Graduate Faculty Profiles
Dr. Alexandra Boutros
Dr. Boutros’ research is concerned with the intersection of media, technology and identity within religious, social and cultural movements. Her current research examines race and representation in forms of social, citizen or participatory digital media and discourses around ubiquitous computing. Her doctoral research explored the junction of religion and media through an analysis of diasporic Haitian Vodou. Recent publications include a co-edited volume (with Will Straw), Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture (MQUP 2010). Cross-appointed in the Cultural Studies Program, Dr. Boutros' teaching includes courses on citizen media (CS400h), remix culture (KS400) and media history (CS100).
Dr. Greig de Peuter
Dr. de Peuter’s research interests include the political economy of communication; working conditions and labour politics in the media and cultural industries; and the video games industry. His books include Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games (Minnesota, 2009), co-authored with Nick Dyer-Witheford and Utopian Pedagogy: Radical Experiments Against Neoliberal Globalization (Toronto, 2007), co-edited with Mark Coté and Richard Day. His current SSHRC-funded research project examines labour responses to precarious employment within creative economy sectors. His undergraduate teaching includes Conceptual Issues in Communication (CS203), Political Economy of Communication and Culture (CS350), and Work and Cultural Industries (CS400u).
Dr. Martin Dowding
Dr. Dowding's current research focuses on "media ecology." He is also concerned about people who give up their privacy through online social networks such as Facebook. Dr. Dowding also researches places where privacy is often presumed, such as university campuses. His recent book is Privacy: Defending an Illusion (Scarecrow Press 2011). He publishes articles and book reviews for the Canadian Journal of Communication, the Journal of International Communication, and the Mexican Journal of Canadian Studies. He has lectured (in Spanish) in Peru and Mexico.
Dr. Dowding teaches courses related to communication legislation and policy. His writing and teaching are influenced by communication theorists such as Marshall McLuhan and Harold Innis. Dr. Dowding teaches Introduction to Media History (CS100), Communication, Culture, Policy (CS260), Print Communication and Culture (CS315), and Privacy Matters (CS400k).
Dr. Jonathan Finn
Dr. Finn is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies. He is the author of Visual Communication and Culture: Images in Action (Oxford, 2012) and Capturing the Criminal Image: From Mug Shot to Surveillance Society (Minnesota, 2009) as well as numerous essays on photography, surveillance, and visual communication. He is on the Editorial Boards of Wilfrid Laurier University Press as well as the newly established journal, Amodern. His current research examines the use of visual communication technologies as decision aids in sport. At the undergraduate level, Dr. Finn teaches Introduction to Visual Culture (CS 251), Visual Communication and Culture (CS 351) and senior seminar courses in photography, visual communication, and sport.
Dr. Mark Hayward
Dr. Hayward researches the relationship between institutions, media technology and identity. This has lead to an ongoing project examining the relationship between television, state institutions and migrant populations. As part of this project, he has written about the role that television has played in attempts by the Italian state to maintain contact with Italians around the world. More recently, he has undertaken a related project looking at the history of third-language (neither English nor French) television in Canada. He has also published work on “the economy” in popular culture as well as translating cultural theory and philosophy from French and Italian. He has taught courses about contemporary media, popular culture and cultural policy.
Dr. Jenna Hennebry
Jenna Hennebry, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Communication Studies and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and she is the Associate Director of the International Migration Research Centre (IMRC). Her research focuses on international migration and mobility, with a specialization in labour migration in Canada, Mexico, Morocco and Spain. Dr. Hennebry’s research includes comparative studies of migration policy and foreign worker programs, migrant rights and health, the formation of migration industries, non-state migration mediation, racialization and representation of migrants, and the role of remittances in communication and development. Her work has relevance for public policy, as well as studies of transnationalism and integration, mobility and globalization. Dr. Hennebry teaches courses on research methods, migration, mobility and development.
Dr. Andrew Herman (Chair)
Dr. Herman’s BA in Government is from Georgetown University and his PhD in Sociology is from Boston College. He has written widely in the field of social theory, media and culture and for scholarly journals such as Cultural Studies, Critical Studies in Media Communication, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Anthropological Quarterly. Among his many publications is his book, The "Better Angels” of Capitalism: Rhetoric, Narrative and Moral Identity Among Men of the American Upper Class (Westview, 1999) and his edited collections, Mapping the Beat: Popular Music and Contemporary Cultural Theory (Blackwell, 1997), The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory (Routledge, 2000). He is currently working on a book on digital media, intellectual property and cultural policy, and beginning a long-term research project on the mobile Internet and “Blackberry Capitalism”. At the undergraduate level, Dr. Herman teaches Introduction to Media History (CS100), Communication Research Methods (CS235), Canadian Communication Thought (CS304), The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory: Networks, Mobilities, Dwellings and Assemblages (CS400k). At the graduate level he teaches Methods of Research and Analysis.
Dr. Paul Heyer
After pursuing an undergraduate degree in geography at Concordia University, Dr. Heyer went on to do graduate work in sociology and anthropology at the New School For Social Research in New York, and Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he earned his doctorate. He came to WLU after having taught communication studies at Simon Fraser, Concordia, and McGill Universities. On several occasions he has been a visiting faculty member at the University of Western Sydney, WLU's sister school in Australia.
Dr. Heyer's primary research interests are media history (film, radio, and television) and nonverbal communication. He is the author of Titanic Century: Media, Myth, and the Making of a Cultural Icon (2012), and co-editor (with David Crowley) of Communication in History: Technology, Culture, Society, which is the textbook currently used in CS100. A lifelong fascination with radio led to an earlier book, The Medium and the Magician, which deals with the radio legacy of Orson Welles (especially the infamous War of the Worlds broadcast)—Dr. Heyer’ss work on this project will be featured on American Public Television in October 2013. Currently he is researching various media representations of island survivor narratives, from Robinson Crusoe to television's Lost. Dr. Heyer has taught Introduction to Media History (CS100), Nonverbal Communication (CS202), Image, Sound, Text (CS312), and History of Communication Thought (CS204), along with a variety of Communication Studies program electives located in the Film Studies program.
Dr. Jeremy Hunsinger
Jeremy Hunsinger received his PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech in 2009. His background is in ethics, political theory, and critical internet studies with an emphasis on questions of globalization, technological governance/policy, ICTS as infrastructure, and the politics of knowledge. His research agenda analyzes the transformations of knowledge in the modes of production in the information age. He recently co-edited a special issue on Learning and Research in Virtual Worlds for Learning, Media, & Technology. He co-edited the International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments and the International Handbook of Internet Research and has edited or contributed to several other volumes. Currently, he is working on the Routledge Handbook of Social Media.
Dr. Penelope Ironstone
Dr. Ironstone is an interdisciplinary scholar with degrees in Directed Interdisciplinary Studies (BA Hons., Carleton University, 1991), Comparative Literary Studies (MA, Carleton University, 1993), and Social & Political Thought (PhD, York University, 2001). Her SSHRC funded research project is called "From Seasonal Flu to Pandemic Influenza: The Cultural Life of a Virus". Among other courses, Dr. Ironstone teaches Conceptual Issues in Communication and Culture (CS203), Gender, Communication and Culture (CS322), Risk Communication (CS400t), Moral Panics and Risk Society (CS401m), and Risk, Media, and the Politics of Anxiety. Dr. Ironstone has also taught a first-year seminar in the Faculty of Arts called "Panic Now! Cultural Imaginings of the Disaster." Dr. Ironstone was a semi-finalist for the TVO Best Lecturer Award in 2008, and won the WLU Award for Teaching Excellence in 2011. She is the English-Language Book Review Editor for the Canadian Journal of Communication and Vice-President of the Canadian Communication Association.
Dr. Iwona Irwin-Zarecka
Dr. Irwin-Zarecka holds a PhD in Sociology and is a specialist in the areas of: collective memory; contemporary Polish-Jewish relations; Holocaust memory; media and culture; science, technology, and society. She has published Frames of Remembrance: The Dynamics of Collective Memory (New Brunswick, Transaction Books, 1994.) and Neutralizing Memory: The Jew in Contemporary Poland (New Brunswick, Transaction Books, 1989 (paperback edition, 1990).
Dr. Irwin-Zarecka is continuing research on the dynamics of collective memory, with the focus now on the meta-theoretical questions about the criteria used when judging some ways of remembering "right" and other "wrong". She is examining case studies of disputes surrounding problematic pasts and conducting international comparisons; she is updating research on Polish-Jewish memory confrontations, and with the help of undergraduate students, collecting data on "marketing the past" in North America. Dr. Irwin-Zarecka teaches Sociology of Mass Communication (CS308) and Discourses of Remembrance (CS400a).
Dr. Barbara Jenkins
Dr. Jenkins has a PhD in Political Science and studies the political economy of culture. Her research and teaching focus on cultural policy, and the political aspects of art and architecture. She is the author of The Paradox of Continental Production, as well as various articles on Canadian cultural policy, especially with reference to art and architecture. She teaches Introduction to Visual Culture (CS251) and Political Economy of Art and Architecture (CS400d).
Dr. Anne-Marie Kinahan
Dr. Kinahan holds a PhD in Communication from the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University, where she began conducting research on women’s communication and women’s media in Canada at the turn of the twentieth century. Her interest in the history of feminism, women’s history, and communication history informs her current research project on early Canadian women’s magazines. Her research interests are diverse, including communication and media history, media and television studies, feminism and popular culture, and communication and moral regulation. These research interests find expression in several of the courses that she teaches for the Department of Communication Studies: Mass Communication in Canada (CS101), Gender, Communication and Culture (CS322), Critical Television Studies (CS352), various fourth-year seminars (CS400), the team-taught graduate seminar in Communication Studies (CS600), and the graduate course Gender and Communication (CS620).
Dr. Martin Morris
Dr. Morris works on issues concerning the public sphere and democracy. His expertise addresses especially the communication theory of Jürgen Habermas and critical theory. Dr. Morris is interested in theorizing how communicative power can enhance democracy. His teaching focuses on conceptual issues in communication studies (communication theory) at the second year and recently he has developed a senior course on music and society, a new graduate course on the public sphere. Dr. Morris is the author of Rethinking the Communicative Turn: Habermas, Adorno and the Problem of Communicative Freedom, Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001 (nominated for the Foundations of Political Theory First Book Prize, American Political Science Association, 2001). During the last four years, Dr. Morris has published refereed articles in Social Justice Research, Public: Art, Culture, Ideas, Media, Culture & Society and Thesis Eleven, as well as chapters in edited books from the University of Toronto Press and the University of Edinburgh Press. Dr. Morris teaches Conceptual Issues in Communication & Culture (CS203), Media and Communication Ethics (CS323) and a variety of fourth year seminars, Mind, Music and Society, Communication and Cognitive Theory, Mind & Culture and Aesthetics and Politics.
Dr. Judith Nicholson
Dr. Nicholson teaches courses on mobilities, nonverbal communication, human-animal communication, race and media, and research methods. Her research interests include narratives of innovation and progress associated with mediated mobilities, including automobilities, and representations of race and gender in such narratives. Her research has been published in Mediascapes: New Patterns in Canadian Communication (2013; 2010), The Wireless Spectrum: The Politics, Practices and Poetics of Mobile Media (2010), Canadian Journal of Communication (2008), and Fibreculture Journal (2006). A current research project, entitled Pistols & Pixels, explores digital divides in the aftermath of camera-for-gun amnesties.
Dr. Herbert Pimlott
Dr. Pimlott's research interests include cultural politics, political communication, strategic communications, media and movements, and alternative media. Present writing projects include: a single-authored book on political magazines, cultural politics and the Left; a co-authored book on media activism; individual chapters on: punk and politics; vanguard media as strategic communication; and alternative media. Dr. Pimlott's research is integral to his professional communications work in the community and in teaching. His research has been published in: Media, Culture & Society; Journalism Practice; Journalism Studies; Journalism; Labour/Le Travail; and Socialist Studies.
Dr. Ian Roderick
Dr. Roderick studies the uses and representations of robotics, human factors research, software agents, and visual display systems. Dr. Roderick's research interests focus upon our relationships with technology and the ways in which those relations feedback upon us. His current research examines more closely the ways in which robotic technologies can be understood to function as media and as semiotic systems. Dr. Roderick teaches Technology and Society (CS213) and capstone courses both in Visual Discourse Analysis and in Material Culture. He also serves as Special Issues Editor for the journal Critical Discourse Studies. His most recent writing is forthcoming in the anthologies Handbooks of Communication Science: Visual Communication and Posthuman Dialogues in International Relations.
Dr. Ghislain Thibault
Dr. Thibault received his PhD in Communication Studies from Université de Montréal in 2010. Before coming to Wilfrid Laurier University, he finished a one-year postdoc in the History of Science Department at Harvard University. Dr. Thibault’s research interests include media archaeology, communication theory, digital culture and history of science and technology. His most recent research was published in Intermédialités: Histoire et théorie des arts, des lettres et des techniques and in the Canadian Journal of Communication. His current research project explores a genealogy of nineteenth-century wireless technologies.
Dr. Peter Urquhart
Dr. Urquhart's research interests include visual communication and cultural policy as well as popular culture in national contexts. He is the Chair of the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Film Studies. Dr. Urquhart teaches Introduction to Media History (CS100), and Representations of the Real (CS400c), a course which examines a range of non-fiction moving images from television news and documentary film to CCTV, webcams and home movies.
Revised: February 28, 2013