Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Upcoming Event: Centre for Media & Culture in Education (CMCE) Panel on "Youth, Media and Education"

The following is a cut-and-paste reproduction of the original ad/announcement, sent out by email last week. Sorry for the last minute notice - this should be a really interesting discussion, so hope some of you can make it:
The Centre for Media and Culture in Education
The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, The University of Toronto
A panel presentation and discussion on:
Youth, Media and Education
Friday September 30th, 2011
4 to 6 pm, Room 11-164
Panelists:  Bronwen Low, Sara Grimes, and Kry Verall
Discussant:  Megan Boler
Bronwen Low explores the implications and challenges of popular youth culture for curriculum theory, literacy studies, and pedagogy. This includes examining spoken word culture (including rap music and slam poetry) for insight into the evolution of youth language and literacy practices as well as identities. Current research includes community-media projects and pedagogies, translanguaging and the multilingual Montreal hip-hop scene, and the pedagogical implications of the lifestories of Montrealers who have survived genocide and other human rights violations. In relation to the latter, she is developing curriculum for use in Quebec schools. She has recently published (2011) Slam school:  Learning through conflict in the hip-hop and spoken word classroom. Stanford University Press, and, with Michael Hoechsmann, (2008) Reading youth writing: “New” literacy, cultural studies, and education. NY: Peter Lang.
Dr. Sara M. Grimes is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, where she teaches and researches in the areas of children's digital culture, digital games, and critical theories of technology. Her published work includes explorations of children's virtual worlds and online games (Media International Australia), discussions of intellectual property (New Media & Society) and fair dealing rights within digital game contexts, as well as examinations of thepolicy and ethical dimensions of online advertising and transmedia marketing strategies targeting children (International Journal of Communication Law & PolicyCanadian Journal of Communication). She has presented her work at a number of national and international conferences, and has participated in various workshops and consultations examining issues and implications relating to children's digital culture. Sara's current research explores child-generated content in digital games (such asLittleBigPlanet), the role and function of transmedia intertextuality within children’s play and cultural participation, and emerging issues around children’s creativity and cultural rights. She blogs about this work and related items of interest atGamine Expedition (
Krys Verrall is a cultural scholar in children’s and youth studies, visual culture, art and education. My research employs feminist, anti-racist, post-structuralist and postcolonial theory to explore the complex politics of race, gender, and age in nation building, citizenship practices and globalization. The main thrust of may work explores the ways that marginal populations engage with the mechanisms of representation and enfranchisement. As an experienced educator, I am committed to art and equity infused approaches to education. Both my research and teaching aims to build conversations and collaborations between between communities within and without the university, and across disciplines. My scholarly record includes an upcoming publication with Krabbesholm Books, Denmark, referred publications, and an extensive list of scholarly presentations. I currently teach in the Children’s Studies Program, at York University, Toronto Canada.
Megan Boler received her Ph.D. from the History of Consciousness, University of California Santa Cruz. Presently Associate Chair of the Department of Theory and Policy Studies, and Coordinator of the History and Philosophy of Education program, at the Ontario Institute of Studies inEducation at the University of Toronto (UT), and served as Director of Women’s Studies at Virginia Tech in 2002-03. She is Associate Faculty of the Center for the Study of United States and the Knowledge Media Design Institute also at UT. Megan Boler speaks internationally on social justice in political and cultural contexts, pedagogy of discomfort; race, class, and gender in education and media, explored through cultural, feminist and communication studies. She is currently completing a three-year funded research project, “Rethinking Media, Citizenship and Democracy: Digital Dissent after 9/11,” through interviews and surveys examines the motivations of producers of “digital dissent”--practices of digital media to counter mainstream media.  Her web-based productions include a study guide to accompany the documentary The Corporation (dirs. Achbar and Abbott 2003), and the multimedia website Critical Media Literacy in Times of War. She teaches philosophy, cultural studies, feminist theory, media studies, social equity courses in Teacher Education program, and media studies at the Knowledge Media Design Institute at University of Toronto.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

iWDMS: Early Bird Registration Deadline THIS Friday!!!

©2011 Women in Film & Television - Toronto
For those of you with an interest in gender and media, digital media, and opening up opportunities in digital media production to more women and girls, please be sure to check out the upcoming International Women in Digital Media Summit (iWDMS), which will be held October 23-25 (2011) in lovely Stanford Ontario. Organized by Women in Film & Television – Toronto, this three-day conference aims to provide networking opportunities and knowledge sharing, panels and presentations by a variety of national and international digital media experts. Here's an excerpt from the summit website:

Why Women? From gaming, to social media, to cross-platform and transmedia storytelling, the digital media landscape is evolving to include the female demographic in key roles as consumers, producers and decision-makers. Featuring more than 50 high profile presenters, the iWDMS will explore the expanding roles and impact of women within digital media businesses. 

The roster of speakers is really amazing - including an opening keynote by Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post), and an "in conversation" dinner with Ubisoft's Jade Raymond and Carolyn Lawrence (CEO at Women of Influence). I'm participating on a panel on New Media Literacies: The Role of Women in Creating Balances and Futures on day 2 of the conference with Ilona Dougherty (Co-founder and Executive Director of Apathy is Boring) and Kaliya Hamlin (Coproducer of the Internet Identity Workshop)...both of whom run such incredibly cool projects that I can't wait to hear more about. The event is starting to get some coverage from the media (e.g. in Techvibes), and promises to be a very unique and exciting event all around (with the added bonus of a bunch of extracurriculars, including an outing to a performance of Camelot and a pub night). 

The early-bird registration deadline is this coming Friday (Sept. 23), but regular registration will remain open for a few more weeks. Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Call for Proposals: Children's Material Cultures @ York

Just a quick heads up on an upcoming CFP and event organized by the Association for Research in Cultures of Young People (ARCYP), which will be held at York University next month. In the interests of disseminating this info far and wide as quickly as possible (the deadline is THIS WEEK), here is a cut-and-paste of the original CFP:

ARCYP / Children’s Studies Program Symposium 2011
York University - Friday October 21, 2011 – 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

On Friday October 21, 2011, from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m., the Association for Research in Cultures of Young People (ARCYP) and the Children’s Studies Program at York University will co-present a symposium on new research in Children’s Material Cultures. The symposium is free and open to all faculty and students in the Children’s Studies Program as well as to other interested people from York and beyond. Presenters will include ARCYP Executive members and York Children’s Studies Program faculty and students. The symposium will consist of two panels/roundtables and open discussion on new and emerging research on children’s material cultures, and will include time for refreshments and socializing and meeting with the presenters.

ARCYP Executive Members, ARCYP Members, and interested York Children’s Studies Faculty or students are invited to send a TITLE and ONE BRIEF PARAGRAPH describing their proposed 15-20-minute presentation to the symposium coordinator in an e-mail message to no later than Friday September 23 so that the event can be publicized appropriately.

For the purposes of this symposium, children’s material culture is understood to refer to those things that are central to the way meaningfulness and relationality are constituted, negotiated, and made anew within the diverse and globalized contexts of young people’s contemporary lives. This includes the practices through which children’s things - including toys, games, literatures and technologies – are used and consumed, and the way such things (and their associated practices) are situated in relation to particular contexts and to questions of political economy, gender, race and sexuality. While children and youth in the global North and South continue to be the site of an immense set of challenges, pressures, and risks – that have to do with the environment, war, health, politics, the economy, and the role of new technologies – that shape young people’s mobility, opportunity, and sense of the future, this symposium seeks new research that examines how and in what ways children’s things are implicated in and, in some instances, an antidote to the above risks. This includes work that addresses the amplified role of consumerism as a constituent feature of the children’s material cultures and work that examines how this culture operates in the spaces and places children call home.

Topics for the symposium may include but are not limited to the following:
• research from various methodological traditions – including phenomenology, cultural studies, and ethnography – that addresses children’s use of games, toys, and technologies as a feature of play, work, or education
• research that examines the changing nature of consumerism and consumer practices in children’s material culture
• research that examines the role of things (toys, games, and technologies) in relation to children’s socialization

More generally, we are interested in:
• materialist-feminist criticism and analyses of children’s literature and culture
• materialist analyses of post-colonial children’s literature and culture
• the political economy of children’s literature and culture"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back to School: 2011-2012

©2008-2011 *MAFIA11
The end of summer/start of fall is always a really crazy time for us university types. Summer projects (and courses) need to be wrapped up, new courses launched, new students welcomed, pre-existing students/contacts/research partners reconnected with, committees to work on and meetings to attend, emails and websites to write...not to mention all the fun stuff going on in Toronto this time of year (ahem, TIFF). I've fallen behind on just about everything - this blog, my writing, my research, my sleep - but am nonetheless feeling very much caught up in the giddy excitement that's permeating the campus right now. I love this time of year - the new school year and the change of seasons both inspire this great, tangible sense of hope and possibility, of newness. This is one of the most amazing dimensions of having never really "left" school - that September is still very much a marked, noticeable transition point, a new year we get to celebrate before everyone else, a partial reset button.

We had our first week of classes this week, and I just wrapped up the second first lecture of the two courses I'm teaching this term. Both are courses I've taught before, and both are filled with the familiar faces of students from my previous courses, which is really just too unbelievably fun. I think that this is going to be a stellar semester in both courses, and look forward to getting to know these new groups, their interests, projects, etc. I'm still in the process of updated the course blogs, but if you check them out sometime over the next little while, you can see what we're up to this semester:

Children's Cultural Texts & Artifacts:

Research Methods:

And to any new students who have just recently stumbled upon this blog: welcome!!!