Assistant Professor

T: 778-782-7143
Room: K9666

Cait McKinney

Cait McKinney is an assistant professor in the School Communication specializing in sexuality studies, media history, feminist media studies, and activist media. McKinney's research examines the politics of information in queer social movements, focusing on how these movements struggle to provide vital access to information using new digital tools, within conditions where that access is often precarious. This work considers how queer and feminist social justice initiatives offers novel approaches to issues of accessibility, data-management, and participation in networked media environments. Their current research focuses on HIV/AIDS and digital media, and queer activist responses to early online content regulation. McKinney was previously a Media@McGill Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University, Montréal, and a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information.

McKinney's research has appeared in GLQ, Continuum: Journal of Media and Culture, Radical History Review, and Feminist Theory, amongst other publications. They are the co-editor of Inside Killjoy's Kastle: Dykey Ghosts, Feminist Monsters, and Other Lesbian Hauntings (UBC Press and AGYU Press, 2019). Their first monograph Information Activism is forthcoming from Duke University Press in August, 2020.

In addition to publication, McKinney is interested in research creation projects that take the form of exhibitions, videos, performance, and other encounters. Their collaborations with the artist Hazel Meyer have shown at the Glasgow International (2018), the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (Toronto, 2016), and the British Film Institute Film Festival (London, 2018).

Pronouns: They/Them or She/Her


  • PhD York University (Communication and Culture)
  • MA York University (Communication and Culture)
  • BA Hons. University of British Columbia (English Literature and Critical Studies in Sexuality)

Currently Teaching


Future courses may be subject to change.



Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Cifor, Marika and Cait McKinney. Reclaiming HIV/AIDS in Digital Media StudiesFirst Monday (2020).

McKinney, Cait and Dylan Mulvin. Bugs: Rethinking the History of Computing. Communication, Culture and Critique (2019)

McKinney, Cait. 2018. “’Finding the Lines to my People’: Towards a Media History of Queer Bibliographic Encounter.” GLQ 24 (1): 55–83. doi:

McKinney, Cait. 2018. “Printing the Network: AIDS Activists and Online Access in the 1980s.” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 32(1): 7–17. Invited contribution to special issue on "Thinking Beyond Backlash: 1980s Activisms." (subscription required, author's version available open access here.)

McKinney, Cait. 2016. Can a Computer Remember AIDS? Drain: Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture 13(2). Invited contribution to special issue on AIDS and Memory (online, 10 manuscript pages).

McKinney, Cait. 2015. Newsletter Networks in the Feminist History and Archives Movement. Feminist Theory 16(3): 310–328. Invited contribution to special issue on Doing Feminism: Event, Archive, Techne. (subscription required, author's version available open access here.)

McKinney, Cait. 2015. Body, Sex, Interface: Reckoning with Images at the Lesbian Herstory Archives. Radical History Review 122: 115–28. Special issue on Queering Archives. (subscription required, author's version available open access here.)

Chapters in Edited Collections

McKinney, Cait. “Crisis Infrastructures: AIDS Activism Meets Internet Regulation.” In AIDS and the Distribution of Crisesedited by Jih-Fei Cheng, Alexandra Juhasz, Nishant Shahani, 162–182 Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2020. (open access version)

McKinney, Cait and Allyson Mitchell. Lesbian Rule: Welcome to the Hell HouseInside Killjoy’s Kastle: Dyke Ghosts, Feminist Monsters, and other Lesbian Hauntings (UBC Press, 2019)

Other Research Articles

McKinney, Cait and Hazel Meyer. 2016. Play, Rewind, Repeat: Queer Porn Archives and the Digital Afterlives of VHS. In Tape Condition: degraded, 1–4. Toronto: Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. (PDF)

Reprinted in PHILE: The International Journal of Desire and Curiosity, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2017, 11–16.

McKinney, Cait and Hazel Meyer. 2016. Tools for the Feminist Present. No More Potlucks 44 (online, five manuscript pages).

McKinney, Cait and Hazel Meyer. 2015. “Tape Condition: degraded,” Little Joe: Queers and Cinema 5: 154–163.

McKinney, Cait and Dylan Mulvin. 2015. “’Not a game, Not a game, Not a game’: Outline of Some Theories of Practice.” Seachange: Art, Communication, Technology 5: 38–59. 

McKinney, Cait. 2014. Out of the Basement and on to the Internet: Digitizing Oral History Tapes at the Lesbian Herstory Archives. No More Potlucks 34 (online, 10 manuscript pages).

Essays and Exhibition Texts

McKinney, Cait. The Anti-Archive as Trans Archival Future. Response Text for Trans Archival Futures Screening and Talk with Chase Joynt and Chris E Vargas, VIVO Media Arts Centre (2020).

McKinney, Cait and Hazel Meyer. 2015. “Sweaty Concepts.” Exhibition text for Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre: 1–4.

McKinney, Cait. 2015. “Avian Visions in Spandex: Karen Kraven’s Flip Flop, Punch Front.” Exhibition text for Mercer Union, a Centre for Contemporary Art: 2–5.

McKinney, Cait. 2015. “The One About Baby.” Exhibition text for Open Studio Contemporary Print Making Centre: 1–4.

McKinney, Cait. 2014. “Muscle Panic.” Text for Muscle Panic Handbook, edited and illustrated by Hazel Meyer. Mercer Union, a Centre for Contemporary Art: 1–22. To be reprinted in Incite: Journal of Experimental Media (Winter 2017).

Reprinted in INCITE Journal of Experimental Media 7/8, 2017.