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Athabasca University

Dr. Michael Lithgow

Assistant Professor, Communication Studies



  • Ph.D. in Communication (2012, Carleton University: Ambiguous and Beautiful News: An Aesthetic Approach to the Limits of Discursive Truth)
  • M.A. in Media Studies (2007, Concordia University: Communicating Community Capital: A Framework for Evaluating Community Television’s Impact on Cultural, Social and Economic Outcomes)
  • B.A. in Gen. Studies (2005, Simon Fraser University, with Diploma in Community Economic Development)


Michael Lithgow joined Athabasca University in 2016, as an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies, and steward for the Writing for New Media area focus in the MA-IS Program. His research interests broadly focus on citizen participation in public culture. Dr. Lithgow is currently one of a team of researchers in a SSHRC-funded international collaboration investigating the use of amateur images in network news coverage of the Arab Spring uprising. In 2015, he completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at McGill University, in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies, exploring the narrative, performance and aesthetic dimensions of citizen participation in CRTC public proceedings. He completed his PhD in Communication at Carleton University, in 2012. His dissertation explored the aesthetics of discourse in activist interventions through community-based art and grassroots journalism. Prior to graduate studies, he worked as a community radio and television producer and freelance writer. In addition to various scholarly publications including articles in the Canadian Journal of Communication and the American Communication Journal, his first collection of poetry (Waking in the Tree House, Cormorant Books) was published in 2012.

Areas of Graduate Supervision:

  • Communications / Media Studies
  • Michel Foucault / Discourse Analysis
  • CRTC / Broadcasting Policy / Citizen Engagement
  • Aesthetics / Activist Art / Community-based Art
  • Journalism Studies / Activist Media

Research Interests:

  • Citizen participation / interventions in public culture
  • Narrative, performance & aesthetics in political discourse
  • Digital interventions / amateur footage in network news
  • Communication for development / international development

Updated June 07 2016 by Student & Academic Services

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