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Marcel O'Gorman

Associate Professor

Marcel O'GormanPhD, Florida
MA, Windsor

MA, Ottawa
BA, Windsor

Extension: 32946
Office: HH 258

Critical Media Lab


My hometown is Windsor, Ontario, which sprawls out in the shadows of the Detroit skyline. This might explain my obsession with border culture and interdisciplinary work. I completed a BA in French and English at the University of Windsor (1993) before moving on to graduate studies in the English Department at the University of Ottawa, where I focused on critical theory and Romanticism, particularly the work of William Blake. I returned to the University of Windsor to complete a second MA in Creative Writing, and to set up the institution’s first hypertext lab. My final project at UWindsor (1995) was an extensive hypertext collaboration with Stephen Gibb, a Windsor artist.

For my doctorate, I chose the University of Florida, where I worked with the inventive and controversial Derridean scholar Gregory Ulmer. With the PhD in hand (1998), I worked for a year as Instructional Technology Specialist at Tulane University in New Orleans, and then moved back to Windsor/Detroit after accepting a position as the first Director of Electronic Critique (2000), an interdisciplinary B.A. program at the University of Detroit. I came to the University of Waterloo in 2006 with the hope of breaking new ground in an area that we call “applied media theory.” As the Director of the Critical Media Lab at uWaterloo, I oversee the creation of digital objects-to-think-with, where digital art practices serve as problem-solving tools for social and philosophical issues. My digital work ends up in art galleries and/or in publications about technoculture. I teach a wide range of courses that combine critical thinking and hands-on creation, including Introduction to Digital Media Studies, Rhetoric of Digital Design, Memory and Techne, and Digital Abstinence.

Selected publications

Necromedia. University of Minnesota Press (Posthumanities Series), 2015.

Taking Care of Digital Dementia.” CTheory, 2015. 

E-Crit: Digital Media, Critical Theory and the Humanities. University of Toronto Press, 2005.

Broken Tools and Misfit Toys: Adventures in Applied Media Theory,” Canadian Journal of Communication. 37(2012)1.

Angels in Digital Armor: Technoculture and Terror Management,” Postmodern Culture, 2010.

See additional work at:


Myth of the Steersman (sculptural digital installation)

Spleenhouse (architectural installation)

Dreadmill (digital performance piece)

Fellowships & Awards

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Research/Creation Grant, 2010
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant, 2009
  • Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance, 2000, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation Award, 2008
  • uWaterloo SSHRC Seed Grant, 2008
  • Learning Initiative Fund, 2007
  • uWaterloo SSHRC Seed Grant, 2007
  • uWaterloo SSHRC Seed Grant, 2006
  • Mellon Fund for Humanistic Research: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Current research

I am currently working on the broad theme of “Digital Abstinence.” This work involves philosophical writing, performance, a large-scale art installation, and the drafting of reports geared to inform policy makers about the impacts of technology (particularly handheld devices) on the well being of children, teens, and the elderly. For a sampling from this project, see my article in Slate Magazine on the performance piece called “Digital Tabernacle.”

Areas of graduate supervision

  • Critical theory
  • Media theory
  • Digital humanities
  • Digital art and design
  • Posthumanities
  • Cyberculture
  • Techno-Romanticism
  • New critical methodologies
University of Waterloo

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