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Graduate Program in Communication & Culture

Faculty Profiles

Michael Prokopow

Media & Culture

University   Adjunct, York/Ryerson
E-Mail Address   prokopow@ryerson.ca
Phone Number    
Office Location    
Office Hours   TBA


Education

BA (Victoria); MA (New Brunswick); AM (Harvard); Ph. D. (Harvard)

Biography

Professor Prokopow joined the Ryerson University faculty in August 2003. His areas of specialization include the material cultures of North America and Europe, modernity and post-modernity, comparative colonialism and the history of design and architecture. He currently serves as the curator of the Design Exchange, Canada’s design center and museum of post -1945 Canadian industrial design.

Research Interests

Professor Prokopow is working on study of middle class taste in North America between 1940 and 1970. Interested in questions of aesthetic choice and the tensions between tradition and modernity as modes of styles, this work will explore such questions as why “French provincial” is an enduringly popular style of furniture in middle class homes and why in the 1970s “avocado green” and “harvest gold” were so wildly popular.

Selected Publications

“Bargains on the Table: The Flea Market and American Culture,” American Popular Icons: The People, Places, and Things that Shaped American Culture, editors Dennis R. Hall and Susan Grove Hall, (Greenwood Academic Press, 2005)
“Deign to be Modern: Canada’s taste for Scandinavian design in the 1960s,” in Made in Canada: craft and design in the sixties, editor Alan C. Elder, (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005), 93-105.
“Deference to Difference: Multiculturalism and Diversity in Canada, 1763-2003,” (with Ruth Sandwell, OISE), in Civil Society: The Experience of West and East, (Vladivostock /Moscow, 2004) 193-203.
“Material Truths” The Quilts of Gee’s Bend at the Whitney Museum of Art: An Exhibition Review, ”Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of Material Culture, Volume 38(Spring 2003) Number 1, 57-66.
Review of “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend” An Exhibition of African American Quilts at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York City, The Winterthur Portfolio, (Winter 2003).

 

 

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Harold [Innis] taught us how to use the bias of culture and communication as an instrument of research. By directing attention to the bias, or distorting power of the dominant imagery and technology of any culture, he showed us how to understand cultures.
~ Marshall McLuhan