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Andrea Braithwaite, PhD

Andrea Braithwaite

>> Senior Lecturer

Professor Braithwaite’s research focuses on gendered and affective discourses of self-management, the aspirational life, and sociability in gaming and pop culture.

Professor Braithwaite’s research analyses how popular discourses of gender, sexuality, and sociability become political – that is, how popular texts and the talk they inspire vivify North American public debate about gender and sexual equality.  Her work pays special attention to the strategies popular and everyday texts identify for challenging the political cultures of neoliberalism, and how feminist and proto-feminist ideas circulate in popular forms often deemed apolitical or anti-feminist. Identifying and critiquing gendered discourses of self-management and the aspirational life, Professor Braithwaite tracks the traces and material practices of these affective discourses to representational and experiential spaces in pop culture and digital media.  Her current work involves a closer look at what happens to these discourses when they stick to spots in digital culture, particularly multiplayer games and gaming communities.

Professor Braithwaite’s work has appeared in journals like New Media & Society and Feminist Media Studies.  She also has a chapter published in Teen Television: Essays in Programming and Fandom and in the forthcoming collection Screening Justice: Canadian Crime Films and Society.  Professor Braithwaite has most recently been a contributing columnist for flowtv.org, and is also working on collaborative digital and database projects on Canadian crime films and on World of Warcraft with colleagues across Canada and the United States. 

Professor Braithwaite’s courses in Communication and Digital Media Studies draw on these research interests.  An award-winning educator, her teaching is cross-textual and interdisciplinary,  and examines how media and political discourses circulate, change, and are changed in our everyday encounters with them.  Professor Braithwaite’s courses — from Game Studies and Pop Culture to Television and Canadian Media — help students pinpoint the spaces that emerge within popular and digital cultures for critical reflection and intervention. Prioritizing social justice and equality, Professor Braithwaite encourages students to contribute their original insights to critical conversations about social change.  Her research and teaching foreground the principle of praxis that guides Communication and Digital Media Studies: knowledge as the basis for action and change.

Publications

“‘Buckle up, bitches. Nothing is as it seems’: Gothic conventions in Pretty Little Liars.”  Flowtv.org. 21:5 (2015). flowtv.org/2015/03/gothic-conventions-pretty-little-liars

“Epic Win: The Guild and Communities of Play.”  Flowtv.org. 21:3 (2015). http://flowtv.org/2015/01/epic-win-the-guild-and-communities-of-play/

Seriously, get out: Feminists on the Forums and the War(craft) on Women.” New Media & Society.  16:5 (2014). 703-718. Prepublished 12 June 2013. doi: 10.1177/1461444813489503

Streets Behind: Nostalgia in Community. Flowtv.org.  21:1 (2014). http://flowtv.org/2014/10/streets-behind-nostalgia-in-community/

It’s the beast thing’: Victimization, Violence, and Popular Masculine Crises.” Feminist Media Studies. 11:4 (2011). 417-432. doi: 10.1080/14680777.2011.555959

Bon Cop, Bad Cop: Fighting Crime Across the Two Solitudes.” In Screening Justice: Canadian Crime Films and Society. Eds. Steven Kohn, Sonia Bookman, and Pauline Greenhill. Fernwood Publishing. Forthcoming 2015.

Courses Taught

  • COMM 2110: Foundations of Communication Theory
  • COMM 2220: The Media in Canada
  • COMM 2240: Television
  • COMM 2410: History of Communication Technology
  • COMM 3250: Pop Culture
  • COMM 3740: Game Studies

Research Areas

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