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Graduate Program in Communication & Culture

Faculty Profiles

Wade Rowland

Politics & Policy/ Technology in Practice

University   York University
E-Mail Address
Phone Number   (416)-736-2100 ext. 20468
Office Location   TEL Building, 3018
Office Hours   TBA


M.A. Philosophy of Science (Trent); Ph.D. Communication and Culture (York)


Current interests include philosophy of science and technology, particularly as it relates to communication; critical realism and the Frankfurt School of social theory; communication ethics and the foundations of normative values; Rationalism and the roots of Modernism; political economy of public broadcasting; the modern business corporation and its values. A general theme of my research and teaching is in finding the ethical and public interest principles in technology and its application.

Research Interests

Communication, ethics, critical realism, technology.

Selected Publications

Publishers, 2006 (third edition). 474 pp. An extended essay on the cultural impact of communications technologies from the phonetic alphabet to Web 2.0. Third edition includes additional material introducing main themes of scholarly inquiry into communication and culture.
Greed, Inc.: Why Corporations Rule Out World and How We Let It Happen. Toronto, Thomas Allen Publishers, 2005; New York, Arcade Publishers, 2006. Published in French as Cupidité Inc.: La Soif des Enterprises. Montreal, Editions Hertubise HMH, 2005. Also published in Korea. An examination of the nature and social impact of the modern business corporation, in the context of critical moral theory. Based on my 2004 doctoral dissertation.

Books: Chapters

Proceedings of the ATINER Conference on Media, Marathon, Greece, May 2007 (publication scheduled Nov., 2007): “Institutional Hurdles to Ethical Behaviour in Media: challenges posed by the modern business corporation’s role in mass media and its professions.” 10 pp.

Secrets of Angels and Demons: The Unauthorized Guide to the Bestselling Novel (Dan Burstein, Arne de Keijzer, eds), New York, CDS Books,2004. 389 pp. An extended interview with the editors as an “acknowledged expert” on the relationship between Galileo and Urban VIII. 10 pp. The book’s intent is to bring scholarship to bear on a work of popular fiction.


Other Books: trade publications

Galileo’s Mistake: The Archaeology of a Myth. Toronto, Thomas Allen Publishers, 2001; New York, Arcade Publishing, 2003, in paper, 2004. An inquiry into the epistemological roots of the dispute between Galileo and the Church. A work of popular scholarship based on my 2001 MA thesis of the same title.

Ockham’s Razor: A Search for Wonder in an Age of Doubt. Toronto, Key Porter Books, 1999. Maclean’s best seller. An exploration of the roots of morality in the context of journey through Cathar country in southern France.
Books Edited

Connected Intelligence: The Arrival of the Web Society, Derrick de Kerckhove. Toronto, Amsterdam, Kogan Page, 1997. Edited and provided an introduction to this work of popular scholarship by the head of the McLuhan Program on Technology and Society, University of Toronto. (Published in ten languages.)


Academic journals / peer-reviewed publications

International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, “A Modest Proposal” (for a class-action suit against commercial television for producing an addictive and injurious product).April, 2005. 5 pp.

International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, “Gresham’s Law in Commercial Broadcast Media.” Pending. 20 pp.

Social Epistemology, “Recognizing the Role of the Modern Business Corporation in the ‘Social Construction’ of Technology.” April, 2005. 20 pp.

Journal of Business Ethics, Volume 71, Number 1, March 2007 , pp. 103-105(3). A review of Bernard Hodgson, ed., The Invisible Hand and the Common Good.

Journal of Business Ethics, Sept. 2008 (accepted), ”Reflections on Metaphor and Identity in the Cyber-corporation.”


Other publications / trade periodicals:

Journalistic work has been published in more than a score of publications from the Globe and Mail and New York Times to the Canadian Literary Review and Science Forum. Most of this work adapts academic scholarship for popular audience. This includes a number of book reviews, most recently of David F. Noble’s Beyond the Promised Land: The Movement and the Myth, Toronto, Between the Lines, 2006. Published in Canadian Literary Review, April, 1996.

Current research projects/journals:
Books: in progress

Media Ethics (textbook), based on Ph.D. dissertation on Communication and Culture, York University, Toronto, 2004, entitled Ethics of Artificial Persons: Structural Impediments to Ethical Behaviour in Modern Information Media. An examination of the ethical responsibility of persons, real and artificial, in the context of the business corporation as manifested in twenty-first century market capitalism, with special attention to the institutions and practitioners of communications media.

Love and Gravity in a Time of Crisis (literary non-fiction) Coping with inconvenient truths in the context of “the post-modern moral crisis.” Popular scholarship on critical normative realism and the problems of modernism. Toronto, Thomas Allen.


Link to expanded Personal Website:



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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