What is IAT 499?

'IAT 499 Graduation Project– Fall 2021’ is an opportunity for you to complete one large detailed project over an entire term.

What kind of project can you do?  Anything as long as it relates to what we do at SIAT and is of significant depth. This might include:

a game or immersive experience
a documentary film
an animation
a user experience design
a web site or service with front and backend infrastructure
the creation and study of a new user interaction technique
and more!

The point is, it’s a project representing a high degree of proficiency.

IAT 499 will be offered in Fall 2021, with a cap of 20 students.  You must apply with a proposal that is due August 6th at noon; only the best will be admitted.  The course is aimed at senior IAT students, and the prerequisite is 90 units complete, including 18 upper division IAT units, plus IAT 309W. 

The course is worth 6 credits so more work is expected, but now is the time to dive deep into a project!  You can work as an individual or in a small team.

IAT 499 is not a Directed Study; you’ll dig far deeper into your own project and bring together a variety of skills that you have already learned within your degree.

IAT 499 is led by Dr. Gabriela Aceves-Sepúlveda who will coordinate and guide students through their projects with their mentors over the course of the semester. 

Interested?  Talk with SIAT Advising to put it into your degree plan!

How do I apply for IAT 499?

The application deadline has been extended to August 6th at noon.

An application form can be found here and should be completed by both the student and a faculty mentor.  Completed applications should be emailed to: siat_advising@sfu.ca

You should find a faculty mentor by talking with various professors and teaching faculty at SIAT.  Let them know what types of projects you are interested in doing and see if they would be willing to mentor you during the term.

If you are having troubles finding a faculty mentor, email advising and we can try to help. 

Project Opportunity 

Creative Media Translations of Diaspora Writing

IAT-499 students are invited to develop media, documentary, interactive, immersive, or online formats to circulate poetic works by creative writers in Ghana. This course-based project is made possible by a community partnership with Library of Africa and the African Diaspora (LOATAD) in Accra, Ghana, and the art project, Reading the Migration Library (RML) led by Dr. Lois Klassen, and with the support of SFU’s Community Engagement Initiative and criticalMediaArtsStudio (cMAS) directed by Dr. Gabriela Aceves-Sepúlveda.

Student projects will build on a set of artist books, produced in 2021 by RML, featuring contemporary Ghanaian poets writing about migration and diasporic displacement. In 2019 Ghana officially marked 400 years since the start of the transatlantic slave trade on its western shore with an open invitation for people with African ancestry to visit or repatriate, during what was called “The Year of Return”. While the traumatic impact of the slave trade persists for Africans on the continent and abroad, subsequent waves of forced and incentivized out-migrations continue to challenge the meaning of belonging for individuals, families, ethnic groups, and communities in Ghana and throughout Africa.

In this literary partnership between LOATAD, a decolonized library, archive, and museum dedicated to the work of African and Diaspora writers, and RML, an art project that hosts creative production by artists and writers on the topic migration, students are invited to participate in translating the text-based work into media and technology formats. Students, with mentorship from Dr. Klassen and consultation from Sylvia Arthur, LOATAD founder, and the Ghanaian writers, will develop methods for producing creative and context-specific content in new media and technology environments.

The projects could take the form of documentary video or immersive environments, or interactive, internet-based collections, or illustrated animations, or any other media that the student or team of students might propose. 

Please contact Lois Klassen (lois_klassen [at]sfu.ca) for more details.

Interested students are encouraged to explore the following projects that expand the reach of texts beyond printed books using creative approaches to media and technology:

Griffin Poetry Prize. Poet Chantal Gibson Reads from How She Read, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5xJI3knTFU&t=20s.

Refugee Tales. “28 for 28 Project.” https://www.refugeetales.org/28-for-28.

Aceves Sepúlveda, Gabriela. (2017) “[Re] Activating Mamá Pina’s Cookbook” In Feminist Media Histories Journal  (Summer 2017, vol. 3, no.3)


Tsing, Anna L. “Feral Atlas: The More-Than-Human Anthropocene.” Stanford University Press, 2021. http://feralatlas.org.

Klassen, Lois. “Reading the Migration Library.” https://lightfactorypublications.ca/rml/.

Past Projects