Projects

Lots of research projects, so little time. Check out some deets:


Telling Our Stories on the Web: Canadian English-Language Webseries and the Production of Culture Online
*Dissertation research project
*Supported by SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship & Creating Digital Opportunities Project (CDO)
*Doctoral Co-Supervisors: Dr. Charles Davis & Dr. David Skinner
*Doctoral Committee: Dr. Nicole Neverson

“Telling Our Stories on the Web” critically investigates the opportunities and challenges of online distribution for Canadian creators active in the production of digital-first, scripted series. In-depth interviews with over 40 Canadian digital-first creators, including traditional broadcasting and independent production company executives, as well as new media entrepreneurs, unearth a wide range of barriers to success from domestic and international institutional, economic, social and systemic sources. The dissertation also crucially examines the status of gender and race in the key roles of director, writer, producer and cinematographer in 175 Canadian-made web series and reveals that despite minor improvements in certain categories, underrepresentation of these groups persists. The dissertation presents a counter-argument to the notion that all you need to succeed in today’s 21st century media environment is a smartphone and an internet connection. The research findings culminate in strategic policy and program recommendations geared at empowering Canadian creators to succeed in the digital realm, and ensuring that it is inclusive, diverse, innovative and sustainable.


Improving Labour Policy for Highly Flexible Workforces: Focus on Canadian Screen Labour
*June 2015 – Present
*Principal Investigator: Dr. Charles Davis
*Supported by the Centre for Labour Management Relations, Ted Rogers School of Management

Labour policy, regulations, and programs have not kept pace with the emergence of flexible, precarious, highly skilled labour forces. Research proposed here develops a ‘flexicurity’ policy framework that addresses the needs of Canadian screen labour. It will identify leading positive policy frameworks for flexible labour forces (drawing mainly from European examples), assess alternatives in interaction with workers, unions, guilds, and policymakers in the Canadian screen industry, and recommend a policy framework for the Canadian screen sector that embodies the aspiration to achieve collaborative, entrepreneurial, ethical, proactive and sustainable best-practice labour management relations in Canada. Although research proposed here will focus on the screen sector, it will have broad relevance in other industries in which highly flexibilized production practices are emerging.


Networks of Exclusion in the Ontario Media Industry
*May 2013 – April 2015
*Principal Investigator: Dr. Charles Davis
*SSHRC Funded Research Project

Although the Broadcasting Act explicitly declares that the Canadian broadcasting system should be representative of Canadian diversity in both its workforce and its programming, this is far from being the case. Women and visible minorities continue to be underrepresented in all aspects of the field, especially in top-tier, creative and decision making roles. This project aims at revealing the sources of exclusion that lead to the lack of diversity (gender; race; age; social class; disability) in the Canadian television industry. The project involves a major literature review of research related to diversity in television, diversity policy, opportunity structures, exclusionary networks, policy analysis, program evaluation, as well as in-depth interviews with industry stakeholders. Here’s a link to a short video I produced about the project: https://vimeo.com/118275264

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