Our MA and PhD Students

Our graduate students are conducting exciting research in diverse subject areas.

Manfred Becker

BECKERManfred Becker entered academia through the back door, after working as an independent documentary filmmaker, since immigrating to Canada 30 years ago. Manfred’s area of research grew out of those decades as a media practitioner. The current proliferation of factual entertainment programs and its popularity raises urgent questions about the ethics and responsibilities of its creators towards its subjects and audiences, since there is a perceived deficit of media literacy and – awareness among both. As a programmer for the Rendez Vous with Madness Film Festival, he has addressed the question where the dividing line of entertainment versus social responsibility is situated. You can learn more at DOCToronto – Rendezvous Madness.

However, as a practitioner in the traditional field of documentary Manfred faces similar questions. Please refer to At-home – Ethics of Studying People on the Edge for more information.

Exploring that dilemma will be the focus of his dissertation. Manfred also teaches film at both Ryerson’s Image Arts and York University’s Fine Arts.

Natalja Chestopalova

ChestopalovaNatalja Chestopalova is a PhD Candidate in Communication and Culture at York University. She holds an MA in Literatures of Modernity from Ryerson University and an Honours Bachelor Degree in English and Political Science from the University of Toronto.

Natalja’s current research is informed by popular culture aesthetics, space/place, and psychoanalysis, and focuses on the transformative experience and multimodality in literature, graphic novel, immersive site-specific performance, and film. Her recent works include a paper on trauma, affect, and plasticity in cinema at the PCA ACA Conference, and a paper on architectural capital in multimodal literature at the ACLA. Natalja’s publications appeared in The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism and the White Wall Review.

Burke Christian

burke christianBurke is a part-time PhD candidate in the department exploring areas of deliberative democracy and the potential for a revitalized public sphere through reform of public and democratic institutions.

He is also interested in the construction of ideology through political discourse and its impact on citizens understanding of our democratic institutions.His Masters dissertation “Mediated Legitimacy: Canada’s 2008 Parliamentary Crisis: A Study of Ideology, Legitimacy and Political Communication” explored this relationship using the 2008 parliamentary crisis in Canada as a case study.

When he is not working on his research, you can find Burke travelling the halls of Queen’s Park where is he currently serving as the Senior Strategic Advisor to the Chief Officer, Diversity & Accessibility. In this role he provides strategic policy and program advice and serves as the liaison with senior decision-makers across the public service, including the Secretary of the Cabinet. Since joining the Ontario Public Service in 2000 he has held a number of senior policy and communication roles in a number of key ministries, including Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Training, Colleges and Universities, Community Safety & Corrections and the Attorney General.

Thomas Cooke

CookeI explore how the material, technical and digital aspects of wearable technologies delineate privacy, and the ways in which these private experiences are contaminated by NSA surveillance practices. My intellectual lineage is mashed together through critical security studies, international political sociology, surveillance studies, materiality studies, sociology of technology and privacy theory.

I’m interested in government and corporate big data and meta data tracking and behavioral profiling techniques, particularly through HTTP cookies and asynchronous syntax. I’m a graduate fellow at the York Centre for International and Security Studies, and weekly radio discussant on surveillance, technology and privacy issues on 1290 CJBK.

Vanessa Del Carpio

del carpioVanessa Del Carpio is a second-year MA candidate in the Communication and Culture Joint Graduate Program at York and Ryerson universities. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies (major) and Business (minor) from York University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and on the Dean’s List.

Her primary research interests are popular culture, feminist theory, and media representations of women; she is also interested in media studies, research methodologies and cultural labour. Vanessa is currently working on her master’s research, which explores gender in image-based representations of women in popular media, using the theoretical frameworks of practice-based research, feminist theory and visual culture.
Professionally, Vanessa has worked and written for Excalibur, York’s newspaper, for three years, most recently as Recruitment Manager. In the summer of 2014 she completed two internships, one at the Toronto Arts Foundation (Research Department) and the other at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Publishing Department).

Select Awards and Honours

  • SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master’s Scholarship, 2014
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2014 (declined), 2013
  • York Graduate Scholarship, 2013
  • Dean’s Circle of Student Scholars (Faculty of Liberal and Professional Arts, York University), 2012-13
  • George Hopton Award, 2012
  • York University Continuing Student Scholarship, 2011

Select Publications

  • Del Carpio, Vanessa. “Dreams of Today: Analyzing the American Dream on Film in the Context of Contemporary America.” Impression 2.2 (2014). Print.
  • Del Carpio, Vanessa. “Mapping Labour in the Creative Industries.” Impression 1.1 (2013). Print.

Select Conferences

  • Annual Meeting – Canadian Communication Association, May 2014
  • Rethinking Cultural Policy in a Globalized World – York Centre for Public Policy & Law (Keynote), April 2014
  • Department of Modern Languages & Literatures Graduate Conference – University of Western Ontario, March 2014

Lai-Tze Fan

Lai-Tze FanLai-Tze Fan is a PhD Candidate (ABD). Her research examines the effects of a digital cultural logic and digital textuality on contemporary literature, with a focus on print literature. Fan is dedicated to issues relating to student advocacy and research on the future of literature and the humanities.

She has served as President, PhD Rep. to the Executive Committee, and PhD Internal Rep. of the ComCult Graduate Students Association. From 2013-2014, she served as President of the Graduate Student Caucus of ACCUTE (English association of Canada). She is a peer-review reader for UAlberta’s Inquire: Journal of Comparative Literature, and is the founder of the York/Ryerson Intermediality Working Group, which is invested in theories and methodologies of Comparative Media. Fan is a research member of York University’s Centre for Research on Language Contact, Ryerson University’s Modern Literature & Culture Research Centre, and Ryerson’s Centre for Digital Humanities. In each of these centres, she is involved in the critical and creative digital humanities.


Monique Tschofen, Caitlin Fisher, Markus Reisenleitner

Select Awards and Honours

  • 2014 — Short list, Fulbright Traditional Student Award
  • 2013 — Long list, Horst Frenz Best Graduate Student Paper Prize, ACLA
  • 2012 — Short list, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC)
  • 2011 — Graduate Caucus Award, NeMLA
  • 2011, 2013, 2014 — Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Select Publications

  • Forthcoming. Conference proceedings: Fan, Lai-Tze. “Converging Media and Modes: Digital Textuality and the Dissolution of Media Borders in Post-Print Literature.” Proceedings for the 2013 “Reconsidering Convergence” Transatlantic Conference, University of Göttingen. Gottingen University Press. Print.
  • Forthcoming. Article. Fan, Lai-Tze. “On the Creative Destruction and Residue of the Humanities.” English Studies in Canada 40.2-3 (2014). Print.
  • Article: Fan, Lai-Tze. “Toronto Stories.” World Film Locations: Toronto. Ed. Tom Ue. Bristol; Chicago: Intellect; University of Chicago Press, 2014. Print.
  • Article: Fan, Lai-Tze. “Moving through the Narrative: Spatial Form Theory and the Space of Electronic Literature.” The Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media. Special issue on “Digital Cartography: Screening Space.” Vol. 21 (2012). Web.
  • Article: Fan, Lai-Tze. “Formula and ‘Fixity’ in South Slavic Oral Epics: A defense of South Slavic poetic verse against literary accusations of mechanicalism.” TranscUlturAl: A Journal of Translation and Cultural Studies 1.4 (2011): 47-62. Web.

James Forbes

J FrobesJames Forbes is a PhD Candidate in Communication and Culture at York University. His general research interests focus primarily in materialist perspectives in the philosophy and history of technology.  More specifically, he is interesting in questions of mobility and the medium, media archaeology, and machine ontology as it is portrayed in the literature and film of science fiction.

His proposed dissertation will investigate 19th century Canadian industrialism from a discursive and material perspective, in order to illustrate how the mythos of technological nationalism operates historically at the regional level. He holds a B.A. from McGill (Communications and Anthropology), a B.A. Honours from Concordia (Philosophy), and a M.A. from Ryerson and York (Communications and Culture).


Dr. Kevin Dowler (Supervisor), Dr. Anne MacLennan, Dr. Tuna Baskoy


Selling Heaven: Eschatology and the Construction of “Christian” Families on Reality TV. Ed. Roberta Garrett, Tracey Jensen and Angie Voela. In: We Need to Talk about Family: Essays on Neo-liberalism, The Family and Popular Culture, forthcoming 2015.

Being and Technics: Humans, Hybrids and the Ontology of Machines. Ryerson University. Master’s Thesis, 2009.


I Swing the Bawdy Eclectic: Enlightenment Mysticism and Television’s Supernatural “Musicals of the Macabre. Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference 2015, New Orleans, LA.

Television as Oracle: Ancient Greek Epigraphy from Dodona and the Modern Soap Opera. Northeast Popular Culture Association Regional Conference, Providence, RI.

Politics and Printing in the Dutch Golden Age: La République des Lettres in the Printing House of Samuel Luchtmans? Technology/Politics 2014, Trent University Graduate Conference, Peterborough, ON.

Narrowing the Gap: Normative Representation of Families and the Limitations of Political Discourse. Popular Culture Association of America National Conference 2014, Chicago, IL.

Ximena Griscti

Ximena Griscti is a PhD Candidate (ABD) in Communication and Culture at York University. She holds an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto and a BA Honours in Spanish Literature and Society from Concordia University. Ximena’s academic interests revolve around the fields of critical theory, cultural studies, media studies, and urban culture. She is currently writing her dissertation, which explores the text-based graffiti that emerged in post-dictatorial Uruguay as a form of grassroots mass media.


“Outlaw Mass Media and Democratization: The Role of Graffiti in Uruguay’s Democratic Transition”


Steve Bailey (Supervisor), Kevin Dowler, Colin Mooers

Awards and Scholarships

  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Doctoral, 2014
  • SSHRC CGS Doctoral Scholarship, 2010-2013
  • SSHRC Master’s Scholarship, 2009

Abigail Henry

henryAbigail Henry is a second year MA student in the Communication and Culture program. She holds a B.A with First Class Honours in Media & Communication and Literatures in English from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.

Abigail’s research interests include international cultural policy, cultural heritage management, Caribbean studies, and international development. Under the supervision of Prof. Rosemary Coombe, her thesis explores the potential of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other digital technologies for the development of sustainable cultural heritage management practices and policies in the Caribbean.

Abigail’s professional background is in video and media production, as well as magazine publishing.

Steve Jankowski

jankowskiSteve Jankowski is a PhD candidate Communication and Culture at York University. He holds an MA in Communication from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Design from the York / Sheridan Design Program. Steve’s current research interests include critical theory, digital epistemologies and new media aesthetics. More specifically he is exploring how the affordances of media have influenced the creation, dissemination, circulation and experience of knowledge.

Lianrui Jia

Lianrui Jia is a PhD student in the Communication and Culture Program at York University.linarui She holds a M.A, and B.A (Honors) in Communication Studies from Carleton University. Her research areas are in political economy and media policy and regulation, especially on the development of historical and contemporary telecommunication regulations and Internet policies. In particular, her research examines the interplay between politics and economy, the role of the state, and private sector, in shaping media regulation regime.

Selected Awards
EU-China Dialogue in Media and Communication Studies Summer School Best Paper Award (2014/07)
J.A. Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (2013-2014)
Canada-China Friendship Award (2012-2013)
School of Journalism and Communication Departmental Scholarship (2012-2014)
Dean’s Honor List (2009-2013)
Carleton Academic scholarship (2011-2012)
David. A Golden Scholarship (2010-2011)

Research Experience
Research Assistant, Canadian Spectrum Policy Research (2015/01- present)
Graduate Associate, York Centre for Asian Research, York University (2014/12- present)
Lead Research Assistant, Canadian Media Concentration Research Project (2012/09 – present)

Jia, L. and Negro, G., From Infrastructure to Business: the Political Economy of the Internet in China, China Perspectives, (Forthcoming)
Jia, L. Exporting Technologies of control: contemporary roles of Yahoo! and Google in the development of China’s Great Firewall, Profiling Anonymous: 7th Annual Carleton Graduate Caucus Conference, Ottawa, Canada (2012)

Translation Book Chapter
Winseck, D. The Network Media Economy: Triumph of the Media Infrastructure Industries, or Crisis of Media? In Junhao Hong (ed.) New Trends in Communication Studies, China: Tsinghua University Press, (in press).

Selected Conference Presentation and Short Talk
What Public and Whose Opinion? A Critical Analysis of Online Public Opinion Management Specialist in China, First UK-China Media and Cultural Studies Association Annual Conference, Cardiff, UK (2015)
Between Identifiability and Anonymity: Real Name Policy on the Chinese Internet, EU-China Dialogue in Media and Communication Studies Summer School, Peking University, China (2014)
From Technology to Industry: A Historical Analysis on the Developmental Logic of the Internet in China, 12th Chinese Internet Research Conference, Hong Kong (2014)
Conference Co-chair, Screen: 9th Annual Carleton Graduate Caucus Conference, Ottawa, Canada (2014)
Desperately Seeking the “Name”: Examining the Historical Progression of Real Name Policies on the Chinese Internet, Citizen Lab Connaught Summer Institute on Monitoring Internet Openness and Rights, Toronto, Canada (2013)

Andrea Kosavic

kosavicAndrea Kosavic is a PhD candidate in Communication and Culture at York University. She holds a Master of Information Studies (MISt)  in Information Systems from the University of Toronto, and a BSc in Biology from the University of Toronto.

Her work in the field of scholarly publishing in her capacity as Digital Initiatives Librarian at York University prompted her interest in pursuing an in-depth exploration of disciplinary cultures. Her PhD work will focus on scholars in the humanities and the means by which they work towards establishing a scholarly reputation. She is particularly interested in the factors that affect a faculty member’s choice of publication vehicle, and the role publication prestige has in dialogue with variables including peer review, tenure and promotion requirements, status of university, and the idiosyncrasies of discrete disciplines and university departments.

Mary Grace Lao

Mary Grace Lao is a first year PhD student in Communication and Culture at York. graceShe holds an M.Ed. in Social and Cultural Context of Education from Brock University and an honours B.Sc. Psychology and Exceptionality in Human Learning from the University of Toronto. Grace’s current research explores how social media users make meaning from and how they react to news stories. Of particular interest is how users interact with each other and how they evaluate what is “right” or “wrong”.

Christian Martius

christian robinsonChristian Martius is a PhD Candidate in Communication & Culture at York University. His research is on the contemporary construction and maintenance of the so-called normal and abnormal body. This research calls attention to problematic communication practices, which privilege consistent social and cultural ideas of embodied normalcy rather than the commonplace inconsistencies of the human body. Recent work on the visual rhetoric of bodily difference has been presented at The Bodies in Between Conference in Romania. He has also written on the agency of the abject body for The Doris McCarty Gallery and the SPT Strategies of Critique Conference.

Sara Martel

Sara Martel is a PhD candidate. Her dissertation focuses on the use of photography as part of bereavement support practices in healthcare settings. More specifically, she is carrying out a qualitative study through a paediatric hospital in Toronto, interviewing parents about their experience with photography around the death of their newborn in neonatal care. Her doctoral committee includes Dr. Stuart J. Murray (supervisor), Steven Bailey, and Deborah Davidson. Sara received the Ontario Graduate Scholarship in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.


  • “Materializing Visual Culture in Communication Studies” in The Communication Review (2012).
  • “Biopower and Reproductive Loss: Speaking Risk, Silencing Death-in-Birth.”

Cait McKinney

mckinneyCait McKinney is a PhD candidate in the Communication and Culture Program at York University. Her dissertation research traces a cultural history of the Internet through lesbian feminist information activism, beginning in the early 1970s. Cait’s writing has appeared in TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Shift: Graduate Journal of Visual Culture, No More Potlucks and is forthcoming in the Radical History Review’s special issue on queer archives.

Christian Oquendo Sanchez

oquendoChristian has a BA in Anthropology (PUCE-Ecuador), MA and PhD candidate in Communication and Culture, York University. My interest in communication theory grew out of British Cultural Studies and their perspectives on active audiences, while doing my undergraduate studies in Urban Anthropology.

My MA fieldwork brought me to Oaxaca, Mexico, where I conducted research on the public debate around genetically modified corn. My current research focuses on the new Communication Law in Ecuador, as well as broader debates within communication theory in Latin America. I am also involved with the Ecuadorian NGO Fundamedios, which specializes in freedom of speech, digital rights and journalism standards. During my PhD, I have continued to work as a journalist for a newspaper and a radio station in Ecuador, and am a regular contributor to a number of applied projects in communication, both in Latin America and Canada.

Katrina Orlowski

orlowskiKatrina Orlowski is a Masters candidate in the Communication and Culture program at York University, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film from Simon Fraser University. She is interested in arts-based research, and is currently focused on narratives of place, cultural memory, and local Indigenous histories. Orlowski’s research interests also include social justice oriented documentary and avant-garde cinema, social movements, the Internet, and new media.

Jason Peng

Jason Peng is a second year MA student. He holds a BSc in Psychology and Economics from the University of Toronto. His major research paper focuses on the historical analysis of the mutual construction of clock-time and capitalism. More specifically, he is exploring the cultural concept of time as a commodity resource that holds pecuniary value, examining the contemporary maxim that ‘time is money.’ He applies the co-constructivist framework of actor-network theory in describing the historical developments of timekeeping technology imbedded within changing political-economic and social landscapes between the twelfth- and twentieth-century. Jason’s supervisor is Dr. Carmen Schifellite.

Daniela Sanzone

Daniela Sanzone is a PhD student in Communication & Culture, joint program York/Ryerson Universities, researching transnational communications, ethnic media, diasporas and migration, and the Italian Canadian community in the GTA. She is also a teaching assistant. From La Sapienza University, in Rome, she holds two Masters, in Communications Sciences (dissertation: La televisione di servizio – Educational Television), and Cultural Anthropology, and a Bachelor Degree in Literature and Fine Arts, with a dissertation on History of Cinema and Critique (Realtà italiana e modelli sociali nel cinema di inchiesta del dopoguerra, 1945-1955 – Italian reality and social paradigms in Neorealist Cinema, 1945-1955).

Daniela has also been a film critic and a journalist for many years, working for television and radio, print and online media, in Rome, and in Toronto. In Toronto, she has been a reporter for the Italian newspaper Corriere Canadese, and a News Anchor, On-Air Host, Producer and Reporter for the Italian News at Omni Television. She organizes (multi)cultural events, is a diversity consultant and a blogger, and has published a few books.

Currently, she is working on a book review of “Global Media Ethics – Problems and perspectives”, Edited by Stephen J.A. Ward, to be published on the Canadian Journal of Communication; and on “A portrait of the present Italian Community in Ontario” to be published on Italian Canadiana, Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Studies, U of T. Her article “Italian Canadian Mass Media in the Digital Era” was published in 2006 on The Virtual Piazza, Special Issue of Italian Canadiana, Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Studies, University of Toronto.

She presented her PhD dissertation project “How to improve ethnic media in the GTA, the crisis of OMNI TV as a case study” on December 2013 at “Future Communication Symposium”, TEL, York University. She also presented her research: A portrait of the present Italian Community in Ontario, on March 2013 at PCA-ACA (Popular Culture Association-American Culture Association), in Washington, DC, section “Border Studies, Cultural Economy and Migration”. In 2006 she presented: Multiculturalism in the World of Mass Media during the Digital Era, at the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Studies, University of Toronto. In 2002, she presented: Italy and Italians on the North American silver screen, at the 79th Congress of the AATI (American association of teachers of Italian), OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education), University of Toronto.

Sara Swain

swainSara Swain is a Ph.D. candidate in the Joint Program in Communication and Culture at York and Ryerson Universities. She holds a B.A. in Literature (Memorial), and an M.A. in Film Studies (Concordia). She has published essays on the TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (2010) and on the female gross-out comedy Dirty Love (2013). Her research interests range from genre cinema, film theory, television studies and popular culture to histories and theories of communication, technology and new media. Her doctoral research explores bizarre physical encounters between animals and media. She takes these material-semiotic contact zones as productive sites to re-examine media ontologies and ideas about communication.

Emma Thompson

EThompsonEmma Thompson is a second year masters student with research interests in embodiment, private /public life, disability, the day-to-day practice of getting dressed, and the ideal body. Her thesis seeks to understand how persons with mobility disabilities negotiate their identity through their daily clothing choices and the emotional or affective relationships they have with their clothes. Emma will be presenting a paper discussing the emotions and affective feelings found in the wardrobe at the Fashion6 conference in Oxford this September, and is attending the Canadian Fashion Scholars Symposium in October. Emma is the recipient of SSHRC funding for her thesis research.

Joseph F. Turcotte

turcotteJoseph F. Turcotte is a PhD Candidate and SSHRC Doctoral Fellow in the Communication & Culture Program (Politics & Policy) at York University (Toronto, Canada) where he works with Rosemary J. Coombe (Canada Research Chair in Law, Communication and Culture) on issues related to intellectual property rights, digital media and the intersections with informational capitalism and related socio-economic issues. Previously he has been a research assistant at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), an instructional assistant with the Communication Studies department at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Communication Coordinator for the Canadian International Council: Waterloo Region Branch.

Website: Personal Site.

Research Interests

Intellectual property; informational capitalism; digital media; development; access to knowledge (A2K)

Working Dissertation Title

“Whose Digital Future? Intellectual Property, A2K, Innovation, and Development in an Informational Economy”


Rosemary J. Coombe.


Tuna Baskoy, Tokunbo Ojo

Recent Publications
Journals Articles

  • 2013 – “’All Transportation is Local’: Mobile-Digital-Networked-Technologies and Networked Orientations” (with M. Len Ball). Transfers – Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies, Vol. 3(1): 119-139.
  • 2012 – “Tweeting as Statecraft: How, Against All Odds, Twitter is Changing the World’s Second Oldest Profession” (with Jorge Heine). Crossroads – The Macedonian Foreign Policy Journal, Vol. 3(2) April-October: 59-72.
  • 2012 – “Cultural, Political, and Social Implications of Intellectual Property Law in an Informational Economy” (with Rosemary J. Coombe). In Culture, Civilization and Human Society, UNESCO-EOLSS Joint Committee (eds.), in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO (Oxford, UK: EOLSS Publishers), pp. 1-33.
  • 2011 – “What’s Feminist About Open Access? A Relational Approach to Copyright in the Academy” (with Carys J. Craig and Rosemary J. Coombe), feminist@law, Vol. 1(1): 1-35.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

  • 2013 – “Free Trade Agreements and Global Governance Following the Financial Crisis: Moving Trade Forward or Complicating Matters?” (with Jorge Heine). In Les Jacobs and Daniel Drache (eds.), The Changing Global Landscape for International Trade and Human Rights Linkages (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press), pp. **-**.
  • 2012 -“Celebrity Diplomats as Mobilizers? Celebrities and Activism in a Hypermediated Time”(with Andrew F. Cooper). In Tristan Borer (ed.), Media, Mobilization and Human Rights: Mediating Suffering (London, UK: ZedBooks), pp. 181-204.
  • 2012 – “Indigenous Cultural Heritage in Development and Trade: Perspectives from the Dynamics of Cultural Heritage Law and Policy” (with Rosemary J. Coombe). In Christoph B. Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica C. Lai (eds.), International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage: Legal and Policy Issues (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar), pp. 272-305.

Book Reviews

  • 2012 – Review Essay- “The Canadian Broadcasting Policy Tradition: Learning from the Past, Building for the Future”, Review of Broadcasting Policy in Canada (Robert Armstrong, Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2010), Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 37(4): 637-639.
  • 2012 – Review of Digital Solidarities, Communication Policy and Multi-Stakeholder Governance: The Legacy of the World Summit on the Information Society (Marcy Raboy, Normand Landry, and Jonathan Shtern, New York: Peter Lang. 2010), Canadian Journal of Communications, Vol. 37(3): 539-542.

Nathaniel Weiner

nathan weinerNathaniel Weiner is a PhD candidate in York University and Ryerson University’s joint PhD program in Communication & Culture. He holds an MA in Media and Communication from Goldsmiths. His research interests include subculture, fashion, consumption, masculinity, and British social realist drama. He is currently researching men’s online fashion culture.

“The Mediated ‘Look’: Menswear, Masculinity and Consumption Online”

Markus Reisenleitner (supervisor), Anne Maclennan, Stephen Muzzatti

Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Doctoral, 2014
St. George’s Society of Toronto Endowment, 2013
Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Doctoral, 2011

Weiner, N. (2015). Resistance through realism: Youth subculture films in 1970s (and 1980s) Britain. European Journal of Cultural Studies: forthcoming, 19 pages.
Weiner, N. (2015). eBay’s digital culture: Friction-free capitalism in a consumer heterotopia. In A. Buckland & C. Caron (Eds.), TEM 2014: Proceedings of the technology and emerging media track, online.
Weiner, N. (2014). Transatlantic Translations of the Button-down Shirt. TranscUlturAl, 6(1), 97-107.
Weiner, N. (2013). Mod Men: The Contemporary Mod Subculture Online. Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty and Style, 1(2), 1-24.

Weiner, N. (2014). Review of the exhibition Punk: Chaos to couture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty and Style, 3(1), 101-106.
Weiner, N. (2013). Review of the exhibition Ivy style, The Museum at FIT, New York, NY. Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty and Style, 1(2), 96-100.
Weiner, N. (2013). Review of the exhibition Someday all the adults will die: Punk graphics 1971-1984, the Hayward Gallery, London (UK) and the book Punk: an aesthetic, by J. Savage, W. Gibson & L. Sterling. Punk & Post-Punk, 2(1), 107-110.

Jessica Whitehead

JessicaWhiteheadPicJessica Whitehead is a PhD candidate in the Communication and Culture program at York University. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and completed her Masters of Arts at Ryerson University. She was a representative on the ComCult Graduate Student Association and is currently elected to the Teaching and Learning Awards Committee at York University.

Jessica’s research focuses on archival investigations into the history of film exhibition and reception in North America. Her dissertation explores the history of film exhibition in Northern Ontario and local “showman” Leo Mascioli. More information can be found on the project website (


Paul Moore (Supervisor), Anne MacLennan, Janine Marchessault

Select Publications

Jessica L Whitehead. “American Showman: Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel and the Birth of the Entertainment Industry, 1908–1935.” Early Popular Visual Culture 13, no. 1 (2015): 99-101.

Select Awards

SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship, 2013.

SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Masters Scholarship, 2011.

Select Conference Presentations

“Northern Film Exhibition: The Case Of Leo Mascioli, the Second World War and the shooting of Captains of the Clouds”, Film & History, October 2014, Madison WI.

“Captains of the Clouds: The story of Canada’s Wartime Epic”, Film Studies Association of Canada, June 2014, St. Catharines, ON.

“Moviegoing on the Margins: The Movie House Mogul of The North- Leo Mascioli, 1910-1952”, Film Studies Association of Canada, June 2013, Victoria, BC.
“Striving to Become Part of the Movies: The Historical Process of Fandom as a Participatory Practice”, Society for Cinema & Media Studies, March 2013, Chicago, IL.

Cheryl Williams

williamsCheryl Williams is a PhD student in the York/Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communications and Culture. Her research interests cross-sect digital media, childhood studies, and promotional and consumer culture.  Cheryl’s 12 years experience working in digital advertising, and her work as a mother to two young boys, uniquely flavour her academic research.


Kyler Zeleny

Kyler Zeleny is interested in found photography, family albums and the politics of archives. His personal interest in photography, relates to open space, and contemporary issues in rural spaces. He received his bachelors in Political Science from the University of Alberta and his masters from Goldsmiths College, University of London, in Photography and Urban Cultures. He is a founding member of the Association of Urban Photographers (AUP) and a guest publisher with the publishing house The Velvet Cell. Kyler Currently lives in Toronto, where he is a Communications and Culture doctoral student at York University.
Personal Website:
The Velvet Cell: