Project Proposal

Generally speaking, my topic of study will consider how media depictions inform one’s position in society, specifically in relation to the legal system. I will be approaching this topic from an ethnographic standpoint as well as from historic and technological standpoints. My study will examine the impact of frontier relations on the modern institutions of media and law. I will assert that the social norms derived from the frontier adversely affect how certain groups participate in and have access to the media and law. I will be collaborating with fellow student Mab Coates-Davies, whose work on missing Aboriginal women and criminality within Canada will heavily contribute to the legal aspect of this project. I feel this topic is important as it will bring to the surface the many gaps in ethnographic and historical discourses on race, gender, crime, media, etc. My project will take the form of an interactive website comprised of multimedia platforms (video, audio, written text, etc.). This will allow us to create an appealing and effective information source outside the tight bounds of written academia. I will utilize legal archives and film to explore and answer the problems presented in our topic.

As mentioned above, I plan on using legal archives and video for the project. This includes arrest records, records of missing people, recidivism statistics and other ethnically informed legal statistics for Canada. My videos will draw from various media sources of film, television and the news. We will obtain the former primarily through criminal archiving sites such as and databases on missing and murdered individuals (by gender/ethnicity). These archives and databases are obtainable through internet and library resources. The same goes for the video resources such as news stories, documentaries and radio segments. I will also utilize articles from newspapers which are accessible through Concordia University’s library database(s) and at public libraries. For information on frontier history, I will draw upon Crystal N. Feimster’s Southern Horrors, Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! Volumes I and II and James Clifford’s Museums as Contact Zones. The sources will allow us to track the imprint left by frontier interactions and experiences on modern institutions and those living under them.

Primary Resources

Canada. Statistics Canada. Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division. First Nations, Métis and Inuit Women. Women in Canada, A gender-based statistical report, 2011.Vivien O’Donnell and Susan Wallace.

“Canada Criminal Database.” Accessed January 30, 2014.

Keane, Glen. Pochahontas. Film. Directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg. Burbank: Buena Vista Pictures, June 23, 1995.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Missing and Murdered Women: A National Operational Overview, 2013-2014

The Vancouver Sun. “Highway of Tears cries out for public shuttle bus.” April 23, 2014. Accessed December 15, 2014.

Secondary Sources

Clifford, James. Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late 20th Century. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Feimster, Crystal N. Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011.

Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! : An American History. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2009.

Digital Sources


The Real Face of White Australia


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