Ira Wagman is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies, with a cross-appointment between the School of Journalism and Communication and the Institute for the Comparative Study of Literature, Art, and Culture. He is also a Research Associate at the Max Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies, the Carleton Centre for Public History, and the Centre for European Studies.

Dr. Wagman was recently awarded the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Public Diplomacy at the Center for Public Diplomacy in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He has previously held visiting professorships and research fellowships at the University of Freiburg, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the University of Amsterdam the University of Arhus, SUNY-Plattsburgh, and Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan. He was one of the first recipients of the Faculty of Public Affairs Teaching Achievement Award.

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Wagman’s research, teaching, and writing focus on media history, communication theory, and cultural policy.  His research uses of historiographical and interpretive methods including archival work, policy analysis, and media criticism.  

He has a specific interest in the history of communication research, the impact of digital technologies on individual and collective memory, the study of cultural nationalism, and the relationship between communication and time.   His work has focused on a range of geographical settings, including Canada, France and Italy as well as the European Union and the United Nations.   

Current research and published work in these areas focuses on the early history of UNESCO, Canadian content regulations, cultural diplomacy, the impact of digital platforms such as Netflix on Canada’s media industries, ethical questions around the “right to be forgotten”, the impact of PowerPoint on public modes of address, and the relationship between professional sports and media technologies.  

He is currently a member of the National Radio Preservation Task Force, an initiative of the US Library of Congress aimed at creating an inventory of materials related to the history of radio.

Dr. Wagman supports graduate work in all of his areas of interest. and welcomes inquiries from prospective students.

Selected Publications

Edited Anthologies and Journals

TV Genres in the Age of Abundance”, Special Issue of Communicazioni Sociali, co-edited with Massimo Scaglioni. Making Sense of Media in the Digital Age. Co-edited with Peter Urquhart. Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 2012.

Intersections of Media and Communications: Concepts and Critical Frameworks. Co-edited with Will Straw and Sandra Gabriele. Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2011.

“Cross-Cutting: Cinema and Television in Canada”.  Special issue of the Canadian Journal of Film Studies15:1, Winter, 2006. Co-edited with Peter Urquhart.  Also co-wrote the introduction, “Considering Canadian Television: Intersections, Missed Directions, Prospects for Textural Expansion,” pp. 2-7.

Book Chapters and Journal Articles

“Three Canadian Film Policy Frameworks”, in the Oxford Companion to Canadian Cinema. Edited by Will Straw and Janine Marchessault.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming.

“Forgiving without Forgetting: Contending with Digital Memory” In Sharrona Pearl, ed. Images, Ethics, Technology. New York: Routledge. 2015, pp. 111-125.

Locating UNESCO in Histories of Communication Study”, in The International History of Communication Study. Edited by Peter Simonson and David Park. Routledge. 2015, 71-90. 

“Bureaucratic Celebrity”, in Far and Wide: Celebrity Culture in Canada. Edited by Katja Lee and Lorraine York. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016, pp. 201-218.

“Of Home Teams and Visiting Players: Imports and Substitutions in Canadian Sports and Related Media”, in Chris Waddell and David Taras, Eds. How Canadians Communicate About Sports. Athabasca: Athabasca University Press, 2015.

“This Content is Not Available in Your Region: Geo-blocking Culture in Canada”, (co-authored with Peter Urquhart). in Darren Wershler, Rosemary Coombe and Martin Zeilinger, Eds. Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014. pp. 124-132.

“Global Formats and Canadian Television:The Case of Deal or no Deal”, Canadian Journal of Communication38:4. Winter 2013, pp 611.27

“Teleclubs and European Television History Beyond the Screen”, Journal of European Television History and Culture 2, 2012, pp. 118-128.

“Peace, Order, and Good Banking: Packaging History and Memory in Canadian Advertising.” In Peter Hodgins and Nicole Neatby, Eds. Settling and Unsettling Memories: Essays in Canadian Public History.Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012, pp. 692-725.

“The Suspicious and the Self-Promotional: About Those Photographs We Post on Facebook.” in Jonathan Finn, Ed. Visual Communication and Culture: Images in Action. Oxford University Press, 2011, pp.145-156.

“PowerPoint and Academic Labour in the Mediated Classroom” (co-authored with Michael Z. Newman),International Journal of Communication (online), 5, 2011. 9pp.   

“Media Functions”. In Will Straw, Sandra Gabriele and Ira Wagman, Eds. Intersections: Explorations into Media and Communications. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Press, 2011, pp.

“L’UNESCO, le mouvement des télé-clubs et les usages multilatéraux des médias dans les années cinquante”. In Télévision: Le moment éxperimental, 1935-55. Eds. Gilles Delavaud, Denis Marechal, and Jerome Bourdon. Rennes: Éditions INA/Apogée 2011, pp. 423-431.

“On the Policy Reflex in Canadian Communication Studies”. Canadian Journal of Communication 35(4): 2010, pp. 619-630.

“ Notes on Office Work and Digital Distraction”. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture (online)13:4, 2010.

“Log On, Goof Off, and Look Up: Facebook and the Rhythms of Canadian Internet Use”.  In Bart Beaty, Derek Briton, Gloria Filax and Rebecca Sullivan, Eds. How Canadians Communicate. 3rd edition.  Athabasca: Athabasca University Press, 2010. pp. 55-77.

“Canadian Cultural Policy in the Age of Media Abundance: Old Challenges, New Technologies” (co-authored with Ezra Winton). In Leslie Regan Shade, Ed. Mediascapes: New Patterns in Canadian Communication. 3rdedition.  Toronto: ITP Nelson, 2009, pp. 61-77.  (Revised for 2012 edition)

“The Woods Gordon Report, Accountability, and the Postwar Reconstruction of the National Film Board of Canada”.  Journal of Canadian Studies 42:1, 2008, pp. 83-104.

“The B Side: Why Content Regulations Aren’t Necessary for the Survival of Canadian Music”.  In Josh Greenberg and Charlene Elliott, Eds. Communication in Question. Toronto: ITP Nelson, 2007, pp. 223-229. (Revised for 2012 edition).

“Rock the Nation: MuchMusic, Cultural Policy and the Development of English-Canadian Music Video Programming, 1979-1984” (reprint of CJC article). In Daniel Robinson, Ed. Communication History in Canada: A Reader. Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 214-224.

“Wheat, Barley, Hops, Citizenship: Molson’s ‘I am [Canadian] Campaign and the Defense of Canadian National Identity Through Advertising”. Velvet Light Trap 50, 2002, pp. 77-89.

“Rock the Nation: MuchMusic, Cultural Policy and the Development of English-Canadian Music Video Programming, 1979-1984”. Canadian Journal of Communication 26:4, Winter, 2001, pp. 503-518.

Recent Conference Papers and Invited Lectures

“Exporting the ‘City’ Aesthetic: MuchMusic and CityTV in the Americas”.  Paper presented at conference of the Canadian Studies Network, “Canada in the Americas”. McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, Montreal, Quebec, October 3, 2015. 

“Canada’s Media Industries in the Age of Media Abundance”.  Invited lecture to Summer School program, “Pluralism in Canada and Beyond”.  School of Canadian Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands, July 2, 2015.

“Teaching Contemporary Canadian Television by the Numbers”.  Paper presented at conference “Teaching Canada”, Marburg Centre for Canadian Studies, Marburg, Germany, June 25-27, 2015.

“Internet Relations: Canada, the EU, and the Problem with Digital Platforms”.  Paper presented at conference “New Perspectives on the Canada-Europe Partnership”, French Association for Canadian Studies, Nantes, France, June 10, 2015. 

“The End of Radio Canada International, and the Beginning of Something Else?” Invited lecture to Annual Conference of the Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars, Los Angeles, California, November 15, 2013.

“Danny Kaye and Celebrity Diplomacy”. Invited lecture to the Centre of Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. September 26, 2013.

“Television and UNESCO: Two Models for Postwar Communication”.  Invited lecture as part of lecture series “Media, Methods, Histories”, Institut für Medienkulturwissenschaft.  University of Freiburg, June 11, 2013.

“On Media and Forgetting in the European Union”.  Invited workshop presentation to the Institut für Medienkulturwissenschaft, University of Freiburg, June 5, 2013.

“Locating UNESCO in the Historical Study of Communication”.  Paper presented at the pre-conference “Histories of Communication Study” of the International Communication Association, London, United Kingdom, June 17, 2013.

“Format Television and Cultural Motion: Deal or No Deal In and Around Canada”. Paper presented at conference “Transnational Mediascapes: Sound and Vision in Europe”, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy, May 13, 2013.