I was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. I received my PhD in Political Science from York University in Toronto in 1996. I was Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) post-doctoral fellow at The Literature Program, Duke University, North Carolina, 1996-98, studying with (and sponsored by) Professor Fredric Jameson, and working with others there such as Professor Romand Coles and Professor Michael Hardt.
In 2002, I was appointed Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies department at the University of Windsor, Ontario. I joined the Communication Studies department here at Laurier in 2005 as Associate Professor.
At Laurier, I currently teach History of Communication Thought (second year), Music in Society (fourth year), and Critical Theory (graduate level).
I have published on a variety of topics including philosophy, Critical Theory, moving image technology, the history of political thought and Canadian politics. My recent publications include “Extreme Heavy Metal Music and Critical Theory” in The Germanic Review, “Negative Dialectics in Music: Adorno and Heavy Metal” in the European Journal of Cultural Studies and “Communicative Power and Ideology in Popular Music” in the Journal of Communication Inquiry.
I am currently completing a book under contract with State University of New York Press, titled Critical Theory and Popular Music, which I expect will be published in 2019.
In 2018, I was awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant of almost $60,000 over two years for my next project, titled “Indigenous Performance Art, Spirituality and Politics in PostSecular Democratic Contexts: Studies of Māori and First Nations Peoples.”
Critical Theory. My focus is Frankfurt School Critical Theory (past and present) as well as other traditions of critical theory, such as post-structuralism and deconstruction. My recent publications (in 2013, 2014, and 2015-forthcoming) have been on critical theory and heavy metal music and culture. I am planning further studies of popular music and, hopefully, a book project on popular music, which will include studies of the indigenous music of the South Pacific (the music of the Maori in New Zealand and the Aborigine in Australia) as well as the music of the Aboriginals of Canada and North America.