|Expertise:||Communication and the Built Environment, Communication Theory, Media Theory and Media History, Visual Culture|
|Phone:||613-520-2600, ext. 1136|
Ross Eaman holds an Honours B.A. from Carleton, an M.A. from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from Queen’s University, all in history. He currently teaches courses on political and marketing discourse analysis and communication and the built environment.
Ross wrote the first Canadian textbook on the mass media — The Media Society: Basic Issues and Controversies (Toronto: Butterworths, 1987) — and was research director for the CBC Oral History Project sponsored by the National Archives, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton; with the help of two SSHRC grants, it conducted interviews across the country with the assistance of graduate students in Canadian Studies. His publications on Canadian broadcasting include Channels of Influence: CBC Audience Research and the Canadian Public (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994) and, most recently, “‘The Story is Only the Platter on Which the Personality is Served’: The Debate Over Media Integrity on CBC Radio’s Literary Arts Programming, 1948-1985,” Canadian Journal of Communication 40, no. 3 (2015), 519-536. His original article on “CBC/Radio-Canada” for the Canadian Encyclopedia has recently been updated by Sasha Yusufali and Sharon J. Riley and he has contributed entries such as “Bureau of Measurement” and “Wayne and Shuster” to the Encyclopedia of Television. In addition to submissions to the CRTC, Ross has given evidence to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and served as a member of the advisory committee for the Auditor General’s Special Examination of the CBC, for which he developed a method for assessing the relative distinctiveness of CBC English TV programming.
In the early 2000s, Ross was asked to write a one-man compendium for the history of journalism from the acta diurna in ancient Rome to the present day. The result was the first edition of the Historical Dictionary of Journalism (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009) – No. 4 in the Historical Dictionaries of Professions and Industries series. At the invitation of the publisher, Ross is now working with new co-author Randy Boswell on a second revised, updated, and expanded edition for publication in late 2019.
In addition to producing think pieces such as “Public Broadcasting as a Renewable Resource,” Media 11, no. 4 (Winter 2006), 20-21, “The Neo-University,” Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, no. 28 (Fall 2012), 245-250 and “Teaching Historical Semiosis Through Empathetic Understanding,” CHA Bulletin, vol. 40, no.1 (2014), 33-34, Ross has been a regular participant at the annual conference of the Canadian Communication Association, his latest presentations being “Media History and the Problem of Periodization” (Montreal, 2010), “Emerson, James, and Rorty on Communication and Moral Progress” (Kitchener-Waterloo, 2012), “Mapping the Universe of Discursive Sites: A Burkean-Based Cartography” (St. Catharines, 2014), “How Do Buildings Mean? A New Approach to Communication and the Built Environment” (Ottawa, 2015), and “Selling Modern Architecture through Film: The Mechanical Rhetoric of the National Film Board” (Ryerson, 2017).
One of Ross’s new teaching and research interests in recent years has been communication and the built environment. In this regard, he is currently working on a manuscript entitled Constructing Life-Worlds: Communication and the Built Environment from Vitruvius to Le Corbusier. A related interest is the national park as a built environment and the controversial transition from rustic to modern architecture in park buildings. In recent summers, he has visited Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite National Park to conduct on-site research on this topic. Some of this research was presented as Five Speeches, Five Eras: Presidential Perspectives on Yellowstone, a public talk at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, on August 12, 2014 (photograph above courtesy of Raymond Hillegas, Cody Enterprise).