FIMS Seminar Series

The FIMS Seminar Series features research presentations from faculty members and graduate students, covering recent advances and work in progress. Bring your lunch and learn about research at FIMS. These lectures take place on Wednesdays at noon in FIMS & Nursing Building 4070.

2017/18 lectures will be posted as they are announced.


Winter 2017 Semester

Collaboration Between Traditional and Orthodox Medical Pracitioners in Rural Communities of Nigeria
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Room TBA
Presented by Janet Adekannbi

Abstract: Since 1976 when traditional medicine was incorporated into its program, the World Health Organization (WHO) has continued to emphasize the need for governments to engage different categories of health workers including traditional medical practitioners (TMPs) in primary health care programs. These are expected to be suitably trained, socially and technically to work as a health team and to respond to the expressed health needs of the community. While this is yet to be officially done by the Federal Government of Nigeria, this research presents findings on the collaboration between TMPs and orthodox medical practitioners in selected rural communities in South-West Nigeria and the perceived implication of such collaboration on transmission of traditional medical knowledge. Findings are presented based on self-reports by the TMPs.



Past Seminars

2016 - 2017

Dickens, Cholera and Big Data
April 5, 2017
Grant Campbell

Abstract: Steven Johnson, in The Ghost Walk, celebrates the work of John Snow in tracing the origins of the cholera outbreak in London in 1854, arguing that Snow practiced methods of information visualization and data analysis that now occupy a central place in today's information environment.  This presentation will contrast Snow's insights with the insights of Charles Dickens in Bleak House, published 2 years before the outbreak.  Dickens, like Snow, was deeply concerned with issues of public health, water quality and sanitation; furthermore, Bleak House also deals with data and information issues that have since become prominent, including predictive analytics and face recognition.  But Dickens's conclusions, unlike the conclusions Johnson draws from Snow, are more complex, and offer a cautionary annotation to current big data narratives.

The Theory and Practice of Kinetic Publishing
March 8, 2017
Robert Glushko

Abstract: In the past decade, although scholarly publishing diversified to offer multiple forms of knowledge dissemination, most publishing remains unchanged, with the most influential venues taking the form of traditional journals: groups of articles bound in periodic, space restricted, issues. Scholarly publishing in the digital age is often a transformation of physical forms and norms into digital media: an easy and familiar solution that fails to adapt to the realities of the new medium.  As a remedy, we propose Kinetic Publishing, a new model of scholarly thought, discussion, and dissemination.

Understanding Sociotechnical Transformation: The Story of HathiTrust
February 8, 2017
Alissa Centivany

Abstract: This research explores the ways values, power, and politics shape and are shaped by digital infrastructure development through an in-depth study of HathiTrust’s “dark history,” the period of years leading up to its public launch.  This research identifies and traces the emerging and iterative ways that values were surfaced and negotiated, decision-making approaches were strategically modified, and relationships were strengthened, reconfigured, and sometimes abandoning through the process of generating a viable, robust and sustainable collaborative digital infrastructure.  Through this history, we gain deeper understandings and appreciations of the various and sometimes surprising ways that values, power, and politics are implicated in digital infrastructure development.  Shedding light on this history enables us to better contextualize and understand the affordances, limitations, and challenges of the HathiTrust we know today, better envision its range of possible futures, and develop richer appreciations for digital infrastructure development more broadly.

Energizing librarians and library users through critical disability theory
November 9, 2016
Claire Burrows

Abstract: Accessibility is increasingly a topic of focus in the LIS community. However, LIS research on accessibility remains limited in scope, which has practical implications for inclusion in a valuable community resource. This paper discusses research approaches to accessibility, as well as how critical disability theory can contribute to this field. As community institutions with a central mandate of providing information services to all citizens, libraries are especially suited to engaging with these theories in practice.

Information access and the purge of homosexuals from the Canadian federal civil service during the Cold War
October 12, 2016
Catherine Johnson

Abstract: In 1960, in the middle of a stellar career, David Moffat Johnson disappeared from the ranks of Foreign Service Officers in the Department of External Affairs. He was just one of hundreds of victims of the RCMP campaign to remove homosexuals from the federal civil service during the Cold War.  This presentation reports on efforts to learn about his departure from External Affairs and the efficacy of the Access to Information Act in gaining access to relevant government documents.

2015 - 2016

The Blurry Staves: Music and interdisciplinary Copyright and Intellectual Property fallout from the ‘Blurred Lines’ case
April 6, 2016
Scott A. MacDonald

Abstract: The 2014 “Blurred Lines” case was a major blow the music industry.  What precedents could this set?  How does this effect other composers or musicians?  How does the ruling affect jazz musicians or contemporary musicians who utilize improvisation?   How does the audience’s perception of what they heard affect alleged “musical thievery”?  Jazz improvisation, like creating a new chemical compound or drug, creates something new from an existing tune or base formula.  Following the judgement of the court could both be construed as copyright infringement?

"Every single one is my favourite” (Theo, 4 years): Children’s Experiences and Perceptions of E-Book Reading
March 23, 2016
Lynne McKechnie and Kathleen Schreurs

Abstract: Children are tech savvy: they watch videos, play games, and read e-books.  This is not surprising as there are over 70 billion apps available for download and a substantial number of those are made for children. Many studies have examined children reading ebooks, but most are from the point of view of adults. Our study, supported by an OCLC/ALISE Library & Information Science Research Grant, explores what children themselves think about e-books. The findings will be shared in this presentation along with implications and advice for parents, librarians and others who work with children.

Fifteen Billion and Counting: Cigarettes, Canadian Courts, and Historical Evidence
March 9, 2016
Daniel Robinson

Abstract: The presentation will discuss the role of historical evidence in recent and ongoing court cases involving Canadian tobacco companies, including the Blais-Letourneau case in Quebec, which recently awarded $15 billion to class-action plaintiffs suing tobacco makers for nicotine addiction and lung cancer. The presentation will discuss how historical opinion polls, cigarette advertising, print and broadcast media stories, and industry documents have factored in these trials.

Almost against information ethics, with lessons from Caputo’s obligation and Foucault’s ethics of freedom
March 2, 2016
Bernd Frohmann

Abstract: John Caputo’s deconstructionist “ethics without ethics” replaces ethics with obligation. He champions a poetics of obligation rather than a philosophy of ethics. His work in Against ethics: contributions to a poetics of obligation with constant reference to deconstruction and in “Against principles: a sketch of an ethics without an ethics” have productive intersections with our contemporary mediascape, information ethics, and with Foucault’s turn to ethics in his late period, especially in connection to his conception of an ethics of freedom. The aim of the presentation is to generate meaningful questions for thinking about the fate of the force of obligation in contemporary media and information culture.

Use of Implicature in Provision of Information Services in Dementia Care
January 2016
Grant Campbell

Abstract: The theory of implicature, formulated by the philosopher Paul Grice, has been used in health care settings to understand the implications behind what people say. This presentation will offer initial thoughts on the application of the theory of implicature to the provision of information services in dementia care: by using the theory to extract patterns of implication in the communications of individuals with dementia, and linking those patterns to the syndetic practices of information organization, we might be able to enhance and prolong meaningful communication between caregivers and individuals with dementia, and provide better means of keeping both individuals with dementia and their caregivers with the necessary information supports.

Using time as a critical lens to examine information literacy as a key skill for the Knowledge Economy
December 2, 2015
Karen Nicholson

Abstract: Using time as a lens affords new ways of understanding information literacy (IL) as a political agenda and a situated practice in the neoliberal university. To date, however, with a few notable exceptions, LIS researchers have largely ignored the concept of time in relation to information literacy. In this presentation, I will explore some of the ways that time can be used to undertake a critical examination of information literacy theory and practice.

In the Shadows of the Upload: Filipino Commercial Content Moderators and the Globalized Digital Media Production Chain
November 18, 2015
Sarah Roberts and Andrew Dicks

Abstract: Commercial content moderation is a globalized, around the clock set of practices in which workers view and adjudicate massive amount of(Roberts, 2014), offering a comparative extension of that work into the Philippines, a high-tech mecca in a previously colonized country where, much like call center tasks, content flows in and flows out, destined for American markets (Mirchandani, 2012; Poster, 2007). This paper represents preliminary results from the first empirical academic study of CCM workers living and working in the Philippines, now the(D. Lee, 2015). Based on in-depth qualitative interviews conducted with CCM workers from the business parks of Manila, this research unveils a complex and often paradoxical role occupied by CCM workers. While CCM work can offer, on the one hand, a much more elevated socioeconomic status than would be possible in other sectors, it comes with risks to workers whose long-term effects remain unknown.

Implications of Open Access for librarians
October 14, 2015
Paul St. Pierre

Abstract: If Open Access scholarly publishing becomes ubiquitous, major intermediary roles of librarians - journal selection, acquisitions, and subscription management - could be eliminated. This talk will look at alternative ways in which librarians might participate in scholarly communication processes in order to maintain, or even enhance, our status within the academy.

Contemplative Pedagogy and its Relevance for FIMS
November 4, 2015
Ajit Pyati

Abstract: Contemplative pedagogy is a small but growing movement within higher education. At the heart of a contemplative and integrative approach is a focus on the whole person, which addresses the mind, heart, and spirit of students.  Contemplative approaches place students in the center of their learning so they can better connect their inner worlds to the outer world. Mindfulness and meditative practices form a core part of contemplative education, helping students cultivate present-minded and non-judgmental awareness.  This talk explores how contemplative techniques can be applied to learning at FIMS, through both discussion and hands-on practices.

The Online Vaccination Debate - Understanding Anti and Pro Vaccination Advocacy Groups Exposure on the Web
October 7, 2015
Anton Ninkov and Liwen Vaughan

Abstract: Vaccinations are an achievement in public health. The introduction of vaccines in our society has contributed to the decline in morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases as well as having been ranked as one of the top ten achievements of public health in the 20th century (CDC, 1999). However, in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence that is available supporting this conclusion, there is an alarming presence of information on the Internet that suggest the practice of vaccination is harmful and advocate for vaccination choice. This study examines webometric data describing the various vaccination advocacy groups’ web presence as well as a content analysis of a sample of the in-links to these various groups’ domains.

Know what I mean? Reflections on valuing the social relations of knowledge producers
September 9, 2015
Datejie Green

Abstract: The global drive toward digitization as the apogee of human communication presents knowledge workers with a fundamental conundrum. In a time where our work is ever more required, desired and consumed, why are we, our expertise and the meanings within our crafts so devalued?

In this seminar I will draw on my experiences as a contingent union member-organizer during three pivotal moments of socio-economic-technological restructuring: The 2005 CBC lockout of CMG union members, the 2008-09 strike of CUPE 3903 contingent teaching staff at York University, and CMG and CWA union recruitment of freelancers across North America from 2010. Through stories I will illustrate commonalities across sectors, identify trends and articulate strategies for critical analysis and praxis.

2014 - 2015

Picturing Dementia: Facilitating a Passionate Engagement
March 4, 2015
Sharon Sliwinski and Grant Campbell

Abstract: Our understanding of dementia in Canada and elsewhere suffers from the results of being "hidden," as well as the effects of dementia on a patient's ability to use words in self-expression.  In this presentation, Dr. Sharon Sliwinski discusses with Dr. Grant Campbell her research on what she calls "our passionate engagement with pictures," and the possibility that such engagement might lead us into a greater commitment to connect with those with dementia and to address with compassion the urgent problems raised by dementia.

Evidence-based healthcare and arts-based research: Richer perspectives for adolescent health
December 3, 2014
Eugenia Canas

Abstract: This talk describes the positioning of arts-based knowledge generation in relationship to evidence-based healthcare (EBHC), as applies to the field of adolescent health. Through a discussion of current literature, I describe the attributes of EBHC, as well as the complementing ways that arts-based health research can expand and enrich epidemiological, scientific models.

Library as "Third Place" in the History of the Rwandan Genocide
November 5, 2014
Martin Nord

Abstract: Groups active in building Rwanda’s first public library identify the 1994 Rwandan genocide as motive for viewing libraries as third place or public sphere. This paper investigates the integrity of that claim. If correct, then access to libraries might have counter-acted antecedents to the genocide. Though libraries alone cannot prevent genocides, many Rwandans believe that libraries—and the citizen-building processes they represent and offer—are indicators of a nation’s health. This idea opens new avenues for research in historical genocides as well as possible concrete steps that can be taken for the prevention of genocide and the reconciliation that follows.

Beyond traditional publishing models: An examination of the relationships between authors, readers, and publishers
October 22, 2014
Heather Hill

Abstract: The genealogy of 50 Shades of Grey is traced. Using Darnton's (1982) model of the communications circuit as a base, we map out an altered communications for works originating as fanfiction and self-published materials.

Music and Dementia: a Conversation
November 26, 2014
Norma Coates and Grant Campbell

Abstract: Cognitive neuroscientists, together with health care specialists, are becoming increasingly aware of the effects of music on patients suffering from dementia.  But anecdotal evidence suggests that musical associations are embedded in a variety of social, cultural and contextual factors.  This conversation explores how an understanding of the history of popular music can be brought to bear on understanding the potentially beneficial effects of music on persons with dementia.