Media @ McGill

Media@McGill's first visiting postdoctoral fellow: Tamara Vukov

Submitted by claire on

Tamara Vukov is joining Media@McGill as a visiting postdoctoral researcher in June 2007. She has been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the FQRSC to work with Professor Jenny Burman in the department of Art History and Communication Studies. She comes to McGill after completing her PhD in Communication at Concordia University. She is Media@McGill's first visiting postdoctoral fellow.

Tamara Vukov's doctoral thesis examines the role that a series of news media events around immigration and refugee asylum have played in the governmental formation of Canadian immigration policy over the past ten years, particularly in the wake of the widespread media focus on the securitization of Canadian immigration policy and its reframing as part of a North American “smart border” regime. Two crucial news events in particular, the 1999 boat landings of Fujian Chinese migrants off the coast of British Columbia, and the focus on an ostensibly porous Canadian border following the September 2001 attacks in the United States, are analyzed in terms of their impacts on the introduction of trafficking and intensified security policies, as well as selection, interdiction and enforcement (deportation/detention) practices. Her thesis considers these news media events as crucial to the formation of an increasingly racialized and sexualized biopolitics of immigration crystallized in the recent Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (2002) and Safe Third Country Agreement (2004).

Her postdoctoral research will pursue these themes by examining how recently emergent networks working for justice with immigrants, refugees, and non-status migrants from an anti-deportation/anti-detention perspective engage with both mainstream and alternative media in their efforts to contest the current governmental regulation of migration. This project will also look at and contextualize these local movements in relation to the media practices of a larger transnational network of independent media and media art - what Angela Mitropoulos has called “noborder media.” The project hopes to trace and analyze the role played by “noborder media” and their innovative media practices as key elements in the articulation of translocal movements for justice and freedom of movement for undocumented peoples.

Tamara Vukov has been involved in social movement activism, independent media and media arts for over ten years. She has produced film, video, and digital media in both documentary and experimental genres; and is a founding member of the Volatile Works media arts collective.

She was recently involved as a community researcher in the People's Commission on Immigration Security Measures, the first popular commission of inquiry on immigration issues to take place in Québec. Organized by a coalition of Montréal-based community groups, the Commission launched its final report in February of 2007. To download the report, please click here

To view a sampling of noborder initiatives & projects, please visit the following websites:

No border

Technological Observatory of the Straits


Desert storm

People's commission on immigration security measures