Media Studies Coordinator
Classes: CUST 1535H (T1), CUST 4035Y
BA (Thompson Rivers University), MA (York University), PhD (University of Victoria)
Liam Mitchell is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at Trent University trained in political science and cultural, social, and political thought. He is interested in the effects of our continual immersion in media, particularly those social media services that seem to fall under our control.
He will be teaching the introductory course of Trent's new Media Studies program, and an advanced course on the digital subject. His teaching begins from students’ own experiences of the media, moving from their daily media practices to theoretical conclusions about what possibilities these practices open up and what other possibilities they close down.
His research brings a phenomenological perspective to bear on everyday cultural practices (like social media) and their transgressive opposites (like trolling). He is currently preparing a manuscript that investigates the ontological implications of different moods associated with internet browsing, particularly the twinned moods of boredom and interest. Activities like internet browsing seem to be both the cause of and solution to “negative” moods like boredom. This is true for both interest-oriented websites for which usage means advertisements means money and for sites that have ostensibly different aims: they all have a structural incentive to maintain a certain degree of boredom in their users to ensure that these users keep returning. Following from Martin Heidegger’s observations concerning the ontological significance of technology, the manuscript analyzes small sites of distraction in order to question the extent to which this incentive, perhaps embedded in the net, reflects an epochal preoccupation with preoccupation.