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Tanner Mirrlees
PhD

Director

Assistant Professor

Communication and Digital Media Studies
Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Analyzing the economic and political drivers and impacts of creative industries and cultural goods around the world



  • PhD - Communication and Culture York University and Ryerson University 2008
  • MA - English and Theatre Studies University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario 2002
  • BA - English and Theatre Studies (Honours) University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario 2001

An MICC in Canada?

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario January 1, 2015

UDC: Circuits of Struggle

Stuart Hall, Hegemony and Media 2.0

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario January 1, 2015

Society for Socialist Studies, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Reality TV’s Low to Now Wage Workforce

Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario January 1, 2015

The Paradox of Low-Wage, No-Wage Work, Alternate Routes

Transforming Transformers: How the DOD Communicates through Global Hollywood

Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec January 1, 2015

Popular Culture Working Group, International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)

Hollywood, the Financial Crisis and the End of the World

York University, Toronto, Ontario January 1, 2014

Historical Materialism

Revisiting Herbert I. Schiller: Communication and American Empire Today

Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec January 1, 2015

Political Economy of Communication Section, IAMCR

A Critique of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Toronto, Ontario January 1, 2014

Alternative Routes: Capitalism in the Classroom: Neoliberalism, Education and Progressive Alternatives

Teaching (to) Labour in the Creative Industry: A Pedagogy of the Precariat?

York University, Toronto, Ontario January 1, 2014

Labour in Circulation: Perspectives from Communication and Cultural Studies

The Canadian Army’s YouTube Channel and Soldier-Generated Content

Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario January 1, 2014

CCA, Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities

U.S. Empire and Communications, Today: Revisiting Herbert I. Schiller

Published in Political Economy of Communication January 15, 2016
Tanner Mirrlees

This article revisits, refines and renews Herbert I. Schiller’s theory of U.S. Empire and cultural imperialism. Apart from one exceptional book-length examination of Schiller’s life and work and a few excellent essays published following his passing, Schiller’s theory is often rejected by scholars inside and outside of the political economy of communication tradition. Although important changes have reshaped the global communications landscape over the past four decades, Schiller’s theory of U.S. Empire and cultural imperialism continues to have conceptual, descriptive and analytical value for 21st century research.

Reality TV’s Embrace of the Intern

Published in Triple C Volume 13, No 5 March 1, 2015
Tanner Mirrlees

This article describes and analyzes how 20 reality TV intern job ads for 19 different reality TV studios represent the work of interns and internships in the capitalist reality TV industry. By interrogating how the job postings depict the work that reality TV studios expect interns to do, the skills that TV studios expect interns to possess as a prerequisite to considering them eligible for mostly unpaid positions, the asymmetrical power relations between studios and interns, and the studios’ utilization of “hope” for a career-relevant experience to recruit interns, the article argues that the reality TV intern is actually a misclassified worker.

View more - Reality TV’s Embrace of the Intern

A Critique of the Millennial: A Retreat from and Return to Class

Published in Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research January 1, 2015
Tanner Mirrlees

Since the turn of the millennium, millions of people born between the late 1970s and the late 1990s have been categorized as millennials. A media discourse tells people what a millennial is and is not, shaping how those people it depicts as millennial may perceive themselves and how others perceive them. This paper examines four media representations of the millennial: a member of a youth cohort, a consumer, a worker to be managed, and an immiserated victim of hard times.

View more - A Critique of the Millennial: A Retreat from and Return to Class

The Canadian Armed Forces “YouTube War”: A Cross-Border Military-Social Media Complex

Published in Global Media Journal: Canadian Edition January 1, 2015

The goal of this paper is to conceptualize, contextualize, and critically analyze the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) use of YouTube to promote itself, recruit soldiers, and frame its role in the post-9/11 U.S.-led NATO war in Afghanistan.

Prospects for Communication and Culture in Canada

Published in Social Sciences Research Network March 30, 2010
Tanner Mirrlees

This paper introduces Canadian communication studies research focused on the nexus of social power and the media. Combining political economy and critical cultural studies approaches, the paper conceptualizes the media as a site where power is exercised, reinforced and contested and engages with critical studies of the power relations between media owners and media workers, media corporations and the nation-state, and corporate-government media complexes, media messages and media viewers.

View more - Prospects for Communication and Culture in Canada

UOIT Faculty of Social Science and Humanities Teaching Award

UOIT June 1, 2013

Upon completion of his first year of teaching at UOIT, Dr. Mirrlees was received the award for his inspiring and engaging teaching methods.

Guelph-Humber Student Association Faculty Appreciation Award

June 1, 2011

This award is granted to a professor, selected by students, who demonstrates exceptional teaching skills and a willingness to go above and beyond the course requirements to meet student needs and facilitate a positive learning environment.

Governor General’s Award (Gold Medal)

June 1, 2008

This award is granted to a doctoral student for their outstanding scholastic achievements and graduation with the highest average.

Canadian Communication Association

International Association of Media and Communication Research

Popular Culture Association of Canada

Union for Democratic Communications

Society for Utopian Studies

  • Entertainment Goes Global (COMM 2270U)
    This course examines the globalization of entertainment media. Students learn about the entertainment industry, the policies governments use to support it, the production of entertainment by workers around the world, globally popular blockbuster films and TV formats and the ways entertainment may influence viewers and cultures while moving across borders.
  • Work in the Digital Age (COMM 3510U)
    This course introduces students to the study of work and labour in the digital age, focusing on theories, topics and debates in the field. Students learn about the changing conditions and experiences of work in the digital media, creative and communication industries.