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Future Communications Conference | Open House

The York-Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture invites you to participate in "Future Communications", a one-day symposium and Open House for current and prospective graduate students.

The conference features paper presentations, poster presentations, roundtable discussions, workshops, and creative artwork. Both ongoing and completed research is welcome. The conference is intended especially to support the development of student researchers in early stages.

The theme “Future Communications” can be interpreted broadly to include investigations of all aspects of culture, media, politics, policy, technology, and creative practice.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Welcome and Morning Sessions:
9:30 am York University, Vari Hall VH-1016, VH-1018, VH-1020, VH-1022

Map of 198 York Blvd, North York, ON M3J 2S5

Keynote and Reception:
6:00 pm Ryerson University, RCC-230 - The Catalyst
Rogers Communications Centre, 80 Gould Street

Map of 80 Gould Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3, Canada

Keynote Speakers

Cheryl Thompson (Ryerson University) -"Reading Black Canadian Newspapers in the 1970s and 1980s: How Black Beauty Culture Entered Department Stores and Drugstores"

In 2018, Dr. Cheryl Thompson joined the School of Creative Industries as Assistant Professor. She earned her PhD in Communication Studies from McGill University under the co-supervision of Dr. Will Straw and Dr. Charmaine Nelson. Her first book, Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture will be published with Wilfrid Laurier Press in April 2019. Prior to her position at Ryerson, Cheryl was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2018) at the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and in the Department of English and Drama. In 2017, Cheryl gave a TEDx Talk at the University of Toronto Scarborough, titled “Why Positive Thinking is Not Enough.” In addition to her academic writing, Cheryl is a frequent contributor to, and has published articles in the Canadian Theatre Review,, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, GUTS Magazine, and

PDF fileFuture Communications 2018 Program


Dr. Cheryl Thompson
Dr. Cheryl Thompson

Colleen Derkatch (Ryerson University) teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in rhetoric and writing studies, and supervises graduate students in rhetoric, health humanities, and science and technology studies. Her research aims to understand and explain how language motivates and shapes human activity—how language produces, demarcates, and communicates systems of knowledge, expertise, and authority; how it organizes experience; and how it orients us toward certain beliefs and behaviours and away from others.

Nicole Cohen (University of Toronto), author of Worker’s Rights: Freelance Journalism in a Digital Age (2016, McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Dr. Cohen is an assistant professor at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology at the University of Toronto Mississauga and holds a graduate appointment in the Faculty of Information. She is the author of Writers’ Rights: Freelance Journalism in a Digital Age (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016), which won the Gertrude J. Robinson Book Prize from the Canadian Communication Association in 2017.Nicole researches in the area of political economy of communication, particularly labour and organizing in the media and cultural industries, media work and journalism. Her research has been published in South Atlantic Quarterly, The Communication Review, Canadian Journal of Communication Studies, Democratic Communique, and several edited books in communication studies. Nicole collaborates on the international SSHRC-funded project, Cultural Workers Organize.

Penelope Ironstone (Wilfrid Laurier University), Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies and MA in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory. President of the Canadian Communication Association and the book review editor for the Canadian Journal of Communication.

Tom Sherman is an American-Canadian artist working in video, audio, radio, performance, sculpture and text/image. He is also a writer of nonfiction and fiction. He is a recipient of Canada's Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Art.

Information for Presenters

Presentations will be grouped based on common topics. Please prepare a 10-minute presentation and expect a 3- to 5-minute informal question period. Time limits will be enforced by the session moderators.

If you are proposing a roundtable discussion, workshop or panel with an organized group, please have each person register separately, but use the same title for all participants. If you wish to volunteer to chair a panel in addition to or in lieu of giving a presentation, that is most welcome. You can indicate this with your abstract submission.

Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of your session and check in with the moderator in that room.

MS PowerPoint is the preferred format for presentations and these should be saved on USB flash drive. If you prefer, you can bring your own laptop for the presentation, but you are responsible for providing the appropriate cables and adaptors.