No. 507 - October 4, 2023

  • Coming Events:

    - FIMSWrites - Fall Edition
    - FIMS Film Festival Critics Lab: An Insider Experience at TIFF 2023
    - Lies, damned lies and democracy!
  • Important Dates:

    - Monday, October 9, 2023 - Thanksgiving Holiday (no classes, FIMS offices closed)
    - Friday, October 13, 2023 - Senate (A&HB, 1:30 PM)
    - Friday, October 13, 2023 - FIMS Career Conference (Undergraduate)
    - Thursday, October 19, 2023 - FIMS Fall Convocation (afternoon ceremony)
  • News & Announcements:

    - Subscribe to the Graduate Student Research Blog
  • Awards & Accomplishments:

    - Leah Brown
    - Jumana Labib
    - Luke Stark

    Publications & Presentations:

    - Melissa Adler
    - Olateju Jumoke Ajanaku
    - Basil Chiasson
    - Heather Hill
    - Kate Johnson
    - Santasil Mallik
    - Melanie Mills
    - Sarah Smith
    - Luke Stark
  • In the Media:

    - Dominique Kelly
    - Mark Kearney
    - Lisa Macklem
    - Santasil Mallik
    - Sam Trosow
  • Additional Activities of Note:

    - Mark Kearney
    - Sarah Smith
  • News from Western Libraries:

    - October Research Skills Workshops
  • Next Issue:

Coming Events

FIMSWrites - Fall Edition

Every Wednesday
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Check your Western email for the Zoom link (or contact Pam McKenzie) or drop in to FNB 4070.
Do you expect to have assignment, story, article, report, thesis, and/or book writing deadlines coming up in the Fall 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.

FIMS Film Festival Critics Lab: An Insider Experience at TIFF 2023
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Attend in-person: FNB 4130
Attend online: Register on Zoom
Presented by Nataleah Hunter-Young, Shawn Cheatham and Emma Russell as part of the FIMS Seminar Series 2023/24. Everyone is welcome.
Synopsis: Film festivals are dynamic non-profit ecosystems where creative practitioners (filmmakers, producers, writers, actors, cinematographers, composers) meet industry (sales and talent agencies, distributors, investors), the press (critics), and public audiences. The FIMS Film Festival Critics Lab provided 20 undergraduate and graduate students with tickets to see up to eight films during the 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (#TIFF23), widely considered North America’s premiere entry point for international cinema and boasting an annual attendance of approximately 500,000 industry and audience members (continue reading).

Lies, damned lies and democracy!
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Attend in-person: FNB 3090
Attend online: Zoom Webinar
Presented by Professor Emeritus Anton Allahar, Department of Sociology, Western University. Part of the 2023/23 Roger Chair Lecture Series, hosted by James Compton. Refreshments provided.
Abstract: My title borrows from a famous quote that is attributed to Mark Twain who in turn attributed it to Benjamin Disraeli, a former British PM. Apparently when Disraeli was shown to be low in the poll numbers, he asserted: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics!” I modify this quote to read: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and democracy!” For my contention is that much of what passes for democracy today is based on transparent lies that are sold to an unsuspecting public by politicians, multiple civic leaders, media enterprises, teachers and even professors (continue reading).

Important Dates

- Monday, October 9, 2023 - Thanksgiving Holiday (no classes, FIMS offices closed)
- Friday, October 13, 2023 - Senate (A&HB, 1:30 PM)
- Friday, October 13, 2023 - FIMS Career Conference (Undergraduate)
- Thursday, October 19, 2023 - FIMS Fall Convocation (afternoon ceremony)

News & Announcements

Subscribe to the Graduate Student Research Blog
Graduate Students are invited to subscribe to the Graduate Student Research Blog. The blog provides research information for graduate students - scholarship, fellowship, internship and other funding announcements, tips on writing scholarship/funding applications, and other research-related tidbits.

Awards & Accomplishments

LIS PhD student Leah Brown's visualization entry for the 2023 Information Is Beautiful Awards titled "101 Derivatives of French Mother Sauces" was selected for the longlist in the category Arts, Entertainment & Culture. Led by data journalist David McCandless, the IIB Awards are organized by the Data Visualization Society (DVS) and judged by a panel of data visualization experts and public votes. Entrants compete from around the world as individuals, teams, studios, or departments from within organizations such as Reuters, AP, USA Today, Harvard, MIT, World Bank, and other international government bodies.

Jumana Labib (BA'23, MIT) received Highly Commended status in the Business category of the 2023 Global Undergraduate Awards for her paper titled "The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree: An Apple Inc. Right to Repair Case Study". The paper was written under the supervision of Assistant Professor Alissa Centivany. It will be published and Jumana has been invited to Dublin in November to present her work.

Assistant Professor Luke Stark has been named Inaugural Scholar-in-Residence at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society at the University of Toronto. Professor Stark will engage with the SRI community through participation in regular events and research activities.

Publications & Presentations

Associate Professor Melissa Adler presented her talk, "My queer Manitoba, in books," in Brandon, Manitoba on September 21. The full text of the talk is posted on the Useful+Beautiful project site.

Olateju Jumoke Ajanaku, FIMS Postdoctoral Research Associate, presented a paper titled, "Maximizing Data Value for Student Outcomes: Big Data Analytics in Canadian Higher Education," at the African Studies & Research Forum (ASRF) 26th Annual Conference (University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC) between September 13-15.

Assistant Professor Basil Chiasson gave an invited talk titled, "Adaptation as Style across Harold Pinter's Oeuvre" at the event Harold Pinter: Adaptation, Experimentation, Transformation in Reading (UK) at the University of Reading on September 1. The event was a symposium, funded by the British Academy, and part of the project "Harold Pinter Beyond the Stage," managed by William Davies.

Associate Professor Heather Hill and Library Director Melanie Mills published "Professional Competencies of Canadian LIS Graduates" in the Proceedings of the ALISE Annual Conference, 2023.

Kate Johnson, Professor Emeritus, published an article titled "The Forgotten Canadian at the 1924 Olympics," in iRun magazine on September 20.

Santasil Mallik, Media Studies PhD student, chaired the panel "Memory and Materiality in Digital Media" in the 4th Edition of Reframing the Archive: International Symposium of Photography hosted by ARCHIVO Research Platform.

Assistant Professor Sarah Smith will present a paper titled, "Parallel Conversations: Thinking Through the Communicative Spaces Created by Artist-Run Centres" at the Universities Art Association of Canada annual conference at the Banff Centre for the Arts on October 21.

Assistant Professor Luke Stark published the following article:

Stark, Luke. “Artificial intelligence and the conjectural sciences.” BJHS Themes (2023), 1-15. doi:10.1017/bjt.2023.3 (open access)

Professor Stark also gave the following talks:

University of Zurich, Digital Society Initiative/Ruhr-University Bochum, “Reordering Emotion: Scenes from the History of Affective Computing,” Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Ethics of Emotion Computing, Zurich, Switzerland, 19 September 2023.

Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) Special Interest Group on Computers, Information, and Society (SIGCIS) 2023 Meeting, “Mental Hygiene and Emotional Control: The Second Origin of Cybernetics in Interwar Psychosomatic Medicine,” [virtual], 21 September 2023.

Beyond Data Protection Conference, “Conceptual Limits for the Right to a Reasonable Inference in AI/ML Decision-Making,” Utrecht, NL, 21 September 2023.

Additionally, Professor Stark will give a public talk titled, "Animation and Artificial Intelligence, or How and Why ChatGPT is like Mickey Mouse" as part of the Rotman Institute's Ethical Issues in Artificial Intelligence: 2023 Annual Library Lecture Series, October 4, 7-8:30 p.m., in the Lawson Room at the Central Library (251 Dundas St.).

In the Media

Instructor Mark Kearney was featured in an article titled, "Western professor sheds light on London's forgotten filmmaker," published in the Gazette on September 29. 

Dominique Kelly, LIS PhD student, was interviewed by CBC Radio's Manjula Selvarajah for a segment titled, "Getting out of an online subscription," aired on September 21. Dominique discusses how dark patterns make it difficult for people to quit online subscriptions or delete online accounts.

Assistant Professor Lisa Macklem joined radio program Chelsea on CHED on September 22 in a segment titled, "Major authors suing OpenAI for copyright infringement when training ChatGPT."

Santasil Mallik, Media Studies PhD student, was featured in an article titled, "A clear focus," published on Western's website in late September. The article highlights Santasil as a recipient of the Catherine Sheldrick Ross Graduate Recruitment Scholarship. 

Associate Professor Sam Trosow was interviewed on The Morning Show with Devon Peacock on AM980 about Western's Homecoming, student parties, and housing solutions on September 21.

Additional Activities of Note

Instructor Mark Kearney will talk about Al Christie and his new book Al Christie: Hollywood's Forgotten Film Pioneer at Masonville Branch Library on October 19 at 7:00 p.m. A Q&A and book signing will follow the talk.

Assistant Professor Sarah Smith is part of an interdisciplinary team that recently launched a new project funded by the Radboud-Western Collaboration Fund, titled "Hearing Conflicts: Unpacking Decolonization in Canadian and Dutch Museum Initiatives via a Research Podcast." The group will employ creative methodologies to explore museological strategies for contending with colonial histories and "difficult knowledge." The project runs until August 31, 2024.

News from Western Libraries

October Research Skills Workshops

Did you know Western Libraries host Research Skills Workshops? These workshops offer an introduction to many of the research services and supports we offer at Western Libraries. Most workshops are held on Zoom, more information provided on the event pages (linked below). Follow the links to register!

Upcoming workshops:

Oct. 2 - Introduction to Dashboards (in-person)
Oct. 4 - Organizing Research with Reference Management Tools
Oct. 11 - Working with Digital Primary Sources
Oct. 12 - Introduction to Qualitative Analysis with Nvivo
Oct. 16 - Elevating your StoryMaps and Dashboards (in-person)
Oct. 18 - Finding and Evaluating Book Reviews

To find more upcoming Western Library events and workshops visit the Western Libraries Events page. If you have questions about workshops, please email

Next Issue

The FIMS 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 Bulletin will be published on Wednesday, October 18. The deadline to submit content is Tuesday, October 17 at noon.