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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Tanner Mirrlees

Associate Professor

Undergraduate Program Director

Communication and Digital Media Studies

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Contact information

Bordessa Hall - Room 312
Downtown Oshawa
55 Bond Street East
Oshawa, ON

905.721.8668 ext. 5852


Tanner Mirrlees is the former president of the Canadian Communication Association (CCA) (2020-2022), the past organizer of the CCA’s annual conference for the Congress of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2018-2020), and the current Director of the Communication and Digital Media Studies program, member of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism (CHBE) and research associate of the Digital Life Institute and the Global Labour Research Centre.

Mirrlees earned a PhD from York University and Toronto Metropolitan University’s Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture, and won the prestigious Governor General’s Gold Medal Award for achieving the highest academic standing in the program. Mirrlees is the author or co-author of over ninety publications, including Global Entertainment Media: Between Cultural Imperialism and Cultural Globalization (Routledge, 2013), Hearts and Mines: The US Empire's Cultural Industry (UBC Press, 2016), and EdTech Inc.: Selling, Automating and Globalizing Higher Education in the Digital Age (Routledge, 2019). Mirrlees is also the co-editor of Media Imperialism: Continuity and Change (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), Media, Technology, and the Culture of Militarism (Democratic Communiqué, 2014), and The Television Reader (Oxford University Press, 2012), and on the editorial boards of Canadian Journal of Communication, Media, War & Conflict, and Democratic Communiqué.

Mirrlees’ overall research focuses on: global political economy of communications; creative and entertainment industries; digital media platforms and cultural policy; work and labour in the digital age; persuasion, public relations and propaganda; political and strategic communication; war, media & conflict; social media and society; new media and activism; the social shaping of technology; and, critical theory. Some of Mirrlees' current research probes: an emerging rivalry between the United States and China’s ICT industries; video games and future warfare; the far Right and social media platforms; democratic socialist creator cultures;  work and labour in the creative industries; and, techno-utopianism/techno-dystopianism.

A passionate educator, Mirrlees has designed and taught more than twenty-five unique social science and humanities courses across disciplines such as communication studies, political science and international relations, and the history, sociology and philosophy of technology, and is the winner of the University of Guelph-Humber Media Studies Teaching Award (2011) and the Ontario Tech University Faculty of Social Science and Humanities Teaching Award (2014). Mirrlees is currently experimenting with new forms of public pedagogy in the digital age.

Mirrlees is a public intellectual whose extensive knowledge mobilization activity aims to bridge the gap between academia and communities, both local and global. Mirrlees has given over one hundred public presentations, co-organized over thirty scholar-activist events through The Capitalism Workshop and other forums, interviewed with print, radio, TV, digital and podcast media, written op-eds, appeared in documentaries such as Theatres of War (Media Education Foundation) and Myths on Screen: Hollywood’s Role in War and Propaganda (CBC IDEAS), co-created podcasts including Tech-Bros and Techno-Utopias: A Darts and Letters Mini-Series, authored video essays for YouTube, and designed digital posters, managed social media campaigns, and edited videos for community events.


  • PhD, Communication and Culture York University and Toronto Metropolitan University

Courses taught

  • Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Globalization 
  • Entertainment Goes Global 
  • Global Media Industries
  • Globalization and the Global Media
  • International Relations and Communication
  • Public Diplomacy as Communication: From the United States to the World
  • Introduction to Communication Studies
  • Mass Communication
  • Information & Society
  • Computer-Mediated Communication
  • Power, Technology and Social Change
  • Communication, Technology and Culture
  • Popular Technologies and Cultural Practice
  • Television as Communication and Culture
  • Subcultures and the Mainstream Media
  • Work in the Digital Age / Work and Labour in the Creative Industries
  • Watching, Analyzing and Making Media, for Digital Media Literacy
  • The Military Publicity State: Cultural Industries Go to War
  • War, Propaganda and Media Culture
  • Digital Media, Politics and Democracy
  • Theories of the State
  • Canadian Foreign Policy

Research and expertise

Dr. Mirrlees is a critical political economist of digital media technologies and the cultural industries. His research interests include: global political economy of the digital technology and entertainment industries; war, digital technology and militainment; work and labour politics in the digital age; critical pedagogy and EdTech; alt-right and social media; social theories of technology.