This fall we welcome Dr. Andrew deWaard as one of our newest faculty members. Dr. deWaard comes to us with a Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, an M.A. in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia, and two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Western Ontario, one in Media, Information and Technoculture and the other in Film Studies. Most recently he was a lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“I was initially drawn to the department’s rich history in critical political economy of media, in which I situate my own work, but am thrilled by the faculty’s diverse agenda of research concerns, its commitment to social justice, and its critical approach to issues of power and inequality.”
“I’m hoping to collaborate with my colleagues in media studies (Shawna Kidman, Patty Ahn, and Erin Hill), though I can imagine fruitful collaborations with many faculty in the future. In the digital humanities, collaboration is fundamental, and I’m looking forward to meeting both undergraduate and graduate students who might like to get involved in digital research projects.”
Dr. deWaard’s current research focus explores the relationship between the media industries and financial capital, analyzing the effect of financialization—which include, among other tools and strategies, highly-leveraged forms of debt, venture capital, labor efficiencies, hostile takeovers of media firms, outsourcing of creative labor, and short term profits. Dr. deWaard argues that financial capital has transformed both the economic structure of the contemporary cultural industries and the form of media texts, which behave according to a financial logic.
Additionally, Dr. deWaard has a broad interest in film studies and he has coauthored a book (with R. Colin Tait) on the filmmaking art and oeuvre of the Academy Award-winning director/producer/cinematographer Steven Soderbergh entitled The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh: indie sex, corporate lies, and digital videotape (Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press, 2013); and is also a co-investigator of “The Cultural Capital Project: Digital Stewardship and Sustainable Monetization for Canadian Independent Musicians,” a research project that aims to rethink the digital music industry based on sustainability and fair pay for artists.
Dr. deWaard’s work has appeared in Fight the Power: The Spike Lee Reader and Habitus of the ’Hood, as well as the Journal of American Studies, Oxford Bibliographies, Cinephile, and IASPM@Journal. And, in 2003 he helped produce the documentary Just Kids: Homeless Youth in Canada which is still used in Ontario secondary schools and universities He has also spent time as a research fellow with the University of California Humanities Research Institute.
Dr. deWaard will be teaching several advanced courses this academic year. In Winter 2020 he will be teaching a COMM 190 seminar on Streaming Media, considering issues of industry, labor, diversity, taste, and technology. In the spring he will be teaching a class on media authorship, looking at Spike Lee and Beyonce, as well a class on the cultural industries, looking at issues of labor, finance, and the political economy of the media.
In future years Dr. deWaard hopes to teach a course on the intersection of media studies and digital humanities, as well as classes on the history of film, the history of television, contemporary Hollywood, and the popular music industries. He also hopes to potentially teach a course on consumer culture and branded entertainment which he has taught in the past.
Welcome to our department, Dr. Andrew deWaard!