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Andrea Braithwaite

Senior Teaching Professor

Vice-President, Canadian Game Studies Association

Communication and Digital Media Studies

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Contact information

Charles Hall - Room 305-B
Downtown Oshawa
61 Charles Street
Oshawa, ON L1H 4X8

905.721.8668 ext. 5878


Dr. Andrea Braithwaite’s research analyzes how popular discourses of gender, sexuality and sociability become political—that is, how popular texts and the talk they inspire vivify North American public debate about gender and sexual equality. Her work pays special attention to the strategies popular and everyday texts identify for challenging the political cultures of neoliberalism, and how feminist and proto-feminist ideas circulate in popular forms often deemed apolitical or anti-feminist. Identifying and critiquing gendered discourses of self-management and social justice, she tracks the traces and material practices of these affective discourses to representational and experiential spaces in pop culture and digital media. Her current work tracks representations of the 'chick detective' across media forms, focusing particularly on video games and on Canadian genre films.

Her work has appeared in journals including Games and Culture, New Media & Society, and Feminist Media Studies. She also has chapters published in Screening Justice: Canadian Crime Films, Culture and Society and Teen Television: Essays in Programming and Fandom, and in the recently released collection Woke Gaming: Digital Challenges to Oppression and Social Injustice. Dr. Braithwaite serves on the executive board of the Canadian Games Studies Association. She also holds a SSHRC Insight Grant with colleagues across Canada to investigate Canadian crime films.

Her courses in Communication and Digital Media Studies draw on these research interests. As an award-winning educator, her teaching is cross-textual and interdisciplinary, and examines how media and political discourses circulate, change and are changed in our everyday encounters with them. Her courses—from Digital Games Studies and Understanding Social Media to Television and Canadian Media—help students pinpoint the spaces that emerge within popular and digital cultures for critical reflection and intervention. Prioritizing social justice and equality, Dr. Braithwaite encourages students to contribute their original insights to critical conversations about social change. Her research and teaching foreground the principle of praxis that guides Communication and Digital Media Studies: knowledge as the basis for action and change.

Curriculum Vitae


  • PhD, Communication Studies McGill University

Courses taught

  • COMM 1100: Introduction to Communication Studies
  • COMM 2220: The Media in Canada
  • COMM 2240: Television
  • COMM 2410: The History of Communication Technologies
  • COMM 3740: Digital Games Studies

Research and expertise

Dr. Braithwaite’s current research focuses on gendered and affective discourses of crime, deviance, and justice in media, particularly games, gaming communities, and Canadian pop culture.


  • Selected publications

    Frozen Justice video series:

    (Forthcoming) “Fae-minism: Lost Girl, Urban Fantasy, and Fables.” MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture. Special Issue: The Female Detective on Television.

    (Forthcoming) “Janet Evanovich and the Rise of the Chick Detective.” Mean Streets: A Journal of American Crime and Detective Fiction.

    “The Case of the Missing Detectives: Canadian Crime Films and the Absent Female Sleuth.” With Olga Marques.  Women in Popular Culture in Canada. Ed. Laine Zisman Newman. Canadian Scholars Press and Women’s Press. (Forthcoming).

    “The Canadian Genre Film as Cultural Commentary.” The Spaces and Places of Canadian Popular Culture. Eds. Victoria Kannen and Neil Shyminsky. Canadian Scholars Press. 2019.

    “The Canadian Good Life in Gunless.” New Visions of the Old West. In Media Res (2 May 2018).

    “Between the Lines: Finding Feminist Possibility Spaces in Kathy Rain: A Detective is Born.” Videogame Stories. In Media Res (7 September 2017).

    “‘It’s about ethics in game journalism’? Gamergaters and Geek Masculinity.” Social Media + Society special issue: Making Digital Cultures of Gender and Sexuality with Social Media. 2:4 (2016). 1-10. doi: 10.1177/2056305116672484

    “Nancy Drew and the Case of the Girl Gamers.” Woke Gaming: Digital Challenges to Oppression and Social Injustice. Eds. Kishonna Gray and David L. Leonard. Seattle: University of Washington Press (2018). 139-154

    “Nancy Drew and the Case of the Neoliberal College.” First Person Scholar (2017).

    ‘Buckle up, bitches. Nothing is as it seems’: Gothic conventions in Pretty Little 21:5 (2015). 

    Epic Win: The Guild and Communities of 21:3 (2015).

    WoW-ing Alone: The Evolution of ‘Multiplayer’ in World of Warcraft.’ Games and Culture. Prepublished 8 Oct 2015. doi: 10.1177/1555412015610246.

    Seriously, get out: Feminists on the Forums and the War(craft) on Women. New Media & Society.  16:5 (2014). 703-718. Prepublished 12 June 2013. doi: 10.1177/1461444813489503.

    Streets Behind: Nostalgia in  21:1 (2014). 

    'It’s the beast thing': Victimization, Violence, and Popular Masculine Crises. Feminist Media Studies. 11:4 (2011). 417-432. doi: 10.1080/14680777.2011.555959.

    “Bon Cop, Bad Cop: Fighting Crime Across the Two Solitudes.” In Screening Justice: Canadian Crime Films, Culture and Society. Eds. Steven Kohm, Sonia Bookman, and Pauline Greenhill. Fernwood Publishing (2016). 132-148.