March 24-26, 2006

@Rogers Communication Centre,
80 Gould Street, Toronto, Canada
Hosted by the students of the Joint Graduate Programme in
Communication and Culture York University and Ryerson University

Call for Papers
Intersections 2006

Adjunct Workshop


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Saturday March, 25
  9:15am Off the Map: Portraits of contested Toronto
  10:30am Lost in Transition: Borders, Surfaces and Translation
  2:45pm Identity Politics and Policy
4:00pm Advocacy and Criticism
Sunday March, 26
9:30am Spatial Orbits: Ever (R)evolving Personal Spaces and their Outer Effects
10:45am Streetscapes: Negotiating the Urban Environment
  1:45pm Where do you want to go today?: Tourism, Technology and Transformation
  3:00pm tranSfOrMAtions
  4:15pm Consuming Territories: Ecologies and Economies of Popular Culture
Saturday March 25
Eaton Lecture Theatre - Rogers Communication Centre
9:15 am Off the Map: Portraits of Contested Toronto
Panel Chairperson: Dr. Bob Hanke
Mapping the Social Geography of Addiction in Toronto

Chris Smith,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     In October 2005, the City of Toronto released the Toronto Drug Strategy report. Identifying crack cocaine as the most prevalent street drug being used in the city, the report openly addresses the particularities of Toronto's narcotic urban landscape, which, unlike Vancouver, is highly decentralized, "spread throughout the city, [and] often hidden from view". What forces and factors are responsible for shaping and influencing the landscape of addiction and drug use within cities? How do processes of gentrification/ghettoization, segregation/ congregation and socio-spatial polarization contribute to processes of marginalization, exclusion, and alienation as they relate to the figure of the addict? How can critical social geography lead to a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between addiction and urban space?
     Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the Toronto Drug Strategy report concerns the recommendation that the city should carry-out a study to assess the need for and practicality of implementing a safe/supervised consumption site in the city, consisting of a "legally sanctioned, low-threshold facility that allows the consumption of pre-obtained drugs under supervision in a non-judgmental environment". Pointing directly to the visibility of drug using communities in urban space, the report suggests that safe consumptions sites "evolved from efforts to reduce public nuisance associated with open injection drug use". In his seminal essay, "The Rhetoric of Drugs", Derrida asks: "What do we hold against the drug addict?" Both Derrida's essay, and the discourse contained within the Toronto drug strategy report indicate that the answer can be found by examining notions of visibility and public space as they relate to user communities. Situating the work within the broader historical relationship between addiction, modernity and the city, this project will examine the contemporary social geography of addiction in Toronto, arguing that the recent discourse concerning the implementation of safe consumption sites needs to be carefully considered in light of the larger forces associated with capitalist urban redevelopment: surveillance and/as social sanitization.


Submerged Environments:Taking Notice of Ecologies of Abjection
Neil Balan,
Division of Humanities, York University

     This paper is an intervention directed at the zones inhabited and made habitable by Toronto's impoverished and marginalized; more specifically, substance-users and persons afflicted with chronic mental-health problems with whom I contact and work in a harm-reduction context. Conceptualized as "clients" requiring provisional "services", they are themselves mediators endowed with an efficacy all their own. Lacking in terms of stable monetary capital, these mediators enable a different set of symbolic powers and bodies of knowledge rooted in a mode of abject ecology. In relation to ergonomic efficiency and economizing energy as the allocation of scare actual and potential resources both flowing inward and out of these mediators (subjects/actors/selves) operate functionally within a particular submerged space, effectively beyond the axial horizons of Saskia Sassen's often-cited vertical and horizontal planes of the city. This submerged space is animated as place, as an environment of scale within which there exists a cruciality and intensity of flows, actions, and affects. As such, these mediators are perhaps the most ecologically aware agents of which I am aware?and for a variety of difficult and differential reasons.
     I suggest that urban communities ought to reconceive the kinds of spaces and places associated, enabled, and actualized by this kind of scarce economic but ecological potential; that is, beyond the implication of metaphor and descriptive language. There is pragmatic value in literally approaching problems of marginalized people and networks in the paradigmatic terms of ecology. These networks, environments, and zones?animated by the mediators' inherent practices?conjoin as a meaningful assembly, which can challenge depoliticized and common-sense notions about the issues facing those identified as lacking in relation to the ecologically-problematic magnitude and overdevelopment of hegemonic and normative everyday environments.

3. Erasure Through Aesthetics: Gentrification and the Remaking of Space
Ryan Bigge,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     While gentrification is often theorized as an economic process, my recent examination of the initial overtures of gentrification in Toronto's Little Portugal has revealed a new discourse involving the aesthetics of contested space. Smith, Teixeira and Caulfield, among many others, offer valuable insights into thesocial and political ramifications of gentrification. However, terms such as "urban frontier" or "evolving neighbourhood" suggest that the transformation of space through gentrification is as much a discursive procedure as it is a physical alteration. Through a combination of approaches that harness visuality studies, Auge's non-places, and a discourse analysis of Toronto newspapers, I will illuminate how urbanites learn to ignore or erase particular configurations of the aging cityscape (and with it, specific expressions of ethnicity) and valorize newer iterations of the built environment.
     Unlike classic modernist definitions that incorporate the mixture of past and present (as first articulated by Baudelaire), the new cosmopolitanism is defined primarily through sleek, fresh surfaces. Here, power coalesces around those cultural intermediaries (such as journalists) able to generate discourses of erasure, along with designers, architects and entrepreneurs who develop and enact "appropriate" urban aesthetics. Using a specific subset of Toronto's Little Portugal as a case study, my paper will explore how the "normative semiotics of space," the introduction of an urban fabric constituted by seamlessness and a "homogeneity of aesthetic encodings which endow space with pre-ordained meaning" act to discursively disappear portions of the city, even as theirmateriality remains substantially unaltered (Edensor 2005).

10:30 am Lost in Transition: Borders, Surfaces and Translation
Panel Chairperson: Dr. Michael Prokopow
1. Maps of the Smart Border
Aaron Gordon,
Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

     My paper considers the relationship between national identity and a Canadian erritoriality imagined through maps and modern cartography. Specifically, I explore the borders of the state and boundaries of national belonging in an attempt to displace the colonial "fixity" of Canadian identities.
     In a globalizing world where borders are made more porous for purposes of multinational trade and investment, there is an unprecedented effort by affluent nation-states to build new borders to stem the flows of migrants coming from the "global south" to their countries. Less "fixed" territorially, these mobile checkpoints are constructed in-and-outside the state's borders with new technologies. With its new biometric, identification devices, the Canada-US "Smart Border" policy is one such border. And yet, although it is a time when Canada's borders are in flux, the nationalist narratives written about and against a Canadian-American border continue to overlap Canadian identity and territoriality, and delineate a national, imagined community with natural and relatively static boundaries. These boundary narratives police the limits of "Canadianness" and continually re-fix and put it in-place. Maps and cartographic techniques are essential components in this process of national identification.
     Drawing heavily on cultural geographers like Thongchai Winichak ul and his idea of the geo-body, and Homi Bhabha's idea of the stereotype, I will investigate the racial and cultural limits of a mapped Canada that perpetuates "fixed" national identities and privileges the white unmarked body. I will also consider how these identities might be displaced by exploring Avtar Brah's notion of "diaspora space," and reconsider Canadian identities according to cartographies that resist stasis and imagine "home" and "belonging" as spaces that are always, already mobile.

2. The Depth of Skin: A Study of Surface-play in Contemporary Architecture
S. Yahya Islami,
Department of Arts, Culture and Environment, University of Edinburgh

     Semper rejected the view which prioritized structure over ornamentation and colour, replacing it with one in which surface-play became important. In this way, he provoked an understanding of architecture as taking place at the front, on the face, and on the sur-face of structures. He advocated the use of colour and pattern as the joy of architectural creation.
     New digital technologies have brought about a continuation of the Semperian delight in the surface. E-paper, digital screens, printed concrete, composite polymers and dynamic cladding systems, allow us to relish our appreciation of architecture at the surface level. The greater interaction of architecture with the digital media has allowed for a return to the playful use of colour, light and pattern in architecture, which bears great resemblance to the carpets and decorative tileworks of the Near East, which inspired Semper and his contemporaries in the nineteenth century. There seems to be a return to surface-play and colour in the twenty first century and ornamentation has acquired a new, more dynamic character.
     Thus, surface in contemporary architecture is becoming more than superficial: it is becoming surficial. What has become of great importance is an interdisciplinary appreciation of architecture and the acknowledgment of surfaces as bearers of meaning, and as places for communication and exchange.
     What follows is an investigation into the blurring effect of new technologies on traditional surface/structure dichotomies followed by different architectural projects which embody such ideas.

3. TBA

Unfolding of Language: The Productive Tension of Translation

Natalia A. Mikhailova, Department of Comparative Literature, SUNY-Buffalo

By the Toronto Universities Policy Discussion Group (TUPDiG)
1:30 pm Internationalization
Panel Chairperson: Dr. Kevin Dowler
1. The Operationalization of Civil Society: The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Associational Terrain of Democracy
Roy Bendor,
School of Communication, Simon Fraser University

     Recent shifts in international development policy have increasingly focused on linking economic and political restructuring under the panoply of "good governance." These new modes of political conditionality foreground civil society as a source of legitimacy and popular support for the twin neo-liberal thrusts of democratization and marketization, embodying what some critics call the "new development orthodoxy."
     The political conditionality trend did not pass over CIDA, whose latest policy statements emphasize the need to engage civil society in development programs through consultative processes and responsive programming. However, the specific form and function civil society assumes in CIDA policy raise questions as to the viability of premising "aid effectiveness" (in CIDA's terms) in a democratic transformation propelled by civil society.
     Employing critical discourse analysis with a focus on policy coherence, this presentation explores CIDA's approach to civil society as networks of non-governmental organizations and associations, locates different formulations of civil society on the range that stretches between nominal and participatory models of democracy, and draws attention to the complexities and problematic inherent to the discursive use of civil society. The conceptual analysis points to the ideological contexts in which civil society is used in both descriptive and prescriptive manners, and which result in its reduced analytical usefulness.

2. U.S. Cultural Policy as/and U.S. Foreign Policy
Tanner Mirrlees,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     Critical discourses of U.S. cultural imperialism have been problematized over the past twenty years and often replaced by discourses of post-national cultural globalization. The blindspot in both discourses is an account of the U.S. cultural foreign policies and state-supported communicational and informational apparatuses that articulated, distributed and sought to win international consent to "American culture" for much of the 20th century.
     To illuminate this blindspot, this paper historicizes the deployment of culture as a U.S. foreign policy resource in U.S. foreign policy discourse and practice from 1930 to the present. By accounting for the state-financed communicational and informational policies and apparatuses that articulated and circulated American culture around the world, this paper updates theoretical considerations of U.S. cultural imperialism and provides a counterpoint to post-national and stateless theories of cultural globalization. A critical and historicist analysis of U.S. cultural policy as/and U.S foreign policy is crucial if scholars of both cultural studies and political-economy want to understand the 20th century construction and expansion of the U.S. empire and its current cultural war in the Middle East.

3. Framing the Public Mind: Strategic Language, Framing and the Invasion of Iraq
David Clifton,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     The Bush Administration's use of language during the 2003 invasion of Iraq was an attempt to control public discourse, and through it, public opinion. Words and phrases such as weapons of mass destruction, regime change and coalitionof the willing were designed to rally a global public consensus behind the war, and extend the goodwill that many western nations offered the U.S. after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
     Political actors use strategic language to create discursive "frames". These frames are heuristic devices that selectively highlight elements of political messages to promote particular problem definitions, causal interpretations and moral judgments. Politicians use strategic words and phrases in the hope that journalists will adopt their language uncritically. When journalists treat politicized language as common parlance, they both exempt it from scrutiny and lend credibility to the arguments and biases embedded in that language.
     The Bush Administration's use of strategic language was pernicious not because it made for successful propaganda, but because it frustrated intelligent public discourse and polarized public opinion. Strategic language has important implications for democratic communication. Even if audiences are not easily manipulated, the uncritical use and repetition of strategic words and phrases undermines the quality of public debate, and contributes to political alienation and cynicism.
     Using a content analysis of 212 White House, Pentagon and U.S. State Department transcripts from the first 46 days of the invasion, this paper is examines the use of 406 "ideologically ladened" words and phrases as speculates as to their impact on public discourse.

2:45 pm Identity Politics and Policies
Panel Chairperson: Dr. Amin Alhassan
1. Outlining the Need for an Interdisciplinary Discourse Analysis of Poverty Coverage in Canada
Joanna Redden,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     This paper represents the first stage of a research project in progress. The paper points to the need for a discourse analysis of poverty coverage in Canada and outlines why such a study should take an interdisciplinary approach. In the process the paper highlights a major policy gap in Canada, points to the need for further research, and speaks to the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach in media and policy studies.
     Poverty and the increasing economic inequality in Canada are arguably the most pressing issues facing the nation today. Yet, there is little public discussion within the mainstream media about potential solutions. In fact, a number of social theorists including Herbert J. Gans, Michael B. Katz and Zygmunt Bauman have argued that poverty issues are regularly mystified in mainstream media coverage and that the poor are stereotypically portrayed as "others," dangerous, and/or dependent. This negative coverage, each argues, affects what we choose to do or not do about poverty.
     Over the last decade much empirical work has examined the media's stereotypical coverage of poverty issues in the United States and the damaging consequences, but little work has been done in Canada to examine how the poor are being portrayed and how such portrayals might be influencing public opinion, and in turn public policy.
     To analyze the mutually constitutive relationships that comprise the social fabric of news and audience this research paper presents the necessity and benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to media and policy studies. The paper asserts that a discourse analysis of poverty coverage must be rooted in Political Economy, and employ Cultural studies and discourse analysis. Further, it argues that recent agenda-setting and attribute-setting research illustrates that the media do have the ability to influence what issues we think about and how we think about those issues.

2. The Network as a Resolution to the Refugee Problem: Towards a Theory of an Alternative Understanding of the Refugee
Stephanie Silverman,
Political Science, York University

     The refugee is situated as the outsider in the inside/outside divide that results from the delineation of nation-states. Often securitized as a threat to the stability of the domestic community, the refugee's stateless position calls into question many tenets of sovereignty, citizenship, language and politics. Theoretically and often practically, the refugee is rendered voiceless and so is unable to function as a political actor. It is not impossible, however, to imagine a solution to this situation which is commonly known as "the refugee problem". What is proposed is a recovery of agency and identity through networking to limit the authority of traditional state-based sovereignty, and theoretically free the refugee from their secondary positions in the inside/outside dialectic.
     A "network" is here appreciated as a vision of the political that resists the hegemony of the territorialization of identity in order to express a new articulation of community. Following the ideas of RBJ Walker, Michael Dillon, Peter Mandaville, Cynthia Weber and others, this articulation points to a dynamic "translocal" actor or political site that is powerful enough to transgress borders and is continually being reconstituted through
the political act of meaning creation.
     Inspiration for this idea was drawn from the Guatemalan refugee return movement of the early 1990s. The network of committees that sprung from the Mexican camps in these years defied the traditional "victim" images associated with displaced people, and provided stimulation for both theorists and other refugee groups around the world. Nevertheless, the point of discussion remains: Does a theory inspired by this practice reflect real life, or is a resolution to the paradox of the "refugee problem" destined to remain purely conceptual?

3. Go Directly Online, Do not Pass "Emerg": Seeing the Social Construction of Health Information Websites Through Policy
Karen Smith,
School of Communication, Simon Fraser University

     In the summer of 2005, I completed an action research project, assisting, observing and interviewing patients in the waiting room of the Mid-Main Community Health Center as an Internet terminal was introduced. Mid-Main is an innovative, non-profit primary healthcare center located in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC). The computer at Mid-Main was introduced, in part, to address the digital divide disadvantages faced by patients who are not connected to the Internet at home to access health information. During the project, the homepage of the browser was rotated between the BC HealthGuide, and Canadian Health Network websites maintained by the BC Ministry of Health Services, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
     This paper will outline a method utilized to conduct discourse analysis on policy pertinent documents including press releases, HANSARD transcripts, and government reports related to the health information websites accessed in this study. A social constructivist approach to discourse analysis was applied, due to my belief that technology is shaped by participants and within particular social contexts. As "top-down" systems under the Canadian connectivity strategy, government websites are greatly influenced by designers and decision-makers. Tensions exist in the policy goals of the websites to reduce pressure on the system and simultaneously empower patients with knowledge. A range of rhetorical themes emerged from the documents including: renewal, access, self-care, and the cross-cutting concept of patients' needs. This paper will argue that the policy defined goals and objectives of the BC HealthGuide, and Canadian Health Network are important to consider in relation to patients' experience of seeking health information online.

4:00 pm Advocacy and Criticism
Panel Chairperson: Dr. Colin Mooers
1. Why did Canadian Private-Sector Cultural Policy Advocacy Fail?: The Canadian Arts Council and the Federal Government (1945-58)
Gregory Klages,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     Writing regarding cultural policy development in Canada, particularly by those involved in the arts, has tended to offer a celebration of the merits of federal management and support, portraying the state's move into culture as the result of enlightened benevolence. This position overlooks or downplays the significant history of alternative policy proposals by private sector, "grass-roots" organizations that were ignored by the federal government for over a decade before it undertook to lead cultural management in Canada. My doctoral research applies several current, contested political science models developed to explain institutional and network development to better understand how Canada's federal cultural policy network developed, and in particular, why policy advocacy by private-sector groups representing practicing artists failed to shape cultural policy enacted by the Canadian federal government.
     In 1945, representatives of sixteen private-sector Canadian creative arts groups came together as the Canadian Arts Council (CAC), seeking a limited slate of federal cultural policy goals. While involved in policy consultation with the federal government, by the late 1950s, despite superficial satisfaction of their goals, the CAC was marginalized in the federal cultural policy development process.
     My presentation will apply several models from within the "new institutionalism" stream of political science to archival institutional documents from the CAC, its members, and relevant departments of the federal government. Taken together, the application of these models to the history of the CACs institutional and policy network development and behaviour strongly suggest that the groups' ultimate failure was based on three factors: the challenges of policy learning for "grass-roots" advocates, the CACs own institutional characteristics, and the values which compelled federal initiative in cultural activities.

2. From Communicated Boundaries to Inclusivity and Intergenerational Solidarity: The Discourse of Adult Perceptions of Youth
Amy Brandon,
Faculty of Education, York University

This paper establishes a link between the development of Canadia broadcasting policy and the Canadian English-language independent production film and television unions. Using the unions' policy interventions around the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's 1999 Television Policy and the decline in Canadian dramatic programming as a case study, the paper examines how broadcasting policy shapes domestic industry labour market conditions and how labour intervenes in the policy process as representatives of their members' interests. I argue that labour's adoption of a coalition framework with the formation of the Coalition of Canadian Audio-visual Unions has positively impacted labour's power and efficacy in the Canadian broadcasting policy sphere.

3. In Search of the Knockout: The Media's Fixation with Competitive Communication in Canadian Federal Election Debates
J.P. Lewis,
Department of Political Science, Carleton University

     During the 1988 Canadian federal election debate, Liberal leader John Turner gave an enthusiastic performance in deriding Prime Minister Brian Mulroney over the policy of free trade with the United States. Turner aggressively attackedMulroney with the memorable accusation that the Progressive Conservatives were attempting to sell out Canada with "one signature of a pen". This exchange followed the famous so-called "knock-out punch" of Mulroney against Turner four years earlier over Liberal patronage appointments with the assertion that Turner "had an option". There have been gaffes and poor performances, but no post-1988 debate participant has enjoyed the pleasure of receiving the media praise Mulroney or Turner have experienced.
     This paper will present the thesis that the political media and political pundits should discontinue the practice of seeking out the winning line or "knock-out punch". In the five election campaigns since 1988, the media has not acknowledged the delivery of a "you had an option sir" line. No leader has been credited with that kind of performance and the obsession with the debates of 1980s does not seen to be fading anytime soon. Through a deep analysis of the newspaper media coverage of the Canadian federal election debates the paper will demonstrate that the political media elite has created expectations and raised the bar for debate performance that leaders cannot meet. This study will demonstrate how the press in Canada has created a scenario in which debates will continue to be seen as "draws", "close contests" or containing "no knock-out punches".

Sunday March 26

9:30 am Spatial Orbits: Ever (R)evolving Personal Spaces and their Outer Effects
Panel Chairperson: Dr. Jennifer Vanderburgh
1. From Affectation to Affect: Thinking Corporeal Susceptibilities in the Cultural Surround
John Hunting,
Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

     This paper argues that the "spatial turn" in cultural studies ought to acknowledge the body itself not only as a site of differentiation (i.e., of affectation and style) but as a site of vulnerability and need. In this regard Emmanuel Levinas has theorized the positionality of the body as a radical susceptibility. To be sure "geographies" or material sites of culture and communication articulate the "manuscripts" or "mattering maps" that situate the look, behavior, intentionalities and affectations of bodies in a nexus of cultural values and expectations. In fact the body itself is a kind of socio-psychological terrain wherein manners of being, personal styles (indeed personality) are produced and reproduced in material/corporeal terms. As such bodies are not only the locale for social performances that are site specific, they are also locales for the deployment of vital energies and intentionalities that pattern the range and dynamism of things like body movement and voice in predictable ways. Hence if cultural geographies evidence a certain "texture" or "feel", the personalities of others also evidence an affective propensity that is similarly felt. But if the body can be understood as a cultural "site" in its own right, it is important to theorize the body not only as the site of cultural and personal transformation, it is also the site of an elemental susceptibility, enjoyment and suffering. To be "affected", then, would have this double meaning. On the one hand as the dynamic deployment of manners and styles, in many ways traversed by and fitted into the cultural surround and, on the other, as a vitalizing contact, proximity and invigoration. Indeed from the point of view of a Levinasian theory of embodied susceptibility, affect, in this regard, is irreducible to the specific deployments of affect and style we associate with social performance, it also signals the intrinsic value of feeling that manners and styles both sponsor and constrain.

2. Exploring Online Music Spaces
Jeremy Morris,
Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

     From internet audio streams to downloads to musical ring tones, new digital technologies and new cultural practices are facilitating changes to the way music is marketed, distributed and consumed. New outlets for the exchange (e.g. myspace. com) and sale (e.g. iTunes, Puretracks) of music are evolving and creating markets where none existed before. Internet service providers, not previously considered players in the music business, are now central points for the discovery and distribution of our favourite songs. Be it on cell phones, iPod's or the internet, the business of music is changing as novel spaces surface.
     As a distribution outlet, advertising model and web destination, the music subsection of (2006) is emerging as an important marketing and distribution tool for musicians of various genres, be they independent or mainstream artists. Boasting over 27 million users (Brandweek 2005), was originally conceived as a kind of Napstermeets- Friendster website. It has since blossomed into a community where users gather to exchange music and ideas about music. It is also a site where commercial interests rub up uncomfortably against artists seeking alternative ways of independently producing and distributing their music. In this light, myspace reveals itself as a site for music, a site for commerce, a social network for musicians and fans, and a space for interaction. is not simply an emerging site for the circulation of music; it is transforming the traditional landscape upon which artists market/share their products and upon which audiences discover music. As the music industry struggles to understand and react to the implications of the mp3 revolution, this exploratory paper analyzes as both a web site and a social space for the marketing, distribution and consumption of music. Drawing on Bodker's (2004) ideas about the changing materiality of music, this paper also questions the impact of treating music as a digitized commodity.

3. Reclaiming the Past: Transforming the Scapes of Schizophrenia
Susanne Cardwell,
Department of Communication, University of Calgary

     The technologically mediated versions of discourses on schizophrenia are contestable forms of social control. Through a five-minute multimedia performance, featuring live dance, graphic artwork, and music with voice over, I will issue multiple layers of simultaneously interacting themes of 'transforming scapes' in media and culture regarding schizophrenia. This advocacy/creative work will be followed by a discussion.
     First, I will show the transformation of the scape of theory. In doing so, I will highlight the necessity of evaluating schizophrenia from a critical erspective rather than a postmodernist stream of thought. This transformation is presented as necessary for emancipatory change and the redefining of the media scapes that have stereotypically portrayed schizophrenia. Second, I will show the transformation of the scape of liberation, from disenfranchisement into powerfulness, through my dance piece. A memorable aspect of this performance is that I am a woman with schizophrenia who is undergoing a similar transformation through academia.
     Lastly, I will show a transformation of the media scape itself as an overlapping of the themes of entrapment versus release, with negative versus positive representations. The latter theme will revisit how early history held people with schizophrenia in high esteem (Zilboorg cited in Rotenberg 1978: 3). However, this has since been replaced by negative stereotypes of schizophrenia. This presentation will revive early history's
conceptions of schizophrenia by making links with documented prophets who heard voices from God. Furthermore, the heightened perceptual awareness of people with schizophrenia will be constructed as potentially evolutionary.

10:45 am Streetscapes: Negotiating the Urban Environment
Panel Chairperson: Dr. Michael Murphy
1. Faith in the Street
Charlotte Scott,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     Faith in the Street is a 12-minute soundscape composition based in the discursive, creative practice of soundwalking and the study of sound ecology. The piece contemplates ideas about faith, consumption and overlapping acoustic territories in the modern city, and expresses the musical resonances that emerge from an inner ear in perpetual dialogue with the acoustic environment of everyday city life.
     Acoustic ecology is a field of research and creative practice that is finding increasing resonance with cultural studies scholars. Sound inhabits the interstitial spaces between constructed subjects and objects. It is experienced intellectually, as parsed messages about the environment, but also tangibly, as physical vibrations that pass through and around the human body: we live in sound, and sound develops meaning within us. The soundscapes of urban spaces have become increasingly suffused with industrial and commercial noise, blurring the boundaries between personal and public, sacred and commodified space. These acoustic territories merge physically in the air, and are remixed and re-signified in the artist's imagination. Field recordings of doomsday evangelists, missionaries, and bible-blitzers indicate the at-first incongruous presence of faith in modern public spaces. The evangelizing, at turns dominating and fatherly, is offset by commercial sound pollution, bringing the hawking of commodities and of religions into the same aural environment. Yet, the city is an acoustic space full of potential and often unrealized beauty, ready to be teased out of the frantic mess of motors, pop radio and megaphone prophets, and rewoven acoustically to reflect a more subjective interpretation of the modern soundscape.
     I profess my own faith in the street through musical performance, realizing the city's capacity for transcendence when re-interpreted and remixed with a critical and compassionate ear. Thus, dual and perhaps oppositional meanings of transcendence inhabit the same acoustic space. This composition reflects both the physical experience of soundwalking in urban territories, and the imagined and emotionally-constructed territories invented through subjective imagination and a desire for meaningful engagement with the modern acoustic environment.

2. The 'Car(e)less Driving' Incident: Elementary Exercises in Auto-Intervention
Chris Smith,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     As both a performative style of creative, artistic practice and a mode of political action that critiques the form and function of the contemporary capitalist cityscape, the emerging practice of "urban intervention" seeks to inter/dis-rupt and directly intervene in the conditioned, taken-for-granted patterns of everyday life in the urban environment.
     Tracing the work of a small artist/activist collective that formed out of a course being offered through Toronto's Anarchist Free University, this creative work and accompanying artist/activist talk will critically examine the issues involved in the practice of 'urban intervention' through one recent, local, Toronto-based example: the Free Parking Space project.
In April 2005, the Pedestrian Mob collective began constructing car-sized model frameworks out of recycled cardboard fabric rolls. Secured by duct tape and a series of straps, the models were designed to be worn by an individual pedestrian, either walking or cycling. After the wildly positive reactions the group received from their first performative interventions in the Kensington Market area, they began taking the Free Parking Space model into different parts of the city and documenting their experiences.
     Within weeks the project began receiving critical attention from the media and the public alike, with articles appearing in Does, Eye, Now, and the Globe and Mail. Before long, however, the group also began to attract attention from the Toronto police, and in June 2005, two members of the project were targeted while wearing the models and charged with "careless driving". Still pending trial, this has become known as the "car(e)less driving" incident.
     Tracing this autonomous, anarchist-inspired example of auto-intervention from inception to conclusion, this talk will address the wide spectrum of anti-car critiques which were spawned by the Free Parking Space project?what the Globe and Mail called a "vehicle for dissent"? in the context of the larger politics of urban intervention as an emergent political/poetic, critical/creative, artist/activist practice.

3. Between Exploitation and Play: Skateboarding and the Negotiation of Resistance
Jason Phillips,
Department of English and Film Studies, Wilfred Laurier University

     My paper addresses the question "What potential exists for scapes of resistance, or opportunities to challenge present boundaries and structures?" I assert that skateboarding is a fluid scape ? a horizontally arranged form of negotiated resistance that challenges and re-signifies the functional meaning of urban design.
     I argue that skateboarding inhabits a fluid, negotiated socio-cultural position in-between commercial exploitation and a perceived authenticity as an act of play, of freedom and selfexpression. Skateboarders negotiate subject positions between these two poles, and that negotiation is a form of resistance that shifts between modes of implicit and explicit activism.
     I demonstrate the different modes of resistance by examining three short video clips of skateboarding activity in downtown Toronto. The first clip (3 minutes, 34 seconds) presents skateboarding as an implicit act of resistance that seeks to re-signify the meaning of urban space through the act of skateboarding as play. The second clip (2 minutes, 33 seconds) demonstrates a more explicit mode of resistance as the skateboarders engage with security personnel in an urban space functionally designed to facilitate commercial activity. The third clip (4 minutes, 53 seconds) is footage of explicit acts of resistance by young people who, through the act of skateboarding, are trying to establish public space in a corporately privatized urban environment.
     In specific relevance to the themes of the conference, I discuss the communicative modes by which such acts are organized and the results skateboarding-as-resistance has achieved in changing both the conceptual and physical landscapes of urban environments.

1:45 pm Where do you want to go Today?: Tourism, Technology and Transformation
Panel Chairperson: Dr. Ed Slopek
1. Destination Place Identity and Tourism Advertising Imagery: Place Images in Caribbean Destination Advertisements
Susan Dupej,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     In an increasingly complex and global marketplace, tourists have a rapidly growing, boundless range of varied tourism products and destination options from which to choose. In order to combat challenges of increased competition among the growing number of available and accessible tourism sites, destinations have engaged in advertising to develop comprehensive place identity programs in efforts to differentiate themselves and to emphasize the uniqueness of their tourism product. The proposed academic paper presentation is to present the results and implications of an empirical study that examined the representation and portrayal of place in tourism destination advertisements by investigating the relationship between destination place identity and tourism advertising imagery. Using a case study of travel magazine advertisements promoting similar types of destinations in the Caribbean region, the study demonstrates the ineffectiveness of tourism advertisements in portraying a discernable place identity, largely a function of the type and quality of place-specific and non-place specific images contained in the tourism advertisement.
     The implications of these findings in terms of place and space relate closely to the theme of "Emerging Spaces, Transforming Scopes". The way in which destinations are represented not only raise questions over the claimed importance of distinctive place identity, but also over the changing way in which place is imagined in relation to tourism. Tourism is essentially a placebased phenomenon that relies on the projection of place identity to attract tourists. Ironically, tourism advertising, with its use of similar non-place specific images, influences a dilution of established destinations; blurring identities, erasing boundaries, and homogenizing spaces. Increasingly separated from the historically rooted and physically bounded entities of geographic space, new notions of place, resulting from its commodification as a mass produced product for tourist consumption, has challenged present national boundaries with an emerging imagined space of no definite characteristics, no fixed boarders and no meaningful boundaries. The effect has been a rendering of places that are indistinguishable, interchangeable and easily substituted for one another, and thus, transforming the way we look at the world.

2. Surfing under Palm Trees: The Internet and Everyday Life in Barbados
Samantha Moonsammy,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     This article reports the findings of an ethnographic study of internet use conducted in Barbados. The goal was to analyze the Internet in everyday life. It examines in detail the effects of the Internet, focus on the types of activities performed online, and explore how these fit into the complexity of everyday life. Studying the Internet in Barbados will address questions such as the significance of the Internet in the home and users relationships with and connections to imagined and physical spaces.
     The questions I address are: by what processes can and do Barbadians maintain cultural connections to place via the internet. Furthermore, focus was placed on what Barbadians find in the internet, what they make of it and how they can relate its possibilities to themselves and their futures. The findings could reveal a great deal about both the relationship between technology and identity in a Barbadian context.
     I set out to identify and explore the process by which "the user" becomes an active and significant figure in the social shaping of the internet (see Bakardjieva and Smith 2001). The "user" here refers to Barbadians who are domestic users and have access to the internet in their home. The rationale for this study begins with an examination of the research conducted by two British scholars Daniel Miller and Don Slater in 2000. They conducted one of the first ethnographic studies on the internet in Trinidad. Their rich analysis illustrates how the internet is increasingly shaping, and being shaped by users' lives. One of their significant findings includes a detailed account of the complex integration between on-line and off-line worlds.
     The notion of virtuality has played a key role in previous social research on the Internet. The term suggests that media can provide both means of interaction and modes of representation that add up to "spaces" or "places" that participants can treat as if they were real (Miller and Slater 2000: 4). My ethnographic research begins with the assumption that the notion of cyberspace is not a place apart from offline life. Rather than starting from virtuality, I am interested in starting the investigation of the Internet from within the complex ethnographic experience. The method of data collection included ethnographic interviews of 32 users from ten households in the same neighbourhood.

3. TBA
Intersection of Social Classes and Gender Relations:
A Case Study on the Socio-Cultural Domestication of Mobile Phone in Port-au-Prince

Margareth Cormier,
Department of Communication, University of Ottawa
3:00 pm tranSfOrMAtions
Panel Chairperson: Dr. Janine Marchessault
1. Seeing and Experiencing Chouinard: The Body Language of the Spectator
Kate Cornell,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     In Revolution in Poetic Language, Julia Kristeva posits the chora as analogous to vocal and kinetic rhythms of the body. As an audience member who also trained as a dancer, I find my body responds instantaneously and rhythmically to dance performances, thereby connecting to the chora. The act of writing becomes a physical manifestation of the theatrical experience. My research questions include: what role does the body play in the transmission of dance to language? How is the essence of the chora transferred from dancer to spectator in the experience of watching a performance?
     The writings of Julia Kristeva, Roland Barthes and John Martin provide important theories of the body that aid in answering these research questions. Kristeva's theories regarding the importance of the body to language are particularly applicable to this examination. Furthermore, Roland Barthes' terms geno-song and pheno-song apply Kristeva's concepts because these concrete terms offer functional examples of the semiotic and symbolic in action. Finally, John Martin's term metakinesis, the transference of energy between the dancer and spectator, connects dance to Kristeva's chora. With an awareness of the chora in each subject, I want to examine the transfer of the chora from the dancer to the spectator and its impact on writing in the work of Montreal choreographer Marie Chouinard, specifically the male solo Des feux dans la nuit.

2. Reworking the Desirous Gaze: Self Constructed Eros in Cinema
Shana MacDonald,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     The paper I am proposing examines the questions that arise when a female filmmaker crafts her own erotic image outside the dominant practices of commercial film and porn. Considering the long trajectory of erotic cinema made by women, with a specific focus on the films and performances of Carolee Schneemann alongside the debates started within feminist psychoanalytic film theory in the mid-1970s, I will discuss the importance of considering erotic self-portraiture as a key feminist act in cinema and art. I will draw out the ways in which erotic representation of oneself can actively position the artists' body not as "sex object, but as a willed, erotic subject commanding her own image" (1). The paper aims to challenge and re-think not only the representation of women in the dominant political economy of Hollywood and commercial pornography but also wishes to challenge the monolithic position imposed on feminist film theory since the 1970s in regards to the active male gaze and the passive female subject. Through an exploration of Carolee Schneemann's 1967 Fuses in dialogue with my recent film self seeking frenzy (which draws great inspiration from the former) I will argue how through the unique position of the female artist deriving pleasure from the creation of her own erotic form many of the restrictions imposed by both mainstream visual culture and the institutionalization of certain methods of feminist thought can be challenged and worked through allowing a space for feminist art to move past the tension that Carolee Schneemann describes as being "permitted to be an image but not an image-maker creating her own self image" (2). The paper will be accompanied by a short clip from Fuses as well as a longer clip from self seeking frenzy.

3. The Twists, Turns and Torsions of (Re)volt
Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     This paper will investigate the notion of "revolt," and more specifically what does this term mean to us today, how has its meaning changed over time, and what is its function in culture and in art. By concentrating primarily on Julia Kristeva's philosophical writings on this topic, this paper will begin by providing a rough overview of the current meaning of revolt and its practice, or non-practice. It will subsequently delineate the etymological evolution of this term and its semantic shifts or what Kristeva calls its "plasticity," which she insists is dependent on the historical context. Taking this notion of plasticity, which also implies mobility and activity, this paper will discuss Kristeva's notion of "the semiotic" modality of language and its indebtedness to Sigmund Freud's theory of the primary process thinking and the unconscious. This Freudian shift will help to also illustrate one of the most fundamental qualities and meaning of "revolt" that persisted throughout its etymological evolution, the notion of a backward movement or return. This regressive movement into an earlier state is crucial to both Kristeva's conception of "the semiotic" and what she insists is the foundation of "revolt," the pre-linguistic and somatically oriented state of our existence (the ntrauterine, the infantile stages and the archaic). She contends that poetic language, in particular the texts of the avant-garde poets such us Mallarme, Artaud and Joyce, by means of its close affinity with "the semiotic" modality, through its emphasis on rhythm rather than denotation or representation, "reminds us of its eternal function: to introduce through the symbolic that which works on, moves through, and threatens it. The theory of the unconscious seeks the very thing that poetic language practices within and against the social order: the ultimate means for its transformation or subversion, the precondition for its survival and revolution" (3).
     By drawing on Kristeva's notions of "the semiotic" and "revolt" this paper will discuss how both concepts can be applied to cinematic practices, as a way to challenge the dominant modes of representation imposed by the capitalist institutions and economic system of entertainment. It will conclude with a brief discussion and a screening of a film created by me, titled her carnal ongings, which will demonstrate the exploration of "the semiotic" modality in cinema and hopefully the intimations of "revolt."

4. What Light Through Yonder Filmstrip Breaks?
Towards an Interdisciplinary Approach to the Semiotics of Cinema:
A Case Study of Stan Brakhage's Black Ice

Kelly Egan,
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities

     For a film's audience, the "object" is displaced; the audience is lacking a direct relationship to the representamen---the filmstrip. In the context of experimental film, the filmmaker has very material/bodily connection to the filmstrip. Often, the filmmaker's hand is felt hen viewing the film, returning the viewer to the originary object of analysis, back to the filmstrip. Not surprisingly, this re-placement can affect the viewer's understanding to the projected image, shocking the viewer into a holistic experience of the "film." In this presentation I will explore this perceptual process of signification in experimental film through the application of Julia Kristeva's theory of significance on Stan Brakhage's visceral masterpiece "Black Ice." The shattering decentredness, eclipsing of the ground-figure relationship, emotive power and critical tension (between what I will argue are re-presentations of the sex drive and the death drive) have fuelled my interest in this film. By presenting "Black Ice," analyzing the text, and then allow the audience to re-experience the film as my conclusion, I hope bring greater understanding of how and why experimental film means.

4:15 pm Consuming Territories: Ecologies and Economies of Popular Culture
Panel Chairperson: Dr. Steve Bailey
1. The Circuit of Labour and Leisure in the Age of Biopolitical Production
Scott Stoneman & Max Haiven,
Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University

     Adorno writes that the "lack of imagination which is cultivated and inculcated by society renders people helpless in their free time" intimating the question of time as the last conquest of sovereign power over life, the complete occupation of the possibility of improvisation or imagination by preoccupation, the limit of which is idiomatically characterized by that deceptively banal phrase "killing time." What does it mean that the temporalities of occupation and preoccupation increasingly appear inextricable in an era of globalization.
     Our paper seeks a clearer understanding of the relationship between immaterial labour, what is today increasingly taken to be the dominant modality of "work time," and what we still tend to regard as "free time": leisure under late capitalism. We bring into proximity two projects--Adorno's and that of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri--in the interest of considering what it might mean today for power to smuggle an increasingly "immaterial" labour into leisure. We posit that such a turn means the making properly biopolitical of work-time oriented towards the production of life in the modality of docile preoccupation, which is felt, of course and crucially, to be self-willed. What is it about the field of possible position-takings which ensures the "direct" production of social relations. The condition of contemporary temporal privation, and of increasing atomization, are strategies of capitalist sovereignty which sustain themselves in spite of profound popular ennui by rendering free time "helpless," by denying systematically--through in part the very organization of space in, for example (and example par excellence), a Wal-Mart--the experience of pleasure through freedom and collective action.
     We are centrally concerned with how the "conquest of happiness," which characterizes the temporal dimensionality of a globe labouring under biopolitical production, can be rearticulated and reappropriated for a politics of hope which aspires to begin to undo the evacuation of imagination and yearns to affirm the latent but identifiable desire for solidarity and selfgovernance.

2. Consuming Currency: Gold Farming, Alienation, and the Consumption of Virtual Goods Between Online and Offline Environments
Jennifer Martin,
Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario

     Within visually-oriented online games, limits on character appearance and attributes can cause people to be less than pleased with their virtual experience. In these spaces, virtual currency and the virtual goods that can be purchased with it are imbued with power. Through the purchase of goods, facilitated by currency, players can change their clothing and other goods that they possess, simultaneously changing their attributes and appearance. In order to facilitate these purchases, many players resort to using "real" offline money to purchase virtual currency. In recent years, there has been significant growth in a practice termed "gold farming" in which individuals and companies enter into online games, gather virtual currency, and sell it to players for offline money.
     This paper details the crossing of the borders between virtual spaces and offline life in terms of the practice of gold farming and the purchase of virtual currency and goods. Although such purchases can lead to benefits for players, there are significant issues surrounding the currency production of ingame farmers. It will be seen that in producing virtual currency, workers are engaging in practices surrounding virtual consumption that are linked to offline alienation from their means of production and from other individuals. Despite the apparent separation between virtual and offline spaces, virtual currency serves as a means not only of crossing the borders between the two, but of significantly affecting individuals' experiences within both worlds in both positive and negative ways.

3. Girls Gone Wild/Raunch: The Patriarchal and Consumeristic Relations of an Adolescent Sub-Culture
Naomi Nichols,
Graduate Program in Education, York University

     In this paper, I investigate a media and pop-culture version of female adolescent sexuality. Drawing on Judith Timson's 2005 Maclean's cover article ("The female chauvinist pig: how it became cool to treat yourself like a piece of meat") and the movie Girl Power: Girls Gone Wild, Volume 7, I explore a female adolescent subculture (Clarke et al., 1976) as it is portrayed in the media depiction of the "female chauvinist pig," as well as how it is consumed through the popular culture video phenomena Girls Gone Wild. "The female chauvinist pig" is a term coined by April Levy in her book, The Female Chauvinist Pig: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture and is the inspiration for Timson's article. Throughout my investigation I draw on Foucault's (1994) and Lesko's (2001) theoretical discussions of Bentham's panopticon and the social organization of power, and Lesko's (2001) exploration of adolescence as an administrative technology.
     I entered into this study intending to illuminate how a young female subculture enacts power through explicit sexuality. Youthful female sexuality is a hot commercial commodity (prominent in an influx of teen/young adult pop-star personas and an age-defying cosmetic culture geared towards adult women), but we are critical of its presence at our own dinner tables, in our classrooms, malls, etc. I suspected I would see the young women we commercialize and criticize in the same breath throwing our objectifying stares back in our faces by taking ownership of their sexuality. However, as I embarked on a journey into the world of girls gone wild, I was shown a much more complex picture. In this paper, I argue that the "girls gone wild" are produced and consumed in the context of North American culture at large, but that their performance are directed by, and for, a ubiquitous male gaze.

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