Visual Media Workshop launched at KPU

Tue, Jan 13, 2015

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – Instagram, selfies, sexting, Anonymous.

Tomorrow, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) journalism and communications department will launch a research hub to critically examine the rapidly changing way we communicate online with visual phenomena, like selfies, memes, vines, .gifs, infographics, interactive maps and YouTube videos.

The Visual Media Workshop will publish cutting-edge research, lead community and student workshops, and work with world-renowned academics on a daily basis. Ten free online lectures are already lined-up for spring 2015, with topics including the temporality of Instagram, visual ethnography, selfies and tourism, and the online activist group Anonymous. The lectures will combine to form the first free online course on digital visual culture in Vancouver.

"Whereas SFU's Centre for Digital Media aims primarily to produce graduates who will work in the realm of 'digital fiction' – animation and gaming – the VMW fills an education gap in the lower mainland by addressing ‘digital nonfiction’: social media, digital storytelling, data visualization, mobile and wearable technologies," said Katie Warfield, director of the VMW and lead researcher of the Making Selfies/Making Self Research Project.

"The workshop was created because we wanted to show there doesn't have to be a divide between theory and practice in academia. All of our research feeds directly into hands-on activities for learners. Accessibility is also a core tenet so everything we do is published online and available for free: articles, public lectures, online courses and activities.”

The launch of the VMW will be held at KPU Surrey (12666 72 Ave.) in Cedar Building room 1055, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 14.

Project partners include KPU’s Office of Research and Scholarship, the Hamber Foundation, The Selfie Researchers Network, The Image Conference, and the Making Selfies/Making Self Research Project.

For more information about the Visual Media Workshop, visit: The event tomorrow is open to the public. All are welcome to attend.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at




Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist, KPU
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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