Brian Ganter [ ~ he, him ~] is a currently a Faculty member in the Department of English at Capilano University in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where he has taught since 2008.*
During his nearly twenty years working in academia, Brian has taught English, Humanities, Cultural Studies, and Cinema Studies courses and workshops in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. He was educated in Universities across the United States.
In New York Brian began his education at Syracuse University. He completed his undergraduate degree in Film Studies in the School of Visual and Performing Arts with a Minor in English/English and Textual Studies (ETS). For the last few years of his undergraduate studies Brian joined and worked with a student Marxist Collective, which published a student newspaper on campus. In these years Brian first began to encounter and to utilize the principles of transformative writing and teaching. As Marx puts it: “there can still be no doubt about the task confronting us at present: the ruthless critique of the existing order, ruthless in that it will shrink neither from its own discoveries nor from conflict with the powers that be (“Letter to Ruge,” 1843).
Engaged politically, personally, and intellectually by his experiences inside and outside the classroom at Syracuse, Brian went on to pursue and complete his Master’s Degree at the State University of New York (SUNY) – Buffalo. This dual degree in the areas of Media Studies and English allowed Brian to continue to pursue his crossover interests in cinema, literary studies, Marxist philosophy, and critical theory.
After a short hiatus, Brian was accepted into the Ph.D. programs in English at the University of Washington as well as at UC Berkeley in California. He opted for the UW, in part, to paraphrase one of his faculty advisors, because “Berkeley is the past and Seattle is the future.” He relocated from the East Coast to the West Coast to pursue his doctoral studies.
In 1999 Brian arrived on the West Coast in Seattle to begin his Ph.D at the University of Washington. Within weeks of arriving he became involved in the week-long landmark WTO (World Trade Organization) anti-globalization protests in the streets of Seattle (“the Battle of Seattle”). For him, these city-wide street protests would later serve as as a prelude to the nation-wide #Occupy movement of 2011-12, a movement in which Brian also took part when he and other Faculty at Capilano U. occupied the first level of the administrative building on campus.
Notably both of these landmark events in late 20th/early 21st century American politics were moments of “teaching.” They involved “teach ins” and “teach outs” events. are both deserving of mention in a commentary on teaching.
At the start of the Fall term in 1999, right on the heels of the WTO protests, Brian began his formal teacher training in the highly regarded Expository Writing Program at the University of Washington.
In Seattle, as he completed course work in his doctoral program Brian taught at multiple Universities and Colleges in the greater Seattle and Metro Seattle areas. These institutions included the University of Washington, Seattle Central (where he taught an introductory Shakespeare course and ran a campus-wide Shakespeare film festival) and Cascadia College.
college and iniverstt During this time Brian taught courses in academic writing, a College Strategies (study skills) course and an introductory-level course on the Research Paper. and lower- and -upper division courses in literary studies. At the UW he taught a range of mid-level literature courses with a core set of readings in critical theory that reflected his research interests: Marxism and Globalization, primarily, but also Queer Theory, Prisons + Surveillance, (Post)Coloniality, and Digital Culture. In his teaching he continued to receive strong student evaluations.
During this period in his teaching life, Brian not only taught English courses but was also a lead Cinema Studies instructor, designing and teaching courses in American Cinema, with screenings ranging from The Searchers and Modern Times to the films of Harmony Korine, Kenneth Anger, and Maya Daren. In his World Cinema (Kurosawa, Wenders, Von Trier, Maya Daren, Guy Madden). He helped develop a course in “Digital Cinema” which at the time was emerging as a new field.
Towards the close of his time in Seattle Brian participated as a member of the Cultural Studies Praxis Collective at UW-Bothell, a group of Cultural Studies scholars forging links between theory, the arts and transformative social change. Brian also continued to work with his Marxist Collective from New York and co-found and co-edited The Red Critique, an online journal of Marxist critique and analysis of the contemporary.
In 2007, after relocating to Vancouver, BC, Canada, Brian worked for a short period in the informal/non-profit educational sector as the Media Literacy Coordinator at The Cinematheque, a publicly-funded cultural institution aimed at promoting and preserving the arts of the moving image.
Brian worked in The Cinematheque’s Education Department. Here he developed and led workshops for K-12 drama and film students in the art of Buster Keaton and the “gag” and gender. analys.s. and critical workshops on toxic masculinity throughout the lower mainland. gave short lectures to audiences during screenings of filmmakers including Sergei Eisenstein and Roman Polanski, whose film Repulsion was screened during The Cinematheque’s popular mental health film series, Frames of Mind, hosted by UBC’s Department of Pscyhology. Part of his work at this time included public lectures on media literacy including as the co-leader of a sesesion at the Vancouver Art Gallery and a solo talk on absurdism in the plays of Beckett at the
As part of its educational and arhcival mandate.. brian was
Finally, in 2008, Brian joined the Department of English at Capilano University. At Capilano he teaches a wide range of courses including first-year Contemporary Literature and Introduction to Literature courses; third-year courses in Electronic Literature; First Nations Literature and Film; World Literature; Shakespeare in the 21st Century; Litflix: Literature After Television; Literary Theory & Criticism; Video Games and Tragedy; Literature and Technology; Canadian Literature; and Romanticism Reloaded: Introduction to Digital Reading.
Not long after his arrival at Capilano University Brian took over as the Convenor of the CultureNet program, an interdisciplinary degree program exploring changes in philosophy in the self and in culture in the digital age. Brian oversaw the CultureNet program from 2011-2013. Brian teaches primarily at the Capilano University main campus in North Vancouver, but also at satellite campuses on the Sunshine Coast and in Squamish, where mixed-mode online courses are offered. In 2013 Brian was selected to be the University’s visiting Humanites and English instructor at Aichi Gakusen College in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Brian traveled throughout Japan, with a particular focus on literary and arts landmarks.
As Capilano transitioned into a Bachelor’s degree-granting institution, Brian had the opportunity to develop and write courses that gave depth and breadth to . The degree structure at Capilano University means that students take a series of three “tutorials” culminating in a final Graduation Project. Brian has overseen several tutorials each year on topics such as : Data Activism and the Interactive Documentary; Topics in Digital Humanities: Teaching Multimodal ESL/EAP; Feminist Cultural Studies; and Zombie Film and Fiction.
From his writing to his literature courses, Brian focuses on the politics of knowledge.. Brian has brought many guest speakers to campus including Michael Parenti, Tim Wise, and novelists such as Ruth Ozeki and , groups such as Graffiti Research Labs, electronic literature Jim Andrews, Jason Nelson, ..Dene Grigar.
Over the course of his teaching life, Brian has organized workshops and presented papers at the conferences of major professional conferences throughout North America including MLA (Modern Language Association), CSA (Cultural Studies Association), SCMS (Society for Cinema and Media Studies) and others. He is also a member of the ELO (Electronic Literature Organization).
Brian was the recipient of the President’s Life-Long Learning Award in 2007 at his teaching institution in Seattle for his study of Chinese (Mandarin) and his commitment to continued learning and professional development. He is currently one of the lead instructors at Capilano in the English Departments’ EAP/ESL Bridge Program . Brian is certified as a TSEOL/ instructor.
Other recent professional development activities include a 24-hour playrighting workshop at UBC; a course in Computing Science at Harvard’s ; serving as editor-at-large for Humanities Journal; and editing a speical edition of The Capilano Review on Manifestos, an issue featuring Christian Bok, and .
* Capilano University, which recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2018, has the distinction of being one of the only universities in British Columbia founded by Faculty. In 2008 it was designated as a “special-purpose teaching University” when it was granted University status by the Provincial Government. As a result, both historically and in its educational mandate, teaching and research in teaching play a central role in the life of the University in general — and in the Humanities in particular.
Statement of Teaching Philosophy: Humanities and Literary Studies in the 21st Century
My teaching philosophy is based on the idea that a Humanities education is an integral part of any democratic society. As a result, I have integrated critical theory and cultural studies into most of my writing and literature courses. It is imperative, I believe, that all students—regardless of where they go to school—critically engage the broader philosophical issues of human imagination and culture and develop a conceptual framing for the critical understanding of social and cultural issues throughout their lives
This course is based on the assumption that students take part not as passive consumers of knowledge but as active participants in the exchange, production, and critique of ideas—their own ideas and the ideas of others. Therefore, students should come to class not only having read and viewed the materials assigned for that day but also prepared to both discuss the readings and films of the day and theorize the writings in relation to their own position. (“Unless one is aware that one cannot avoid taking a stand, unwitting stands are taken.” — Gayatri Spivak). I expect students as the course unfolds, to continually discuss and theorize the positions from which they write/speak — as I will, throughout the quarter.
Technology in the Classroom
Students in Brian’s courses come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and
Advanced Academic Writing, Digital Writing Studio, Spring 2018 This course looked at the rhetoric and ..
Electronic Literature, Spring 2017
Database Documentaries (Tutorial *)
Romanticism Reloaded: Introduction To Digital Reading, Spring 2014 This course introduced students to the main . William Blake
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