Heritage Award for Kensington Market: Hidden Histories Students!

Student researchers for Kensington Market: Hidden Histories augmented reality app recognized with Lieutenant Governer’s Youth Achievement Ontario Heritage Award

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Canadian Studies students received a Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement, presented by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (second from right) and Harvey McCue, Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust (far right).(Ian Crysler, courtesy of the Ontario Heritage Trust)

My UoT students received the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement from the Ontario Heritage Trust 2017!

I was absolutely delighted & honoured to attend the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award Ceremony at Queen’s Park, Feb. 23, 2017, where students from my Canadian Studies course were given the award by Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell and Ontario Heritage Trust chair Harvey McCue.

The story is now featured on the UoT Faculty of Arts & Science homepage. A few excerpts from Sean Bettam’s article:

“The Kensington Market: Hidden Histories app, which guides users through a dynamic tour of 12 locations in Toronto’s historic Kensington Market and brings to life the layers of stories embedded in the area, was made possible by students in University College’s Digital Tools in a Canadian Context course. A companion online interactive map archives histories of a total of 32 locations.”

“Receiving this award felt like it wasn’t just recognizing us students, but also the sites and locations in Kensington Market featured in our project,” said fourth-year student Arabhi Ratnajothy. “It is a reminder that so much of this city was built by immigrants who engrained themselves and their stories into the paths walked by today’s generations. We move towards the future by remembering the past.”

“Being selected for this award is such a terrific boost and affirmation for each of the students,” said course instructor Siobhan O’Flynn. “Having the opportunity to work on a project, be engaged in original research and contribute to the safeguarding of our city’s intangible cultural heritage as undergraduates is remarkable.”

“Throughout my years in the Canadian Studies program, I was always impressed by the fascinating research projects we were able to take part in with some amazing professors,” said recent graduate Nicole Paroyan. “I am so glad that a project spearheaded by Professor O’Flynn was recognized this way. None of this would have been possible without her.”

Prufrock Descending: A Collaborative Class Experiment in Reading

Prufrock Descending documents an investigation of mood shifts in T.S. Eliot’s modernist poem, “The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock.” This interactive website is the result of a collaborative investigation in reading moods undertaken as a class project (150 students!) in ENG 287 The Digital Text (University of Toronto). We engaged in passionate debates re. tagging moods via phrases, lines, and stanzas, and wrestled with the subjective nature of literary analysis (training & expertise be damned!). The interactive poem offers three version reflecting more expansive and more fine-grained readings as there was no way to arrive a definitive single reading.

From the site:

From Conrad Aiken’s early 1916 review, Eliot’s dramatic monologue has had almost a century of being read as a psychological character study exploring the fluent mutability of an anxious, indecisive self-consciousness. Key to this interpretative approach is the dynamic interplay and range of emotions that Prufrock voices and which are readily discernible to both the scholarly and common reader (to borrow Virginia Woolf’s term). Undertaken as a collaborative TEI encoding project by the students in The Digital Text, a second year English course (University of Toronto, Fall 2014), our initial question approaching this text was whether we could map the moods articulated in the poem as we as readers perceived them? What would the aggregate of our collective readings look like? Would we see a marked convergence of opinion in our close readings? Or would we see striking divergences? What we discovered was both. Remarkably, as we dove deeper into our project, what was increasingly foregrounded was the ambiguity of reading and the instability of literary analysis as a methodological process. To paraphrase one student’s response, ‘the whole poem could be defined as expressing a single mood and then the TEI process challenges the reader to parse the nuances.’ The collaborative class process of deciding on a list of mood terms became an investigation of the rationales for individual close readings and a realization that there is no way to determine or argue for a definitive reading of mood and meaning in Eliot’s poem.

TMC Resource Kit

The TMC Resource Kit [tmcresourckit.com] is a project co-created with Anthea Foyer to meet the needs of Canadian content creators moving into the digital sphere and Transmedia, Multi-Platform and Convergent production. This is a living website that will evolve as we add new case studies & resources over the coming year to build an extensive set of diverse case studies modeling unique and successful strategies in the digital sphere. Included in the resources is The Screen Australia Transmedia Bible written by Gary Hayes, a TMC How-To Resource, and other valuable tools.

The TMC Resource Kit is designed to help Canadian and international producers keep abreast of these changes by providing a comprehensive resource in regards to Transmedia, Multi-Platform and Convergent production strategies. Through these resources media producers in both countries will be brought up to date on:

  • understanding the value of an integrated development and production model;
  • working with other industry partners;
  • knowledge of existing and significant examples of convergent, multi-platform and transmedia projects (national & international);
  • create a familiarity with emergent technologies, platforms and practices;
  • help producers to push the envelope move to more integrated transmedia, multi-platform and convergent strategies

Transmedia 101

Transmedia 101 is a community building initiative co-founded by Carrie Cutforth-Young, Siobhan O’Flynn & Anthea Foyer, that encourages collaboration between both transmedia professionals and creatives, innovators, & instigators from ancillary industries/interests who desire to learn more about how to apply transmedia strategies to their properties & projects.

Started in July of 2011 as “Transmedia Toronto”, Transmedia 101 has grown from a simple meetup-group to an expanding organization that:

– connects like-minded innovators together to discuss, experiment and push transmedia forward
– educates, and elevates the understanding of the possibilities of transmedia strategies can support
– raises industry awareness and shares/spotlights the profiles of transmedia professionals, both Canadian and International, who are actively engaged in the field
– connects our growing local/Canadian community to an international network of transmedia practitioners through guest speakers and workshops. International speakers range from transmedia strategists and educators, shared storyworld and experience designers, and seasoned web series producers.

Transmedia 101 is inclusive of practitioners in digital media, cross-platform, multimedia, Alternate Reality Games, transmedia, immersive or theatrical experience, and social storytelling and welcomes both students and the transmedia-curious from the creative industries: book publishing, film, mobile, web series, TV, gaming, advertising, theatre, art, interactive/digital, etc.

Our community building activities include:

Presentations from transmedia professionals and cross-media/digital storytellers, creators, and strategists
Workshops
Incubation and other creation based events
Formal and casual networking events
Past speakers have included Robert Pratten, The Mission Business, Geoff May, Adipat Virdi, Scott Walker, Jon Reiss, Victoria Evans, and Siobhan O’Flynn.