On behalf of the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies, I would like to welcome readers to the Spring issue of our newsletter Celebrity Culture and Social Inquiry.
I am pleased to let you know that the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies sponsored public seminar series Moving Forward started with excellent feedback this year! We are proud of our new editorial board and bringing the second part of the seminar series "Moving Forward: An Intimate Evening on Media, Diversity, and Social Justice" in downtown Toronto on Friday, May 30. You are cordially invited to attend the seminar featuring distinguished guests in higher education, media and social justice movements.
The event offers an opportunity to connect through a roundtable discussion and exclusive performance on media, diversity issues, and silenced voices at the industReal arts room (688 Richmond Street West) from 6 to 10 pm on Friday. The evening opens with a reception honouring distinguishing participants Tushar Unadkat, Sylvia Fraser, Salvatore Greco, Mary Fantaske, Michael Sizer, and Heryka Miranda.
Internationally celebrated, awards winning media personality, Tushar Unadkat, holds a Master of Design from the University of Dundee, Scotland and Honors in Photography from University of Wolverhampton, England. CEO and Creative Director of MUKTA Advertising, Unadkat is nominated for the coveted national Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award this year and honoured with Canada’s Trailblazer award at the 12th Annual ReelWorld Film Festival.
An award-winning novelist, a memoirist, a travel writer and a journalist from The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star, Sylvia Fraser has published a dozen books under her own name, and ghostwritten several others. She is probably best known for her 1987 international bestseller, My Father’s House: a Memoir of Incest and of Healing, credited as being one of the first to break the taboo on childhood sexual abuse. She has also written hundreds of magazine articles, for which she has won numerous awards, including the 2008 Matt Cohen A Writer’s Life Award for her body of work. She has taught creative writing at Banff Centre and various university workshops, and participated in extensive media tours across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
Ryerson University’s Mary Fantaske reveals hidden truths in marginal representations of bodies and abilities. She particularly focuses on the intersections between ableism and speciesim through the critical lens of what it means to be a ‘person.’ She is currently a graduate researcher from the Department of Communication and Culture at Ryerson University.
Roundtable discussant Salvatore Greco has been an integral part of the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) RTA School of Media at Ryerson University. His critical observations and insightful views on Rob Ford’s celebrity status and alternative use of tabloid formats set new grounds for social justice in media culture. Michael Sizer shows how the public can activate citizen journalism and screens his ground-breaking film The Whole World is Watching after the roundtable discussion.
The event closes with a live performance titled Stepping Into Her Knowing by social change artist and holistic dance practitioner Heryka Miranda. Of Guatemalan-Mayan / US American heritage, Heryka Miranda, gives a voice to the voiceless, subverts disabilities, and honours Indigenous communities and land defenders through accompaniment, activism and sacred ceremonies using the expressive dance arts. In 2013 she was the International Guest Fellow with the award-winning Dancing Earth Indigenous Contemporary Dance Company in Santa Fe, New Mexico and an ambassador of Limitless Productions that was recently featured among academics, artists and activists at the Feminist Art Conference (FAC). Heryka plans her graduate studies in Dance/Movement Therapy and Mental Health Counseling at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.
We are considering developing the seminar series into an international conference, journal and a televised program. We strongly encourage academics, creative practitioners and activists to mobilize public opinion in media. Earlier this year, CMCS was featured for its veiws on celebrity activism on CTV national news in Canada. To view the news segment, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1BR1H9yAU8#t=184. Our gratitude goes to board member and activist Dr. Anita Krajnc for her outstanding views on CTV.
On behalf of our international and cross-disciplinary Advisory and Editorial Board, it is always a pleasure to join a vibrant community of faculty, graduate researchers, artists, and activists dedicated to excellence in research, development, and innovation. The development of CMCS would not have been possible without its dedicated board members, partners, sponsors, donors, and supporting organizations.
The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) is an international non-profit organization that specializes in media literacy, celebrity activism, and ethical arts in higher education. The centre facilitates academic and media partnerships with the aim of developing cultural production, and strengthening higher education and creative industries. The centre is committed to supporting and promoting publications, performances, seminars, conferences, works-in-progress, discussions, visual exhibits in critical studies of media and fame.
Thank you for being a part of our journey. Visit here to have a glimpse of our past seminar series in Canada. We are proud of your contributions and look forward to supporting the excellent progress of your academic, artistic and social work.
With affection from Canada,
Director, Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies