Dr. Mary Elizabeth (“M.E.”) Luka is an Assistant Professor of Arts, Media & Culture Management at the Department of Arts, Culture, Media (UTSC), with a cross-appointment at the Faculty of Information (iSchool). Dr. Luka is an award-winning scholar, activist and digital media producer for arts, social enterprises, broadcasting and telecommunications, and creative management policy, planning and practice. They study modes and meanings of creativity and innovation in the digital age, to investigate how arts, culture, media and civic sectors are networked together. Their research examines co-creative and collaborative production, distribution and dissemination in the intersecting fields of media, arts and culture.
M.E. is currently completing a monograph for Concordia University Press provisionally titled The First TV Shows on the Internet: How Canada Broke Ground and Lost the Race for Arts and Variety Programming Online. Other collaborative projects include Dirty Methods: Feminist Epistemologies and Methodologies for Research, co-written with Rena Bivens, Alison Harvey, Mélanie Millette, Koen Leurs, Tamara Shepherd, and Andrea Zeffiro aka ZAMBLAMS, and Massive/Micro Autoethnography: Creative Learning in COVID Times with Springer (2022), co-edited with Anne Harris & Annette Markham. Recent publications include articles and chapters in Qualitative Inquiry (2020); Information, Communication & Society, 2019, 2020; Public, 2018; Canadian Theatre Review, 2019; Social Media & Society, 2018; Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Cases and Challenges (2017); Urban Encounters: Art and the Public (2017); Diverse Spaces: Examining Identity, Heritage and Community within Canadian Public Culture (2013); Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, 2014; and Canadian Journal of Communication, 2017, 2019.
Dr. Luka holds a SSHRC Connection Grant, Expanding Impact: Activating Arts and Culture Today, which has recently wrapped up several roundtables across the country, presenting and working through impact assessment frameworks for the culture sector developed in partnership with Mass Culture. In 2023, Luka completed the SSHRC-funded Fair Play: Remuneration, IP Management and Accessibility in the Independent Media Arts Sector, in partnership with the Independent Media Arts Alliance, and in 2022, completed their Connaught New Researcher Fellowship titled Understanding how arts and creative networks operate as pivots for social innovation in Canada, to digitally map almost 200 arts and culture-based creative hubs and networks in Canada and globally (database and resources hosted right here at CDMI). Her Banting Fellowship, From Creative Citizenship to Globally-Networked Cultural Collaboration, launched this comparative international research project examining state-of-the-art creative hubs and partnerships in Canada, the UK and Australia. Dr. Luka is a founding member of the Critical Digital Methods Institute at UTSC, and a co-investigator on Archive/Counter-Archive: Activating Canada’s Moving Image Heritage, a six-year $2.5 million national partnership involving several universities and cultural organizations in the management of marginalized and underrepresented media archives. Luka was previously commissioned by the Department of Canadian Heritage to analyse creative hubs and networks in Canada, including the development of an impact assessment framework in 2020. In their role at the Just Powers iDoc project at the University of Alberta, Dr. Luka applied their expertise to documenting and analysing social engagement in the $75 million CFREF-funded Future Energy Systems initiative. Their research draws on creative and cultural studies; arts, media and cultural management theory; digital humanities, social sciences and urban development practices; and leading practices in digital data management, including audience, client and community engagement and feminist science and technology studies (STS).
Mary Elizabeth is on the editorial board of Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, and is co-editor of one special issue there as well as two special issues of Culture and Local Governance (forthcoming), and two special issues of Information, Communication & Society (2018-2021) featuring work emerging from annual conferences of the international Association of Internet Researchers. They are Past Chair of the Board for Arts Nova Scotia, the provincial funding agency, as well as a past member of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, NSCAD University’s Board of Directors, and of the Provincial and Territorial Advisory Group of Cultural Human Resources Council. Dr. Luka was a founding member of the public art and research group, Narratives in Space + Time Society, which intervenes in site-specific spaces to generate art and storytelling practices as modes of civic engagement, including through the use of GIS, augmented reality, digital media and mobile device software applications.