Building:Richcraft Hall, Room 4203
Department:School of Journalism and Communication
Degrees:B.A. (History, Calgary), B.A. (International Relations, Calgary), M.A. (Popular Culture, Brock), Ph.D. (Media Studies, Western)


I am a specialist in media history, theory, and infrastructure studies with a focus on the ‘civilizational’ approach to these areas typified by Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan. This broad interest in the way that human societies communicate, cooperate, and otherwise hold together across time and space leads me to research and teach a broad range of topics and time periods—from early modern double-entry bookkeeping and state bureaucracies to 20th century pop music charts, contemporary just-in-time logistical networks, Silicon Valley’s corporate culture, and the North American fur trade of the 17th and 18th centuries.

My first book, List Cultures: Knowledge and Poetics from Mesopotamia to BuzzFeed (Amsterdam University Press, 2017) explores these themes by tracing the list as a cultural technique of administration and imagination. My current book project is on the history of salt and positions sodium chloride as a medium of culture and civilization. I developed this project as a 2018 Research Fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie at the Bauhaus-Universitët Weimar.

I am available to supervise graduate students working in the areas of media theory, history, and archaeology; paperwork and document studies; critical internet studies; and popular music and culture.

Selected Publications


Young, Liam C. 2017. List Cultures: Knowledge and Poetics from Mesopotamia to BuzzFeed. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.


Young, Liam C. 2020 (forthcoming). “Colonization’s Logistical Media: The Ship and the Document.” In Assembly Codes: The Logistics of Media. Edited by Matthew Hockenberry, Nicole Starosielski and Susan Zieger. Durham NC: Duke University Press.

Young, Liam C. 2019 (forthcoming). “The Innis-McLuhan Field.” Canadian Journal of Communication (special Issue on “Many McLuhans”).

Young, Liam C. and Ira Wagman. 2019. “On the Mediality of Two Towers: Calgary—Toronto”. Imaginations 10, no. 2.

Young, Liam C. 2017. “Innis’s Infrastructure: Dirt, Beavers, and Documents in Material Media Theory.” Cultural Politics 13, no. 2.

Young, Liam C. “Wolfgang Ernst’s Media-Archaeological Soundings” in Wolfgang Ernst, Sonic Time Machines (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2016).

Young, Liam C. (2015). “Cultural techniques and logistical media: Tuning Anglo-American and German media studies.” M/C Journal 18, no. 2 (Feature article in special issue on ‘Technique’)

Young, Liam C. (2013a). “Un-black boxing the list: knowledge, materiality, and form,Canadian Journal of Communication 38, no. 4.

Young, Liam C. (2013b). ‘On lists and networks: An archaeology of form.’ Amodern 2 (special issue on :Network Archaeology”).

Young, Liam C. (2013c). ‘Files and the material history of the law.’ Review essay of Cornelia Vismann, Files: Law and media technology (Stanford University Press, 2008). Theory, Culture, and Society 30, no. 6 (special issue on ‘Cultural Techniques’).