SCMS18 EVENT: “Toronto the Geeky”

The Fan and Audience Studies SIG is co-sponsor of this upcoming event at SCMS – Thursday, March 15!

Toronto the Geeky: Building Scenes and Communities around Media

SCMS 2018 Special Event

Thursday March 15th

Toronto Public Library, Lillian H. Smith Branch
239 College Street


Tours of the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy: 6:30–7:45 pm
Reception: 7:45 pm
Event: 8:30 pm

Co-sponsored by:

Friends of the Merril Collection and the Lillian H. Smith branch of the Toronto Public Library
SCMS Comics Studies, Fan and Audience Studies and Video Games Studies Scholarly Interest Groups
McGill-Queen’s University Press


A city’s cultural life depends on an infrastructure of spaces, resources, and people. This is perhaps self-evident in the case of classic nightlife amenities like bars and restaurants, cinemas, performance venues, galleries, and other cultural spaces, but it is no less true of the interlocking communities of media fans sometimes called geek culture.

Despite a reputation for introversion and insularity, so-called geeks and nerds nonetheless rely on networks of specialty retailers, events, and organizations for their continuing availability of their creative, connoisseurist engagement with popular media. This special event takes Toronto’s vibrant geek culture scene as a case study. The Greater Toronto Area is home to conventions, festivals and retailers, and educational and arts organizations with international profiles, as well as lively communities of cultural producers and media fans.

Benjamin Woo, Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) and author of Getting a Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture (McGill–Queen’s University Press, 2018), will offer brief introductory remarks and moderate a panel discussion and Q&A with intermediaries and creatives working in and around these communities in Toronto:

  • Chris Butcher, former manager of The Beguiling, founder and artistic director of the Toronto Comics Arts Festival and current editor-at-large for the leading manga/anime company Viz Media
  • Sagan Yee, 2-D animator and Executive Director of the Hand Eye Society
  • Janice Poon, food art designer for the television shows Hannibal and American Gods, and author of the Hannibal cookbook, Feeding Hannibal

Guided tours of the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy begin at 6:30 pm and conclude at 7:45 pm. Please join us for a pre-event reception at 7:45 pm ahead of our 8:30 pm panel.


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