VisualizingEmpathy is an art curriculum that uses mobile social media to engage youth in conversations about empathy through a series of missions requiring participants to create and share personal digital productions on Flickr. By sharing representations of their lives on social media, participants give voice to their identities, cultures and values.
Based on the insights of college and university teachers that have used www.newsactivist.com to facilitate conversations on social and political issues, this project provides concrete strategies, including exercises, rubrics and facilitation guidelines, for anyone looking to facilitate dialogue and develop the critical thinking skills of youth through online discussions.
Critical Analysis of Islamic State Social Media
In this project, we lay bare the narrative and linguistic structures of Islamic State (IS) propaganda videos on social media. Our researchers conduct a critical analysis of how notions of utopia and dystopia are depicted by IS and compare these to historical Nazi propaganda. We also provide English and French translations of the monologues used in these videos to enable the broader public to better contextualize the post-apocalyptic rhetoric being used by the IS extremists.
Literary Peace Project
This project provides a bank of pedagogical tools (such as suggested readings, suggested lesson ideas, video playlists, discussion questions, assignments, and worksheets) for college English teachers wishing to discuss extremism both in class and in online forums/blogs.
Learning to Hate: An Anti-Hate Comic Project
These online graphic resources investigate the ways in which hate speech is experienced and negotiated in the contemporary lives of youth. Designed for preservice and practicing teachers, these mini-comics support lesson plans and catalyze classroom conversation on hate and hate speech.
The Dark Side of Social Media
Our documentary narrates stories of individuals who have been victimized as a result of information propagated through social media. With the growth of social media, hateful messages have rapidly spread outwards from labeled ‘hate sites’ to seemingly non-harmful social interaction. The main objective of this research is to highlight the complexity and intersectionality involved in cyber violence when we talk about marginalized identities.
Adult Education & Online Hate
This project aims to enhance Canadians’ abilities to respond to and engage with contentious socio-political issues impacting their communities. It leverages the power of connections between prominent adult education models and different social media platforms in order to foster informal learning spaces in which critical conversations about social structures and justice or injustice may be pursued.
Prejudice du Jour
This project examined how issues relating to Canadian citizenship, identity, and cultural belonging are understood and discussed among Canadian citizens within online environments. Specifically, it used reddit conversations relating to Quebec's proposed Charter of Values in order to understand how such socio-political phenomena as hate, violence, and oppression are manifested and negotiated online.
The Online Other
This project examines how the discourses of terrorism, national security, and war against terror condition the ways in which members of civil society understand those of Arab descent, middle easterners and Muslims.
Children on Social Media
This project examines the growing phenomenon of children, under 13, using social media platforms for social and communication purposes. We focus on the teacher's perspective through questionnaire responses from 57 elementary school teachers. We also conduct a preliminary exploration of the Facebook practices of three children.
Theatrics of Hate Speech
This project explores how hate speech is produced, diffused and consumed in extreme metal music scenes. Through a combination of interviews, as well as analyses of online forums and social media feeds, we explore some of the tensions between freedom of speech, liberties in artistic expression and hateful speech as an alibi to exhibit misanthropy.