Kate Hennessy

Associate Professor, Graduate Program Chair, Graduate Program Chair

Teaching & research interests

  • Anthropology of Media
  • Museum Anthropology
  • Indigenous Media
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Collaborative Methodologies
  • Digital Humanities
  • Ethnography and Art Practice

Kate's research and art practice

As an anthropologist of media and the director of the Making Culture Lab at SIAT, Kate Hennessy's research explores the role of digital technology in the documentation and safeguarding of cultural heritage. Her multimedia and art works and investigate documentary methodologies to address Indigenous and settler histories of place and space. Kate is a founding member of the Ethnographic Terminalia Collective, which has curated exhibitions and projects at the intersection of anthropology and contemporary art since 2009. In 2017, she was awarded the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC’s Early in Career Award, which recognizes the contributions to the non-academic community made by faculty members who are at an early point in their careers.

Visit the Making Culture Lab to learn more about her work.

The Making Culture Lab

We are an interdisciplinary research group and production studio located in Surrey, British Columbia, just outside of Vancouver B.C., on the unceded Coast Salish Territory of the of  the Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Qayqayt, Tsawassen, and Stó:lō First Nations. We explore the collaborative development and evaluation of culturally specific applications of new media in public space, museums and communities, both online and on the ground. Our research is grounded in media-making, artistic practice, and ethnography of media in social practice. We are interested in materiality, ethics, and diverse cultures of making. Participatory production and research methodologies are emphasized, as are the development of reciprocal research, curatorial, and media production relationships with heritage institutions, Indigenous communities, and artists. We collaborate in our studio-lab work space with the Critical MediArtStudio (cMAS) led by Dr. Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda. With support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and BC Knowledge Development Fund (our CEDHI project), MCL lab members have access to our high-end audio, video, and photography equipment, 360 cameras and VR headsets, as well as handheld 3D scanners and software.

If you are interested in finding out more about joining the Making Culture Lab, I recommend heading our prospective students page.

Selected publications and exhibitions

Hennessy, K. and Smith, T. (2018)
Fugitives: Anarchival Materiality in Archives. PUBLIC 57 (Archive/Counter-Archives): 128-144. Edited by Susan Lord and Janine Marchessault.

Hennessy, K., Smith, T., and Hogue, T. (2018).
ARCTICNOISE and Broadcasting Futures: Geronimo Inutiq Remixes the Igloolik Isuma Archive. Cultural Anthropology 33.2(2018):213-223 (Special Issue on Indigenous Media Futures) (link)

Hennessy, K. (2018)
Voices and the Archive in Maps and Dreams. In, $5 Handshake: Art on Treaty 8 Territory.  Melanie O’Brian, Ed. SFU Galleries Critical Reader Series, 4. (pp. 84-96).

Hennessy, K., Lyons, N., Schaepe, D., Blake, M., Phillips, A., Pennier, C., Muntean, R., and Kadir, A. (2018)
Collaborative Digital Curation and Recursive Publics: the Making of Sq’éwlets: A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Community in the Fraser River Valley.
Proceedings of Museums and the Web, 2017, Vancouver: Archives and Museums Informatics (link).

Muntean, R., Antle, A., Matkin, B., Hennessy, K., Rowley, S., Wilson, J. (2017)
Designing Cultural Values into Interaction. Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Human Interaction (CHI), ACM Press, 10 pgs.

Please visit my website for a full list of publications and exhibitions.


  • MA, Anthropology of Media, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies
  • PhD, Anthropology, University of British Columbia

Current & upcoming courses

Summer 2024

Future courses may be subject to change.