Associate Professor

Beth Coleman

PhD, New York
BA, Yale

Extension: 31013
Office: HH 145


I am a professor of Experimental Digital Media and the director of the City as Platform Lab. I am the author of Hello Avatar (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2011) and a specialist in digital media, race theory, game culture, and literary studies. I have a long established practice as a digital researcher and media arts creator. I joined the uWaterloo English department from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Comparative Media Studies, and contribute to areas in critical media, media arts, and game studies, while strengthening departmental expertise in the study of digital media as a cultural artifact from within the literary enterprise. I am author of numerous articles on digital media and the creator of a number of digital projects. At uWaterloo, I codirect the Critical Media Lab and participate in the Rhetoric and Professional Writing major as well as the Master of Arts in Experimental Digital Media (XDM). I am on the executive committee of the uWaterloo Games Institute, where I organize research and design projects on Internet of Things, Smart Cities, and Immersive Design. I am the Undergraduate Experience Coordinator, and welcome inquiries from current or prospective students about the English program.

Selected Publications


Hello Avatar. Boston, MA: MIT P, 2011.


“Everything is Animated: 
Pervasive Media and the Networked Subject,” Body & Society 18 (1), 79-98, 2012

“GeoFilm,” X: Mark of Collaboration, Arkitip No. 0053X, Arkitip, Inc., December 2009.

 “Using Sensor Inputs to Affect Virtual and Real Environments,” IEEE Pervasive Computing, 8 (3), 16-23, July-Sept 2009

“Race as Technology,” Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies, Volume 24, Number 1 70. 177-207, 2009

Chapters in books

“Interview with the Virtual Cannibal,” The Visual Culture Reader, Nicholas Mirzoeff, ed, London: Routledge, 2012

Interview, Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound. Tara Rodgers, ed. Durham: Duke University Press. 81-94, 2010

“Integrated Systems: Mobile Stealth Unit,” Sound Unbound. Paul D. Miller, ed. Cambridge: MIT Press.  51-154, 2008

Art exhibitions & Media design

2012  #occupydistributed, Site Santa Fe, Contemporary Art, 2012

2010 Are You Worthy, Pervasive Game Design, FPoP, MIT

2009 Le Chasseur, geolocative film, Recollets, Paris

2006 BYOBB (Bring Your Own Boom Box), Wooster Collective exhibition, New York,                

2006 Information Portraits, insert Parkett, issue 77, Zurich

2005 Waken, multi-media installation. New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York

2004 Music Box, 16-channel sound installation, Waag Society, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2004 Domestic Arrangement seq, electronic audio composition, Musée d'Art modern, Paris

2003 Vernacular Software, associative data software project, Electronic Arts Intermix, New York

2000 Summer Reading, audio CD, 74 minutes, Nu Magazine of Nordic Art, Stockholm, Sweden

1999-2001 Mobile Stealth Unit (Pink Noise) Series 002, “Mirror’s Edge” exhibition

1994-2004 SoundLab multimedia installation, international

Grants, fellowships and awards

  • 2013-14 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant: “City as Platform”
  • 2013-15 Expert consultant, European Union Digital Futures Initiative, Brussels
  • 2012  uWaterloo Robert Harding Humanities & Social Sciences Endowment Fund
  • 2011-14 Berkman Center for Internet & Society Faculty Fellow, Harvard University
  • 2011 Microsoft Research Fellow, founding member MSR Social Media Collective
  • 2009 Residency Centre International d'Accueil et d'Echanges des Récollets, Paris          
  • 2009  Participating Investigator, Gender & Technology, D'Arbeloff Award
  • 2008 MIT Fund for Educational Innovation: Transmedia Storytelling

Current research

With my lab City as Platform, I am investigating aspects of human narrative and digital data in the engagement of global cities. This includes aspects of locative media/mobile media, social & civic media, smart cities, and Internet of things.

Areas of graduate supervision

  • Big data
  • Critical race theory
  • Critical Theory
  • Digital humanities

  • Games studies
  • Locative media/mobile media
  • Media theory/history of media and technology

  • Narrative theory
  • Participatory culture/politics of engagement
  • Transmedia art and design
University of Waterloo

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