Photo of Wagman, Ira

Ira Wagman

Associate Professor
Phone:613-520-2600, ext. 2639
Department:School of Journalism and Communication


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 researches, teaches, and writes on media history, communication theory, and the study of the cultural industries. He uses historiographical and interpretive research methods including archival work, policy analysis, and media criticism.  His work covers a range of geographical settings, including Canada, France and Italy as well as international political institutions such as the European Union and UNESCO.

He has an emerging interest in the field of media ethics as it applies to the influence of digital technologies on individual and collective memory.

His current research explores the role of the apology in digital culture, a study of the influence of the Catholic Church on the development of television in Quebec in the 1950a, and a study of the relationship between media theory and notions of verticality.

Dr. Wagman is a member of the Global Internet TV Consortium, a network of media scholars seeking to understand the implications of internet-distributed television.  His work for the consortium is focused on the challenges to Canadian media policy frameworks by Netflix and other streaming services.

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

Selected Publications

Edited Anthologies and Journals

“Restituer (le temps)/ Rendering (Time)”. Co-edited with Vincent Bouchard.  Special issue of Intermédialités: Histoire et théorie des arts, des lettres et des techniques, volume 33, Spring, 2019.

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

“Small, Middle, Test: Rescaling Peripheral Media Markets”.  In Digital Peripheries. Edited by Paul Stepan, Pavel Zahradka, and Petr Szczepanik, Berlin: Springer.  In press

“On The Mediality of Two Towers: Calgary–Toronto”, Co-authored with Liam Cole Young.  Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 10:2,  2019.

“Three Canadian Film Policy Frameworks”, In the Oxford Companion to Canadian Cinema. Edited by Will Straw and Janine Marchessault. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, pp. 3-20.

“Talking to Netflix with a Canadian Accent: On Digital Platforms and National Media Policies”.  In Reconceptualizing Film Policies. Edited by Nolwenn Mignant and Cecilia Tirtaine. New York: Routledge. 2017, pp. 209-221

“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

“Keywords for Studying the Circulation of Audiovisual Content on SVOD Services”. Paper co-presented with Petr Szczepanik and co-presented at the conference “The International Circulation of National Cinemas and Audiovisual Content”, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy.  September 17-18, 2019.

“McLuhanism and the Celebrity Media Executive”. Paper presented at “Edgy Media Symposium: On Borders, Migrations, and Media Studies”.  School of Creative Arts, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, March 1-2, 2019.

“Small, Middle, Test: Re-Scaling Peripheral Media Markets”.  Paper presented at the 7th annual conference, “Screen Industries in East-Central Europe: Online Distribution and Internet TV”, National Film Archives, Prague, Czech Republic, May 22, 2018.

“Theological Experiments with Media Theory: Miranda Prorsus in Quebec”. Paper presented at conference “Making Media Theory”, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec.  May 11, 2018.

“Up Where the Thrills Are: The CN Tower and Media Spectacles in 1970s Toronto”. Paper to be presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Toronto, Ontario, March 14, 2018

“The Digital and the Déjà Vu”.  Invited lecture to the Groupe de Recherches en Médiation des Savoirs. Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, October 27, 2017

“Tall and Wide: The CN Tower and Canadian Media Theory”.  Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Communication Association, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario May 30, 2017.

“Circulatory Histories of Canadian Television in 1990s Latin America”.  Paper presented at “Media Mutations 9: The Format Factor”. Dipartmento delle Arti, University of Bologna. Bologna, Italy, May 23, 2017.

“Netflix and Canadian Platform Politics”. Paper presented at the bi-annual meeting of the European Communication Research and Education Association, Prague, Czech Republic, November 13, 2016.

“Beyond Cuts and Salves: Assessing the Legacy of Harper-Era Cultural Policies”.  Paper co-authored with Lowell Gasoi and co-presented at the conference ‘After the Deluge: Reframing/ Sustaining Critique in Post-Harper Canada”, Canadian Studies Network, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, October 30, 2016.

“Does Canada Need an International Broadcaster?”  Paper presented at conference “Rebooting Public Diplomacy: The Current and Future Prospects for Public Diplomacy in Canada”.  Centre for Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, September 30, 2016.

“Thinking about Digital Memory with Hannah Arendt”.  Invited lecture for Colloquium, “Memory and Identity: From the Exodus and Black Literature to the Digital Age”, Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies, Carleton University, March 2, 2016.

“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.