Assistant Professor Joshua Synenko
BA (York), MA (Western), PhD (York)
Traill College, Scott House 212
705-748-1011 ext. 6164
Joshua Synenko is an Assistant Professor in the Cultural Studies Department, and Coordinator of the Media Studies Program at Trent University (Canada). He is President of the Canadian Comparative Literature Association (CCLA), and Assistant Editor at Media Theory (MT), an international and independent peer-reviewed journal.
Dr. Synenko completed a BA (Summa cum Laude) in Political Science at York University in 2005, an MA in Theory and Criticism at Western in 2007, and a PhD in Humanities at York University in 2015. His dissertation, entitled “After Collective Memory: Postnational Europe and Socially Engaged Art,” situates cinematic, literary, and sculptural interventions aimed at challenging specific imaginaries of European “home” amid the global financial crisis in 2008. By bridging the history and theory of memorialization together with approaches from critical race and ethnic studies, Synenko argues that interventions into European collective memory were largely initiated at this time among second-generation migrants pursuing “translocal” (El-Tayeb, 2011) identity politics.
Since graduating, Dr. Synenko has contributed single-author publications exploring broad intersections between (new and old) media and critical geography, emphasizing questions of mobility, technology and infrastructure within collective memory practices, the political uses and misuses of crowdsourcing maps, the discursive practices around smart cities, and theories of space in visual culture. In 2018, he completed a major editorial project on Geospatial Memory.
Dr. Synenko’s current research project focuses on issues of policing, urbanism and data ethics. It examines how mobile policing apps inform urban policy and planning initiatives, and how prompting devices shape our media ecologies and spatial imaginaries in general. This work has developed from his ongoing role as PI for a SSHRC Explore Grant (2020-21) on Ecology, Infrastructure and Mobility in Communications Research, which aims to develop alternative methodologies for understanding the prevalence of everyday surveillance tools, including biometric sensor devices, safety apps, amber alerts, and meteorological systems.
Dr. Synenko teaches Introduction to Media Studies, Introduction to Film: What is Cinema?, Contemporary Topics in Media Studies, and Digital Media Lab. Between January-June 2021, he will be interim Director of Cultural Studies Graduate Programs.
Personal website: www.joshuasynenko.com