Dr. MaryElizabeth (“M.E.”) Luka is Assistant Professor, Arts & Media Management at University of Toronto, where she examines modes and meanings of co-creative production, distribution and dissemination in the digital age for the arts, media and civic sectors. Dr. Luka holds a Connaught New Researcher Fellowship examining creative networks in Canada (see https://criticaldigitalmethods.ca/creative-hubs-and-networks-database/). Dr. Luka is a founding member of the Critical Digital Methods Institute at University of Toronto Scarborough, of research-creation group Narratives in Space + Time Society, and of the technoculture research group, the Fourchettes. She is policy co-lead on the six-year SSHRC-funded partnership Archive/Counter-Archive: Activating Canada's Moving Image Heritage at York University, Canada and PI on SSHRC-funded research addressing remuneration of independent media arts online. Luka is lead supervisor for the Mitacs-funded Research in Residence: Arts’ Civic Impact research (https://massculture.ca/research-in-residence-arts-civic-impact/), advisory member of Aarhus University Future Making Research Consortium. Previous research is found in Topia; Canadian Journal of Communication; Public; Canadian Theatre Review; Information, Communication & Society; Social Media & Society; chapters in Energy Culture: Arts and Theory on Oil and Beyond; Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age; and scholarly anthologies and commissioned research for the Department of Canadian Heritage about transitions in creative industries.
Public Talks and Invited Lectures
Expanding Impact: Activating arts and culture today 2022-2024
Principal Investigator. EI is a SSHRC-funded Connection Grant with co-investigators Mass Culture, Toronto Arts Foundation, Dalhousie University, MacEwan University. Over an 18-month period, a series of regional roundtables will take place to review and consolidate the impact assessment frameworks developed during the Mitacs Research in Residence project. Events are being scheduled in Vancouver, Whitehorse, Halifax, Charlottetown, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton.
Fair Play: Remuneration, IP management and Accessibility in the Independent Media Arts Sector 2022-23
Principal Investigator. Fair Play is a SSHRC-funded Partnership Engage Grant involving the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) as the partner, and collaborators Media Arts Alliance of the Pacific, Media Arts Network of Ontario, National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition, and Regroupement de pairs des arts indépendants de recherche et d'expérimentation, to help build an urgently-needed new consensus in the culture sector about the online use of independent artists' and creative-rights holders' content. Activities include interviews and focus groups across the media sector to help assess the reception of the new national remuneration fee schedule, toolkits and protocols for online media arts presentations.
Urban Just Transitions from Scarborough to the Globe 2021-24
Co-investigator. PIs: Matt Hoffman and Laura Tozer. This three-year project is funded by the UTSC Clusters of Scholarly Prominence Fund to enable the development of new research questions and experiment with arts-based and community-engaged methodological approaches as we seek to understand how Scarborough communities imagine and enact just futures and the transition to zero carbon, and how interdisciplinary research can support community-based transitions to these futures. Laurence Dubuc is a UTSC postdoctoral fellow who is working on the related Mitacs-funded project with Mass Culture in 2022-23.
Critical Digital Methods Institute Co-founder and Co-lead
Co-leads: T.L. Cowan, Jas Rault, David Neiborg
Our many collaborators, including several graduate students, are listed on the website.
Archive CounterArchive (2018-2024)
Archive/Counter-Archive is a six-year SSHRC-funded Partnership project dedicated to activating and remediating audiovisual archives created by Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis, Inuit), the Black community and People of Colour, women, LGBT2Q+ and immigrant communities. Political, resistant, and community-based, counter-archives disrupt conventional narratives and enrich our histories.
PI: Janine Marchessault
Cultural Policy Working Group Co-lead; Chair of the Policy Action Plan Think Tank
Mass Culture Research in Residence: Arts’ Civic Impact (2021-22)
The Researchers in Residence: Arts’ Civic Impact initiative will conduct digital ethnographic research to identify impact indicators and frameworks of use to the arts sector. The initiative is funded by Mitacs and by a collaboration between Mass Culture, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Culture Statistics Working Group (Federal-Provincial-Territorial Culture and Heritage Table), the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and Toronto Arts Foundation, and six universities (McGill, Emily Carr’s Aboriginal Gathering Place, Winnipeg, Dalhousie & Carleton). The project is co-led by Robin Sokoloski at Mass Culture and Mary Elizabeth Luka. When completed, this national research model, including five qualitative impact frameworks, will be publicly shared.
Current Research Associates and Assistants:
Research in Residence Graduate Students (lead supervisor):
Sydney Pickering (Emily Carr), Indigenous Cultural Knowledge; Emma Bugg (Dalhousie), Climate and Sustainability; Aaron Richmond (McGill), Health and Wellbeing; Shanice Bernicky (Carleton), Diversity and Inclusion; Audree Espada and Missy LeBlanc (Winnipeg), Diversity and Inclusion.