Research

The School of Communication covers global communication, data studies, critical race studies, feminist media and technology studies, game studies, labour studies, popular culture, and media publics. Our research groups – including the Digital Democracies Institute, the Assessment of Technology in Context Design Lab, the GeNA lab and the Sonic Research Studio – maintain our status as a major knowledge-creation hub.

Centres & Institutes, Labs, Projects, Events & Conferences

ACT Lab

The Applied Communication and Technology Laboratory (ACT Lab) is engaged in research on the intersection between communication technology and cultural creation. It brings together graduate students, practitioners and researchers to study a wide variety of applications of advanced technology to education, community, entertainment, and the arts.

Faculty: Andrew Feenberg

Lab

Action ADE

Every year, two million Canadians go to the emergency department because of the harmful and unintended consequences of their medications. The Action ADE research project brings together health care professionals, government officials, academic researchers and patients to design and implement the tools we need to prevent adverse drug events.

Faculty: Ellen Balka

Research

ATIC-DL

Created in 1997, the Assessment of Technology in Context Design Lab (ATIC-DL) is a research facility specializing in research related to the human dimensions of technological change. The ATIC-DL’s research work is based on the philosophy that technological systems are more than simply machines, and in order for technology to work properly, a wide range of issues related to how people do their work must be considered. Projects use qualitative research and participatory design methods to improve technology design.

Faculty: Ellen Balka

Lab

Book + Speaker Series

Each year the School of Communication Book + Speaker series highlights recent published books by School faculty members.

Watch the 2021 The School of Communication Book + Speaker Series presents: Sun-ha Hong

Faculty: Svitlana Matviyenko

Event

Critical Ethnography and Digital Heritage Initiative

The Critical Ethnography and Digital Heritage Initiative (CEDHI) is dedicated to designing innovative methods for safeguarding cultural heritage resources using digital technologies. With dedicated laboratory space with the School of Communication at SFU’s Burnaby campus, the CEDHI will respond to the urgent need for new strategies to document, preserve and control access to cultural heritage resources in art worlds and Indigenous communities. 

Faculty: Jan Marontate

Lab

The Dallas Smythe Memorial Lecture

The Dallas Smythe Memorial Lecture has honoured critical scholars in the field of political economy of communication since 1993. Organized by SFU’s School of Communication, the lecture brings together faculty, students, and the broader community to honour the work and research of Dallas Smythe, who taught at SFU from 1976 until he passed away in 1992.

Watch the 2020 Dallas Smythe Memorial Lecture

Faculty: Enda Brophy

Event

Digital Democracies Institute

The Digital Democracies Institute at Simon Fraser University (SFU) integrates research in the humanities and data sciences to address questions of equality and social justice. It will combat the proliferation of online “echo chambers” and discriminatory algorithms by creating alternative data literacies and paradigms for connection: from applications and methods to transforming hostile social media exchanges into productive dialogues, to critical analyses of fake news and its historical evolution.

Faculty: Wendy Chun

Lab

The Disinformation Project

The Disinformation Project at the School of Communication is a SSHRC funded research that examines fake news discourses on mainstream media and social media in Canada. 

Faculty: Ahmed Al-Rawi

Project

GeNa Lab

The GeNA Lab investigates the development, adoption, and social impact of communication, blockchain, and big data. We also work with industry partners building next generation communication technologies in health and genomics, social media, blockchain, and big data. 

Faculty: Peter Chow-White

Lab

Global Media Monitoring and Analysis Lab

The Global Media Monitoring and Analysis Lab is a unique and state of the art research facility for critical media analysis and assessment in a digitalized and globalized media environment.

Lab

Media Analysis Lab

The Media Analysis Lab provides a creative environment for learning about, analyzing and researching the role of mediated social communication. Its mandate is to generate a synergy between the critical analysis of media and their application in democratic public communication, particularly in the areas of education, advocacy and community development.

Lab

Media Democracy Day

Since 2001, The Media Democracy Project works hard to create a significant presence for noncommercial media in Canada. Our small team brings diverse communities together with leading media makers, activists, and scholars to discuss the relationship between media and democracy.

Faculty: Stuart Poyntz, Bob Hackett

Conference

Media Saturated World: Helping Kids Reduce The Risk

The goals of this project are to help make our children’s lives safer and healthier by reducing the risks associated with TV watching, Internet use and playing with video games. The project was coordinated by the Media Analysis Lab at Simon Fraser University in partnership with the North Vancouver Parents Advisory Council and the North Vancouver District Board of Education. Funding for this pilot project has been provided by the Ministry of Justice Canada.

Research

NewsWatch Canada

NewsWatch Canada undertakes independent research on the diversity and thoroughness of news coverage in Canada’s media, with a focus on identifying blindspots and double-standards. 

Faculty: Robert Hackett, Shane Gunster

Research

Public Safety Deployable

The Field Operational Test Facility for Next-Generation Interoperable Mission-Critical Communications Project addresses the need for a detailed in-field testing capability to validate systems necessary to meet operational requirements of deployed next-generation mobile Public Safety Broadband Networking (PSBN) systems for emergency responders, especially in rural and remote regions.

Research

Sonic Research Studio

The Sonic Research Studio is home to the World Soundscape Project (WSP) and is currently a site for critical sound studies research in the areas of urban soundscape design and livability, cultural soundscape studies, sonic media, sound in gaming, and more.

Faculty: Milena Droumeva, Barry Truax, David Murphy

Lab

The Spry Memorial Lecture

The Graham Spry Memorial lecture is designed to stimulate debates about the crucial linkages between Canadian media policy and practice and questions of public service and public interest on the other. Graham Spry was one of Canada’s most vocal advocates for public broadcasting who never hesitated to speak out whenever he observed government or broadcasters failing to live up to their responsibilities. As one of the founders of the Canadian Radio League in 1930, he played a key role in the development of public broadcasting in Canada. The Spry Memorial lecture series launched in 1996 as a way to honour his dedication to Canadian public media.

The English-language Graham Spry Memorial Lecture is a biennial event taking place in Vancouver (the French-language version takes place in Montreal every other year).

Faculty: Frederik Lesage  

Event

Telematics Research Lab (TRL) and its PolyLAB for Advanced Collaborative Networking Unit

For over two and a half decades the Telematics Research Lab (TRL) and its PolyLAB for Advanced Collaborative Networking Unit have been engaged in the design and development of advanced next-generation disaster resilient communication systems to address the need for transportable, integrated, computing and communications solutions to support mission critical operations, ranging from emergency response through to human and robotic space exploration.

Faculty: Peter Anderson, Stephen Braham

Research | Lab

The Transnational Culture and Digital Technology Lab

This research lab is dedicated to the study of transnationality in its multiple forms and geographies, as well as its cultural impacts, economics, and cultural politics. By conducting research on the forms of transnationality from the Global South in the global sphere, it studies the ways in which popular culture is seamlessly integrated into digital technology and other areas of everyday media use.

Faculty: Dal Yong Jin

Lab

Twitter Capture and Analysis Toolset

SFU-TCAT allows for three types of 'track' queries, single word/hashtag, two or more words, or exact phrases. 

For setting up your Twitter searches as part of your research at SFU’s School of Communication, please contact Dr. Ahmed Al-Rawi (aalrawi@sfu.ca)

Faculty: Ahmed Al-Rawi, Peter Chow-White, Daniel Ahadi, Frederik Lesage

Project