Henry Adam Svec

Assistant Professor
photo of Henry Adam Svec
(519) 888-4567 x 46432
Location: ML 205

Henry Adam Svec holds a PhD and an MA in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario and a BA in English Literature from Mount Allison University.  His research interests include media history, popular music, and critical theory, and he has published articles in such venues as the Canadian Journal of Communication, Celebrity Studies, and Popular Music & Society. His first book, American Folk Music as Tactical Media (Amsterdam UP, 2018), explores the rich diagrams of communication and media littered across the long American folk revival, from Alan Lomax’s digital “Global Jukebox” to Bob Dylan’s noisy typewriter. Before moving to the University of Waterloo in 2018, he worked at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

Also an interdisciplinary artist and a writer, Svec has presented work in galleries and festivals across Canada, including 7a*11d, FADO Performance Art Centre, Eastern Edge Gallery, Sappyfest, and Rhubarb. He has been an artist in residence at The Banff Centre, Roberts Street Social Centre, and the Klondike Institute of Art & Culture; and his fiction and criticism have been published in The New Quarterly, Broken Pencil, C Magazine, and elsewhere. Most recently, he has co-created a digital game, Donair Academy (Fring Frang, 2017), an educational RPG exploring Atlantic Canadian cuisine.

Svec is currently working on two primary projects. First, he is Principle Investigator of a SSHRC-funded study of string figures as vehicles of imaginary media design and practice. Second, he is completing a book manuscript, a work of fiction entitled "Life Is Like Canadian Football" and Other Authentic Folk Songs, which is under contract to the literary press Invisible Publishing and scheduled to appear in 2021.

For more information, visit Henry Adam Svec’s website.

Recent Work

“Taking Care of Authenticity on the CBC’s Randy’s Vinyl Tap.” Journal of Radio & Audio Media 27.1 (2020): 25-38.

“‘THER IS A VERY INSISTENT NOISE FROM THE MACHINES IN HERE’: Theorizing Digital Media through Greg Curnoe’s Computer Journals” (co-authored with Mark Hayward). Canadian Journal of Communication 45.1 (2020): 7-24.

American Folk Music as Tactical Media (Amsterdam University Press, 2018).

“L(a)ying with Marshall McLuhan: Media Theory as Hoax Art,” Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies 8.3 (2017).

“Roch Commune 2.0” (co-authored with Eleanor King), Public 28.55 (2017): 98-99.

“From the Turing Test to a Wired Carnivalesque: On the Durability of LIVINGSTON’s Artificially Intelligent Folk Songs of Canada.” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 12.4 (2016).

“iHootenanny: A Folk Archeology of Social Media.” The Fibreculture Journal 25 (2015).

“Pete Seeger’s Mediatized Folk.” Journal of Popular Music Studies 27.2 (2015): 145-162.

Courses Taught

DAC 203 –Designing with Digital Sound

COMMST 101 – Theories of Communication

COMMST 223 – Public Speaking

COMMST 399 – Communication Inquiry