No. 500 - March 22, 2023

  • Coming Events:

    - FIMSWrites - Winter Edition
    - Research Ethics Workshop: "Conducting research with or about human subjects"
    - "Using Panlex Swadesh Lists to Create a Phonosemantic Writing System"
    - "Smartphones and the datafication of the everyday in Africa"
    - "Understanding Genre Through Journeying"
    - Media Arts Festival
  • Important Dates:

    - Friday, April 7, 2023 - Good Friday holiday (FIMS offices closed, no classes)
    - Monday, April 10, 2023 - Last day of classes for undergraduate students
    - Friday, April 14, 2023 - Last day of classes for FIMS graduate programs
  • News & Announcements:

    - Western 2023 Faculty and Staff Experience Survey
    - The Gaming Guild Meetup Reminder
    - Deadline to vote for Spirit of Librarianship and Fantastic FIMS awards
    - LibQUAL+ Online Survey
  • Awards & Accomplishments:

    - Jennie Coleman (MLIS'97)
    - Ruth Hamlin-Douglas (MLIS'05)
  • Publications & Presentations:

    - Lucia Cedeira Serantes
    - Nicole Dalmer (LIS PhD'18)
    - Lisa Macklem
    - Santasil Mallik
    - Luke Stark
    - Tom Streeter
  • In the Media:

    - Norma Coates
    - Danica Facca
    - Sofia Locklear
    - Selma Purac
    - Tom Streeter
    - Tiara Sukhan
  • Additional Activities of Note:

    - Niel Scobie
  • News from the FIMS Graduate Library:

    - Make of the Month | Welcome Spring!
  • Next Issue:

Coming Events

FIMSWrites - Winter Edition

Every Wednesday
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Check your Western email for the link (or contact Pam McKenzie)
Do you expect to have assignment, story, article, report, thesis, and/or book writing deadlines coming up in the Winter term? Does having other people writing around you help keep you on-task? Then join us for FIMSWrites, an informal initiative to provide some solidarity in the sometimes-solitary writing process. What it is: a group of people sitting silently together working on their individual writing projects for 25-minute Pomodoro sessions, with short breaks between and a longer mid-morning coffee, snack, and socializing break. What it's not: a writing tutorial or workshop. Open to FIMS faculty and grad students who have writing to work on.

Research Ethics Workshop: "Conducting research with or about human subjects"
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Zoom (to register email
Are you considering a Guided Research Project or starting your thesis research next term? If your research involves collecting data from or about people, attendance at this human research ethics workshop is required before submitting any Guided Research or thesis research proposal for the Summer 2023 term. You can also attend if you're considering a research project in a subsequent term, though the same workshop will be offered in the Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 terms. If you have already received ethics approval for your research/data collection, attendance is not required. Faculty researchers are also welcome to attend. To register, please email Shelley Long at

"Using Panlex Swadesh Lists to Create a Phonosemantic Writing System"
Thursday, March 23, 2023
4:30 p.m.
Attend in person: FNB 4130
Attend online: Zoom
Presented by John Kausch, PhD student in LIS.
Are there universal concepts which exist in all languages? If there are, how do we represent these concepts with images? This talk presents a work of research creation at the intersection of linguistics, library and information science, and semiotics. A dictionary of "universal concepts" is matched with a set of emojis and a set of letters to create an "alphabet of ideas." The work is intended as a contribution to information retrieval, artificial intelligence, and user interface design.

"Smartphones and the datafication of the everyday in Africa"
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
12:00 p.m.
Register for the Zoom link.
Presented by Assistant Professor Seyram Avle of Global Digital Media in the Department of Communications at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Africa has seen an increase in smartphone use in the last decade, enrolling new populations into various processes of datafication and abstraction that underlie what has been called surveillance capitalism and/or data colonialism. By some accounts, data protection regulation presents a potential amelioration of the largely extractive nature of this global digital economy (continue reading).

"Understanding Genre Through Journeying"
Thursday, March 30, 2023
4:30 p.m.
Attend in person: FNB 4130
Attend online: Zoom
Presented by Mark C. Ambrogio, PhD in LIS student.
In reference to adult pleasure reading of books (novels), genre is traditionally understood through the paradigm of author-defined customs and conventions, that gradually develop and evolve over time. Using science fiction (SF) as an example, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, and HG Wells can be said to have established a genre, to which subsequent authors contributed, in both content and delineation (continue reading).

Media Arts Festival
Friday, March 31, 2023
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
FNB Second Floor
Submit through Microsoft Forms
The FIMS undergraduate Media Arts Festival returns to the FIMS & Nursing Building this year. Students will be displaying creative coursework that they've completed over the course of the Winter term. New this year is an instructor's showcase (if you teach an MIT course, you're eligible!). Submission deadline is Monday, March 27, 2023.

Important Dates

- Friday, April 7, 2023 - Good Friday holiday (FIMS offices closed, no classes)
- Monday, April 10, 2023 - Last day of classes for undergraduate students
- Friday, April 14, 2023 - Last day of classes for FIMS graduate programs

News & Announcements

Western 2023 Faculty and Staff Experience Survey
All Western faculty and staff should have received a unique survey link in their email from Metrics@Work within the last week. Faculty and staff are encouraged to provide feedback, as it will offer insights that can start conversations for positive change within your Faculty/Division and at Western as a whole. Fifty percent of the questions are new compared to the previous We Speak surveys, and have been reoriented to address contemporary issues. The survey is available until Friday, March 31, 2023. It should take about 15 minutes to complete. Check your Western email for your link.

The Gaming Guild Meetup Reminder
The Gaming Guild group will hold their third meetup on Friday, March 24 at 5 PM in the FIMS Atrium. If you arrive late and don't see them, they may have moved to FNB 1250. This meeting will feature a few starter games, but The Game of Thrones board game will be the main event (Res Arcana is the backup). See for information on these and other games. Please RSVP if coming. 

Deadline to vote for Spirit of Librarianship and Fantastic FIMS awards
Check your Western email for a chance to vote on the nominations made for the MLISSC's Spirit of Librarianship and Fantastic FIMS awards. Nominations for the Spirit of Librarianship award include: Leah Blackwood, Vicky Chung, Viet Ho, Abbie McLean, Sarah Sharpe and Erika Cornelius and Michaela Rye. Nominations for the Fantastic FIMS award include: Stephen Coulstring, Melanie Mills, Danica Pawlick-Potts and Rudra Seegobin. Find the link in your email

LibQUAL+ Online Survey
Help Western Libraries help you! Take our five-minute library survey. It evaluates library service quality and your responses will help us better understand and respond to your needs for services and library space. All survey questions are optional, and you can quit at any time. Your responses will be completely confidential, but we may use anonymous comments in internal reports and to promote the library. There are prizes to be won! More information.

Awards & Accomplishments

Jennie Coleman (MLIS'97) posted on LinkedIn that she received a congratulatory note from Western President Alan Shepard related to her company being named in The Globe and Mail's "Canada's Top Growing Companies" issue. Her business, Equifruit, was also profiled in an article titled "Meet the small startup taking on Big Banana in the fight for wage equity," published on September 23, 2022.

Ruth Hamlin-Douglas (MLIS'05) has been appointed as the new head librarian at the Thunder Bay Public Library. The announcement was made in an article titled "Thunder Bay Public Library names new head librarian," published on March 20 by

Publications & Presentations

Assistant professor (LDI) Dr. Lucia Cedeira Serantes and FIMS alumna and McMaster University faculty member Dr. Nicole Dalmer (LIS PhD'18) have published an invited article on their research about representations of older adults, aging, and comics in the German comics journal CLOSURE, as part of a special issue entitled "Being Old – or Doing Age? Drafting Age in Comics". You can learn more about their broader page at the project blog, Comics & Aging.

Assistant Professor Lisa Macklem co-authored an article titled "Should a Tragically Hip song have been played at a Pierre Poilievre event?" in The Conversation on March 20, which was then republished by Yahoo News.

Santasil Mallik, PhD in Media Studies student, authored an article titled "Expert insight: Documentary raises ethical questions about using war footage," published in Western News on March 17.

Assistant Professor Luke Stark published a number of things, including:

A blog post in Data & Society: Points, co-authored with undergraduate student Nathalie DiBerardino, titled “Algorithmic Harms and Algorithmic Wrongs."

A short essay titled "ChatGPT is Mickey Mouse” as part of a collection of a collection titled "Philosophers on Next-Generation Large Language Models” at Daily Nous.

An invited review essay for a special issue of American Literature on Critical AI, edited by Rita Raley and Jennifer Rhee, titled “Breaking Up AI Ethics.”

Professor Tom Streeter will present a talk titled "A Cultural History of Recent Corporate Scandals from the Dotcom Stock Bubble to Theranos" at the Social Science Students' Council annual academic conference, to take place on March 26, 2023. Professor Streeter will speak at 2:30 p.m. in McKellar Theatre. All are welcome to attend, but registration is required.

In the Media

Associate Professor Norma Coates is quoted in an article titled "Recap: US-She Day honours International Women's Day," published by the Western Gazette on March 9. 

Danica Facca, PhD in Media Studies candidate, was quoted in a Western News article titled "Western increases financial and staff support for graduate students," published on March 20. Facca provides comments in the context of her current role as SOGS president.

Assistant Professor Sofia Locklear's research was profiled in an article titled "New study examines the housing experiences of urban Indigenous people," published in NPR for Northern Colorado on March 8.

Assistant Professor Selma Purac was interviewed for a The Globe and Mail article titled "Amplify: An ode to my TikTok algorithm," published on March 17.

Professor Tom Streeter is quoted in an article titled "How Western profs are changing their courses for ChatGPT," published by the Western Gazette on March 17.

Assistant Professor Tiara Sukhan provided expertise to CBC Radio's Tapestry with Mary Hynes about the complicated narratives and issues related to police procedurals on TV. The interview is available to listen to in five parts. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Additional Activities of Note

Niel Scobie, PhD student in Media Studies, served as a consultant for the Celebrate 50 Years of Hip Hop segment at the 2023 Juno Awards. The segment can be watched in its entirety on YouTube in a clip titled "Kardinal Offishall, Haviah Mighty and more celebrate 50 years of hip hop." The 2023 Juno Awards were held on March 13 in Edmonton.

News from the FIMS Graduate Library

Make of the Month | Welcome Spring!

After months of winter gray, we could all use a pop of colour to brighten our mood and our spaces! This April we’ll be making bright, colourful, spring decorations to welcome the season and for all who celebrate or observe annual rituals or special occasions at this time of year. We'll have templates ready for quick and easy use. You’re also welcome to bring your creativity and make something from scratch. All materials will be provided and FGL staff will be on hand and ready to help as needed.

Take time for a break and partake in this month’s ‘Make of the Month’!

Next Issue

The Grad Bulletin is your source for news, announcements, and events pertaining to FIMS graduate programs. Submissions from the FIMS community are always welcome and may be sent via e-mail to .

The next issue of the FIMS Graduate Bulletin will be the final issue for the term. It will be published on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. The deadline for submissions is noon on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.