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Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

Borderless Radio: The Politics of Canadian Cultures

Dr. Miglena Todorova, Assistant Professor, Social Justice Education, OISE/UT


Borderless Radio: The Politics of Canadian Cultures
is a radio-based project created by Prof. Miglena Todorova in the Department of Social Justice Education at OICE in 2011. In the project,  OISE graduate students in the courses “Education and Popular Culture” and “Social Relations in Cultural Production” study the principles, theoretical foundations and pedagogical and social objectives of critical media literacy education by producing media/cultural content that challenges, subverts or undermines dominant media messages and popular culture. More specifically, students learn radio production using digital audio technologies and utilizing a constellation of social and cultural theories pertaining to power, difference, knowledge production, ideology, and education for social justice. The major challenge faced by students in the project is to construct and produce 6-10 minute radio programs that are mindful of stereotypes, power relations between participants, the politics of representation (i.e. who speaks for whom) and how the medium and genre shape the possibilities of new and alternative ‘messages’ and stories conducive to non-oppressive identifications and relations. Thus, at the heart of the project is the idea that the point of critical media literacy education in teachers’ education and beyond is not to only to gain skills in critiquing and identifying what has been wrong with mass media and popular culture but to create, i.e. to attempt and produce something that is different. More than 120 OISE graduate students have participated in the project since 2011 and their radio programs illuminate the joys yet tremendous challenges in rupturing
existing media and cultural practices, not mimicking genres we have internalized and creating new media and social forms. Selected radio programs produced in the project were broadcast on the Bulgarian National Radio. Group radio productions of panels addressing topics selected by students were produced in collaboration with CIUT 89.5 Toronto. The following journal article features the project.

Todorova, Miglena. 2015. “Dusty but Mighty: Using Radio in the Critical Media Literacy Classroom.” Journal of Media Literacy Education, Volume 6, Issue 3. Available at http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/jmle/vol6/iss3/4/

Long live radio!

Bulgarian National radio building on a clear sunny day.  Students standing in front of CIUT Radio sign

    (Bulgarian National Radio)                (Students recording at CIUT 89.5 Toronto)       


Abadir, M., Appadurai, R., & Rosado, N. - "This Letter"

Abulnour, R., Kahrimanidis, M., MacKinnon, K., & Noor, M. - “The Crisis of Youth Unemployment" (Broadcast May 27, 2013 CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)

Anderson, M., & Nelson, A. - “Weighted Reflections”

Arellano, J., & Hoang, A. - “Speaking of Weight”

Awan, N., & Mithani, R. - “Teaching 101”

Badali, M., Lazarakis, P., Tennison, L., Rai, M., & Verma, P. - "Beyond Sticks and Stones" (Broadcast May 13, 2013 CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto) 

Bertram, K., Bartlett, S., Laryea, J., Sharma, J., & Wahab, A. - “Safe Spaces in Catholic Schools: Are They Really  Safe?” (Broadcast June 3, 2013 CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)

Charter, Q., & Shrearer, J. - "Students Talk Education"

DeMello, T., & Siewrattan, K. - "Being Canadian: The Stories We Don't Hear"

Dharamshi, P., & Raza, A. - “A (Canadian) Story Worth Telling” (Broadcast on CIUT 89.5 Toronto 05/23/2012)

Fernando, S., Katrushenko, I., & Lush, J. - “Canadian Community” (Selected for broadcast on CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)

Hudson, S., & Khogali, Y. - "Boundless Whiteness, Bounded Blackness"

Kim, D., Ligate, A., Warner, A., & Whelan, K. - “Living with HIV and the Law” (Broadcast May 6, 2013 CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)

O'Handley, L., & Bertagnolio, M. - "Voluntourism: Vocation or Vacation"

Rodrigues, D., & Boyd, Y. - "To Eat or Not to Eat: The GMO Debate"

Saric, L., & Lai, Y. - "Over Diagnosing ADHD"

Scharf-Pierzchala, D., & Le, V. A. - "Sitting Pretty: Gendered Violence on Campus"

Sundaralingan, T., & Rubenstein, K. - “Homeless in Toronto”

Tara Noel and Jessica - “Media in the Mirror”

Todorova, Antonenko, Humphrey, Papadopoulos, & Chuong - “AGO: A Window to the Soul of Canadian Society” (Broadcast on the BNR 05/23/2012)




Agbifoh, Patricia - “My Voice, My Story, My Canada”

Ahmed, Sumaya - “Colours, Frowns and Faces”

Annab, Iman - "Palestine and Stories of Resistance"

Anonymous - "Racism in Multiculturalism" (Broadcast on the BNR 09/2012)

Antonenko, Max - “Who are the Canadians?”

Azis, Adrian - “Deskilling”


Bakhtovarshoeva, Madina - “Identities”

Bishara, Ashley - “In the Eyes of Youth”

Bouchard, Francine -  “Bilingualism in the City”

Boyo, Toju - “Who Am I?” (Broadcast on the BNR 12/12/2012)

Burke, Hailey - "Representing Culture"


Capalad, Lily -  “Youth in Starbucks” (Selected for broadcast on CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)

Ching, Jeanine - “Oh Canada!”

Chohan, Amandeep - "The U of T Experience"

Chowdhury, Fariah - “Protest Against Jason Kenney”

Chuong, Vanice - “Childhood”

Corradino, Anna-Maria - “Fragmented Conversations”

Croce, Ann-Marie - “Hyphenated Canadians”

Crossfield, Brieanne - "The Kids Will be Alright"

Currie, John - “Elementary School Students”


Dawson, Ashley - “Richard Meets Thuan” (Broadcast on the BNR 10/10/2012)

del Castello, Alexandra - "The UNrealistic Truth"

Dempsey, Stephen - “Daughters”

Douglas, Sean - “The Problem in Education”


Eldemire, Oscar Theo - “Underground Radio” 

Evoy, Brad - “Free Education in Action”


Fraser, Laura - “An Immigrant Journey: From Kenya to Canada”


Gill, Rummy - "It's a Story of a Young Man and Sexuality"

Grevstad, Peter - "A Weighty Ghost"

Grinberg, Tania - “Duppy Riddim”

Gritsenko, Olga - “Education (Really) Matters”

Grossi, Nadia - “A Complex Called Dixon”

Gurprasad, Tiffany - "Hockey Night in Canada"

Gutauskas, Ona - “Being the Song”


Harnisch, Karen - “Reece of Limbrick” 

Harris, Luanna - “Personal Multiculturalism”

Harrison, Alexandra - "What's in a Name?"

Healey, Devon - "Sight's Illusion"

Hilowle, Rahma - "Qafaal and Other Stories"

Horne, Nicola - "Home is Underneath the Tree"

Howard, Lauren - "Democracy & Education"

Hughes, Laura - "Let's Talk about Sex Ed"

Hughes, Laura - "Within and Beyond the Picket Line"

Hui, Laura - "Queering Gender: Giving Voice to Butch Life Stories" (Music composed and produced by Dinah Thorpe)

Humphrey, Jack - “Tim Horton’s Nation”

Hunter, Sarah - “North of the Border”

Huynh, Richard - “Why He Hates Canada”


Ibrahim, Sameehah - “Breaking the Silence” 


Jacobson, Greg - “United Through Sport”

Judhan, Natasha - “My Journey”


Kamara, Fatmata - "Immigrant Experience"

Karstadt, Rachel - "Youth & the Dress Code"

Kauffman, Natalie - “The Multiculturalism of Food” (Broadcast on the BNR 08/29/2012)

Ketchell, Takara - “A Journey through the Closet”

Khullar, Rima - “Accents”

Kipusi, Sein - "Entrepreneurship & Race"

Kolodij, Olena - “A Canadian Story”


Lamaison, Catherine - “Second Chances?” (Broadcast CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto 04/01/13, repeated 04/04/2013)

Leung, Joeanna - "Stereotypical"

Li, Di (Lydia) - "Russian Dissent"

Lowes, Sarah - “Connecting the (Environmental) Dots”

Lui, Elizabeth - “My Diversity and the City” (Selected for broadcast on CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)


MacDonald, Averie - “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”

Marmol, Emil - “The Corporate University” (Broadcast CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto 04/01/2013, repeated 04/04/2013)

Martin, Allison - "Equal Opportunity"

Martyn, Becky - "Isolation in Winter"

Mast-Hernandez, Ashley - “Mother to Activist”

Mazengwe, Olinda - “Untitled”

McCann, Margaret - “Laughter in the Beaubourg”

McCourt, Vanessa - "Indigenous Women in Prison” (Broadcast CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto, 04/01/2013, repeated 04/04/2013)

McIntyre, Laura - “Media Bodies”

Mir, Fizza - "Fast Fashion & Commodifying Conscience"

Metz, Victoria - “Sex at Any Age”

Minkhors, Grant - “Big India, Little India” (Broadcast on CIUT 89.5 Toronto 05/23/2012)

Moosa, Fauzia - "Depression Diaries"


Nakevska, Marina - “Canada’s Support for Israel”

Nazari, Fulya - "It's Still There"

Nitsou, Christina - “Where Are You From?”


Papadopoulos, Nikoletta - “Greek Canadian”

Poloczek, Christine - “Multiculturalism in the Arts”

Prell, Sabrina - “Bullying in a Technological Era”


Rakuc, Krzysztof - “Static” (Broadcast on the BNR 06/20/2012)

Ramkarran, Amanda - "The Rhetoric of Bullying"

Rigelhof, K. - "Generation Social Media: Are Youth Voting?"

Robinson, Daniella - "Histories, Truth-Sharing and the Importance of Storytelling"

Rushe, Shannon - “Roulette”


Saifer, Adam - “Vancouver 2010” (Broadcast on the BNR 04/25/2012)

Schnarr, Graeme - “Fair Trade Electronics”

Scramstad, Julianna - “Revolution”

Seltzer, Tonya - “The Dark Side of Multiculturalism”

Selvarajah, Gabby - "What's Barbaric"

Sewell, Pritania - “Injustice-isms”

Shaikh, Arshi - "No Title"

Shalaby, Adam - “Belonging”

Sukhram, Ambeika - “Caribana” (Broadcast on the BNR 02/20/2013)

Sullivan, Cathlin - "Fundraising Inequality"


Tario, Josue - "Existence is Resistance"

Thorpe-Gosley, Amelia - “Social Media over the Binary”

Troung, Sina - “A Canadian Story” (Broadcast on the BNR 06/18/2012)

Tull, Kimberly - “Black Girls Are”


Wells, Brandon - "The Crisis of Locker Room Homophobia"

Wilson, Melanie - “Signs of the Encoder” (Broadcast on the BNR 03/06/2013)

Wright, Jessica - “Save Tibet”

Wrighte, Shannon - "What a Feminist Sounds Like"