Andrew Burke is a professor in the English department. He’s worked at the University of Winnipeg (U of W) full-time since 2006, but he started teaching part-time in 2004.
Burke is from Nova Scotia and finished his Bachelor of Arts at Dalhousie University in Halifax, his Master of Arts at Concordia University in Montreal and his PhD at York University in Toronto.
“I’ve slowly been moving westward,” he says.
Though teaching at the U of W was his first post-PhD teaching experience, Burke worked at York University as a teaching assistant and as an instructor for film courses for his PhD coursework at York and at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Burke teaches a variety of subjects.
“On one hand, I teach cultural studies and critical theory, but then I would say my teaching has drifted predominantly into teaching film studies,” he says. “I teach the second-year course that’s called Screen Studies, which is an introduction that covers film, TV and digital media of sorts.”
According to Burke, the Screen Studies curriculum was developed by the English department to bundle together a selection of courses that dealt with either visual culture or audio-visual culture in various ways.
“I wanted to have a course where, on one hand, we could talk about the days of early cinema and silent film but then also see the continuities between that and the way people watch (screen media) today.” Burke says. “For example, we’re thinking about the silent, looping GIF as kind of weirdly imbedded in the silent era in certain ways.”
Burke says his teaching style attempts to give students the opportunity to openly explore obscure connections and concepts for course material and assignments, and generating analysis in the same way.
“For students to have that kind of free reign, it produces some interesting stuff,” he says.
“I don’t underestimate my students,” Burke says. “Because of outlets like the Uniter and CKUW, students don’t just recognize themselves as just being subject to media, but rather (as) having the potential to generate media and content themselves.”