When I heard we had a new postdoctoral fellow, it seemed like pretty great news. And then I heard who it was–even better. Thanks to Nicholas for agreeing to introduce himself via the blog–JLH
My name is Nicholas Balaisis and I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Critical Media Lab this year. I’ll be working with Beth Coleman and Marcel O’Gorman at the Lab this year, exploring how new media and digital technology are re-shaping the aesthetics, geography and feel of contemporary cities. This project is particularly relevant within the context of Kitchener-Waterloo, where the impact of new media companies is palpable in the revitalization of formerly industrial sites such as the Tannery District downtown. Some of these ideas about the digital city will be discussed at an upcoming graduate symposium, Invisible Cities, which I will be taking part in on October 26th at the Critical Media Lab.
Before coming to Waterloo, I was in the Communication Studies department at Concordia University in Montreal, where I taught courses in media history, digital media, and critical theory. I am excited to be teaching a graduate course for the English department this semester that focuses on the theory and critique of residual media. The course asks, very simply, what’s new about new media? More broadly, it examines how the preoccupation with new media as a “rupture from the past” ignores historical continuities within media production.
In addition to my work on media and cities, I also write about film, media, and culture in Cuba, a country that I have lived, researched and taught in since 1999. My most recent research there focused on film and media education at the country’s top film school near Havana. I have also written about the mobile cinema campaign in the 1960s, film melodrama, and the Cuban public sphere.
Having recently moved to the K-W area, I am enjoying getting to know the region and am particularly excited by the fantastic farmers’ markets in Kitchener and St. Jacobs that have enabled me to pursue my favorite non-academic passion of cooking.
Please join me in welcoming Nicholas.