Upcoming Speakers

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Previous Speakers

"Beyond the Finish Line: Images, Evidence, and the History of the Photo-Finish" with Dr. Jonathan Finn

"Beyond the Finish Line: Images, Evidence, and the History of the Photo-Finish" with Jonathan Finn


In the 1880s, photographers and sports enthusiasts confidently declared the end of dead heats in sporting competition. Reflecting a broader social belief in technology, proponents of the camera stressed that the device could provide definitive proof of who won and who lost. Yet despite this remedy for the inadequate human eye, competitive races between horses, boats, and bicycles ended too close to call a sole champion. More than a century later, when cameras can subdivide the second into ten-thousandths and beyond, athletes continue to cross the finish line in ties.


In this discussion, Jonathan Finn shows how innovation was animated by a drive for ever more precise tools and a quest for perfect measurement. As he traces the technological developments inspired by this crusade--from the evolution of the still camera to movie cameras, ultimately leading to complex contemporary photo-finish systems--Finn discusses the social implications of adopting and contesting the photograph as evidence in sport.

Jonathan Finn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. His new book, "Beyond the Finish Line: Images, Evidence, and the History of the Photo-Finish" is available from McGill-Queens University Press.
A recording of the event is available here.
Jan
27
2021
1:00 PM
Jan
27
2021
2:00 PM

""A Playful Mind: Marshall McLuhan’s Life, Legacy, and Laws" with Prof. Paolo Granata

This year marks the 110 anniversary of the birth of Marshall McLuhan, who was born in Edmonton in 1911. In the late 1960s, McLuhan was called the "Oracle of the Electronic Age" as a member of the Toronto School of Communication. He later spawned the field of media ecology studies and was anointed Wired magazine's patron saint in the 1990s. He is perhaps the most quoted, analyzed, and misunderstood scholar of the last century and many of his probes on the social impact of communications technology endure to this day. He was certainly an unconventional and provocative thinker, and most importantly he was gifted with extraordinary intellectual playfulness.

This webinar will touch on the life and legacy of Marshall McLuhan by playing with his Laws of Media (1988), a critical framework to analyze any medium, technology or human innovation.

In a highly interactive setting, McLuhan Centenary Fellow, Prof. Paolo Granata, will engage the audience to stimulate cooperative, innovative, and creative thinking skills, allowing participants to cultivate awareness and critical understanding of the implications of contemporary digital media platforms, from Twitch to TikTok, from Discord to Clubhouse.

Paolo Granata (University of Toronto) is an innovator, and a cross-disciplinary media scholar. Nurtured by the century-old tradition of the University of Bologna, his research and teaching interests lie broadly in the area of media ecology, semiotics, print culture, and visual studies.
He is the founder and director of the University of Toronto’s Media Ethics Lab, a research hub that studies the ways that digital media practices and emerging technologies are marked by ethical issues and decisive political, societal, and cultural questions.


A recording of the talk is available here.
Feb
24
2021
12:00 PM
Feb
24
2021
1:00 PM

DigiSyn Speaker Series with Dr. Sara Bannerman

Communications policy and power: relational sovereignty with Dr. Sara Bannerman, Canada Research Chair in Communication Policy and Governance, McMaster University

Dr. Bannerman will discuss the power relations embedded in communication and law and policy: the ways that freedom of expression, intellectual property, defamation, and privacy law have historically and internationally fostered both imperialism and platform imperialism. In part two, she will discuss the concepts of relational autonomy and relational sovereignty. The concept of relational sovereignty is useful for describing the forms of complex sovereignty that states hold today. As a normative concept, however, relational sovereignty would require significant restructuring, to redraw the circuitry of the historically unequal relations that communications and media law has sustained. Finally, she will discuss what communications scholars bring to the study of communication policy and law.

Sara Bannerman, Canada Research Chair in Communication Policy and Governance, is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at McMaster University. She researches and teaches on communication policy and governance and directs McMaster’s Communications Governance Observatory. Dr. Bannerman has published three books: Canadian Communication Policy and Law (Canadian Scholars, 2020), International Copyright and Access to Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and The Struggle for Canadian Copyright: Imperialism to Internationalism, 1842-1971 (UBC Press, 2013). She has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on communication policy, privacy, international copyright, and other topics in new media, traditional media, and communications theory in journals such as Communication Theory, New Political Economy, the Canadian Journal of Communication, Futures, and Information, Communication & Society.


Mar 17, 2021 11:30 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

To see a recording of the presentation, click here.

Mar
17
2021
11:30 AM
Mar
17
2021
12:30 PM