Publishing Program - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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The past, present, and future potential of publishing collectives

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-12-13
Abstract: 

This report describes and analyzes a range of publishing collectives from the past and present in anglophone Canada and considers the potential for future development. It begins with a focus on the past with an emphasis on the role of collectives in overcoming the threat of foreign influence on Canadian publishing. Moving into the present, some key current issues facing independent publishers in Canada are outlined and collectives are found to form part of the solutions to these problems. A critical discussion of collectives is also included so as to provide a comprehensive insight into the role collectives are currently playing. The report ends with a view to the future, building on the previous section to provide recommendations and suggestions for how collectives could develop. This report relies heavily on interviews with publishing professionals who outlined their experiences within collectives. Overall, this report illustrates the value collectives bring to the industry while also recognizing where improvements could be made.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Suzanne Norman
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

Treasure hunting and storytelling: The role of picture research in publishing Simon Fraser University’s institutional memory

Date created: 
2021-12-01
Abstract: 

The Simon Fraser University Retirees Association (SFURA) is publishing a website and book providing a retrospective of the Centre for Communications and the Arts (CCA). As the campus arts hub during Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) radical first decade (1965–75), the CCA hosted countless flower-child “happenings” and conceptual art projects in the SFU Theatre. The program evolved into the School for the Contemporary Arts, School of Communication and SFU Galleries. This report describes the picture research methods employed to find historical images for the SFURA’s book and website, including identification, selection and clearance of 50-year-old images from archival sources. The processes, considerations – editorial, archival and legal – and the partnerships at play in curating and publishing these largely forgotten visual materials are discussed. The picture research methods explained in this report provide a practical model for the future publication of retrospective books and websites created at SFU and other organizations.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Amanda Lastoria
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

Contextualizing "text and context": An annotation of the Fall 2020 syllabus for PUB 800 at SFU

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-08-15
Abstract: 

This report documents my experience of teaching PUB 800 – Text and Context: Publishing in Contemporary Culture at SFU Publishing in the Fall 2020 semester, which was both my first time teaching this course and the first time it had been delivered remotely, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. It details the work of designing a publishing theory seminar as a non-academic, industry professional, and examines how a course that originated as a primer in Canadian publishing policy has evolved into a seminar course that more broadly interrogates the structure, state, and culture of contemporary publishing. The report reflects on the challenges of structuring the course to adequately cover the necessary material in twelve weeks, and on the limitations of using Canadian book publishing as the course’s primary case study. It also looks at the adaptations made to the course structure and delivery in light of the pandemic.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John W. Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

Women in Canadian publishing: Gender equity in the Canadian book publishing industry

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-08-12
Abstract: 

Despite the fact that women significantly outnumber men in the publishing industry, surveys and journalistic accounts reported from both the United States and the United Kingdom over the last 10 years tell us that women working in the industry are subjected to high rates of sexual harassment, a culture of circumscribed professional advancement, and a significant wage gap in favour of men. In this report, I explore how and why these features of gender inequity flourish in the publishing industry, and investigate to what extent the Canadian publishing industry is plagued by similar issues. Furthermore, I discuss the homogeneity of the publishing industry, and the ways in which women who aren’t able-bodied, straight, white, and cis-gendered face unique obstacles in the industry. The report closes with a discussion of recent shifts in the publishing industry which impact women and people from marginalized communities. In addition to highlighting a fundamental lack of robust data, I point to vital gaps in our understanding of intersectional gender inequity in the Canadian publishing industry, and make recommendations for further study.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Hannah McGregor
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

The importance of brand extension: How Irish women’s lifestyle magazines are reinventing themselves in the digital era

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-03-30
Abstract: 

This report highlights the effects of the disruption in the magazine industry in recent years (pre the COVID-19 global pandemic) and explores how brand extension and diversification of revenue has been necessary in order for print magazines to stay afloat. It focuses on how Irish women’s lifestyle magazine Irish Tatler—at which I completed my 3-month professional placement—has employed external events as a means of both generating revenue and fostering a strong sense of community and loyalty amongst readers. It also explores ways in which the magazine could further extend its brand through implementing new reader events and partnerships.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Leanne Johnson
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

Accessibility and Aldus@SFU: Exploring multiple avenues of access for digital exhibits and academic research

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-08-10
Abstract: 

This report analyzes four different avenues of accessibility as they pertain to digital exhibits and academic research. Using Simon Fraser University’s Aldus@SFU Digitized Collection as a case study, this report looks at accessibility through the avenues of digitization, openness, publicness, and functionality to break down the current and future needs of diverse audiences. While accessibility is a complex topic, this report breaks down the needs of several different user groups and outlines what can be done to fulfill those needs and create content that is universally available and accessible.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Hannah McGregor
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

Mushroom for improvement: a model for the circulation of fanfiction sub-genres

Date created: 
2021-06-28
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the circulation of fanfiction sub-genres across fan communities as starting point for further inquiries into fan object movement among fans. Fan studies has long been interested in the circulation of fan objects, but lacks a broad understanding of how these objects move through space and time (Hills 2014). In applying Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of heteroglossia to describe fan communities, objects and circulatory behaviours, I analyze two case studies to propose a new model. The first tracks the circulation of a trope on Tumblr, while the second explores the movement of a fanfiction sub-genre across platforms, post types and fandoms. My proposed model is based on the radiating structure of mycelium (the vegetative part of a fungus). Mycelium’s branching and agile nature provides a more accurate framework for ever-evolving fannish circulatory practice.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Hannah McGregor
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

The web publication development process for engaging small communities

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-04-27
Abstract: 

This report outlines the process used for creating the Master of Publishing 25th anniversary web publication and discusses the design and editorial practices implemented to engage the main audience, the program’s alumni. The report also explores the application of Lean manufacturing, a process improvement methodology, to the publication development process and suggests Lean practices and tools that can be used to improve and maintain the publication in the future. Best practices for the management of the publication and increasing community engagement are also discussed.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Mauve Pagé
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

Towards a better future: How Engage Books creates books that make a difference

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-04-27
Abstract: 

This report looks at the changing landscape of Engage Books as they switch their focus from publishing classic titles to publishing children’s books under the mandate ‘books that make a difference,’ and the tactics they are implementing to push boundaries within the children’s publishing industry. To provide context as to where Engage Books stands as an independent children’s publisher, the report gives a brief overview of the history of the acceptability of sensitive topics in children's literature and the relationship between censorship and small presses. Engage Books has adopted the philosophy that it is easier to shape the minds of children than it is to change the minds of those who are already set in their ways, and thus, has begun introducing previously censored information and major world crises to children in an attempt to help the next generation become informed and engaged citizens who can help create a better society.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Scott Steedman
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

Festivals in the time of corona

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-04-28
Abstract: 

In a year that mirrored a well-written dystopic fiction, the world was brought to a standstill by a pandemic. But while the COVID-19 crisis threatened to push pause on everything, many in the world of arts stuck to the old adage of “the show must go on.” This was true of numerous literary festivals around the globe who confronted the challenges posed by the pandemic and expeditiously adapted to deliver their content in a digital format. And with this perseverance a new festival model was designed to suit the needs of the hour, which in turn helped many arts organizations realize their long overdue dream of moving towards more accessible and inclusive offerings. With a primary focus on the Vancouver Writers Fest, this project will look at how literary festivals across Canada strove to build community and dialogue in these times of isolation, all designed to be consumed from the comfort of one’s home, for free. The aim is to understand the various nuances of shifting a traditionally in-person festival to a digital space with all its benefits and drawbacks. The report will also be exploring how this phenomenon might usher in a new era of spatially and financially unrestricted festivals, made accessible to a more diverse range of audience, across borders.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Scott Steedman
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.