and historical heritage. These sites are immersive environments bridge the gap in the current experience of body, time, and space.  

Sublimating the message: Mapping the digital age
Eva Nesselroth (2005); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Thesis: This thesis attempts to articulate questions concerning digital communication theory in order to create a framework for further inquiry. Specifically, this thesis asks, is silicon just an innocuous conveyor of information? What is the relationship between the medium (digital coding in the form of bits) and its material substratum (silicon)? In other words, how does silicon, the carrier, processor, and translator of binary codes, affect the digital messages themselves? To assess the nature of the relationship between material and medium from a historical perspective, this thesis examines the analyses of Walter Benjamin, Harold Innis, and Marshall McLuhan and their hypotheses regarding art and architecture; paper and print; and electric media respectively. Also, this essay presents an analysis of how modes of signifying may indicate material and cultural biases (e.g., binarism and systems of logic) with reference to Walter Ong and Renaissance mathematician Peter Ramus. A critique of the current theoretical dialogues and their navigation of self, identity, the corporeal, orality, signification, and materiality is discussed. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Communication and the arts Media and Culture;Technology in Practice

Dematerializing Digital Objects: Denial, Decay, Detritus and Other Matters of Fact
Eva Nesselroth-Woyzbun (2013); Supervised by Janine Marchessault

Dissertation: We know little about the materials that constitute the digital devices we use every day, from where those materials are derived, or where they will go when we discard them. Through a variety of means, digital devices are “dematerialized.” That is, a digital object’s material components are denied and concealed by complex cultural and economic practices that support a myth of immaterial and ubiquitous computing without material consequences. Since the early days of digital computing, designers have striven to design devices that are smaller, better, denser, and faster. These traits are framed as ideals against which new products are measured and they have encouraged a desire for ubiquitous, imperceptible integration of digital computing at all levels of modern life. This dissertation argues that the digital object is dematerialized and that this pervasive reduction of the physical object and our very awareness of the physicality of digital materials inhibits our ability to support awareness of the material limits and often detrimental impacts of digital devices. However, the material nature of the digital object may be more apparent after an object is rendered obsolete. Drawing from media archaeology, thing theory, and material culture studies, this dissertation examines a few “afterlives” of digital objects because it is only after its useful life that the object’s materiality takes on transformative powers. For example, when discarded, its physical properties become problematic and may be framed as an environmental issue. Or, when treated as a material artifact in a museum the digital object resists historicity, and when saved as a memento it may take on unexpected nostalgic power. I argue that it is precisely the dematerialized aspects of the informatic media that have created the situation of ‘e-waste’ and it is through a new consciousness of their materiality that we might think about how these technologies evolve and occupy space in the future. digital devices; digital objects; e-waste; environmental issues; informatics media; material artifacts; material culture; media archeology; nostalgia; thing theory. Media and Culture

Beyond Commerce: The Fashion Magazine As Art And Theory
Truc Nguyen (2007); Supervised by Michael Prokopow

Project-Paper: What are the defining characteristics of a fashion magazine? Can the genre exist outside of a commercial context? Are aesthetics and theory alone enough to create something worth reading? Taken outside of the context of consumer culture, what is its difference from "art" publications? These are the questions central to this project, entitled "Beyond Commerce: The Fashion Magazine as Art and Theory." The project visually and critically examines some of the tensions and contradictions between fashion and art in general terms, and it explores specific topic and debates within contemporary fashion theory through a review of the current academic and cultural literature on the business and art of fashion and magazines, interviews with fashion editors. and the creation of a magazine proof entitled Deeply Superficial. anti-fashion; branding; consumer culture; fashion as art; fashion magazine; fashion theory; globalization; high/low fashion; logomania; magazine aesthetic; postmodernism; street fashion; youth subcultures. Media and Culture

The gender dimension of communication technologies in Uganda: documenting ICTs in the daily lives of women
Heloise Nicholl (2007); Supervised by Amin Alhassan

Major Research Paper: The field of international and development communications entered a new chapter with the emergence of digital information and communication technologies. Information and communication technologies (lCTs) have long been a source of study for theorists and practitioners of international development, starting with study of the telegraph, fixed phone, and radio. However with the advent of digital technologies, the size of devices has shrunken while simultaneously their power has expanded. This paper discusses one segment of the development communications paradigm, the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in relation to gender. One focus that demands greater scrutiny is gender. It's important to ask who is benefiting the most from using ICTs in development. For women in particular, using and accessing communications is more difficult than it is for men, a situation that authors of gender and technology studies have coined 'the Gender Digital Divide'. Computers and women; Uganda; Sex differences in education; Computers; Study and teaching; Digital divide

Rooting for the Home Team: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Canada's National Sports Culture
Michael Novis (2010); Supervised by Andreas Kitzmann

Major Research Paper: As a cultural institution, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is meant to connect Canadian citizens from coast-to-coast in ways that would otherwise be impossible. With regards to the collective memory of Canadians, it is thus imperative to address the media narrative that has undoubtedly assisted in the construction of a 'national psyche' in Canada. Following interpretive logics of inquiry, this intrinsic case study will explore the creation of a national sports culture in Canada, and how it has manifested through the CBC's broadcast television operation. In particular, the primary objective is to analyze the position of the CBC in the cultural production of hockey in Canada. By exploring the CBC's television program Hockey Night in Canada this paper strives to better understand how hockey has emerged as a social phenomenon, and how identity-building organizations such as the national broadcaster· have institutionalized hockey lore and tradition in Canadian culture. Through Canada's obsession with the sport of hockey it may be possible to better understand the dynamics at play in the nation's cultural, socio-political and economic realms. Canada; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); hockey; Hockey Night in Canada; identity politics; mass media; media spectacle; nationalism; national broadcaster; national sports culture; public broadcasting. Media and Culture

Critical media literacy in Canadian classrooms: the re-education of media savvy children
Valerie O'Brien (2003); Supervised by David Checkland

Major Research Paper: Over the latter half of the 20th century, a number of technological innovations brought about a major shift in the Canadian media environment whereby we have seen traditional media, such as newspapers and radio, eclipsed by ubiquitous, state-of-the-art technologies that are incredibly vivid and burgeoning with interactive potential. New media have appeared while older media have evolved to offer us hundreds of channels and virtually unlimited access to information and entertainment. Along with these developments, our acceptance and appetite for media and technology has also shifted. In 1990 for example, only 10.4% of Canadian households owned a computer and 12.6% had VCRs (Manna, 2002, p. 18). A little over a decade later, in 2001 more than 70% of Canadian homes had computers and VCR penetration reached 93%, according to a report from the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (ibid.). Cable and satellite subscriptions, Internet access, and mobile telephone use have also increased substantially in the last decade. Given what appears to be a vigorous proliferation of media technology, it is hardly surprising that children are becoming remarkably 'media savvy'. Technology and children; Mass media and children; Television and children; Computers and children; Children; Social conditions; 21st century

Pedagogies of space: The contestation of Vari Hall
Clare O'Connor (2009);

Thesis: A violent confrontation between city police and student activists raises the profile of a contested space on Toronto's York University campus, Vari Hall. Reading this contestation through Lefebvre's theory of space and Gramsci's theory of hegemony, the author examines how architectural contradictions, spatial promises, and political climate produce a trial by space that is metonymic of complex global struggles for social justice. Although limited in scope, elaboration of this metonym reveals the potential for a critical pedagogy grounded in analysis of the production of space. Sociology; Higher education; Social sciences; Education; Ontario; York University

Regulating free speech in the public interest: The CRTC and Al-Jazeera
Felix Odartey-Wellington (2008); Supervised by Liora Salter

Dissertation: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision approving for Canadian distribution Al-Jazeera, the controversial Middle-Eastern news and public affairs network, provoked debate. To the extent that the CRTC's decision, based on findings of the potential for abusive speech on Al-Jazeera, had the effect of constraining freedom of expression, it was perceived as smacking of censorship, and an assault on freedom of expression. However, the CRTC appears to have adopted a more nuanced perspective towards the matter. In this dissertation, I argue that understanding the Al-Jazeera decision and CRTC's enforcement abusive speech regulations requires an understanding of public policy as a governmental concept, and of regulation as a device for achieving desired socio-political policy outcomes. It also requires a comprehension of key Canadian broadcasting policy ideas. I therefore drew on the concepts of imagined communities and the right to communicate as perspectives for conceptualising these policy ideas. Using an approach informed by the discourse analytical category of articulation, I interrogated the discursive regulatory conversations that characterised the Al-Jazeera application proceeding and that consequently impacted the CRTC's decision on the application. My analysis of the application, interventions made with respect to the application, relevant media reports and commentary, as well as the decision, suggests that the institutional agency of the CRTC in determining the application was structured by the discourse of Canadian broadcasting policy and regulation. And to the extent that parties to the regulatory process situated interventions within this discourse, they succeeded in impacting the process. As well, in the regulatory proscription of abusive speech on the airwaves, the CRTC balances freedom of expression against the underlying values of Canadian multicultural democracy. I suggest therefore that while at the inception of Canadian broadcasting policy in 1932, broadcasting was mobilised as an instrument of nation-building that would combat geographical impediments to nationhood, within the same context of nation-building, the current challenge for Canadian broadcasting policy includes fostering and supporting a cohesive multicultural and multiethnic national community. The challenges, objectives, and discourse of Canadian broadcasting policy, therefore constitute the context in which the CRTC regulates free speech in the public interest. Public administration; Mass communications; Freedom of speech; Public interest; Terrorism; Canadians; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Al-Jazeera; Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission; Free speech; Public interest Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

Digitizing Ibadan: explorations of the photoblogosphere as a site of resistance
Olatokunbo Olaleye (2006); Supervised by Lila Pine

Project-Paper: The camera has been actively involved in the framing of African people. Popular images of the African continent seldom deviate from the normalized visual rhetoric, primarily depicting exoticized images or the extremities of civil unrest, famine and disease. Digitizing Ibadan is a photographic exploration of the city of Ibadan, Nigeria. Residents of lbadan were invited to visually (re)present their perceptions of the city. Over a period of four weeks, hundreds of digital images were recorded and stored on a website designed for the project.


The website was designed to display everyday life and everyday sights, allowing for the interpretation of these ordinary acts (of recording and displaying images) as democratic and meaningful. The idea is that a website hosting digital images (in photoblog format) could be established as a site of resistance. This website represents an endeavour by the everyday citizen to recontextualize photography as a social discourse. Documentary photography; Nigeria; Ibadan; Ibadan (Nigeria); Social life and customs; Pictorial works; Documentary photography; Nigeria; Ibadan; Blogs; Photograph collections; Blogs; Identity (Psychology); Nigeria; Ibadan Technology in Practice

Building bridges: exploring gender through photographic practice
Jennifer O'Leary (2006); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Project-Paper: This project is a visual expression of my observations about gender within western culture. My photographic practice is conducted within and mediated by significant beliefs about gender and, in turn, provides ideological support for how I relate to society. Acknowledging that I photograph from a female perspective I photographed both male and female subjects of different genders and races using a 35mm camera with a wideangle lens. I captured images that helped me reflect on my own practice as a photographer. My images can be viewed as individual photographs or as a set. Factors, such as my cultural background, social status, religious beliefs, and level of comfort with my own sexuality, influenced my photographic practice and so will inevitably affect how viewers respond to my images. How I feel about identity construction permeates through out my image making process. As a photographer in the Ryerson University and York University joint program of Communication and Culture exploring different theoretical frameworks undoubtedly affected my studio practice as I gained more knowledge and became more self-reflective. I accept as photographer that my images will not have a fixed meaning but I do intend them to evoke feelings.


Since I discovered Henri Cartier-Bresson's work as a young teenager I have always had a profound respect for his abilities and his methodology. Although I would never begin to align my work with a master photographer with regards to quality I have always aspired to his greatness. Robert Frank and Eugene Richards also have inspired me during this Masters project. My more recent appreciation of their work reinforces my belief that there will always be a place for striking 'documentary' style photographs taken on film and printed on fiber based paper by the hand of one whom feels the call ofthe traditional darkroom. Photography; Artistic; Photography; Social aspects; Photographic criticism; Visual communication; Image (Philosophy) Technology in Practice

Gender Play: The Subversive Sexual Politics of the Stettheimer Salon, 1915-1935
Chelsea Olsen (2014); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Major Research Paper: From Renaissance-era France to early 20th century New York, the literary salon provided a unique space in which new ideas could be discussed, groundbreaking artistic movements could be formed, and social hierarchies and stereotypes could be broken. My research concerns how women used the salon to assume traditionally masculine positions of power and intellect and to reject the prevailing gender stereotypes of their time. Specifically, I am interested in the subversive gender dynamics of the Stettheimer salon in New York. From 1915 to 1935, the three Stettheimer sisters -- Ettie, Carrie, and Florine -- held a literary salon in Upper West Side New York. The Stettheimer salon had a distinctively feminine feel (Bilski and Braun 126). Its guest list was filled with effeminate habitués like Marcel Duchamp and Carl Van Vechten, who were encouraged to embrace their feminine side whilst in the salon space (Bilski and Braun 134). Even the sisters subverted their socially ascribed gender roles: they were all unmarried, financially independent and ruled over their male habitués (Bilski and Braun 131). This play with gender also manifested itself in the sisters’ creative works, namely Ettie’s novels, Carrie’s dollhouse, and Florine’s artworks and poetry. Since both the sisters’ salon and their creative work advanced progressive sexual politics, there is room to consider how these two cultural phenomena were mutually constitutive. Thus, I aim to investigate the following research question: How did the Stettheimer sisters’ salon and creative oeuvre collectively endorse a playful and subversive attitude towards gender? artistic movements; feminism; gender and sexuality; gender performativity; male gaze; salon; salon theory; Stettheimer Salon; subversive sexual politics. Media and Culture

Exploring the frontiers between communication and non-communication: Exclusion, conflict and discursive interactions about maize within Mexican society
Christian Oquendo (2008); Supervised by Myles Ruggles

Thesis: This thesis is based on a qualitative analysis of the opinions of key actors involved in the public debate about the results of the investigation performed by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation Secretariat (CEC)—created as result of the NAFTA agreements—entitled "The Effects of Transgenic Maize in Mexico". The results the CEC investigation were made public in Oaxaca, March the 11th, 2004. The research question that guided the analysis is: in the context of the public debate about the unlawful introduction of transgenic corn to Mexico, can we see the dynamics of exclusion and silencing operating at different levels? The purpose of this thesis is to explore the repercussions of certain historical conditions in the communicative interactions between mestizo groups and indigenous communities in contemporary Mexico. The conclusions of the analysis show that the public debate about the maize issue between non-indigenous and indigenous actors is characterized by profound cultural disagreements, silences and exclusion. Communication and the arts; NAFTA; Commission for Environmental Cooperation Secretariat (CEC); indigenous studies Politics and Policy

Under what flag? : identity and nationalism in Canadian rodeo
Karol Orzechowski (2012);

Thesis: Rodeo culture in Canada – and North America more broadly – is a relatively non-mainstream and little-scrutinized subculture, but it is one in which its adherents are particularly emotionally and physically invested. I concentrate on three key questions: 1) How can we define rodeo culture in Canada? 2) Is there a coherent set of identity position(s) within Canadian rodeo culture that can be thought of in terms of a nationalism? 3) How can an understanding of the "rodeo nation" illuminate the position of animals used in rodeo sports, such as bulls, calves, and horses? Through historical research, analysis of cultural production related to rodeos and cowboys, a series of ten interviews with "insiders" to rodeo culture (participants, organizers, and support workers) and attendance at rodeos around Ontario, I unpack rodeo culture and begin to explore the tentative definition of a "rodeo nation," and its implications for the animals involved. Cultural anthropology; Social structure; Recreation

Going Over-the-Top: Reassessing Canadian Cultural Policy Objectives in a Converged Media Environment
Siobhan Ozege (2012); Supervised by Tuna Baskoy

Major Research Paper: The Canadian media landscape is changing at an unanticipated pace, catching public and private broadcasters off-guard and ill equipped to meet the changing demands of the market. This is placing significant strain on the regulator's existing approach to new media regulation. Since 1999, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has employed a policy of non-regulation-or as I will argue in this paper, a policy of non-policy regarding new media broadcasting undertakings (NMBUs). While NMBUs cast a wide net in terms of what we would classify under this term, its most widely known proponents-"over-the-top" (OTT) providers like Netflix Inc., Hulu, Apple TV, and countless others are taking the lion's share of the criticism and concern in Canada by broadcasters and social groups like ACTRA, and the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA). This paper will provide an environmental scan of the existing approach to new media regulation in Canada by examining The Broadcasting Act, the New Media Exemption Order (NMEO), and the OTT Fact-Finding Mission (and results). This exploration will identify existing policy gaps, provide a history of the regulatory model, and highlight a brief case study on the Office of Communications (Ofcom) in the United Kingdom that has adopted an umbrella regulatory model that may be useful when exploring new options for new media policy in Canada. Finally, it will identify some existing roadblocks for undertaking such a policy review by looking specifically at the legislative confines of The Broadcasting Act. Broadcasting Act; Canada; Canadian media; Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC); media policy; new media broadcasting; new media regulation; public and private broadcasting. Politics and Policy

Forgotten Memories: The Notion of Sacrum in Artistic Expression
Radoslaw Pacanowski (2009); Supervised by Don Snyder and John Vainstein

Project-Paper: This paper is a critical examination of the artistic process undertaken to complete a mixed media art installation, exploring the concept of "sacrum" as the nucleus of the peasant culture of XIX century Poland. As demonstrated by the prevalence of sacred inclinations embedded in the moral consciousness of Polish peasant history, sacrum is the innate orientation towards realities that transcend time and matter - the active and passive reflection of that which lies outside the realm of human sensory experience. At its core, this project explores sacred elements embedded in Polish culture - these elements are not merely reflected upon, but are also reacted to and acted upon by the artist, thus revealing the forgotten sacredness of the most mundane objects and practices of human life. As such, this creative process functions as a research tool, which, by using interdisciplinary illuminations, now acts as a stimulus for the creation of new knowledge. Utilizing the notion of praxis, this project determines whether artistic expression facilitates the communication and sharing of undiluted knowledge. The ultimate aim of this endeavour is to understand the extent to which the artistic process is capable of sustaining the pure essence of expression, and of mediating the transcendent elements inherent in human culture.

The approach taken is based on the richness of signals emanating from the artist's own personal history. It includes not only that which is utterly personal, but also that which is culturally determined, offering insight into the various social forces shaping the content of one's own self-identity. The process of tracing the lineage of a personal story is the chosen means used to deconstruct the complexity of cultural tectonics. Through a series of ritualistic actions, embedded with both personal and cultural significance, a transformation takes place, in that, the resulting disarray of energies, now freed from the skeletal structure of self-reality, reveal a sharper, more enlightened view of the spirit that permeates the artist's enveloping culture.

The conclusions derived, highlight the inherent complexity of the artistic cycle and the various ways in which the intended message is distorted and/or misinterpreted. However, as suggested by the study's findings, this unavoidable, resulting distortion need not detract in any way from the inherent value of artistic expression and the artistic process. The creative journey taken was truly successful in the realization of a fuller, broader understanding of personal identity within a larger cultural, historical context. In addition, the commitment to praxis, as opposed to passive reflection, successfully revealed evidence of sacrum's inherent, interwoven existence within a greater personal and cultural ontology. art installation; artistic expression; artistic processing; lineage; mixed media; Poland; Polish history; personal and cultural history; sacrum; self-identity. Media and Culture

Consumer and Academic Culture Convergence: the Implications of the Internet on Student Evaluations of Faculty Members and the Shaping the Rhetoric of Pedagogy
Greta Palmason (2009); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Major Research Paper: The increasing commercialization of higher education is challenging the fundamental role of the University in today's democratic society and the consequences are grave. Increasingly, higher education is applying a customer-service approach to the student-professor relationship that is undermining effective pedagogy. Edwin Guthrie (1954) notes that the function of the University is to attempt to insure that the following generation will be more good, wise, and knowing than the present one" (p.l). Student evaluations of teaching effectiveness are often used to ensure that the function is fulfilled. Student rating websites such as (RMP) offers an online community forum that exists outside the institution, where students can anonymously share evaluations of instructors with others. Students can choose instructors and courses based on the ratings. However they are selecting their professors relative to criteria that fulfills a pedagogy that is fuelled not by the drive for an enriched knowledge but by a pedagogy that is influenced by a consumer and academic culture convergence. These consumer attitudes towards higher education are spilling over into the institution and faculty members are suffering the impact. Professors need to have the freedom to motivate students to learn without having to be concerned with entertaining them. It has been argued that Universities need to re-instate their legitimacy and remind students that degrees are granted on a learning basis, not for tuition payment (Delucchi & Korgen 2002). Without a re-establishment of an academic ethic, the University could fall prisoner to the pedagogically irresponsible demands of their customers. academic culture; academic ethic; commercialization; consumerism; higher education; online community; online forums; pedagogy;; students as consumers; student ratings; university faculty. Media and Culture

Mobile technology: private talk, public life and the shrinking commons.
Savi Kash Pannu (2005); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Major Research Paper: In the field of Communication studies, mobile technology is still a relatively new area of study with scholarly research just beginning to address this rapidly growing field. Because this technology is continually evolving, as is the way in which people are starting to use it, much of the research remains inconclusive as to any predictions of how this technology will to be used. In the meantime, much has been made about mobile technology's potential to change the way we interact and communicate with one another, and how these changes might have the ability to alter social relations forever. What I would like to examine are the locations where mobile technology and social relations intersect, and the manner in which the two inform each other. More specifically, I would like to focus on the areas where mobile technologies (cell phones, Blackberries, text messaging) affect social life, such as collective behaviour, political action, as well as public sphere and public space issues. Much has been made about the supposed benefits of technology and its potential to collectivize, politicize and, above all, mobilize our society. However, is this constant telephony really living up to this potential? In an environment already saturated with communication technology, billion-dollar advertising expenditures and media multinationals, will the addition of new technologies benefit those seldom heard or only add to the white noise?"--Pages 2-3. advertising; Blackberry; civic life; consumerism; democracy; democratic participation; internet; marketing; mobile technology; neoliberalism; neoliberal subjects; political action; public and private spheres; public spaces; text messaging. Media and Culture

Communication instinct: Husserl and the embodied temporality of the social
Boris Pantev (2016); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Dissertation: This dissertation revisits the question of the temporal constitution of sociality. What is the role of subjective time-experience in the understanding of other people and the formation of communicative environment? This problem is considered in a generative phenomenological context. The investigation traces analytically the “stages” of communicative constitution: from the explicit intentional modes of interaction back to the pre-affective and habitualized social sense-accomplishments. The task is approached through a systematic exposition of Edmund Husserl's generative concept of communication proper (Mitteilung, Kommunikation). A widespread view in the classical and more recent phenomenological scholarship is that Husserl’s concept of communication must be derivative of the more fundamental categories of empathy and intersubjectivity (Einfühlung and Intersubjektivität; Schütz 1957; Held 1972; Zahavi 1996). The theoretical potential of the concept of communication for a phenomenology of sociality has thus been largely overlooked. The dissertation challenges this long-established model and attempts to reaffirm the central constitutive role of communication, to redefine its function in contradistinction with that of empathy. It does so by considering Husserl’s later “genetic phenomenology” where temporal experiences are construed in the background of the sphere of “primal flowing living present” (urströmende lebendige Gegenwart). On this basis, the notion of communication is uncovered as transcendentally rooted in the structure of pre-conscious instinctual Ineinander. This perspective is radicalized and validated through an extensive analysis of Levinas’s implicit debate with Husserl regarding the temporal constitution of alterity and also translated into a problem of the ethical meaning of objective forms of social communication. The central argument of the dissertation is that an interpretation of Husserl’s concept of communication in connection with the notions of primal temporal flow, instincts, and pre-intentional passive synthesis affords the elaboration of a generative phenomenological concept of “intermonadic communication” which grounds empathy rather than deriving from it. Such an interpretation might further prove productive for the study of both nonverbal interaction (also in relation to treatments of autism) and the developmental basis of social behaviour. Its potential to validate an ethical theory of interpersonal understanding is also affirmed through a comparative analysis of Husserl and Levinas's concepts of subjectivity, sensibility and common time.  

Augmenting visual faculties: an exploration of traditional and experimental augmented reality methods in artistic practice
Helen Papagiannis (2007); Supervised by Caitlin Fisher

Project-Paper: The final project resulted in a series of artistic works applying both traditional and experimental AR methods. The various AR artworks created compose a body of work that are intended to be viewed as a series resulting from two streams of exploration: traditional marker tracking methods, and experimental processes with non-marker images and alternative materials ARStudio; artistic practice; artistic expression; augmented reality; interactive cinema; marker recognition; marker tracking; storytelling; video Technology in Practice

Journalistic Objectivity And The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Ryan Parker (2009); Supervised by Gene Allen

Major Research Paper: The press is a constitutive part of our society. It helps create national identities and formulates society's understanding of itself and its place in the world. Moreover, a free press is indispensable for ensuring the vibrancy of a democracy. For these reasons, a close inspection of news, and an evaluation of its performance, is crucial.


We must look to the development of the mass press at the turn of the twentieth century to locate the beginnings of journalistic objectivity and the type of news we are familiar with today. The first section of this paper offers a review of accounts of this transformational period, placing opposing theories within the larger framework of the frictions between cultural studies and political economy, and underscores the need for a holistic understanding of the period. The second section chronicles the press's articulation of its new professional tenets, offers a definition of journalistic objectivity, and reveals its intrinsic limitations. The third section details how the modern press's ideal democratic mandate has been compromised, with the influence of the press being used instead to ensconce powerful interests. And the fourth section outlines the calls for a redefinition of journalism in light of the failures covered in the preceding section.


Finally, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is offered as an alternative journalistic form that transcends the dangerous dogma of traditional news outlets, allowing it to fulfill the democratic responsibility of the press by encouraging a critical and astute citizenry. cultural studies; democracy; Jon Stewart; journalism; journalistic objectivity; mass media; mass press; news media; political economy; The Daily Show. Politics and Policy

Bandwidth is political: Reachability in the public Internet
Nancy Paterson (2010);

Dissertation: The global public Internet faces a growing but little studied threat from the use of intrusive traffic management practices by both wholesale and retail Internet service providers. Unlike research concerned with bandwidth and traffic growth, this study shifts the risk analysis away from capacity issues to focus on performance standards for interconnection and data reachability. The long-term health of the Internet is framed in terms of "data reachability" – the principle that any end-user can reach any part of the Internet without encountering arbitrary actions on the part of a network operator that might block or degrade transmission. Risks to reachability are framed in terms of both systematic traffic management practices and "de-peering," a more aggressive tactic practised by Tier-1 network operators to resolve disputes or punish rivals. De-peering is examined as an extension of retail network management practices that include the growing use of deep packet inspection (DPI) technology for traffic-shaping. De-peering can also be viewed as a close relative of Net Neutrality, to the extent that both concepts reflect arbitrary practices that interfere with the reliable flow of data packets across the Internet. In jurisdictional terms, however, de-peering poses a qualitatively different set of risks to stakeholders and end-users, as well as qualitatively different challenges to policymakers.


It is argued here that risks to data unreachability represent the next stage in debates about the health and sustainability of the global Internet. The study includes a detailed examination of the development of the Internet's enabling technologies; the evolution of telecommunications regulation in Canada and the United States, and its impact on Internet governance; and an analysis of the role played by commercialization and privatization in the growth of risks to data reachability.  

Poetry and reason: means and meanings of the moving image
Iona Pelovska (2015);

Dissertation: Poetry and Reason departs from the question of cinema as industrial technology and as artistic language. The prosthetic relationship of industrial technologies to the body, unlike the contingency of traditional art technologies on the body, problematizes the question of cinema as art. Cinema's capacity to render thought-like environments allows its trans-mediumatic abstraction. This extends its questioning beyond the technologically cinematic, into the pre-technological moving image that animates perception, thought and dream. In scanning the field that makes cinema possible, this work questions the possibilities cinema opens as a way of knowing and assembling realities. The interpolation of language, thought and embodiment reveals a view of language as mediumatic, and of cinema as a linguistic medium that can simulate a cognitively faithful dream (the original disembodied moving image) as sensory experience. Thus cinema re-enacts a pre-technological environment while advancing the language of technology embedded in the cinematic machine. The libidinal ways solar and chthonic energies, the symbolic and the physical, interpolate in mytho-poetic thought, art and science culminate in the ways these energies unfold in the experience of cinema and illuminate human hybridization, from ancient anthropo-bestiality to the techno-human condition. Poetry and reason, as the two ways of language, outline an epistemology that foregrounds the primacy of poetry in symbolic being. This work aims to resolve tensions between the symbolic and the material both theoretically and methodologically, proposing an integration of rational and poetic (artistic) techniques. The methodological intervention brings divergent approaches into tensional dynamic that sculpts a mobile structure, necessarily open-ended and imperfect. Theoretically, it delves into the movements of poetry and reason as ways to meaning, investigating their destination in cinema. The vocabulary of reason prompts cinema to advance a technological intent to colonize reality while poetic language destabilizes that movement. Reason and poetry as the two ways of language are thus actualized in the ways cinematic language interpolates mental and sensory experience. Motion pictures; Philosophy; Motion picture audiences; Psychological aspects; Motion pictures and literature; Motion pictures; Psychological aspects

Risk Communications & Habermasian Validity Claims: Evaluating Eastern Health's Response to the ER/PR Crisis (2005-2007)
David Penney (2010); Supervised by Wendy Cukier

Major Research Paper:  breast cancer; Canada; Canadian healthcare; Canadian governance; Canadian media; communicative ethics; Labrador; Newfoundland; risk communications. Media and Culture

"Walk Like the Heroes": The Performed Identity of Bruce Springstein and the Relationship to Contemporary Popular Music Performance
Ashley Petkovski (2010); Supervised by Jennifer Brayton

Thesis: This thesis examines the trend of contemporary popular musicians referencing and being compared to Bruce Springsteen. To do so, the work analyzes the performed social identity of Springsteen and its relationship to popular music performance, particularly in terms of understanding and assessing the motivations behind comparisons with Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem, a band frequently though to represent Sprinsteen's influence. Two case studies were conducted to examine the performed personas of both artists, informed by theories of the communication of meaning and identity. Springsteen is found to portray a traditionally American, White, working class male, representative of the idealized image of early American republican philosophy. Alternately, Fallon is found to perform a similar social identity without the significant evocation of this republicanism. Comparisons between these artists are theorized as emerging from their use of similar identity representations and indicators of meaning, particularly in their communication of authenticity. Bruce Springsteen; economic class; masculinity; national identity; performance; physical body; popular music; racialized identity; social identity. Media and Culture

Celebrity humanitarianism and international development an analysis of Oprah, Bono, and Angelina Jolie in Africa
Chantal Petrie (2008); Supervised by Amin Alhassan

Thesis: Sub-Saharan Africa has become a popular destination for Hollywood celebritites to embark on humanitarian missions, in attempt to combat the problems of poverty, AIDS, and underdevelopment in Africa. However, celebrity humanitarians take for granted that development giving is an altruistic enterprise that can only bring about positive results for the communities and peoples involved. Using three celebrity case studies, I will show how humanitarian giving can result in unforeseen consequences, even when the gift of development is given with altruistic intentions. The celebrities analyzed in this thesis including Oprah Winfrey, Paul (Bono) Hewson, and Angelina Jolie, each adopt Western consumerist strategies that are incompatible with the diverse values and worldviews found in Africa. In addition, development giving provides an unsustainable solution for a collective global future, and is not exempt from forms of inequality, dependency, domination, and exploitation that privilege the Western subject through dehumanizing others. Africa; celebrity; Angelina Jolie; celebrity humanitarians; development; humanitarianism; Hollywood; Oprah Winfrey; Paul (Bono) Hewson; Western consumerist strategies. Media and Culture

The Gift And The Threat: An Artistic Exploration Into The Machine's Threat Against The Flesh Body
Laurie Petrou (2003); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Project-Paper: This paper acts as a support for the two projects I have submitted: Industrial Strength and The Gift The Threat. The projects and the paper examine ideas of the threat of the metallized body on the flesh body. Aesthetics and texts vitalized ideas that were explored through the videos, and the videos themselves represent an artistic discovery and a contribution to aesthetics, history and philosophy - as well as a springboard for a larger body of work. My research involved analysis of the fascists and the Futurists and their use of the machine and machine-body ideals, the cult of the engineer, rhetorical applications of the Mechtech machine as determined by Barry Brummett as well as examination into texts and imagery involving the body, dance, military aesthetics and finally, much personal discovery.


The process of making the two videos revealed my own position on the topic of the body - filming my own body in relation to texts and imagery analyzed, I was forced to answer questions of how I felt about the body, technology, spirituality and art making, all within an academic and artistic context.


The footage and soundtrack in both videos are original (save for one still image) and were composed using a process that I explore at length in the paper: spiritual and highly personal, the process divulges much about the artist, and likewise, I hope that the reading of the projects offers discovery for the viewer in the form of personal questions of the body and the machine.


The possibility for further artistic and academic work on the ideas examined in these projects is exciting: my focus was solely on the Mechtech machine (gears and pistons, and what we would know as factory machinery), fascism and the body, but there are many ideas one could expand upon, including a study in gender and machine aesthetics; contemporary machines and the body; and the body and mechanical/flesh motion. My hope is that these projects inspire questions, ideas and further pursuits based on the topics explored within the works and paper. art making; body; dance; Fascism; Futurism; gender and sexuality; machine/body relationship; spirituality; video. Media and Culture

Age, Gender and Existentialism in the Late-Life Bildungsroman
Laurie Petrou (2010); Supervised by Dennis Denisoff

Dissertation: This dissertation aims to reveal the echo of modernist existentialism in postmodern late-life fiction. In a close reading of works by Alistair MacLeod, Nick Hornby and Michael Chabon, as well as my own creative work, I have explored the continually shifting models of gender and age, as characters progress towards development and navigate questions of the self. Issues of modes of masculinity from the rural to the urban, as well as female masculinity are investigated in this sample of varying works of fiction. Grounded in an analysis of the philosophy and fiction of Soren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir, with reference to traditional Bildungsroman (coming-of age, or education novel), I hope to have demonstrated the similar, but newly interpreted existential trajectory of self-development in contemporary narrative. This is reflected in postmodern and contemporary narratives that challenge existing conventions while prizing modernist philosophical tenets. Combining theoretical and creative acumen, this work aims to contribute to age and gender studies, while offering a fresh approach to scholarly work. Alistair MacLeod; bildungsroman; existentialism; female masculinity; gender and sexuality studies; masculinity; Michael Chabon; Nick Hornby; postmodernism; rural to urban environments. Media and Culture

The Brick Works: A Posthumanist Mapping
Karl Petschke (2017); Supervised by Markus Reisenleitner

Major Research Paper: This study will explore how the operation of The Brick Works has been uniquely bound not only to the material production of the urban landscape but also to a discursive production that has served to articulate the city's political boundaries. Although the Don Valley Brick Works was not the first brick manufacturing plant to be founded in the city – this distinction goes to the Monteith Brickyard, established in 1818 (Guthrie 152) – it is unique for being longest running, and most productive brick yard in the city's history. However, while the facility's history has played a formative role in structuring the development of the urban landscape, it is nonetheless important to recognize that even this fateful encounter between clay and capital came about as a matter of contingency. (from the introduction)  

An Early Canadian Homosexual Public?: How Jim Egan's Print-Based Activism Attempted to Cultivate
Amanda Piche (2014); Supervised by Gene Allen

Major Research Paper:  Canada; Canadian tabloids; gender and sexuality; homosexuality; Jim Egan; media history; print activism; publics and counterpublics; queer activism. Politics and Policy

Apathy and the Modern Self: The Afflictions of Modernity and Orientation Toward the Good
Aaron Pingree (2013); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Dissertation: Research to date on apathy has been limited to the technical spheres of politics, pedagogy, mass media, and business. Contrary to apathy’s characterization in recent scholarship, this work claims that apathy cannot be understood in terms of a decline in political engagement alone. Through a history of the idea of apathy beginning with the Stoic concept of apatheia, this work locates apathy in the epochal shift in epistemology and subjectivity which occurred between antiquity and modernity, and claims that apathy is a philosophical (rather than political) problem. Guiding research questions include: what allowed for the possibility of modern apathy, and what means might we have at our disposal to address apathy? Rather than treating symptoms, I argue that any response to apathy must engage with its epochal grounding conditions, and so rather than suggesting policy reforms or new legislation, I assess problems accompanying modern subjectivity and epistemology, and the place of the Good under modernity. This project also participates in the longstanding debate concerning the possibility of uniting sense and reason, a problem known in antiquity and addressed by communication theorists and Romantic poets. I argue that the commingling of sense and reason is another way of describing openness to an encounter with the Good, and under modernity such commingling might result from aesthetic exercises. I consider McLuhan and Foucault thinkers whose work can be read as a form of áskēsis that extends the ancient philosophical tradition into modernity in order to encourage spiritual work in the present. Through readings of McLuhan and Foucault’s engagement with antiquity, I then suggest that aesthetic exercises arising out of the modern milieu may offer a response to apathy and its grounding epistemological and subjective conditions. This work attempts to broaden the contemporary understanding of apathy, and to reconnect the discourse on apathy to its grounding conditions – subjective and epistemological sunderings which have been intensified and normalized under modernity. This broadening and reconnection demand that apathy is understood in a more complete way, not simply in terms of its immediate consequences for the technological society. antiquity; áskēsis. modern apathy; modern epistemology; modern subjectivity; sense and reason; The Good. Media and Culture

Matter is movement: Exploring the role of movement in Henri Bergson and Bruno Latour
Marcelina Piotrowski (2008); Supervised by Janine Marchessault and Greg Elmer

Thesis: This thesis explores the meaning of matter and particularly the implications of the methodologies of Henri Bergson and of Bruno Latour in arriving at an understanding of the material milieu. It suggests that matter is movement. Matter is the movement of time which in its duration is memory and creativity; conservation and action, as well as the moving reorientation of matter spatially through the constant collision between different surfaces of meaning. An investigation of matter through this approach allows for an understanding of matter to be achieved, one in which the material realm plays the steering role in the methodology, not a preconceived agenda which the theorist wishes to exemplify. The outcome is a shared agency between humans and matter, which has neither been found in idealism or materialism, which both Bergson and Latour reject. Bergson's intuition, and Latour's translation and Actor-Network-Theory, are further examined as ways of interpreting the documentary Manufactured Landscapes. Philosophy; religion and theology Technology in Practice

Performative Embodiment And The Self(ie): Defining The Political Feminist Selfie
Lianna Pisani (2015);

Major Research Paper: Political selfies are no longer a singular genre of selfies. This category has grown to encompass a multitude of selfies that address ideological statements and concepts through the performance of the selfie-taker. The reigning selfie celebrity, Kim Kardashian-West, represents the term selfie as a shortened version of “selfish,” though she is not alone. Popular media reinforces, through discourse, a cultural association between the selfie and pathologies such as narcissism (Burns, 2015), discounting the complexities of the selfie. Selfies can be political, and feminist; there are examples of women all over the world enacting political and feminist gestures through selfies. These enactments may range from selfies in direct response to government legislation, or in response to theorized socio-cultural values, such as human rights issues or issues of individual identity and self-representation. Arguably an emerging genre, the spectrum of political feminist selfies presents a salient case study of the selfie’s function as an effective medium for performing the body as representation, and as selfie object in order to challenge the female body as a site of oppression. For the purposes of this major research paper, I am particularly interested in how selfidentifying women use the selfie through the practices and technologies 1 of smart phones and social media as a communication tool to challenge oppressive statements and ideologies.(from the introduction)  Media and Culture

A/R/Tography As A Method Of Awe: An A/R/Tographic Inquiry Of The Canadian North
Emily Pleasance (2018); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Thesis: This thesis is a year-long inquiry on the Canadian North using the practice-based research method a/r/tography. This a/r/tographic research on the Canadian North follows the method's three modalities: theoria, praxis, and poesis. It concludes by presenting the North as a non-place, placeless, a pseudo-place. Ultimately, this thesis contributes to a/r/tography's ongoing development as a research methodology. I propose to expand the frames within which we conceptualize a/r/tography's theoria, praxis, and poesis. The re-defining and re-organization of these three modalities opens a/r/tography to a wider range of creators to allow for even more boundary-breaking work. In addition, I draw out the possibilities of Lures as a hitherto unrecognized seventh conceptual practice embedded in a/r/tography. Moreover, I describe a/r/tographers as child-voyagers who are able to momentarily dispense with their perceptual frameworks and enter spaces that allow them to see the world anew. Most importantly, I reconceptualize a/r/tography as a method of awe.  Technology in Practice

Culturally Led Development and Creative City Thinking in Canadian Suburbs: A Case Study of Mississauga, Ontario
Robert Pluto (2014); Supervised by Steve Bailey

Major Research Paper: This Masters Research Paper will present the city of Mississauga, Ontario, as a case study in analysing culturally led city development. I will explore the context of the city and then present an analysis of a number of its high level strategic planning documents. In this analysis, I chart the influence of three variables within the city’s plans to develop a creative and cultural milieu. The first variable is the economic discourse and logic that stems out of Florida’s creative class thesis. The second variable is the system of social relations that accompanies the creative cities economic framework. This aspect of my paper stems out of the thinking of the Regulation School, who posit that economic discourses and social relationships work together as two dependant variables in a dialectical process of change. The third variable I analyse is the system of spatial relations that both determine and are determined by the social relations of the creative class discourse. This aspect of my paper follows the work of postmodern Marxist geographers like Lefebvre, Harvey, Soja, and Dear, who argue that social relationships and spatial relationships act as dependant variables in a dialectical process of change. I then provide a theoretical synthesis by combining all three dependant variables and demonstrating how economic frameworks, social relationships, and spatial relationships influence one another in a dynamic process of cultural planning and change. My hypothesis is that the city can positively influence its cultural growth in two ways: first, by shaping the physical development and layout of its downtown core (its spatial relations), and second by influencing the character and nurturing the development of the city’s cultural organizations (the social relations). Following my theoretical framework, I posit that the city can influence its social and spatial relations in a way that will produce socially just changes to the economic aspects of cultural life in Mississauga. My analysis will provide evidence for the roles that all three variables play in the city’s cultural development plans. By situating this analysis within the context of culturally led development in the 21st century, I will also demonstrate how Mississauga’s application of culturally led development is tailored to the needs of its residents and businesses. This project will therefore act as a stepping stone for future research into the lives and experiences of Mississauga’s cultural organizations and residents. (from the introduction)  Politics and Policy

Imagining The Farm: Spectacle, Nationalism, And Agri-Tourism In Canada
Karen Poetker (2004); Supervised by Kenneth Little

Major Research Paper: My decision to explore the spectaclization of rural and farm life in Canada was fuelled by the desire to answer the following questions: What motivates the nostalgia and the longing that people have for farming, pioneer and rural life? Why are people longing for this? What is it about modernity that is so disrupting and fragmenting that people would pay money to visit an old farm, to milk a cow, to pick some apples?How are farm tourism and nationalism connected? Is the farm as tourist site a physical manifestation of the desire to locate a strong national identity?What are the implications and complications of this transformation of the farm? The nature and length of this research paper is insufficient in dealing with the topic of farm tourism in all its detail. Rather than offer a conclusive discussion on the nature and implications of farm tourism, I hope this paper will bring to light issues of local and rural manifestations of nationalism, otherness, longing and fragmentation as well as call attention to the implications and complications that potentially arise out of agri-tourism" -- From Introduction, page 4. agriculture; agri-tainment; Canada; Canadian nationalism; community; consumerism; farm tourism; multiculturalism; nostalgia; rural farming; spectacle; tourism research; uncanny. Media and Culture

Issues in deafness: an analysis of the existing literature pertaining to issues of the cultural-linguistic definition of deaf culture
Lorelle Polano (2002); Supervised by Colin Mooers

Major Research Paper: "Ask yourself, "What would it be like to be deaf?" When hearing people are asked to consider deafness, they most likely try to imagine themselves in a world of silence. As a first-year undergraduate, I was part of a discussion with several of my friends in which we were asked to decide, given only the options of being deaf or being blind, which we found to be the lesser tragedy. I announced that given only those two fates, I would choose blindness for myself. To never hearing music, the voices of my loved ones, to be deprived of the ability to speak, to carry on a simple discussion as we were having then, was simply unbearable to me. Such a decision was made based on my limited capacity to conceive and imagine such an existence as a world of silence.


It is people such as this, who little consider deafness and only then in the intermittent moments when it is absolutely necessary, who are bestowed the power to enact policy and decide practice for the deaf. It is not in fact the deaf themselves who, though infinitely better suited to understand and interpret their own experiences and needs into policy and practice, are permitted to do so. As will be explained throughout this essay, there are specific reasons for the position of deaf people in Western society which manifest themselves politically, economically, and culturally."--Page 1.  

Spring wind will bring life again
Amelia Bryne Potter (2007); Supervised by Kenneth Little

Project-Paper: The project is a film about Beijing, and through Beijing, a snapshot of the present moment: of the relation between China and the United States, fears and concerns, and where the future seems to be going. Of a moment where it feels like the order of the world is shifting under our feet, where things are growing and decaying, where things seem to be changing, but it's not exactly clear how, where there is some kind of crisis, one that we can only name pieces of, where everything we do only seems to make it worse, and it's not clear if anything can be done. The project is made from digital video images shot in Bejing in December 2005 to June 2006, spoken-voice stories about the city, and questions about larger world relations. The stories are told from the perspective of a person from the US living in China. She knows Beijing, and speaks Mandarin. Together, these images and words, English, Mandarin, and sounds of the city, form a rhythmic poem, 42 minutes long. In the tradition of Chinese poetry, the film speaks through concrete images and examples. It is dense, and covers many topics: I want the film to lead people to talk, think and ask questions about the world at this moment, and our roles in it. Beijing; business; politics; China; economic growth; film; globalization; politics; standards of living; United States. Politics and Policy

The Urban Internet: Reality, Virtuality, and Urban Social Practice in Internet Cafés
Alison Powell (2004); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Major Research Paper: In this project, I focus attention on the role the internet plays in everyday urban life. By doing so, this paper contributes to the debate about what, if anything, the internet has changed for the social lives of urban Canadians and for the ways Canadians might think about their interactions with internet technology. Have the technical capabilities of the internet (its facilitation of instant communication over long distances, its information storing ability, its visual interface) introduced new practices into culture? New ways of thinking about our everyday culture? As well, how are our activities, and the system of capitalism in which we live, shaping the development of the internet itself? I approach this paper from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on a wide range of theory and thinking from communication studies, sociology, cultural studies, and science studies. This literature assists me in understanding the relationship between internet technologies and everyday culture, particularly our daily social interactions. I also draw significanly on the situationist thinking of sociologist Erving Goffman, whose focus on the situatedness of interaction and social meaning assist in an understanding of the way that internet technology becomes important for a rangeof specifically-situated interactions. As Carey points out, "Advances in our understanding of culture cannot be secured unless . they are tied to a vivid sense of technology and social structure" (Carey 1989 p. 64). Conversely, advances in our understanding of technology must view it as an iteration of culture intimately connected to social structure. The range of theory upon which I draw in this project helps form and inform these connections. In particular, Goffman's work is helyful because of its focus on the particularity of social interactions and their 3 relationships to cultural codes and to everyday objects. Therefore, we must consider not just the "effects" of a technology, but also the meanings that we attach to that technology as we shape it and as it becomes part of our culture. We must look also at the social and philosophical qualities of the adoption of new technology, and the way that people's relationships with that technology influence their relationships with others in the social milieu, with the places and spaces they inhabit, and in short with culture in general. Nothing "changes everything."Canada; communications theory; cultural studies; everyday life; internet; online communities; social change; urban life; urban spaces. Technology in Practice

Horror and reenchantment: A supernatural genre in a secular age
Scott  Preston (2010); Supervised by Janine Marchessault

Dissertation: This dissertation investigates a body of films belonging to the contemporary horror genre of the American cinema in terms of the way these respond to and seek to resolve the complex conditions of belief in our secular age. In my reading of horror, it is not just one genre among many in contemporary popular culture. Rather, it is a privileged literary and aesthetic discourse with roots traceable to the cultural moments associated with the beginning of the Modern Era in the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. From this perspective, horror's unique position in modern culture comes from its insistence on the centrality of mystery, wonder and the supernatural in the face of the overwhelming disenchantment characteristic of modern life. Film theory tells us that close reading of popular texts can provide valuable insights into a society's collective attitudes, assumptions, hopes, and fears. My discussion of recent horror films, drawing upon extensive knowledge of the genre's history and imagery, reveals how the popularity of the supernatural in the mass media today relates to the cross-pressures of life in the secular age identified in the work of Charles Taylor. Religion; Mass communications; Film studies; Philosophy; religion and theology; Communication and the arts; Enlightenment; Horror genre; Industrial Revolution; Modern Era; Secular Media and Culture

Canadian water in a thirsty world: pressures and challenges
Megan Price (2008); Supervised by Arne Kislenko

Thesis: Water is, and has been the driver of civilizations. In Canada there exists a "myth of superabundance" within both the government and public psyche which has driven profligate and unsustainable water use. Jurisdictional fragmentation, pollution and the potential for bulk water transfers threaten Canadian water. With a lack of a cohesive federal policy for water, Canadian water is at risk. At its root this, like all resource management, is a cultural problem. Any solutions to this seemingly intractably complex problem are ultimately social in origin and rest on a paradigm shift in resources management in the country. Historical examples are employed to contextualize the situation. The move to the "soft-path" management of water with concomitant reduction of reliance on infrastructure to reduce pressures is addressed. Thes domestic issues are made more pressing by global water scarcity. Water resources development; Canada; Government policy; Water; Pollution Politics and Policy

Taxpayers: An analysis of taxpayer discourse and a sketch of taxpayers as social types
Robert Price (2006);

Thesis: This thesis seeks to understand how the taxpayer stands in opposition with the general will of the group, yet remains a persuasive, powerful and accepted subject of political discourse. Taking a lead from Georg Simmel, the thesis defines four aspects of the social type called "the taxpayer": (1) taxpayers owes their existence to the tax system; (2) taxpayers are utilitarian and interested in serving themselves; (3) taxpayers are powerless because they are dominated by the tax system; (4) taxpayers' desire for personal freedom motivates them to subvert the tax system. The theoretical discussion is supplemented with a discourse analysis of commentaries published by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU). Finally, this thesis situates the discourse mode of taxpayers within a broader social context (such as the 2404 U.S. Presidential debates) and identifies how the taxpayer's style of argument is replicated in discussions having nothing to do with taxation. Social sciences Media and Culture;Politics and Policy

The art of bodily sensations : artist's nude self-representation and poetics of revolt in the age of technological proliferation
Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof (2009); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Dissertation: This dissertation investigates a possible approach of dealing with experimental cinema. Film studies does not provide a framework for understanding the form and elements that comprise experimental films, for it mostly focuses on the content and narrative structure. The fundamental question that this dissertation takes up is how might one deal with films whose form mirrors the experience of the body? The broader contours of this dissertation explore the diminishing role of the human body in the digital age. It investigates the central place of the body in art and, ultimately, in all human experience. This dissertation adopts two means in developing the framework for considering experimental cinema and, its related counterpart, the diminishing role of the body and of the real experience amidst the thrust of technological progress. The first approach concentrates on the phenomenological body, a body as given in the immediacy of experience, and relies on the philosophy of Luce Irigaray and Maurice Merleau-Ponty in describing the experience involved in making art. The second explores the psychoanalytic conception of the body, a body propelled by its internal energies and their repressed traces, and turns to Sigmund Freud, Julia Kristeva and Anton Ehrenzweig, focusing on the role of the body and the primary process thinking in the art of the avant-garde. The theoretical positions explored in this dissertation permit the assertion that the human body is the source of and site of resistance in the culture of technological progress and technical thinking. Furthermore, this dissertation argues that those forms of the avant-garde art that explore the human body and strive to affirm its importance in human communication are essentially feminine. It identifies the characteristics of feminine aesthetics in visual art and experimental cinema by relying on the foundation set by the proponents of écriture féminin. It insists that radical art today, in order for it to maintain its generative force, must embody the feminine aesthetics; it must assume characteristics of the repressed feminine. The theoretical framework in this dissertation offers a new perspective in the field of experimental cinema and avant-garde art for future artists and scholars. Modern literature; Fine arts; Film studies; Language; literature and linguistics; Communication and the arts; Avant-garde; Bodily sensations; Experimental cinema; Nude; Poetics of revolt; Self-representation Technology in Practice

A Theoretical And Methodological Foundation For In My Mother's Kitchen
Javiera Quintana (2009); Supervised by Mustafa Koç

Project-Paper: My project is an exploration of family history, cultural identity, the immigrant experience, and autobiography, presented in the form of a cookbook. This collection of recipes is centred on my mother, Margarita Quintana and the recipes acquired and developed during her life. I use the backdrop of the kitchen as a setting to connect the many stages of her life both in Chile and in Canada and also to explore how the kitchen connects my mother, my grandmother, and me. While Margarita's experience is unique, it helps provide much needed insight into the lives and processes of migrant women on a larger scale. Using this recipe book, I tell the story of Margarita Quintana, and how she fits into a larger cultural, political, and genealogical context. Margarita Quintana is a Chilean immigrant and a Canadian with a history of social and political activism. She is also a mother, a social worker, a university graduate, a host parent for international students and a psychotherapist in training. Her life is heavily shaped by her upbringing in a working class family in Chile, in a domestically abusive household, and as a surrogate caregiver to her four siblings. Margarita's experiences connect the stories of three generations of women in our family across two continents.


My paper provides a methodological and theoretical framework for the project. In the first section, I explain my epistemology, methodology, and research methods. In the second section, I provide an extensive review of the literature surrounding food in relation to identity, culture, gender, and memory. These readings span across disciplinary boundaries including anthropology, Sociology, cultural studies, and gender studies. anthropology; Canada; Chile; consumer culture; cookbooks; cooking culture; cultural identity; cultural studies; family history food; food culture; gender and sexuality studies; immigrant experience; memory; sociology. Media and Culture

Carried away: 'revisioning' feminist film theory toward a radical practice
Kimberley Radmacher (2004); Supervised by Scott Forsyth

Major Research Paper: It's difficult to believe that after over 30 years of feminist theory "breaking the glass ceiling" is still a term often heard from women professionals. Still, while women continue to make up a trifling percentage of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, and are continually paid 72% of the wages of their male counterparts, 2 small advances continue to be made by women in both these areas? Yet, one profession that stands out as persistently keeping women on the outside looking in is mainstream filmmaking, especially directing. Indeed, no woman has ever won an Oscar for directing, and women are rarely nominated in the category, most likely because women direct less than 1 % of mainstream films. While women continue to chip their way up the corporate ladder, albeit excruciatingly slowly, women directors of mainstream films are actually declining in numbers.


It is ironic that it should be in the area of filmmaking that women have made such small progress. The implication of feminist film criticism's rifts and divisions, played out in theories of heterogeneity or what makes up a feminist aesthetic, typifies the continuing contribution that feminist criticism has made to critical and ultural studies on a whole. Much current critical theory is indebted to feminist film theory, but in tum, critical, psychoanalytic, post structuralist and cultural studies' influences on radical feminist theory have effected--or at least influenced--a shift that tends to privilege a critical practice dealing primarily with image/representation. As a result, feminist approaches to media have centred on '[re]reading' popular culture through a narrow feminist paradigm which in film criticism, especially, has meant that dominant critical strategies chiefly have been limited to a political tactic of "reading against the grain," rather than a tactic of producing contemporary feminist films.--Pages 2-3 activism; aestheticism; feminism; feminist film theory; film criticism; mainstream films; One Way Or Another (movie); Sally Potter; Sara Gomez; Thriller (movie); women’s cinema; visual culture theory; women directors. Media and Culture

The Anthropomorphized Animal in Children's Literature
Amy Ratelle (2012); Supervised by Dennis Denisoff

Dissertation: The reliance on animals in children’s literature over the past two centuries has become a key means by which the civilizing process that children go through has been mediated by the animal body. Children are asked both implicitly and explicitly to identify with animals, but then to position themselves as distinctly human through the mode of their interactions with both lived animals and those depicted in literature and film. This core question of identity formation – child/adult, animal/human – forms the foundation of my dissertation, which investigates the overlapping, double-sided rhetorics addressing children, childhood and animals. My dissertation is organized into five areas of interest that pose complementary questions regarding the way in which relationships between animals and children inform and underscore adults’ lived relationships with both of them. Posthumanist scholarship, then, becomes a key means by which to de-prioritize a conception of an exclusively human subjectivity. Cary Wolfe in particular has recently worked to criticize liberal humanism and find ways to push cultural analysis beyond its inherent anthropocentrism in order to combat institutionalized speciesism, which continues to prioritize human beings, thereby excusing the exploitation or extermination of other species. What has been notably overlooked in posthumanism’s challenge to anthropocentric human liberalism, however, is how the human is encultured through literature geared specifically towards a child audience. By examining culturally significant and widely popular works of children’s culture through a posthumanist, or animality studies lens, I argue that Western philosophy’s objective to establish a notion of an exclusively human subjectivity is continually countered in the very texts that ostensibly work to configure human identity. Literature geared toward a child audience reflects and contributes to the cultural tensions created by the oscillation between upholding and undermining the divisions between the human and the animal. My dissertation focuses on the ways in which these works present the boundary between humans and animals as, at best, permeable and in a state of continual flux. animals; animal bodies; animality studies; anthropomorphized animal; child audience; children’s literature; human identity; identity formation; posthumanism. Media and Culture

Still Birth: Soundwalking Garrison Creek
Ginger Raymond (2005); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Project-Paper: "My project is about nature in the body and in the individuated imaginary, nature in the soundscape, sound in nature and the nature of sound. When contrasted to culture, I use Astuti's definition of nature as that aspect over which humans have no control (1998, 2001). My audio-piece is about how we locate ourselves through activation -- an activation very literal in soundwalking, which is mobile and receptive, and the creation of an accompanying soundscape which is a statement of personal engagement and, I hope, a communication event."--Page 2. acoustic anthropology; acoustic ecology; audio compositions; body; communication event; globalization; nature; nationalism; sound; soundscape; soundwalking; women. Technology in Practice

Toronto's Not-So-"Smart"-City: How "Urban Innovation" Is Enabling Surveillance Capitalism, American Imperialism and Systematic Discrimination
Sahar Raza (2019); Supervised by Stéphanie Walsh Matthews

Thesis: This thesis critically analyzes the dominant discourse, actors, and technologies associated with the Sidewalk Toronto smart city project to uncover and resist the potential dangers of the unregulated smart city. Drawing from gray and scholarly literature alongside four semi- structured interviews and three action research methods, this research shows that smart cities and technologies are the latest iteration of corporate power, exploitation, and control. Imbued with neoliberal, colonial, and positivistic logics, the smart city risks further eroding democracy, privacy, and equity in favour of promoting privatization, surveillance, and an increased concentration of power and wealth among corporate and state elite. While the publicized promise of the smart city may continuously shift to reflect and co-opt oppositional narratives, its logics remain static, and its beneficiaries remain few. Applying a social justice-oriented lens which connects critical theory, postmodernism, poststructuralism, intersectional feminism, and anti- colonial methodologies is crucial in reconceptualizing “smartness” and prioritizing public good.  

Constructing the Alcohol Blackout An (Auto)Ethnographic Narrative Collage
Justyna Rechberger (2011); Supervised by Elizabeth Podnieks

Major Research Paper: The purpose of this paper is to challenge and build on the blackout literature and popular discourse by moving beyond the experiential "what happened?" to address the phenomenological, discursive and hermeneutical. What is it like to not remember? feel about it? How do we talk about it? And why do we continue to drink ourselves past the point of recollection? I sat down with twenty-three young adults who have experienced blackouts to explore these questions and better understand how these drinkers construct and make sense of their amnesia in their own terms. The collected stories speak to the nature of the state and to other scientific findings but also encompass the "life of feeling" (Eisner, 2008, p. 7) implicated in the experience. The present paper also serves to contextualize the collected narratives by further highlighting influences, explaining motivations and elaborating on the objectives, processes and contributions of a narrative auto/ethnographic approach to researching alcohol-induced amnesia. alcohol-induced amnesia; autoethnography; blackouts; blackout literature; blackout narratives; blackout studies; collage; collective memory-making; health; intoxication; personal narratives. Media and Culture

Locating the "unthinkable" in Canadian poverty coverage : a discourse and content analysis of two mainstream dailies
Joanna Redden (2007); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Thesis: In this thesis I argue that poverty is a keyword and that the meaning / meanings attached to it affect how we see the issue and what we choose to do or not do about it. I investigate how poverty coverage may be limiting popular discussion and action through a content analysis and discourse analysis of coverage in the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. I conclude that as citizens we are not getting the information we need to consider how we as a society should go about eliminating poverty. I also conclude that the meaning of poverty is at present undergoing a transformation, and that contestations over the meaning of poverty are being played out in the news. I argue that we must be conscious of this shift in meaning and its implications, as it will significantly effect future policy and the structure of our society. Canada; Canadian citizens; citizens; Globe and Mail; mass media; news media; poverty; poverty coverage; Toronto Star. Media and Culture

Sex for sale : prostitution and visual culture 1850-1910
Jaclyn Reid (2004); Supervised by Dennis Denisoff

Thesis: Sex for Sale: Prostitution and Visual Culture 1850-1910" is a Master's thesis that takes a historical approach to the visual in order to better understand the construction of the prostitute in Victorian culture. Recent scholars have noted ways in which the prostitute was routinely depicted as a threat and victim in nineteenth-century institutional discourse. This thesis complicates these readings by examining the construction of the fallen woman in commercial imagery. Far from depicting the streetwalker as a source of pity and disease, commercial culture redefined the image of the prostitute as a source of ambiguous visual pleasure. This allowed the signifiers of prostitution to extend through pornographic representation, entertainment advertisements, actress pin-ups and fashion magazines. Making illicit female sexuality a readily consumable pleasure, however, ultimately fostered greater efforts on the part of authorities to push prostitutes back into invisibility. Sex role in advertising; Great Britain; History; 19th century; Prostitutes; Great Britain; History; 19th century; Prostitutes in art

MAPATHY: A Revisualization of the Voter Turnout Decline at Canadian Federal Elections
Anne Richardson (2014); Supervised by Tuna Baskoy

Major Research Paper: My project’s name, Mapathy, was chosen as it combines two major elements of the project; maps and voter apathy. As the following paper will elaborate, inspired by Marshall McLuhan’s assertion that the medium is the message, the Mapathy project is a series of web-based maps which depict voter turnout in Canadian federal elections since 1993. Presenting the voter turnout data on maps is meant to visualize the decline in voter turnout that has been witnessed during the past quarter century, often attributed to the increasing apathy of Canadians electors. The following paper will outline the scope of the Mapathy project, followed by a review of existing literature and an overview of the project’s theoretical framework. The literature review begins with an examination of voter turnout in the Canadian context and potential causes of the increasingly low levels of voter turnout being witnessed at Canadian federal elections. These potential causes will be further examined in the following sections which investigate the relationships between both age and political interest to one’s likelihood of voting. Based on the evidence presented by the proceeding research, the subsequent section will review various strategies that have been suggested to address the unique cohort of young Canadians today, followed by an overview of the methodology I have used in creating the Mapathy project. Finally, the last section will include feedback that the Mapathy project has received and a discussion of the conclusions I have drawn from this feedback. (From the introduction)  Politics and Policy

The 2011 London Riots: A Review of the Stakeholders and a Brief Content Analysis
Brandon Rigato (2016); Supervised by Stephen Muzzatti

Major Research Paper: From the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, there have been an increase in the number of international protests in recent years. A common starting point for interpreting the cause of these movements, which are assumed to fight an injustice, is argued to be exacerbated by the global financial crash of 2008. In addition to these two major international protests, there were numerous smaller ones, which took place all across the Western world in the aftermath; Baltimore 2015, Ferguson 2014, Kentucky 2015, London 2011, Toronto 2010, and Vancouver 2011; just to list a few. It is the labelling of events that happens with mass criminality/civil disobedience that drives this research. For this current essay, the 2011 London riots will serve as a case study to illuminate varied views of the same incident and the debates this creates.  Media and Culture

Universal connectivity and market liberalization: Competing policy goals in government initiatives for broadband connectivity in rural and northern parts of Canada
Teresa Ritter (2006); Supervised by Catherine Middleton

Thesis: Broadband, or high-speed internet, is unavailable in many rural and northern parts of Canada where such services are difficult and expensive to implement. Governments have developed initiatives to enable broadband in these areas, including the federal Broadband for Rural and Northern Development (BRAND) and the provincial Connect Ontario: Broadband Regional Access (COBRA) programs. Here, BRAND and COBRA's abilities to extend publicly available broadband throughout rural and northern parts of Canada are evaluated as universal servive policies according to the perceptions of stakeholders concerned with their implementation, finding that the programs ultimately fail. While BRAND and COBRA both purport to support universal connectivity and national parity by subsidizing broadband connectivity in non-market regions, the goals of market liberalization and global competitiveness constantly overpower. While the former goals require ongoing support, the programs actually serve to facilitate the establishment of market determined broadband in profitable regions through the provision of one-time funding. Minority & ethnic groups; Sociology; Mass media; Communication and the arts; Social sciences Politics and Policy

Next to normal? : What we talk about when we talk about the body ?
Christian Robinson (2012); Supervised by Steve Bailey

Thesis: Lennard Davis argues in Enforcing Normalcy (1995) that the idea of the normal body is not only understood as being typical or usual but also productive and useful. Conversely, the idea of the abnormal body is the acknowledged untypical, unusual and unproductive human form. In 2009 Cerrie Burnell, a children's television presenter with a partial limb was categorized as an inappropriate public figure and accused of frightening children. Using the Lennard Davis's perspectives on normal and abnormal subject categories and critical discourse analysis this thesis contends that the disabled body is discursively established in the media and common vernaculars as an abnormality, despite Burnell demonstrating the use of a productive disabled body and disability being a typical or usual condition, which most will inhabit, given a long enough life span. Cultural anthropology; Public policy; Mass communications; Social sciences; Communication and the arts Politics and Policy

Cartographic projections: world cinema and the production of place
Ian Robinson (2012);

Dissertation: This dissertation, entitled Cartographic Projections: World Cinema and the Production of Place, analyzes how representations of place, locality and community have emerged as central cinematic tropes in an era of intense globalization. The emphasis on place in world cinema—whether through considerations of contemporary urbanism, the pervasive experience of borders and border crossings, or the negotiation of local history—calls attention to a multitude of anxieties about globalization. I argue that filmmakers have responded to the disjunctive experiences and representations of globalization by calling attention to place as a provisional and indeterminate field. Rather than representing place as a closed system, recent world cinema provides a cartographic approach to place which draws on the medium's indexical claims to the material world and the textual indeterminacy of the cinematic image. My theoretical framework draws on cultural geography's recent reassessment of space as a dynamic and relational concept and film studies' longstanding interest in film's indexical relation to the world as a marker of its specificity. My case studies include works by recent filmmakers who have sought to provide alternative representations of the social and cultural dynamics of globalization to dominant models of global-local relations.  

Political Expediency vs. Policy Directive: A Case Study of Telecommunications in Jamaica and the Move Towards an Integrated Regulator
Renee Robinson (2013); Supervised by David Skinner

Major Research Paper: This paper considers regulatory reform in Jamaica's telecommunication industry. "Currently, Jamaican telecommunication operates under a multi-sector regulator, the Office of Utility Regulation (OUR), which has oversight of all public utilities including telecommunications, water, gas, and electricity. The reform under consideration in Jamaica is the transition towards a single-sector independent regulator, referred to throughout this research as the integrated regulator, with monitoring responsibility for converged media services, including broadcasting and Information Communication Technology (ICT)"--From the introduction, page 7. broadcasting; communications industry; information communication technology (ICT); Jamaica; media services; regulatory institutions; telecommunications regulation. Politics and Policy

The Amateur Project
Jenna Rocca (2010); Supervised by Elizabeth Trott

Project-Paper: This research project explores the dynamics of amateur theatre and its unique benefits to those who voluntarily participate in any and/or all capacities, on or back-stage. amateur theatre; amateur theory; Canada; documentary; film; performance; stage performances; Tarragon Theatre; Toronto; The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto; theatrical production; video. Media and Culture

Without Words You Spoke: Queer Representation, Early Photography and Feeling
Stephanie Rogerson (2015); Supervised by Sophie Thomas

Dissertation: By examining historical queerness through the lens of photography, this dissertation examines how the past contributes valuable knowledge about where we have been and where we are going. The history of queer representation is laden with violence, erasure and shame, as well as survival and persistence. I approach this legacy by bringing together three principal topics that I argue are closely related: queer photographic practices, the politics of the archive, and affect theory. Through the analysis of social conditions that formed discourses of homosexuality and industrialism’s development of photography in the late nineteenth century, the tension between oppressive laws and social change becomes clear: it reveals a cultural crisis of taxonomy and representation in queer visual history. The slippages between cultural economy and representation are exemplified in nineteenth century visual culture as political economy was increasingly entwined with the individual and the state. Out of this matrix comes the advent of photography. Inexpensive and accessible mechanical reproduction made it possible for the apparatus of photography to be both complicit in the categorization and repression of homosexuality, as well as a site of subversion of the status quo. Conventions in portraiture photography inscribed the construction of normativity through ‘the cult of the empire,’ yet queer subjectivities challenged these standards. A number of specific case studies involving women photographers and photographic subjects – such as Mabel Hampton, Bonnie and Semoura Clark, Alice Austen, and found photographs from my personal collection illustrate a symbolic defiance to hegemonic structures. By investigating archival material with a specific focus on queer history and photography, the case studies illustrate how our affective lives are saturated with political meaning. Photography wields unusual power when examining the relationship between affect and feeling. The affect of photography derives from its insistence on the past. Yet, photography produces a here and now that can resist strictures of heteronormativity and patriarchy through politicized feelings. The approach to queer historization is firmly rooted in notions of social justice imperatives and anti-oppressive political strategies that include racism, gender inequality and classism. Queer archives evoke cultural persistence and knowledge through the affective context of remembering. Archives; Photography; Queer History; Affect Theory; and Phenomenology.

Pragmatism not idealism: Radiohead, Technopoly, and the global movement for change
Philip Rose (2010);

Dissertation: To begin, I introduce some of the basic tenets of the media ecology perspective, and provide a brief survey of some of its foundational thinkers. I interrogate how it can be effectively utilised for the purposes of art criticism, particularly in tandem with McLuhan's notion of the 'counter-environment', and in relation to music and musical multi-media in particular. I also give outline to the affect-script theory of Silvan Tomkins, demonstrating how others might use Tomkin's work in the decoding of musical communication. In part one I explore the 'concept album' and its application to Radiohead's work, along with Ok Computer's relation to the genre of science fiction. I provide background to what Neil Postman (1992) outlines as Technopoly, and begin my illustration of how Ok Computer functions as a counter-environment to the cultural conditions that Postman describes. Part two explores the songs that feature Cosmic Man as the anti-hero, all of which associate him with invective feelings and violent activity. 'Paranoid Android' connects the phenomenon of information overload to Technopoly, and to its eclipsing of the traditional world-view. The song also portrays our protagonist's intolerance and scapegoating tendencies which I relate to the mimetic theory of René Girard. Part three explores the songs that feature Cosmic Man in his heroic mode, beginning with 'Subterranean Homesick Alien', which highlights his estrangement from nature, and the unintended consequences of his technological extensions upon himself, his fellow species, and his habitat.While elucidating Technopoly's connection to the technology of money, I illustrate how Ok Computer's final song – 'The Tourist' – expresses Cosmic Man's self-critique at the individual and the cultural level. Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Musical communication; Radiohead; Technopoly; Cultural anthropology; Music Media and Culture

Revenge of the Grand Narrative: The Ethics of Authorship as a Metaphysics of Meaning
Richard Rosenbaum (2011); Supervised by Murray Pomerance

Project-Paper: The topic at hand - the ethics of authorship in narrative fiction - is an incredibly expansive and complex one. My decision to take advantage of the project option has been an excellent and enlightening method to deal with some of these issues, but also has its own limitations. For the first part of this project I have written a novella in which I introduce and dramatize the discourse by raising some of these questions in a metafictional way within the story itself. In the second part, I discuss these same issues from a theoretical perspective, as a meditation incorporating mainly Literary and Communications Theory and Philosophy. In the third and final part, I attempt to create a synthesis of the first two parts by combining narrative and theoretical elements with an explanation of some of the thoughts and ideas I, as author of the piece, was trying to get across to the reader through character, action, symbolism, etc. authorship; cognitive narratology; communications theory; cultural studies; ethics; literary theory; moral philosophy; publishing; publishing rights. Media and Culture

The shifting conception, construction and consumption of celebrity
Rebecca Rosenberg (2007); Supervised by Kate Eichhhorn

Thesis: How have relatively new technologies changed the way in which the celebrity system and tabloid culture function in North American culture? With access to technologies, such as the internet and digital film and photography, and websites, such as, the average citizen is now able to actively participate in the world of celebrity and even turn themself into a celebrity figure. The world of celebrity (online, at least) has become do-it-yourself and has, in many ways, democratized the process of fame. Through the rise in online readership and recognition, even the creators of online tabloids have themselves become celebrities and active members in the star system they seek to critique. This thesis will demonstrate that the technologies used to demystify the celebrity through perpetual surveillance have, at the same time, succeeded in turning ordinary people into celebrities, thus placing them squarely within the star system they never intended to inhabit. Subculture; Celebrities; Celebrities in mass media; Sensationalism in journalism

Ethics and artificial persons: Structural impediments to ethical behavior in modern information media.
Wade Rowland (2005); Supervised by Beth Seaton

Dissertation: Professional discussion of ethics in media typically revolves around questions of ‘codes of ethics’ and their adoption, enforcement, etc. This does not adequately address the full range of the media's role and impact on consumer society. This paper looks more deeply into structural impediments to ethical behaviour on the part of media workers and the corporations that employ most of them. It begins with an exploration of the sources and meaning of morality, proposing a ‘critical moral realism’ that denies moral relativism but accepts as inevitable the fact of moral relativity, as well as suggesting the possibility of ‘absolute’ moral values. It proposes that the scientific Rationalist underpinnings of market capitalism and the modern business corporation define lines of moral responsibility in ways that tend to obscure, rather than clarify, ethical issues. The modern business corporation is examined in detail from historical, legal, and ethical perspectives, in its role as legal person, employer of media professionals, and source of virtually all commercial information and entertainment media. It is proposed that, the business corporation as defined can, in a metaphorical sense, usefully be theorized as a cybernetic machine that tightly controls the decisions of its nominal human managers. It therefore exists outside conventional human ethical frames of reference, which accounts for its frequently ‘sociopathic’ behavior. This machine-like character makes highly problematic the legal fact of personhood and the access to the protections of human rights codes recently granted to corporations. Corporations benefit from many of the rights of human citizens but are in a position to—are in fact designed to—avoid many of the legal and moral responsibilities of citizenship. It is proposed that corporate, rather than human, needs and goals are responsible for the evolution of both the consumer ethic and the work ethic, and that current neo-liberal ‘enterprise culture’ ideology is a further expression of corporate influence in society. The paper concludes with an examination of the ethical relevance of professional and corporate ‘codes of ethics’ and some tentative approaches to ethical behaviour in contemporary mass media. Communication and the arts; Corporation; Ethics; Information media; Market capitalism; Twenty-first century

Agenda Setting in English Canada in the Age of Minority Government, 2004-2011
Peter Malachy Ryan (2012); Supervised by Patrice Dutil

Dissertation: This dissertation examines the contemporary relationship between agenda setting and frames analysis in Canadian federal politics from 2004-2011. The research project tests Savoie’s thesis that the centralization of power has grown with the increasing size of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and that the leader of the office has most clearly exerted that power in controlling the government’s agenda by applying it to the experience of minority government at the dawn of the 21st century. To test his thesis, textual analyses of the PMO’s agenda-setting documents were conducted to identify the key language, frames, and controlled policy announcements that were reflected within the political discourse. How does the discourse represent and reflect the shift in power in a dramatically changed political environment when, at least in theory, a minority government would be at the mercy of opposition parties who hold the balance of power? From 2006 to 2011, the Harper Conservatives stayed in power by cleverly manipulating the agenda through framing and reframing issues to their advantage. The prime minister retained the final executive decision on party and government political communications and was, therefore, the leading arbiter of the messages delivered to represent key party agenda-setting strategies. Harper has often been identified as a shrewd strategist by academics and the media alike, but how different were his agenda-setting techniques compared to previous minority government strategies? This research identifies the communication tactics that the PMO used in 2006 to ensure its unique five key policy frames of “accountability”, “child care tax credits”, “cutting the GST”, “patient wait time guarantees”, and “tough on crime” were consistently delivered and coordinated across media in their platforms, websites, speeches, and outlays. The Harper Conservatives’ new strategies included narrowing agendas, promoting wedge issues, priming voters using distracter frames, and using strict media communication protocols to attract popular support from the key segment of middle class families. Using these tactics, the government set the agenda on the dismantling of the firearms registry, framed the skills and motivations of two opposition leaders as ineffective and weak with attack advertisements, and sold the illusion that coalition governments were undemocratic. Agenda Setting; Informational Politics; Frames Analysis; Network Theory; Political Communication; Policy Formation Politics and Policy

Clinical Trials and Celebrity Smiles: An exploration into the history and practice of selling wellness in the pharmaceutical industry
Ayman Saab (2016); Supervised by Paul Moore

Major Research Paper: The marketing and advertising practices of the pharmaceutical industry is a highly debated, but often misunderstood issue. These misconceptions stem from the relatively unknown rules and regulations that pharmaceutical companies work within. Because of the importance of this topic and the prevalence of misconceptions about it, it is important to gain a greater insight into the pharmaceutical industry’s commercial practices in order to digest their messages appropriately and make the right treatment decisions as consumers. This does not just include understanding its current practices and regulation, but how it has evolved over time. This study aims to provide greater insight into the history of pharmaceutical advertising and the regulation of its commercial practices in North America. It will demonstrate that as healthcare and pharmaceutical advertising has had a long history of selling wellness, regulations and government monitoring has developed to ensure a balanced message. At the core of the matter is the concept of products as “satisfiers” – pharmaceutical companies framing their products as solutions to our desires of well-being and health. Jackson Lears’s concept of “therapeutic ethos” is utilized to delve deeper into the actions of the primary consumers (patients and healthcare professionals) and examine the effects of this type of advertising on their treatment and healthcare decisions. Tracing this concept of selling wellness back to its earliest, non-regulated days up to modern day celebrity endorsements of prescription medication, the study aims to provide a clearer understanding of the pharmaceutical industry and its practices through the use of real-world examples and case studies.  Politics and Policy

A cut above: the end (and ends) of film censorship
Daniel Sacco (2017);

Dissertation: By the beginning of the twenty-first century in the West, the notion of government-appointed bodies mandated for censoring cinematic content had fallen considerably out of fashion as institutional censorship was largely curtailed. Barring widely shared concerns regarding the exposure of underage children to material deemed inappropriate, newly rebranded “classification” boards have acted to limit the extent to which they themselves can prohibit images from entering the public market, shifting their emphasis away from censorship and toward consumer edification and greater consideration of artistic merit and authorial intent. Such reform brought the policies of censorship boards in Britain, Canada, and Australia into closer alignment with the goals and processes of the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings system. Can we then assume that cinematic censorship is effectively a thing of the past? Does the impetus to regulate and police film content continue silently to exist? Analysis of controversies surrounding particular films throughout and in the wake of this shift suggests that, while no longer practiced explicitly by governmental institutions, film censorship continues to operate through less immediately recognizable forms of cultural marginalization and restraint. Classification status drastically affects the number of platforms through which a film can be accessed and thus works, as censorship does, to restrict films from audiences. When market demands place external restraints upon film content, familiar processes of cinematic censorship can be reframed as operating within (as opposed to upon) the institutional structures and practices of cultural production. This two-part study will examine, first, the process by which certain postmillennial cinematic artworks, such as Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl (2001) and Gaspar Noé’s Irreversible (2002), spurred reform in the policies of classification boards by highlighting the rigidity of classification criteria and, secondly, cases in which, following the shift from moral to covert censorship, artistically serious films such as Vincent Gallo’s The Brown Bunny (2003) and Abel Ferrara’s Welcome to New York (2014) have been suppressed or constrained for their challenging subject matter, most notably for their aggressive presentation of sexuality. The main objective will be determining: 1) how the shift from censorship to classification corresponded to the aesthetic strategies of a handful of boundary-pushing films; and 2) how cinematic censorship, in the absence of traditional institutional enforcement, continues to operate in the interactions between alternative networks of disciplinary power and discursive practice.  

Pandemic 2011: Coming Soon to a Location Near You
Jennifer Sacco (2010); Supervised by Donald Gillies

Major Research Paper: H1 N1 is a virus that has been sensationalized by the media since the first case was discovered in Mexico during the spring of 2009. People around the world feared that the virus would mutate into something as severe as the 1918 Spanish flu, one of the deadliest plagues in history. However experts had discovered by June of 2009 that the Spanish flu was not comparable to H1 N1. Yet for six months newspaper reporters continued to compare the ew epidemic to the Spanish flu, thus keeping alive the threat of an unstoppable pandemic. One year has passed since the first case of H1 N1 was confirmed. After all of the attention that H1 N1 received, it proved to be not much different than a typical seasonal flu, resulting in a lower death rate (Schabas and Rau, 2010). Recently, a number of investigations have begun to determine if the World Health Organization (WHO) overemphasized the level of risk, resulting in a large quantity of sensationalized media coverage, and citizens in a state of panic. Canada; Canadian citizens; Canadian Health; H1N1; health; journalism; news media; sensationalism; sensational media coverage; pandemics; virus; World Health Organization (WHO). Media and Culture

Concentration Of World: The Non-Representational Realism Of Jean-Luc Nancy & The Cinema Of Abbas Kiarostami & Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Taraneh Sadeghian (2015);

Major Research Paper: Cinema has long been considered quintessentially representational. Most notably defined by the film theorist André Bazin as “objectivity in time” (14), it not only allows for a reproduction of the real world, a visual capturing of objects in front of the camera, but it also has the distinct capacity to capture sounds and images in real time. Unlike music, which is generally deemed non-representational, film, by its very definition, reproduces what lies in front of the camera and thus supposedly re-presents it. The French philosopher, Jean-Luc Nancy, however, redefines this logic of representation whereby film could be thought as merely a reproduction of a pre-existing reality. Nancy thinks of art not in terms of representation but of presentation, as the exhibition of worldly existence. Cinema is understood here not as a copy or an imprint with an indexical relation to reality, but rather as presentation of the real in its singular plurality.As Ian James notes in “Jean-Luc Nancy: The Infinity of Sense,” Nancy’s philosophy is primarily associated with French post-structuralism and Derridean deconstruction (81). Yet, Nancy’s thinking diverges from that of Derrida’s early on, particularly in regards to his conception of singular-plurality, finitude, sense, and the world (81). While Nancy is best known for his writings on community, he has actively engaged with the question of art and aesthetics since mid 1990s and has written prolifically on painting, film, sculpture, installation art, and literature. Such publications as The Muses (1996), The Ground of the Image (2005), and Multiple Arts: the Muses II (2006) demonstrate his unwavering interest in writing on art and aesthetics. This paper will explore Nancy’s understanding of cinema in light of his writings on art and aesthetics, which stem from and are closely related to his wider philosophy on the ontology of sense, singular plurality, and that of technology. As mentioned previously, Nancy rejects any notion of art as representational or mimetic, arguing instead that “the objects of art do not depend on phenomenology… because they are prior to the phenomenon itself” (The Muses 33). In other words, for Nancy, art does not reproduce the exterior appearance of phenomena nor can it be regarded as a representation of abstract ideas; rather the forms and images of art, being prior to phenomenon itself, facilitate a sort of opening onto to the sense of the world. He writes: “Art isolates or forces the moment of the world as such, the being-world of the world” (18). Similarly, Nancy regards cinema not in terms of representation, but as presentation of worldly existence. With the evidence of its images facilitating an access to the sense of the world, Nancy contends, film emphasizes an ethical, expository look revealing existence as always co-existence. In what follows I will explore Nancy’s writing on film, most notably on Abbas Kiarostami, also considering Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia as a compelling example of a film corresponding to Nancy’s theory of cinema.  Media and Culture

What's Love Got To Do With It? An Analysis of the Narrative Portrayals and Ideologies of Romantic Love in the Neo-Traditional Romantic Comedy
Rakhee Sapra (2012); Supervised by Carmen Schifellite

Major Research Paper: Romantic love has been, and continues to be, the subject of diverse discussions in a variety of realms, including but not limited to, philosophy, psychology and anthropology. Despite the depth and range of such discussions, as a concept, romantic love remains an enigmatic phenomenon. Love may be knowable and comprehensible to others, as understood in the phrases, "I am in love", "I love you", but it is often felt, most notably by the humanities academic community, that what "love" means in these sentences cannot be analyzed further. This is because the concept of "love" is perceived to be irreducible; an axiomatic, or self-evident, state of affairs that warrants no further intellectual intrusion. In attempting to define love therefore, we stumble across the philosophical questions of how we may know love, how we may understand it and whether it is possible or plausible to make statements about being in love if love is purely an emotional condition. In light of these concerns it is necessary to assert that there is a difference between the claim that love cannot be examined and the claim that it should not be subject to examination out of a sense of reverence for its mysteriousness, its awesome, divine, or romantic nature. cinema; film; Hollywood; love; love narratives; neo-traditional comedy; popular culture; romantic comedy; romantic love; social ideologies; textuality. Media and Culture

The audience massage: Audience research and Canadian broadcasting policy
Philip Savage (2007); Supervised by Fred Fletcher

Dissertation: The dissertation examines the discourse of audience and the practices of audience research at play in Canada in the formation of broadcasting policy. The techniques of institutional audience research reflect and "infect" the range of discussion, policy creation and broadcast programming that result.


Original research was conducted in 2005 through in-depth interviews with thirty key participants at the intersection of broadcasting, policy and audience research. The data and insights from those interviews were analyzed in conjunction with public policy documents and a range of otherwise unavailable institutional audience research. Using these data points, the role of audience research was then analyzed in the developments around two policy case studies: (1) the evolution of performance indicators at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; and, (2) Canadian TV drama funding criteria and the debate over "CanCon".


An original "Audience Massage" model is proposed as a means of examining the various levels of audience discourse in policy formation. It involves three levels of analysis: (1) Rhetorical–with attention on the content of audience research; (2) Framing–with attention to the "media" of research generation, in particular the dominance of certain key quantitative methodologies; and, (3) Structural–with attention to the discourse as it is supported by certain dominant research institutions that are integrated into larger broadcasting systems.


The model allows the researcher to look beyond the surface meanings of individual audience research study results to expose at a deeper level the discursive language of audience; the frames that result from certain formal characteristics of audience research methodologies as they have developed over time. These methodological frames set constraints upon what the type of research is conducted and indeed the possible conceptualization of audience in the broadcasting policy field. In turn, framing of audience is organized within institutional research systems that are part of the larger political and economic structures of broadcasting and public policy in Canada. Canadian studies; Public administration; Mass media; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Audience; Broadcasting; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Policy; Television Politics and Policy

Concerning the Neoliberalization of a Differentiated University System in Ontario
Michael Schalk (2016);

Major Research Paper: In order to better understand how the neoliberal university is operating in Ontario today, it is prudent to first examine how the university is funded. In doing so, we will see that Ontario has a long and storied history of using tuition to ensure that universities are largely undifferentiated from one another. While this lack of differentiation is important at the level of tuition setting, it means that many of our universities are offering the same courses and programs with little or no variation between institutions. In the eyes of the provincial policy makers, this produces redundancies and fails to reflect the dynamic labour market that Ontario’s university students must hope to compete in. I will here begin with an overview of the history of tuition setting and program development in Ontario’s universities, beginning with the 1940s and describing the relationship between the public university and provincial government. I will present the Strategic Mandate Agreements (SMA) in terms of being an important step on the road to differentiation, despite their relative ineffectiveness and empty rhetoric. Moreover, I will be arguing the case that differentiation is important to the continued survival of the neoliberal university system in Ontario. I will also examine the roots of the differentiation project, outlining how it came to be. In this way, I will argue that the neoliberal university model, as it currently stands in Ontario, needs to differentiate itself in order to continue to thrive. I will now put differentiation into the context of the history of the Ontario public university system. (from the introduction)  Politics and Policy

Bearing the Ring: The Audience and Consumers of Lord of the Rings
Jennie Scheer (2002); Supervised by Jennifer Burwell

Thesis: I will examine who the contemporary film industries target as well as how they relate to the creation and maintenance of fan communities, who are either familiar with the original text from which the films are adapted or are initially attracted to the films and then cross over to the texts, resulting in even larger fan bases. These communities are essential in insuring a film studio that there are very active audiences that will pay for a ticket in order to judge for themselves how successful the adaptation is. In the process, these fan communities simultaneously become responsible for the creation of mythologies while also taking pleasure in experiencing them, pitting their allegiances towards the mythopoetic against the logic of commodification. A logical case study to use in this compendium is The Lord of the Rings, an assemblage of multiple products and texts adapted from a narrative trilogy written by J.R.R. Tolkien. Since its publication, it has achieved a cultural iconic status within a culture that embraces the gray zone, appealing to audiences in search of a cerebral comic book to those who seek comfort in a reinforcement of the good versus evil trope.  audience; commodification; consumer culture; contemporary film industry; fan communities; identity politics; Lord of the Rings; myth; popular culture; postmodernism. Media and Culture

The Evolving Quality And Scope Of New Social Movements: Toronto Food Security Organizations Mobilizing For Change
Elisabeth Schieck (2009); Supervised by Myles Ruggles

Major Research Paper: This research project investigates some contemporary urban aspects of the politics of food. Taking social movement theory as my theoretical framework, this paper examines the ways in which the practices and services of Toronto organizations such as the Stop Community Food Centre, FoodShare, and Not Far From The Tree promote countercultural food ideologies and thus may be viewed as actors attempting to influence political and social change through food. While individual organizations should not be confused with social movements, it is possible that we may be able look at this ensemble of organizations as an informal network that exemplifies a new contemporary form of social movement. activism; Canada; food; food access; food activism; food consumption; food ideology; food organizations; political change; social change; social inequality; social movement theory; Toronto. Politics and Policy

Governmentality and the new spirit of exploitation: the politics of legitimacy and resistance to Canadian mining in Guatemala and Honduras
Steven Schnoor (2013); Supervised by Stuart Murray

Dissertation: The activities of Canadian mining companies operating abroad are often carried out under the banner of bringing badly-needed development and democracy to impoverished regions of the globe. Many of these projects, however, can often lead to increased poverty, conflict and insecurity in communities near the mines. There have also been egregious violations of human rights and grave environmental damages documented at Canadian mines worldwide. As a result, numerous countries in the Americas and beyond have seen burgeoning grassroots resistance movements rejecting the presence of Canadian extractive projects on their territory — movements that are almost invariably rejected as illegitimate by industry and Canadian government representatives, and almost always repressed by host country governments. Using critical discourse analysis and Foucault’s work on governmentality and biopower, this dissertation argues that discourses of democracy and development are increasingly being used to advance projects that are often fundamentally anti-democratic, destructive and exploitative, and that this represents a critical component of a nascent strategy by which neoliberal regimes of capital accumulation are advanced and legitimized today. Through discursive construction of Canadian mining regimes as purveyors of collective “development,” and strategic delegitimization of critics of Canadian mining activities as irrational, radical, dangerous threats to the betterment of society at large, support for the mine is galvanized and conflict surrounding the mine intensifies. This argument is grounded in exploration of three case studies: two open-pit gold/silver mines owned/operated by Goldcorp — their Honduran San Martín mine and their Guatemalan Marlin mine — and the politics of land claims near a non-functioning Guatemalan nickel mine previously owned by Canada’s Skye Resources and HudBay Minerals. Further evidence for this argument is offered in two accompanying documentary films that I have produced, exploring these particular case studies. In demonstrating how foot soldiers are being enlisted into an army that defends the interests of Canadian mining companies and the neoliberal economic order that they proliferate and prosper from — despite the fact that local benefits may be negligible and the harms incurred can be severe — this dissertation seeks to shed light upon a broader dynamic of resistance/counter-resistance playing out globally in areas beyond resource extraction. Social responsibility of business; Canada; Mineral industries; Honduras; Mineral industries; Guatemala; Protest movements; Guatemala; Protest movements; Honduras; Critical discourse analysis; State; The Politics and Policy

This is for fighting, this is for fun: popular Hollywood combat (war) films from the first Gulf war to the present (1990-2015)
Andrea Schofield (2016); Supervised by Steve Bailey and Nima Naghib

Dissertation: Hollywood has been making war movies since it began making movies. Widely credited as the first ‘Blockbuster,’ and one of the first films to establish Hollywood narrative techniques and conventions, D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film, Birth of A Nation, is an epic melodrama about the American Civil War ending with a literal marriage of the North and the South in the form of a young white heterosexual couple, solidifying the connection between war, families, and nation-building that has become the framework of the genre; hetero-nuclear families are the basis of the nation and war is a threat to these families, but ultimately also a critical component of nation-building/strengthening. These ideologies persist in contemporary combat films. The First Gulf War and those in Iraq and Afghanistan have had a major impact on this genre and this project investigates the (sometimes radical) shifts in representations of gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and nationality in popular Hollywood combat films made and released since the first Gulf War (1990) with a particular emphasis on more recent films (2005-2015) since these are the films which have received the least, if any, scholarly attention. Building on existing cultural, feminist, film, and postcolonial theory using a case study of selected popular Hollywood combat films and based primarily upon close textual analysis of the films themselves, this dissertation argues that these post-Cold War combat films are vital in creating and reinforcing cultural scripts about gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, nationality, and war. This analysis adds to the field by identifying key cycles in the genre and arguing that, in fact, the ideologies of these films whether intentionally or not, reinforce the idea of a white, American, male-headed household as the norm to be protected, removing ‘Others’ from the frame, and implying that war is somehow natural, unending, and/or unavoidable, thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophesy wherein the more it happens, the more we seek to represent it, to gain mastery over it, the more natural and unavoidable it seems, and the more it continues to happen and seem normal and on and on into perpetuity.  

Best Practices? Competing educational Philosophies, ICT Implementation, and the Neoliberal Agenda Promoted by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC)
Antonie Scholtz (2002); Supervised by John Shields

Major Research Paper: "The process of educating, of passing on the spirit of inquiry and wisdom in all its forms, is as old as humanity itself. From the oral tradition of Socrates and Plato, through the development of the Phoenician alphabet and Gutenberg's printing press, through the rise of the public school during the Industrial Revolution, and through the many inventions of the twentieth century, education has been an intersection of social practices, technological innovation, and competing ideological visions about children, learners, and what constitutes knowledge. Today's educational landscape is no different, with educators confronting the many challenges of globalization, diasporic cultures, and, the focus of this study, rapidly advancing digital technologies. It is my intention to use the pronouncements and initiatives of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) to examine the ideologically-determined possibilities envisioned for emerging technologies. To this end, the CMEC will not serve as an exhaustive case study but rather as an example of how high level, heavily politicized policy choices are and will profoundly affect the structure, if not the very existence, of elementary and secondary public schooling in Canada. I will argue that the CMEC is an increasingly powerful coordinator on national pedagogical questions and is part of a broader trend towards privileging neoliberalist principles. Operating on both a contradictory and deterministic philosophy, I will argue that neoliberalism, embodied by the Council, is leading public education down the road not to a future where the liberal arts, individual needs and market criterion are balanced but rather to a more centralized, homogenizing, and weaker system which prizes economic utility over democratic virtues and individual growth. Further, not only is the position of the CMEC deeply paradoxical but, in the end, neither educational future it offers-radically child-centredness nor the hyper-competitiveness fostered by its policy initiatives-is in fact desirable."--Pages 1-2. Canada; Councils of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC); digital information and communication technology (ICT); education; elementary schools; globalization; national pedagogy; neoliberalism; pedagogy; public education. Politics and Policy

Plastic makes perfect: The Stepford Wives and the changing politics of the female body
Kathryn Schweishelm (2009); Supervised by Jean Bruce

Thesis: This thesis investigates changes in the popular understanding of feminism within mass-mediated public discourse between the 1960s and 1970s and today, specifically in relation to feminine modes of embodiment. Through an analysis of a representative popular media text of the second wave -- the 1975 film The Stepford Wives -- this project establishes how the female body was conceptualized philosophically and ideologically by the radical feminists of this era. This is then compared to an analysis of the film's recent remake and several other contemporary media texts in order to illustrate how today's popular discourse of "postfeminism" presents a contradictory conception of feminism and its relationship to the body. Finally, this thesis suggests that postfeminist discourse is problematic for its erasure of structural gender inequality and argues that the preservation of a consciousness of sociohistorical context is vital to the perpetuation of a well-grounded feminist cultural critique. Feminism and mass media; Stepford wives (Motion picture : 1975); Stepford wives (Motion picture : 2004); Feminine beauty (Aesthetics) in motion pictures; Second-wave feminism; Feminist theory; Evaluation

"Well, listen ... " : acoustic community on Toronto Island
Charlotte Scott (2006); Supervised by Michael Murphy

Project-Paper: "Well, listen. .. "is a sound composition about the acoustic community of Toronto Island and Toronto Harbour. The project explores how people create and experience acoustic community, how perceptions of the soundscape are related to attitudes about nature and culture, and how power relationships are articulated through sound. The project is based in environmental cultural studies and in sound ecology, notably the work of Williams (1973), Schafer (1977), Westerkamp (2002) and Truax (1984), and concludes seven months of soundwalks, interviews, composition, editing and field research.


Participants discussed the soundscape of Toronto Island, noise pollution in Toronto Harbour and the relationship between sound, community and ecology. These interviews were edited and re-assembled in a manner inspired by the contrapuntal voice compositions of Glenn Gould. Field recordings reflect the complex mix of natural, social, and industrial sounds that make up the soundscape of the harbour, and document the acts of sound walking and deep listening that are the core methods of soundscape research.


The composition creates an imaginary aural space that integrates the voices and reflections of the Island's acoustic community with the contested soundscape of their island home. The project paper outlines the theory and methods that informed the sound composition, and further explores the political economy of noise pollution, especially in relation to the Docks nightclub dispute and to current research in sound ecology. acoustic community; aural spaces; community; cultural studies; environmental studies; noise pollution; power relations; sound ecology; soundscape; soundwalking; Toronto; Toronto Habour; Toronto Island; voice. Technology in Practice

Representations of Suffering: A Critical Inquiry into the Images and Rhetoric used by Humanitarian Organizations
Ruth-Anne Seburn (2019); Supervised by Dana Osborne

MRP: The ethics of the image creation practices of modern development and humanitarian Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) exist in a complex realm of colonial legacies and historically misguided development approaches. Through a semiotic analysis of the top images on ten Canadian NGO websites, combined with an interview with a Communications Director, this research examines the underlying messages presented about people in the Global South to audiences in the Global North. In order to present legible narratives to an audience of varying perspectives, signs, symbols and allusions which have become enregistered in the cultural lexicon are utilized to present a world that is at once the same as and yet simultaneously widely different from our own. These semiotic tools, which are often used to distract from larger socio- economic inequalities, can be highlighted to not only analyze how people in the Global South are represented, but how they could be represented more truthfully and ethically.  

Issues of Communication in the Work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Mark Sedore (2011); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Major Research Paper: After a brief introduction to Rousseau's life and his personal concerns with communication, this essay will outline five touch points regarding communication in his body of work: his thoughts on conversation both personal and formal; his thoughts on the development of speech in children; his theories on the origins of language for humankind; his philosophies on books and the book industry, and; his innovative use of other communications vehicles and relationship to mixed media in 18th century Europe - to engage in discourse with detractors, perceived enemies and a supportive public. books; book industry; children’s speech development; communication; formal conversation; mass communication; origins of language; personal conversation; print media; Jean Jacques Rousseau. Media and Culture

Unsettling the settler at Niagara Falls: Reading colonial culture through the Maid of the Mist
Robinder Sehdev (2009); Supervised by Jody Berland

Dissertation: This dissertation questions the normalized state of the settler nation, indicated through the conflicted, emerging and submerging cultural form of the Maid of the Mist, the signifier of difference in a place of settler homogeneity. The myth signals colonial power as it operates in the day-to-day and exposes the state of settler impermanence on Indigenous lands. The first chapter concerns the construction of colonial history and myth making within which the settler myth of the Maid of the Mist draws meaning as a sexually-charged figure of racial difference. The region's colonial historiography reveals a desire to construct Aboriginal peoples as "savage." Following this, I offer an analysis of colonial representational and border politics. The systematic vanishing of the settler myth of the Maid of the Mist and the alienation of Aboriginal people from settler border places normalizes the colonial representational relationship as it buttresses settler borders against the threatening "Indian" Other.


The next chapter confronts the settler popular cultural invocation of violence and militancy used to disavow responsibility for colonization in order to argue that love is a method of identifying and challenging systemic violence which imperils the relationship between settler and Native, embodied in the Covenant Chain of Silver and Gus Wen Tah (or Two Row Wampum). I set these representational politics against the lived experiences of violence against community and specifically against women.


The next chapter debates the colonial politics of treaty-making and attempts to rescue Treaty from colonial nation-building practices, resuscitating the understanding of Treaty in Indigenous political philosophies. I am also concerned with the profound ontological dissonance between Indigenous and settler perceptions of home, belonging and community in Native spaces that have been recast as settler spaces. I therefore argue that the settler nation must be "unhomed" from Indigenous space.


Borrowing the notion of bridge crossing from Third World feminism and the image of the Fallsview Bridge at Niagara Falls (a bridge which, to the entrepreneurs, tourists and settlers at Niagara Falls, signified "innovation" and the "proper" use of the land), I debate these profoundly divergent notions of home and belonging in the contested space of the settler nation. Finally, I question the politics of shame and apology in Canada today. Canadian studies; Colonialism; Culture; Social sciences; Colonial culture; Indigenous; Niagara Falls; Ontario

Online suicidal murmurs: Analyzing self-destructive discourses in the blogosphere
Yukari Seko (2007); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Thesis: As a monological medium, weblogs (blogs) have constituted a unique genre in online self-expression. Through authentic "murmuring" online, bloggers with socially-marginalized interests chronicle their day-to-day life for public consumption and thereby experience a cathartic release of emotional struggles. Focusing on the ambivalent characteristics of blogs—monological but dialogical—this thesis aims to explore the process of diary blogging through which maladaptive individuals transgress a social taboo on self-destruction. A central argument in this thesis is that murmuring blogs should be examined as performative social activity rather than cognitive reality; unlike conventional diarists, when bloggers document their pent-up feelings, there is always a notion of readers who will observe the writers' personal trajectories of self-disclosure. A series of case studies about a self-destructive blogger in reveals how vulnerable bloggers negotiate their identity through an ongoing practice of acting out online with a full use of both personal and public discursive playgrounds. Mass media; Information systems; Communication and the arts Media and Culture

Wound Uploaders: Visual Narratives of Self-Injury on Social Media
Yukari Seko (2013); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Dissertation: This dissertation empirically examines photographs of Self-Injury (SI) uploaded onto the photo-sharing website,, questioning how Flickr images represent the act in relation to existing cultural assumptions of SI. Taking a departure from a pathologizing tendency among previous studies of SI on the Internet, I have approached this question from the perspective of media studies, exploring how Flickr's interface facilitates and aggregates underrepresented self-expression. The metaphor of skin is used to organize discussions around core components of the subject phenomenon: the corporeal skin of self-injurers, the aesthetic skin of photography, and the skin-interface of social media. This "three-layered skin" is seen to collaboratively produce visual representation of SI on Flickr, allowing participants to engage in a mode of performative self-expression and affective social interaction.


In order to comprehend various channels of communication available on Flickr, this research deploys three lines of inquiry: combining network visualization method to illuminate semantic patterns of metadata, qualitative discourse analysis to explore social interaction among participants, and multimodal content analysis to examine content, component and context of photographic self-expressions. This three-fold mixed method aims to illuminate diverse modes of narrative strategies adopted by the content uploaders when shaping "the photographs of SI" and examines how they represent SI in alignment with, or in opposition to, dominant medical, cultural, and subcultural discourses.


The findings reveal that photographic representations of self-injured bodies serve as a modality for a performative self-disclosure that facilitates affective social communication between photo-uploaders and viewers. As the location where SI as one's lived reality meets and collides with various sociocultural assumptions, Flickr photographs symbolize an inextricable relationship between dominant discourses, personal narratives and affective attachments between users and digital imagery. While dominant pathologizing discourses have a significant impact upon the uploaders' self-performance, the analysis illuminates that photographic mode of self-expression enables Flickrists to cultivate new multimodal vocabulary to describe their experience and devise innovative interpretation of the wounds inscribed onto their body. In particular, the aesthetic power of photography allows for interpreting the injured body as an authentic source of self-expression, which transforms painful experience into a powerful narrative of survival and resiliency. Mental health; Web Studies; Information science; Communication and the arts; Health and environmental sciences;; Photographs; Self-injury; Social media; User interface Media and Culture

Romanian documentary in transition : the role of documentary films in reshaping post-communist Romanian identity
Petronela Serb (2009); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Thesis: Since the fall of communism in 1989, Romanian citizens have changed dramatically, along with Romanian electronic media, which have transformed themselves from a one-party-controlled institution to a plethora of commercial broadcasters. By focusing on this era of dramatic transition, this thesis argues that documentary films have provided Romanians with the tools needed to deal with the past critically. More specifically, the intent of this thesis is to analyze how documentary films do the work of selecting, recollecting, and re-presenting narratives of the past, and to demonstrate that editorial choices resonate with wider social needs. The scope is limited to a short history of the documentary genre, focusing on a detailed analysis of two post-communist documentaries: Memorial of Pain ('Memorialul durerii', 1991), by TV producer Lucia Hossu-Longin and The Great Communist Bank Robbery ("Marele jaf comunist', 2004), by Alexandru Solomon. Ultimately, the thesis traces the ways in which trauma, shame, and amnesia also influence the shaping of both documentaries and identities. Documentary films; Romania; History and criticism; Documentary films; Social aspects; Romania; Great communist bank robbery (Motion picture); Memorial of pain (Motion picture)

Temporality and difference from the agora to the airport: Towards a theory of power-chronography
Sarah Sharma (2006); Supervised by Jody Berland

Dissertation: Theorizing the political effects of acceleration has become an important area of inquiry within media studies. While speed is politicized in theory, what remains absent is a critical examination and elaboration of the complexity of the cultural politics of time. Time is a site of political possibility and struggle. This project aims to locate the cultural, theoretical, and institutional, discursive and material, responses to speed within a larger cultural politics of time. In the end, I move towards a temporally contingent theory of the public sphere - what I call a power-chronographic theory of the public sphere. The purpose is not to define what time is, or determine if this is or isn't a culture of speed. Instead, I examine the ways in which the cultural, theoretical and institutional response to speed might be locked into a political anatomy of control---one that is biopolitical. I consider how and where time is differentially administered, managed, and conceptualized through various modern institutions of power. Time has becomes a problem at the dinner table, the political public sphere, for soldiers, for business travelers, and yoga instructors alike. At the same time, time also becomes the site at which a tighter structuring and control is exerted over life by diffuse institutions of power. These include the military, the corporation, pharmaceutical companies, nutritionists, airliners, and architects. Furthermore, within this context, there are inequitable and interdependent temporal relations of power that constitute the social fabric. In order to examine the cultural politics of time, I ask two broad but interrelated questions. First I ask, what do the discourses and contemporary cultural and institutional responses to speed tell us about the cultural politics of time? In asking this question, I am examining how the discourses and cultural practices conceive of and alter power relations. The second question asks, what would recognition of a systemic cultural politics of time mean for a theory of the public sphere? Social sciences; Cultural politics; Power-chronography; Speed; Temporality; Sociology Politics and Policy

Representing Orgasms and Pleasure in Pornography: The Face in Beautiful Agony
Laura Shaw (2011); Supervised by Shannon Bell

Major Research Paper: In this paper, I will investigate the potential for finding a counter-aesthetics within pornography. First, I will briefly describe a history of ignorance surrounding female pleasure within medicine and science. I will argue that female bodies have been subjugated, regulated and repressed in mainstream Western society, and that this subjugation has created a sense of unknoweability within many women about their bodies and more specifically, their orgasms. I will then discuss the relationship between bodies and screens, showing how interactivity and a sense of domesticity within online pornography operate to create an intimacy between the viewer and the bodies that he or she is engaging with. I will explain what is at stake when we try to find a "truth" within the bodies onscreen, drawing on Michel Foucault's concept of the scientia sexualis and Linda Williams' "frenzy of the visible." I will then move to a description of eroticism and "moral pornography," and the ways that pornography can be productive in creating subjectivity, rather than objectifying bodies. Internet pornography; History and criticism; Female orgasm; Social aspects

Erotica; Philosophy; Internet pornography; Moral and ethical aspects; Feminine beauty (Aesthetics); Internet videos; Social aspects Media and Culture

Recuperating politics from Derrida: A pragmatist critique
Tina Sikka (2008); Supervised by Myles Ruggles

Dissertation: This dissertation undertakes an examination of pragmatist and deconstructionist approaches to the study of communication and politics. The critical approaches of Jacques Derrida and Jurgen Habermas to communication and politics form the basis of this dissertation whose central objective is to problematize Jacques Derrida's philosophical system. I begin by arguing that his political philosophy is not directly entailed by his early work on language, communication, and meaning. I also claim that, taken in its entirety, the theoretical framework Derrida offers does not account for either the processes of meaning and communication, or politics and political life. Moreover, I argue that Jilrgen Habermas' philosophy of language and political theory does offer a complete account of the processes that constitute communication, socio-moral learning, and politics. Habermas, in addition to reconstructing these universal yet detranscendentalized processes, proposes a reimagined historical materialist diagnosis of and remedy to the various pathologies that inhibit the realization of modernity's emancipatory ideals (through a 'counter-discourse of modernity'). I conclude by arguing that Derrida's early deconstructionist technique can and should be incorporated into Habermas' pragmatic system thereby relieving it of its political responsibility, resolving many of its aporias, and making it a useful tool of empancipatory politics. Derrida; Jacques Habermas; Jürgen Political science; Deconstruction

The Internet is Serious Business: 4Chan's /B/ Board and the Lulz as Alternative Political Discourse on the Internet
Luke Simcoe (2012); Supervised by Paul Moore

Major Research Paper: The online image and message board known as 4chan is as paradoxical as it is popular. Boasting an estimated 18 million unique monthly visitors and generating one million posts per day, the site is a locus of obscenity and bigotry, a wellspring of popular internet culture, and the birthplace of the distributed hacktivist collective known as Anonymous. In contrast to other forms of social media, no registration is required to participate on 4chan, and maintaining a persistent identity is both difficult and discouraged. Although many deride 4chan as puerile or nihilistic, I propose that a nascent form of political expression can be discerned within the site's subculture. Specifically, I explore how participants on 4chan use carnivalesque humour and memetic communication to oster a collective identity and articulate a political orientation towards the internet-summed up by the phrase "the internet is serious business"-while remaining committed to an ethic of radical anonymity. In doing so, I recast participation on 4chan as a political act, albeit one that falls outside of a normative or rational framework. 4chan; anonymity; carnivalesque; collective identity; counter discourses; memes; memetic communication; online/offline identities; participation as political action; social media. Media and Culture

Raymond Williams, Jurgen Habermas, and communicative resources
Kathleen Singleton (2007); Supervised by Ed Slopek

Thesis: Using a concept of humanism taken from the field of philosophy, and using the theory of Jurgen Habermas and Raymond Williams, this thesis explores changes in beliefs about communicative interaction in response to changing social organization. Using a process of historical survey, this thesis focuses on the methods of transmission and reproduction of beliefs about communicative interaction, beliefs that, like ideology, create boundaries and pressures that protect the privileges of some groups in society. It is argued that these beliefs materialize in the lifeworld, but are institutionalized in the education system in capitalist societies. It is also argued that there is a link between an education that supports a humanist approach to communicative interaction and the general propensity for social inclusiveness and openness to change. communicative interaction; education; education systems; humanism; Jürgen Habermas; Raymond Williams; social organization; social subjectivity. Media and Culture

Health and beauty portrayals in youth-targeted print magazine advertising : where does the disabled body fit?
Serena Siu (2007); Supervised by Jean Mason

Thesis: Using a visual semiotic analysis and qualitative interview of physically disabled individuals, this study evaluates the definitions and representations of beauty in the "Western" context in relation to, and contrasting portrayals of, physical disability in mainstream magazine advertising. The study finds a lack of representation of disability in advertising, with persistent implications that being physically different is associated with unattractiveness and, therefore, social undesirability. Directions for future research in advertisement portrayals, media reception, and the development of educational programs are presented. audience; body; disability; disability in advertising; physical disability; representations of beauty; representation of disability; social identity; self-identity; visible and invisible body. Media and Culture

Fostering Economic Transformation Through The Second Hand Economy
Amy Smith (2018); Supervised by Rosemary Coombe

Major Research Paper: This paper will situate and frame my study of the second-hand economy and the sort of transformation that might stem from greater engagement with this form, both on a theoretical level and as a matter of practice. The potential of the second-hand economy to positively impact people and the environment, and to foster a healthier relationship with our goods and communities, has just begun to attract focused and extensive scholarly attention. Economist Juliet Schor is at the forefront of this work, evaluating the re-circulation of consumer goods in a 2013 case study on fast fashion. Other scholars from across disciplines have engaged with the second hand economy in a more limited manner, investigating the environmental and social effects of secondary markets, and the motives and attitudes of those who participate in this part of our economy. Scholars from scientific, technological, and social scientific disciplines have directly investigated claims that second-hand economies are less damaging to people and the environment than one-use economies. Notably, environmental scientists have worked to develop quantitative models to assess the environmental impact of a good from production to final disposal. While the majority of these studies substantiate claims that second-hand economies are less damaging to the environment than a one-use economy, claims that second-hand goods are socially beneficial to communities are more difficult to prove. My understanding of the second-hand economy draws on the findings and insight of all these scholars but my emphasis is upon the way second-hand economies could contribute to and figure in scholarly discourses about the potential of existing and emergent economic formations to transform our relationship to our economies, environment and fellow human beings. As I will show, human geographers, historians, economic anthropologists and others have theorized potentially transformative economic formations as sharing economies, moral economies, community economies, solidarity economies, and diverse economies. I will take up these terms in turn.[from the introducton]  Politics and Policy

Theorizing avatar sexualities: A grounded theory study on the erotics of Second Life
David Smith (2012); Supervised by Deborah Fels

Dissertation: While there is a substantial body of research literature on cybersex, there have been few studies of avatar sex participants in virtual social worlds. These few studies suggest that anonymity, physical disembodiment, and user-content creation contribute to the creative, diverse, and sometimes-deviant quality of avatar sexualities, allowing participants to realize sexual identities and practices otherwise constrained offline. Waskul & Martin (2010) proposed that avatar sexualities are experienced as a 'diffused life,' a combined product of offline and online sexualities. Given the plasticity and diversity of avatar sex noted in previous studies, this research seeks to understand the core concern of avatar sex participants and to theorize processes of variation in avatar sexualities. A grounded theory methodology (Glaser, 1978) was used to structure and theorize data gathered in Second Life through interviews and fieldwork. The findings of this study showed that avatar intimates were compelled by conditions of immersive technological mediation to design personal agency. Briefly, the main statements of the theory of designing agency among avatar intimates evolved in my thesis are: 1. Immersive mediation using Second Life disintegrates features of embodied social agency. Disintegrated agency constitutes the central problem and opportunity for avatar intimates. 2. Designing agency is undertaken to process the central problem and opportunity of disintegrated agency. 3. Designing agency is a personalized process embedded in a network of social, cultural, and technological processes. 4. Designed agency is the evolving gestalt of adaptive variations in the ecology of four action types: affect, conceptualizing, mediating, and performing. These four action types are interdependent. 5. Evaluations of congruence and authenticity motivated the designed variation of agency. These affective evaluations were recursively compared with virtualized performances, relying upon memory and currently held conceptual models. The design of avatar sexualities enrolls participants in an ecology of agency that weaves together communication technologies, conceptual schema, performances, and desire. Cultural anthropology; Social research; Multimedia Communications; Social sciences; Communication and the arts; Avatar; Erotics; Second Life; Sexuality Media and Culture

Reunion: Duchamp, Cage and ludology
Julian Smith (2010); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Thesis: In 1968, at the Ryerson Theatre in Toronto, artist Marcel Duchamp and composer John Cage participated in a chess game-cum-musical performance entitled Reunion. This thesis explores the relationship, suggested by Reunion, between games and the art of the Modernist avant-garde. I identify eight core theoretical concerns relevant to the study of avant-garde art and games and describe how Duchamp's artworks can be understood as structures that facilitate play. This kind of interpretation accords with Duchamp's own attitudes towards art and chess. I go on to describe how Cage built on Duchamp's ideas and, through his compositions, attempted to transform engagement with art into a process analogous to Derridean freeplay. Finally, I offer a new understanding ofReunion, interpreting the event as primarily a game, or as an invitation to play, rather than as a concert. Art history; Music; Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Cage; John; Duchamp; Marcel Media and Culture

The Aesthetics of Drone Warfare
Sarah Smithies (2015); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Major Research Paper: The proliferation of armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (aka drones) has not only changed the way war is waged, but also the way that it is perceived. The recent rise in the use of drones in remote territories raises difficult questions surrounding optic asymmetry and the visibilities and invisibilities that characterize their usage. Military drones, by abstracting the target from its larger geographic, political, and social context and framing it through their sightlines and crosshairs, control the aesthetic order in the remote territories within which they operate. Drones distribute and limit metaphysical sensibility within a space by controlling not only which subjects appear, but, more importantly, how they appear. Based on an examination of drone strike footage through the lens of “surveillance aesthetics,” and the concept of “policing,” I will argue that the drone’s omniscient gaze over a largely inaccessible battlefield invites a mediated view of life below which lends itself to the larger tautology of drone warfare, where you are killed because you are a terrorist, and you are a terrorist because you are killed.  Politics and Policy

Coming into focus: an examination of how political actors and media outlets in Canada framed the Chaoulli v. Quebec case
Trevor Snyder (2010); Supervised by Liora Salter

Major Research Paper: This paper presents the findings of a study that examined how different political actors and the media presented the Chaoulli v. Quebec case to public. As should be clear, the Chaoulli v. Quebec case was both an extremely important case and an extremely complicated one. As a result, it is important to understand how it was presented to the public. The study was conducted in two parts. First, the specific issues frames expressed by political actors at the Supreme Court hearing were identified and mapped. This was done by examining the transcripts and factums from the hearing and noting the different problem definitions, causal interpretations, suggested remedies, and moral appeals expressed by political actors there (Entman 1993). This review revealed that three distinct specific issues frames were put forth during the hearing by three distinct sets of actors. Next, media coverage of the case was examined. Specifically, media coverage in the Toronto Star, the National Post, the Globe and Mail, and the Ottawa Citizen was examined from the day the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case until six-months after the Supreme Court announced its ruling. Using content analysis, this part of the study identified (1) the presence or absence of the specific issue frames identified in the first part of the study; (2) the type of generic news frames (e.g. the Human Interest Frame) (Semetko and Valkenburg, 2000) used to present the case, and (3) which political actors were directly quoted in coverage of the case.  

Networks of resistance: Digital media, storytelling, and acts of resistance to sexual assault
Elisabeth Springate (2005); Supervised by Barbara Crow

Thesis: Networks of Resistance outlines a recontextualization and intervention into the current understanding/s of resistance to sexual assault; the value of personal narratives to social action; and the role of the internet as a medium for consciousness-raising and political organizing. I ask why stories of resistance to sexual assault remain largely unavailable. What processes function to maintain the category of 'victim' while silencing accounts of resistance that might begin to reframe ideas of 'agency.' I ask if the surfacing of stories, leveraging the material and specific dimensions of gendered violence, might function to move away from the paradigm of trauma to a framework of empowerment and ultimately to change attitudes and practices in relation to violence. Networks of Resistance concludes by detailing three on-line digital storytelling initiatives that offer alternative discursive spaces into which resistance discourse can emerge. Womens studies; Social sciences Media and Culture;Technology in Practice

Billy Burkhalter: The Maltese man: a video game for wimps
Sean Springer (2004); Supervised by Jerome Durlak

Project-Paper: In October 2003, I received the approval of the Joint Programme in Communication & Culture to fulfill the requirements of the MA project by designing a prototype for a web-based video game which would provide an entertaining venue where players would learn about the mechanics behind the construction of masculinity. This prototype, along with a test scene, was completed in August 2004. The purpose of this project paper is to elaborate on the project's objectives with a discussion of how theories of communication and culture guided the prototype's artistic direction, how the prototype contributes to the professional practice of video game design, and how the prototype's ultimate objective - to help male wimps achieve a sense of comfort in their masculine identity - was fulfilled. communication and cultural theory; constructions of masculinity; flash games; masculine identity; masculinity; video games; video game design; web-based video games. Technology in Practice

Changing channels: an exploration of disruptive technologies and the challenges they pose to English-Canadian television product
Tessa Sproule (2004); Supervised by Michael Murphy

Major Research Paper: The audience wants to be able to watch a program when they want - in fact most every technological innovation adopted by the television industry has had some aspect in its design to fulfil that desire. I'm interested in how technologies facilitate audiences in finding a way to watch what they want to, when they want to. I'm also interested in (and to be frank, somewhat anxious since I work in television) what new pitfalls and possibilities the latest technologies pose for the future of television production and distribution in Canada. As we'll lean later, there are technological changes afoot that could sideswipe the effort of generations of Canadian broadcast policymakers and topple the Canadian television industry in their wake. Ours is a fragile television broadcasting system, weakened by a deeply divided policy framework based on two opposing philosophies -- one that puts an emphasis on television's role as a public service and another that emphasizes its commercial purposes and profitability. I will evaluate whether that policy framework is equipped to safeguard Canada's precarious television industry against what some say is an inevitable tidal wave of American domination heading our way. But first I want to investigate whether American domination of our TV sets is such a horror. If television doesn't really matter when it comes to our cultural and national sovereignty, I might as well stop writing right now. But as we'll learn, it does matter. While there is much debate over how television plays a role in our functioning as a sovereign society there is a general consensus that something is happening when we watch TV. It is to the problem of what that something is that I turn to first.-Pages 1-2. Television broadcasting policy; Canada; Television broadcasting; Technological innovations; Canada; Television broadcasting; Social aspects; Canada Politics and Policy

'Victims' Of The Status Quo: Canada's Ongoing Marginalization Of Sex Workers
Kendra Stanyon (2009); Supervised by Paul Moore

Major Research Paper: The conflict between a sex worker's natural right to dignity, and the scope of control she can exert over her own body - her rightful property - plays a central part in much of the research and debate surrounding the commercialization of sex, and there is little consensus as to which natural right is of greater fundamental importance. This conflict over the morality and legal rights of sex workers is plainly evident in Canada's own treatment of the issue; spanning a period of over twenty-five years, the research and reports on prostitution commissioned by the federal government constitute several thousand pages of empirical evidence documenting the harm caused by the criminalization of prostitution, yet no changes have been made to the country's Criminal Code provisions since 1986. Throughout these government reports and the testimony of dozens of participants in the 2005 hearings held by the country's Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, the same conflict of language and ideology is repeated; regardless of the time and location, conversations about prostitution within Canada follow an almost predictable pattern of spinning wheels and little progress.


In light of the new opportunity to effect change in Canada's approach to prostitution law, this paper examines the signs and significations evinced in the language of Canada's present laws, and traces the legislative history of sex work in the country as well as the cyclical nature of the observations and conclusions drawn by the many federally-appointed committees charged with addressing the topic. Select witness testimony from hearings conducted by the most recent committee to address the state of prostitution, the Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, is also reproduced and analyzed. Using the opposing perspectives of victim and rights discourse as a loose framework, particular analytical focus is placed on the language used and ideological beliefs expressed within both the formal reports and testimony. Finally, the core conflicts revealed in Canada's hearings and formal reports on prostitution are placed within a larger body of theory on human agency and the physical body for the purpose of emphasizing the unequivocal necessity of respecting sex workers' autonomy, first and foremost, in any future determination of sex work's place within the social and legal fabric of the country. Canada; Canadian law; commercialization of sex; federal government; language; law; legislative history; prostitution; sex workers; victim’s rights; women; women’s bodies. Politics and Policy

The Complete Wprks and Digitizing bpNichol: Staging the Written Word in Digital Moving Pictures
Justin Stephenson (2012); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Project-Paper: Through a digital cinema project based on the work of Canadian author bpNichol, this paper explores how contemporary poetry provides methods to create, investigate and critique digital images. By examining the way in which digital technology divides images into discrete elements, this report makes the claim that the methods of avant-garde and contemporary poetry align with the methods of digital image making. Using an active documentation methodology in which the working process of the project is documented and reflected upon, this discussion uses sequences from the project to explore how Nichol's writings and poetic methods provide ways to make and examine digital images. avant-garde poetry; bpNichol; Canada; Canadian authors; contemporary poetry; digital cinema; digital images; digital technology; mass media. Technology in Practice

Chasing semiotic rabbits: The proliferation of secondary meaning in “Doctor Who” fanvids
E. Charlotte Stevens (2010); Supervised by Jennifer Brayton

Thesis: The practice of vidding, making a music video that uses existing media as source material, is relevant to a contemporary study of television and audience studies. Media fandom has a long history of embracing advances in consumer technology to interact with the objects of their fandom, but vids and vidding have enjoyed only limited scholarly attention. This thesis uses a case-study of three vids made from episodes of Doctor Who, supported by textual and visual analysis, and an examination of the nature of fandom and fan production, to explore the critical narratives constructed in the selected vids and to demonstrate one of the subcultural results of media piracy. Through an analysis of the making and re-making of meaning in fanvids, I extend Barthes's explanation of the semiotic function of captioning to describe the analysis performed by the interaction of lyrics to video clips. Multimedia Communications; sociology; mass communications Media and Culture

Transgressive actions and the production of public space: policy, people and urban space in Winnipeg's downtown
Etoile Stewart (2004); Supervised by Liora Salter and Monique Tschofen

Thesis: Public space is planned space. The discourse that takes place among federal, municipal and local governments, as well as the interaction that takes place on the street between people, informs the agenda and values inherent in policy and social norms. Urban revitalization strategies and city bylaws produce public and private spaces, thereby informing the cityscape within which everyone interacts. This study examines the contribution, circulation and regulation of transgressive actions in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in order to consider what these actions reveal about power relations in the urban environment and the production of public space. This research uses both a policy case study and urban theory to investigate the means by which public and private spaces are produced and imbued with the ideaologies that shape and maintain these spaces in Winnipeg's downtown area. Canada; federal government; municipal government; public/private spaces; urban environment; urban revitalization; urban theory; Winnipeg. Politics and Policy

“Stop! Hey! What's that sound?”: A critical re-examination of the socio-political functions of 1960s popular music in America
Michael Stiavnicky (2010); Supervised by Anne MacLennan

Thesis: The music of the 1960s was a unique confluence and expression of social, political, and musical forces. Out of the heavily politicized atmosphere of 1960s America, what can be considered some of the most socially poignant popular music of the twentieth century was created. In order to demonstrate the socio-political functions of popular music, and examine the effects that co-optation had on the spread of this music and its message, I conducted an ethnographic content analysis of the Billboard Top 40 popular music charts from 1957-1972. With such statistical data I traced the presence of socially conscious songs on the charts in order to demonstrate how the socially significant music of this era in fact spread to larger, more mainstream segments of the population. Furthermore, I have also offered a refreshing alternative for examining the concept of co-optation, which will open new doors into further research done by other academics. American studies; Cultural anthropology; Music; Mass communications; Communication and the arts; Social sciences

Shooting the Truth: How Photographs in the Media Betray Us
Gordana Stojanovska-Icevska (2008); Supervised by Don Snyder

Thesis: This thesis investigates the manipulations photojournalists make to images that are intended to deliver news and present the reality/truth. It explores how documentary photography, which claims to present reality, has been manipulated throughout the years and analyses approaches of photographers and reactions of audiences in relation to these changes.This thesis examines the work of four photographers (Kertesz, Cartier-Bresson, Smith and Salgado) and it includes a reveiw of photographers' codes of ethics, research on photojournalistic practice in various countries, audience surveys, interviews and surveys with photographers. The surveys include case studies of photos which were altered in various ways, with questions about the ethics of photo manipulation and the importance of disclosure of alterations. By shedding some light on past and current photo alteration practices and expectations of the public and employees in the journalism industry, this paper hopes to raise questions about and provide insight into the future of photojournalism. authenticity; codes of ethics; documentary photography; images; journalism; news media; photojournalism; photojournalistic practice; photo manipulation. Media and Culture

Kapturing Kakuma: The Commodification of Refugees and Participatory Communication Alternatives
Jackie Strecker (2010); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Thesis: Over the past 50 years, the image of statelessness has shifted from heroic European refugees to depictions of nameless, impoverished refugees from the 'Third World'. Although this shift apparently stems from noble intentions, the image of the 'vulnerable refugee' has stripped refugees of agency and expressive rights. The photographs published by The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has employed this vulnerability frame in order to lobby for western aid by presenting an easily digestible discourse, congruent with Western ideology. The UNHCR has thus commodified refugees in order to ensure funding from western donors. This paper challenges this commodification by presenting a comparative analysis of the UNHCR's historical photographs, and images produced through a participatory photography project conducted in the Kenyan Kakuma Refugee Camp. This project shifts the conventional illustrative refugee discourse by identifying and rejecting the political and economic frameworks that have institutionalized the voiceless and commodified refugee.  Kenya; Kentan Kakuma Refugee Camp; photography; refugee; refugee commodification; refugee protection; United Nations. Politics and Policy

Gender construction in Muslim Tween Stories:  A Discourse of Intersectionality of Religious and Gender Representations.
Erni Suparti (2019); Supervised by Natalie Coulter

Major Research Paper: The following study set out to examine the creative works of five Muslim tweens in Toronto, Canada, with focus on analysing the intersectionality of religious and gender representations in their works. Theoretical framework underlining this study is a discourse on visual representation of female Muslim characters, hybrid construction of gender, religious values, and media consumption. The primary research questions of this study are; (1) How do Muslim tween girls reproduce meaning and construct gender identity in their creative works? (2) How do their stories intersect gender construction with their religious background and media consumption? The results of this study revealed the hijab (Muslim head scarf) as significant visual representation of female Muslim characters in young adults’ stories. It affirms hybrid representation of gender, religious and media consumption which, in turn demonstrates Muslim tweens mitigation in gender construction. This study also reveals the fluidity of domination which explores aspects such as new context of non-existent male-characters, religious identity and kindness as the indicator of perceived beauty. Additionally, some of these tweens associate feminine identity and representation with nature which is deeply rooted in Western fairy tales and religious values (Judeo-Christian and Islam).  

Moments Under Dark: The Experience of the City at Night
Dana Svistovitch (2012); Supervised by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof

Project-Paper:  city landscapes; deconstructions of the modern city; dreams; photography; space; time; unconscious; urban environments. Technology in Practice

Indigenous Art in the Museum Context: An Exhibition and Analysis of the Work of Kent Monkman
Kerry Swanson (2010); Supervised by Dennis Denisoff

Project-Paper: From October 3,2007 to February 14, 2009, Candice Hopkins and I co-curated an exhibition of Indigenous art entitled Shapeshifters, Time Travellers and Storytellers. Held at the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the show included work by Canadian artist Kent Monkman and seven other contemporary artists, as well as a selection of historical artifacts from the ROM's collections. The genesis of the show grew from the curators' desire to engage in the ongoing debate around the collision between past and present that was to be so conspicuously manifested in the Daniel Libeskind-designed postmodernist extension to the ROM. It was a timely opportunity to exhibit some of the groundbreaking work coming from some of Canada's contemporary artists, particularly in the context of the museum, which maintains a traditional approach to Indigenous arts and cultures. As the inaugural ICC-generated exhibit in the newly opened ROM wing, the show was to comment on the multiple layers of the colonial relationship as it was reflected by the museum's history of is playing and housing Indigenous art, and the relationship of contemporary Indigenous artists with the museum and its collections. anthropology; art; Canada; Canadian artists; Canadian museums; colonialism; indigenous art; indigenous culture; Kent Monkman; performance; queer indigenous; Royal Ontario Museum (ROM); storytelling; visual arts. Media and Culture

Voice and Authenticity in Organizational Storytelling: Examining the Ownership and Alignment of Organizational Stories and How They Contribute to Organizational Culture and Engagement
Jacqueline Taggart (2014); Supervised by Charles Davis

Major Research Paper:  Aon Hewitt; employee engagement; experience; gender; organizational culture; organizational roles; organizational storytelling; organizational storytelling theory; organizational values. Media and Culture

Kathy Acker's French Twist: Translating Sex in the Blood and Guts Trilogy
Melissa Tanti (2010); Supervised by Dennis Denisoff

Thesis: Arriving on the New York literary scene in the late 1970's, Kathy Acker has been hailed as a punk beatnik virtuoso. Her style of writing has been referred to as "equal parts gossip, kinky sex and high theory." Her stylistics have been eagerly digested according to the tenets of postmodern discourse while her protagonists are held up as proof of her generation's rage against "control societies." The transgressive sexuality enacted in her texts, including sexual masochism, sexual violence and self-mutilation, is frequently interpreted as anarchic attempts to circumvent this logic. I purport to show that these tactics do not, in fact, spring from a reactionary politics. Rather, Acker is attempting to convey an abject carnal sexuality that struggles for expression within the name-of-the-father logic that structures conventional language and a lack of alternative feminist propositions. feminism; French feminism; gender and sexuality; Kathy Acker; literary criticism; linguistics; queer theory; translation. Media and Culture

The Fraser Institute, the media, and policy discourse in Canada
Gregory Taylor (2004); Supervised by Donald Gillies

Major Research Paper: How does an ideologically-based institution structure a media monitoring program in Canada and what can it hope to achieve? This paper will examine the efforts of the Fraser Institute by explaining the background and objectives of this organization and its media monitoring campaign; the strong connection to conservative American research organizations; how the different political structure between Canada and the U.S. hinders the Fraser's efforts at home; ways in which the Fraser exploits avenues for media exposure; and why many in the academic community found flaws in the Fraser's media monitoring technique."--Page 1. broadcasting policy; Canada; Canadian broadcasting; Canadian media; CBC; CTV; Fraser Institute; media exposure; national broadcasting; National Media Archive (NMA); policy; policy development; public policy. Politics and Policy

Hidden sights: Tourism, representation and Lonely Planet Cambodia
Matthew Tegelberg (2007); Supervised by Amin Alhassan

Thesis: This project examines how Cambodia is constructed for global tourist consumption in the best-selling travel guide Lonely Planet. After establishing a multiperspectival framework for a discourse analysis of Lonely Planet Cambodia, this paper identifies a relationship between discursive constructions of tourist destinations, contemporary mobility practices and power. This relationship is reflected in a number of significant observations brought forth through critical analysis of the guide: First, in resemblances between LP Cambodia's articulatory practices, dominant trends in touristic representation and popularized Western conceptions of the nation. Second, in the guide's consistent articulation of favorable themes and a subsequent disarticulation or silencing of competing signifiers. And third, in LP Cambodia's tendency to display photographic images that reinforce existing impressions of Cambodia at the expense of more nuanced, relational and mutually gratifying modes of representation. Together, these observations evidence a pressing need for scholars to reconceptualize the way cross-cultural relations are theorized, practiced and understood. Mass media; Communication and the arts Media and Culture

The aesthetics of participation
Tyler Tekatch (2008); Supervised by R. Bruce Elder

Project-Paper: In this paper I would like to articulate a mode of perceptual participation, primarily an aesthetic mode, whereby humans enter into relation with the natural world around them. In order to elaborate on the mode of this participation I will draw examples from artists and thinkers that I believe have determined to make the notion of 'participation' an integral part of their work. The purpose of this paper is to situate my project in a larger tradition and theoretical framework. Over the last two years of study I have been drawn to a number of artists and thinkers who have influenced me a great deal. The common feature among them, or the relevant feature to me, has been the theme of the interaction between the self and the world, the organism and the environment, to use John Dewey's terminology, and how this interaction speaks of humanity's carnal and perceptual inherence in the world. Among these artists are Charles Olson, Jack Chambers and Stan Brakhage, and I would like to discuss their work in relation to this interactive process of self and world.  

Informational video storytelling for children by children: exploring new directions in learning and making media in the classroom
Tatyana Terzopoulos (2017); Supervised by Jennifer Jenson

Project-Paper: This research makes a case for the importance of children-specific non-fiction media content in a digital age. Drawing from my professional experience making children’s television, I piloted a media education and video production curriculum with a grade eight class at an independent, all-girls school in Toronto, Canada. This paper contextualizes my research by outlining the informing framework of participatory culture and several related concepts which intersect media studies, children’s culture, and pedagogy; it also presents my reflections on creating and testing the curriculum. To both complement my creative research-as-practice and participatory action research approach and chronicle the research project, I created a website ( It features curriculum materials and research documents, including samples of the students’ work and their reflections; I also produced a short video that incorporates a mix of student and researcher video footage to illustrate one group’s experience creating their final project.  

The new spectator : a study of the cognitive experience of spectators with three cinematic platforms
Jessica Thom (2009); Supervised by Abby Goodrum

Thesis: It is necessary, with the revolution from analog to digital platforms, to evaluate the effect these "new media" have on audience's comprehension of information. The New Spectator examines the varying experiences of audiences with three cinematic platforms: the theatre, online, and mobile media. By testing the experience of seventy-five individuals, watching two short films, the study examines the difference between the cognitive experiences of the spectators. Using an anonymous questionnaire to gain empirical data about the participant's understanding of the films, the study provides evidence of the shift in how the contemporary spectator views a film and their differing apprehensions of the information received from the films. audience comprehension; audience studies; cognitive experiences; internet; mobile media; new media; online; theatre. Media and Culture

Situating hybridity and searching for authenticity in Canadian hip-hop: how do we "keep it real"?
Cheryl Thompson (2007); Supervised by Jennifer Brayton

Thesis: This project explores the language and discourse around hip-hop in Canada. Through ethnographic interviews, I contemplate the narrative of an indigenized Canadian hip-hop, how that narrative is reflective of national and regional identities, the use of slang vernacular and resistance rhetoric, and, how female hip-hop community members articulate the genre's need for authentication. Through the use of critical content/textual analysis, I also explore the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and identity in the lyrics of five of Canada's mainstream rappers to illustrate how the rhetoric of hip-hop and that of the media influences the way we talk about, and consume, hip-hop culture. Ultimately, I draw conclusions related to the current status of hip-hop in Canada, and suggest that the genre's dominant contestations are centred on the lack of definition of the Black, White and Native Canadian identity, ownership, and how corporate annexation impedes the genre's ability to transcend. authenticity; Canada; Canadian hip-hop; Canadian rappers; consumerism; corporatization; female hip-hop communities; gender and sexuality; identity; national identity; race; regional identity; resistance rhetoric; slang vernacular; Media and Culture

The Extremist Islamist Presence in Canadian Webspace: An Empirical Study
Neil Thomson (2007); Supervised by Greg Elmer

Thesis: This paper outlines the results of a two month study in which a series of extremist Islamist websites - registered, hosted or given datacentre services by Canadian internet companies- were empirically observed. The results of this project are inserted into a framework which explores the misuse and wrongful application of the "terrorist" signifier to substate or nonstate activities, discerns between the purported use of the internet by extremist Islamist organizations for destructive means and the real use of the internet by such groups, and suggests a number of conclusions based on prior administrative responses to the extremist Islamist use of the internet. The full results of this project can he viewed at Canada; Canadian internet providers; Canadian webspace; communication; cyberspace; cyber-terrorism; information flow; internet; Islam; Islamic organizations; publics; terrorism; transnationalism; websites. Technology in Practice

Fishnets & Desire: Performing the Neoburlesque
Jessica Thorp (2012); Supervised by Shannon Bell

Project-Paper: Fishnets & Desire: Performing the Neoburlesque is a reflection upon the art installation and performance piece of the same name, and reflects upon neoburlesque performance genre, through the lens of the author's primary research of creating these works. Written as a piece of per formative scholarship, this paper outlines the creative process of the author's project, and the theatrical history, theory, and methodology behind it. Fishnets & Desire is a reflection of performance and queer theories, meditating upon the specific art forms of burlesque striptease and drag, and how they enact gender performativity. Neoburlesque is a tongue-in-cheek and satirical form of expression, which lampoons gender stereotypes, and societal expectations. The current art form draws upon cultural nostalgia for the kitsch of burlesque striptease that was performed in theatres, and gentleman's clubs from the 1920s-60s. Through the use of comedic exaggeration and hyperbolic gender presentation, burlesque seeks to undermine conventional notions of femininity, and deconstruct them. The author's performance piece also sought to engage with the energetic relationship between the audience and the burlesque performer's reciprocal gaze; and neoburlesque as a genre of carnivalesque spectacle. As an integration of live performance, projected video, and photography, Fishnets & Desire created a space in which the audience simultaneously experienced the feeling of being on stage, as well as actively watched (and thus, participating in) a burlesque striptease. art installation; burlesque; burlesque striptease; carnivalesque spectacle; drag; creative process; gender performativity; gender stereotypes; neoburlesque performance; performance; queer theory. Media and Culture

Beyond Post-Colonialism: Aboriginal Identity Production and Digital Technologies
Hannah Tough (2014); Supervised by Markus Reisenleitner

Major Research Paper:  Aboriginal artists; Aboriginal peoples; Aboriginal identities; Canada; Canadian identity; Canadian national narratives; Canadian national mythologies; cultural studies; identity formation; multicultural theory; new media and technologies; post-colonial theory. Media and Culture

The film's the thing: investigating the use of visual media and the pedagogical approach of Ontario's media studies curriculum
Taunya Tremblay (2008); Supervised by Kate Eichhorn

Thesis: Media Studies now makes up one quarter of the mandatory English program curriculum for students, grades one through twelve, in the province of Ontario. Prompted by the recent changes in prescribed media requirements, this study explores the history and theory behind current Media Studies curriculum in Ontario to gain insight on how theses ideals function in practice. More specifically, this study involved a qualitative analysis in three major parts: a genealogy of visual media and media education that explores the motivations behind the study of popular meda; a discourse analysis of curricular texts that addresses current expectations for Grade Twelve media literacy; and finally, a critical ethnography of a Grade Twelve classroom in Toronto that provides examples of how the curriculum can be implemented when informed by critical pedagogy. Canada; Canadian education; education; English curriculum; media education; Media Studies Curriculum; pedagogy; Ontario education; popular media; visual media. Media and Culture

The impact of TRIPs on UNDP information technology programmes and ICT diffusion in Latin America: Policy alternatives for sustainability
Monique Twigg (2004); Supervised by John Sheilds

Thesis: Recent policy from multilateral organizations has encouraged the diffusion and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development purposes. Concurrently, developing countries have committed to greatly enhancing protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) to the standards embodied in the WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property agreement (TRIPS) This study analyzes United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ICT-for-development policy, the effects of enhanced IPRs on diffusion of ICTs in Latin America and on their potential to contribute to broad-based development, and the applicability of dependency theory in predicting these relationships. The study finds TRIPs' implementation in Latin America will inhibit success of UNDP policies and Latin American countries' ability to access ICTs for development purposes, leading them further into a state of technological dependency. The study recommends modifications to UNDP ICT-for-development policy, including support to efforts to modify TRIPS and to fostering alternatives to proprietary ICTs, such as open-source software. International law; International relations; Social sciences Politics and Policy

Motivating Children to "Write" Stories through the Use of Visual Art and Technology
John-Patrick Udo (2006); Supervised by Deborah Fels

Thesis: In this thesis the viability of using visual art and technology to motivate children to write stories is explored from a pedagogical and empirical perspective. A study was devised where forty-two children in grades four and five participated in a visual art workshop where they created a drawing and an accompanying story. In addition, the children were provided with three different technologies through which to record their stories: handwriting, dictating and typing. The children were required to produce a sample handwritten story for comparison to those written with one of these technologies. Results indicate that although children reported being motivated to communicate through visual art and alternative writing technologies, the stories created after the workshop and assessed by a teacher-developed rubric were significantly worse than the sample stories and the expected performance levels of the provincial Education and Accountability Office (EQAO). Reasons for this outcome could be that children lack experience communicating through alternative means, and that they are more concerned with the technicalities of authorship such as spelling, grammar and formatting in their drawings and writing.   alternative writing technologies; children; storytelling; technology; visual art; writing processes; writing theory. Technology in Practice

Making my bed: Tracey Emin's hysterical confessions of the abject
Alicia Vande Weghe (2009); Supervised by Paul Moore

Thesis: Tracey Emin's My Bed (1998) presents an alternative representation to normative notions of the body, offending hegemonic propriety so greatly that it caused a tabloid media sensation when it was shortlisted for the 1999 Turner Prize. Emin applies certain feminist notions as she continues the motif of the reclining nude, offering semiotic gestures that indicate evidence of the body rather that the body itself. My Bed is the site of trauma and disgust, with all of the abjection left intact, and above all, a self expressionist piece documenting her personal trauma. The expressionist qualities harkens back to cultural discourse of hysteria, reinforcing the legitimacy of the feminist lens. Hysteria is a performance that Emin represents through confessing her traumatic history. Like the archetypal reality television star, she confesses personal emotions and histories, but breaks the status quo by offering an alternative representation with the abjected authenticity of the bed. abject; affect; art history; body; feminism; feminist artists; gender and sexuality; gendered trauma; hysteria; My Bed (1998); performativity; Tracey Emin. Media and Culture

Televising urbanity: Narratives of “nation” and city life
Jennifer VanderBurgh (2006); Supervised by Janine Marchessault

Dissertation: This dissertation offers a 'symptomatic reading' of four dramatic television series produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) across five decades from 1966-2005: Wojeck (1966-68), The King of Kensington (1975-80), Seeing Things (1981-86), and This is Wonderland (2004-ongoing). It argues that these programs can be read in terms of a particular discursive and institutional project of nation-building that develops out of the federal strategies of the nineteen-fifties and sixties.


The reading of CBC dramas as allegories of nation is inflected by a combination of the federal and institutional policies of the nineteen-fifties and sixties and the creative energies of CBC programmers, department heads, and producers. The CBC's definition of 'nation' is therefore institutional and discursive.


Specifically, this dissertation argues that CBC programs use Toronto as a location with which to consolidate 'the nation.' As a study, it considers the relationship between Toronto and television to be dialectical and mutually constitutive, both in terms of the on-going convergence of the televisual apparatus and the city, and the narrativization of the city in television dramas. A discursive trajectory of the way in which the concept of a 'national citizen' in Toronto has been constructed and heralded through television is imagined from the first major televisual event in Toronto (the Coronation broadcast of Queen Elizabeth II, 2 June 1953), to the present moment when ambient television comprises a part of Toronto's spatial landscape. The findings of this dissertation suggest that changes to the televisual apparatus and the content of the dramas over fifty years make observable perceived tensions between 'the citizen' and 'the nation' within a trajectory of increasing skepticism toward the nation building project. Mass media; Motion pictures; Communication and the arts; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; City life; Nation; Televising; Urbanity Media and Culture

From Anger to Activism: Understanding the Reactions. the Reach, and the Results of the Delhi Rape
Jennifer Velagic (2013); Supervised by Daniel Drache

Major Research Paper:  activism; activist publics; citizen-directed broadcast model; collective identities; Delhi rape; gender and sexuality; Indian patriarchy; mass media; mass-self communication; networked society; online activism; rape culture; social media; social media and protest; social movements. Media and Culture

Intersections of Gender and Political Economy: Florine Stettheimer and Other Modernist Salonnières
Valerie Velardo (2012); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Major Research Paper: Salonnieres of the Modernist era have used salon culture as a means to reshape traditional public spheres and social structures. Female salonnieres have been influential, yet often forgotten, figures of modernist art institutions. They used their financial and economic clout to help reshape political and economic social structures. Their example also allows us to study the ways in which finances either limited or allowed women to shape social structures, while proving the importance of their salons within the modernist era as a public sphere and as a space to challenge traditional gender roles. Thus, they helped shape the political and economic dimensions of the future art market. art; artistic representation; consumer culture; cultural agency; female artists; Florine Stettheimer; gender economy; gender and sexuality identities; Gertrude Stein; Natalie Clifford Barney; poetry; political economy; Romaine Brooks; salon; salon culture; salonnières. Media and Culture

Locating cyberpunk within the cinema of resistance: Visions of the popular and the postmodern
Caroline Verner (2009);

Thesis: Since the 1980s, Hollywood has witnessed a renewal of interest in the science fiction (SF) genre from a postmodernist point of view. The cyberpunk movement in American SF that first took shape in literary fiction has parlayed into the visual story-telling scene, reflecting a new perspective on technology, popular culture and consumerism. This study, which is located within the postmodern paradigm, presents an argument for the potential of this new cycle of popular speculative cinema to render the experience of postmodernity, and display through images how the current Western capitalist power apparatuses might be disrupted in favour of social and cultural progress. Through a critical analysis of five mainstream cyberpunk films released between 1983 and 2006, the essay investigates how the cyberpunk genre identifies ironically with a mostly apolitical popular American SF cinema to produce a more radical cinema of resistance that breaks with conventional modes of representation. Film studies; Communication and the arts

Understanding Entertainment Value: An Investigation into the Subjectivity of People Who Experience Entertainment
Florin Vladica (2012); Supervised by Charles Davis

Dissertation: The purpose of this doctoral dissertation and the research presented herein is to test and refine a general method of observing, capturing, describing and comparing subjective viewpoints on entertainment value. Of particular interest and equally important is the effort to provide a theoretical foundation for the conceptualization, operationalization, and empirical testing of the entertainment value concept, adopting the perspective of those experiencing performance-based and screen-based entertainment. This dissertation is also a crossover study between and among amusement, recreation, entertaining experiences, audience research, and events and live performances. Results will be integrated into the broader study of entertainment, where the core phenomenon under investigation is the entertainment experience. Entertainment value is a multi-faceted concept, widely used but poorly, or at least not effectively, operationalized for use in scholarly and commercial research. It is proposed herein that entertainment value refers to the type of value that screen-based products and live performances yield to those who experience these generic forms of entertainment. Entertainment value is perceived consumer value, experiential and subjective, a multi-dimensional concept and construct intrinsic to the entertainment experience. In three complementary studies, respondents are grouped based on shared subjective experiences resulting from the consumption of three different kinds of innovative entertainment products: a) an animated, short documentary film, b) one episode a described video television comedy; and c) a live cultural performance. In an innovative way, Stephenson’s Q Methodology (1953) and Typology of Consumer Value proposed by Morris Holbrook (1999) are adopted, tested and refined to empirically identify, describe and compare the subjective viewpoints of those who experience entertainment. The Q Methodology allowed for a rich description of a range of entertainment experiences from almost three hundred respondents. Interpretation of subjective reactions and self-reports, and the differences among these viewpoints, have been facilitated by and pointed to corresponding types of perceived entertainment value. In this sense, Holbrook’s (1999) typology for consumer value proved useful, by complementing in a number of ways the design and implementation of this exploratory research with Q methodology. consumer value; entertainment experience; entertainment value; performance-based entertainment; screen-based entertainment; subjective experience. Media and Culture

Filtering the Headlines
Lindsey Vodarek (2008); Supervised by Fred Fletcher

Project-Paper: The project, entitled Filtering the Headlines, is a short documentary film on the concept/construction of objectivity as it has been applied in journalism in Canada supported by a political economy of the same. The purpose of this work is to connect the theoretical work being done on this subject to the actual practices and discussion going on amongst journalists today. It questions the knowledge of journalists about issues of objectivity and asks how these journalists reconcile their ethical ideals with actual practices. It then questions the hegemony of media as business, as corporate entity, the use of advertising to support this model and the practices of journalists that reinforce it. It aims to foster a dialogue that will promote a greater sense of agency within the profession of journalism by challenging and bringing to light ingrained beliefs. Changes to journalistic practices must come from within. advertising; Canada; Canadian journalism; Canadian media; documentary; ethics; journalism; mass communication; mass media; news media; media literacy; objectivity; personal agency; political economy. Media and Culture

Barbie Savior: Politicizing Voluntourism Through Instagram Parody
Anastazya Vydelingum (2019); Supervised by Natalie Coulter

Major Research Paper: This Major Research Paper explores the Barbie Savior parody Instagram account to understand how the account attempts to politicize voluntourist/local relationships and how its posts constitute a strategy of social critique. Barbie Savior Instagram posts parody the white saviour complex enacted by short term missionaries who post their volunteer experiences on social media. A mixed methods approach provides quantitative and qualitative insights into how this intersectional critique addresses the phenomenon of voluntourist selfies on Instagram that promote a self-brand centered on touristic and religious authenticity through strategic use of captions and hashtags. Voluntourism; Short Term Missions; Instagram; Parody; White Saviour Complex; Authenticity

The Evolution and History of the Xylographic Narrative
George Walker (2011); Supervised by Ruth Panofsky

Project-Paper: The relationship between "writing" and "reading" is generally associated with the linear dimension of traditional texts whose meanings are implicit in the grammar of language. The picture narrative, itself a form of writing, shares the innate power to tell a story that resides in words. However, pictures communicate information within a different structural space than that of words. The picture narrative brings together disparate elements in a unified space to communicate information that is coded in the symbols, stereotypes, schemes, gestures, expressions and the arrangements of cultural elements that make up the image. This paper examines a particular type of visual narrative, the block book also known as the xylographic narrative, and its evolution. After outlining the evolution and rich history of these wordless narratives through to the twenty-first century, I will argue that the visual narrative book form of communication still performs an important cultural function. This paper also examines a xylographic project composed of 109 wood engravings titled, The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson, which is an original book created by the author. This project demonstrates that narrative images are a form of writing that communicate story through the use of metonymy, metaphor and cultural symbolism. The objectives of the xylographic project and this accompanying paper, are to demonstrate how the visual narrative communicates complex plot and story through symbols and signifiers, without the use of a written text. What follows is an investigation and structural analysis of this form of picture narrative and its significance as a language and art form. Art; art making; language; picture narrative; storytelling; visual narrative; writing; xylography. Media and Culture

State control of the internet in China
Hua Wang (2003); Supervised by Colin Mooers

Major Research Paper: The Internet landed in China in 1987, only 9 years after the "Open-Door Policy" III 1978. Although the history of the Internet in China is not long, the speed of the Internet's development has been rapid. According to the statistics of China National Network Information Center (CNNIC), the number of Chinese Internet users already reached 33.7 million at the end of 2001, and this number quickly increased to 45.8 million by the end of June of 2002. The Chinese government also recognized the huge potential brought by the Internet to the economic growth in the country and started to launch several projects to enhance its development in 1990s.


But, for regimes of democratic centralism, like China, the Internet is a double edged sword. Dramatically distinguished from other traditional mediums, the Internet enhances a much freer information flow and implies libertarianism and anarchism in the virtual world, which collides with the Chinese government's conventional practice of media control. Although the Internet is not as easy to control as other traditional mediums, the Chinese government is intent on maintaining control and censorship on it.-Page 3. anarchism; censorship; China; Chinese government; China Internet Network Information Center; information flow; internet; internet regulations; libertarianism; national policy. Politics and Policy

Alternative Spaces, Alternative Possibilities: Reimagining Space in Contemporary Canadian Dystopian Fiction
Hannah Warkentin (2019); Supervised by Ruth Panofsky

MRP: This paper examines how dystopian fiction opens up a productive space for disrupting naturalized assumptions, and shifting our understanding of taken-for-granted spaces. Drawing on Doreen Massey’s (2005) proposal that space must be seen as the product of constant interrelations, I argue that dystopian literature can similarly prompt us to reconsider our relationship to the spaces we inhabit. Using the concept of the “critical dystopia,” I examine how dystopian frameworks are operationalized in the Canadian context through a comparative analysis of two novels that speculate distinctly Canadian dystopian futures: Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl (2002) and M.G. Vassanji’s Nostalgia (2016). By applying Massey’s theorization of space—its multiplicities, complexities, and political potentialities—to an examination of how Canadian spaces are transformed in the dystopian context, I then analyze how those representations challenge the spatial ideologies associated with globalization, and resist the neoliberal view of space as a surface to be crossed and conquered (Massey, 2005).  

The future of journalism online: A case for E-journalism
Robert Washburn (2009); Supervised by Fred Fletcher

Thesis: Journalism online is challenging traditional news media. This thesis proposes to dissect the current practice of online journalism as a means to understanding the current predicament in which journalism finds itself. And, while many news organizations and journalists herald the rise of online news as a major, positive revolution within the industry, this form of journalism is fraught with contradictions and shortcomings. This thesis seeks to explore the cogency behind the arguments surrounding journalism online and critique those in an effort to better understand its current state. This thesis proposes a new direction in an effort to wrestle with some of the persistent problems facing modern journalism through a practice called E-journalism, which seeks to create a form beyond much of the journalism done online over the past 15 years, as a means of reconnecting with a socially responsible practice to enhance a participatory democratic system. Journalism; Communication and the arts

Jason Wasiak (2006); Supervised by Michael Murphy

Project-Paper:  aesthetics; audio-visual representation; collage; communication technology; epistemology; found sound and image; global systems; information; video. Technology in Practice

Embodied Artifacts: Memory, Nostalgia and Mid-Century Objects
Nicola Waugh (2011); Supervised by Shelley Hornstein

Project-Paper: The aim of this paper and its accompanying documentary video is to contemplate the value that we place on objects from the past, specifically the mid-century period from 1946 to 1964. This value, I will argue, comes from a combination of subjective, sensorial contemplation, nostalgic yearning, and a reaction to the spatial fragmentation and temporal acceleration of contemporary North American life. In order to bridge the gap between academic discourse and personal narrative, I will apply the theories on memory by Pierre Nora and Andreas Huyssen and on nostalgia by Svetlana Boym to the conversations in the video component of my project about the current fascination with mid-century objects. While the style of the 1950's and 60's could simply be an aesthetic trend, moving to other periods in a few years, perhaps the narratives that surround the mid-century period speak to busy, young people today because of a deeper cultural yearning for postwar ideals like quality and domesticity. affect; Andreas Huyssen; documentary; domestic sphere; everyday life; filmmaking; melancholy; memory; myth; mid-century objects (1946-1964); nostalgia; Pierre Nora; sensory experiences; Svetlana Boym; video Media and Culture

Marketing Madonna: Celebrity agency across the cultural industry
Melissa West (2007); Supervised by Jody Borland

Dissertation: This dissertation offers a theory of celebrity agency and argues that celebrities are active negotiators of the culture industry, processes of commodification, and cultural values at the intersection of media institutions and audience response. It uses Madonna as a case study because she is such a clear example of the agency of celebrity across the media apparatus, the processes of bringing a product to the marketplace and the ongoing negotiation of power and meaning through audience practices. This dissertation explains how Madonna has achieved, negotiated, and maintained her success in the culture industry by outlining her relationship to her record company and larger media corporation. Given that power is not a straightforward mapping of dominant ideologies through cultural productions I contend that there are particular methods for negotiating power relations and bringing subversive content to mainstream culture. Madonna's success as a celebrity follows larger patterns of commodification including the primacy of the visual and the importance of packaging. In particular, Madonna's commodified female body acts as product packaging and is subject to market preference for youth and prejudice against aging adopting larger commercial ruling catchphrases such as "best before" and "expiry" date. Additionally Madonna's pattern of reinvention follows larger models of reinvention applied to commercial products from dish soap to roller blades in order to revitalize her commodity package from album to album and video to video. This dissertation explores the symbiotic relationship between celebrities such as Madonna, the larger media corporations, the production of particular cultural texts and audiences' meanings and practices. It does so in an effort to surpass some of the limitations of previous Madonna scholarship which focused solely on identity politics through formalist readings of cultural texts and their reception to explore the influence of the larger political economic, historical, and cultural contexts of capitalist society.  Media and Culture

Out Of Sight: Haptic Perception In Ubiquitous Computing
Nicholas White (2016);

Major Research Paper: In this paper, I will investigate how ubiquitous computing presents a new paradigm through which digital information can be brought into contact with the body through our perceptual capacities for tactility (the skin’s capacity for touch and feeling) and kinaesthesia (the body’s awareness of its position and movement in relation to space and objects outside of itself). This investigation presents an opportunity for re-evaluating the importance of physical touch as an embodied and subjective mode of experience, which is often overlooked in our visuallybiased cultural landscape. The emergence of ubicomp enables the physical world of tactile objects and environments to become a medium for digital interaction. This ongoing technological development resonates with the pre-modern definition of media as environments that produce and sustain existence (Peters, 3), foregrounding not only materialist but also ontological aspects of media, erasing the boundary between the virtual and the physical, the technological, and the natural. The environmental approach to media studies finds its origin with The Toronto School of communication theory, starting with Eric Havelock and Harold Innes, and was further developed by Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan. The area was subsequently coined by Neil Postman as “media ecology” (Gencarelli, 201).  Media and Culture

Reality Television: The Influx of Manufactured Reality in Contemporary Fictional Television
Samantha White (2014); Supervised by Jean Bruce

Major Research Paper:  audience; documentary techniques; fictional television; Friday Night Lights (television show); Girls (television show); popular culture; pseudo-realism; reality television; realism; The Office (television show). Media and Culture

The Historical Process of Fandom as a Participatory Pastime: Film Discourse in Newspapers from 1911 to 1918
Jessica L. Whitehead (2012); Supervised by Paul Moore

Major Research Paper: "Who Will Be Ruth?" was a headline that dominated small town newspapers from 1915-1918. This headline corresponded with a contest that targeted young women to participate in the new national pastime of cinema by having local women vie for the roles in a film with citizens voting for their favourite woman to play the lead character of Ruth. The "Who Will Be Ruth?" contest became a local phenomenon, which garnered tens of thousands of votes in each town the contest ran. The contest exemplifies the film contest trend that occurred in newspapers from 1911-1918, which elicited audience participation in the creation of film content. Movie contests reveal an early participatory culture, which contradicts critical theory's notion of a passive audience. Mass produced cinema in fact actualized publics that participated in the creation of the very content they consumed. The formation of movie fans can be studied by exploring early participation in collective practices, as reflexive circulation of discourse is integral to the creation of a public (Warner, 2002). My research involves studying three distinctive film contests that demonstrate the historical process of creating fandom through the use of newspaper texts. The transformation of film into American mass culture in the 191 Os is directly connected to fan groups who were largely made up of female fans who both legitimized film going and created a distinctive fan public. Film contests gave women agency in creating content for mass culture before voting rights were universal. An exploration of movie contests from 1911-1918 will provide new insights into the relationship between participatory cultures, aesthetic objects and discourse. celebrity; cinema; fan discourse; fandom; female audience; female representation; movie star; news media; photoplay contests; popular culture; publics. Media and Culture

Media development, information operations, and the liberal order: Mapping US mass media policy and practice in the Afghan intervention, 2001–10
Daniel Wiley (2012);

Thesis: Since 2001 the development and use of the nascent mass media environment has been an integral component to the US-led democratization of Afghanistan. This approach is embedded in a history of US-led liberal order building, in which liberal principles and democracy are deployed strategically as mechanisms which not only create political and economic freedoms in previously authoritarian polities, but also limit the contours of social life in ways that are constitutive of US hegemony. Mass media development and use are a part of this conflicted process, providing both an architecture for delimiting the opportunities for political engagement by the bulk of the citizenry and a tool for managing the perceptions of the population in a manner that is congruent with US purposes. This thesis draws on previous research and relevant contemporary policy and practice to elucidate how the US approach to the Afghan mass media environment has functioned to foster liberal order between 2001 and 2010. I map the ways in which current US mass media policy and practice hinder the potential emergence of radical-democratic forms of citizen engagement in order to inform potential ways forward. International Relations; Mass communications; Social sciences; Communication and the arts; 2010; United States

The political economy of communication and the policy communities approach: Connecting critical views of the media to post-pluralist analyses of the policy process
Arlene Williams (2005); Supervised by Liora Salter

Thesis: This work focuses on issues of power in regard to communication. Specifically, it is concerned with how the power to promote ideas about policy issues may enhance the ability of people and organizations with that power to influence the policy development process. Although the policy communities approach claims to account for power differentials, it adopts a liberal view of the media that understands media organizations primarily as neutral intermediaries in the policy process. This failure to acknowledge issues of power in regard to communication represents a serious flaw in the policy communities approach---a flaw that renders the approach's usefulness for dealing with issues pertinent to media organizations questionable. To demonstrate this problem, an investigation is conducted into how the approach deals with an extremely salient issue for media organizations---communications policy.


Through this evaluation, the policy communities approach is shown to contain theoretical problems regarding the conception of media organizations and questionable assumptions about news media content. While the problems with the conceptualization of media organizations can be addressed relatively easily, further investigation is needed into the how the various influences of news media content affect the policy process. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Mass media; Communication and the arts Politics and Policy

Manoeuvring the peacekeeping myth: Canadian news media reports on the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan
Lesley Williams (2009); Supervised by Patricia Mazepa

Thesis: This thesis analyses the way peacekeeping is represented to Canadians through stories about Canada's military contributions to the missions in Afghanistan by The Globe and Mail and the National Post from October 2001 to March 2008. A content analysis identifies whether a peacekeeping or a war discourse was dominant in press representations of the Canadian Forces' missions in Afghanistan, and a critical discourse analysis is conducted to consider the various ways that the mythology of peacekeeping is manoeuvred. It finds that the myth is both celebrated and denigrated, helping to legitimise the foreign military presence in Afghanistan, at the same time as contributing to a discursive shift in the way that the Canadian Forces is represented. The research suggests that a war order of discourse has been interspersed throughout such news coverage contributing to an overall shift in the dominance of the peacekeeping myth in relation to the Canadian Forces. Journalism; Mass communications; Military studies; Communication and the arts; Social sciences

Simulating Public Interest: The Issue of the Public Voice in the Fee-For-Carriage Debate
Trish Williams (2010); Supervised by Douglas Barrett

Major Research Paper: One of the most fractious Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC, or the Commission) policy hearings on record has recently come to a close. This was no run-of-the-mill, watch-the-paint-dry policy hearing. Tempers and passions flared as two industry titans, over-the-air (OTA) broadcasters, such as CTV and Canwest Global, and broadcast distribution undertakings (BDUs) such as Shaw Communications, Bell Canada and Rogers Inc. fought the battle of their lives over an issue called fee-for-carriage (FFC). The media covered the issues day in and day out. Canadians bombarded the CRTC with dose to 200,000 comments and the Government of Canada forced the CRTC to hold an additional hearing just to address the impact the decision could have on the public. With extensive media coverage and uncharacteristically active public participation, could this public policy process be deemed 'democracy in action'? This paper will argue that this is not the case. Through a discourse analysis of the debate within two distinctly differentiated public spheres -- 1) the battling media campaigns and 2) the CRTC public hearings in November and December of 2009 -- this paper will show that the public's ability to define its own interest, using its own voice, is tarnished to such a severe degree that this policy process fails. Canada; Canadian Broadcasters; Canadian broadcasting policy; Canadian Ratio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC); consumerism; fee-for-carriage; mass media; public policy; public sphere; value-for-signal. Politics and Policy

The commodification of the cause: The industry of social cause branding doing more harm than good?
Leslie Wilson (2005); Supervised by Colin Mooers

Major Research Paper: Citizenship and community service are values that have been appropriated by new forms of corporate marketing strategies: corporate social responsibility, cause related marketing, and social cause branding. These trends in branding effectively tie social activism and political participation with consumerism and profit motives. In this paper I attempt to explore the implications of the commodification of social causes, with particular focus on the role of women in marketing strategies, both as subject and object of the social cause branding campaigns.-Page [1]. activism; consumerism; commodification of social causes; community service; corporate activism; corporate marketing strategies; fundraising; social activism; social cause branding; social responsibility; women as consumers. Media and Culture

The Case for Graphic Counter-Memorials in the Comics of Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, And Brian Wood And Riccardo Burchielli
Diane Brooke Winterstein (2017); Supervised by Monique Tschofen

Dissertation: My dissertation considers a group of contemporary comics about war by Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, and Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli, as examples of a larger genre I call the graphic counter-memorial. Graphic counter-memorial comics address history, memory, and trauma as they depict the political, violent, and collective aspects of war and social conflict. I argue that the particular comics I study in this dissertation, which mingle fiction and non-fiction and autobiography as well as journalism, follow the tradition of the counter-monuments described by James E. Young. Studying commemorative practices and counter-monuments in the 1980s, Young notes a generation of German artists who resist traditional forms of memorialization by upending the traditional monument structure in monument form. Young looks at the methods, aims, and aesthetics these artists use to investigate and problematize practices that establish singular historical narratives. Like these works of public art, the graphic counter-memorial asks the reader to question ‘official history,’ authenticity, and the objectivity typically associated with non-fiction and reporting. I argue that what these comics offer is an opportunity to re-examine comics that incorporate real and familiar social and historical events and wars. Comics allow creators to visually and textually overlap perspectives and time. Graphic counter-memorials harness the comic medium’s potential to refuse fixed narratives of history by emphasizing a sense of incompleteness in their representation of trauma, memory, and war. This makes possible a more complex and rich way to engage with Western society’s relationship to the past, and in particular, a more complex way of engaging with collective memory and war. Their modes of mediating history produce political intervention through both form and content.  

Ludic Arcade: An Observational Pop-Up Arcade Research Project
Amanda Wong (2016);

Major Research Paper: In this paper, I present observations and reflections of a pop-up arcade project that was used as both an experimental and interactive form of research. This was an investigation of how to create and promote an inclusive video gaming space. Ludic Arcade is a combination of curatorial exhibition and ethnographic practice as an interventionist tool for the mediation of procured space. Through the discovery of local game development, I explore the possibilities of promoting and supporting the non-mainstream practices as evidence that alternative forms of video game culture can thrive in different environments. The goal of this project focuses on developing methods and strategies that aim to promote the inclusivity and diversity of video game environments. videogames; game curation; new arcade; inclusive practices; Toronto Media and Culture

“I Haven’t Done Anything To Be Polarizing”: Framing Anti-Black Themes Through Racial Magnetism In Jeremy Lin Media Discourse
Nicholas Wong (2019); Supervised by Nicole Neverson

Thesis: This thesis investigates the appropriation of Black masculinity by Asian American basketball player Jeremy Lin. Subjecting media coverage to a combination of content analysis and critical discourse analysis uncovers the presence of four appropriative themes of Asianness: (a) the supraethnic viability of Asianness; (b) the necessary defeat of Blackness; (c) the disallowance of anti-Asian sentiment; and (d) the presence of a helpful Black cohort. These themes are themselves given meaning by five racially magnetized frames that position Asian Americans in opposition to Blackness across multiple dimensions: (a) Asian Americans as model minorities; (b) Asian American men as emasculated; (c) Asian Americans as invisible; (d) Asian Americans as forever foreign; and (e) Asian and Black Americans as enemies. The results of this study suggest that Asian American men benefit from the appropriation of Blackness, but that this benefit is contingent upon their ability to uphold heterosexist, white supremacist ideologies. Jeremy Lin; basketball; race

Perceiving democracy: Exploring the democratic and community development potential of student newspapers on university campuses
Kristin Wozniak (2007);

Thesis: As an organ bearing the name of an educational institution, as an arm of the media, and as a voice for students, student newspapers are expected to fulfill complex and often contradictory mandates. Given these complex objectives, student newspapers rarely meet expectations and thus suffer from low readership levels. Given that students are the primary audience, this paper examines the mandates of the student press from a student perspective. A sample of 432 York University undergraduate students was surveyed in order to understand what students expect from and what would encourage them to read student newspapers. Findings show that students' opinions of the student press closely align with traditional mandates that indicate student newspapers should foster notions of democracy and community-building. However, findings also indicate that the primary way to meet these expectations is to create a newspaper that primarily works to appeal to and attract students as readers. Journalism; Mass media; Communication and the arts Media and Culture

Canada's Employment Equity Acts and the communications industry: effective social regulation in a neo-liberal era
Audrey Wubbenhorst (2004); Supervised by John Shields

Major Research Paper: "Canada's Royal Commission on Equality and Employment drafted in the early 1980s and the two versions of the Employment Equity Act it later inspired can be understood within this shift towards social regulation as defined by Nementz et. al. To appreciate how Canadian corporations are now mandated to achieve progress towards employment equity, it is critical to its history, its incarnations and its impact on corporate Canada. Curiously, while there was a sizeable amount of quantitative and qualitative research endorsing legislated employment equity written prior to the initial Act, there is only a handful of academic research evaluating its success. Academic space devoted to employment equity has existed mainly as a sidebar in a more extensive analysis of other policies such as the key works of Judy Fudge, Anver Saloojee, Patricia McDermott and Annis May Timpson which appraise employment equity, but as a benchmark against which to compare to other policies such as child care and pay equity. Through a literature review of the primary and secondary documents, which respectively shaped and critiqued the Act's two manifestations as well as case studies of communications companies, I will show that this legislation - an example of social regulation in a neo-liberal era - was particularly effective once an audit component was added."--Page 3. American policy; Canada; Canadian Policy; corporate Canada; employment equity; Employment Equity Act; environmental protection; fairness regulation; health and safety legislation; neoliberalism; social regulation; United States. Politics and Policy

A Study of Print and Computer Based Reading to Measure and Compare Rates of Comprehension and Retention
Jackie Young (2014); Supervised by Gene Allen

Thesis: To the twenty-first century reader the central aspect of Gutenberg’s invention of printing appears deceptively simple. Movable type, small pieces of metal cast from an alloy of lead, tin and antimony, assembled into words and lines created pages that were inked then pressed into velum to create the printed word. This was the beginning of transmitted information, the mass production and distribution of small portable books. This thesis examines the evolution of printing from the Renaissance when “fixity” was achieved to its ascension to the first mass media. The research portion of the study observes, measures and compares the interpretive strategies that readers use when engaging with the printed page and how they adapt new strategies when reading online. Print and online stories from The Guardian, The Economist and The New Yorker were coded and used in the study. The study was conducted at Ryerson University. magazines; news media; online news; print news; reading comprehension; reading processes; reading retention; screen-based media. Media and Culture

Modernist salon culture: the contributions of the Stettheimer sisters in 1920s New York
Stephanie Yumansky (2008); Supervised by Irene Gammel

Major Research Paper: During the 1920s, the Stettheimer sisters Ettie, Florine and Carrie opened the doors of their home in tlie Alwyn Court on West 58th Street, New York, to numerous guests, celebrities, poets and artists including Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Gaston Lachaise, Elie Nadelm~; and Paul Thevenaz, dancer Adolph Bolm, playwright Avery Hopwood, writer Sherwood Anderson, as well as critics Carl Van Vechten, Henry McBride and Paul Rosenfeld. Rivaling the era's famous salons of Gertrude Stein and Nathalie Barney in Paris, collectively the sisters created a literary and artistic salon in which art making flourished. The distinctly feminine decor served as a backdrop for Florine's paintings on display in the salon; Ettie would describe the vibrant salon culture in her autobiographical and fictional writings; and Carrie's role as sartorial experimenter would be inscribed in the sisters' paintings and writings. Stettheimer; Florine; 1871-1944; Stettheimer; Carrie Walter; d. 1944; Stettheimer; Ettie; Sisters in literature

Telling Our Stories On The Web: Canadian English-Language Web Series And The Production Of Culture Online
Emilia Zboralska (2018); Supervised by Charles Davis

Dissertation: This dissertation presents the first critical scholarly analysis of the Canadian English-language scripted web series industry, its cultural practices, industrial dynamics and texts. Through in-depth interviews with 48 individuals active in the production of Canadian online scripted content, participant observation, and a benchmark quantitative analysis of gender and race in key creative roles in 175 seasons of Canadian web series, the dissertation investigates the web as an alternative space for Canadian scripted audiovisual content, and the actors and forces that have shaped and are shaping its development, including its emergent patterns of inclusion. By developing a novel theoretical framework that combines the critical political economy of communication with entrepreneurship studies, the dissertation is able to mediate effectively between structure and agency to reveal how Canadian web series creators are interpreting, internalizing and resisting larger institutional dynamics and discourses in their cultural practices and texts. Through their entrepreneuring, Canadian web creators are reacting to a variety of rigidities within the contextual dimensions in which they are embedded, including the absence of meaningful opportunities to practice their crafts, the persistence of networks of exclusion, and inaccurate or missing on-screen representations of themselves or others in mainstream media. Through their work, they desire to achieve freedom from these constraints. The challenge of disrupting the status quo is then revealed through an examination of the domestic and extra-national structural factors that act as impediments to their agency. The dissertation problematizes ideas of participation and access on the web, and introduces new conceptual terminology through the Participatory Culture Paradox, to encapsulate the contradictory set of relations that on the one hand, enables creators’ activities in the online space, and at the same time, constrains their capacity to find audiences and monetize their work. The findings here demonstrate that as much as internet-based distribution has expanded opportunities for participation for regular users, who you are, and where you are based, continue to be salient mediators of both participation and success in the development of professional scripted screen careers in the digital age. The dissertation culminates in actionable priorities for Canadian policy that aim at change.  Media and Culture

'Positive' images?: a critical examination of queer visibility in contemporary popular culture.
Kate Zieman (2004); Supervised by Colin Mooers

Major Research Paper: The past five decades have seen a marked increase in attention to, and representations of, queer people in mainstream popular culture. Within the last ten years, several films and television programs featuring gay men and lesbians have garnered critical acclaim and high ratings among diverse audiences and myriad companies have incorporated queer imagery into their advertising campaigns. Despite fervent protests from socially conservative organizations, this trend shows no signs of abating.-Introduction. commodity capitalism; consumer culture; cultural visibility; gay and lesbian studies; heteronormativity; legal equity; popular culture; queer identities; queer theory; queer visibility. Media and Culture

No Laughing Matter: Political Satire In Canada
Beisan Zubi (2016);

Thesis: This work argues three main points: first, that political satire is a demonstrably powerful form of communicating political ideas, capable of resulting in political action; second, political satire has not reached the levels of influence and effectiveness in Canada as it has in the United States due to many obstacles, including our communications landscape and political culture; and third, the internet could potentially transform the playing field and negate those obstacles, creating the winning conditions for emergent debates and political critiques that also entertain.  

Funny feelings: taking love to the cinema with Woody Allen
Zorianna Zurba (2015);

Dissertation: This dissertation utilizes the films of Woody Allen in order to position the cinema as a site where realizing and practicing an embodied experience of love is possible. This dissertation challenges pessimistic readings of Woody Allen’s film that render love difficult, if not impossible. By challenging assumptions about love, this dissertation opens a dialogue not only about the representation of love, but the understanding of love. Rather than a Platonic love of unity, this dissertation combines the phenomenological work of Luce Irigaray and Jean-Luc Marion to describe a love of letting be. A love of letting be focuses on the lived experience of love as a phenomenology. In a love of letting be it is the intent of both lovers to regard each other as an unknowable whole, whom they must support and whose mystery they must protect. The transformations of four characters from Allen’s cinema, Allan Felix of Play it Again, Sam, Alvy Singer of Annie Hall, Cecilia of The Purple Rose of Cairo, and Mickey Sachs of Hannah and her Sisters serve as illustrations of how coming to a love of letting be is possible. The four characters, the nervous romantics, come to understand a love of letting be through their experience in the cinema. Their experience in the cinema comes to enlighten their understanding and living of love as a love of letting be.  

Faculty Research - Recent Publications

Akanbi, Opeyemi. 2021. “A Market-Based Rationale for the Privacy Paradox.” Media, Culture & Society, no. Journal Article: 16344372110158.

Allen, Gene. 2016. “Catching up with the Competition: The International Expansion of Associated Press, 1920-1945.” Journalism Studies (London, England) 17 (6): 747–62.

———. 2018. “Canada before Television: Radio, Taste, and the Struggle for Cultural Democracy by Len Kuffert (Review).” University of Toronto Quarterly 87 (3): 400–402.

Almeida, Shana. 2019a. “Mythical Encounters: Challenging Racism in the Diverse City.” International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 39 (11/12): 937–49.

———. 2019b. “(Re)Cognition.” Critical Social Work 14 (2).

Almeida, Shana, and Siseko H. Kumalo. 2018. “(De)Coloniality through Indigeneity:Deconstructing Calls to Decolonise in the South African and Canadian University Contexts.” Education as Change 22 (1): 1–24.

Alvarez, Natalie. 2017. “Being John McEnroe.” Canadian Theatre Review 169 (Journal Article): 8–14.

———. 2019. “Roots, Routes, RUTAS.” Edited by Lisa Aikman and Kim Solga. Theatre Research in Canada 40 (1–2): 27–41.

Alvarez, Natalie, Kristian Clarke, Frédéric Dubois, Melanie Dreyer-Lude, Weyni Mengesha, Alisa Palmer, Kathryn -- (Director) Shaw, and Jacqueline C. Warwick. 2019. “Institutional Responses to #MeToo: A Conversation.” Canadian Theatre Review 180 (Journal Article): 42–47.

Alvarez, Natalie, Ric Knowles, Sue Balint, and Peter Farbridge. 2018. “Cultural Diversity as Theatrical Practice.” Edited by Lisa Aikman and Kim Solga. Theatre Research in Canada 39 (1).

Alvarez, Natalie, and Kim Solga. 2019. “Living the Interdiscipline: Natalie Alvarez Speaks with Kim Solga about Conceiving, Developing, Managing, and Learning from a Large-Scale, Multidisciplinary, Scenario-Based Project Supporting Police de-Escalation Training in Ontario.” Research in Drama Education 24 (3): 257–66.

Alvarez, Natalie, and Aaron Willis. 2018. “E-Mmersion.” Canadian Theatre Review 173 (Journal Article): 5–8.

Alvarez, Natalie, and Keren Zaiontz. 2018. “Feminist Performance Forensics.” Contemporary Theatre Review 28 (3): 285–98.

Baek, Eunsoo, Ho Jung Choo, and Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee. 2018. “Using Warmth as the Visual Design of a Store: Intimacy, Relational Needs, and Approach Intentions.” Journal of Business Research 88 (Journal Article): 91–101.

Baek, Eunsoo, Zhihong Huang, and Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee. 2021. “More than What Meets the Eye: Understanding the Effects of Poly-Contextual Cues in Online Fashion Retailing.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 60 (Journal Article): 102504.

Barry, Ben. 2017. “Enclothed Knowledge: The Fashion Show as a Method of Dissemination in Arts-Informed Research.” Forum, Qualitative Social Research 18 (3).

———. 2018. “(Re)Fashioning Masculinity: Social Identity and Context in Men’s Hybrid Masculinities through Dress.” Gender & Society 32 (5): 638–62.

———. 2019. “Fabulous Masculinities: Refashioning the Fat and Disabled Male Body.” Fashion Theory 23 (2): 275–307.

———. 2021. “How to Transform Fashion Education: A Manifesto for Equity, Inclusion and Decolonization.” International Journal of Fashion Studies 8 (1): 123–30.

Barry, Ben, and Daniel Drak. 2019. “Intersectional Interventions into Queer and Trans Liberation: Youth Resistance Against Right-Wing Populism Through Fashion Hacking.” Fashion Theory 23 (6): 679–709.

Barry, Ben, and Dylan Martin. 2016. “Fashionably Fit: Young Men’s Dress Decisions and Appearance Anxieties.” Textile : The Journal of Cloth and Culture 14 (3): 326–47.

Berland, Jody. 2017. “Assembling the (Non)Human: The Animal as Medium.” Imaginations (Edmonton, Alberta) 8 (3): 139–52.

———. 2019. “McLuhan and Posthumanism: Extending the Techno-Animal Embrace.” Canadian Journal of Communication 44 (4): 567–84.

Berridge, Susan, and Laura Portwood-Stacer. 2017. “Introduction: Feminism, Media, and Care.” Feminist Media Studies 17 (2): 297–297.

Bhardwaj, Arjun, Israr Qureshi, Alison M. Konrad, and Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee. 2016. “A Two-Wave Study of Self-Monitoring Personality, Social Network Churn, and In-Degree Centrality in Close Friendship and General Socializing Networks.” Group & Organization Management 41 (4): 526–59.

Boyd, Jason. 2016. “From Literature to Biterature: Lem, Turing, Darwin, and Explorations in Computer Literature, Philosophy of Mind, and Cultural Evolution by Peter SwirskiPeter Swirski. From Literature to Biterature: Lem, Turing, Darwin, and Explorations in Computer Literature, Philosophy of Mind, and Cultural Evolution. McGill-Queen’s University Press. Viii, 236. $29.95.” University of Toronto Quarterly 85 (3): 305–6.

———. 2017. “Cultural Mapping and the Digital Sphere: Place and Space, Edited by Ruth Panofsky and Kathleen KellettRuth Panofsky and Kathleen Kellett, Eds. Cultural Mapping and the Digital Sphere: Place and Space. University of Alberta Press. Xvi, 312. $39.95.” University of Toronto Quarterly 86 (3): 123–24.

Bruce, Jean, and Zoë Druick. 2017. “Haunted Houses: Gender and Property Television after the Financial Crisis.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 20 (5): 483–89.

Bruce, Jean M. 2017. “A Screwball Property: Love It or List It as Postfeminist Realty TV.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 20 (5): 543–59.

Bulgurcu, Burcu, Wietske Van Osch, and Gerald C. (Jerry) Kane. 2018. “The Rise of the Promoters: User Classes and Contribution Patterns in Enterprise Social Media.” Journal of Management Information Systems 35 (2): 610–46.

Burwell, Jennifer. 2019. “Imagining the Beyond: The Social and Political Fashioning of Outer Space.” Space Policy 48 (Journal Article): 41–49.

Campbell, Miranda. 2016. “Downward Mobility and the Individualization of Youth Struggle: Girls as Public Pedagogy.” Jeunesse, Young People, Texts, Cultures 8 (1): 180–201.

———. 2020. “‘Shit Is Hard, Yo’: Young People Making a Living in the Creative Industries.” International Journal of Cultural Policy : CP 26 (4): 524–43.

———. 2021. “Reimagining the Creative Industries in the Community Arts Sector.” Cultural Trends, no. Journal Article: 1–20.

Chandler, Eliza. 2017a. “Reflections on Cripping the Arts in Canada.” Art Journal (New York. 1960) 76 (3–4): 56–59.

———. 2017b. “Troubled Walking: Storying the In-Between.” Journal of Narrative Theory 47 (3): 317–36.

———. 2018. “Review of More Than Meets the Eye: What Blindness Brings to Art.” Disability Studies Quarterly 38 (3).

Chandler, Eliza, Katie Aubrecht, Esther Ignagni, and Carla Rice. 2021. “Cripistemologies of Disability Arts and Culture: Reflections on the Cripping the Arts Symposium (Editors’ Introduction).” Studies in Social Justice 15 (2): 170–79.

Chandler, Eliza, Esther Ignagni, and Kimberlee Collins. 2021. “Communicating Access, Accessing Communication (Dispatch).” Studies in Social Justice 15 (2): 230–38.

Chaudhry, Irfan, and Anatoliy Gruzd. 2020. “Expressing and Challenging Racist Discourse on Facebook: How Social Media Weaken the ‘Spiral of Silence’ Theory.” Policy and Internet 12 (1): 88–108.

Chen, Sibo. 2016a. “Knowledge Workers in Contemporary China: Reform and Resistance in the Publishing Industry.” Canadian Journal of Communication 41 (3): 537.

———. 2016b. “Saving the World: A Brief History of Communication for Development and Social Change.” Canadian Journal of Communication 41 (4): 1.

———. 2017a. “Disciplinary Variations in Academic Promotional Writing: The Case of Statements of Purpose.” Functional Linguistics 4 (1): 1–14.

———. 2017b. “Environmental Disputes in China: A Case Study of Media Coverage of the 2012 Ningbo Anti-PX Protest.” Global Media and China 2 (3–4): 303–16.

———. 2018. “Exploring the Formation of the ‘Leave-It-to-Experts’ Storyline during the Initial Outbreak of the 2013 Smog Hazard in Beijing.” Chinese Journal of Communication 11 (4): 385–99.

———. 2019. “How to Discredit a Social Movement: Negative Framing of ‘Idle No More’ in Canadian Print Media.” Environmental Communication 13 (2): 144–51.

———. 2020. “Debating Extractivism: Stakeholder Communications in British Columbia’s Liquefied Natural Gas Controversy.” SAGE Open 10 (4).

Chen, Sibo, and Shane Gunster. 2019. “China as Janus: The Framing of China by British Columbia’s Alternative Public Sphere.” Chinese Journal of Communication 12 (4): 431–48.

Chen, Sibo, and Hossein Nassaji. 2018. “Focus on Form and Corrective Feedback Research at the University of Victoria, Canada.” Language Teaching 51 (2): 278–83.

Chew, May, Susan Lord, and Janine Marchessault. 2018. “Introduction.” Public (Toronto) 29 (57): 5–10.

Choukah, Sarah, and Philippe Theophanidis. 2016. “Emergence and Ontogenetics: Towards a Communication without Agent.” Edited by David Jaclin and Philippe Theophanidis. Social Science Information 55 (3): 286–99.

Chu, Jean Ho, and Ali Mazalek. 2019. “Embodied Engagement with Narrative: A Design Framework for Presenting Cultural Heritage Artifacts.” Multimodal Technologies and Interaction 3 (1): 1.

Clement, Andrew, and Jonathan A. Obar. 2016. “Keeping Internet Users in the Know or in the Dark: An Analysis of the Data Privacy Transparency of Canadian Internet Carriers.” Journal of Information Policy (University Park, Pa.) 6 (1): 294–331.

Clifton, Paul G., Jack Shen-Kuen Chang, Georgina Yeboah, Alison Doucette, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, Michael Nitsche, Timothy Welsh, and Ali Mazalek. 2016. “Design of Embodied Interfaces for Engaging Spatial Cognition.” Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 1 (1): 1–15.

Colangelo, David. 2018. “Hitchcock, Film Studies, And New Media : The Impact Of Technology On The Analysis Of Film.” In Technology and Film Scholarship, edited by Santiago Hidalgo and André Gaudreault, 127–48. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Coulter, Natalie, and Kristine Moruzi. 2020. “Woke Girls: From The Girl’s Realm to Teen Vogue.” Feminist Media Studies, no. Journal Article: 1–15.

Culpepper, Mary Kay, and David Gauntlett. 2020. “Making and Learning Together: Where the Makerspace Mindset Meets Platforms for Creativity.” Edited by Klaus Thestrup. Global Studies of Childhood 10 (3): 264–74.

David, Alison Matthews. 2019. “First Impressions: Footprints as Forensic Evidence in Crime in Fact and Fiction.” Costume 53 (1): 43–66.

Davis halifax, Nancy viva. 2019. “Do You Know Why You’re Here?” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 8 (4): 4–5.

Dehghani, Milad, Fulya Acikgoz, Atefeh Mashatan, and Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee. n.d. “A Holistic Analysis towards Understanding Consumer Perceptions of Virtual Reality Devices in the Post-Adoption Phase.” Behaviour & Information Technology ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print): 1–19.

Dehghani, Milad, Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee, and Atefeh Mashatan. 2020. “Touching Holograms with Windows Mixed Reality: Renovating the Consumer Retailing Services.” Technology in Society 63 (Journal Article): 101394.

Derkatch, Colleen. 2018. “The Self-Generating Language of Wellness and Natural Health.” Rhetoric of Health & Medicine 1 (1): 132–60.

Derkatch, Colleen, and Philippa Spoel. 2017. “Public Health Promotion of ‘Local Food’: Constituting the Self-Governing Citizen-Consumer.” Health (London, England : 1997) 21 (2): 154–70.

Driver, Susan. 2017. “An Ethics of Networked Caring within Young People’s Everyday Lives.” Feminist Media Studies 17 (2): 297–301.

Dubois, Louis-Etienne, and Chris Gibbs. 2018a. “Video Game–Induced Tourism: A New Frontier for Destination Marketers.” Tourism Review (Association Internationale d’experts Scientifiques Du Tourisme) 73 (2): 186–98.

———. 2018b. “Video Game–Induced Tourism: A New Frontier for Destination Marketers.” Tourism Review (Association Internationale d’experts Scientifiques Du Tourisme) 73 (2): 186–98.

Dubois, Louis-Etienne, Tom Griffin, Christopher Gibbs, and Daniel Guttentag. 2021. “The Impact of Video Games on Destination Image.” Current Issues in Tourism 24 (4): 554–66.

Dubois, Louis-Étienne, Pascal Le Masson, Patrick Cohendet, and Laurent Simon. 2016. “LE CO-DESIGN: AU SERVICE DES COMMUNAUTÉS CRÉATIVES.” Gestion 41 (2): 70.

Dubois, Louis-Etienne, and Johanna Weststar. 2021. “Games-as-a-Service: Conflicted Identities on the New Front-Line of Video Game Development.” New Media & Society, no. Journal Article: 146144482199581.

Elmer, Greg. 2017. “A New Medium Goes Public: The Financialization of Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company.” New Media & Society 19 (11): 1829–47.

———. 2019a. “Prospecting Facebook: The Limits of the Economy of Attention.” Media, Culture & Society 41 (3): 332–46.

———. 2019b. “The Rise of Documentary Filmmaking in Communication Studies.” Canadian Journal of Communication 44 (4): 595–602.

———. 2020. “Secret Cities, Closed Cities: Amazement, Bafflement, Fear, and Anxiety.” Canadian Journal of Communication 45 (3): 463–72.

———. 2021. “Media Scarcity in an Age of Information Abundance: The Case of MK Veterans.” Media, Culture & Society 43 (4): 701–15.

Fisher, Laura R. 2019. Reading for Reform: The Social Work of Literature in the Progressive Era. Book, Whole. University of Minnesota Press.

Freeman, Julie, Sora Park, and Catherine Middleton. 2020. “Technological Literacy and Interrupted Internet Access.” Information, Communication & Society 23 (13): 1947–64.

Fresco, Estee. 2020. “In LeBron James’ Promotional Skin: Self-Branded Athletes and Fans’ Immaterial Labour.” Journal of Consumer Culture 20 (4): 440–56.

Friedman, May. 2017a. “Mad/Fat/Diary: Exploring Contemporary Feminist Thought through My Mad Fat Diary.” Feminist Media Studies 17 (6): 1073–87.

———. 2017b. “Mad/Fat/Diary: Exploring Contemporary Feminist Thought ThroughMy Mad Fat Diary.” Feminist Media Studies 17 (6): 1073–87.

Gamble, J. M., Robyn L. Traynor, Anatoliy Gruzd, Philip Mai, Colin R. Dormuth, and Ingrid S. Sketris. 2020. “Measuring the Impact of Pharmacoepidemiologic Research Using Altmetrics: A Case Study of a CNODES Drug‐safety Article.” Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 29 (S1): 93–102.

Gammel, Irene. 2016a. “Avant-Garde and Counter-Culture Made in Canada.” Journal of Canadian Studies 50 (1): 244–51.

———. 2016b. “Avant-Garde and Counter-Culture Made in CanadaAvant-Garde Canadian Literature: The Early Manifestations. By Gregory Betts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013. 328pp. $48.75 (Cloth) ISBN 978-1-4426-4377-2Personal Modernisms: Anarchist Networks and the Later Avant-Gardes. By James Gifford. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2014. 352pp. $34.95 (Paper) ISBN 978-1-77212-001-1Poetic Community: Avant-Garde Activism and Cold War Culture. By Stephen Voyce. Toronto: University of Toronto Pres.” Journal of Canadian Studies 50 (1): 244–51.

———. 2016c. “Urban Space and Cultural Imagination: Representation of Working Girls in Theodore Dreiser’s Novels.” Studies in American Naturalism 11 (2): 92–95.

———. 2018. “‘We Are the Dead’: Rhetoric, Community and the Making of John McCrae’s Iconic War Poem.” First World War Studies 9 (1): 1–18.

Gauntlett, David. 2018. Making Is Connecting: The Social Power of Creativity, from Craft and Knitting to Digital Everything. Second expand. Book, Whole. Newark: Polity Press.

Gibbs, Chris, Ulrike Gretzel, and Jesse Saltzman. 2016. “An Experience-Based Taxonomy of Branded Hotel Mobile Application Features.” Information Technology & Tourism 16 (2): 175–99.

Gibbs, Chris, Daniel Guttentag, Ulrike Gretzel, Jym Morton, and Alasdair Goodwill. 2018. “Pricing in the Sharing Economy: A Hedonic Pricing Model Applied to Airbnb Listings.” Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing 35 (1): 46–56.

Gibbs, Chris, Daniel Guttentag, Ulrike Gretzel, Lan Yao, and Jym Morton. 2018. “Use of Dynamic Pricing Strategies by Airbnb Hosts.” International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 30 (1): 2–20.

Goodman, Rob. 2016. “Why Donald Trump Needs to Take a Salary.” Politico, 2016, U.S. edition.

———. 2017. “What the King of Hawaii Can Teach Us About Trump.” Politico, 2017, U.S. edition.

———. 2018a. “Eloquence and Its Conditions.” ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

———. 2018b. “Hey Democrats, Fighting Fair Is for Suckers.” Politico, 2018, U.S. edition.

———. 2018c. “Investigations Won’t Defeat Trumpism. Strengthening Democracy Will.” Politico, 2018, U.S. edition.

Goodman, Rob. 2018. “The Deliberative Sublime: Edmund Burke on Disruptive Speech and Imaginative Judgment.” The American Political Science Review 112 (2): 267–79.

Goodman, Rob. 2018d. “The Ugly History behind the Administration’s Anti-Union Campaign.” University Wire, 2018.

———. 2019a. “‘I Tremble with My Whole Heart’: Cicero on the Anxieties of Eloquence.” European Journal of Political Theory, no. Journal Article: 147488511984311.

———. 2019b. “What Elizabeth Warren Gets Wrong About Impeachment.” Politico, 2019, U.S. edition.

———. 2020. “‘The Low Principles of Jurisprudence’: Legal Indeterminacy in Edmund Burke’s Impeachment of Warren Hastings.” The Review of Politics 82 (3): 459–83.

Goodman, Rob, and Samuel Bagg. 2021. “Preaching to the Choir? Rhetoric and Identity in a Polarized Age.” The Journal of Politics, no. Journal Article.

Gruzd, Anatoliy, Jenna Jacobson, Barry Wellman, and Philip Mai. 2016. “Understanding Communities in an Age of Social Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Complicated.” Information, Communication & Society 19 (9): 1187–93.

Gruzd, Anatoliy, Priya Kumar, Deena Abul-Fottouh, and Caroline Haythornthwaite. 2020. “Coding and Classifying Knowledge Exchange on Social Media: A Comparative Analysis of the #Twitterstorians and AskHistorians Communities.” Computer Supported Cooperative Work 29 (6): 629–56.

Gunn, Frances, Anna Cappuccitti, and Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee. 2020. “Towards Professionalising Canadian Retail Management Careers.” International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management 49 (3): 287–302.

Halifax, Nancy Viva davis. 2017. “Apology, under Erasure.” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 6 (3): 211.

halifax, nancy viva davis, David Fancy, Jen Rinaldi, Kate Rossiter, and Alex Tigchelaar. 2018. “Recounting Huronia Faithfully: Attenuating Our Methodology to the ‘Fabulation’ of Truths-Telling.” Cultural Studies, Critical Methodologies 18 (3): 216–27.

Hall-Newton, Kathryn, Janice Rudkowski, Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee, Jacqueline Hogue, and Polina Ratnichkina. 2019. “Mobile Devices in the Lecture Hall: Into It, Indifferent, or Intrusion?” Journal of Education for Business 94 (6): 390–99.

Ingram, Susan. 2016. “Creative Thinking on the Conwy: Translated Memories of a Contested Transitional Space.” Transcultural (Edmonton) 8 (1): 134–40.

———. 2018a. “INTRODUCTION: THE LATVIAN LAOS.” Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 45 (1): 7.

———. 2018b. “Refiguring Red Vienna: Alternative Forms of Currency and Community in Michael Riebl’s Planet Ottakring.” Seminar : A Journal of Germanic Studies (Toronto) 54 (4): 442–55.

———. 2018c. “Where the Boys Who Keep Swinging Are Now: Locational Relationality in Hedi Slimane and Helmut Lang.” Edited by Markus Reisenleitner. Imaginations (Edmonton, Alberta) 9 (2): 67–83.

———. 2019a. “Comparing Literatures in Canada: Joseph Pivato and the Postculture of Disappearance.” Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 46 (2): 364–79.

———. 2019b. “Constellating Stardom, Berlin-Style: Bowie, Christiane F, Hedi Slimane.” Celebrity Studies 10 (1): 14–24.

———. 2020. “Translating Affect: David Bowie’s Lazarus in German.” Delos (College Park, Md.) 35 (1): 63–79.

———. 2021. “Ravishing Vancouver Circa 1948: Life Writing and the Immersive Translation of Noir Aesthetics.” Imaginations (Edmonton, Alberta) 11 (3).

Jacobson, Jenna. 2016a. “Networked Spectators.” Online Information Review 40 (6): 746–60.

———. 2016b. “Networked Spectators.” Online Information Review 40 (6): 746–60.

———. 2017. “‘I Work in Social’: Community Managers and Personal Branding in Social Media.” ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

———. 2020a. “You Are a Brand: Social Media Managers’ Personal Branding and ‘the Future Audience.’” The Journal of Product & Brand Management 29 (6): 715–27.

———. 2020b. “You Are a Brand: Social Media Managers’ Personal Branding and ‘the Future Audience.’” The Journal of Product & Brand Management 29 (6): 715–27.

Jacobson, Jenna, and Anatoliy Gruzd. 2020a. “Cybervetting Job Applicants on Social Media: The New Normal?” Ethics and Information Technology 22 (2): 175–95.

Jacobson, Jenna, Anatoliy Gruzd, and Ángel Hernández-García. 2020a. “Social Media Marketing: Who Is Watching the Watchers?” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 53 (Journal Article): 101774.

———. 2020b. “Social Media Marketing: Who Is Watching the Watchers?” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 53 (Journal Article): 101774.

Jacobson, Jenna Leving. 2017. “Nation, Violence, Memory: Interrupting the Foundational Discourse in Sab.” Hispanic Issues on Line 18 (Journal Article): 174.

Jacobson, Jenna, Chang Z. Lin, and Rhonda McEwen. 2017. “Aging with Technology: Seniors and Mobile Connections.” Canadian Journal of Communication 42 (2).

Jacobson, Jenna, and Leslie Regan Shade. 2018. “Stringtern: Springboarding or Stringing along Young Interns’ Careers?” Journal of Education and Work 31 (3): 320–37.

Jamal, Amina. 2021. “Piety, Transgression, And The Feminist Debate On Muslim Women: Resituating The Victim-Subject Of Honor-Related Violence From A Transnational Lens.” International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies IJCYFS 12 (1): 49–72.

Joseph, Ameil J., Julia Janes, Harjeet Badwall, and Shana Almeida. 2020. “Preserving White Comfort and Safety: The Politics of Race Erasure in Academe.” Social Identities 26 (2): 166–85.

Kane, Carolyn. 2018. “The Toxic Sublime: Landscape Photography and Data Visualization.” Theory, Culture & Society 35 (3): 121–47.

———. 2020. “Bright Signals: A History of Color Television by Susan Murray (Review).” Technology and Culture 61 (1): 375–76.

Kane, Carolyn L. 2016. “GIFs That Glitch: Eyeball Aesthetics for the Attention Economy.” Communication Design (Abingdon. Online) 4 (1–2): 41–62.

———. 2020. “Neon Visions: From Techno-Optimism to Urban Vice.” Visual Communication (London, England), no. Journal Article: 147035722091245.

Kennedy, Melanie, and Natalie Coulter. 2018a. “Introduction: Locating Tween Girls.” Girlhood Studies 11 (1): 1–7.

———. 2018b. “Locating Tween Girls.” Girlhood Studies 11 (1): 1–7.

Laganse, Carmela, and Taien Ng-Chan. 2020. “Radical Decentering.” Edited by Saelan Twerdy and Mitchell Frank. RACAR 45 (1): 77–80.

LaMarre, Andrea, Carla Rice, Katie Cook, and May Friedman. 2020. “Fat Reproductive Justice: Navigating the Boundaries of Reproductive Health Care.” Journal of Social Issues 76 (2): 338–62.

Langlois, Ganaele. 2019. “Distributed Intelligence: Silk-Weaving and the Jacquard Mechanism.” Canadian Journal of Communication 44 (4): 555–66.

Langlois, Ganaele, and Greg Elmer. 2019. “Impersonal Subjectivation from Platforms to Infrastructures.” Edited by Jean-Christophe Plantin and Aswin Punathambekar. Media, Culture & Society 41 (2): 236–51.

Lee Loy, Anne-Marie. 2007. “The Chinese Shop as Nation Theatre in West Indian Fiction.” Anthurium 5 (1): 5.

Lee, Seung Hwan (Mark), Alan Brandt, Yuni Groff, Alyssa Lopez, and Tyler Neavin. 2017. “I’ll Laugh, but I Won’t Share: The Role of Darkness on Evaluation and Sharing of Humorous Online Taboo Ads.” Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing 11 (1): 75–90.

Lee-Loy, Anne-Marie. 2013. “Minding the Gaps: How a Canadian Jamaican Victorianist Wandered into Caribbean Asian America.” Anthurium 10 (2): 19.

———. 2015a. “In Another Moment: Exploring Chineseness as Caribbean Diasporic Identity.” Anthurium 12 (1): 1.

———. 2015b. “What Does It Mean to Live with the Physiognomy and Cultural Heritage of Chineseness in the Caribbean?” Anthurium 12 (1): 3.

Light, Evan. 2016. “The Snowden Archive-in-a-Box: A Year of Travelling Experiments in Outreach and Education.” Big Data & Society 3 (2): 205395171666686.

Light, Evan, Jutta Lauth Bacas, Jeff Deutch, Daphne Dragona, Katrin M. Kämpf, Marta Peirano, Valentina Pellizzer, et al. 2017. “Infrastructures of Dis/Connection: Of Drones, Migration, and Digital Care.” Imaginations (Edmonton, Alberta) 8 (2): 56–63.

Loy, Anne-Marie Lee. 2010. “Neutral Aliens: A Nineteenth-Century Tradition of Chinese Representation in Twentieth-Century Caribbean Fiction.” Anthurium 7 (1): 9.

Luka, Mary Elizabeth, and Catherine Middleton. 2017. “Citizen Involvement during the CRTC’s Let’s Talk TV Consultation.” Canadian Journal of Communication 42 (1).

———. 2019a. “The LTTV Consultations: Mapping Old and New Interests in Television Today.” Canadian Journal of Communication 44 (2).

———. 2019b. “The LTTV Consultations: Mapping Old and New Interests in Television Today.” Canadian Journal of Communication 44 (2): PP3–12.

MacLennan, Anne. 2018. “Canada Before Television: Radio, Taste, and the Struggle for Cultural Democracy.” Canadian Journal of Communication 43 (3): 1–3.

MacLennan, Anne F. 2016. “Transcending Borders: Reaffirming Radio’s Cultural Value in Canada and Beyond.” Journal of Radio & Audio Media 23 (2): 197–99.

———. 2020. “Celebrating a Hundred Years of Broadcasting - An Introduction and Timeline.” Journal of Radio & Audio Media 27 (2): 191–207.

MacLennan, Anne Frances. 2018. “Private Broadcasting and the Path to Radio Broadcasting Policy in Canada.” Media and Communication (Lisboa) 6 (1): 13–20.

Matthews David, Alison. 2016. “Blazing Ballet Girls and Flannelette Shrouds: Fabric, Fire, and Fear in the Long Nineteenth Century.” Textile : The Journal of Cloth and Culture 14 (2): 244–67.

Matthews David, Alison, Ben Barry, and Ryerson University. The Creative School. n.d. “Fashion Studies.” Fashion Studies, no. Journal, Electronic.

Mauk, Maureen, Rebekah Willett, and Natalie Coulter. 2020. “The Can-Do Girl Goes to Coding Camp: A Discourse Analysis of News Reports on Coding Initiatives Designed for Girls.” Learning, Media and Technology 45 (4): 395–408.

May, Steven James, and Catherine Middleton. 2019a. “Jean-Pierre Blais’ ‘Magic Items’: Over-the-Air Digital Television Delivery as Canadian Regulatory Revelation.” Canadian Journal of Communication 44 (2).

———. 2019b. “Jean-Pierre Blais’ ‘Magic Items’: Over-the-Air Digital Television Delivery as Canadian Regulatory Revelation.” Canadian Journal of Communication 44 (2): PP13–22.

McCabe-Bennett, Hanna, Olivia Provost-Walker, Richard Lachman, Todd A. Girard, and Martin M. Antony. 2020. “A Virtual Reality Study of Experiential Avoidance, Emotional Experiences, and Hoarding Symptoms.” Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders 27 (Journal Article).

McCullough, John. 2016. “Shooting From the East: Filmmaking on the Canadian Atlantic By Darrell Varga Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015.” Canadian Journal of Film Studies 25 (2): 124–26.

Moore, Paul S. 2019a. “‘Bought, Sold, Exchanged and Rented’: The Early Film Exchange and the Market in Secondhand Films in New York Clipper Classified Ads.” Film History (New York, N.Y.) 31 (2): 1–31.

———. 2019b. “The Optical Vacuum: Spectatorship and Modernized American Theatre Architecture by Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece (Review).” Canadian Journal of Film Studies 28 (2): 92–95.


Mudry, Jessica. 2018. “Introduction: Nutritional Science in Historical Perspective.” Global Food History 4 (2): 109–11.

Nagam, Julie. 2016. “Deciphering the Refusal of the Digital and Binary Codes of Sovereignty/Self-Determination and Civilized/Savage.” Public (Toronto) 27 (54): 78–89.

Neverson, Nicole, and Charles T. Adeyanju. 2018. “Worth a Thousand Words: Tasers, New Media Events, and Narrative Struggle.” Journalism Studies (London, England) 19 (11): 1633–51.

Obar, Jonathan A. 2019. “Searching for Data Privacy Self-Management: Individual Data Control and Canada’s Digital Strategy.” Canadian Journal of Communication 44 (2): PP35–41.

———. 2020. “Sunlight Alone Is Not a Disinfectant: Consent and the Futility of Opening Big Data Black Boxes (without Assistance).” Big Data & Society 7 (1): 205395172093561.

Obar, Jonathan A., and Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch. 2018. “The Clickwrap: A Political Economic Mechanism for Manufacturing Consent on Social Media.” Social Media + Society 4 (3): 205630511878477.

———. 2020. “The Biggest Lie on the Internet: Ignoring the Privacy Policies and Terms of Service Policies of Social Networking Services.” Information, Communication & Society 23 (1): 128–47.

Ojo, Tokunbo. 2016a. “Global Agenda and ICT4D in Africa: Constraints of Localizing ‘Universal Norm.’” Telecommunications Policy 40 (7): 704–13.

———. 2016b. “Neo-Gramscian Approach and Geopolitics of ICT4D Agenda.” Global Media Journal Canadian Edition 9 (1): 23–35.

———. 2017. “Political Economy of Huawei’s Market Strategies in the Nigerian Telecommunication Market.” The International Communication Gazette 79 (3): 317–32.

———. 2018a. “Changing the Game in Nigeria? Appropriating Internet and Web 2.0 for Sport Communication.” Soccer and Society 19 (2): 222–35.

———. 2018b. “Media Ownership and Market Structures: Banes of News Media Sustainability in Nigeria?” Media, Culture & Society 40 (8): 1270–80.

———. 2020. “Through Their Eyes: Reporters’ Challenges in Covering China-Africa Relations.” Journalism Practice 14 (10): 1179–92.

Oriola, Temitope B., Heather Rollwagen, Nicole Neverson, and Charles T. Adeyanju. 2016. “Public Support for Conducted Energy Weapons: Evidence from the 2014 Alberta Survey.” Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice 58 (4): 530–64.

Osborne, Dana. 2018. “‘Ay, Nosebleed!’: Negotiating the Place of English in Contemporary Philippine Linguistic Life.” Language & Communication 58 (Journal Article): 118–33.

———. 2020a. “Codeswitching Practices from ‘Other Tongues’ to the ‘Mother Tongue’ in the Provincial Philippine Classroom.” Linguistics and Education 55 (Journal Article): 100780.

———. 2020b. “The Promise of English: Benevolent Assimilation, Education, and Nationalism in the Philippines.” Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, no. Journal Article: 1–14.

Osch, Wietske van, and Burcu Bulgurcu. 2020. “Idea Generation in Enterprise Social Media: Open versus Closed Groups and Their Network Structures.” Journal of Management Information Systems 37 (4): 904–32.

Park, Sora, Julie Freeman, and Catherine Middleton. 2019. “Intersections between Connectivity and Digital Inclusion in Rural Communities.” Communication Research and Practice 5 (2): 139–55.

Pelkey, Jamin. 2018a. “Emptiness and Desire in the First Rule of Logic.” Sign Systems Studies 46 (4): 467–90.

———. 2018b. “Upright Posture and the Meaning of Meronymy: A Synthesis of Metaphoric and Analytic Accounts.” Cognitive Semiotics 11 (1): 273.

Rajabiun, Reza, and Catherine Middleton. 2017. “Regulatory Federalism and Broadband Divergence: Implications of Invoking Europe in the Making of Canadian Telecom Policy.” Inter Economics 52 (4): 217–25.

———. 2018. “Strategic Choice and Broadband Divergence in the Transition to next Generation Networks: Evidence from Canada and the U.S.” Telecommunications Policy 42 (1): 37–50.

Rice, Carla, Eliza Chandler, Kirsty Liddiard, Jen Rinaldi, and Elisabeth Harrison. 2018. “Pedagogical Possibilities for Unruly Bodies.” Gender and Education 30 (5): 663–82.

Rice, Carla, Elisabeth Harrison, and May Friedman. 2019. “Doing Justice to Intersectionality in Research.” Cultural Studies, Critical Methodologies 19 (6): 409–20.

Roberts, Phillip, and Paul S. Moore. 2016. “Objects, Archives and Collections.” Edited by Phillip Roberts and Paul S. Moore. Early Popular Visual Culture 14 (4): 297–301.

Rogers, Janine, and Sophie Thomas. 2019. “Introduction: On the Properties of Things: Collective Knowledge and the Objects of the Museum.” Museum and Society 17 (3): 282–88.

Rothe, Dawn L., and Stephen Muzzatti. 2018. “Mortuuspolitics: Politicization of the Dead, Capitalism, and Inequality.” Contemporary Justice Review : CJR 21 (3): 327–37.

Sanders, Leslie. 2016. “An Urgent Matter.” Topia (Montreal) 36 (Journal Article): 66–68.

———. 2019. “‘Maybe This Wide Country’: African Canadian Writing and the Poetics of Space.” Women’s Studies 48 (6): 610–25.

Sanders, Leslie, Liam Rodrigues, and Kay Li. 2016. “Enhanced Student Engagement and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Innovations in the SAGITTARIUS–ORION–Shaw Literature Digitizing Pilot Project.” Shaw 36 (2): 272–89.

Sandilands, Catriona. 2017a. “Fear of a Queer Plant?” GLQ 23 (3): 419–29.

———. 2017b. “Making Kin, Making Trouble: Donna Haraway’s Critical Ongoingness.” Annals of Science 74 (4): 326–30.

———. 2018. “Into This Blue: Betsy Warland’s Queer Ecopoetics.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 25 (1): 186.

Sergueeva, Ksenia, Norman Shaw, and Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee. 2020. “Understanding the Barriers and Factors Associated with Consumer Adoption of Wearable Technology Devices in Managing Personal Health.” Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences 37 (1): 45–60.

Shtern, Jeremy G. 2019. “‘Let’s Talk TV’ and the Future of Television in Canada.” Canadian Journal of Communication 44 (2).

Shtern, Jeremy, Steph Hill, and Daphne Chan. 2019. “Social Media Influence: Performative Authenticity and the Relational Work of Audience Commodification in the Philippines.” International Journal of Communication (Online), no. Journal Article: 1939.

Simpson, Hyacinth M. 2018a. ““Is All o’ We One?”: Creolization and Ethnic Identification in Samuel Selvon’s ‘Turning Christian.’” Journal of Commonwealth Literature 53 (1): 169–85.

———. 2018b. ““Is All o’ We One?”: Creolization and Ethnic Identification in Samuel Selvon’s ‘Turning Christian.’” Journal of Commonwealth Literature 53 (1): 169–85.

Slane, Andrea, and Ganaele Langlois. 2018. “Debunking the Myth of ‘Not My Bad’: Sexual Images, Consent, and Online Host Responsibilities in Canada.” Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 30 (1): 42–81.

Smith, David Harris, and Frauke Zeller. 2018. “HitchBOT: The Risks and Rewards of a Hitchhiking Robot.” Suomen Antropologi : Suomen Antropologisen Seuran Julkaisu = Antropologi i Finland : Antropologiska Sällskapet i Finland 42 (3): 63–65.

Song, Min Hyoung, Anne-Marie Lee-Loy, and Jennifer Ho. 2016. “Literary Criticism.” Journal of Asian American Studies 19 (3): 423–24.

Spoel, Philippa, and Colleen Derkatch. 2020. “Resilience and Self-Reliance in Canadian Food Charter Discourse.” Poroi 15 (1).

Taylor, Gregory, Catherine Middleton, and Xavier Fernando. 2017. “A Question of Scarcity: Spectrum and Canada’s Urban Core.” Journal of Information Policy (University Park, Pa.) 7 (Journal Article): 120–63.

Theophanidis, Philippe. 2020. “Sua Cuique Persona: The Ambivalent Politics of Masks.” Topia (Montreal) 41 (1): 33–41.

———. 2021. “Image as Translation: The Ideological Implication of the Camera Obscura for Media Studies.” Imaginations (Edmonton, Alberta) 11 (3).

Theophanidis, Philippe, Ghislain Thibault, and Dominique Trudel. 2017. “At the Margins of Cybernetics.” Canadian Journal of Communication 42 (3): 397.

Theophanidis, Philippe and York University. 2020. “In the Distance.” Topia (Montreal) 41 (COVID-19 ESSAYS): 3–3.

Thille, Patricia, May Friedman, and Jenny Setchell. 2017. “Weight-Related Stigma and Health Policy.” Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) 189 (6): E223–24.

Thomas, Sophie. 2016a. “Collection, Exhibition and Evolution: The Romantic Museum.” Literature Compass 13 (10): 681–90.

———. 2016b. “Collection, Exhibition and Evolution: The Romantic Museum: Collection, Exhibition and Evolution.” Literature Compass 13 (10): 681–90.

———. 2017a. “Pompeii, the Body, and the Imprint of the Ancient World.” Word & Image (London. 1985) 33 (3): 303–12.

———. 2017b. “The Soane after Soane: Housing the Museum.” Victorian Review 43 (1): 11–16.

———. 2018. “A ‘Strange and Mixed Assemblage’: Sir John Soane, Archivist of the Self.” Studies in Romanticism 57 (1): 121–42.

———. 2019. “Joséphine Michel, from The Heat Equation.” Museum and Society 17 (3): 313–15.

Thompson, Cheryl. 2019a. “Locating ‘Dixie’ in Newspaper Discourse and Theatrical Performance in Toronto, 1880s to 1920s.” Canadian Review of American Studies 49 (2): 205–25.

———. 2019b. “Rethinking the Archive in the Public Sphere.” Canadian Journal of History 54 (1): 32–38.

———. 2019c. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site and Creolization: The Material and Visual Culture of Archival Memory.” African and Black Diaspora 12 (3): 304–19.

Thorén, Claes, Mats Edenius, Jenny Eriksson Lundström, and Andreas Kitzmann. 2019. “The Hipster’s Dilemma: What Is Analogue or Digital in the Post-Digital Society?” Edited by Helen W. Kennedy and Sarah Atkinson. Convergence (London, England) 25 (2): 324–39.

Tiessen, Matthew. 2018. “Our Anthropocene: Geologies, Biologies, Economies, and New Pursuits of Profit and Power.” Space and Culture 21 (1): 72–85.

Tougas, Michelle E., Christine T. Chambers, Penny Corkum, Julie M. Robillard, Anatoliy Gruzd, Vivian Howard, Andrea Kampen, Katelynn E. Boerner, and Amos S. Hundert. 2018. “Social Media Content About Children’s Pain and Sleep: Content and Network Analysis.” JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting 1 (2): e11193–e11193.

Tschofen, Monique. 2016. “The Denkbild (‘Thought-Image’) in the Age of Digital Reproduction.” Theory, Culture & Society 33 (5): 139–57.

———. 2018. “Ted Blodgett and the Pedagogy of Wonder.” Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 45 (4): 541–44.

Vahedi, Zahra, Jamin Pelkey, Sari Park, and Stéphanie Walsh Matthews. 2021a. “Testing Symmetrical Knot Tracing for Cognitive Priming Effects Rules out Analytic Analogy.” Symmetry (Basel) 13 (34): 34.

———. 2021b. “Testing Symmetrical Knot Tracing for Cognitive Priming Effects Rules out Analytic Analogy.” Symmetry (Basel) 13 (34): 34.

Van der Meulen, Emily, Rai Reece, and Sandra Chu. 2018. “Building Dialogue on Prison Health: Improving Access to Harm Reduction in Federal Prisons.” Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice 60 (3): 299–313.

Viscardis, Katharine, Carla Rice, Victoria Pileggi, Angela Underhill, Eliza Chandler, Nadine Changfoot, Phyllis Montgomery, and Roxanne Mykitiuk. 2019. “Difference Within and Without: Health Care Providers’ Engagement With Disability Arts.” Qualitative Health Research 29 (9): 1287–98.

Wells, Matthew Jason, and Jason Boyd. 2019. “Generating Gameworlds with Computers: The Case for Procedural Creativity.” Information and Learning Science 120 (5/6): 266–84.

Zeller, Frauke, David Harris Smith, Jacky Au Duong, and Alanna Mager. 2020. “Social Media in Human–Robot Interaction.” International Journal of Social Robotics 12 (2): 389–402.

ComCult Alumni - Fulbright Canada Program

The Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program, external link provides the opportunity for outstanding Canadian scholars to lecture and/or conduct research in the United States. Congratulations to our program alumni who have been awarded this prestigious scholarship!

Award Year
ComCult Fulbright Scholars and Fulbright Students
2019-2020 The home movie, digitization and aura
Stephen Broomer (ComCult PhD '15)
2013-2014 Segmenting the Masses: Historical Approaches to Niche Marketing, 1945-1979
Daniel Guadagnolo (ComCult MA '13)

Research Labs and Institutes

Ryerson and York are home to many centres for research, providing a range of disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary activities. The following is a list of some of the research centres, chairs, and labs with which ComCult faculty and graduate students are and have been affiliated.

Ryerson and York are located in Canada's largest and most diverse city - home to several universities and world-renowned cultural institutions. As a ComCult student, you can access many other resources, including adjunct faculty and visiting lecturers. Other benefits include exposure to many culture- and communication-based industries and activities that can be used to inform your studies.