Posted on January 26, 2018 by

California Typewriter

CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER is a documentary portrait of artists, writers, and collectors who remain steadfastly loyal to the typewriter as a tool and muse, featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, Sam Shepard, and Milieux’s own Darren Wershler.

It also movingly documents the struggles of California Typewriter, one of the last standing repair shops in America dedicated to keeping the aging machines clicking.

In the process, the film delivers a thought-provoking meditation on the changing dynamic between humans and machines, and encourages us to consider our own relationship with technology, old and new, as the digital age’s emphasis on speed and convenience redefines who’s serving whom, human or machine?

Screening to be followed with a Q&A with director Doug Nichol.

Friday, February 2 | 4 PM
J. A. de Sève Cinema
Webster Library Building, main floor
1400 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O, Montréal, QC H3G 1M8
Concordia University

Posted on January 16, 2018 by

Joan Donovan | Phreaking Democracy

Joan Donovan | Phreaking Democracy

Joan Donovan (UCLA) will illustrate how protesters use new and old communication technologies to organize for social change, highlighting the role of the telephone. This talk explores the history of phone phreaking to draw out comparisons to today’s activist use of voice-to-voice communication in the struggle for democracy.

Monday, January 22 | 1:30 – 2:30 PM
CJ 5.301 Loyola Campus
Concordia University
7141 Sherbrooke Street  

Posted on November 15, 2017 by

Jeremy Shtern | Social Media and Promotional Culture


Jeremy Shtern | Social Media and Promotional Culture

Questions about the democratic impact of social media political advertising have recently burst their way onto policy agendas and into public consciousness. But if politics can be manipulated by targeted social media content, what are the implications for our daily lives as consumers and citizens when brands and advertisers use the affordances of social media to influence our thinking and choices? Based on 4+ years of research into social media advertising, Jeremy Shtern (Ryerson University) discusses the internet governance implications linked to the emergence of data-driven social media advertising, and makes the case for internet governance discussions to start paying more attention to the fact that advertising — historically a crucial policy agenda for governing electronic communication — is fundamentally shaping user experiences online and sponsoring the architecture of most public internet communication.

November 23 | 12PM Noon
CJ 1.114 Loyola Campus
Concordia University
7141 Sherbrooke Street  

Posted on November 2, 2017 by

Guins & Lowood at the MHRC [LOCATION UPDATE]

Raiford Guins | Atari Modern: Towards a Design History of Atari’s Coin-Ops
Henry Lowood | Replay: Games, Performance, Preservation

Raiford Guins (Indiana University) and Henry Lowood (Stanford University) will be presenting their recent work on the history and culture of video games. This talk is presented by the Residual Media Depot, a project of the Media History Research Centre cluster of the Milieux Institute at Concordia University.

November 10 | 3 – 5:30 PM
VA 323 – Visual Arts Building
1395 Boulevard René-Lévesque O,
SGW Campus, Concordia University

Posted on October 10, 2017 by

Fall 2017 Upcoming Events

We have an exciting roster of events upcoming at the MHRC!
Mark your calendars for our autumn speaker series:

Jennifer Holt | Cloud Policy: Anatomy of a Regulatory Crisis 

Jennifer Holt will examine the legal and cultural crises surrounding the regulation of data in ‘the cloud’. The challenges of distributing and protecting data in a policy landscape that is simultaneously local, national and global has created a set of problems that defy legal paradigms, national boundaries and traditional geographies of control. Jennifer will examine these challenges with emphasis on a history of obscene phone calls, wiretapping of organized crime, the Patriot Act, Facebook and battles over net neutrality.

October 30 | 5 PM
GEM Lab, FB 630.15
Sir George William Campus
Concordia University
1250 Guy St.  

Benjamin Loveluck | The Internet as Ideology and Practice: A Genealogical Perspective

Examining the conceptual and practical affinities between liberalism and the idea of “free flow of information” on the Internet. Benjamin Loveluck presents a framework for understanding the political dimensions of the Internet, as well as shedding light on the transformations of contemporary liberalism, and showing how the two issues are closely related.

November 1 | 4 PM
CJ 5.219 Loyola Campus
Concordia University
7141 Sherbrooke Street  

Robyn Maynard | Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to Present 

Laying bare the violent realities behind Canada’s veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Policing Black Lives traces four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black life in Canada. Through an unapologetically intersectional, feminist and abolitionist lens, this talk looks at how slavery’s legacy has been carried forward by the state, exposing the social and historical forces behind carding/street checks, the war on drugs, the school-to-prison pipeline, welfare “fraud” and child welfare enforcement, deportation, and the disproportionate incarceration of Black folks in Canada’s jails, prisons, and immigration detention centres.

November 9 | 4:30 PM
Milieux Institute EV 11.705
Concordia University
1515 St. Catherine St. W 

For more information, email

Posted on October 10, 2017 by


Poleconomy night is the first in an upcoming game night series hosted by the MHRC.

Play through a game that reflects the way government, finance and industry collide when private enterprise operates under parliamentary democracy. Tycoons and politicians face face inflation, taxation and commercial disaster in a bid for political and financial power. Renowned in Canada for helping the Fraser institute survive a deep recession, Poleconomy is a wacky and stylized gamification of the ways in which our economy and government interact.

October 26 | 7 PM
MLab, Milieux EV 11.455
Sir George William Campus
Concordia University
1515 rue St. Catherine W. 

For more information, email

Posted on March 17, 2017 by

milieux-events-mediahistory-ENGL 603

Darren Wershler returns with the ENGL 603: Media Archeology. The 5-day (Tuesday 23 May – Saturday 27 May), 3 credit spring course attempts to answer “What is media archaeology?”

As Jussi Parikka describes, it is a subfield of media history that scrutinizes contemporary media culture through investigations of past media technologies and creative media practices. Media archaeology takes a special interest in recondite and forgotten apparatuses, practices and inventions. At an historical moment when our own media technologies become obsolete with increasing rapidity, the study of residual forms and practices provides valuable context for analysis, and perhaps the possibility for the emergence of something new.

This course deals with the theory, current practice, and possible trajectories of media archaeology as a discipline. Our object of study will be the research collection of the new Residual Media Depot of the Media History Research Centre at the Milieux Institute. Work will consist of a mix of writing, thinking, talking, and hands-on encounters with materials from the collection, according to student skills and interests.

Posted on January 23, 2017 by

EventbriteDr. Philip Mirowski will be running a seminar inspired by his new book All the Knowledge We Have Lost Due to Information. The book examines the role of information in modern economics and how it influences policy and politics.

We will be reading “Information in Economics: A Fictionalist Account.” The article proposes that certain classes of economic models best be understood as “fictions.” The article will be circulated in advance.

Thursday, February 16th from 10 AM to 12 PM
EV Building, Room EV-11.705
Sir George William Campus, Concordia University,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Space is limited so please RSVP as soon as possible!
Email with any questions.

Visit Eventbrite for more information and to register.

Dr. Philip Mirowski is Carl Koch Chair of Economics and the History and Philosophy of Science, and Fellow of the Reilly Center, University of Notre Dame. He is a critical historian of science and technology with an expertise in economics. He’s been particularly influential in tracing the development of post-War economics especially its formulate as a science.

Algorithmic Media Observatory
Department of Communication Studies
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
FRQSC_RGB(multimedia-transparent)MilieuxRISK Working Group

Posted on January 23, 2017 by

Eventbrite (1)February 16, 5:30 PM 

Milieux Institute, EV Building, Room 11.705
1515 St-Catherine ST. W., Concordia University

Openness was supposed to save science. Heralded as modern science’s saving grace, the “open science” movement had its debut among the scientific and general community in the last 15 years, reputedly to render the field more accessible and democratic. In this talk, historian and philosopher of economic thought Philip Mirowski deconstructs the emergence of and current craze for “openness.” Starting with the work of some historians of science, he explores the indictments of the older regime of science by its advocates, and then outlines the neoliberal realizations of the program. The proper frame of understanding involves the quest to have the market validate truth, and to Taylorize the scientific process.

Algorithmic Media Observatory
Department of Communication Studies
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
FRQSC_RGB(multimedia-transparent)MilieuxRISK Working Group



Posted on January 5, 2017 by

Introducing The Residual Media Depot


“This is not a media archaeology lab. This is not an archive. This is a research collection.”

Wershler introduces the  Residual Media Depot in Milieux Institute‘s Pause Button zine. The Media History Research Centre director recently launched the research collection, primarily composed of early video game consoles. Naming the collection proved more difficult than anticipated. In his article, Weshler carefully considers terms such as archive and media archaeology lab in his search for the perfect name. What is it?

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