University of Toronto

Faculty of Arts & Science – Woodsworth College, Digital Humanities Program

DHU235H1F Introduction to Digital Humanities (F2023; S 2023)

This course is designed to bring critical thinking and applied digital media production skills together in a critically informed process of making. Teaching and learning will involve becoming acquainted with Digital Humanities (DH) scholarship in several areas, applying theoretical concepts to evaluate the knowledge production and presentation strategies of DH projects, learning to use a variety of web-based applications, and both collaborating in groups and working independently in a workshop setting to create original projects. Individual classes will combine lecture, discussion and active learning, and hands-on lab instruction of software. The emphasis is on experimentation, exploration, and discovery of digital tools – and not on mastery. No prior knowledge of coding or digital production is expected or required.

Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford and Waterloo, ON

Faculty of Liberal Arts – Digital Media and Journalism, English, & Law and Society Programs

DMJN202 Cross-Media Storytelling
(W 2024; W 2023; W 2022; W 2021; W 2020; W 2019; W 2018; W 2017)

Cross-Media Storytelling introduces students to the challenges and opportunities for storytelling across media. In the course, students learn and apply theories of narrative, intermediality and transmedia to cross-media storytelling as critical thinkers and digital media practitioners.

  • Combined lecture + lab format includes instruction in Word Press, HTML/CSS, Photoshop, Twine and Adobe Premiere;
  • Coursework includes both critical writing and project-based production assignments;
  • Topics covered include theories of intermedia and narrative, transmedia storytelling, interactive fiction and hypertext, cross-media storytelling and news media, transmedia television, interactive cinema and documentary, and mobile and digital narratives. 
DMJN 252: Designing Digital and Social Media
(F 2023; F 2022; F 2021; F 2020; F 2019; F 2018)

In this course students expand their understanding of the theory and practice of information and interactive design for digital and social media, including designing for the web, wireless devices, and/or tablets. Students learn how to analyze project needs, strategize, and develop information and interactive designs and content. Students are introduced to a variety of digital and social media tools and given a chance to practice using them for professional (as opposed to personal) communication and engagement.

  • Digital and social media tools used include:
    • Datawrapper and Microsoft Excel;
    • Twitter and Instagram;
    • KnightLab Timelines and StoryMaps; and
    • Adobe Express photo galleries, teaser videos and audiovisual slideshows.
EN381 Gaming and Narrative Theory (F 2022)

This course provides students with a solid foundation in narrative and adaptation theory, as well as an introduction to gaming theory. Topics and readings cover classical narratology, transmedial narratology, dialogism, new media theory, ludology and game studies. Students are introduced to methods of analysis and visualization including: the creation of data set and network graph visualization of a character network or interactive architecture; the plotting of story and discourse as a line chart to visually depict time-shifting strategies in narrative; diagramming strategies of narrative embedding; and Proppian analysis.

DMJN/MX/SOJE222 Digital and Social Media: Critical Approaches
(F 2023; F 2022; F 2021; F 2018)

In this course students encounter a variety of critical approaches to digital and social media grounded in communications, critical internet studies, political economy, and media studies. Students are introduced to concepts such as free, immaterial and affective labour, digital enclosure, big data, digital surveillance, privacy, and platform capitalism. Students apply these concepts by thinking critically about contemporary social practices of sharing and self-expression, the technologies that enable them, and the controversies that unfold in the news media as platforms and users negotiate shifting boundaries. Students question assumptions about digital and social media and resist binary positive/negative formulations in order to gain an understanding of, and appreciation for the social, economic, and political entanglements of digital and social media. 

  • Lecture supplemented with hands-on explorations, critical probes, and student engagement exercises;
  • Students complete two Critical Probe assignments, choosing from among 6 options:
    1. Media Log;
    2. Social Network Analysis;
    3. Wireframe Diagram Interface Analysis;
    4. Interrogating Terms of Service and Data Policy;
    5. Social Media Influencers: Content Analysis; and
    6. Search Results and Filter Bubbles.
DMJN307: Media, Culture and Democracy (W 2024; W 2020)

This course will introduce students to a variety of critical approaches to media, culture and democracy based in interdisciplinary perspectives including communications, critical internet studies, political economy, and media studies. Students will explore concepts such as public sphere, technological determinism, ideology and interpellation and contextualize them by investigating media representations online and offline. 

  • Seminar focuses on media and the cultural politics of representation;
  • Assignments include research probes that combine critical thinking with the use of digital visualization tools and online magazine, newspaper and image archives.

LY212: Law and Culture (F 2023; F 2021; F 2020)

In LY212 Law and Culture students examine how law and culture intersect from a variety of disciplinary approaches, such as: the cultural study of the law, law and literature, law and popular culture, anthropology, sociology, and socio-legal studies. Students think critically and collaboratively about law and culture, discuss case studies and current news stories, and participate in active learning exercises to promote critical reflection and group discussion. Students complete a variety of written assignments including a critical probe focused on: defining cultural appropriation; digital sampling and practices of musical borrowing; digital archives, copyright and cultural visibility; or world music, cultural traditions and intellectual property law.

DMJN420 Advanced Research Seminar: Paradoxes of Participation (W 2024, W 2022; W 2019)

In this iteration of the Advanced Research Seminar, students examine online participation as a paradoxical activity. Digital media empower people to self-publish, to organize networks around shared interests or activist agendas, to build and maintain social bonds, and to engage in collaborative forms of cultural expression. At the same time, these active practices of participation have been characterized as free labour that fuels platform capitalism, intensifies surveillance and digital enclosure through detailed analysis of personal information and online behaviour, and enables the harnessing of creative self-expression, user-generated content, and social bonds for economic gain. This seminar focuses on uncovering and analyzing the complexities, contradictions, and entanglements of participation in digital and social media, and urges journalism students to consider the importance of participatory cultures for professional communication fields.

  • Course assignments are scaffolded and build toward a final research paper through seminar presentations and responses, an annotated bibliography and proposal, and a research presentation;
  • Topics covered include: surveillance and surveillance capitalism, commodification and audiences, free labour, platform capitalism, and sharing and participation as ideology.

Digital Humanities / History Department, Faculty of Arts

DH200: Digital Narratives (W 2021)

This course provides students with instruction in the use of digital tools for creating fictional and non-fictional narratives, an introduction to narrative theory and interactive narratology, and an overview of different genres of digital narrative expression including hypertext fiction and hypermedia, text adventures / interactive fiction, participatory digital narratives (including Twitter fiction, web serials), and app-based digital fiction. Students complete Timeline and StoryMap assignments in groups, produce a written analysis of a work of digital narrative and create an original digital narrative as a final project.

Lab instruction includes training in KnightLab Timelines, KnightLab StoryMaps, Twine, Audacity audio production software and Adobe Express audiovisual slideshows.

University of Toronto, Mississauga, ON

Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology

CCT382 H5F Edutainment: Immersive Learning (F 2015)
  • Blended theory, critical thinking and practical web production design skills in course on games for learning.
  • Students designed and built a web-based prototype for an immersive learning experience.
  • A critical design analysis assignment required students to employ user interface design techniques to analyze assumptions made about users as expressed in the layout, functionality and visual design of a learning game or website.

York University, Toronto, ON

Department of Social Science, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

SOSC 4361 6.0 Law, Culture & Representation (FW 2015-16; FW 2012-13)

In this course students explore how legal frameworks, cultural traditions, and the representation of subjects mutually constitute one another. Students gain a multi-perspectival understanding of the intersections between law, culture and representation through current topics in scholarly fields such as the cultural study of the law, law and literature, law and popular culture, anthropology, sociology, and socio-legal studies. Questions guiding our scholarly inquiry include: How does the law regulate circuits of cultural production, distribution and consumption? How do cultural expressions and practices shape, resist and conform to the contours of the law? How does the law facilitate or limit the ability of subjects to represent themselves in society through signifying practices that are reliant upon shared cultural resources?

  • Prepared academic skills workshops on research strategies, digital reference management tools, and pre-writing strategies.
  • Implemented a variety of student engagement techniques to stimulate seminar discussion.
  • Employed Moodle and Edmodo for online discussion and grading.
  • Used collaborative mind-mapping exercises to seed thinking and generate class discussion.

Digital Media Program, Faculty of Fine Arts / School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

Studio Instructor – FACS1939 3.0 Interactive New Media Art: An Introduction (Fall 2009)
  • Studio Instruction of Mac OSX, FTP, XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, blogging, Adobe Photoshop, iMovie and Processing.
  • Responsible for grading two lab sections, 50 students in total.
  • Invited guest lecture for 175-student lecture: “Copyright and Creativity”.
  • Preparation of XHTML and CSS lab tutorials for course director and fellow studio instructors.
  • Used Edmodo for course management and online student engagement.