FIMS Profile

Alissa Centivany
Assistant Professor

FIMS & Nursing Building Room 4093
Phone: 519-519-661-2111 x88510

University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B7
Fax: 519-661-3506
  • About Me

  • Teaching

  • Research

Alissa Centivany is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario.  Her work explores processes of sociotechnical transformation and, in particular, the co-evolution of technology, intellectual property law, social practice, and ethics.  She holds a PhD in Information and a JD specializing in intellectual property and technology law.  Prior to joining FIMS, Dr. Centivany was a Microsoft Research Fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, University of California-Berkeley School of Law, and a researcher at the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, University of Toronto Faculty of Law.  Alongside work, she enjoys growing things, live music, interesting art, and pinball.  



Alissa Centivany currently teaches the graduate-level courses "Information Ethics" [FIMS 9137] and “Managing and Working in Information Organizations” [MLIS 9005].  With Dr. Redden and Dr. Streeter, she is developing a new course on information policy [W '23].  Dr. Centivany regularly supervises graduate students' research on varied topics including:  dark patterns, ethical AI, indigenous archives, scholarly communications and open access, ed tech, revenge porn, and more.

Alissa Centivany runs the Innovative Deviance Lab which, in broad terms, conducts research on socially productive transgression and explores how ambiguous norms and rule-breaking foster positive sociotechnical transformations.  More specifically, Dr. Centivany's primary areas of inquiry include: breakdown, repair, and the right to repair movement; the ethics of public-private ed tech partnerships in the provision of K-12 education; scholarly communications, open access, and open source technologies; and participatory policymaking.  Dr. Centivany is co-director of Western's new Centre for Digital Justice and Democracy.  She holds a SSHRC Insight Development grant for her work on repair.  She's engaged in a number of local and community-oriented initiatives including: improving conditions for unhoused people and housing support providers through critical engagement with the Chronic Homelessness AI ("CHAI") model;  supporting in its efforts to improve access to equitable health care by 3D-printing high quality, low cost, open source medical equipment; and facilitating community repair by providing material support and informational expertise to the London Thing Library which lends DIY tools and materials to members of the community.  Dr. Centivany was also a co-organizer of the recently-concluded SSHRC Connection grant-funded "Big Data at the Margins" series which you may learn more about here: