Alternative Toronto

Alternative Toronto

Alternative Toronto is a SSHRC-supported digital humanities project that is building a collaborative archive and historical map of the city’s radical, countercultural and trans/feminist/queer communities of the 1980s. The project’s advisory collective includes media historian Lilian Radovac (U of T), researcher Sophie Toupin (McGill), archivist Sarah Demb (Harvard) and author Cory Doctorow, and we’re elated to join the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology as a working group in 2017-18.


Lead Convener: Dr. Lilian Radovac Assistant Professor ICCIT and the principal investigator for Alternative Toronto.

You’re Deactivated

You’re Deactivated

This McLuhan Centre working group focuses on the message of the Platform. The group will focus on how workers resist the casualized and precarious work conditions of the digital economy by repurposing, hacking, or refusing platform labour. While technology intensifies work, it is constantly met with resistance from workers. Think of the Fordist assembly line or the Taylorist numerical control machine and the cycles of struggles they generated. Yet while the platform may be today’s assembly line, only recently research in media studies has started to focus on workers in the digital economy as active subjects that challenge the patterns shaped by the platform as they unionize or organize to fight for improved conditions, higher wages, predictable scheduling, and better benefits. The message of this medium demands new forms of resistance.

Lead Convener: Alessandro Delfanti Assistant Professor New Media, ICCIT
Participants: Brett Caraway, Nicole Cohen, Karen McEwen, David Nieborg, Rianka Singh, Madison Trusolino
Queer Digitality

Queer Digitality

Following McLuhan’s explorations of digital media’s eccentric temporalities and its relationships to ephemera, publics, music, and subcultures, digital media intersects with queer theories in a variety of ways. Scholars working at the interfaces of digital media, trans studies, feminism, queer theory, and queer of color critique have produced valuable insights into the roles and uses of digital media in creating and sustaining forms of queer sociality, experiences, histories, and ways of knowing. The Queer Digitality Working Group will examine queer digital cultures from a variety of perspectives to understand the role of digital media in queer people’s lives and the centrality and significance of queer participation in digital media.


Lead Convener Patrick Keilty. Associate Professor Faculty of Information

Refusal and Repair: Decolonial Technoscience Tactics

Refusal and Repair: Decolonial Technoscience Tactics

This year the McLuhan Centre joins forces with the Technoscience Salon on the theme of Refusal and Repair: Decolonial Feminist Technoscience Tactics.  Our project brings practitioners together to cultivate decolonial feminist technoscientific practices towards creating less violent, more livable, worlds. Over the course of the academic year we will convene conversations and public events, including participation in the McLuhan Centre Monday Night Seminars on such themes as refusal, resistance, resurgence, protocol, sensing, and land-body relations. Our primary goal will be to thicken and support an intersectional and decolonial feminist community  of scholars critically working on questions of technology and science here in Toronto.


Lead Convener: Michelle Murphy  Professor in the History Department and Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto, Director of the Technoscience Research Unit, and co-organizer, with Natasha Myers, of the Toronto Technoscience Salon.